I feel like I'm a pretty responsible adult. But I also feel at times as though I'm still making this whole thing up as I go along, and never moreso than when I see all the advice for the middle aged or for someone going through a midlife crisis. It's like an illness we all need to get over. Maybe I should be more rattled about all this midlife stuff? Should I be indulging in some sort of major crisis of self-confidence and identity?Read More
A couple of years ago, after months in a walking cast after I'd injured my Achilles hiking, I said off-handedly to my podiatrist, Well, I guess that cuts out running, snicker-snicker-har-har.
He looked at me seriously and said to my surprise, "Absolutely not."
I remember when my mom was pushing 50 and she'd mention something about being "middle-aged." To which I would smart-aleckly reply something like, Was she planning on living to 100? (Sorry, Mom.)
Merriam-Webster defines middle age as "that period of life from about 45 to 64." Since it's a dictionary, I'm going to believe this. And it may or may not have something to do with the fact that I find myself now squarely in my mid-40s and everything to do with the fact that, like many things in life, my mom was right and I was wrong.Read More
Welcome to week 3 of Home Educating Family's Blog Hop! This week's topic is "Homeschooling Outside the [Curriculum] Box." Be sure to leave a comment after this post for a chance to win this week's prize--a beautiful On the Go Planner! Click the box below to read more posts from HEF's Review Team members and for even more chances to win!
Some other things we do to learn “outside the box” that anyone can do:
- Find movies, games, or DVDs on a particular subject, and let that be “school” for the day (anything from a historical movie to a geography game to a documentary on cranberry harvesting). If you’re interested, they will be.
- Rather than always completing end-of-chapter questions, let your kids make a video about it! This was especially fun when my kids studied the Industrial Revolution and immigration. One played the role of “talk show host,” and the other was an immigrant whom she interviewed. They set it in the early 1900s, complete with accents and costumes. It was hilarious, but they learned so much!
- If you have an artistic child, once in a while switch it up and let her draw her favorite part of a chapter vs. doing the questions.
- While studying a country or culture, cook meals, do art, listen to music from that country. I promise this will cement the experience for your kids. AND it’s a lot of fun!
- Read aloud together. Read and read and read some more. That is, hands down, our favorite ‘school’ thing to do. We have laughed and cried through hundreds of books together. They know now when it’s getting to a sad part, because I start having that “crying voice.” And yes, I still read together with my high schoolers.
- Do your book work somewhere different, like outside, laying on the trampoline, under the table...
Learning “outside the box” doesn’t have to be elaborate. It’s simple, really. Have fun!!
As my friend Jenny at Many Hats Mommy so aptly describes, for the past year or so, my blog has been neglected and pouting in a corner. With all the other writing deadlines I have, I tend to put my personal writing aside.
I'm trying to be better about that.
We are down to about our last month in D.C., which, yes was a surprise (thought we'd be here longer). And yes, we are headed back to HAWAII, so I am happy about that! But it's reminded us to hurry up and do some of the local trips we've put off.
So this weekend we decided to take the 2-hour drive to Gettysburg. Steve attended a leadership course there this month, which meant they toured and walked all over the battlefields and learned real-life lessons. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but they took away lessons from the good AND bad decisions.Things like, don't think just because something worked once, it will always work. Be willing to take risks and change it up, when you need to. And how much it meant for the generals to actually be out fighting with their men--never forget where you came from. Great leadership principles.
Basically, we had our own very knowledgeable tour guide, who took us from Day 1 to Day 2 to Day 3 of the battles. We heard about strategy and which general did what. We stood on hills that were defended and lost, and took in the sobering realization that 15,000 men died in one day. The plaques described the boulders there as having "puddles of blood." Wow.
I memorized the Gettysburg Address in school, but the full impact of what it meant did not hit me until I stood on the battlegrounds of Gettysburg. If you haven't, take some time to research how the Civil War completely reshaped American society--from the roles of women to societal and cultural changes to political, and of course the most obvious one, the end of slavery. And it was only about 150 years ago. Which seems like a long time, but in reality is just a blip. I'll share more photos later, but for now I'll leave you with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Please click the button to see the rest of the Review Team's blog posts, and even MORE chances to win the giveaway! (more details at the end of this post)
- “You’re weird”
- being a military family
- trying to best suit each kid's learning style, while challenging them past what's comfortable
- lots of read-alouds, games, movies, and together time
- taking breaks when we need them (My kids have learned how to play this...they often bat their cute little eyes and say things like, "Can we just go to the library or do art? That's educational." And I often say, "YES." Childhood is short, people. )
And, we're a military family. Which means that change is our norm, whether it's deployments, moving from one side of the world to the other, or working around strange schedules (which may explain the "weirdness" on some level). We've started over so many times, which has really cultivated a closeness in our family. We've homeschooled out of suitcases more times than I can count, have done some incredible travel, and have had some amazing experiences.
Last week's winner was the commenter Blankenmom chosen by random. org. Blankenmom, please contact me so I can you get your mailing information from you to give to HEF for your FREE one-year subscription!
Super excited to have my first article for Military Spouse Magazine out! Please check it out, and "like" it if you're so inclined...the number of unique hits and likes will help determine whether I do more for them. Thank you in advance!
A Note To My Younger Self
I think you know if you're a writer.
You can't NOT write.Read More