Sunday, January 30, 2011

Great Literature

On our most recent trip to the library, Ethan chose The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett for the, I don't know, 84597th time. Gag me with a spoon. But then we made s'mores with shish kebob sticks over the stove top so it all worked out in the end. And discussed fire safety. (Dwop stop and woll.) And played tic-tac-marshmallow. And had sword fights with shish kebob sticks. And counted marshmallows. And discussed swordplay safety.

Evan made his own version, of course.

"Done any homeschooling lately?" Matt asked at dinner.
"Why, yes," I was able to reply. "We did a whole Unit Study on The Marshmallow Incident. Tomorrow you and the boys can build a catapult!"

No wonder he likes that darn book so much.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Snowball Room

While pushing snow with the Bobcat, Matt built a fort for the boys. Ethan calls it 'the snowball room.' Ah-dorable. It is fun for all ages, and most species.

Slide included.

A blank slate for dangerous stunts.

Who says winter isn't fun? Not these boys. (Maybe their mama.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Laura!

Today is my Aunt Laura's birthday. She is a Super Aunt and we love her to pieces. My mom says that she "fills up my (Jen's) soul." Happy birthday! We love you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coming Out

I want to homeschool my children. There, I said it. As a people-pleasing eldest child, it makes me a nervous wreck to come out and say that. How to educate your child can be one of those divisive topics right up there with breastfeeding, spanking, and cosleeping. It is not right for every family and every child, but I really believe it is the right choice for my children. Matt is not convinced but we are talking and praying and are going to 'practice' a little this season to see how it works for our family.

One of my main concerns about public school is all-day kindergarten and the intensive reading program that is thrust upon the kids. Ethan spends hours every day outside or running around inside making up elaborate games and scenarios with Evan. At times he will sit and color but it can't be scheduled for him. I can't imagine telling him to stop reading to his stuffed animals or playing Legos just because some arbitrary schedule has deemed it time to sit in a circle. Also, living out in the country means that he will spend some significant time on a bus, further cutting into the time to be an independent little boy. It would also mean a strict bedtime, which would really cut into the time he gets to spend with his dad.

Being able to choose a biblically-based curriculum greatly appeals to me. Being able to learn with my children and spend all those hours reading together, exploring together, playing together greatly appeals to me.

Am I freaked out about it? Yes. When I printed off the forms to file with the State Dept. of Education, my fingers went numb and I felt nauseous. What a tremendous responsibility! But God's grace is sufficient, in everything, and this is no exception. Every parenting milestone has been preceded by a journey filled with excitement, fear, and lots of messes. Homeschooling seems like much more fun than potty training, and much easier than teaching a child to stop biting!

This is a good essay about the benefits of homeschooling and this, from my friend Kayla, is a good essay about how you don't have to homeschool to accomplish those goals. All of us just want to do what is right for our kids, and that is what makes all of us such good parents for our incredibly unique Children of God.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve 2010

We were cozily snowed in on Friday and looked forward to a quiet evening together. The boys and I had looked at calendars together and talked a little about days, months, and the start of a new year so I brought paper and a marker to dinner and cheerfully asked everyone what they had enjoyed about the past year and what they wanted to do during the next year.

"Scooping snow with Evan!" Ethan said. Yes Buddy, you can definitely do more of that.
"Candy canes!" yelled Evan. Uhhhh....
"Well, I really liked-" I began.
"Can I have a candy cane?" Evan asked.
"When can I have a candy cane?"
"Next Christmas. I thought it was fun when-"
Evan jumped out of his chair. "When I see a bear, I'm goin' to jump up and SHOOT IT!"

Happy New Year, everyone. May your lives be filled with the people you love, things you love to do, and free of bears.