reasons to homeschool Archives

So Gabe got this wild hair that we should print off and laminate some Mad Libs so he can reuse them on our trip. Sounds like a great idea until you remember that we’re in our van. This is a long van with a tall captain’s chair for each person. It is difficult to hear what is going on in the back of the vehicle and communication is passed there and back again like an old game of telephone and you know how well that works.  Matthew starts by asking me to pass back some crackers and what he ends up receiving is a baby wipe and hair pin.

Even though it requires a lot of shouting, we do like Mad Libs for long car rides because it is a great way to teach parts of speech and it keeps everybody laughing and happy. This is something that seems to confuse the younger kids easily and I am so glad that my older kids include them in this because it really does help with understanding.

Gabe (speaking to a younger child): It’s your turn. I need a verb.

Young child: Um… Baby

Me: That doesn’t work. A verb is an action word. It’s what you do.

Young child: OH!  Play with dinosaurs!  

A bunch of us: Playing works.

Young child: Oh. Play with Legos? 

Gabe: Playing. A verb is just a word.

Young child: Ooooh…  Okay. Soda.

I think we might need to do a little more work.

Can I count this as a school day?

 

 

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The library and back again. A large family tale.

We went to the library today.  We haven’t been in years, not that we haven’t tried.  For some reason the library tends to call to us to make a visit on days when it’s closed for unscheduled librarian meetings or book inventory or we forget our proof of residency requirements. Again.

Today, however, we hit the jackpot.

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Not only was the library open, but we were able to get library cards and check out books.

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And the place was almost empty because public school was in session and homeschooling definitely has its perks in times like this.

Lucy was so confused by how the library worked.  I think she was trying to look at as many books as possible before we left because she didn’t realize that when I said we could borrow any books she wanted to read, she thought I meant just while we were there.  I figured it out after her 7th or 8th book and told her that she could pick some to take home.  Her intensity immediately calmed, she picked out 4 books to take home, then started showing Lanie some board books.

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Lanie was particularly fond of one particular book and spent about 5 minutes completely enthralled with it.

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She used up every bit of her energy on the little starfish page, which is funny because that’s one of her nicknames.

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Then melted into a pile of exhaustion, nursed for a few minutes, and fell asleep, which was appropriate because today is National Public Sleeping Day and we were in a public library and she was sleeping. I should have gotten a picture.

Matthew found a book quickly, then Maggie snapped him up to read something to her.

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Sam and Jesse were all but silent the entire time. Seriously. I showed Jesse where the dinosaur books were and he was content to quietly look at all of them one by one and Sam sat and read one book, the first in a new series he’s now excited about, the entire time we were there.

Other than Maggie being noisy and wanting to check out every single book in the juvenile section and stacking them in great piles while I was distracted by reading a ridiculous book to Lucy about a kid who ordered a penguin from Santa Claus (I’m sorry Librarian and I hope we got them put away properly), we had no anomalies while we were out and about. Unless you count our Whataburger experience. We don’t eat out often but when we do they never get our order right so a gold star goes to Whataburger for getting it correct the first time today.

And we’ve been home for about 2 hours now and I think we’ve managed not to destroy any borrowed materials yet so that’s new.

Before I go, I would like to make a public statement that I am firmly against not being able to check out reference books because when a teenage boy who has already graduated high school wants a math textbook for fun, you let him have a math textbook. And Ben wanted the Guinness Book of World Records but no, it was for in-library use only. I call foul on that one. What a dumb rule.

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First things first

Before even changing out of their pajamas my boys have taken to practicing their violins.

I had been warned to expect a whole lot of ear piercing squeaking and whatnot in the first year of Matthew and Sam learning the violin but after just a few months of lessons that is down to a minimum and tunes are becoming recognizable.

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Don’t judge me on the bad picture quality. Or judge me. I really don’t care either way. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be a photographer. My legacy on this blog will be a series of crappy pictures that tell the story of a really awesome life.

And I’m quite okay with that.

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Yesterday we got this last minute idea that we should gather up all the kidlets, get them fed, washed, dressed, teeth and hair brushed, washed again, clothes changed again because that’s not what I meant when I said wipe your face, and then we loaded everybody up into our giant white van and went to the National Naval Aviation Museum because it’s free and we’ve never been and we like to play torture the parents every so often.  We live on the edge around here, people.

I don’t love aircraft or space or flying or heights but things being what they are, having a pilot as a husband, six boys who think giant metal flying objects of all kinds are amazing, and an adult daughter with an interest in old military aircraft, I’m kinda forced to spend a at least a little bit of time listening to discussion about flying machines.

So we spend a few hours at the museum and the kids absolutely loved it and although it wasn’t really my cup of tea, I had a great time because they were having a great time. It was so much fun just watching them explore.

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And since my phone updated last it has been taking my pictures and making little stop motion mini movies for me so I’m going to throw a couple of those in here because I find it exciting and new and it isn’t annoying yet.

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It doesn’t really look like that giant of a place but even after almost 3 hours we still hadn’t seen everything in the museum. That may or may not have something to do with the fact that the kids wanted to sit in every. single. aircraft. we passed.  And they wanted to touch all the things and every water fountain we passed was like an oasis because apparently it’s hard, dehydrating thing walking around slowly in an air conditioned room and the water I brought was apparently not cutting it taste wise even though I filled it up at one of the water fountains.

We’ll have to go back sometime and see the rest of the place because the kids really did enjoy themselves and the little school tour we were able to take was very educational.

Now if we could only tackle this car sickness thing a couple of my kids have going on…

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I had a long day today and Maggie has been off and on fussy and feverish since 12:30am and I am exhausted but we had leftover coconut chocolate goosefoot cake after our friend’s shrimp fry today and that really made the whole day a win.

That and teaching Jesse and Lucy how to fry up some green tomatoes.

If you think a 3 and 5 year old can’t really cook much in the kitchen just come over and watch my kids and learn that you’re pretty much right.  I’m not going to pretend like they are professional chefs or anything because that would be a lie.  However, they did learn to fry green tomatoes and actually did a few slices all by themselves.

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And nobody burnt themselves or anything, not even me.

Jesse was so surprised and proud of himself.  Lucy was just as bossy as ever.

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Like I said, they did great helping to coat and fry the tomatoes, but also decided to hit the counter and the floor with egg and almond flour too.  It is a pretty big mess, cooking with littles.  And they’re so much more adept at making the mess than cleaning it up.

 

 

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It’s so worth it though.  They were so happy to get to help and the fried green tomatoes were a perfectly delicious way to end a tired day.

 

 

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On a side note, my children do not have spray tans, nor are they jaundice, nor do I let them roll in doritos.  The colors in the pictures are just all wonky.

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pcs

I’d thought I had already mentioned that we got our orders for our final duty station a few weeks ago but apparently I either, 1, never wrote the post; 2, wrote the post and accidentally deleted it; or 3, wrote the post but forgot to talk about moving and talked about a fish instead.

I figured I’d go ahead and fix the issue and tell everybody out there in the bloggy world that finally, after being married to a military man for coming up on 17 years, after living in 11 different houses in 4 different states and 7 different duty stations, with 3 deployments, 8 years of my husband’s stressful schooling to become a pilot (which I’m not complaining about because it meant he was home and not deployed), never settling in one place,  and having to take vacations just to spend time with close friends and family; we are finally now getting ready to pack up our home and PCS for the last time.

Here in the next three months we’ll be planning our move and getting housing lined up in the town we will call home from here on out (God willing).  I’ll be going through every room, every closet, every stored box, and I’ll be donating and trashing like it’s nobody’s business.  The kids won’t holler and scream about it, partly because they’re not allowed to have fits, but mostly because they’re used to it by now.  They know every move is a fresh start and they are getting better and better at saying goodbye to the old in preparation for the new.

Kait pinned this quote on Pinterest that said something about how heart-breakingly inspiring military children are in their ability to continually adapt.  And it’s true.  And sometimes it’s very hard watching my children say goodbye to friends; friends whose lives will continue as normal while our lives unravel and have to be reworked in a new place with new people who don’t understand us and we have to start all over again and again with just each other.  Learning a new city.  Adjusting to a new house and trying to make it feel like a home even though we know it’s temporary.  Saying goodbye to Rabbit knowing he’ll be gone for so many months.
As difficult as all this is, however, military life has turned out to be such a blessing.  I imagine God designed us for it.

We’ve grown together as a family in a way that most people won’t understand because we’ve experienced life in a way most people can’t understand.  We have learned long term patience, our faith has strengthened, and we are decidedly okay with the unknown future. We’ve learned that together we can do things we never thought doable, that the weight of heavy experience will not break us, but make us stronger.  We’ve learned that even though it’ll eventually mean a painful split, relationships are important and we need to make friends.

We’re constantly re-learning how to laugh in less-than-perfect circumstances, to be patient with each other’s frustrations, to be ready for anything, and to be okay when everything changes last minute. That we have a good life.  A blessed life.  And that what sometimes feels like nothing is always more than enough.

We’ve learned to trust God and truly believe He has good plans for our future.

And that family is the most important thing.

Or breakfast.
You know, if you’re talking about food.

I’m going to leave this post with an open end because, really, there are still a whole lot of unknowns.  I’ll try to do better to keep everybody who cares to read here updated on the changes ahead.

The final PCS.  It’s been a long, long time coming.

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As Kait and I sat and chatted while I sipped my coffee this morning, Lucy took to preforming a little brain surgery with a mechanical pencil.
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She may be onto something here, guys.

Simple. Cheap. Can be used to take notes at the same time, or just doodle. And it’s fairly minimalist as far as brain surgery tools go these days.

This could be a  winner.

By the way, I love these little plastic body parts for introducing the kids to the human body.  We got them from Xump, along with a heart and a torso, more than a year ago and they get lots of use and still look brand new. Even after mechanical pencil surgery.

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The first day of school brings many challenges.

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The first day of school for a homeschooling family poses some slightly different challenges than the first day for traditionally schooled children.  Many things are easier for us, but there are some things seem to be more of a challenge.

Like finding school books and pencils that have been neatly stored in plain sight and easily accessible on the bottom shelf of the library/office closet for the last 2 months.

I don’t have a before picture of the closet but it most definitely DID NOT look like this yesterday morning before we started school.  It’s like they touched, knocked over, and rearranged EVERY STINKING ITEM in the room.

I’m really not sure what happened, or who happened, or why my children thought it had to be this way. But now, along with reminding my children how to open their school books and read the writing on the pages and, that no, adding 79 plus 56 does not equal one thousand something, I get to reorganize and clean out the library closet.

Woohoo, people.  Woohoo.

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The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Sally.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish
We had something to do!”

Too wet to go out
And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.

Ummm…
No.

Not my kids. Or most of the neighbor kids.
To them rain means one thing.

4-square.

To these kids, playing in the rain is as natural as Krispy Kreme Donuts.

Those are pretty natural and wholesome, right?

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Is this not the face of a baby genius, people? 

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Yesterday morning while I was getting dressed Lucy got into one of my drawers and pulled out an ear plug.  Without a second thought she held it up as if showing me, stuck that ear plug right into her own little ear, and gave me a huge smile.  She was very proud of herself.

And how on earth did she know what that ear plug was for? 

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Because she’s a baby genius, people. That’s how.

I’m not sayin’.
I’m just sayin’.

She’s probably like the smartest person ever.

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