Friday, August 22, 2014

Private School Program

Our children have been accepted into an extremely exclusive private school program. The teachers are innovative, personable, passionate about learning, and they love our children. They have a wonderfully broad study release program for any class that they aren't equipped to teach. They utilize the entire communities resources, and are not limited by contractual agreements. The teachers are also given stewardship over our children, and with that, they are given the right to revelation regarding our children and what is best for them.

We have been homeschooling for two weeks.

We have many reasons for choosing to begin this scary adventure. The most important reason being: We know our children best, we have a testimony that this will be the best choice for our children right now. The rest of the reasons don't really matter. If it bugs you that this is the only reason listed, feel free to talk to us about it. We are HAPPY to talk about it.

Now to dispel the myths  of why people assume we will be homeschooling:

  • "it's the easy way out" (Seriously, who would think that keeping all of your children home from public school is the EASY way out?)
  • "to make you look good" (Parents who home school their children aren't parents with super powers. They are just parents that want what is best for their child and the public school system isn't filling those needs for that specific child/family)
  • "you hate all things public school" (Nope. There are an innumerable amount of amazing public educators out there. I do hate the distortion of expectations that has occurred in public education. I hate the one-size fits all model. I hate the totally overwhelming job we've given teachers to teach 25+ children in a class. I loathe Common Core Standards.)
  • "to baby your children" (One of the problems we were running into with public education is being able to provide engaging material for subjects they excel in, and allowing more time to grasp subject matter they were struggling with. Heaven forbid we encourage them to go further into topics that they love, and provide time to actually learn things that aren't second nature.)
  • "because you can't stand them being gone for so many hours" (Laws. Agnes. SO not the case. I LOVE my alone time. I love my quiet time. However, I also LOVE seeing my kids go into the world and interact with people because more often than not it's a success. More often than not I hear that my children have lovely manners and are a joy to be around. I love being able to give my children a better opportunity to do that with homeschooling- to meet a broader spectrum of people than just the 25+ class mates assigned to them and the other children in their grade level. I will get to interact with them as they go out into the world to learn- and I am thrilled. I am thrilled to utilize people in my community and throughout the world to help my children foster a love of learning so that they can have the strongest set of wings when it's time to leave the nest.)
  • "what about the socialization?!" With this question I leave you with a humorous answer: At public school, what do you get in trouble for doing in class? Socializing. (the link is a comedian's answer to that same question- and after you watch that you should watch his yoga pants video)
Feel free to think we're nuts. We're over the moon excited about this. We have loved doing our first few weeks and seeing the love of learning as a family grow. 

With Love,
Jack and Amanda

P.S. If you want to be a part of our children's private schooling venture, let us know! We love being able to let other people share their talents with our children!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

about time. sheesh.

It's been a loooooong time since I wrote a post on our blog and I thought I'd give it a go as a means of some A: stress relief and B: procrastination of other duties (dishes eh hem)

Have I ever told you that I have CRAZY psychotic nightmares/dreams that I can remember pretty frequently? And by psychotic I mean that they are sometimes violent, gory, horror film material. Most often they are dreams of my children being close to the edge of my bed and they're falling off the edge of my bed so I launch myself forward to save them (I really do launch across the bed to try and catch the imagined child in peril-poor jack). Sometimes there will be an alarm going off in my dream and for some reason I can't get it to turn off and that's the only thing that makes me realize that I am in fact dreaming and there really is an alarm going off and I need to wake up. I think it has something to do with the fact that I may have some anxiety issues. Anytime I notice my dreams getting more and more "out there" I start to take stock on my life, and my stress level. As soon as I do so, I notice patterns of increasing stress levels. It doesn't matter if it's good stress or bad stress- either is sufficient to send me into the deep recesses of my nightmares leaving a mother of 4 waking up feeling as though I've been running an emotional marathon rather than logging some serious R and R. At some point I think I will find a good therapist to see if there are things that would help me manage said stress levels. For now, however, I will stick to the things that I've found to help until I can afford to spend the money on a therapist.
Things that help me to de-stress:

  • Massage with lavender
  • Listening to a calming soundtrack (sounds of the ocean, or classical music)
  • Nice Hot Bubble Bath
  • Fresh clean sheets from the dryer
  • a good movie to cry over and letting it all out with a soft box of tissues 
  • making a list of things that are stressing me out- taking note of which ones are things I can control/change and which ones I need to let go of
  • looking for good quotes that pertain to that situation on Pinterest
So now here is the issue- how does one make the time to do these things regularly in order to stay mentally and emotionally happy??

The Larsens