January 12, 2015

Words of wisdom from F. Scott Fitzgerald

This quote came across my Facebook newsfeed today, and I just love it! It amazes me how when I have something niggling in my brain, the perfect answer just shows up, sometimes completely out of the blue.  Today, this was the answer (lightbulb moment!) to some questions or concerns that have been on my mind.

Maybe it'll inspire you, too?

Enjoy and make it a great day!  And, if it's time to start all over again, you can do it, I know you can!

January 7, 2015

Our family in a nutshell... or our family is nuts... whatever. ;)

So, it dawned on me, since it had been a while since I posted, maybe you don't remember us!

Here are my characters:

Amy (age 17) junior year of high school.  Loves art, marine life, perler beads, her iPad and spending time with her boyfriend.
She has big plans for her future.  Right now we are focusing on prepping for college.  Lots of academics. 

Up next, is Joseph (age 15), freshman in high school.  Loves Minecraft, Minecraft and oh, yeah, Minecraft.  He recently has decided that he might want to be a radiologist, so we're spending extra time researching that career, and making sure we set him up for his high school credits.

And, that brings us to Sara, my baby.  Sara (age 11) is full of spunk.  That girl will not let anyone or anything stop her.  She loves gymnastics and horses.  Typical girl, right?  She is thinking about being an orthopedic surgeon when she grows up, but she still has lots of time to explore options. 

And, of course, we can't fit our menagerie of pets...  one dog (Sam), two cats (Molly & Taylor), a hedgehog (Dexter) and a fish (Ralph). 


Hello 2015!

Oh, a new year, a chance to reflect on the past year.  What worked?  What didn't work?  What changes do we need to make?  Do we need changes?  How are we doing with our goals?  Do we need new goals?  What about our resolutions for the year? Oh, the questions can go on endlessly.

As we look ahead, I feel my heart being torn into different directions.  My children, my family are always at the center of my life.  As my oldest keeps getting older (what's up with that?  I keep telling her to stay the same age!), my thoughts change rapidly.  Is homeschooling still best?  (Yes, for us, definitely!)  Is the path we are on still the correct path?  (Who the heck knows?)

I think the key to successful homeschooling is flexibility!  Be flexible, go with the flow, follow the path but don't be surprised when the path changes.  The road to life is full of curves, embrace them -- each one.  And, don't be afraid to take the road less traveled by... Thank you, Robert Frost, thank you. :)

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

October 9, 2013

Quote of the Week - John Holt

If you don’t know what you want to do, for heaven’s sake don’t go to college, for you won’t find out there. Travel around, see the country, find out what kinds of things are going on, learn something about the ways in which people are dealing with serious problems of our time. 

John Caldwell Holt

It's our Co-op day!!

Today is the second Wednesday of the month - aka Co-op Day!

As I've mentioned before, we were in a co-op a couple of years ago that we LOVED, oh so much.  Due to several of our homeschooling friends choosing to attend private high school, our co-op dissolved.  We were so sad.  It forced us to get out and meet some new people, but still we really missed our co-op.

Fast-forward to last spring, some people started talking about co-ops, and what they should look like.  I knew that if we chose to join or participate in a co-op, it would have to be a relaxed one, no strict school scheduling.  What I really envisioned was a completely unschooling co-op with a focus on a different theme each month (this is still my ultimate dream, if money were no object, and if I had an awesome devoted space - maybe one day.).  What I developed is a co-op that is relaxed with an awesome line-up of popular kid-friendly classes open to children of all ages.  Yup, I'm in charge (apparently my plate was NOT completely full).

We only meet once a month, so it is perfect for our already extremely full schedule.  We have classes available from 1 - 3, with a 4H meeting following right after co-op.  Classes include:  Teen/Tween Book Club, Science, Musical Arts, Art, and Photography. 

Today was only our second co-op day of the year.  There were less people in attendance this month, but it was still an amazing turn-out. 

I am teaching / facilitating the art class.  This month's project was watercolor painting - we had three different projects (last month I had so much extra time... I wanted to fill it up for sure this month.)  So,  everyone was able to watercolor paint shells - they look awesome!  And, everyone was able to experiment with watercolor crayons (meh, I wasn't impressed).  Lastly, everyone was able to make a masked, watercolor salt painting.  Next month, the plan is puppets (and no paint!).  I will be spending some time on Pinterest finding some great puppet ideas to share with the class.

September 23, 2013

100 posts!

I love that blogger keeps track of how many posts that I've made.  This is a special post, because it is number 100!  It's taken 4 years to get here, but you know, life happens.

So, in honor of my 100th blog post...

my top ten (sorry, too lazy to do 100!) favorite homeschooling activities that we've experienced in the last 6ish years.:

10.  Metamora, Indiana - this was one of the early field trips we went on, Joseph still asks to go back again, maybe we'll try to plan a pre-Christmas trip this year.  Tons of shopping, and a very cool canal boat.

9.  Midwest Homeschool Convention - I make it a priority to attend this each year, it helps me plan out the year, and realize that what we are doing does work.  I love to look at the vendor hall and find books, games, and more to help us with our learning goals.

8.  Tae Kwon Do - although we haven't been able to fit this back into our schedule, this was such an amazing class for Amy & Sara.  I'm hoping if it works out to be able to add this back in to our evening rotation starting in October.  We shall see.  We love Five White Tigers in Loveland.

7.  Homeschool Prom - this would probably be first if I was having Amy write the list, but I'm not! Prom was amazing.  The moms who put it together work really hard to have a beautiful, special, memory-filled night for these homeschooled teens and friends.  Some friends and myself are currently working on putting together a Winter Formal for the teens this year, I'm very excited about it!

6.  FSG Co-op - this was the VERY first co-op that we actually joined.  It was an amazing group of unschooling moms who combined resources to bring some equally amazing classes to our group of kids.  We loved it so much, and were so sad when it closed due to changes in homeschooling statuses.  We are starting a new co-op this year, hoping for great things.

5.  4H Shooting Sports - we just joined shooting sports last year, but this quickly became one of Amy's favorite activities.  When we were planning priorities for this year, this club was on the top of the list.  Joseph is participating this year as well.  Sara would like to, but it conflicts with her pre-team gymnastics schedule.

4.  Skyzone - Indoor trampoline park with dodgeball (on trampolines), definitely a favorite of my older kids.  We were just there recently!

3. Renaissance Festival - we are fortunate to have a large Renaissance festival within an hour of our house.  It is always a favorite of the kids and me, too.  Our favorite part is the Mudde show drama.  I also really like the jousting, and human chess, and the queen.  Pretty much we love it all.  If there is one in your area, go! 

2.  Perfect North - snow tubing!  We went on this trip a few years ago, and then the following year, and the year after that...  It's back on the list as a "must-do" for this year.  It is awesome to fly down that hill on your tube.  Yup, I participate in this one, too.  So fun!

1.  Our ECHO homeschool group - we joined this group probably about 2 years ago, because HSN (Homeschool Network of Cincinnati) was falling apart and we wanted a local homeschool group to belong, too.  We weren't very active at first, because our first experiences seemed like there were already strong cliques formed, and not a lot of room for new members (or new friendships)... we slowly forced ourselves to go to more things (especially focusing on the tween/teen activities for Amy), and eventually found our niche and our people.  We love this group, so much.  It's been a huge benefit for each of us, in many ways.  If you live in the Cincinnati area and would like more info, let me know, new members are always welcome. :)