• Family Life,  General,  Homeschooling

    A letter to my younger homeschooling self.

    Dear younger, homeschooling me,

    I see you pouring over websites that even contain the word “homeschool” looking for answers. You are wondering how to teach phonics, counting, colors, and all the things. The idea of being at home all day with your rambunctious son is overwhelming and exhilarating. Long walks looking for bugs and late afternoons curled up on the couch reading classical literature fill your thoughts. Oh what a joy it will be, and then kindergarten registration comes and goes and you feel compelled to begin.

    You have selected a perfect all inclusive curriculum with manipulatives and lengthy teachers notes. The day has arrived but somehow your rambunctious son is not having it. He is uninterested in your nature journal, your carefully crafted art project, or the sounds letters make, not to mention he could care less about holding a pencil. You try to coax him and manipulate the situation with idle threats or rewards if just one thing could get done, but nothing happens.

    All your visions of walks, classical literature read in a one room school house comes crashing down. Never-mind that he is 5 and his baby sister is barely walking on her own or no one you actually know is homeschooling their kids but yes, cry anyway.

    Over the next few years you are going to cry a lot because the expectations of a rambunctious son and young daughter are not going to be met. I know you will feel like a complete failure in all the ways, and everyone you complain to will have one solution-put them in school. But because I am writing to this girl, this mom out there, I have 20/20 vision of what I want you to do differently.

    First, please let your children be children! Let them run, jump, and play for many years. I chose classical education as our choice of an education model because classical education allows children to grow up how God intended them to grow up. Yes they have to learn letter sounds, numbers, colors and more but no where in that learning does it need to be manipulated or forced. There is so much learning that happens through play and being read to that I want you to rest there. No workbook pages, no pencils, and no school rooms.

    Second, invest in movement and imagination. Buy a trampoline, and a lot of dress up clothes. Let your son be a warrior and your daughter a fashion designer for as long as possible. Create stories with them and let them express themselves through play. Jump to music, and counting for they will be learning without realizing it. Buy tin pie plates that can go outside for mud pies, and big soup pots that can hold rocks and twigs for a hearty fantasy meal. Read great books that inspire all of this.

    Third, know that the time of hard work will come. Your child will be ready for a good math curriculum and an extensive writing program when they are ready. Oh girl! The work will come! All the writing, reading, and Latin exercises will arrive with vengeance and you will miss the days when all that was necessary was taking a walk.

    Fourth, there are more good days then bad and the fruit is worth waiting for. I know the days are long because you are trying to do more then is necessary, but once you pull back and trust the classical education process you will breathe slower. There will be many great moments and days along the way. You will be there for all the firsts and celebrate the “ah ha” moments. Your child will read and write in ways that blow your mind because you invested in them.

    Lastly, you will want people around you, walking with you, on this journey. Being alone can get dark and hopeless. That is why a community is necessary to speak truth into your life, and help you sharpen the sword. Glean from them, and take what works but only what works. No one homeschool looks the same because every child is different. Please don’t compare yourself to those you are in community with, it brings nothing but heart ache and lies.

    Homeschooling your children will go by and this season will end. Therefore, save up all these things and store them in your heart because the days are long and the years are short.

    Sincerely,

    Me, 8 years in the future.

  • Family Life,  General

    He sees you!

    This post is for the Christian mom at home, with her kids, day in and day out.

    I want to encourage you to keep at this work.

    Waking up before the family in the dark so you can get a hot cup of coffee and some time with Jesus alone, He sees you.

    Pouring over the book list hoping to be able to pull something out that your kids can understand, He sees you.

    Opening the pantry door after a child has slammed it in a huff and making something nutritious out of their precieved nothing, He sees you.

    Walking the isles in the grocery store while kids get off looks from strangers during school hours and trying to keep to your list for the budgets sake, He sees you.

    Instagram scrolling and idling for just a moment before interruption, He sees you. 

    You are never out of site or thought from the Lord. He is ever there guiding and watching in delight at you. Seeing that you keep faith and persevering when life gets hard. You do not hope in yourself but in the Lord who has never lost control of you. 

    I pray you will be encouraged today, and know you are not alone.

  • Family Life,  General,  Health,  Homeschooling

    A Doozy of a Summers End.

    Where in the world have I been?

    Well, it has been a doozy of a summers end.

    This past August I was playing around, tennis, dancing and the like when my right knee started giving me trouble. I had, had some trouble with it in the past so I did what I always did to fix the situation. I taped my knee and continued on. Well one fine day my knee said NO in a big way and I hobbled myself to prompt care.

    Two months later, two x-rays, one MRI, and over a month of R.I.C.E therapy I am finally going to a pre op appointment tomorrow. It seems I have ripped a piece of cartilage from my knee and it’s swimming around in there causing trouble.

    I have been mostly resting and keeping my leg elevated because it’s the only place the pain lessons. My kids are getting homeschooled from the couch, which they do not seem to mind, and I have had more then enough time to stay current in the Bible Reading challenge I’ve been participating in. However I have not been blogging.

    My son is in the Challenge B program through Classical Conversations, which I Direct, and has occupied my every last moment of “free time.” My days have been spent watching hours of webinars, trainings, and reading as much as possible to feel comfortable asking the students the right questions. Never having had a classical education I feel like I spend most of my time making up for lost time.

    On one of these days past my husband decided to slide into second base while playing baseball with the high school youth group and broke his arm. I only wish I was joking! Luckily after sitting in a cast for a week his doctor took it off and gave him some home rehab to do for a month. So here we are, three legs and three arms between us, but I am so thankful he is here to help me take care of things. He truly has been so great! He has been the car pool dad for our evening activities, the grocery getter, and principle.

    I have been so blessed this month with food, care, and prayers. My family has picked up the pieces where I cannot and I can say with absolute certainty that it is “well with my soul.” I may never fully realize why the doctor visits have lasted over a month and I’ve been sitting here unable to be fully me, but I know God has filled me every morning with His Word, and I completely trust His soverignty in all my affairs. One day soon this time will be just a memory and I’ll be back to doing more.

    What I’d like to be doing more of is blogging. I want to be here more often making content for the classical home educator, for the Christian Women at home finding herself content, and sharing with you what I am learning. If you have made it here in the blog post I hope you can leave me a comment and let me know your are in fact here and maybe what you would like to read more of.

    Thank you for being here!

     

  • Family Life,  Favorite Things,  General

    Abide, and sojourn

    Abide:

    To accept or act in accordance with, to bear patiently, to endure without yielding, to wait for, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed and my personal favorite to continue in place-sojourn.

    I honestly think I am the worst abider I know. I have an incredibly hard time doing all of the above, so is it any wonder that I get burned from rash decisions? I speak when I should listen, I run when I should sit, I plan and control everything within my reach without noticing nothing is working.

    Anyone else pick up the phone and call a friend when you really should just keep quiet?

    Have you said yes when you really should have said, I’ll need to pray about that first?

    I desperately want off this crazy cycle!

    Lord I want to abide in you. I want to accept that if I follow hard after you, you alone will be the answer to everything I need or want. Only by your grace can I wait for and accept without objection.

    In John chapter 15 the word abide is used 9 times. Three times a word or phrase is used in scripture and your antenna perks up, but 9 times and I am wondering why is this so important. To begin the chapter Jesus is talking about how He is the vine and that there are branches that can or cannot bear fruit. The branches that do bear fruit are pruned and the others are chopped off.

    How does a branch bear fruit? By abiding in the vine (“abide in me, and I in you” vs.4), and what about this fruit that we cannot bear without abiding? According to Galatians 5:22, “the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.” By this definition I cannot bear any of these without first abiding in Christ who is the vine, and abiding looks very different then what I’ve been doing lately. Here is what I can do.

    • To accept or act in accordance with: I am blessed to be a wife and mom and I am enough in my loving them well.
    • To bear patiently: I have dreams that do not include homeschooling all day long, but those will have to wait for now.
    • To endure without yielding: The mundane of housework can drive a person nuts but by the grace of God I will not trade it.
    • To wait for: My name to be called
    • To accept without objection: This amazing life we’ve made. The great and the not so great.
    • To remain stable: I will fix my eyes on the only one who can keep me stable, Jesus.
    • To continue in place-sojourn: I don’t need anything more or less then what Jesus has given me today.

    What an amazing life this is I get to live! In Jesus name, Amen.

     

  • Fitness,  General,  Health

    My Fasting Experience

    Forgive me for taking an extra long time to write this post but I wanted to be able to give you a good answer as to why, how, and what does the future look like.

    I watched a documentary entitled “The Science of Fasting: Sylvie Gilman, Thierry de Lestrade,” and I particularly payed attention to the part where they talked about our bodies having two separate gas tanks, like a hybrid. One gas tank for bursts of energy and one for long term energy. The short bursts runs on glucose from sugar and protein. The long term tank runs on ketones from fat and fat stores. After one day of fasting your body begins to use up the short burst gas tank and after three days it begins to use the long term storage. Now some of us, me include, have a lot of reserve that never seems to go anywhere, so my goal for three days was to get my body to where it was only burning fuel from fat.

    The documentary had patients who they observed at a retreat for water fasting where they spent upwards of 3 weeks doing a water fast. These patients were carefully monitored by doctors, so I can’t see this kind of experiment working in my favor at home. Three days seemed like a long enough time to prime the pump. 🙂

    Small daily notes:

    Day one of the water fast wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I spent most of the day outside with my laptop and a 64oz bottle of water. It was nice not having to prepare myself food or wonder what would be healthy enough to eat. My family was completely supportive and took care of themselves for the most part. The kids made themselves breakfast and lunch and my husband helped with dinner. At first the idea of fasting at home among my family who still needed to eat sounded like torture, but we all danced well together.

    Day two and I woke up with a growling stomach, but a large glass of water silenced that for the most part. All I could think about on day two was what I wanted to eat when I was done. I was consumed by blogs and websites helping me navigate back into eating. I discovered that to keep my fat being the primary fuel source I would need to eat healthy fat and plenty of green veggies. So I planned to make a big pot of cabbage soup full of rich fat topped with an avocado.

    side note, I’d really like to befriend someone with an avocado tree

    I found I had pretty good energy on day two, but I chose not to workout because I didn’t want to completely tick my body off. I felt like one project at a time was a good balance. The kids, dog, and I did enjoy our walks and afternoon tennis was enough.

    Day three and I had an event to attend all day with breakfast and lunch being served. I was pretty nervous to be around other people and answer all the questions as to why I wasn’t eating. Amazingly I was late to breakfast and I had an emergency that called me away from he event at lunch so I really never had to speak about what I was doing with anyone that day and I was completely distracted from food. Into the evening of day three I decided I was done and broke my fast with that awesome soup I had been dreaming about.

    Non-scale victories:

    As I’m sure you can guess three days can hardly fix 15+ years of damage, but I believe I’ve been given a whole new perspective.

    • I didn’t believe that I could fast from food for a day let alone three, so what else can I do that I thought impossible?
    • I’ve learned that being hungry is NOT an emergency! Did you hear that??? No more “hangry” in my vocabulary. If I have chosen to eat something that has awoken the sugar dragon then it is not hunger that has my freaking out its sugar and it will pass or be flushed out with a lot of water.
    • I am researching intermittent fasting and the benefits of it, and when I do eat I try to eat fat with veggies.
    • I sleep well
    • Workout with energy
    • My joints hurt less, and my back feels lubed up

    There are a lot of bodies in this world and a lot of noise telling us how to take care of them. I am trying to listen to what my body wants and right now its bone broth and avocados. 🙂

    I will encourage you to watch the documentary “The Science of Fasting” and do some research yourself by experimenting and listening to your body. And with any extreme diet change always check with your doctor if you have preexisting problems.

    If you end up watching let me know what you think.

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