Thursday, February 25, 2010


I am reading a book recommended to me more than a year ago. I should have read it then. I didn’t and I am feeling the guilt now. Of course I would have felt guilt then too. It’s another book on which I look at my parenting skills and find myself lacking.
I know in my mind that I did not have the strength to do what needed to be done five years ago. I couldn’t have home schooled then. Of course I might have tried when I realized what the kids were missing. I also could have afforded the materials for some of the things. Sean would have learned to write with his left hand and I wouldn’t have had to argue with teachers about how even though he used his right hand it really wasn’t comfortable for him.
I can still remember the disappointment I felt when I received a call that Mary Kate wasn’t ready for all day kindergarten. I was devastated. I was looking forward to having one less child to have around. Doesn’t that sound terrible? So many missteps I have made.
But I can only go forward from here. I am hoping that I can teach the children the skills that they will need in the changing future. I am getting excited about the prospects of teaching them to think and analyze and question. The oldest won’t be immune either. Just because she is still in school does not excuse her from my new found enthusiasm - much to her regret.
She will be reading over the summer books that should be on her list of required reading but are not. She will also be completing a term paper for me. One in which she won’t just be regurgitating facts on paper, but one in which she will have come to a conclusion about her thesis and prove whether it was a valid thesis or not.
It will prove to be an interesting summer. The younger children will learn that we are “doing school” year round. This may be difficult at first but I think it is doable.
I need to forgive myself for what I don’t know and move forward with what I now know. I told Larry the other day that I would be a really good teacher for our grandchildren. I hope I get the chance to find out.

Happy reading,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Knitting Completed

We are finished! I completed my work on Mac's project yesterday. Now I have to pack it up and get it sent out. Can't wait to get it completely crossed off my list. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Self Care

I remember watching Oprah talk about self-care ten years ago. She has women come on who said that you needed to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. An interesting concept; women of the ages past didn’t have time for self care and yet most of them managed. Of course pundits today would probably say that is why they died young. I think there is a lot more to it than that but I am not trying to sell a book.
I believe that there is some need to and times to practice being nice to yourself as a woman. One of those times is during your period. I can’t take the day off from work and lounge in bed like I would like to some days but I can lessen my burdens for a few days. Lower my expectations of what I will get done. I do only that which is necessary. I milk the cow; do a little laundry; fix meals and the rest of the time I rest. If I have to work at the cafĂ©, again I do what needs to be done but not too much extra. I also take breaks.
I understand that we all can’t do any of these things on a regular basis but we should at least attempt to lower our workload on these days. Not just for me but also to show my daughter how to do this. It is important for her to learn how to manage that although at fifteen she seems more than capable of self-care. ☺
I am not talking about going to a spa or a shopping spree. I am saying that you need to just physically slow down. My biggest complaint about our time at the moment is that people seem to feel that they have to pack every minute of the day with things to do or places to go. SLOW DOWN! We are going to be forced to anyway soon enough. You might as well begin practicing now.
Enjoy a cup of tea and snuggle into a blanket with a good book.

Happy resting! Kate

The Wonders of Homeschooling

We haven’t been doing much according to my children for our homeschool projects. We had a few things due before Christmas and no real formal assignments since then. We have been reading about a Saint every day; we have been reading a story everyday. I have been reading some immigrant stories taken directly from those who immigrated here through Ellis Island. We read a story about a young boy who worked in a coal mine and the dangers he faced. So I checked out some books about that time period which the kids read and we discussed.
So we have been doing language arts and social studies on a regular basis. The great part is that it doesn’t feel like school to them. They do the same type of thing with science at the moment. They make many discoveries on their own. Their father has been amazed that he can ask a question randomly and one of the children will have read about it and give him the information.
Since they didn’t feel like they were really doing school work, the three of them decided to create a school paper. They put in news and weather. They had a page with a word search and a maze; another maze and a connect the hearts; and of course comics. They create two comic strips. Plus they made up a publishing name. It was a very entertaining read. When I took it back to them after I read it, I told them it was an “A” project. They were stunned! They didn’t realize that it could be considered a gradeable project. I hadn’t assigned. Isn’t that great? They came up with the concept, design and layout all on their own. I am very proud of them.
On top of all this reading that is going on, they get to play outside daily. They get exercise and they have responsibilities in the house. I think this was the best move we could have done, especially when I see my fifteen year-old struggle with the adjustment between home and school. We are so off the norm that it has to feel like stepping into another world when she travels back and forth. She is much easier when she is home for a time; like for breaks and when she is ill. All of the kids at school are fairly clueless about what is happening around them. It has got to be hard to be the only one in the know.
I do my best to help her make the adjustments, but I don’t always succeed.
For all of you who are contemplating home schooling, I think it is a very worthwhile endeavor. It is especially true if you are choosing an alternative lifestyle. I thought five years ago that people who homeschooled were nuts. Now I think they have the right of it. Of course now most “normal” people think I’m a little off. LOL! Whatever the case I am very pleased with the results.

Have a safe journey! See you around the next bend.