Thursday, August 27, 2015

How a homeschool parent gets ready for school

Ways that a homeschool parent gets ready for the school:

1.  Shop for school supplies.  Go to the nearest store and wander around the school supply area casually grabbing the needed crayons, markers, glue sticks, pencils, and paper for the year all while watching the moms with the page long list of supplies that their kindergartner needs.  Giggle to yourself while that mom races frantically from aisle to aisle searching for that elusive item on their list.  Your cart totals $30 in supplies for three kids and hers is $100 for just one.

2.  Shop for curriculum.  Take a few friends for a girls’ weekend and head to the nearest homeschool convention.  Go out to eat, relax, sleep, and enjoy yourself all weekend long while public school moms are busy at home shuffling their angels from activity to activity trying to get everything done during summer vacation.

3.  Shop for school clothes.  Well, that really isn’t necessary since most days your kids spend in their pajamas so just stock up on some nice warm flannels and you’re done.  Meanwhile, the other moms are dropping a mortgage payment making sure that their children have the latest fashions so they are not picked on during the year.  You cruise in and out of the store while they circumnavigate the mall three times with three cranky children who never seem to find what they like.

4. First day of school-Gather at the window in your robe and drink your favorite coffee or tea. Watch all the kids and their moms gather at the bus stop.  New clothes, backpacks, sneakers, and everyone is smiling and taking pictures.  After the bus leaves, go rouse your children out of bed and start your first day by letting them wear pajamas for the day.

5.  Week one.  Watch the neighborhood kids get on the bus still smiling because they are enjoying their first few days at school.  You spend the day teaching your child about Michelangelo.  Then you tape paper to the bottom of the kitchen table and let them color and paint just like the Sistine Chapel.

6.  Week two.  The neighborhood kids are now miserable and tired at the bus stop.  The moms are racing after them bringing items that they forgot.  Other sleepy kids are munching on a pop tart.  Bagged lunches designed by pinterest ideas have been replaced by PB&J.  You still watch from the comfort of your window, sipping your coffee, and then rouse your kids after the bus leaves.  This week’s study is on the Oregon Trail and your children are making food that was made on the trail, playing the game on the computer, and packing for their own simulated trip in the house where you’ve set up problems for them to solve in each room.

7.  Week three.  It pours for two days.  Mom are sitting in running cars at the bus stop so their kids don’t get soaked, which unfortunately they do when they tried to leave the car to get on the bus.  You spend one day at the local science museum and the next day helping your kids research a scientist or invention to do an oral report.

If only this were true!!  We have as many struggles as public school parents. 

·        We sharpen pencils every morning only to have them sucked into the void the next morning. 

·        Planning is often difficult and ruined when the flu bug hits.

·        A run into the store after a field trip yields strange looks and the “why aren’t your kids in school?” question.  This produces an entire uninvited conversation on “don’t you worry about socialization?”

·        Most days we want to curl up into bed and pull the covers over our heads. 

·        Leaving the kids to do their school work quietly while you change the laundry around results in a full scale shouting match and eraser war.

·        There is not enough caffeine in the world to make it through the day

·        Pinterest lunch ideas are thrown out the window.  Open a can of ravioli and call it lunch.  Add an apple and you’ve added a fruit.

Best of luck to all my fellow homeschool parents!! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Life

After finishing up a year of going online for my master's degree full time while trying to homeschool, I needed a break.  I still have a year to finish my degree but I'm taking some time off to refocus on my kids and the house.  Things got way to disorganized here and it was driving me a little batty.

This summer, I've been spending a lot of time getting ready for our new year.  Five kids in different levels means a lot of planning, but that's okay.  I'm enjoying the planning once again which tells me that I really really needed some time off.

I've also been busy with our garden this year.  It was the biggest ever but we still had some disappointments.  The carrots refused to grow and I planted them twice.  Not really a disappointment, but I have enough cucumbers to feed an army.  We have a ton of pickles left from last year so I definitely do not need anymore of those!  The tomatoes haven't really come in yet....a few a day.  Nothing to can with.  Its supposed to be cool here today and tomorrow so I'm not sure if these green tomatoes will ever turn.

so far this year I've canned:

7 qts of peaches
9 half-pints of peach jam
25 quarts of green beans
3 pints pickles
3 pints of relish
4 pints of salsa

And I've frozen:

Many many green peppers cut up
Lots of jalapenos to make fresh salsa this winter
3 quart sized bags of green beans
52 quart sized bags of fresh corn cut off the cob
8 bags of shredded zucchini to make bread this winter

and a ton of zucchini and eggplant diced really small to feed the chickens this winter. 

I still have peppers and green beans coming in.  The zucchini and eggplants are still producing.  The onions will be pulled when the tomatoes are ready to make sauce.  We've enjoyed 8 cantaloupes so far this year.  The only two watermelons that came up, my son accidently ran over with the lawn mower because he couldn't see them and we have about 8 pumpkins coming in. 

So, right now, I'm in the midst of canning and freezing.  The two pigs will be taken next month to the butcher so we'll have pork for the year.  My chickens were wiped out by a predator (probably a raccoon) this spring so I got a bunch of new hens.  They won't be laying for a while.  I was going to wait so I didn't have to feed chickens over the winter but it seemed silly to wait with the egg prices as they are.  And the cow will be ready to butcher this spring.  So very thankful for this little homestead!!

I promise to post pics later on.  Right now I'm just busy busy!  Enjoy your day!!