Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why I Chose to Homeschool

Maybe I have mentioned this before.  I am quite insecure in this homeschooling thing so have been hesitant to post anything about it. However, due to recent conversations with people who know me well, I figured there was some clearing up to do.
Now, really, I shouldn't care what people think of me but I do. Also, as a representative of Christ I always want people to know the truth on who I am and why I do what I do.  
That being said, let's just clear one thing up about my homeschooling decision.

I did not choose homeschooling because I hate traditional schools. 
 From what I have learned from my friends' experiences with school, it all depends on the administration of the school.  It seems it is very important to be involved and stay informed on who the principal is and what they are about. For one crazy example, there was a school in New York where the students shared that they watch movies almost the whole day and there was no gym or recess. When a parent was interviewed, they said they didn't even know who the principal was.  Okay, that was extreme but so crazy I had to share.
There are some good schools close to us and one I was very excited to enrol Munch in for kindergarten.  In spite of this, I felt God was calling me to homeschool.

I am not homeschooling because I am trying to keep my kids from the evil of this world. 
I am not trying to "shelter" my kids.  In our world, sheltering would require a move onto a self-sustaining acreage with no media and no personal contact. On another note, I would want a school that matched my values, not to keep my boys from "bad" kids. There are rotten kids in all kinds of schools. However, if that school is going to have authority over my kids I would want them to hold the same beliefs and values as us.  Again though, we have a perfectly great public school, that so also happens to hold Christian values, not too far from us.

I did not choose homeschooling because I think I can do a better job. Although I have witnessed students getting lost and let down by the current school system and have been educated of the homeschool vs. traditional debate, I also know I loved my school of 500, my husband liked his school of, like, 5000 or something crazy (and frankly terrifying sounding), and we turned out fine, many of our friends have and many smart, gifted and well-accomplished people have.  The school debate is as overwhelming and frustrating as the immunization debate with both great points on both sides.
 We all have our own convictions and mine was to homeschool.
 I have teacher friends; they have a gift. I do not possess such gift.  I am sure I will not be as creative as Miss Grade Four Teacher and maybe I won't find a way to teach my boys to looooove math like Mr. Garinger (who didn't actually teach me to love it, just to appreciate it and the people who are crazy enough to looooove it).
The point is that if God called me to it, He will do it and help me in it.  Anyone who knows any story from the Old Testament knows that God called people to some pretty impossible stuff but they accomplished it, and not just accomplished it but accomplished it well (David and Goliath anyone? Moses parting the sea?).  So if teaching three wild boys reading writing and 'rithmatic is my Red Sea then get me my staff (the stick kind of staff, in case there was some confusion).

In my time as a newbie homeschooler, I have learned some great things that have supported my current decision; some statistics, some testimonies and some simple positives like being able to take a holiday whenever we wanted and staying in on wintery days.   Even as I have come to love the idea and blessing of homeschooling, the main reason for my doing so remains.
 I felt God called me to it. 
 Many wise homeschooling friends said, "Take it year by year."  For Munch's Kindergarten year, I was confident The Lord told me to keep him home.  For this following year, I am listening.  I will continue to seek The One who loves us and knows how many are our days.  Whatever He tells me to do, I will do.  Regardless of what He calls me to and my supporting reasons why, I will do it.
I will do it because I was called to it. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Peek into our Craziness

We were so happy to hear that the boys behaved so well for their grandparents while we were in New York. Yet, at the same time, I couldn't get why they couldn't behave that well when they were with us. Many theories...but all in all we say it's better they are at their best with others. 
I missed these boys...an hour from our return to Calgary. (You can gufah all you want but I needed a break and loved every minute of it.) Once I could feel the Alberta air shrivelling up my skin again, I longed to hold these minchies! 

Is anyone else concerned that we are creating little narcissists with our iPhone craziness? Baby G loves getting his picture taken then checking it out and Munch is all about the selfie. 
He hasn't landed "the pose" yet though. 

Around Christmas I was growing weary of my relationship with Facebook; not the people on it but my self-focus because of it. I had a big post planned explaining why I was "stepping back" from FB but then someone beat me to it. Then I heard on a news show in New York that droves of teens and twenty-somes are leaving Facebook. Apparently, my feelings were not at all unique. 
Then I decided to post one picture of our first night in New York and bang, I was hooked again. What can I say? I liked the attention. (It really does annoy me that I think of life events in terms of a Facebook status.)

When all is out of control and yucky...make a fort. It always works. This is how I got them to sit and do bookwork this morning. Then it was where they took quiet time, snack time and...I stopped it at bedtime. 

My dear husband had come to the end of "sharing me" with the world this week. (As an extrovert, I need to learn to calm down and focus on my family more often.) We really enjoyed a dinner, just us two, at Maze by Gordon Ramsay and a delightfully long stroll down Fifth and Madison Avenues back to our hotel.  We won't wait so long for a date night again! 

This one little guy does everything this other little but bigger guy does. Unfortunately, it all started when the three year old was at his peak of badness. Now he has come out as the sweetest, most sensitive and yielding little man. However, he has left behind a spitting, screaming, pinching and hair pulling toddler. I repeat over and over throughout the day, "this too shall pass..." It's a good thing he's got cute chubby cheeks and an infectious laugh (even if it is because he's pulling your hair). 

Have a great week! 

Friday, 3 January 2014

A Sick New Years...and not the cool sick

We were so excited to spend New Years Eve with a great group of friends but as the hours approached, it was becoming less and less likely. By noon that day, with 4 fevers out of 5, we made the decision to stay home. Did I mope? Nope. In between fevery hot flashes and body aches, the boys and I gathered together leftover decorations and put our own party together. Enjoy a few snapshots of The Sickest New Year Party 2013! 

Yes, that's a coffee filter. 
Sparkling water for all! Baby Goose didn't think it felt nice on his tongue. 

A couple games, some salty chips and in bed by 7. 
"There's two mommies. There and there," says Munch. What a card! 
Ryan and I sat our achy bodies down with a glass of wine and enjoyed a movie...and in bed by 10...
...only to have this little guy and his baby brother keep us up for the next 2 hours with coughing and crying. At least we got to ring in the New Year! 

Even if it wasn't what we planned and even if we missed seeing our friends, I know we will look back at this New Years as one of the most memorable. A good night overall...despite the flu.