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…

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!