Back to Homeschool

I love the back-to-school season!  I get so excited about all the big possibilities.  I love the return to a settled routine.  I love reconnecting with friends and trying new things in our homeschool.  When we made the decision to educate our children at home, I wondered if we would miss out on the excitement and festivities associated with returning to the school year.  What about school shopping and new school shoes and photos before jumping on the school bus?  Would I regret giving up those things?

I quickly realized that the traditions of back-to-school are easily mirrored in homeschool life.  We go back-to-school shopping, but we aren’t following a prescribed list.  We get new shoes (Thanks, Grandma!), but we aren’t worried about having “the right” shoes based on peer pressure (at least not yet).  And I love snapping first-day-of-school pictures and comparing them to previous years.  Boy, these kids grow like weeds.  Here’s a quick look at our start to school for 2018-2019:

 

Art: A Busy Mom’s Manifesto

I pledge to make room for art in my life.

I will create art with words.

I will make art with my camera.

I will make art with clay and paper and ink and paint and fiber and pencil–even if I only have fifteen minutes!

I will explore new modes of art, and I will relish the experience.

I will make art with my cello and with my voice, even if it’s out of tune.

Even though it is hard and makes me shy and embarrassed, I promise to make art through movement.  I will dance with my children.  I will dance with my husband.  I will dance alone.  I will stretch my comfort zone and my muscles.  I will feel wind in my hair as I turn, and I will imagine a time when I could do that without worrying what others thought.  (Was there ever a time?)

I vow to make art for its own sake.

I will be a “process over product” maker, and I will ignore those internal voices that say my work isn’t good. I will hear the “why bother,” and I will remember that the value of *my* art is in the making, not in anyone’s assessment of the results.

I will claim creativity as a core value in my life, and as such, creating will sometimes come first on my to-do list with no guilt attached.

I will celebrate art in my community and honor the people around me who create in many forms.  I will seek opportunities to see others’ making or displaying art, and I will cherish those experiences with my family.

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I will say yes when my kids want to paint, sculpt, or draw.  I will join them.

I will bring art into my home, but more importantly, I will treat the art that is made in my home with the respect it deserves.

Picasso said, “Every child is an artist,” and I am a child at heart.

 

(Photo from World Ballet Day 2017)

Instead.

The post I planned for today seemed inadequate after I woke to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas.  I was going to talk about something rather personal, and suddenly, it felt too self-centered.  When tragedy strikes, we often find comfort in unity.  For a time, we are bound by our common shock and our collective mourning.  My post would have been inappropriately individual.  It can wait for another day.

Plans change.  Our morning was supposed to begin with breakfast and school work.  Typical.  Pleasantly ordinary.  Instead, our dogs escaped the fence, and we spent over two hours searching for them, crying, and even making missing posters.  One child lost a tooth in the midst of everything.  We did find our dogs. We read about the shooting and talked about it.  We talked about violence and hurting people.  Hurting people and people who hurt.  We talked about peace and about anger that sits deep inside a person.  These were hard conversations.

We abandoned our plans.

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Instead, we had a picnic in the park.  We walked to a local historical site and let our imaginations take over.  We enjoyed the perfect weather on an October afternoon, commenting on the remarkable blue of the sky.  We made note of the leaves just beginning to change and remembered how fleeting autumn color is.  What will the trees look like in a week or a month?

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My oldest son asked why shootings happen.  I don’t have all the answers, of course, and I certainly cannot control what other people do with their hurt and their anger.  Heck, I can’t even control my Monday morning that was supposed to be ordinary and predictable with math workbooks and phonics practice.  But I can make a little home where peace is a priority–where love comes before all else.  I can create gentleness in my kids, hoping that they will pass it along. I can try.

Summer 2017: Recap #1

{Don’t forget Warm as Pie‘s official re-launch on September 22nd.  I’m welcoming autumn and celebrating 8 years of blogging all in one fun swoop.}

The summer flew at top speed.  It came in wet and cool, and it seems to be going out with a brief return to summer’s heat.  Or at least the kind of heat we are used to in the northeast.

We had a nice summer.  We didn’t go on a grand vacation to an exotic place.  We didn’t take a road trip or climb a mountain.  Instead, we worked.  I had a few doula jobs, and we made some changes to the house.  We enjoyed sunshine and family time.  We grew a garden with moderate (but joyful!) success.

In July, we spent a fun day at a Lego extravaganza!  It was a colorful and energetic event with so many things to touch and explore.

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