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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fun weekends!

Last weekend our church went on a trip and experienced some pretty stellar sights! We traveled to Kentucky for the 2nd time to visit the Creation Museum

It is just so amazing!! 


When we visited in May of 2014 my girls were so much smaller! 
(Elena on the left was almost 7)

(Here is Allee with my father in law. She was about 1 and 1/2 yrs old)

Here we are in 2004

Here we are this weekend!

They also hadn't started construction on their new exhibit The Ark Encounter. It opened last year and we finally got to see it! WOWZA! It was incredible!

The BEST part was that my father in law always flies up to WV to be with us on these trips! Here are a few pictures of our trip! I posted a ton of Snaps too. Too bad they don't last longer than 24 hours. 

We took 38 people from our church!

I was in the fun bus. These were the most active and excited little girls. 

Allee stayed with her grandpa the WHOLE trip. They were two peas in a pod.

My main squeeze with a new little friend. The penguin looks like he is staring at him.

Umm... Eve?

When we entered into the Museum we found out Ken Ham was speaking! We just HAD to go see him! He was great!

My favorite feature in the gift shop!

Seeing my father in law with Allee was just wonderful!

Our wonderful friend Joe came with us too! I was beyond thrilled that he was there! Check out his blog!

This alpaca or llama (unsure which) was very interested in him while he had snacks.

Not so much once he was out of snacks though. Lol.

This lil guy even conned Joe out of a snack too.

Here is my 11 year old nephew with my girls. He is just way too tall to be 11. Am I right?

I tried to take a photo of the three above in mid jump. They got photo bombed. The outcome was quite funny!

Yes. I documented my Starbucks. I don't get them often. We have Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons where I live.

The Ark in Kentucky! It's a life-size replica!


Obligatory family photo in front of the Ark! Thanks to Joe for taking this one!

My daughters face is the only reason why I had to post this picture. 


My eye was half closed, from the wind.

My nephew and Elena walking to the entrance.

I took a lot of video on Snapchat while inside, but eventually found thatputting away my phone and just experiencing this great place was the best way to take it all in. So that's what I did.

This was the selfie at the end of the day. Note the "I need to lay down soon" smile.

My baby with her Zebra. She named it Noah.

Altogether its was a great weekend. Exhausting, but wonderful! 

Welp. See you next week! 

XOXO, 
Maria

Saturday, April 22, 2017

My Take on the Pros & Cons of Homeschooling

I am sure this goes without saying, but the following is my personal take on Homeschooling. I am not a professional by ANY MEANS. This is only my 2nd year at it. Therefore, all my opinions should be considered just that; OPNION. No getting offended by anything I write please! A lot of people aren't in a place where they can homeschool their kids. That's just fine. Over time and with more experience I am sure that my views may change a bit. Either way, it's not personal folks! Ok. Let's get started.


Pros List

  1. FREEDOM!
  2. It can be so fun!
  3. You can tailor teaching to your child's personal "learning style".
  4. Co-Op is AWESOME
  5. Day Trips whenever you want!
  6. We can pace work to each specific child's needs. 
  7. Vacation Days are up to you!
  8. No Homework.
  9. No Science Fair Projects! 
  10. No fees on top of fees on top of more fees!
  11. No picture day packages that cost a TON!
  12. No tuition!!!!
  13. No Common Core!
  14. No boosters and or fundraisers.
  15. Portfolio Assessments instead of yearly testing.
  16. No Standardized Testing!
  17. No immunization requirements (if you are against vaccines).
  18. Registering to homeschool with your County is EASY PEASY!
  19. ANYTHING can become a learning opportunity! 
  20. No carpool and getting kids out the door for the bus! HALLELUJAH!

Cons List

  1. If you don't have a SELF MOTIVATED child it can be hard to give independent work and walk away.
  2. You do have to remember concepts that you have likely forgotten over the years. #MATHMATHMATHMATH #itisthedevil
  3. Unless you use a pre established curriculum it can feel intimidating to start. It did for me.
  4. It can be OVERWHELMING to choose how to teach your child. 
  5. STUFF EVERYWHERE! 
  6. If organization isn't your strength it can be a challenge.
  7. If your child has been in the school system it can be hard to adjust to home study. Example: Hearing the words, "I miss my school, friends and teacher." About 700 times per day. (personal experience)
  8. Sometimes you just need alone time and you don't get it because your kiddo is home! (I hide in my bathroom.) They still find me anyway. 
Now we talk about some of the stereotypes that people seem to not want to say in the face of homeschoolers & their parents, but think or even say behind their backs. 

I found this article and thought it was VERY true. 

Read this. It's short. Trust me! 

Oh! Here's another one I found rather intriguing!

Moving on...

I personally had to deal with a couple of these before I felt like I could get into homeschooling myself. I am only 2 years in and I still struggle. That's for another post though. I think my struggles are more personal insecurities and fears than anything else.

Truth be told. I am not proud of the list below. They came from a pretty uninformed and resistent place. Absolutions formed at the ripe old age of 18. Ugh! I cringe to think of how "smart" I felt then. I knew NOTHING! lol.

"WOW. That kid needs some socialization."

Oh yeah. I met my fair share of those homeschool kids in college that went through MASSIVE culture shock in the real world. My freshman year in college I befriended a girl who we'll call Meghan. After 1 semester of classes Meghan had to drop out of school because she couldn't handle being without her family and safe environment. Apparently college was her 1st real time away from home. It unfortunately cemented an idea in my mind that homeschool really couldn't be a good idea for me and my future kids. Obviously, I don't feel that way now, but man oh man! Did I ever then!

"Oh no. I could never deprive my child of the benefits of learning how to be part of a functional classroom environment."
I grew up going to public school and thought that my time in classrooms, auditoriums, rallies and the like were a crucial part of what taught me to not be the kid who couldn't sit still because I'd never needed to. Truth is, so many kids in schools struggle to stay still just as much if not more than homeschoolers. Kids are kids. Their school doesn't change that. Yep. My eyes have been opened over the years. 

"Just point out a student and I can totally tell you if they were or weren't homeschooled." 

Not sure why, but I thought I had some sort of homeschooler radar. Truth is; I really didn't. Ironically enough when I met my husband he seemed NOTHING like any of the stereotypes I thought were true. My best friend is the same! We met in our 30's and I would never have known she was homeschooled if she hadn't told me. Yep. I was wrong by a LONG SHOT!

*sigh*

So this is the point in the post where I honestly start to wonder what the heck I am doing here. Why am I writing this? Is it too long? Too unorganized? Offensive? Stupid? 


Yeah. I'll just stick with it anyway. 


Suffice it to say I have a daily love hate relationship with homeschooling. It really depends on the day. For now it's what I am feeling led to do. While it has it's challenges it's working for my family. No idea what the future will hold though. I am open to whatever God moves us to do next. 

What are your thoughts? Do you homeschool? What are your pros and cons? Let me know below!

Well, I better get back to homeschooling my oldest. She is currently working on History & Geography. Amazing how much we have both learned! 

See you next Saturday!