Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Preschool plans

I am of the mindset that it is better to wait a little bit before starting kids in school.  I'd rather my boys be the oldest in the class vs the youngest.  They will be going to school for so long, and then working.  Why not leet them have a little bit more time being a kid, with less worries.  That being said, I think it's also a good thing to follow the lead of your child.  That is why I am going to start homeschool preschool with Tanner next week. I believe he is ready for a little something more. I have the next 2.5 years roughly planned out. 

Starting January 2015 I will be doing the plan from the ebook The Preschool Journey (written by Angela Thayer from teachingmama.org).  I feel like this is a wonderful way for both of us to get used to the idea of "doing school" at home.  It's very much play based. Crafts, sensory, games, etc.  She has everything planned out for me already, along with a list of books to incorporate.  I will add in a few extra activities here there to incorporate holidays and special events.  I also have a plan to incorporate Bible studying and "All by myself" boxes from 1+1+1=1.  Tanner really thrives doing sensory play (marbles, sand, rice, pouring water...). 

Starting in September 2015 I will do a mix of Carisa's curriculum (from 1+1+1=1) and Erica's curriculum (from Confessions of a Homeschooler).  And when Tanner is ready I will add in Becky's reading curriculum from This Reading Mama

This should be a good foundation for us all before getting into actual Kindergarten curriculum.  Each year will get progressively less play based and more teaching focused.  But like I said earlier, this is all roughly planned.  I know I will follow Tanner's lead and what works for him.  We will change things up if need be when the time comes for it.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Homeschool.  What do you think of when you hear that word?  Is it a positive or negative thought?  Maybe extremely conservative and/or socially awkward children?  Eh, I never really thought about it much. Until I had kids of my own.  

I suppose it was only normal that I was headed in this direction after doing tot-school with Tanner.  I thought it was because I wanted to teach him his basics and incorporate play, you know, to prepare for school.  That morphed into thinking it was ridiculous to pay for preschool when I can teach him everything he needs to know. (And yes, I can STILL socialize my kid and not have to send him to a "structured" class setting).

And then I started researching.  Oh researching.  I feel like I've spent a quarter of the past 4 years doing that.  Along with trying to get a child to sleep and stay asleep, playing, and nursing...

I had gathered plenty of information to sway me more towards homeschooling my kids.  I'll save my reasonings for myself, because there are so many, and this post would be ridiculously long.   Until we visited our close friends I was probably around 80% sure I was homeschooling.  (Preschool was a definite 100%).  My friend's mom (a 30+ year experienced public school teacher and administrator) pretty much said "Do not send your kids to public school", in the nicest way possible, of course.  She completely validated every single thought I had and then some.  Every fear I had she just squashed it! I left our friend's house that day feeling like God was trying to send me a message.  For the few days before I was still trying to sort the pros and cons in my mind and feeling overwhelmed.  It was an incredible feeling!

For some reason I was worried about how Nick would think about it.  But he shares every thought I have on the topic, as well.  He knows the public school education is not the same as it was when we were in school.  And he knows how much potential our kids have to becoming something great.  We don't want them to lose that spark and the capability of becoming a leader.  My biggest fear was that I would fail my children as their teacher.  But a friend of mine said it perfectly-we believe public school will fail our children. So we will be a homeschooling family!  (I do want to add that learning the location we will be moving to next was a big player in this decision, as well. So in the future, if we were to move to a location with an amazing school system we may change our minds.)

Homeschooling has come a long way since the 80s and 90s.  More and more people are doing it because of personal beliefs and the government's Common Core curriculum. (Once again I am being fairly vague on this as to not "offend" anyone).  There are huge communities of homeschool families.  They have their own extracurricular activities, field trips, and even prom! I'm not saying we will homeschool all through high school, just that there are a lot of options out there.  

My next post will be on my plans for preschool.  We are starting a curriculum plan the first week of January.  I plan to document everything here (to have for memories and to reference back when Wesley is ready to start).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maybe next year.

Today is the 3rd Squadron Holiday party (out of 3) that we've missed. I feel bad even thinking about being sad and feeling like we are missing out. I'm thankful for the reason I have to stay home. But I do feel sad. I miss a lot of squadron functions. 

Tanner is old enough now that I could potentially get a baby sitter for him. But there is absolutely no way it would work with Wesley. He is very high needs. He does not sleep well, and he still nurses a ton. He does not have very long stretches of time where he is happy. And he is difficult to lay down to sleep. 

There is no real point to this post other than to whine, I guess. Although I know this time in my life is so short in the grand scheme of things. Before we know it the boys will not be dependent on us at all. And I will long for these days again. Like right now...it's 1:10am. Haven't slept yet. And nursing the baby for the third time so far tonight. Thank you, Lord, for creating the coffee bean. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tanner's 3rd Birthday Photo Dump

Tanner's birthday isn't until December 8th, but with so many squadron parties and Christmas activities on base that weekend we decided to have his party on November 30th.  After going through a bunch of different party themes on Pinterest with Tanner sitting in my lap, we picked a car theme.  It was so much fun!  Here is what I've been so busy with the past few weeks!

Tanner has talked about birthday hats for months.  I knew that was one thing we HAD to have for him!

Pin the wheel on the truck (It was supposed to be a car but my drawing didn't turn out right.  So I improvised and made it a truck).

We had a "color the wooden car" station.  And then they got to race their cars on the track.

 He had fun, and that's all I could ever hope for his birthday party! I was so worried his friends wouldn't be able to come because it was the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, and two of his best friends have recently moved away. :( But it turned out great! I'm so thankful for everyone who came, and for Nick! He helped so much, even though he had so much to do with his schoolwork. 

He didn't want to blow out his candles.  He knew once he did they would be gone. So his friends did it for him.

And then he realized he wanted to do it after all.  So I relit them.

Darn camera focused on the wrong subject! This would have been a GREAT picture! hehe

A happy boy!
And it's always a dangerous thing when a toddler (ahhh!) preschooler disappears.  Especially in a rented facility.  Luckily he was just helping us clean up...

Happy almost birthday big guy!