You may already know this but my husband’s mom was born and raised in St. Lucia. My husband also moved back to the island for a year after high school but came back to the states after some pretty horrific mud slides. The island is ingrained in him and, because of my connection to Puerto Rico, we are constantly arguing which island is the best. They are both Caribbean and beautiful and very much loved by our little family.
The upside to visiting Puerto Rico from the states is that is it a U.S. territory. That means: no passport is needed, you can find pretty good deals on plane tickets and, if you’re in the right city, your flight will be non-stop. We have gone to Puerto Rico three times since getting married and my island family has made it to the states several times — my kids have a strong connection.
With that being said, it has been about 5 years since we’ve visited St. Lucia. RJ was about six or seven months old when we visited last for my grandmother-in-laws birthday extravaganza. Visiting requires, passports, customs, difficult flight plans, etc. It is not an ideal situation in most cases but it is especially painful with children. During our last trip, we missed our connecting flight and had to stay overnight in a motel to catch a flight the next morning. It was a sour sight to see; a large group of people running with luggage and baby bags, babies and strollers…all to miss the flight because the connecting flight left just 30 mins from the time of our first plane landed. But that is ‘Getting to St. Lucia’ for you.
Fast forward to present day and we are finally going back for another celebration: Red’s little sister (cousin) is getting married. Makenzie is going to be the mini-bride and I can’t wait for December. Nothing like leaving chilly winds and grey skies behind for some mid-70 degree, tropical weather. I’m all for it except for the fact that our connecting flight stops in New York….in December. I’m predicting a snow storm that leaves us stranded in the airport for 28-hours or something crazy like that. But….that is ‘Getting to St. Lucia’ for you.
On the bright side of things, once we make it to the island it is heaven on earth. Most people who love to travel enjoy any tropical climate destination; St. Lucia should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
These are the first travel plans we have made since our move and I feel like it is setting the tone for what is to come: Lots of travel and living. This was such a big motivator for us making our move to a smaller, slower-style of living. I already have so many plans for our little home but all of those plans can be stretched out over a few years. I’m in no rush. I am, however, in a (little bit) rush to get some miles behind this family. I want my kids to see it all. St. Lucia is a great start and I am so excited for this trip.
My mind has been swirling in and around the idea of homeschooling for awhile. I’ve mentioned in a couple of past posts. Honestly, the idea of homeschooling intrigued me but the reality of it terrified me. I use the word “terrified” a lot in talking about change and it is a strong word but it is very true for me when it comes to change — change, initially, terrifies me. If I can get past that feeling, I’m usually ready to dive head first into it. That has always been the case with my life. Changes involving my kids’ lives, however, brings on an entirely heightened sense of terror.
I’ve been a realist for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a girl, I had a solid understanding that all actions cause reactions; that all decisions have consequences. If negative reactions or consequences came about because of a decision I had made, I could deal with it. In terms of making a decision about homeschooling Makenzie and RJ, I made it more complicated (probably) than it needed to be.
What if I screwed them up? What if they fell behind? How could I teach them myself? What if I don’t have enough patience. The truth is, I’ve taught them the most important things so far and they are just fine. I taught them to walk, run, talk, eat on their own; I’ve taught them to be kind and tell the truth and appreciate what they have and the world around them. I taught them the ABC’s and 123’s.
Parents are their children’s first teachers. It’s not that far of a stretch that they continue to teach them as they get older. I get that now.
I am living a life that would allow for me to spend all of my waking hours with my kids. I see that as a blessing. I also worry about the current state of public schooling and, while we can afford private school by making some adjustments to our lifestyle, I would much rather spend that money on travel and experiences.
I have been trolling the inters-of-net for the best ways to homeschool and one thing is clear: there is no best way. Here is what I know: We are living on more acres than we need. We are surrounded by nature and my children are drawn into it. We should be outside. We should be using our hands. We are going to be getting dirty.
Here’s what else I know: Makenzie and RJ are still young. At this age, learning through exploration and playing make a lot of sense.
I have set some goals. Things I want to tackle for sure:
- Everyone can recognize numbers and count to 100
- Everyone can recognize all the letters in the alphabet and write them
That’s pretty much it for now and they are almost there already. Sometimes they can get it right, sometimes they can’t. I would guess that variables like, hunger, tiredness, distractions, etc. effect how well they perform these goals. I’m not going to stress about it.
Lots of homeschooling mamas have told me to spend this time reading and snuggling. I plan to do a lot of that. Both M+RJ enjoy stories from books or daddy’s imagination or ones that they make up.
I think this will be what our homeschool looks like until August when the “regular” school year starts. Then I may add some other goals. I may not. Luckily, I have very curious kids and curious kids learn quickly simply because they enjoy it.