Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Results Are In!

Election season is having an effect on on everyone it seems, even my little five-year-old.

Last week she hung up a picture of Ziggy (a zebra puppet used in the phonics program called All About Reading).  Then she drew a picture of a dolphin named Pam to hang up next to Ziggy.
Next, she set up two dolls in a chair in front of the animals and proclaimed them the "debate monitors".

HUH?  I asked her what was going on.  She pointed to the little grids she had drawn and posted next to each animal's picture, then she handed me a sheet of foil stars.  My instructions were to vote for the animal I would like to nominate as our homeschool mascot!  OH MY GOODNESS!  SHE IS SO CUTE!  I wanted to squish her little cute self and just chuckle in awe at her creativity!

Ok, so I followed instructions and put a star on Ziggy's chart.  She then asked every family member to vote, including Ivy.  We sat Ivy in front of the two pictures and waited for her to grab for one of them.  She voted for Ziggy too.  We were instructed to vote once  a day until one of the charts was full! The animal to receive a star-filled chart FIRST would be our new mascot.  You could change who you vote for from day to day.  Interesting!

So tonight my husband cast the deciding vote after work!  And the winner is.....(drum roll)......

Congratulations Ziggy.  It was a tight race between you and Pam the Dolphin. You are now the mascot of the Cedar Heights Academy! (That's what we call our homeschool)  

Does your homeschool have a name....or a mascot?

Poly Morphous Light Eruption (Sun Allergy)

Ok, one more reason to love living in the Pacific North West: Allergies to the sun!

On Monday morning this week my 13yo woke up with a flaming red bumpy rash behind one ear. Weird. No fever. No other symptoms.  It quickly spread to her other ear, her chest, neck and back, Hm. Odd.

I waited it out since there were no other symptoms. By the next day it was making her pretty self conscious so I opted to take her to the walk-in.  They were baffled!  But also concerned, so they quickly got us in to see a dermatologist yesterday who was able to identify the rash as a SUN ALLERGY!

yeah, you know that big bright ball in the's called the sun...we don't see it much apparently. In fact, we get so little of it that sun allergies are quite common in this area.  We've never had a problem like this in the past despite our beautiful summers in shorts and T-shirts.  But apparently the mix of teenage hormones and first-of-the-year sunshine can trigger reactions.

Who knew!!

I'm glad it isn't something more serious and that it's something she'll outgrow with time.

Parenting is never boring, is it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Class for WA Parents that Need to Fill State Qualification Requirements for Home Education

This is a snippet from a newletter I receive from a local homeschool support group in WA .  If you're thinking about homeschool and need to meet state education requirements to teach your children at home this would be a great option!  I hope you can read it.  Check out the website for more info.

How Big is Jupiter?

We are STILL working on our Astronomy course that we started last May.  That's ok! I knew it would be a slower-than-usual year with new baby.  This science class has been so fun!  The projects and experiments have been really engaging and educational.

Today we finished up chapter nine about Jupiter by demonstrating just how big it is compared to the other planets.  Inf act, Jupiter is SO BIG that all the other planets can fit inside of it.

We showed this by making scale models of the planets with play-doh.  Then we squished all the planets EXCEPT Jupiter into one ball, and compared it to the in-tact Jupiter. As explained, the Jupiter ball still had a larger diameter than all the other planets put together!  This was a great visual for helping us understand the size of planets in relation to each other.  It was funny to see just how tiny of a speck Pluto is!

We didn't have enough of any one color of play-doh to make Jupiter, so it is bi-colored, as is Saturn.


Can you see Pluto at the top of the picture?  So tiny!

      If you'd like to replicate this activity at home, here's the scale we used in centimeters


Monday, March 28, 2016

Basher Books

I don't normally post twice in one day! I must have a lot to say.

Have you heard of Basher Books?  I hadn't until this past fall.  My 7th grader is doing Chemistry 3 from Noeo Science.  It's a program that uses living books rather than text books for reading material.  One of the books in her course is a Basher book about the periodic table.

Well, my little science guy (8 years old) grabbed her book and read it in bed one night.  He read the whole thing in just a few nights! And even better: He was learning stuff!  It's true!  He was telling me all about the different elements, how they are organized, what their properties are.  He hung up the poster that came with the book by his bed and kept asking me to pick my favorite element so he could tell me all about it.

Seeing how cool the book was, my 10 yo had to read it too!  And then they were both hooked.  They flipped the book over and saw several other basher books advertised on the back cover.  They started begging for basher books for Christmas.  I was more than happy to oblige.

8 yo asked for

10 yo asked for

and even my 5 yo was excited about them!  She asked for

I have to read aloud to the 5yo, but the other kids simply devour those books on their own.  They are fun and easy to read. The concepts are clearly and cleverly conveyed.  The posters are colorful and fun to study, making review a pleasure for the kids. The artwork is what really draws the kids in.  It's just so kid friendly that even big scary topics like microbiology seem like child's play!

I highly recommend these books!  Chances are there is a Basher Book to compliment any topic you are studying right now!

Easter 2016

Easter is a poignant time of year for our family as we remember and miss our Hazel that left us much too soon, but take hope in her resurrection and reunification with our family.

My "job" at church is to lead the music for the children during part of their Sunday school.  I was petrified when I was first given this responsibility,but I'm growing into it.  In fact, I think I even enjoy it!  So this Easter the children were invited to sing in our Easter worship service.  I chose a song for them to sing called "Jesus Has Risen."  It's a sweet simple song.  You can listen to it HERE.  As I rehearsed the song with the children in the weeks leading up to Easter, I was so overcome by the words and what they mean to me personally.

I really didn't feel like doing a big Easter dinner this year.  Running on little sleep, plus 9 am church, plus a very full plate of life, added up to "simple dinner".  I went with a recipe from a cookbook I have called Six Sisters Stuff.  I made their red potato and ham casserole. It was really good!  Ivy sure liked it!  And we had trifle for dessert.  My favorite.  I think Ivy liked it too.

Of course we went to visit Hazel on Easter.  We brought her flowers and a basket.

Sorry for my scowyly face.  
While we were visiting Hazel we noticed that she will soon have company.  You can see the orange cone where a new site has been dug.  We left some flowers and Easter eggs for the little one's family.  I ache for them, knowing that the journey of losing a child is a very difficult one.  

My husband purchased the painting below and gave it to me the Christmas after Hazel died.  It reduced me to tears instantly.  It portrays the day that will make us a whole family again.  This is the image I hold in mind when I miss her most.

Resurrection Day
Every year we do an egg hunt in our backyard for the kids.  But the weather was SO CRAZY yesterday.  It was just too wet and our yard was too muddy.  And there was no way I was going to let them do it inside!

My husband happens to have a set of keys to our church, so we went there (after hours) to do our egg hunt!!  We felt a bit naughty doing it!  But we had so much fun.

It might have to be an annual tradition.  Maybe......

Friday, March 25, 2016

Field Trip: Seattle Symphony

Knowing that I have to head into Seattle makes my blood pressure rise.  I had a headache before we even left this morning.  The crazy traffic in Seattle just stresses me out!

But we do crazy things for our kids, right? we went.

We missed the pre-concert presentation because of nap time.  I had to at least get in the morning nap.  But we  did get there in time to find parking (on the 9th level of the parking garage??  Seriously??), race the two blocks to the concert hall, and get to our seats before the performance began.

I lasted about ten minutes before I had to get out of there with Ivy.  Somehow we lost her binky in transit and I had nothing to keep her tiny mouth occupied.  She wasn't' crying .  She was just being her happy little self, cooing and babbling.  But in a place like Benaroyal Hall with AMAZING acoustics, even one little peep bothers the whole audience. So out I went.  I spent the next two hours hanging out with Ivy while the kids enjoyed the performance.

I was bummed!  The little bit I did get to see was so incredible.  Something about live orchestras stirs my soul.  I found my eyes bulging with tears of....of what...? My heart was swelling with the pure joy of music.

Isn't it just so amazing and so inspiring to witness the culmination of years and years of training as someone pours their heart and soul into a skill or performance for your benefit?   I sat there wondering how long these talented people had trained individually, and then together as  a group, to make this day possible.  I wondered how God, our Father, must take such joy in seeing his children creating music that  beautifies and uplifts his other children.  It made me wish that I could do the same for others.

I know that my calling is here at home for the time being. And I am satisfied with the work I've been given to do in my own little nest.  But I do look forward to a time when I will have more of myself available to offer to the world. I want to create, beautify, edify and help. I will never be a concert violinist.  I actually don't now what work lies in store for me in later chapters of my life.  But I do know that the Lord will lead me there in due time.

For now, I do my best to grow where I've been planted.  Here are some pictures of our trip today.

I was surprised at how much they all loved it! (ok, I hear that the 5yo actually fell asleep during the second half)  But everyone else was very enthusiastic about what they had witnessed.  I think it helps that my 13yo plays the trumpet and the 10  yo  plays the clarinet.  It gave them something to focus on, a point of reference and comparison.  My Mr. 8yo is excited to pick up an instrument soon.  He's talking about the guitar!  That will be cool.

Anyway, it was a Good Friday.

Happy Almost Easter.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Wish Every Kid in America Could Learn This

One day my 12 yo came to me and asked if there was a class that could teach her how the world works.  Wow. That's a broad question.

"Where was this coming from?" I asked.

Well, I don't know for sure. But she sure notices that I listen to a lot of talk radio and that I pay attention to local, state and federal issues.  Sometimes she asks me questions on those topics that I can't even begin to address because the answer is so big.  And so I have to give her one of those lame, "'I'll tell you later" responses.  But here she was, asking me to please help her decipher the world.  Hm.  Where do you start?

After trying to narrow her questions down a little bit I gathered that she wanted to know about money, government, politics and economies.  Yikes.  I didn't think I'd be dealing with this subject matter for a while yet!

I did some research and found an AWESOME resource HERE.

We started out with What Ever Happened to Penny Candy and she is now in the middle of What Ever Happened to Justice.

This is her favorite class! Can you believe it?  I did buy the guides to go with the books, and I also wrote up a syllabus for her to follow so shes can digest it in small bits.  So it's taking us some time.  But wow, I do wish that every kid in America could read these books and take a class like this!  It's amazing.

The good news is that this can be written up as a full credit of high school civics if you do the work with the readings.  And why not!  The knowledge base is fabulous and will help create the educated citizenry that our republic needs if it is to ever survive.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Walk in the Park

Too little sleep for too many nights is bound to lead to no good. Our sweet little Ivy just isn't a great sleeper.  I found myself irritable and short tempered today.  A good nap could have changed everything. But good naps are hard to come by these days (at least for me!)  and the vibe at home was less than ideal.

Lucky for me it was a gorgeous, sunny spring day here.  So we ate a quick lunch of leftovers, packed up the van with some roller blades, strollers, and basketballs and we headed to the park.  There is a great park here with huge sports fields surrounded by a running loop.  I like to take the kids here so that they can play in the grass or on the playground equipment while I run the loop.  This is the same park where the kids take swimming lessons and do swim team in the summer.

I also love this park because it has a long nature trail through the forest with tall cedar trees, a beautiful babbling stream, and a perfect little bridge for having leaf races.  I loved playing in places like this as a child and it makes my heart happy to see the kids enjoying these things too.

So after a good run, some romping in the sunshine and a splash in the stream we were all feeling MUCH better.  Especially me.  Our afternoon went much more smoothly.  Deep exhale.
Today at the park  :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Constitution Bee: Extended Registration

My oldest two girls are studying up for the Constitution Bee!  I really recommend this for all families!  I have learned so much about the constitution from studying this with the kids.  Why don't schools teach this stuff? It's SO important!!

My 10 year old daughter really is putting some effort into her studies. She said to me, "Mom, at first I was only doing this because I wanted to win the money.  But now I don't even care about the money.  I just care about the stuff I'm learning. It is so important."

Amen to that!  I hope you'll join us in the Constitution Bee.  Even if you choose not to compete, you can still access all of the videos for free and enjoy the learning together.
Info below

"From Detroit Down to Houston, and New York to L.A." - 

This phrase from the song, "God Bless the USA" describes the success the Bee has had in getting participants from 40 of the 50 states (and two territories as well) to register for the Bee.  We've extended the registration deadline to this coming Saturday, March 26th, to see if - just for fun - we can get participants in all 50 states!  So, spread the word!

If you are from one of the 10 states listed below - please join us and register HERE now!  If you know anyone from these states will you forward them this email?  (And, if you're not from one of these states but missed the previous deadline, here's your second chance to get registered!)  Don't forget, we're only one month away from the Bee!

Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont


It's a no brainer:

Great information on the principles of freedom
Self-guided video series that's fun and entertaining
A chance to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes!

In liberty!

Jeff Hymas
"Learn What's In the Constitution Like You Never Have Before!"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Five Things New Homeschoolers Should Know

As I mentioned, the other night I had a fun opportunity to sit on a panel of homeschooling moms and answer questions and share experiences about what it is like to homeschool and how to get started.

I had to leave a bit early.  I had my 7-month-old on my lap and she was MORE than ready to go by 9 pm.  I'm not sure how long the meeting went after I left.

We hit on a lot of great key points that night.  Here are five things that I had really wanted to instill in the hearts of those who came:

You really can do this.

Yes, there are STILL days when I wonder if I'm doing it right, or if I'm doing enough.  There are days when I wish I could do more, be more, teach more, plan more.  I look at other homeschooling families and I see what they are doing well, and I wish that I could do as well at that thing too.  Feelings of doubt and insufficiency start to creep in from time to time.

When those times hit me in the face I try to remember that my family does not belong to anyone else but me, my husband, and our God.  He gave us these children knowing that we could be enough for them if we remember to include Him in our daily lives.  So it's really not fair to compare my kids and our homeschool to anyone else.  We each have our strengths and weaknesses.  We have been GIVEN weakness so that we remember to turn to God for help.  None of us can be good parents without his help.  So really, what we need to do, is make sure that we seek the Lord's Guidance as we  run our homes and our schools.  With His help, you really can do this!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillipians 4:13

There will be Gaps

Regardless of where you go to school, there will be gaps in your education.  I don't care if you went to the most elite private school on the planet.  Nobody comes out of high school being perfectly educated at age 18.  It just isn't possible to read every good book, learn every math concept, memorize every spelling word, quote every just can NOT do it.

Our goal is not to cover every single possible piece of information available for our consumption.  The goals is to create life long learners, so that as our children grow and encounter new situations with which they are not familiar or have no experience, they can draw on their skill set as self-educators to learn what ever it is that they need to know.

If you're worried about knowledge gaps when it comes to testing (like on the ACT or SAT) there are test prep courses you can take to be sure you have basic skills and knowledge for passing with good scores.  And you can practice taking those tests as often and as early as you like!  My oldest is in 7th grade and I'm just now having her do a bit of test prep using Kahn Academy.

Family First

In our zeal to be excellent homeschoolers, I think it is tempting to try to recreate school at home as we have known it in our own experience.  In the process, I think it is easy to get caught up and lose sight of what we're really doing.

It helps me to remember that I am first a mother, not a teacher.  I teach in a home, not a public school. My kids are my children, not just my students.  Family, faith, home, relationships....they trump anything and everything.  The book stuff is all secondary.

A while back I heard a phrase that has helped me out of  many potential struggles with my kids: 

Never let a problem become more important than a person.

Isn't that music to your ears?  Doesn't it allow you to let go of the little stuff and focus on your child as a whole human rather than focusing on what isn't working?  Because when the crying starts, the learning stops.  So take care of relationships first if you ever hope to teach anything at all.

Good, Better, Best
I remember my first year of homeschool I spent many hours decorating the walls to look like an elementary school class room. I didn't want my kids to miss out on the "school-i-ness" of school.

 I bought those bulletin board decorations. I posted calendars and weather charts.  I strung their artwork all over the walls.  I had a "listening center" with headphones and everything. I counted up to the 100th day of school and had some sort of celebration.  I tried to block out our day so it would feel like a school day.

I even created a huge tree out of paper bags and then made 31 orange and yellow leaves (which I then laminated) and we counted down the days to Halloween.  It was fun.  The kids loved it.  But it really wasn't the best use of my time.  More sleep and fewer late nights would have made me a more patient and attentive mother.  I could have spent more time reading and loving at bed time instead of rushing the kids to sleep so I could go work on some project for the school room.

Since then, I've learned to prioritize projects and where I put effort.  When I start feeling like what I'm doing isn't enough, or if I feel overwhelmed, like there are too many good choices and I don't know where to invest myself, I ask this question: Which is the BEST option?  Which thing is the MOST important thing I could be doing for this child right now?  Which task/project will do them the most good?  Could I spend my time in a better way?

Because lots of choices are good, some are even better, but usually we know which choices are best!  We can't teach every class.  We can't go on every field trip.  We can't  do every project.  We can't be in every science fair.  Spreading yourself too thin leads to burnout and feelings of failure.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is just take a day off!  Or gather the kids for some quiet read aloud time.  So when you feel like you're drowning in a sea of To-Dos, you can quickly whittle down the list and regain a sense of purpose and control by asking yourself, is this good, better or best?  Focus on the best!

This is HARD!

I don't want to scare you off.  But I think you deserve to know: Home schooling is not always easy. IT's just plain hard sometimes.  But remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right.  And anything worth doing right, is going to take the best part of ourselves, even when we feel we can't give it.  Homeschooling has become part of my personal sanctification process.  It teaches me unconditional love, patience, tolerance, long suffering, understanding, empathy, service, sacrifice...and more.

In fact, I think homeschooling saved part of me after Hazel died.  I'm not sure I would have had the courage to keep getting up in the morning and putting one foot in front of the other if I hadn't had four beautiful children downstairs waiting for me to fill their cups and nourish their souls and mentor their lives.  It forced me to look outside myself, even in the midst of unspeakable pain.  Somehow, with the Lord's help and the prayers of many good people,  I was able to dig deep and continue homeschooling.  And that ended up being good medicine for me.

When I first started I had romantic notions of me and the kids sprawled out under sunny skies reading books and chasing butterflies...  And those days do happen now and then, but not super often.  Most of the time it's a tad more laborious than that.

After I had been homeschooling for several months, I couldn't figure out why I was having so many power struggles with my lovely kindergartener.  Why were we fighting over phonics?  Why wouldn't she "do school" the way I wanted her to?  Ugh.  There were tears.  There were upset chairs and slammed doors.  It wasn't fun.  I was befuddled.

So I started asking around church to find out if anyone there was also homeschooling.  Remember, at this point I just jumped in without reading, researching, without building a network,without gathering local support or resources. I just jumped in, alone, headfirst...and I sank!

It just so happened that there was a happy, energetic mother of five who was successfully and lovingly homeschooling her family at the time.  I sought her out.  And the first thing she told me was (paraphrasing here...) Homeschool should be a lovely, blissful, joyful experience for both you and the children.

I died a little bit inside when she said that.  Because our journey to that point had been anything but blissful and joyful.  I was almost ready to give up.  Hearing her words made me feel like a total failure.  But luckily, I didn't give up.  I sought her advice even more. She took me under her wing.  I watched her do a phonics lesson with my willful child.  (Side note: my child performed beautifully for her that day! ugh. made me feel even worse!) 

Since that day I have learned a lot. I've relaxed some.  I've learned to balance work and play. I've learned techniques and strategies and methods and philosophies of education.  I am SO glad that I stuck it out even when I felt I couldn't do it another day!  For me, homeschooling is now a lifestyle choice.  No, it's more than that.  It's a commitment.  It's a ministry.  It's like mission work.  Who better to serve and minister to than your own family?

The longer I homeschool, ,the more reasons I find to keep doing it.  And these reasons keep me motivated and help me hang on even on the worst of days.

Ok, so that would have taken too long to say out loud at a meeting and I would have started sounding very preachy.  But it felt good to get that on paper at least, and I hope it helps someone out there the way it has helped me and our homeschool.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The New Comer

You may have read the posts about the death of our fifth child. The 2+ years since that day have been some of the hardest days I have spent on earth.  I can't really think of anything more heart breaking than seeing your baby take her last breath.

But in the midst of the heart ache, there have been miracles.  I wasn't always quick to recognize them. Looking back, I can see how the Lord has let me choose my path of grief and healing while gently guiding and directing along the way.  He didn't stop me from mourning or scold me for coming close to total despair.  He let me live out my grief, and still is patient with me when unforeseen waves of it continue to wash over me from time to time.

I'm thankful for His patience, and for His earthly angels that have helped me regain my new normal.  And I am mostly thankful for the beautiful little girl He has sent to us to help bind up our wounds and bring peace to my heart until we can all be together again as a family of eight.

So here she is!  Our little new comer!  She is now 7.5 months old.  We call her Ivy (her middle name)

She is such a joy to us!  We all love her so much.  I can't even tell you how much healing she has brought to our home.  I am thankful for her everyday.  She doesn't take Hazel's place, or make me miss my Hazel any less, but she does remind me that God hears and answers my prayers.  He sent me His love, straight from Heaven.  And I get to hug and hold her everyday!  I am a lucky mother.  I have six beautiful babies.

Having her here made Hazel's second birthday a little easier to bear.

Friday, March 18, 2016

My Homeschool Story: How It All Began

Hard to believe I've been homeschooling for eight years now.  My oldest is now a teenager.  Am I old enough to have a teenager?  I don't feel that old.  But I confess, when I look in the shows!  After Hazel died, I decided I didn't care how old I look anymore.  Getting older means that I am getting closer to her.  And besides, I am PROUD of my nearly 40 years on this earth.  I've done a lot! And I'm happy with the way most of it has turned out.  I would never want to go back and redo any of it, even if it meant looking and feeling younger.  I am glad to have succeeded at 40 years of this thing called life and I believe the best is yet to come!

Anyway, I'm feeling nostalgic today.  Last night a friend of mine hosted a home school information night for people who may be interested in learning more about this strange thing we do: You know....being parents and educating our kids at home.  I was on the panel and had the honor of answering questions and sharing my experiences thus far.  I was asked how I came to be a homeschooler.

So here's the story.  There isn't much to it.

I had never anticipated or planned on homeschooling.  I went to public school (aka Government schools) from k-12.  And not only did I survive, I think I actually thrived.  Don't count 5th grade when I was the cruel target of some pretty heinous bullying from people that I thought were my friends.  Yeah. Aside from that, I think I did pretty well with my government school experience.  So I figured I would just put my kids in school when the time came.

So the time came!  My oldest turned five in the spring of '08.  I did what parents do and I went to the local elementary school to get her registered for kindergarten.  I got her all signed up.  I had my 2 and 1 year old kids in tow.  The school person (?) gave me and the kids a tour of the school.  Cool. I wanted to see where my precious baby would be spending her days.  So we're walking along, up and down hallways plastered with cookie cutter artwork and neatly printed paragraphs.  We walk past hoards of children standing on red tape to form straight lines.  We pass the library, which was dark and empty at the time.  (Really?  When should a school library EVER be dark and empty!!) I wondered.  It all looked familiar enough.

That's why I couldn't quite decipher the feeling of uneasiness that settled in the pit of my stomach.  This is the place?  These are the people?  And what will she do? What will she learn?  Who will she be with?  And why does this all feel SO wrong?  The more time we spent there, the less sure I was that I wanted to be shipping my little 5-yo off to this place day after day for hour upon hour of....of what?  What could they give her that I could not?  Really?  Do I need government "professionals" to parent or teach my 5 yo for me?  Am I really incapable of doing it myself?  I wasn't sure.

Later, I learned to name that strong feeling: It was the Holy Spirit, witnessing to me that this was not the right choice for my daughter.  Public school would not be the right thing for our family. At least  not then.  Not there.  And I was afraid.  Because I didn't know anything else. I had never been exposed to alternatives to public school. Generally, we humans fear the unknown.  And I was entering the unknown.

Well, we couldn't afford private school.  So guess what.  I made a swift and final decision to homeschool, which I suppose means that I had at least heard of it somewhere in time.  But I didn't know anybody who homeschooled.  I soon discovered my neighbor was homeschooling her two granddaughters.  She offered to let me visit her home and take a look at the way she ran things for them.  I was grateful for any bit of guidance.  

At the time, I didn't know there were 1,000,000 ways to homeschool. So I took her word as the gospel truth and did everything she told me to do. I went home and signed up for WAVA (Washington Virtual Academy) and waited for the school supplies to arrive. I remember I was so excited when they came.  It was better than Christmas!

Long story short....I became a homeschooler.  I jumped in cold turkey. Head first.  Not knowing a thing.  This is typical Kelly fashion .  I generally do things in this dramatic way.  I eventually figured out that I had to un enroll at the elementary school, signs some papers, declare my intent to homeschool....etc. It was a very bumpy start and it was often filled with tears as I did my best to do "school-at-home" rather than do home education.

But I learned. I did! I learned to reach out, to listen, to watch, to research, to experiment, to try and try again.  I'm still learning.  But isn't that what home schoolers do?  We self teach, and then teach others to self teach.  :)  Let the journey continue!