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Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Homeschool, Kids Activities | 1 comment

This Is Homeschool: 08.26.14

This Is Homeschool: 08.26.14

It’s that time of year again. The “end of summer” & the beginning of “school”.

Not for us.

We are on our own schedule since homeschooling last year. Our summers last a little longer (until September 23rd, at least, as they should be) and our official school year doesn’t begin until, well, until I say so. (Reason #789 why we homeschool.)

This is our first year reporting as homeschoolers. What does that mean? We had to send of Letter Of Intent to our district and wait for their response, at which time we sent our IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) with a nice overview of what we plan to teach our little first grader this year. Lofty goals.

One thing I like to do all the time, whether it be part of schooling or not, is talk with the kids about what they want to learn. Maybe there is a long-term goal attached, maybe just a short-term. Their answer could even be something as simple as “learn to whistle” or “I want to make pizza”. No pressure, only a way for me to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in their little minds.

This is our current list. We will add to it and take away from it as the year progresses. The plan is to start next week along with the rest of the education system, but we likely will let the summer linger a few more weeks and enjoy visiting places like the zoo & the museum so we can have them all to ourselves. (Reason #790 why we homeschool.) We are somewhat structured/somewhat unstructured, or “unschoolers” in our home instruction. The kids have been dipping into learning all summer and we will continue to do so until we feel the need to be a little more structured. (Reason #791.) There are some great ideas here on this list. Our children are now almost 6, 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. I like their goals & hope to help them achieve them this year.

What are your plans for the impending school year? Whether you’re in public school or private, homeschooling or co-oping it, we’d love to hear!

TIH 2014 Learning

 

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Children, Education, Family, Homeschool, Kindergarten, Memories, Motherhood, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 2 comments

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

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We’ve been spending lots of days in our jammies (you’ve got that right – full days in pajamas – simply because we can). Between multiple illnesses among us and the freezing cold temps outside, why bother getting dressed?! Today, being a ‘recovery’ day, we decided to stay in our pj’s & do things like play cards, dye noodle necklaces (post coming soon), read, & do workbooks and a few other projects.

We love playing cards for so many reasons. As homeschoolers, it teaches us various concepts such as numbers, taking turns, strategy, planning ahead…and as a family, it brings us together for some time, usually a long time, and teaches patience as well as how to win and how to lose.

Crazy 8’s (pictured) is a great game for little ones. Also, Go Fish, Old Maid, & Speed are fun, age-appropriate games to play with preschoolers & kindergartners. The kids love playing card games & learn in the process: a win-win! Who knew a little play could lead to such enrichment?!

What are some of your favorite family-friendly card games? Do share, please!

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Childbirth, Children, Choices, Education, Family, Fatherhood, Homeschool, infant, Life, Lifestyle, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Childbirth, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Potty Training, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, Terrible Twos, Toddler Challenges, Toddler Naps, Toddlers | 1 comment

Patience Is Key

Patience Is Key

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Several times throughout my time as a mother, conversations have come up regarding different parenting styles. Should you co-sleep or cry it out? Should you breast-feed or bottle feed? Should you go natural or have a medicated birth? When it’s time for potty training, do we try boot camp or let them learn on their own? The list goes on…

It has been my experience that I always choose the long road. I’ve had three natural births (including two decently long labors lasting over 24 hours and a shoulder dystocia baby), we co-sleep, I’ve breastfed each of our three babies until they were at least one year old, and we homeschool. We let our kids potty ‘train’ in their own time (which we have really lucked out at so far!) & our discipline methods are few. It seems as though we have created work for ourselves, but I truly believe it will make a difference in the long run.

Everything requires patience. It takes longer to learn how to breastfeed your baby than it does to mix a bottle. It takes more time to sleep with your baby or rock your baby to sleep each night than it does to cry it out. Natural birth takes more work and waiting patiently for that baby to come may take longer than you would like, but it’s worth it! It’s always worth it. Your children are worth it.

Patience doesn’t come easily around our home these days. Juggling all life has to offer while raising children is hard work.

Hopefully our children will, in turn, learn that patience. Patience is a very important quality to hold throughout life. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have much. However, what I do have is most often spent on our children, and I have to remind myself of this on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I realize this post will fire up some defensive parents, but relax. I’m not judging those who don’t do what I do. We are all unique and to each his own. The only difference between you & I is a little patience.

I would like to show my experiences, that what you think may be harder at first glance may actually be easier in the long run.

You see, natural birth often leads to healthy babies, which often lead to healthy bonding, which also often means successful breastfeeding which often leads to a sleepy baby. Don’t you think this is a good start to life, if you can help it? Wouldn’t you imagine children are much more likely to have happy childhoods if this is the way they begin? It seems like so much less frustration and annoyance if the anxiety is lessened by living this way.

It doesn’t stop there (And here is where I need to be reminded most these days). Remaining patient while raising our children hopefully teaches them to be kind and gentle, patient and understanding.

Once again, obviously we will all live how we need to live. And we all will love the way we need to love. A little patience certainly has never hurt anyone. In fact, patience is key.

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Arts, Children, Crafts, Creative, Economical Activities, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, Toddlers | 2 comments

C Is For Camel

C Is For Camel

We’re finding ourselves right down the middle of the line between structured schoolers and unschoolers. No rush, but the kids seem to desire some structure once in a while. This is such a learning experience for all of us!

Part of our latest homeschool curriculum is to choose a letter as well as take turns choosing an animal of the week.

I got the idea to do a letter of the week from Confessions Of A Honeschooler, one of my favorite homeschooling resources.

This week, it was Tavia’s turn to choose so she chose camel. Therefore, the letter of the week is C.

I love that she chose a camel! We learned a lot about camels. I always enjoy learning new things alongside them. Did you know dromedary camels can store up to 80 pounds of fat in their humps?! They can survive on that for a long time in the desert.

We watched a few videos, some educational and some just for fun. The kids got a kick out of Alice The Camel!

Some info came from National Geographic, some from other sources online & from our local library.

We also made some camels of our very own out of egg cartons, markers, glue, & pipe cleaners.

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Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Children, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, Decor, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Family, Home Decor, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Library, Lifestyle, Minimal Living, Motherhood, Organize, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

20140103-120818.jpgHere’s a little something you may not know about us: We live in a 1200 square foot town home.

Five people. Two bedrooms. One general living room. One kitchen. One dining room. One and a half bathrooms. One garage. One basement.

One work-from-home Mama. Three homeschoolers. One hundred percent childhood energy.

You do the math.

This photo depicts an organized, believe it or not, version of our current set-up for a “play area”. (It may appear a tad hazardous, but not to worry, those shelves are anchored several times to insure safety.) All of our new Christmas presents & overflow of toys have been sorted and arranged. This is pretty much everything the children have, nestled into this puzzle of shelving.

The homeschool area was just relocated yesterday & has to be organized, art & projects hung up, shelving installed. This is depicting the bare minimum.

There is always something more needed in this space. We always need something more to keep us from going bonkers while living in close quarters.

Sure, we have outgrown our space. You’re not the first person to think that, not would you be the first to call me crazy for choosing to homeschool three little ones in such a tight space.

The time will come when we have our own home, but now, life is just too busy and hectic to have to worry about a new roof, a leaky hot water tank, broken windows or a new refrigerator.

We are making due with what we have because that is the way to happy.

We are choosing happiness together. Really close together.

For tips on how to stay organized with lots of toys, books, games, puzzles, and supplies, please don’t ask me.20140103-121935.jpg

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Posted by on Jan 1, 2014 in Education, Family, Homeschool, New Years' Resolution | 0 comments

A New Year! Welcome 2014

A New Year! Welcome 2014

ducksHere it comes…the obligatory New Year post giving gratitude for the happenings of last year’s past, resolutions for this year’s coming, and thanking each and every one of you for your support and kindness throughout it all.

It’s true. All of it.

I am undeniably grateful for what 2013 gave me, for what it gave us. It may not have been full of sunshine and rainbows, but it seems there were more happy days than sad, and for that, I am content.

I am thankful for an incredibly supportive network of family, friends, and acquaintances, customers and fellow artisans, oh, the list goes on and on…

I look forward to 2014 with much excitement. Our family continues to embark on our homeschooling journey and quite a journey it is!

We are thrilled to expand sweet whimsy designs in 2014 with so many new and refreshing ideas ready to be put in motion.

The blog will be getting a much-needed makeover in 2014. I’m finally mustering up the courage to expand The Whimsical Sweet, eventually offering advertising & hoping to feature many more wonderful handmade shops and artisans, pushing you super readers to support handmade more in 2014. I hope to share many ideas and thoughts with you throughout the year, and hope that you share yours in return.

2014 has much in store for all of us.

If I haven’t said it enough already, thank you. Thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your support. Thank you for your patronage and your ideas. Thank you for your kindness, for your guidance.

Here’s to a fabulous 2014, to each and every one of you. Thank you.

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