Has Homeschooling Ever Crossed Your Mind?

When I had my first child, I never thought I’d be a homeschooling mom. My goal back then was to get a medical degree, work diligently to help provide a financially stable life for my family, and give my daughter a life full of possibilities. That meant I had to go to school full-time with extra courses during the day, work the graveyard shift at the hospital for some experience, and sleep for a few solid hours in the morning while my daughter spent the day at her preschool. My husband usually picked her up after work so I could see her before I left for work until the following morning. It was difficult. I missed my daughter, and I barely saw her when she was only so little. But I was so determined to give her everything she deserved-the best life possible-that I was willing to sacrifice our time together.

How quickly things changed after I found out I was pregnant with my son, only seven short months after I gave birth to my daughter. In another nine months after that, I was to have another child. The thought of it troubled me so deeply. How was I to mother another child when I’d barely known my first? There was a complete mental shift in my perception of motherhood. It was so palpable; I knew something had to give. To me, it never felt as if I gave up a career path. It always felt as if I gave up on an opportunity to provide for my family, to be better off financially. This was because I didn’t know then what I know now about money. But that’s a discussion for another time.

Regardless, it was a clear sacrifice in so many ways. Living on a single income is not easy, but it is possible.  After a while, it became clear to us that there were many families who not only thrived on a single income but actually lived life the way we envisioned it should be: full of travel, discoveries, opportunities, and just full of time and moments spent with each other. Now, after being inspired by so many other families out there living a similar lifestyle, we’ve expanded our dream to one day allow my husband to work remotely just as I do now. Hopefully one day we can slow travel and really find ourselves and our children immersed in other cultures. For now, traveling in bouts and as often as possible will make do.

Homeschooling happened to us not by accident or because we didn’t have any other choice. My husband and I made the conscious decision to become the primary caregivers of our kids all day, everyday. There are many, many, MANY reasons why we choose to do our learning from home. That’s also a discussion for another time. But ever since we decided we wanted to be our children’s educators, the research has been nonstop! The amount of information available to those who are looking to go down the homeschooling path is unbelievable. There are hundreds upon hundreds of curriculums to choose from, a number of philosophies you can adapt or combine, and a multitude of resources at your reach-both free or not. It only makes sense because once you take learning outside the box of an institution, you can really see how high the sky is and how far the horizon stretches.

IMG_0005If it’s ever crossed your mind to homeschool and are faced with so much doubt, let me tell you that you’re not alone. Our children are still young, and we’re already asking ourselves if we can really pursue this for the long haul. We’ve already faced the usual judgments and criticisms from our small circle, and we expect there will be more as we go. That’s okay because people generally judge what they don’t know or understand. But you know what? The more we travel, the more we are convinced that this is absolutely the lifestyle for us. We want the world to be our classroom. I really can’t explain that any other way.

So if you’re thinking about homeschooling or are struggling with homeschooling, don’t give up on it-whatever point you’re at with your children. We understand your plight and commend you for what you do. If homeschooling is just an idea you keep playing in your head, I suggest you read up on what it is about and the opportunities you and your family can have with home learning. I promise you’ll be inspired whichever way you decide to go afterwards with your kids’ education.

 

 

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Once Upon a Toddler’s Time

There are days when I’m just hankering for adult time and adult conversations.  I seem to be on toddler time constantly with my 18-month old and my 2-month old newborn.  Yeah…we’ve been busy.  Among many things, toddler time consists of steady playing and activities, pulling random stuff off of shelves and out of drawers, constant snacking on anything that fits in the mouth, and the inescapable “MOMMY!!!” holler.  As independent as she is when doing activities, sometimes I feel guilty for putting my daughter in front of the telly too much just so I can catch up with things I need to do.  I’m still learning how to balance adult time with toddler time and it’s definitely a work in progress.  My daughter loves to be outdoors, and it isn’t always easy to go to field trips with a newborn.  So I always get excited when we get to do things, just her and I.

Destination: Downtown West Palm Beach at CityPlace

We went downtown with a few goals in mind: go window shopping, listen and dance to music, play at the fountains, get ice cream, and visit the bookstore to buy a new book.  We went to a couple of stores…tried on some hats and purses.  She happens to like looking at herself in the mirror, and I promise you that she didn’t get it from me.  Ha!  We listened to some live local jazz and blues at the plaza and danced along with anyone else feeling brave enough to groove.  I ran after her as she chased all the tiny bubbles floating in the sticky air.  We got wet as we interrupted with our hands the constant stream of water jetting from the fountains.  She loved that.  And of course there was the delectable Cookie Monster ice cream from Sloan’s.  Yumm.  We sat on the plaza benches and marveled at the twittering birds and the many kinds of dogs that strolled by.  We would’ve gone to Barnes and Noble except they closed it down to build another LA Fitness.  What?  I’m not even going to comment on that.  And this is a couple of years after they tore down the downtown public library.  Ah!!!  Like I said, I’m not commenting on it.

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Anyway, our night ended early as the little one got tired.  She expectedly fell asleep in the car only to get an expected second wind at the house.  It was an absolutely fun night.

Today was just as fun.  With the nonstop rain being the downer recently, we were blessed with a beautiful Saturday spent with good friends.

Destination: Okeeheelee Park at Greenacres

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This enormous park is pretty awesome.  Picnic areas, shaded pavilions, tons of barbecue spots, a dog park, a golf course, baseball fields, soccer fields, BMX tracks, kayaking, boating, water skiing, nature center, walking trail with exercise spots, lots of playgrounds and volleyball courts, and tons of huge trees.  Yep.  And it’s free.  It was a hotdog and hamburger kind of day.  The kids got to kick the soccer ball around and flew kites as we welcomed a nice breeze after a short drizzle.  Some of us just chitchatted while the others went fishing at the lake.  And the baby, of course, just slept on and on and on.  It was an absolutely fun day for the whole family and most especially for my toddler.

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It really isn’t difficult to keep her entertained.  No matter how much we try to make it about us, it’s always naturally about our children.  As long as they’re having the time of their lives, then I, myself, am having a toddlerrific time!

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