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There has been some big changes here

February 16, 2012

Since I got back to blogging this year, I haven’t been able to fill you guys in on what has been going on here.  There has been some big changes in our family since September.  I am super excited to tell you about them.

Change #1:
In September, Mike and I made a big decision for me to quit my job.  God showed us the timing was perfect, like that is a surprise.  We have wanted me to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) since before we had kids.  The problem was we did not set ourselves up financially to do this from day one of being parents.  It is something we regret, yet do not dwell on, since we can not change the past.  Over time things had changed, I went from working full-time to part-time to being a SAHM.  I am so very thankful for this opportunity.

Being a SAHM has its own challenges and trust me I have dealt with them.  My kids are both very active and require a bunch of attention.  Yet they can very well play by themselves (or with each other).  We had to adjust to me being here daily and that their routine will be a much more “boring”.  My kids love to be on the go and always have been.  Changing that was interesting.  Now just because I say their routine is much more “boring” doesn’t mean we don’t do anything, we do, we just are not walking out the door daily to go to a babysitter.  We have had amazing babysitters when I worked and we greatly appreciate each and everyone that has help raise our kids, while they where in their care.  It is scary choosing a sitter, even if it is a daycare.  We had been blessed to have awesome ones, God knew exactly the right ones for us at that timing.

Personally, I had to adjust to being a SAHM.  I have worked almost non-stop from the age of 14.  At 16, I was already working in an office and at 17, I had two part-time jobs.  Immediately after high school, I started working full-time in an office.  I had continued full-time employment until I was 28 years old and at this point I had both kids.  I enjoyed working, but my desire was  to be at home.  I remember how hard it was to switch from working full-time to part-time.  I had a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old at this time.  I remember I couldn’t sit still.  My house had never been so clean, I was impressed with myself because I absolutely despise cleaning.  Supper was being made on time and every night.  Once I adjusted and I started spending less time cleaning and more time with the kids.  That sounds bad to say it out loud.  Sounds like I never spent time with my kids during the adjusting.  That isn’t true.  I just started spending MORE time enjoying them , after the adjustment happened.  Well, in October I started the same process of adjustment. The first week or two it felt like a vacation, I relaxed a little and didn’t worry about the housework much.  Yes I did do cleaning, but it was still just enjoyable.  Then November arrived and I was saying, really this is what my dream was!  All I do is dishes, battle over school with Alaina, do laundry, mop and vacuum the floor etc…  Man my vision of my dream was wrong or so I thought.  It was then I realized I needed to adjust to my new job.  I was doing all that stuff before, I just had less time to dwell on it, since I was busy working and tending to the kids and all that stuff.  Not to mention the holiday season begun.  January came and I started doing things different.  Things are better with Alaina’s schooling, I don’t mind doing the dishes as much and I relax on the rest of the housework more.  I realized the house doesn’t need to be perfect looking, just clean and preferably clutter free.  This actually allows me to enjoy the housework.  Spending time with my kids, husband and God reign over housework.  I figure I will have plenty of time to make the house perfect once my kids are grown, for now I am happy if the house is presentable and clean.  My kids seem to enjoy this mom much better than the clean freak mom.

Change #2:
We switched from cyber schooling Alaina to traditional homeschooling her.  This decision was made out of a personal preferences for Mike and I, okay mostly me.  I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work and teacher requirements on a kindergartner in cyber school.  With my brother being home schooled most of his school years, I knew that traditional homeschooling was up our alley.  We choose cyber school over traditional homeschooling last spring, because I was afraid of hindering Alaina’s education.  I did not feel qualified, mentally I knew better, but the mom in me was saying “Kari, your daughters education is not worth the risk”.  Once we started the school year, I found I was more than capable to provide a quality education for her.  At this time, we decided to finish the school year out with cyber school.  Then November came and I started to feel more overwhelmed with the lack of flexibility and increased workload.  Now yes they are flexible, since you can log in anytime to do the school work, which is flexible and not completely rigid. For our family it wasn’t flexible enough. With traditional homeschooling you set the schedule.  If you need a day off you can and guess what it doesn’t affect your attendance.  Ye,s you need to still get X amount of days or hours (I need to look up the days to verify) in for the school year but you can set when you do school, if you don’t want to take off school for President’s day you don’t have to.  If you want a day off for groundhog day you can take the day off.  You just have to be able to accomplish all the appropriate education and have your child attend school the X amount of days and hours.

Since it was mid year, I found a beautiful curriculum that was inexpensive.  We choose to use Five In A Row (FIAR).  I was able to purchase it on Ebay real cheap, yet the price for it new is pretty cheap too.  I know several people who use this curriculum and love it.  I have followed a friends blog who had documented the first 2-3 years of using FIAR.  I was so inspired, I thought wow this looks awesome.  Well this curriculum is awesome, but doesn’t work for my kids or myself.  It requires a bit more creativity and prep work than I expected.  I knew the prep time was going to be what it is.  I am just not overly creative for long periods of time.  I also discovered my children learn well with worksheets.  I did decide that we will finish the year out tackling our goals and objectives and use some of the FIAR information to help along the way.  Now if you are a huge fan of literature and want to have full control over your child’s education and how they learn etc… FIAR is perfect.  The curriculum does give you ideas but then you have to go from there.  It is super easy to come up with ideas of your own too.  In May, I will attend a the PA Homeschooling convention (I registered today!!!).  I am super excited.  I have heard amazing things about the convention and how I can get my hands on all the curriculum to review it in person before I order it.  I can’t wait to go and pick the best curriculum for my children.

So the question is, how is traditional homeschooling working out.  Honestly, it has been a roller coaster ride, bu it has been good over all.  Alaina and I are just adjusting to me being the teacher and her realizing she has to do what she is told, without a whole lot of complaining or me nagging her.  We have discovered she loves math, be still my heart.  I love math too.  We have learned she is not a huge fan of language arts, just like me.  Which is funny because she does really well with it, so it makes my heart proud.  I am loving seeing her learn new things and impress us on how smart she is.  I have also been incorporating Thomas into her education, he is learning with her and surprises me how smart he is as well.  Trust me we know our kids are smart, we are just impressed at how quickly they pick up new stuff when they want too.

As you can imagine these two things have made big changes here and well, kept us busy.  I am hoping to update my blog here with homeschooling pictures and information as we go.  This way everyone can see the benefits of homeschooling, trust me it isn’t what most people think.  Our kids are smart and not sheltered, I hope you will be able to see this as we venture down the road of homeschooling our children.

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