Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weekly Wednesday Hike with a side order of tree climbing.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekly Wednesday Hike

We love our weekly hike with our home school group.  Seriously, sometimes I think this gathering of good friends and nature is what helps me stay sane through my week!!!
This week we went to Castlewood Canyon again.  This state park is very quickly becoming one of my favorite places to hike, it's so beautiful and so diverse.  Today we were lucky to have a guided hike set up by one of the dads in our group who had taken a guided hike with Ron the park ranger before and thought he would be awesome for leading our kids.  And he was right!!  Ron was great with the kids and very knowledgeable.   I think we all really enjoyed him.
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Looking at owl pellets(or as Gracie said “what the owls puke up”).

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I think this was Ron showing them a flower.

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The group on the rim of the canyon.

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Sweet little waterfall.  There were neat little pools all going down into the canyon from here, it was so pretty!

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Beautiful wildflowers.

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Gracie and her buddy Payge, both looking precious in pink!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

EEK!

I did it. I contacted the local public school home school program.

Big huge giant step for me. Seriously!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As much as I know home schooling is what I want to do....

....sometimes I just want to pack the kids up and ship them off for the day. Or the week. Or maybe an entire month.

Yesterday was one of those days. My day ended with me on the internet looking at the forms to download in order to register Gracie for our local public school kindergarten. Yep, me, the woman who can give a litany of reasons for not putting kids into an institutional learning environment. I was ready to toss it all.

It can be so draining and exhausting and just plain no fun dealing with the emotional ups and downs of the same little people for 9 hours straight every day of the week. At least I get a break on the weekends, I get to go to work. Work tends to be the most relaxing moments of my entire week. Who knew driving a bus and hosting child's birthday parties could be less stressful than staying home and eating bon-bons? (Cause you know that's all I do.)

Anyway, I guess my entire point of this post is just that it is hard. Being the primary caregiver, teacher, comforter, and authority can be very draining. For those of you who are there with me know you are not alone. Then I factor in the sacrifices. The fact that we could be a double income family in just one more year if I enrolled the kids. The thought of that is huge, just huge! We could have a much nicer house, multiple vacations a year, and get James a new car. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't put a lot of stock in having a lot of stuff, I know money doesn't buy happiness. It sure could make things a lot more comfortable though. In a lot of ways I think it would make me a much more chill person too. I still don't think the benefits of working outweigh the befits of staying home for us, but I do have to recognize there would be benefits!

Home schooling would be so much easier if I could just subtract the emotion out of the mundane daily stuff, but I just can't! Little kids are such emotional time bombs!! I know for me it is a million times easier dealing with someone elses kids than it is my own and I guess that's just because the weight of being responsible for how these humans turn out is pretty huge. Gracie is a great kid, don't get me wrong. But she is work. High maintenance. High needs. However you want to label it the bottom line is she requires a lot of time, attention, and emotion. She is smart as a whip, is very independent, loves to question and always has a reason. She has very strong leadership qualities which is a great thing except that she doesn't have the discretion to know when it's time to stop. Also, she pretty much never stops moving. It gets wearing and some days it just plain becomes too much. Which brings me back to yesterday and how I probably would have traded her to gypsies for a yard of cloth had they knocked on my door.

I'm hoping to find some balance in this thing, quickly. I know home schooling is best for us. That's not a question. I am starting to realize though that as much as I don't want to get "on the radar" I am probably going to have to. I can't do it all. I'm a great mom but I'm not super woman. I have a breaking point and when I reach it we all suffer and it sucks. So I'm looking into some compromises. There's a local program here where home schoolers go to "school" one day a week. We have some friends that use it and really love it. I'm seriously considering it for next year. It's free (public school funded) and it includes any resources we would need for testing as well as the ability to check out curriculum for free. It would also feed Gracie's desire for socialization which is HUGE and give me the ability to get some things done and focus a bit on Ian who honestly gets the short end of the stick a lot around here.

So that's where we're at. Ever evolving in this thing. It's a learning process for all of us!