Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It finally happened : 15 puzzle pieces came together and were glued on a piece of cardstock to form a photo of a much-wanted Leapster Explorer game. The completed puzzle was handed over and the family made the trek to the store, where the game was signed, sealed, and delivered into the hands of the hard-working student. A small miracle happened today. Ibis followed through on a goal to fruition. May it last!

Sometimes the rewards have to be tangible. There's schoolwork out there that some kids are just going to have to get through even when it's not fluffy and fun. But then there's another incentive we've recently stumbled upon that is its own reward : postcards and the pen pal. The postcards are part of our state project and the kids have gotten their feet wet learning to send little notes and write addresses. The pen pals are brand new. For the first time ever today, Alexei sat down to write a letter not only without complaint, but without even being asked. And not only is he interested in talking back and forth with another homeschooled kid his age, but he's trying to improve his handwriting (aka chicken scratch) and spelling to impress his new pen pal. Sometimes peer pressure is awesome.

Ten weeks of school left in this year!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

finding your way

There's a lot out there about the myriad ways to keep your homeschooled kids happy and socialized - basically, as with anything else in life, the amount of effort you put into it relates directly to the amount of satisfaction they get out of it : in other words, it is what you make of it. I have zero doubts about my kids' opportunities and quality of social time. Something you never seem to read about is where you as the parent fit into the grand scheme of things.

Sometimes it's hard to feel like you fit in when you're a homeschool mom, especially if you have a large family that spans a substantial age range. I'm not just a toddler and preschooler mommy since my older kids don't go off to school each day; nix the preschool set of friends. Many baby/toddler groups these days absolutely forbid older kids attending. On that same axis, since I have a preschooler and toddler to keep up with, I'm not just a homeschool mom. Field trips that require concentration, quiet, and two hands? Forget it.

I used to have hobbies. Once upon a time there was the opportunity to train and show horses. I could sit down and draw. I really enjoyed taking photographs, not just of my kids but for other people as a budding profession. If I felt like it, I could even sit down and read a book.

You give up a lot as a homeschooling mom. There's the time and the effort that go into the planning and the doing, but mostly you give up being normal. You give up fitting in with the moms you used to hang out with, because their kids went off to school and yours didn't. You give up on society thinking you're a sane person who knows what you're doing with your kids.

Even after almost six years, I feel a little lost sometimes.

But I don't think society ever thought I was a sane person.