Wednesday – Day Three

Today was a little trickier to document because we were out and about all day here and there and everywhere, busy. Which means we are relying on my mama mind to recall our day…ha ha! (Have I mentioned in the past I’m fairly certain my memory was delivered along with my children…they might of called it a placenta, but I’m certain it was the memory section of my brain!

First thing this morning I had a SMIDGEN of mama time before my son woke up and we had to get ready to leave. I had to unfortunately urge my daughter out of bed and rush her along a bit.

While in the car (an hour drive today) My daughter was reading her insect fact book. She loves these types of books on insects, mammals, sea life, and all living creatures! She announces: I can’t believe there is a MOTH that is pink, yellow and blue…it is so beautiful and it is a MOTH! Can you believe there is a beautiful moth mom?!?! My son leans over and reads the info…he tells her, yup, it’s called a Rosy Maple Moth…


Joke told by my kids: Do you know the difference between a preying mantis and a praying mantis? One has a bug between it’s hands. (not really sure if that is how the joke goes, but that is how they said it and they laughed!) Ha ha!

After that I listened to the music and they researched spiders. I did have to keep reminding them to look up to avoid getting car sick…sometimes reading in the car will turn them green.

A bit later I notice my son has packed the magnet toy in our car, so he’s still processing magnets and having fun with it. (I wasn’t overjoyed when the magnets fought each other and shot all over the market’s floor, but such is life when you are learning I suppose…he now understands why it’s best to leave your toys in the car)


Directly entering Costco there are a plethora of TV’s, today was an interesting show about underwater life. Tomorrow we are supposed to research that show to see if we can get it and watch it in full. I’d happily do that over researching a cartoon we discover at the entrance of Costco.


After our errands are complete, we meet up with some friends and play at the park, then head down to the beach. It wasn’t really beach weather, but most of our kids still enjoy it.


I love how each kid stands so nicely in line waiting their turn. No one is cutting or complaining. It is just a peaceful cooperative queue of unsocialized homeschool kids. (Oh gees, there goes that sarcasm again, ha ha!)


Every time we get together with other homeschoolers, I giggle to myself at how silly the whole “socialization” concern is. These kids are so well socialized. The way they work out differences and handle situations is generally very impressive.


It is always a sensory experience to have your entire body buried under sand! And such a physical job for my daughter’s friend who was covering her up! (We can check on P.E. off for my daughter’s friend!) Ha ha!


Not sure what they are doing, but looks fun!


Looks like the kids have decided to play duck duck goose…


The mamas were enjoying a relaxing adult chat while the kids were running around.

While my son was enjoying a pizza party with his super brains club (three of the kids, my son included, were graduating today) I took my daughter shopping for what she loves…jewelry!


A little boy was selling confetti eggs (6 for a dollar) on the sidewalk, so we bought some confetti eggs and the kids had fun smashing eggs on each other’s heads!



Well some liked doing the smashing more so then getting smashed on…ha ha!


This would be a loving tackle, she comes off as a delicate little flower, but that is her trick…watch out, when you are least expecting it, she will get you!


After the beach and confetti eggs, it was BATH TIME! Which always ends up becoming some sort of water explosion, I mean experiment! (I have been known to line the floor with towels, because it doesn’t matter how often you mention keep the water IN the tub to the children, that darn water still seems to leak out of the tub and all over the floor, sometimes the walls and on a rare occasion the water makes it’s way up to the ceiling!


Deal Making time: My son wants to watch a BEN 10…the job is CLEAN YOUR ROOM…trust me it’s a big job tonight!


We sneak in a little LIFE OF FRED MATH (my son’s choice!) He is asked to build a house with right angles and he enjoys himself so much, he decides to build a basement and a basement vent and of course he has to leave the roof off because a roof isn’t made of right angels…he takes his assignments very seriously!



…and a little practice with nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc thru MAD LIBS (love those!)


My daughter does some piano practice. I don’t force practice on them, but neither of them like the rush of having to complete it all last-minute, so they generally do a little here and there each day. (as you can see in the background my son is practicing head stands in the chair! Ha ha!)


never a dull moment…kids are tucked in and it is my bedtime…goodnight 🙂

Tuesday – Day Two

Today started off typical, I was up early and got my mama me time before the little folks were up for the day.

After a while, my daughter surfaced…she contently looked thru a bag of rocks and minerals for a long time.


After a while my son joined us and they made themselves some breakfast.

While preparing their breakfast I over hear my son telling his sister, that when we go on vacation they will get spending money and if they save it they can buy all the junk cereal they want…my daughter replies something on the lines of; no, we only get two per year! My son replies: Yeah, that’s the deal with mom’s money, not our money! (he’s getting clever now!) 🙂

SIDE NOTE: We have a family deal, twice a year (Christmas and Birthdays) they get their choice of a box of crap cereal, you know the kind, typically have a toy in the bottom of the box and turns your poop bright turquoise blue green color! And when they get their box of cereal, they will opt for cereal breakfast, lunch and dinner until it’s gone.


Breakfast around here is make it yourself if mom hasn’t gotten to it by the time you are hungry. Be grateful when someone serves you, but be willing to do things for yourself if you can and need to. I’d say a couple days a week they make their own breakfast and majority of the time I make it.


After breakfast:

Son: And NOW I’m actually going to do school!
Daughter: Really?!?!
Son: Yes, I’m really going to read this book and learn something new!


How could I interrupt that with my plans to make those darn crackers???

While reading a basher book on weather:
Son: Mom, do you remember mine craft on the ipad?
Mom: yes.
Son: Do you think I could get to outer space on mine craft? Because in creative mode you can fly and if you go above the clouds, there is a bluish orb like place. Do you think if you puncture thru the bottom of that orb you would reach the outer atmosphere? Or like the other side of the atmosphere? I really want to know what is on the other side!

Son: mom, look (showing me his book) these are the extreme weather conditions, except you really can’t have a draught and flood at the same time. Wanna know something sis – you can’t have a tornado without a thunder cloud. There is a difference between a tornado and hurricane. A hurricane does not lower itself from a thunderstorm cloud. Hurricanes come from the sea and tornados come from the sky.

He continues on, but I need to get this cracker deal going…so I stroll off to the kitchen while he has his sister’s ear now.

He comes into the kitchen to find me, apparently, he has been checking out his basher book on elements now and has stumbled across an element he can’t pronounce…and truth be known neither can mom! We have our talking dictionary give us a leg up on this one!


Son: finally found what I was looking for! Neodymium
Mom: why?
Son: I’m kind of interested in it, that’s why

CRACKER TIME…I had to just get it over with…stuff was sitting there waiting, staring me in the face…so here we go, we are making saltine crackers from scratch! (And yes it involved washing the table cloth ha ha!)




Daughter: can I push on it? Because then I can feel the squish substance called dough, isn’t that funny mom, and anyways it’s quicker than rolling it.




While I put the table cloth and a load of reds in the wash, my daughter started to read a book about horses.


a bit later, my son decided he was going to teach his little sis how to tell time by reading a baby basher book on TIME to her. I’ve mentioned before both my children enjoy being the teacher…not so much the student role model, but teacher position they thrive! Ha ha!


Outside time! Some days I have to kick these little kiddos OUTSIDE! Today was one of those days, out out out, go get your wiggly beans OUT!

Wardrobe Change #2 – She is in one of her fancy gowns, jumping on the trampoline and announces that she thinks this dress should not be a dress but rather dress up clothes from now on. She has serious individual ideas on what is what when it comes to clothes and shoes! She has stated many times she wants to design her own clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc… From the first (and last) power struggle over shoes when she was 9 months old, I decided clothes really aren’t worth it, as long as they are content in their skin, and happy with their choices, I do not intervene when it comes to their fashion preferrences. They are free to express themselves fully. I do however, get to choose Christmas dinner and Easter Brunch outfits for both kiddos.


Wardrobe Change #3 – Pondering life while swinging on the swings.


Pondering life while hanging in his self made tree hammock…yes, my rug is still in the tree!


Story time with narration and discussion afterwards


Reading about rocks and minerals…we also made a trip today to the rock and mineral shop in town.


Son: A hypothesis about Stonehenge is it was used to be a UFO landing site and the Easter Island rock heads are known to also be associated with aliens. And I think aliens would be awesome!
Daughter: No, people believe Stonehenge is a place where people saw the sunrise and set.
Son: Some people think Stonehenge was built as a giant calendar because the sun rises and sets in certain positions during the solstices, but I like the alien theory better.


My Daughter making orange juice with one orange that is still not ready, but she was, so it was plucked, cut and squeezed…she’d like to sell you a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice for 50 cents at her “lemonade stand” ha ha!



A little more piano practice


My son is trying to build an upside down telescope.



Which leads him to you tube for directions, but he is quickly side tracked by anti gravity toys…which leads to magnet play. Which is related to his morning interest of Neodymium…right?! I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Neodymium is used to make really powerful magnets.



My daughter likes that the figurine bin was taken out and quickly has her own saving story going on. A goat has falling off a cliff and all the other animals are trying to save him from falling to the ground…she plays this story out in many ways and has a great time talking for each animals and is very serious with different voices for different characters.


all animals made it safe and sound to their farm land…and no the lion is not going to eat the pig. ha ha!


Dad’s Home….dinner time and all that jazz…

During dinner:

Son: I have a hypothesis, that cloth gets wet when you dump water on it because the water molecules latch on to the cloth molecules.
Dad: And then they use capillary action to propagate through the material.
Daughter: So if I dump a bucket of water here, the whole table cloth gets wet?
Dad: Yup, you got it.
Mom: Sooooo capillary action to propagate??? Would that be spreads out for the rest of us??? Ha ha!

Daughter: Well I have a hypothesis too about bubbles – it is I think bubbles are little air things filled with liquid.
Dad: you are close, but it’s the opposite.
Daughter: its air trapped in liquid? Hmmm…
Mom: come on kids, clear your dishes and get ready for story time in my room.


They are now in their own beds listening to an audio book. I’m posting this, and then heading for bed myself. My editor (I mean better at spelling friend) will tell me tomorrow of any major glitches in my verbal spewing, ha ha! I’m too tired tonight!

Monday – Day One

I normally wake up early, hours before my children, to ensure that mama quiet time. Sip my cup of tea, think my thoughts, just enjoy the morning sounds before the house is so noisy I can’t hear myself think.

Today was not one of those days, I woke up early and then crawled right back into bed and slipped off into a deep sleep. Woken up by my son, who just woke up himself, asking if he can finish the NATE THE GREAT audio book he didn’t finish last night.


We snuggle up in our jams on the sofa, he is listening with headphones because his sister is still sleeping and I like it quiet until the whole herd is up and roaring. I am facing him, with ipad and iphone at the ready, trying to sort out three different play dates this week with three different mamas. I have an unexpected guest coming, which is exciting, looking forward to her visit, but I needed to see where a fantabulous play date might fit in with this friend. Once all of that calendar stuff is sorted out, my daughter wakes up. She decides she is going to snuggle up with us right smack in the middle on top of us, making both my son and I a lot uncomfortable, so rearranging our positions, ends up with my son off doing something else, my daughter snuggling up with me for a while, but her ultimate goal of conquering the entire sofa for herself is eventually achieved. Ha ha!

My son is outside making lizard traps. Did I mention we bought a terrarium and crickets for the lizard he caught before, but it was too small and had to be released into the wild again…so right now we have about a dozen pet crickets!



While he is hunting lizards, my daughter designs jewelry for her stuffed animals. She announces she will start a stuffie jewelry line and sell these creations to the top buyers! (Watch out Build-A-Bear! Ha ha!)


After my son’s lizard hunt, he’s ready for a little Life of Fred Math. We snuggle up for the next chapter. He moves to the table to write down his answers to the last chapters questions.



As he moves on to earn an egg on Reading Eggs (a computer reading program) My daughter snuggles up on the sofa to practice her reading. She reads a couple BOB books out loud to me. And we talk about sounds and sounding out words and how most of the words in these books can be sounded out, but in some of her other readers you can’t sound out the words easily, you need to learn the letter combinations that make different sounds when they are together, etc…



She then takes her turn on Reading Eggs while her brother tries to get an old lap top working. He wants to put in the circuit board (snap circuits science toy) CD-ROM and create something on the computer. The disk isn’t working, dad will need to sort that out later.


I make lunch.

After lunch we all go outside and play. I sit with a cup of tea (I am a sitter and a tea drinker, eeks, I see thru this blog post, I need to get up and off my arse and exercise! Haha!)



The kids are busy, jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes, scooters, playing with the hose, etc…Some of the conversations I overheard or took part in were interesting:


Kids asked why I’m taking so many photos today…I tell them of the blog. My son says: well I’m sure they are going to think I’m a girl, because I have long hair and a leopard print vest on…but I don’t care because I love my vest! It’s the best vest! That rhymes ha ha! (he loves it so much, he didn’t want it to get wet, so I had to be the vest guardian for a bit)


Daughter: Mom, what time is it?
Me: 12:22pm
Daughter: Well I’m noticing it is shady at 12:22 and I’m guessing it is probably always shady at 12:22 in our play yard. This spurs a discussion on tracking the shade and how the sun moves during the seasons. And apparently now we are going to check the shade out and track it now.

Daughter: Mom, look what I found, I think it is a diamond because it is sparkly and hard…as she brings me a piece of cement I think, maybe roof tile? Not sure…we plan on asking dad what it is made of, I’m guessing glass, not diamonds. Ha ha! Sometimes mom isn’t up for researching when dad can easily answer a question, he needs to be in on the homeschooling gig too. Ha ha! Not to mention the wi-fi didn’t reach where I was sitting in the yard.

Son: Mom, you wanna know what I think was one of the most important speeches during the war against Great Britain…you know that battle on bunker hill, I think the statement “hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes” was one of the most important bits. What do you think?

Daughter: spraying water out of the hose states, it looks like a butterfly…a wing over here and another one over there.
Son: yeah but butterflies have four wings not two.


Daughter: Can everything go thru water?
Son: No
Daughter: What can’t get thru water?
Son: well I know oil can’t get thru water, so there must be things that can and some that can’t.
Daughter: Mom can you look up what can get thru water?
Me: sure…

Son: wanna know the process of how I make tracks? I run thru the puddles you are making sis and the bike tires pick up the water. When I ride over the dry part the water comes off. Interesting huh?


Daughter: while violently flinging the hose around flinging water everywhere. (I’m hoping she doesn’t drench me and my ipad) she announces loudly…how cool is that mom, what goes up has to come down, it is gravity mom, look!!!

All this pondering and processing took place in about 30 minutes. It is a little before 1:00pm and we are heading downtown to an appointment and the book store. When you pay attention to the random comments the kids say during their play, you realize just how much is going on up in their developing brains. They seem to be learning and processing information non-stop at lightening speeds!

At the book store my son talked me into a couple basher books. We love the basher books.


In the afternoons, we often have a quiet time…not every day, but I aim for a few times a week, especially on the days the kids need a break from one another. I noticed they were starting to debate about more then enough topics on the way home from town. I figured quiet time was needed, so into their rooms for an hour to read, play quietly and relax on their own. Believe it or not, they both actually really like quiet time and have in the past asked for it!

They tidy up the living room first. Then choose a book, grab a snack, and head off into their rooms.

I’m on the sofa with a cup of tea surfing the net and thinking about putting a load of laundry in…


…yes okay laundry guilt is over, the load is in and I also pulled out the ingredients to make the cracker recipe my son has been asking to make…


NOW, I feel I can sit and relax with my tea and surf the net a bit
…(note to hubby who will read this: no comment from the peanut gallery! Ha ha! We all deserve a break during our work day!)

After quiet time:

Son: mom, during quiet time I got pretty good at this! (showing me his harmonica)

Which spurs a little jam session between the two kids…one on harmonica and the other on the wooden frog…we rock out a bit and they decide they want to watch Nanny McPhee Returns. I decide I’m not up for crackers just yet, but I’m not up for tv either…sooooo I say they need to do a little piano practice and then play outside for a while before I will consider a movie. They practice and then bounce outside.



My son apparently took the entry way rug with him and decided to take it up a tree…looks sort of comfy huh? Ha ha! He is that kid that is so creative you quickly realize you will go insane if you worry too much about the little things in life like my rug is up in a freaking tree! haha!

I remind myself often of Thomas Edison’s mother…she is my hero really and I don’t even know her name! But she home schooled Thomas and fostered his creativity that we all benefit from today. Maybe one day we will all benefit from my son’s creation, who knows. I do know I won’t be the one to step on his ideas.


Well looks like crackers have safely been procrastinated a bit further into the afternoon/evening; they have suckered me into Nanny McPhee Returns!


Hubby is on his way home and I am going to a stretching class with some friends. Some of the school reading on our list will either happen late tonight when I get home, if the kids are up and want some story time with mom or tomorrow…

Not sure what adventures dad has in store for the kiddos while I’m away, but I do know my daughter needs to unload the dishwasher. She made a deal to unload it 5 times in exchange for me purchasing yet another stuffed animal for her!

Well I’m back from stretching class. My husband informs me that the kids ate dinner, did some tidy up chores, our son read a few books to his sister, they jumped on the trampoline with dad, did bedtime routine stuff and went to sleep.

I had a great adventure with friends and look forward to tomorrow…figure crackers will HAVE TO HAPPEN tomorrow! They have been on the list for a few days now! ha ha!

I still have a goal of less words and more photos, but after attempting to take photos of our day, I’m guessing as the week goes on, I’ll have less photos and less words by Friday ha ha! I will do my best for ya! 🙂

Good Night…

Our Homeschooling Week In Photos

I was thinking back to the beginning and how I really wished someone would document their week in photos. I needed to see what people did. I read about a typical day. I found schedules and charts. But I needed to see pictures, I needed a visual aid!

I am only one fish in a giant sea of homeschoolers, so I am not saying OUR WAY is the only way or the right way. Each family has to find their own groove. Figure out your families goals and priorities. What works for the different personalities in your family, the different learning styles, teaching styles, etc…

This is OUR family. This is what works for us. I hope it is helpful to see how we go about our days.

For the record: I will not be documenting everything, but I will do my best to give you a good idea of our days.

Hopefully I can convey the sense of peace homeschooling brings our family…but of course because that is my hope, it will probably turn into a Murphy’s Law week haha! Which in itself might give my readers a sense of normalcy and relief they aren’t the only ones having a wacky day here and there…haha! 🙂

Here we go…wish us luck…

I didn’t plan on starting until tomorrow, but why not start now?

Sunday evening

Earlier this evening my son was finishing up an audio story, Sara and Solomon

While he was doing that, my daughter was creating something with play dough.


After a lot of rolling, pinching, smashing, pushing, poking and exercising just about every fine motor skill one could work on, she had created a duck, on a lake near an island with a palm tree. (Must admit she is more talented with play dough creations then her dear mama. I had pretty much only mastered the snake, worm, a ball, and the ever famous ash tray, but not much more haha!)


All that play dough work is enhancing her future writing skills. Great for all ages IMHO.

We sat down to a delicious dinner, ate and then went for a family walk.

My daughter caught bugs (or attempted to) my son mastered his stick throwing skills. My husband and I just enjoyed the walk while the kids ran ahead, hopping, skipping and laughing while the dog begged for another stick to be tossed.

After our walk, everyone snuggled up on the sofa to watch a bedtime cartoon and eat ice cream. (I quietly excused myself after eating ice cream, to the back room and sipped a cup of tea in solitude)

We brushed teeth and did all that bedtime routine stuff, jammies, teeth, etc…and the kids crawled into bed. Because they were in bed fairly early, they asked for an audio story, so I put on Nate The Great audio download (library overdrive option…big fan of free!)

That was our evening tonight, not overly exciting, but it was nice…


Hopefully I will have more photos and fewer words tomorrow. 🙂

Motivation and Compromise

My son is very goal motivated. It is not my natural style of parenting to bribe my kids with a reward, but he often will come up with his own chores and rewards haha. And it works for him, so not always does my parenting style match with his personal style. We find the happy middle ground.

Right now he is in full swing of a goal motivation phase of life. He has been waking up and asking if I have a job for him. While I think of something, he beats me to it and comes up with;

“How about I earn five coins on teach me (iPad school app), then get dressed, put all my dirty clothes in the hamper, make myself breakfast, clean up my dishes and earn an egg on reading eggs (a computer reading program) is that a good enough job for one Ben 10 episode?”

As I am waking up, sipping my tea and still in my jammie’s thinking about our day, I realize welllllll that does cover some reading, math and spelling…not to mention it will buy me time to sip my tea and relax before I have to get cracking on the day ahead. Yup, sounds good to me, go for it.

He zips around and accomplishes his chores then sits down to watch his episode of Ben 10. I’m still sipping my tea and in my jammie’s…haha!

After a while, I figure I better get moving, so I get up and get ready for the day.

Side note: Way less stressful morning, then the days when we used to race around the house in a state of chaos trying to get out the door for school, often forgetting lunches, backpacks, jackets, even shoes!

Well I’m up and ready, the episode is over and he’s hoping for another job. I hand him a spray bottle and rag, he goes spot hunting on the kitchen floor, then grabs a duster and eliminates most of the surface dust in the living room. I’m not ready yet for him to watch more tv, so I send him into his room to tidy up…to avoid child labor accusations Haha…, I send him outside to jump on the trampoline and hunt for a lizard as the final part of his job.

Television, computer games, iPad apps, audio stories, are all things my son will gravitate towards if they are options. We lump them all under the title of “tech” He would happily spend the entire day tech hopping if possible.

I don’t mind technology in our life, but I do mind too much of them, and I am extremely picky on what tech is approved. A degree of educational value needs to be involved for it to be on our list of ok technology. This is the area in our lives where I do not willy nilly give in to the nag factor.

I like to see my kids physically moving their bodies, spending time outside in nature, exercising their natural curiosity and being active creative kids. So this job situation has brought about many opportunities for compromise.

Yesterday I sent the kids outside with bowls full of seeds and their job was to plant the garden beds with these seeds. Immediately my son asks if all the seeds can go into one hole. Haha! I replied with specific directions, read directly from the seed packaging. They spent a good 45 minutes outside gardening. Which was not only a job, but also part of a lesson we have been doing on GMO crops and the bees. “Vanishing Bees” is the documentary that spurred this adventure. My children have gone from fearing the bees, to wanting a bee hive in our garden.

Another side note: take note of how all these aspects of our life are intertwined…our life incorporates learning, a job, responsibility, and yet it is all enjoyable for those involved…it’s our life not a desk or a classroom where my kids learn the most. I love the saying, we learn about the real world IN the real world, not a classroom.

I’m not sure if I have a specific point to my post, but I’m not the goal oriented one in this house haha!

I do like that even though I’m not a goal oriented person, my son is and I can embrace his needs in a way that benefits his growing mind and body. And that homeschooling or parenting doesn’t have to be torture, yelling, fighting, etc….you can find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Ah ha there is my point:

Find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Unschooling In The Little Red School House

They say the first step is to admit your addiction.

So I’m going to make that first step here in this public arena!

I am an unschooling mama with an addiction to curriculum.

It is the truth, I love both worlds of homeschooling. I like to take what I like and dump the rest. There is a reason we as a family did not fit the standard school box, we see far too many flaws with that system. Homeschooling offers such a fabulous way to dump the flaws and run wild with what works for your family!

Being a homeschooler gives me a brilliant excuse to purchase some of the most amazing curriculum, manipulatives, supplies, etc. I just love back to school sales!

However, I also have a serious fondness of unschooling methods, so there is an internal battle forging on inside of me. My inner teacher, curriculum addicted self battles on with my free spirit, trust in my children, natural loving, unschooling parenting self. Hence the reason I consider myself a relaxed schooler.

I believe in the unschooling methods I’ve read about, they simply make sense. I have seen the wheels turning in my children’s minds when they are given the time and trust required to learn on their own accord. Unschooling methods bring a massive sense of peace and calmness to our lives. The kids are happy learning and living in an educational world with many new wonders around each corner.

But I struggle with how to record keep when unschooling and my husband has reservations about the unschooling method. (Which is another post for another time)

I graduated college with a degree in child development. I was being groomed to be a classroom teacher, and yet all the theories I was taught to bring into a classroom, genuinely fits the unschooling methods better.

In the modern classroom setting, a good teacher (because there are a few of them out there ya’know) simply can’t implement what they hope to accomplish. It’s just not possible. There are far too many hurdles. (But again that’s another post for another day)

I mentioned my addiction to curriculum, but I may have forgotten to mention our little red school house…I really do enjoy “playing school” when my kids are willing to “play the students” haha!


It is the perfect place to keep our school materials and gives us a place to go and do school. A great place to keep all the record keeping administrative type things in order. A great place for the kids to “play school” with their friends. My kids enjoy being the teacher much more than the students. Haha!

Side note: I have noticed in the spirit of Charlotte Mason’s narration methods, when my children play teacher, I get a fantastic glimpse into what they know well and what still needs a little work.

I did mention the internal battle right? Yup, at some point in time I came up with “relaxed schooler” because that is what we are.

We go into the school-house and do school to fill my needs to teach, use the fabulous curriculum that has been given the stamp of approval from my kids, and have paper work for my record keeping.

However, majority of our lives are simply chocked full of relaxed style learning. I like to say: We go into the school-house to do school and when we are finished, we go out into the world and learn something. Haha!

Shark Out Of Water!

Did you know there are sharks in them there waters?


I actually wondered quietly to myself….will this fabulous experience of getting to touch, hold, feel this dogfish shark create fears of the water, but so far so good.

Just Another Day At The Beach.

Life’s a Beach!

During the summer we often take the day off from school and hit the beach with family or friends.


(Dude, we must be those homeschooler types you hear about that are grooming the next Jeff Spicoli…what could you possibly learn in that vast nothingness?!?)


Well it’s not all boogie boarding and sunbathing…

We dig…


We search…


We find…





We research…

We often stop by the local sea center and ask questions after a productive day at the beach, as well as pet their fishy friends.


They let us use their equipment and microscopes to look at our teensy tiny microscopic finds.


You decide if a day at the beach is worth cutting class.

I think so!

P.S. Did I mention I’m typically lounging in a chair, enjoying the sunshine, the warm sand in my toes and hanging out with good company or a good book. And I also learn a few interesting things along the way!

I mention this because so many parents THINK they don’t have what it takes to homeschool, but the hardest part of homeschooling is making the decision to do it!

Go Climb A Tree!

Climbing a tree….one of the passages into childhood….


No longer allowed at schools…..sad!

I really want to rant and rave about the need for tree climbing in our children’s lives. How the element of danger is necessary in the developmental process and how we as a society have removed nearly all degrees of danger (& nature) from our children’s natural play.

No climbing, you’ll get hurt
No jumping, you’ll get hurt
No running, you’ll get hurt

When my son was a toddler and we were heavily involved with a moms group. The other mothers would see him toddle off and start climbing. They would inform me, as if I’m not watching my own child. “He’s going to fall!!!” they would announce it in a panicked voice.

Not only was I watching my son, I had already assessed the situation and realize that if he did fall he might get a little scared, but he wouldn’t be injured. And it was a good opportunity for him to learn his abilities. My replies were generally on the lines of “if he does fall he will only do it once” or “if he does fall, he will learn from it”

One of the other mothers said to me during group, I can’t believe your busy son has never been to the emergency room when my sweet docile daughter has been three times already.

I just had to laugh at the descriptive personalities. Busy, sweet, docile…ha ha! Parents can be so bias at times towards their own sweet innocent darling perfect children. Especially when they hang out with busy dirty dangerous children whose parents clearly don’t know that germs and danger exist. Ha ha! (Oops my sarcastic side just slipped out)

The truth is her sweet docile daughter never had the chance to experience danger. She never had any “safe danger” to play with. She had no idea that life could be dangerous. It must be a safe situation, no one was hollering “stop you’ll get hurt!” So when opportunities came up and no one was looking (aka hovering) she would go about her normal developmental path and voila danger would arise, but she had no clue danger was there.

We as a society are so preoccupied with making the world a safer place for our children (which sounds nice) we are not realizing the consequences.

1) We are raising children that never get to experiment with “safe danger” Children today are not learning and making brain connections on their danger boundaries. (Which can also go into personal space boundaries and many other body awareness/social issues, but we can save that for another post down the road)

2) We are not outside in nature enough climbing, jumping, running, etc…Our children are becoming oblivious to outside sounds as well as sounds of danger and their intuition skills.

3) We are creating “overly worried” children. Worried about irrational fears, because they are told constantly don’t do this, don’t do that, this is dangerous, that is dangerous, don’t touch that, it’s dirty, it has germs, but they aren’t fully sure what they are supposed to do, or what real danger is, they only know its out there lurking in every corner, waiting to get them and it must be something bad….really really bad!

Now that I am involved in a homeschooling group, instead of the hover mama club, I see lots of tree climbing, free happy kids developing not only physical abilities but loads of brain power.


So I plead with you, get out into nature and let your kids climb trees!

The Benefits of Relaxed Homeschooling Year Round

First off I should let you know we are considered “relaxed schoolers” And we relax-learn year-round for many reasons, some of the main reasons are:

1) I noticed my children (back when we attended school) defined learning as something you can only do at a desk with dictation by a teacher. You simply could not learn in any other situation. In fact they protested anything they deemed as school-ish outside of school hours. The class room situation quickly killed their lovely spirit and curiosity to learn, which broke my heart and frustrated our whole family. The children were stressed and their behavior reflected their stress.

By relax schooling my children have reconnected with the freedom to choose WHAT they want to learn, WHEN they want to learn it, WHERE they want to learn it and HOW they want to learn it. Which has translated into a constant stream of learning. They no longer protest the process of learning. Life is once again a peaceful learning experience, year round.

The process of “de-schooling” took my children a few months, but we didn’t see complete fruits of our labors until we as a family found trust in ourselves, our abilities and overall our family groove.

2) Before school I was a “strewing” type mama. Which is an unschooling term. And I stopped that when the kids were in school. I assumed they were getting their education at school. I assumed very wrong. Once we pulled out, I started strewing again. And once again our entire lives became educational; therefore, we homeschool year round, whether we want to or not. ha ha!

Everything we do has a degree of learning to it.


An average morning could look like this…sleepy heads surfacing, wanting to snuggle and listen to an audio book.

The audio story may lead my son to research the status of Pluto as a planet or not. He will talk non-stop about it, research it, make crafts of it, etc for a few days afterwards. Or become a detective like the main character in the story and start a sleuthing club.

My daughter might want to watch a cartoon DVD. I agree to let her watch, as long as the language of the DVD was switched to french. She will build a fort on the sofa and start talking to her stuffed animals in french.

It is still early in the morning, they are still in their PJs and nibbling on their breakfast….their minds are engaged in something interesting to them. The wheels are turning and I haven’t opened one text-book yet.

3) year round schooling allows you to take time off as needed.

I follow a few curriculums, because it makes record keeping for the state that much easier. I only follow curriculums my children enjoy.

I will give a giant shout out to the math program “LIFE OF FRED” my son will literally BEG me to do more and more chapters. My daughter is not a fan of math, but she is a fan of snuggling up with mom on the sofa to hear a story about math and the life of the crazy little character Fred.

If we sit down to do some text-book type schooling, and it isn’t going smoothly, If it is causing frustration for me or the kids, we can simply take that day off and come back to it at a later time.

Our state requires 175-180 days of school, depending on the year. By homeschooling year round, I don’t have to really worry about taking a day off or even a week off now and then. There is no way we will have 185 bad days each year and if we do, then something drastically needs to change! In fact we normally hit our 100th day of school at least a month before the public school hits theirs.

Other reasons we might take a day off are less stressful reasons…maybe friends or family come to visit. A spontaneous trip to Legoland. It is simply a beautiful day out and the beach or a hike sounds more appealing. It snows on our mountains and we want to make a snowman or go sledding. There are plenty of fabulous reasons to ditch the text books and head outside for a great learning experience.

Some families enjoy having a hard start and stop to their school year, but that does not work for our family. We see learning as something fun and a natural part of life that doesn’t stop in the summer or on the weekends.

My children do have some friends that attend school and can’t understand why my children love schooling year round. It does not compute with the kids that attend school, because they live for the summer break….to make that less confusing we simply call July our summer if people ask.

As I typed out this blog, my son was explaining this balancing experiment to his sister. (He learned all about this experiment from the tv show Beakman’s world. I am not anti-TV, but I am a firm believer that TV options for kids NEED to have an educational element. TV needs to spark curiosity that extends into their real life.)



And now that I’m about to hit publish on my post my son comes up to me and says “excuse me mom, but do you think you could give me some homework?” I ask “like what kind of homework?” He says “oh I don’t know maybe like go research our solar system or something?” I send him off with a post-it note that says “research and write down five facts about our solar system” he runs off with a giant smile….a moment later he asks if I can take him to the library today…so there you have it, we will be going to the library today. 🙂

That is what homeschooling in our house looks like! That is what learning should look like IMHO and that is why we have a relaxed homeschooling style and why we do it year round.