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.
It’s official. We’re moving. To East Texas. I’m half excited and half terrified.
Everything is about to change and we, as a family, are going to have to make some major adjustments. First, I am a city girl by every definition of the word. My time is in the country-side has been limited to my undergrad years and living in a bonafide college town is just not the same as ranch life…..cows and chickens and horses….ranch.life.
I will also be moving 3 hours further away from my family and that’s going to be hard. Also, what does it look like to move with 2 kids? A mess, I’m sure. Just the process of boxing has been more than I’d like to deal with right now.
We explained to Makenzie and RJ that we are moving to “the ranch house” and they couldn’t be happier. It’s freedom and outdoor voices and animals and adventure hikes; they are more excited than my husband and that’s saying a lot.
I figured it was time. We have been in Houston for a long time, thanks to me. When we first got married, Red’s plan was to move me from San Antonio, where I was living while we were dating, to Marshall. I went along, attempting to be a good sport because that’s what supportive wives do. Red was the family’s ranch manager when we met and started dating so it really wasn’t far fetched that I’d end up on the ranch if things got serious. Ah, love young and the tendency to not (realistically) think too far into the future.
New living room furniture was bought, a nursery was put together — all that jazz. And then….I changed my mind. Country life “wasn’t for me”, I was in the midst of starting my Masters degree at TAMU through the online course and the internet sucked on the ranch. I was too far from my parents and my friends who were still currently in San Antonio. I just wanted out. Luckily, Red has mobility in life, working for his family, so he transferred to a position within the family business that allowed him to be in Houston. And so we moved.
That was over 5 years ago.
At the beginning of the year, Red and I were driving around, running errands one day and we started talking about our long-term plans. At this point, I had graduated with my Masters, had worked full-time with the NBA and gotten settled into my Stay-at-Home Mom position. Red, on the other hand, was still stuck in the same position he had been in when we initially moved.
I’ll be honest, I’m a hard person to please. I’m a pusher. If I see potential, in myself or in my parter, I don’t rest well until it’s realized. That has been one of my many roles in my marriage: not wanting my husband to settle for doing what he’s doing because we are comfortable. We talked about what he wanted to do and the passion and excitement I heard in his voice while he was talking about the ranch made me feel a little guilty. But why?
And then I had an epiphany: He had moved away from the ranch for me. He had all these big ideas for the ranch. He moved to make me happy and then (I guess) I just expected him to transfer his passions to something else. Of course I had realized all of my goals and he was in the same spot. So I asked, “Do you want to move back to the ranch?”
One month later we made the official decision to do it and we have been planning it out ever since. And the time is here! We are doing it. It is happening.
I am trading in all of my pumps and purses for rain boots and overalls. WHAT?! It’s fine. My husband has a new pep in his step.
This is going to be good.