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Monday, May 2, 2011

The end is near...

And we can't seem to get a darn thing done.

We only have two weeks left of curriculum, and for some reason, we just keep finding reasons not to finish it. I know we could just skip it, honestly. Everything we do from here to the end of the year will be reviewed ad nauseam at the beginning of the next school year. But I'm not a quitter. Am I? And I'm a rule follower. When I want to be. And what kind of example would I be to my children if I just quit now.

So we keep chugging along. (barely) And we will complete all the lessons and tests...and then we will swim and play and sleep in and stay up late and totally and completely enjoy summer for about a month until we get bored and are ready to start school again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homeschooling is a gateway drug.

It all begins innocently enough.

You think about it, you may even pray about it. Then one day the decision is made. Whether it was a decision made before you had children, because of a special need of one of your children, or a bad experience in a public or private school, it's done, you're going to homeschool. For better or homeschool.

This is my family (obviously, duh!)

It's our life. We joined the club, so to speak, we are literally a card-carrying home school family.

But for so many of us, it doesn't end there. It's not just how we educate our children. It's our lifestyle.

And then it begins...the lifestyle changes. For some, homeschool was a product of long denim dresses. For others, the long denim dresses came out of the decision. And it's different for all of us...what byproducts come out of this lifestyle.

For our family it is slowly but surely getting off the grid, one small (or large) decision at a time. What am I talking about?

  • Starting a garden. Ask Jorja why...she will answer, "so we don't have to go buy our produce anymore." Yes, it's educational, healthy, and saves money, but it just seems like the 'thing to do.' And I blame my fellow home school mommies for setting the example.
  • Cooking from scratch. I know, a lot of you who don't homeschool do this, but bear with me, because before I was the one sitting ALL DAY with my four children, I could give a rat's hind-end if my kids were sugared up and full of chemicals that made them act like untrained monkeys. Now, I am doggone serious about fresh fruits and veggies for snacks and meals instead of junk that will make me want to take up drinking at 10 AM.
  • Cloth diapering. The newest item in my line of going against the grain. I'm tired of Pampers, Huggies, and sometimes Luvs taking all our money. And you know I'm serious about this if I'm willing to take on MORE laundry. And if I'm willing to swish poop out of a diaper.
  • Holistic medicine. Yep, I've jumped off the pharmaceutical freight train. I will, of course turn to a prescription when needed, but no more than necessary. Guess what? Those great herbs and homeopathic remedies people have used for hundreds of years...a lot of them WORK. It's amazing.
  • Farm-fresh eggs and whatever else we can pilfer...err...purchase from our local friends who farm. Yes, I'm even considering raw know "for the animals". (Please FDC, do not come hunt me down, I promise, there is no contraband dairy in my fridge or my children)
  • Tardiness. I will never forget the first lesson I learned in Jamaica. When we were running about 2 hours late getting to our resort I was told about "Jamaica time." Yes, Jamaica time is the explanation given when everything is so laid back that no one really cares if you get there 20 minutes early or (more likely) an hour late. I've always been very high strung and have never wanted to be late for anything. It's tacky. Promptness is courteous and thoughtful. Unless you homeschool. In which case you live your life by "homeschool time." Now, I could blame this phenomenon on the fact that I have 4 small children, but I'm not going to set myself up like that. Because we all know that even when I'm down to schooling one or two high school girls, I'll still be late to everything - late according to 'the man', that is. But for me, it's just "homeschool time, man. No worries."
So what's next, you ask? Well, I'm not sure. But I can guarantee that it's not coming from Wal-Mart or Target. More likely a farm supply store. And it might be cute, yellow, stinky, and eventually lay eggs. Or it might be a product we learn to make ourselves from live cultures or milk. But whatever it is, I blame the influence of those lovely ladies I know who think outside the box.