Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Ten Ways "Vacation" has changed with children

I was never one to go on a lot of vacations, but the occassional weekend away with my husband pre-kids was always so refreshing. I also have so many fond memories of vacation with my family. My mom was great at making summer camping trips the excitement of the year for me. SO, when I had children I was more than eager for a weekend or week away to relax and have fun with my children. Well, it is fun, adventurous, but definitely different. After returning from a week long vacation with my children which I did as a solo-parent, I have been thinking of all the ways "vacation" has changed for me.

1. I need a vacation from my vacation-- a solo one in complete silence and with lots of sleep preferably

2. I now plan my route along McDonald's play lands

3. I play in the pool rather than lay by the pool

4. I pack a couple of books for those "down" times, and get there only to realize I will not have ANY down time and I should have saved that space for extra diapers/changes of little person clothes/snacks, etc.

5. I no longer pack a suitcase and small bag for necessities, I know need an entire U-Haul to go away for a weekend, sometimes I wonder if we are going to have to choose between suitcases and children when we are trying to load up and come home.

6. I spend A LOT of money, my quick coffee or soda at the gas station suddenly turns into, 3 candy bars, juice boxes, and water. And EVERY TIME we stop it is at a gas station, and I have a hard enough time saying no to the chocolate bar, so we load up again and again.

7. I no longer have any control over what we are listening to in the car.

8. People actually do say, "are we there yet?" Little people in particular. And they say it every 5 minutes-- I thought that was just in movies

9. We will almost ALWAYS come back with some sickness

10. Home will seem AMAZING! And I am already planning the next one-- it is kind of like childbirth, once you get home, you only remember the good parts.

This post is submitted to Top Ten Tuesdays at Oh Amanda.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Choosing Joy

I had a whole blog post written full of rants and complaints, but thankfully I got most of it out to my running partner... So instead I am choosing to be joyful, because I have SO much to be thankful for! And two of my "I'm thankful for's" are....

This post is linked to Wordless Wednesday at 5 minutes for Mom

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ten Things I have learned from Homeschooling...

So, I started homeschooling VERY tentatively, then with a little more confidence. I had a few expectations... hopefully they would get a decent education, some stability-- we have moved A LOT, and the ability to learn without a lot of distraction. What I did not expect was that I would learn something from it. So here it is 10 things I have learned from homeschooling.

1. History... I always found it boring in school. I never listened very well, and I am learning, actually learning SO much.

2. That learning takes time. I always thought I would sit down and teach my kids. I knew it would be hard at times, but I thought it would just work. They are smart kids, so why not? Well, it takes a lot longer to learn some things. I actually should have clued in years ago when my daughter, who was two at the time, was trying to learn her colors. I drilled her all day, she just could not get it. How? She had learned to count to 10 in five minutes. But colors did not work. And that is how learning is. There is no formula for how long/when someone will learn a new skill And sometimes learning takes time. Sometimes I need to pack it up and come back in a week or two.

3. Learning is fun. There is so much to learn and kids are naturally inquisitive. They want to learn and try new things.

4. Learning is not always fun. Sometimes it is just hard work. And that is OK. Kids need to learn, just like adults, that some things are worth working at.

5. Do not push it. I started my oldest at 4 in Kindergarten. I was determined to make her read. And I did it, but it was not pretty. And I should have waited. I should have let her play more. Kids only have so long to play.

6. Socialization is natural. It is what everyone worries about with homeschooled kids-- it is what I worried about keeping my kids home. Will they be able to function in a social situation? We are in gymnastics, gym classes, Bible Studies, AWANA, there is rarely a day my children do not interact with someone, and they completely get how to do it.

7. It might secretly have become my excuse to not clean my house:)

8. Each child is different. My children all look different, particularly my two oldest girls. And I have learned that they learn different, as different as they look... so just when I think I have it figured it out, it all changes.

9. I actually like my kids more, the more time I spend with them, usually. I am one of those odd people that likes people more the more I am with them, not the absence makes the heart grow fonder types. I tried working when my oldest was one, and I came home wanting NOTHING to do with her, even though I had been away from her for over eight hours. I would come home and put on the TV and sit, and ignore her. I definitely am tired at the end of the day, and I am sure I would love my kids a lot even if they were gone, and I would get used to it, but I am thankful I do get to spend so much time with them. I also have found that spending the day with them all day allows me to make amends when I am not liking them more.

10. I have learned that I am never going to make everyone happy, but so far it is REALLY working for my family, and so we will keep doing it, until it stops working. This is the one thing in my life I am really OK with leaving up to a year to year decision.

This post is personal -- not to say homeschooling is right or wrong, just my experience.

This post is linked up to to Top Ten Tuesdays at Oh Amanda