3/19/10

homeschooling, neglected emails, our roof, oldest siblings, being incorrect, gardening, and a Keurig (those are 7 things)

Before


1. Our roof is being replaced. The funky house is about to get even cooler, thanks to the help of our friend Sharon and her design skills, and my Dad and his crew. Seriously. WHY didn't anyone else want to buy this rad place? Is it the leaky basement? The wallpaper? The bad tile in the kitchen? I say, WHO CARES! All the windows and light and open space make up for it. Especially in Vitamin D-deprived Minnesota. (After photos to come...you know, after it's done.)

Attended children.

2. I probably shouldn't be taking the time to write this post, but it's difficult to resist a 7 Quick Takes because you can cover so much territory. I should be returning emails. If I owe you an email, please forgive me. Like I mentioned earlier, I am currently out of the house five nights a week. This leaves me a bit...overly scattered. When I do have some down time around here, I'm usually playing catch up on house things. This too shall pass.

3. So lately I've been thinking a lot about homeschooling. Ryan and I made a pros and cons list (even though it would be a year or two away) and the pros column was double the length of the cons column. I was actually kind of surprised. And scared. Have I mentioned my ADD mind lately? I'm thinking that could interfere. (To Be Continued.) Do you think the attitude toward homeschooling is changing? I know it's not about what people think and if we did home school, I don't think I'd give a hoot if people thought it was somehow strange. Just asking.


homeschooling these two really would rock the party



4. At this funky-rad house of ours, our yard has some excellent potential for gardening. I'm really looking forward to flower/vegetable gardening this spring and summer. Except I really have no idea what I'm doing. I want an organic garden. Anyone have good resources for me? A blog? A book? A site? Just asking.

5. 4 year old Miles just said, "Daddy, that's incorrect. Incorrect means you're wrong." (I'd probably hear that a lot if I homeschooled.) (Is it homeschool? Or home school? Or home-school?)

6. Speaking of Miles. I've been doing a lot of thinking (shocking) about the oldest child in the family (in general). I brought this up on Twitter, poll-style. I asked
"Do you think first-borns get a raw deal w/ pressure? Do parents seem to go easier on the youngers?" Everyone but two people said YES. I know there are obvious reasons for this. It's new territory with the first, so we're more anxious and focused on every detail. Then we learn that most things are going to be okay and we lighten up the next go round. But lately I've been thinking there's something more to it, and it suddenly hit me in a new way how much pressure there really is for the firsts. There's a belief I hold somewhere in me that what I do with Miles will somehow shape Asher too. I don't know how to describe what I'm saying...it's almost (or maybe even entirely) spiritual, and spiritual things are impossible to articulate (unless you're CS Lewis or Anne Lamott). Does anyone know what I'm saying? An example: When I whisper "I promise you" each night when the boys are sleeping, many times I do it only with Miles. It's as if I believe that there will be a trickle-down effect, even in a personal promise spoken over the oldest. (See? I can't explain it.)

7. We have a Keurig now. (Hat-tip to my friend, Corrine for the suggestion). I'm in love with this machine. Ryan gave it to me for Valentines Day. It makes great coffee, tea, hot cocoa, chai...one cup at a time, really easily, and really fast. What addict wouldn't love that? (The company has no part in this plug for their product. I'm just telling you because it's one of my favorite things.)

The End.


This post is a part of 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

35 clicked right here to comment:

Andrea said...

Paige over at Pocket Smiles www.pocketsmiles.com has some awesome gardening tips! And from a former homeschooler, I think if you are up for the challenge, your kids would love it! Just follow their lead (in a way). Meaning: some kids really thrive in a home school setting. I feel that I was one of those kids. I am a researcher. I read and absorb. Other kids are much more visual/lecture oriented. As with all things, each child is different.

Can't wait to see your after pics! That house is amazing!

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

I think a lot about the oldest child thing, too, being I am one, and my oldest is essentially me in boy form. Also, the homeschooling thing. Before we had kids, there wasn't any question we'd do it, then I turned completely against it (for us) for the past two years, but now I wonder...

I'm a ridiculous extremist. And major over-thinker.

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Well, I think you know I'm all for homeschooling! My main reason...I want to know my kids. I want to build a solid personal relationship with each and everyone of them. What better way to do it than to have them home with me.
I normally care what people think about me a little too much, but when it comes to homeschooling I don't give a flying hoot! I'm doing this for my children.
It is a perfect fit for our family, because like you our Pro column was a lot bigger than the Cons.

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I have been playing with the idea of home schooling my boys, too. I do the home preschool thing and love it..(and think I'm pretty good at it too! :~), but when you get into teaching multiplication and foreign language...I am not to secure. So I'm not sure. AND MY favorite part of school always was the socializing! I have been researching some christian based home school curriculums...so we will see. Have fun in your new house this spring!

Jackie V.

Sarah said...

So. Your house? Is seriously awesome, and I can't believe you found that house in Minnesoooota.

When we made the big switch to homeschool I was SCEERED! I didn't tell anyone... But now... I'm kinda proud that we're doing it and can do it and "look! my kids are getting all learned N stuff!!" Anyway. If I can do it... ANYONE can. :

ZDub said...

That's such a cute little house!

My husband wants a Keurig badly, but I'm holding out. There is something about pouring coffee from a pot that I like.

Have a great weekend, love.

ZDub said...

I didn't mean "little" like in a bad way. I would totally live there.

I say go for it regarding homeschooling; you can totally handle it! (Me not so much.)

xo.

Melissa_Rae said...

My oldest starts Kindergarten this fall. I'm really not looking forward to sending him away for 4 hours each day, but I just don't know if I could handle homeschooling him with 3 other children at home. Right now we're pretty unscheduled and I think our lives would have to change drastically for it to work for us. My husband was homeschooled from 7th grade on. I really wish I could send my son to private...but financially that's just not an option for us right now. Good luck with your decision. :)

Recovering Procrastinator said...

I definitely think homeschooling is becoming more commonplace and accepted. I love the idea in theory but there is NO way I could do it. I'm counting the days till kindergarden starts for my oldest!

I got a Keuring last Mother's Day. My husband didn't know I had been contemplating giving up coffee. That thought went out the window pretty quickly.

Rachel said...

1. My Keurig, a Christmas present, has changed my life. I'm not quite sure if for the better or not yet, but I sure love it.

2. Homeschooling - I have always planned on homeschooling, because I was homeschooled all the way through and can totally see the benefit of it. What I am surprised at lately, though, is that all of my friends are starting to say that they're planning on homeschooling too. And it certainly has nothing to do with me because I rarely talk about it so as not to be put in the category of freaky-indoctrinational-homeschooler.

All that to say, yes I think people's opinions about it are changing very rapidly, and no I would never think you were strange.

Unless you sent your kids to boarding school in Germany. Then I would unequivocally put you in the "Strange" category of my Google Reader.

Rebecca said...

Attitudes have definitely changed about homeschooling. Or home schooling. Use whichever form you like!

I am all for it, obviously. You should have local homeschool groups that you can check out for field trips, get-togethers, etc. Check out your local state laws. Google your state and "homeschool laws" to find out. I think HSLDA has a link to state requirements.

I homeschool and I'm different in other ways too, (LDS, vegetarian, blogger, writer) and you know what? I like it that way.

I also am very good socially. ;)

Corinne said...

Heather... this is WEIRD! We were at the park today talking with a friend and her son, and we had the homeschooling discussion. And I'm realizing it's more of an option than I thought (a few recent events have turned me on more to it...) because I was homeschooled through 8th grade - my brother all the way through high school - and I said I would never homeschool. But now that I have kids? Now that there are more options out there? Not sure.
So glad you like the Keurig :) The chai is my favorite... but we're all out! Doh!
Why aren't you my neighbor so we can have these "OHMYGODPARALLELLIVES" discussions?

sara said...

1. can't wait to see the after of your house!!!

2. Homeschooling..I didn't with my kids but so many of my friends do. I just think you have to look at all the options and decide what is best for each child..which might be different. And take it a year at a time....nothing is permanent.

3. Gardening....LOVE it! but my new yard has no space for a garden. my advice is start small and then expand. If you take on too much the first time you will get overwhelmed...and it's too great to quit!

4. keurig....I am such a coffee snob that I am not sure I would like one of these. I like big bold coffee and it just seems like making one cup would not achieve that...I am probably wrong and it is just my way of justifying why I can't have one! :)

MamaBear said...

I'm no expert but I had a (mostly) organic garden last year - I grew things in straw bales (no tilling, hardly any weeding, and, and no bending) I did a series of posts about it if you search the label "straw bale gardening" on my blog. I'll be blogging about this year's garden when....well, when I get through the other 100 things on my to-do list :)

Can't wait to see your finished house!!!!

DeNae said...

I do think that attitudes about home schooling are changing, for a variety of legitimate reasons. The social concerns are real, though. They really are. I've had so many home-schooled teens as private music students who could hardly hold their end of a conversation. On the other end of the spectrum are the kids who have spent their entire lives believing that they are the center of everyone's universe. They tend to dominate adult conversations, call adults by their first names (which I'm old-fashioned enough to disapprove of) and so forth. The real world is a bit of a shock for them.

Having said all that, I'm currently a home-schooling mom! The reasons were purely academic; my 8th grader was failing everything, and with high school just around the corner he needed more direct intervention. I've home-schooled before, with my two daughters.

It's a ton of work, although any more there are a lot of online curricula out there, and with a good home-schooling support group or cadre, you could really have a great experience with it.

Sarah said...

Keurig = awesomeness. Has changed my morning, noon and night for the past couple of years. Will never go back.

And the trickle-down effect of first child --> younger children? Totally. But I have to remind myself constantly that the oldest child suffers all of my parenting foibles, and always will. I am so sympathetic to him in so many ways because of this. I don't know what I am doing with him. Never will. I am figuring it out as I go along. Will always be that way. But I have to trust myself. It's the only way I can ever exude that parenting confidence.

You have so much openness in you right now. It's painting such a clear picture. I'm enamored.

Jo@Mylestones said...

Gasp! I've been thinking/praying about homeschooling too. And I am flippin' terrified about it. But if YOU were to do it, it would be strangely comforting to be in it together. Keep me posted (even thought it's still a bit in the future).
Love you girl!

Debbie said...

Our local library has lots of great books on organic gardening. Sadly, I have found that the books do NOT do the weeding for you. Maybe if I got them on Kindle.
We also said homeschooling was an "option" in our family if we weren't happy with the public schools. So far, so good (mostly). And I now see that some of my kids would have been easily homeschooled and some would have almost killed me. Love that hindsight.

Kazzy said...

Still digging your house. :)

I have changed my tune on home schooling, and although I am a public school teacher I am ready to consider it for reasons that have to do more with my sons' teachers this year than with anything else. They get As, but have had pretty terrible classroom management this year.

Go for it!

Crystal @ Semi-Crunchy Mama said...

I don't comment often, but had to jump in when I read what you wrote about home schooling. My son's only two, so we've a ways to go, but it's something I've been considering more and more. A friend and I were talking about it last week. There's so many resources available now for those who do home school -- opportunities for that much-needed social interaction. Poke around online to see what resources your area has. And whatever decision you make, whether you choose to start off home schooling or start off in the public school system, you can always take it one year at a time.

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is awesome if it is a good fit for your family. Start in pre-school, get your feelers out there and make that determination with the understanding that both of your boys may learn differently. (Unlike in classrooms, hs have an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive in an environment and style that meets their individual learning needs - so cool!) I've been homeschooling for 11 years and will graduate a senior with an acceditated diploma next May. He is college bound and I am vacation bound ... hehe! Yes, the face of homeschooling is changing. When I began, the only hs I knew were denim jumper wearing, *big stringed instrument playing families. *(This really stung, because my boy and I could hardly master the recorder!) I didn't identify with them and found that there were others who felt as I did. When I found a like-minded co-op, it all began to click. I highly suggest participating in a co-op if there is one available in your area. (If not consider starting your own -- somebody started every co-op!) It will provide you and your boys with support and socialization (Which you'll find is SO NOT a big deal for homeschoolers - although it is one of the top questions we get asked.) The curriculum options have greatly improved since I began on my journey, and the Internet provides a world of information. Research it to death!If it works for you, do it with unabashed enthusiasm. If it isn't a good fit for your family, be an advocate and involved parent in your children's classrooms. There is no right or wrong, it is simply a matter of realizing and doing what is best for your family during each season. It is something you can re-evaluate from year to year. If you attempt it with the bravery that you are living your sober life, I have no doubt that you will be a tremendous success! Destiny D.

Carrie said...

My 2nd child is only 3 months old, but I'm already easier on her than I was on my first - with your first, you just want to do everything by the book and all, you know? :) I agree with the whole trickle-down effect thing, too.

As far as homeschooling, I would say a lot of people find it more acceptable lately, I think. But I don't know. I'm hoping to homeschool in a few years, I think it would be so fun. :)

Haley Quarles said...

I think you are definitely right about the oldest child thing.

Also, I've been thinking about homeschooling too. Interesting.

Glad you are doing well, even if you are crazy busy. The kiddos look cute!

kirsten said...

ok. For what its worth, I personally believe the homeschool debate is DIRECTLY tied into the the whole first child issue.

This time last yr I was fully committed to homeschooling, went to HS fair, bought myself curricula, the whole 9 yrds. We got all the way thru summer, she became more & more withdrawn & unhappy, and TWO DAYS before school started we registered her. I realize now that she and I would have been so unhappy HSing.

AND YET: am considering doing it for my #2 b/c there is only full-day K in our district. So. I think it depends DIRECTLY on yr relationship with EACH kid, not just to your role of mother/teacher.

Cynthia said...

A flat roof in Minnesota seems like an obvious bad idea. I can't wait to see how it looks after.

I don't homeschool my kids due to my ADD. I'd be really good at the fun fieldtrip parts but worry I'd fail them at the more important parts. That's not to say I wouldn't homeschool if needed- just that I'd need more discipline than they do.

As for #4, get the book "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholemew. There is also a good 4-seasons garden book by Elliot Coleman with tips on how to extend your growing season (which as far north as you are is a need).

Kelly said...

I can't wait to see the after photos. You've gotten tons of resources for gardening. My only addition to the pile is to go with it. You'll learn so much from just giving it a go.

Chief said...

Hey! Ive been absent! Sorry!

I have real strong feelings about homeschooling. But I dont want to open a can of worms, so I will keep it to myself! You are awesome an Im sure you will rock it whatever you decide to do.

I love your house and I am jealous that you have so many projects you can work on! SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

Marty Duane said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY KEURIG!!! With that and my Nook, I'm set for life. :) Cheers!

H-Mama said...

What can I add to whats already been said? Nothing. So... blessings!

Kidding.

We love HSing and have found that when our girls tell other people that we HS, we get compliments instead of 'the look'. ;) It's come a long way.

We love our Keurig, too.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm laughing because did you MEAN to leave in that here/hear typo while talking about homeschooling? Where I live, it's kinda looked down on if you DON'T homeschool or "unschool". Mine go to public which has worked for us, especially with Noah's IEP but I always dreamed of homeschooling.


Steph

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, PS I'm not sure if it's already been suggested, but Beth at Total Mom Haircut has been specifically writing about starting your own garden recently: http://www.totalmomhaircut.com/

MommaKiss said...

my keurig is the best investment we've ever made. i'm on the second model - first lasted 5 yrs...didn't have alternate brewing sizes or auto shut off. LOVE!!

Susan said...

Home schooling is very popular in my area of Wisconsin. Our public schools are very cooperative and will allow a student to attend for certain classes like high level math, science or foreign language. Some things like band or choir you really need a brick and mortar school to participate in, although there are plenty of option in the community (the cost can be prohibitive though). Our school district offers an on-line school as well - so your child can learn at home, but still get a "public school" report card, etc.

Suzanne said...

I garden and home-school (actually home-educate is the trendy new term) and love my single-serve Espresso maker (Nespresso). You and I should talk.

Suzanne said...

oh yeah, here is my blog :: Adventures in Daily Living ::

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