Saturday, April 28, 2007
Since we've made the decision to homeschool and since I've come to meet more and more moms, the whole socialization thing keeps coming up. What a myth and wrong use of vocabulary! My latest common comment is, "I couldn't homeschool. My kids need to be around other kids. He needs that socialization." Ackk! Does that mean that that my kids don't need to be around other kids or socialize with others? Of course they do! And they do!
I don't ask people for reasons why they don't homeschool, yet it seems like they are very adamant about defending their choice about sending their kids to school. It's OK...really. I don't want a list of why you send your kids to school. Yes, I understand that you could never do that. Fine, you want your kids around lots of other kids all the time. OK, you don't have the patience. You really don't have to convince me because I know that every family makes the choices that are right for them.
Sometimes I wonder if they carry on these conversations because they think I'm making the wrong choice. It really doesn't matter either way. The point is that yes, my kids love being around other kids and just because I homeschool them doesn't mean that they are being isolated at home. And socialized? Well, socialization by definition is simply a process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that are in conformity to the value's of society. Do I think my kids actually need to go to school to learn this? Of course not! What could another 5 year old possibly teach my kid about being socialized? If you ask me, it's the adults in the child's life that really teach these values to their kids.
"Yes, but you are keeping them from learning how to handle things in the real world." I'm afraid to say that in the real world, you don't interact with people that are solely your age. I am really not interested in having my kids mold into what a big group of kids thinks is right. For now, I just want them to be "socialized" enough to be around all kinds of people...not just other kids their age. I want them to learn the real values of a society...not the values found within the culture of young kids and teens.
So please...don't assume that because I keep my kids at home, they are completely unaware of how to behave, follow rules, listen, and even conform to the norm. Don't assume that because I keep them at home they don't need to be around other kids. And please, spare me the list of why you don't homeschool. It really is OK (and come to think about it...I don't care)!
**This ramble is brought to you thanks to the recent outpour of similar comments made to me by strangers.
This is the smaller box by the fence. Things are growing here faster than I ever imagined! Our broccoli, however, is being attacked by fruit worms (as you can see the damaged leaves) and we are working on an
Monday, April 23, 2007
We'll see how long the fascination lasts, but for the mean time the fish are looking nice on our piano. Maybe it will be a motivator when we start our piano lessons!
Friday, April 20, 2007
- A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Happy Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
- How Doth the Little Crocodile, Lewis Carroll
- Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- The Purple Cow
- Good and Bad Children, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Cucu Cucu, Spanish nursery rhyme
- El Patio de Mi Casa, Spanish nursery rhyme
- El Barquito Chiquitito, Spanish nursery rhyme
- Various Mother Goose Rhymes
- Padre Nuestro
- Ave Maria
- Angel de Dios
- Pater Noster
- Gloria Patri
- Angele Dei
- Requiem Aeternam
- Anima Christi
- Signum Crucis
I'll probably be adding or even taking away some of these...all depending on how we do. I will keep this list updated as we go along. If you are interested in looking at some good poetry books for children, try these.
- A Child's Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Honey for a Child's Heart
- When We Were Very Young, A.A. Milne
- Now We Are Six, A.A. Milne
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Our basement is another story. Although it's really already finished, we still need to carpet the stairs and finish the full bath. But since we need to call the plumber to do all that stuff and the carpet guy, we are just putting it off until we can get ourselves together to actually finish painting the staircase walls. Another thing on our to-do list!! As for the functionality of the room...it's working out well. It serves as our playroom and schoolroom. I'll have to post pictures of it in the future since I know many of your homeschoolers are always looking for ideas for your own schoolrooms.
As for the organizational matters of the home...I'm working on it. I would ideally like to get the upstairs bedrooms a little better decorated and organized before the baby arrives. Luckily, I don't have much to decorate since the rooms are pretty much done. Just a few more pictures and shelves to go in the kids' room, some new curtains, and a closet system for my room. Not too bad for the top floor. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are well taken care of. Besides needing some serious new flooring in the kitchen, the organizational matters are done. Now if I could only get my housework and schooling down.
It amazing how much you can actually do to a home. I'm happy with ours, although I know there are some other major improvements we have planned for the future. For now, I just want to get that darned bathroom done.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
The Beginners Bible is an all-time favorite read! We do this daily at bedtime and sometimes during free reading time. The perfect bible for children 3-6!!
The early years are full of play and fun. Because there is an older child doing school, many times Isabella will sit in and participate (this is especially true during science!). Reading time is always done together and I allow plenty of music time and art (gluing, painting, coloring, etc.). The important thing is not to burn your little one out before they actually really start school!
Friday, April 13, 2007
I just finished updating our kindergarten schedule and curriculum. I've posted a picture of what we are using along with a small description in our curriculum link. I also posted a rough schedule of our days. Check it out and enjoy!!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Inspired by the idea of the Dream Dinners chains found all over the country, I went ahead and purchased their recipe book. I also discovered 30 Day Gourmet online. Now that I get the idea on what I can freeze and how to alter some of our favorite recipes, I'm planning on doing my first big freeze this weekend! Believe me...I need all the help I can get. Last night we had Dino-nuggets for dinner. It was so sad that not even the kids ate them and we all sat down to a nice bowl of cereal instead!! Yeah. It was one of those days.
I'm not planning on making 30 meals, but a smaller 7-14. I'm starting with some favorites and staples and then seeing how things turn out. I don't want to burn myself out on my first try. Since dh leaves for conference on Sunday, I'm thinking of enlisting some help so that I can cook while the kids are being watched. If things go well, I might just double up on some recipes once or twice a week in order to keep my freezer nice and full.
Dh is excited about the idea of having a decent dinner after a Little League game. I've been falling behind on dinner on t-ball practice and game nights. As much as I want to be and try to be super-organized with homeschooling, cleaning the house, watching the kids, cooking, and the kids extra-curricular activities...I sometimes fail. I don't know how moms with bigger families do it. I guess that in a couple of years I just might be able to answer that question!!
I will definitely post my freezer recipes once I have tried them out. In the mean time, if you are interested in simplifying your own life, here is a website that I recommend for those starting out.
You can also purchase their book at any book store. Dream Dinners is another book you might want to check out. So far, it's easy to follow and offers some nice recipes. Regardless of what book you decide to get, it is definitely worth purchasing one for reference.
Monday, April 9, 2007
Faith is such a wonderful thing and it seems that so far, it has been the funnest and easiest thing to teach! Believe me...there's plenty of complaining when we do our lessons, but I never hear anyone say anything negative about prayer time! It's easily one of the best parts of the day.
For the time being, we are going to keep the Easter spirit alive. It's great to enjoy many of the things we have deprived ourselves of during Lent. Everything always seems a little more meaningful this time of year!
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
The funny thing happened when she began talking about how she refused to be "one of those moms" whose only life is their kids. "Playgroups? Not me. I couldn't stand it! I need to have my own life." I held my breathe as I listened to her talk about how she was going to be the same person after her baby was born. It was while she was talking about her plans on staying the same that I realized that my own life revolves around my kids! But the funny thing is...I LOVE IT!!
I do playgroups, I'm a leader of a moms' group, I homeschool, I take the kids on trips....everything she said she would never think to do. What really got me was that I used to think that my life wasn't going to change that much after having a baby either. But it did. And the older that baby got, the more my life changed. Now that I'm on my way to having 4 kids, I would never even think to go back to my life before children. Dh and I love that our lives revolves around our kids simply because we love our kids that much! They have made us better people. They have taught us to love in a way we never imagined possible. They have made our marriage stronger and we love each other more because of them. They make God seem closer.
I do complain about never having enough time to myself and being overwhelmed with childish things to do. But if I had to choose this life over another, I prefer this life a million times over. Their little laughs, their sweet "I love yous," and the wonder you see in their eyes. I experience that every day. There is no better reward in life. And every night as dh and I go to bed, we laugh at all the wonderful things that the kids did and said that day and we always thank God that we decided to have children. Maybe that's why we dream of having more. Because they complete our lives in a way that nothing else can...in a way that only God can provide.
Monday, April 2, 2007
For the time being, I'm having to make a major adjustment to scheduling my days around Marco's lessons. I don't like falling out of routine since the kids are so much better when we actually stick to one. I guess that means a little less play dates and more "field trips." The kids don't seem to mind and it's fun seeing them blossom as best friends. I'm truly blessed when I see how well all three of my children get along. Of course, there is the occasional fight; but overall I love seeing them interact with each other the way that they do. I'm sure that when the baby is born, he'll mesh right into everything!
Now I just have to get ready for a big 5 year old birthday and Easter!! Marco is really excited about turning 5 and both he and Isabella are doing really well in understanding the whole meaning behind Easter. I refuse to let it be about an Easter bunny!! I must admit that they love reading their little bible book and it's helped me tremendously at getting some points across. Since it's Holy Week, we are also doing a little more than usual with crafts and stories. It makes waiting for the resurrection of Jesus so much more exciting for the whole family.