Welcome Back…. You do strictly homeschool, right?! Uh… Uh…

This summer has been a whirlwind. We have been here there and everywhere trying to make as much out of the summer as we could. While summer isn’t over, we do have to start getting back to our regular schedule.

I’ve met alot of people this summer and had alot of conversations about homeschooling and what that means. Since so many people concern themselves with labels I thought I would clear up how we run our school at home.

I have a Master’s Degree in Post Secondary Education and spent alot of time writing and auditing curriculum. This included developing mixed media classes where a portion of the classes were online and on ground. As I took my conversations from this summer and compared it to what we do in our own home I had an aha moment. While obviously our children are still in primary school; in our home we do what could be considered a mixed media learning environment. We are enrolled full time at K12 and like the structure, curriculum and support of the teachers and staff. However, I also choose to supplement with my own lessons – generated from a variety of resources. I would say that we teach our kids mixed media via virtual and home school. (Whew! There! I said it! Now we have a label too…..)

What I find interesting is that people are so quick to label the type of education without taking the time to understand the format of it; and how it applies to what the child truly needs. Our kids need opportunities to explore subjects more (for example last year we started a virtual Science lesson about the layers of the oceans and what animals are in them; then we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about all those creepy critters on the very very very very bottom of the ocean. How did they get there? How do they see? What do they eat? Do they get cold down there? How can they make that blue light glow?) On and on the questions went, we kept looking up information. This is called understanding a child’s curiosity to learn; and NOT ignoring it. The love of learning is like a fire which must be stoked; and never squelched because of a label or particular predetermined view you have of a delivery style/type of education. Questions are the fire; the fuel is the way you respond.

Please don’t let the label of the educational delivery style deter the way you teach your children, please allow the children’s curiosity and love for learning to drive the path of the education. Ask yourself this, if you were at my home and we were doing a K12/Virtual lesson on triple digit addition – would you not allow your child to participate because it isn’t pure homeschooling? If the answer is Yes, wow – guess what all kids have to learn triple digit addition, does it matter if it comes from K12 or pure homeschooling? If the answer is NO, bravo your an open minded educator.

Be open and understand that every child learns differently, it’s all hard work but if mixed media works – don’t judge others, support others – everyone’s is on a path to educate their children and help them become strong, smart, free thinking, open, well-educated and successful adults. (And success doesn’t always mean marrying a billionaire, having a Stanford education, developing the next successful IPO and wearing a perfect Prada suit to work. For some it means virtual/homeschooling, climbing Mt. Everest and calling home for money because you’re trying to decide if you want to be a fashionista or a famous rock star).

Hope everyone has an amazing school year!! 🙂

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Monday Listicle on a Typical Tuesday

You all know me right? Perpetually late, always apologizing for a packed schedule! So this week is more of the same. The closer the summer gets the more I have to find time to do all my favorite things….one of those is Monday Listicles! Stasha over at The good life…. has a great tradition, I’m just a little late!

So now that apologies are out-of-the-way, this weeks list is 10 beauty products you could not live without. You may laugh, but I always say some of these I would take to a deserted island over food and water! 🙂

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10.Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner…. my hair is so thick, every other conditioner I’ve tried weighs it down. This stuff is amazing. Plus, in the end you rinse with cold water which is a bonus for not only your hair but your skin as well!

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9.Hope in a Jar SPF 25…amazing lotion, not oily, never fails and it keeps me from getting burned!

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8. Water….lots of water everyday… I’ve learned the hard way this is the only thing that keeps my skin clear and me feeling well. I’m still a tea and caffeine junkie, but the water is my other choice and it offsets all that. 🙂

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7. I would never, and oh yes I do mean n.e.v.e.r. leave home without my Burt’s Bees. I have regular and tinted, all kinds of flavors and choices and I’m telling you hands down this is the best lip balm ever. I do not wear makeup, other than 4 things (eyeliner, mascara, powder and Burt’s Bee’s). Once you try this you’ll throw your chap stick, lip stick, lip tint or lip gloss out the car window! Even the hubs swears by it…. who thought a dude would like a beauty product?!

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6.Avon Glimmersticks… in all kinds of different colors, this is the only one that doesn’t irritate my contacts….good stuff!

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5. Mary Kay Spot Acne Solution….enough said!

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4. Proactive Cleansing Bar….great for summer skin stress!

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3/2. Lots of outdoor time and exercise….. we are an outdoor type of family, we are happiest with our bare feet in the grass or running around at a beach somewhere.

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1. Meditation/Yoga….without it I’d have more gray hair than I already do and since I don’t color my hair, well that would be another to add to the list. I’ve learned over the last couple months that peace of mind through meditation brings space into your life and joy, which allows you to be beautiful inside and let your light shine out. And yoga is a process, I’m such a novice, but it brings me great peace and energy, which is such a wonderful thing (even if I have no clue what I’m doing!).

What are your favorite beauty things?

Namaste.

Checking In

Wow what an amazing month this has been! I didn’t even realize I hadn’t written in a while. We have met at TON of new people and are so excited about all the amazing friendships we’ve made. I can not wait to share some of the amazing blogs we’ve read over the last couple of weeks. The stories are so inspirational, the recipes look amazing and the crafts are inspiring.

We participated in an amazing P.E. program through Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA) in partnership with Pacific Lutheran University. The program involved student teachers and a visiting professor to PLU/WAVA High School teacher running a 5 week physical education program, twice a week for about an hour and a half each time. The girls learned a bunch of new ways to work out, they loved their student teachers and made some really great new friends. In the end they got the cutest rewards for all their hard work and “sweat”. Hopefully the program will continue and allow the kids to progress through, as they get older, through various stages of new lessons. What a great program!

I got to participate in my first blog hop. That was a fun way to meet new people, and Katherine from Katherines Corner was so patient with me while I got the ins and outs of html code. I just recently started learning, in very limited fashion, how to write and manipulate some of my own html code. Which has opened up a world of doors as far as adding things to Word Press. However, it also at times has added to frustration when I can’t get a code to work, or try to add something and it shows up – but the code shows up to. This blog has been a true learning experience and continual work in process for me. Hopefully I can resolve my most current issue which is, how to add a Instagram widget – so confusing….an yet so challenging. (hopefully there aren’t a bunch of computer engineers sitting around laughing at me right now – 🙂 )

I have been exercising quite a bit in the last couple of years and recently made the goal to start running again. My overall goal is to walk the Golden Gate Bridge on my 40th, but for a closer goal I had hoped to run a 5k in February 2014. Well, that plan has been botched as recently the pain in my knee got pretty intense. After trying about every home remedy I could think of, I gave up and went in for XRays. Apparently I have osteoarthritis and bone spurs in both my knees. (well that would explain the shooting pain – thinking of bone spurs in painful period!). My doctor said it comes from too much sports when I was younger, along with the impact of current exercise, and not enough concentration on building the muscles in the leg to support the impact to the joint. Interesting….so old age is starting to kick my butt. Not for long – I have a 6 week treatment plan which includes some anti-inflammatory meds, yoga, low impact exercise, as well as starting to work on building leg muscles. So, lesson learned – proper strength training is important. In the meantime, I’m also headed to see a physical therapist whom I hope can help me become stronger overall so I don’t have to keep having an argument with my knee every time I want to walk a couple of miles in the sun.

In the meantime as well we have been working on doing a little more revamping to our diet plan at home. I use diet in the sense of food consumption – not being on a diet. The way a person eats is a lifestyle choice, and while ours is a constant evolution – I’ve recently been motivated by not only LaLa’s desire to be a vegetarian, but by my own desire to cut out the crap food (what little was left). I’ve had a lot of fun trying new recipes and chatting with people about food and meal choices. One of our friends Dottie shared this amazing recipe which we tried the other day  – and LOVE IT! We used vegan chocolate chips instead of blueberries (because we’re about blueberry out with smoothies) and it was SO enjoyable! Jump over to her blog and check out the recipes! Thanks Ms. Dottie!!

Almond Pancake Recipe
5 T. Almond Meal (I buy Trader Joe’s) 2 t. Flax meal (I buy Big bag at Costco)
1 T. Sour Cream …
3 T. Water
1 egg
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking powder
Mix all together and cook like regular pancakes. I add blueberries to the mix. this recipe is 1-2 servings. Robby eats the entire batch 4 pancakes

Well, off to the races! Another day of school and finishing up a sewing project tomorrow…pictures to come. Enjoy the day!

Namaste

Blog Hop Fun!

Happy Thursday!! Today is blog hopping day, so fun! This is my first invitation to the hop and I feel so honored that Katherine from Katherines Corner asked me to join. I can’t wait to meet new people and gain new inspiration for writing. 🙂

I couldn’t decide what my favorite thing was; I thought about cooking, kids, family, friends and all the things I love so much. Then I thought I would post about my travels which has became Zen…. being a Mommy. I am honored to have the privilege to not only write about our personal journeys through our blog, but also learn more about other families as well by writing for Ooh Belly. 🙂   So, I don’t do giveaways, but what I do is write about crazy cooking experiments, fun home school field trips and funny Monday Listicles – and Motherhood is truly my Thursday Favorite thing. 🙂

So hopping is easy-peasy! The rules are below (yes there are just a few!). Enjoy and have fun!!

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Its Time For Thursday Favorite Things! Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Please share the hop with your readers and let Katherine know if you would like to co-host with her.

Remember to leave her a comment if you are a new follower so she can follow you back

Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few: Please DO NOT link and run…visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing at the hop.

  • Follow Katherines Corner preferably through Email it’s on her right sidebar (or facebook,  twitter, bloglovin,  etc. they are on her sidebar too) And My Blog too
  • Visit as many blogs in the list as you can, please      leave a comment so they know you stopped by!
  • Share the button or a linklback on      your post. Grab the hop button code from Katherines button page It’s always nice to have the hop button      on your post. It IS NOT mandatory; but a Link back to      Katherines Corner is always appreciated
  • No adult content blogs or links directly to your shops      please
  • Yes you can link giveaways ( they are everyone’s favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the Win It Page at Katherines Corner too!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

ENOUGH!! Mixed Messages from Female Leaders

I was watching a couple of 60 minutes articles the other day, one was of Twitter creator, Jack Dorsey. On one hand I was thinking – how forward thinking of Mr. Dorsey to not have an office making himself available. Also, how ironic, it took for him to create his company to understand the importance of communicating with his family – even if it’s only 140 characters. As a male leader he seem to have a firm grip on his business and personal direction.

On the other hand I was watching Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, thinking – how confusing. She would say she leaves at 5:30 pm and she had to become comfortable with that. She would say family and picking the right partnership is an integral part in personal success, but then she would turn to say she thought women were doing themselves a disservice by not being aggressive enough in business. Then in the same interview she was having a conversation about the outside interpretation of mentorship between male and female peers on a business trip. W-h-a-t?! I’m confused, so are you comfortable with your position as a leader and a role model for women and young girls – or are you not? Why are you seeking external approval?

While I think both these people are inspiring in their personal success, I learned a valuable lesson about why we, as women, can’t seem to deliver a clear message about leadership to the current generation of daughters.  The major lesson: Male role models do not discuss or seek approval for, in any fashion, their personal lives. Women role models still seem to feel they need to “make it ok” to have a personal life.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Women, in a future where we have a real opportunity to make a difference, take a cue from men – it’s o.k. to have a personal life – you don’t have to have permission to be successful –  you don’t need to discuss it. It’s still as if women are apologizing for living a full life and in turn choosing to run their own companies. Really? In an age where marijuana is legalized, marrying the partner of your choice is finally coming around and the gender neutral language bill is up for consideration? We’ve come so far as a society – why do women still have to seek acceptance and drag us back into the biblical age?

I think we’ve moved past Corinthians and we don’t have to remain silent any longer, or seek our husbands permission. No, ladies, you’ve gone past that and now you’re seeking the world’s permission. Just by verbalizing that’s it’s OK to leave at 5:30pm you’re seeking permission from the world for you to not feel guilty about having a life. I don’t see male leaders doing that, do you?

Here’s another thing lady leaders, while we may not all be able to afford a staff to help take care of the illness of kids or the carpool lane – guess what? The leaders of a business already know this, and they make the necessary allowances for it without giving it a second thought. Men are problem solvers – if you have a sick kid, you go home take care of the sick kid, work from home and come back when the kid is better. This is how a male thinks – if you think he thinks anything other than problem vs. solution then you fail to understand the successful male. Take a cue, if your working in a place that makes you feel as though you have to apologize for a sick kid, while your working from home making up that time – then your on the wrong path – look for a new one.

Women leaders, if you need it – maybe this will make it better: STOP apologizing – it’s O.K. to have a personal life AND be ĂĽber successful. Just please, for the betterment of women and daughters everywhere, STOP explaining and apologizing for it. If you need a little help take a cue from Nike and don’t second guess or overthink –  “Just Do It.”

Enough roaring and then apologizing for having a life. Enough shaking your fists in the air in support of women’s lib and then apologizing for leaving at 5:30. Enough saying you deserve better pay, but having to have a partner tell you to renegotiate your contract. Enough ruffling feathers to be successful and apologizing on the way up. Enough.

Young girls everywhere are watching you. They will do as you do, they will lead as you lead, they will follow as you follow. If you want them to lead, then be a leader and understand:

You.Are.Enough.

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I just shook my head after digesting all this information. I understand better the difference of men and women leaders. I’ve been having a lot of conversations with women who I look up to and trust their opinions about the message society has been passing out to women, mothers and daughters lately. It’s to say the least confusing if you were only to look at it superficially and not understand your own personal values.

As a parent and a woman raising daughters I have always towed the line of equal treatment for all people regardless of anything that makes them different from you – no matter what you always treat others with love and kindness, the way you would want to be treated. Always behave like a lady and say what you want – don’t speak softly and put yourself second – always speak up, without aggression, to protect yourself and others. State what you want, but don’t be rude. Be truthful and live in a way that you feel good about – so that when you look back on your life you know you’ve lived it in peace, equality and love; and the success you gained wasn’t because you apologized for it, it was because you deserved it.

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha

100th Post: Monday Listicles – Ten Proudest Moments

Well, how appropriate that my 100th post would be a Monday Listicles. Such a great one too, although it’s difficult to wade through all the great memories and figure out which ones rank higher than the others.

Ten Proudest Moments

1.) Giving Birth to the Twizlets – I was scared to death to be at a hospital, but I made it and here they are 7.3 years latter with love, fun and their own splash of attitude.

2.) Day I Married The Hubs – We were together for 13 years and the birth of the twizlets before we got married. Neither of us was really huge on the concept of marriage, we were happy living together and being successful. My Dad and Step Mom did the same as well, until, like us they had the realization that in WA your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together, has no say in what happens to you in an emergency. Obviously today that’s changed. 🙂

3.) Our “pup” Bunker – she goes by so many names Bunk, Bunkie, Bunk the Dog –  The hubs named her after a Sand Bunker in Golf….she is a nervous bundle of overly excited and unconditional love. I couldn’t imagine any part of the last 11 years without her.

4.) Being a Mom – If you read my post Becoming a Mom Changed Me you’d know it’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t change one second of it.

5.) Completing three 5Ks in 2011 – they were rough, but I set the goal and I did it. I hope to do more this year or next we will see.

6.) My Cooking – I have rarely if ever followed a recipe, it’s annoying to me to be restricted by rules. Usually it works out, sometimes not so much! It always provides either a good meal or a good laugh!!

7.) HomeSchooling – I never thought I could achieve this, but I’m doing it with the support of the Hubs. Accepting my own ability to derive inspiration from my kids, and being fearless has helped.

8.) This Blog – which to be honest I never thought would amount to a hill of beans. Hopefully it brings people some joy and laughter, or at least something or someone they can relate to.

9.) Our home – it’s comfy, safe and cozy – old yes, cramped yes, but it’s our first home, where we got married and where we had our babies.

10.) My Graduate Degree – I can safely say to myself that I achieved my goal. Next?

 

 

Secret Happiness

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I was cracking up last week reading everybody’s Oh No You Didn’t Valentine’s Day Gifts.  Some of them were so funny or foreign to me; I couldn’t believe people would actually give them as gifts, but it happens!

This week is fun too. Yesterday, 2/17 was Random Act of Kindness Day (#RAOK). This week’s Listicles kind of follows that same theme: 10 tiny (or secret) things that bring you joy. It took me awhile to narrow my list down, as I realized – selfishly – there are quite a few small things that bring me joy!

1.) E n K’s uninhibited, gut busting laughter; E is so serious all the time that when she laughs a big belly laugh it is so heart warming.

2.) K’s singing – even though she does it every second of the day, and sometimes I pray for quiet – it brings me joy to know that she is so uninhibited in her love of music.

3.) When the perfect song comes on the radio, singing in my car (while hopefully no one is watching because I can’t carry a tune!).

4.) Waking up to warmth and sunshine.

5.) All the laundry being done, and the house being cleaned.

6.) My hubs making the bed for no random reason.

7.) Cards, letters or phone calls just because.

8.) Doing a #RAOK

9.) Shopping for gifts for other people. I love giving gifts – Christmas is THE best holiday EVER – for selfish reasons I get joy out of watching people open presents I’ve given them 🙂

10.) Cooking or baking something delicious brings me great joy and peace. I think because I refuse to follow a recipe I’m always surprised when it actually works out (most of the time!).

“If you surrender completely to the moment as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

What brings you joy?

2012 Self-Reflections

This was quite a year of self-discovery and major changes for me personally. I found writing again, which has been an amazing support in my willingness to be more open with others. I haven’t always allowed people into my world, in order to protect my family and myself from the judgement of others. I struggled with who I was this year and how I fit into this family. As a woman, I am a strong and bull-headed individual, but what is my role in our family unit? I struggled a bit with letting go of some old demons, and allowing people to not affect me as an individual. 37 years with myself, 16 in a marriage and 7 with kids – will sometimes make you pause and say – HEY! Self-check – how are you doing at this life thing?

However, the greatest lesson I learned this year was to, as Oprah would say, “Do Me” – and let everyone else do whatever it is they do, because they really don’t matter. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to accept that people change in marriage, in friendship, in family, in all relationships. We are all equal, and boiled down to the core we are all flawed humans, just trying to bumper car through life. Change, which I have never been a fan of, is a good thing not a bad thing. It allows us to evolve and move forward with discovering who we are and how we fit into this world and our own life. It’s for the good, the bad and sometimes for the indifferent.

I personally had a great year trying to cross things off my Bucket list. I spent a ton of time with my SIL doing Seattle Touristy stuff, which amazingly makes me appreciate where I live more and what it has to offer. My husband and I took the kids to Mt. Rainier and Woodland Park Zoo, two things I’d been wanting to do for years and they all loved it. And while I have never been a fan of the weather here, I’ve grown to love WA more this year than ever before; for all the amazing things it has to offer. I can’t wait to tackle a few more trips on my WA Bucket List, and look forward to sharing them with everyone. We really should appreciate where we live.

My greatest lesson this year is this: I am who I am, and I will do as I do. I am driven, unapologetically protective, sensitive, caring, love travel, love adventure, love my family with my whole self and want more than anything to be a contributing and successful member of my family and society. Helping to educate our children and being their mother is my greatest joy, getting my family to participate in sharing my wild harebrained adventures is my Zen.

This year I didn’t set resolutions, I only had one path in mind: Be a better person as a whole. Be a person who has greater inner peace, compassion and understanding. Be a person who strives to see change where others can not. My mantra this year is “Do Small Things with Great Love” because that, in it’s simplicity – really defines who I have been and who I am as a person.

Hope you have an amazing 2013, Thanks for reading and hanging with me and my crazy family this year. Looking forward to the next year and all it has to bring.

Namaste.

Thanksgiving Lesson

This has been a bit of a year of self discovery for me personally. Our girls are growing up too fast! As they get older I try to intertwine school and life lessons together. I was tossing and turning the other night trying to decide what to use to teach our kids about Thanksgiving. There are two meanings to Thanksgiving – there is the Indians and the Pilgrims and then there is the bigger lesson about love and forgiveness. I choose the latter this year, they’ve got plenty of time to learn about the history.

We spent alot of time discussing what we were thankful for.

Emma: I’m thankful for my Rabbi (stuffed animal), my family, and sissy. I’m thankful for sissy’s hugs….Sometimes I’m thankful for Twinkies. I’m thankful for gymnastics.

Kayla: I’m thankful for my Rabbi and my blankie, and my sissy and my Mommy and Daddy…. My family, and swimming, and my pets and I’m thankful for my school at home. And I am thankful for my home.

It just reminds me that all the racing around and the drama that gets added to 60 days out of the year really doesn’t matter. Kids have a funny way of equalizing everything and allowing all the BS to filter out and let the important things shine through. So, I decided I’d do the lesson myself, and write my own:

MaMa: I’m thankful for my loving, hardworking, kind hearted, handsome husband who cares for us and never asks twice about anything; he makes the worlds most amazing father with the patience and endless love for his two little girls. 15 years is a long time to be with someone, and even though we’ve had some bumps, we are stronger today than ever because we equalize each other and we both understand what matters most is what’s under this roof, not what’s outside the front door.

I’m thankful for our beautiful blessings of twin girls whom I waited my entire life to have – being their Mommy is my biggest gift. I’m thankful for our animals Bunkie and Dora who allow us to laugh and play dressup with them and they never blink an eye. I’m thankful for my SIL and BIL who love our girls beyond measure and always support us with words and actions; I’m grateful our two families get closer and closer every year.

I’m thankful for my SIL for being a true best friend, one who can help me laugh at myself even when I’m being bullheaded, take me to task when I need it or giggle with me when I’m exhausted and can’t put two words together. I’m thankful for my parents who are much more worldly than I and always share all their experiences and their life lessons with love, patience and understanding. I’m thankful for PaPa who is always happy to see his sweet grandbabies and always has a laugh ready to share.  He never judges, just takes it for what it is and enjoys his time.  I’m thankful for our son Tyler, who challenges us during his teen years as teens should, but who is a kind and always makes time for his little sisters.

Mostly I’m thankful for my life, this year I’m thankful I learned that life isn’t about other idiot’s attempts at instigating fights or causing drama;  it’s about the hugs from my husband, the laughter of our girls, forgiveness and knowing whose important and impactful on our families life and whose not. I’m thankful I’ve learned to speak my truth and understand gratitude. Screw everybody else, we’re “HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY” over here ya’ll (and we love it!).

Happy (all be it late) Thanksgiving from our crazy family to yours. ((hugs))

 

Inspiration

The school year is on the horizon and while I feel our own sense of overwhelming lists of things to do, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate our personal path and all those people I spoke to, and those I didn’t who made a conscious choice about their children’s education this year.

While many know I’m a staunch supporter of structured alternative schooling so kids can explore their desire to become what they want to be as an adult, some don’t know that I struggled with my own decision to homeschool our kids. I spent three years before they were even school age researching the best methods for educating children from private school, public, charter, Montessori, co-op, private tutor, homeschooling, the list goes on…. As it came closer to the time to make a decision I acted like I was very self-assured in what I was doing, but inside I was quivering like a leaf in a windstorm. What I learned this last year is that it isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you believe you can do. If you have confidence in the fact you can teach your kids, you can. If you trust you can’t teach your kids, you can’t.

When I hear people say “it takes a Saint to homeschool” I snort internally and think what a smug declaration. I’m no Saint, I’m a parent – who is strong-minded (and that’s an understated use of a word) to provide a healthier opportunity at life for our kids than what we had. Teaching your kids is about desire and passion for an improved future, and understanding it’s a journey – putting one foot prudently in front of the other as to not dive off the cliff, but just skate the edge – learning all the while. And by the way, when you ascend the cliff of teaching your kids and you get ½ way through the year, you’ll pat yourself on the back in reflection and say – “damn, I knew I could do this, I just had to do it”.

Providing alternative education for children in a country where education gets a lot of lip service for enhancement, but not a lot of achievement by politicians is a mandate. Your child’s education must be taken control of by you as the parent – not left to the government. I’m not anti-government, when I hear from US friends living in Norway, Germany and Korea that their kids are receiving a better education in a foreign country than most US children obtain – how could you ever expect your child to be marketable and a contributing member to society if they can’t compete with others in their own generation. The answer is merely that you must handle your child’s education, the government has tried and failed – with no accountability – to get the US to be competitive in education. Hopefully that will change, but for now it is what it is. I’m not a proponent of waiting around and seeing, I am a proponent of current action and the ability to be flexible if circumstances change.

The bottom line is this – educating your kids on your own without a net is scary as hell. I promise you this though, for selfish reasons it’s the most enlightening, heartwarming, educational (no pun intended) and freeing experience you will have the privilege of being involved in. Helping your child to understand a subject and seeing the light turn on, watching you when it all connects or seeing them follow their passion and develop is worth every second of giving up your career, self-doubt, self-sacrifice, second guessing, sacrificed purchases, coupons clipped, personal shopping trips given up, date nights missed, hours of sleep gone, lack of inspiration, hair pulled out, frustration ridden days and tearful arguments with your spouse over life changes. It’s worthy every ounce of everything you have to give because every child hungers to become what they aspire to be, and if your role in that is alternatively educating them, isn’t that the least you can do to help them succeed?

“I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be comprised to serve a greater principle.” – Andrew Carnegie