Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas. Are you ready?

So are you ready for Christmas?

What does that mean? Ready for Christmas? Is it going to attack us? Will we be getting a jet plane ride? Is someone coming? Ready for what? OOOH do they mean did you shop and buy gifts for people, did you put up light? Are you just now sitting on your couch WAITING for IT to happen?

Um no.

I don't think ANYONE just sits around waiting for Christmas to HAPPEN to us. You might THINK your done, but your not. Every single person I know and you are one of them, ends up doing that LAST minute THING. We are just busy trying to pack A-Z into one month and here is some of mine.

What happens in December is:

Avent Calendar ( I made my own this year )
Candy Cane Reindeer making
Decorating house, in and out
Elfing (secret santa stuff)
Frockling in the snow (we are going to try Tobogganing this year)
Games with friends
Holiday Carols
Igloo making ( we use mini marshmallows )
Jesus talks ( why do we have Christmas )
List making
Making crafts
Newsletter writing ( I only did one page -time restraint )
Ornament fixing (with toddlers they tend to fall or break )
Present buying
Quiet nights with family by the fire
Railway Christmas rides
Santa sitting
Tree lighting
Uniforms for Christmas concert
Xmas card sending
Yule log burning
Z -Sleeping from the Christmas Coma

Um, Ready for Christmas? I'll let you know when I breathe.

It's a lot of work...And I'll do it again next year. Ya know why?

For moments when my boys play Santa and make a sleigh. When my boys sing Christmas songs in the back seat and ask for them again. For when my boys go to Christmas plays and visit friends.

 When everyone smiles a little more. Everyone is a bit nicer. People open doors for moms, children, and elderly. I will do it again to see the food bank boxes fill up. The wealthy families giving a little bit more to the needy families.

I'll face the malls, the lines, the crying, the whining, the tired and long night of working on that one more little extra thing I wanted to give just to watch my children's eyes light up when they see a Christams display. When my 5 year old gives the librarian and card and whispers to me, "mom, we did it! We did a random act of kind."

Ready for Christmas? I'm IN it! And I'm going to enjoy every minute.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Whining, who is in control?

Whining with the 3 year old.

I was tired of hearing myself whine about my 3 year old whining. I have been working hard on finding patterns and observing.

What I have learned this week while focusing on Nashville's whining was I had the power to stop this all along. It has been me I have been working on, not Nash. I have become more aware of our environment, of our routines, of how I interact with Nash before, during and after whining and it is getting better every day! Why didn't I just concentrate on this before? I 'wished' it got better, but I didn't actually DO anything about it.

So far the hugging, getting down to his level and talking to him calmly when he whines has diffused this more quickly every day.

I stopped complaining about it, I stoppped talking negatively about his whining to anyone who would listen. I started talking more positive to everyone. I started saying that Nashville's whining is going away and he's getting better every day. Even if I didn't believe it, I said it and it is now becoming true.

I stopped barking at him to stop whining. I stopped saying, "talk like a big boy. stop whining!" I started to just not acknowledge his whining and just ask if he needed a hug.

It's so much nicer now. I am looking forward to this becoming a habit, instead of me having to work at and remember what to do each time he whines.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Struggling with whining -week two

The saga continues...

I have noticed a difference in the whining. It is still getting to me and I am still feeling frustrated to almost angry as soon as the whining begins. (I am praying this feeling goes away soon!)
But I have noticed a few things.

Nashville's whining occurs usually and always when he is tired or hungry. Whining also occurs when I have a busy day and have not played with or given enough attention. He likes to reserve most of his whining for me, not dad.

Having this in mind made me hyper aware to give enough hugs, naps and food in the day.

Sometimes this cannot be avoided. His older brother wakes him up earlier than Nash is ready for. He has a hard time being woken up, the whining usually lasts for over an hour if this happens. On these mornings I have to dig down way deep to find new patience and use all my strength to stay calm and rational. I will often make sure we have MORE time than we need for transitions. For instance I would allow him to sit on my lap on the couch for about a half an hour or more and this would stop the whining. I would then make sure he gets to eat something as soon as possible. When he is full, his brain is working on more power.

I need to bring different kinds of snacks and water when we go out in the car; this curbs the whining as well.

We are not out of the dark, but I am learning more about Nash and his needs with this concentrated effort and I have noticed a bit of a calmer atmosphere.

I am quick to pick him up or hug him when he starts to whine and I validate how he is feeling.

I guess at his feeling using phrases like these:

"Your so sad right now, what can I do for you?"
"Your so upset, I'm sorry you can't have that."
"You sound frustrated, would a hug help?"

Theses phrases he almost never answers, but his whining does stop sooner than it use to, so I know he's hearing me.

I will keep you posted...

-Good Luck and Happy Parenting!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Struggling with whining

So I've been struggling with my 3 year old this year and his excessive whining. I thought I was doing everything right, but it has not stopped so I must be doing something wrong. I'm the adult, I have control of my environment, attitude and atmosphere of my home. That said. I will try to keep you posted in the next few weeks to see if anything I try will end this craziness.

Today I am going to try the hugging it out. Whenever he whines, I will give him a hug and validate his feelings.

This morning, he was whining pretty bad and I climbed into bed and told him to come and snuggle. Took 20 minutes of snuggling, tickling, kissing and loving before he would let me get out of the bed without whining. Interesting study. I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes...

The remainder of the day felt like the longest and hardest whining day ever! When I got home my husband also was making sure he got down to his level, looked him in they and truly listened to him when he whined.

I didn't feel very successful.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Don't Bother Calling. (you know I love you)

Come on guys, don't call me in the morning, I'm busy feeding the kids, cleaning dinner dishes up, trying to get out the door while packing lunches and dressing kids who insist on going outside as Batman, a Pirate or a lobster. 
You tried calling in the midmorning? but I was trying to exercise, or mediate, which didn't work cause my 3 year old thought that I was a human jungle gym and it was best to climb this mountain. You called again at noon? Haha, I was cleaning floors, milk spills, crumbs, poopy bums and possibly toilets again, I haven't looked... Somewhere in here I think I was homeschooling, but I don't remember what we read. Try texting.
AND Don't call at 2pm or after, I'm driving kids home from Freeschool, going grocery shopping and shoving errands into my day. Also, I have a melting down 3 year old right now and pretty much every day, it's close to nap time. 3pm is not much better, more bums to wipes and I think there's something sticky in my sons hair.
Why would you call at 4pm?, clearly I'm trying to make dinner with babies on my hip. And as the neighbour can attest, I clearly don't' feed my children' cause they are STARVING!
Hello we are eating and your calling at 5:30pm? I'm so not going to answer the phone, I can't believe you think I can. Oh but my children did, did you hear their halarious laughter and the last thing you heard was my sweet motherly voice YELLING< "Give me the phone!"
You called again at 6:30pm.. hahahahaha We are rushing off to soccer/french/band/babysitting and other hobbies we try to squeeze in so we might feel like a normal adult with some life.
Why would you call between 7-830pm, I'm stressing out trying to keep the kids in their own beds, struggling with brushing the kids teeth. How insensitive, Don't you know?
Ok you really called me at 930pm and expected me to be coherent? What did you say anyhow? Don't you know I'm exhausted and trying to get myself to bed after squeezing in a half an hour of my favourite comedy?
Um, so really just call me in like 14 years or so.

To all these active mommies out there!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Letting Go

Recently I've been holding onto some old habits and old ways of thinking. The thoughts have been filled with doubt and a bit of fear. With my now 23 year old a new school year meant a new school year filled with uphill battles and advocated arguments. I didn't look forward to new teachers, new hassles, new problems. I didn't have a lot of 'faith' in what was the come.
Lately with all the teacher talks, a lot has resurfaced, memories have been creeping their way back into my head.

Last night I was reminded to have faith. To enjoy the process. I have been living my life in a different way for many years now and it's time to get rid of old ways of thinking. I am armed now with positive thoughts, better books and a different life. I have different children and a different journey. I am learning to let go of negative arguments in my head and allow a process of faith that everything works out. Cause it does and always has.

Even when bad things happen, it seems that the universe was just saving you from something worse. A stall on the freeway could be your blessing that you missed the accident up ahead. One time I was waiting for a parking spot in the hospital emergency section and just as I was watching my predesesor leave his stall, another large black truck stole my parking spot. At first I was mad, but I took a deep breath and reminded myself I was only there to drop something off to a nurse friend. No one I knew was hurting, everyone was in good health. I imagine that he needed that spot more than I did. Maybe I was simply saving that spot for him. I smiled and drove around again to find my friend out the front door waiting for me, I didn't need a parking spot after all.

I am learning to let go of the small stuff. I have found a lot of great books in the last couple years and this year a great book found its way to my hands called, "Outrageous Openness." by Tosha Silver. Thanks to a good friend of mine who gave it to me for a birthday present. It was just what I needed when I needed it. Which is kind of the basis for this book.

She reminds me that everything will unfold as it should.
I need to let go of my Ego, my forced will.
I need to stop trying to force a bud to flower or
Push a rock uphill.
When I let go, breathe, take my worries to a higher power
I can relax and allow the universe, God, the Devine, whatever you believe in
To just take the wheel and guide my way.
It's a lot more relaxing sitting on a ferry enjoying the waves
Then it is trying to shove and squeeze my way into a parking spot I probably wasn't meant to have.

Just for today and maybe this week lets all try to let go of preconceived notions and just enjoy the ride of life. Allow the community around you to grow with you. Be the best of who you are and show the world your smile. Allow your peace to transfer to others. When it comes to kids, watch them, they are experts at taking their time, letting things happen and enjoying this wide world we have.

Happy Parenting!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unfaltering faith

I discovered when I was quite young how special I was. I believe it was about grade 3 that people starting to try and tell me how unspecial I was. It was at this time that I discovered I knew something they didn't. I had an unfaltering belief of my talents, abilities and faith in a God I had never met. Kids can be cruel, you heard the saying. But that isn't really it, kids are just kids. They hear and repeat and say things they learn from adults or others. I had this innate intuition that I have complete faith in no matter what kids said. I just knew it was wrong when kids had that much hate, jelously, greed, competition, and lack of faith in their hearts. I felt sorry for kids that couldn't' see the world the way I saw it. I didn't meet very many that felt that same way.
I always felt guided, directed and taken care of. I never felt lost, I always knew I had more power than others. They seems to struggle with the everyday. They seemed lost, confused, frustrated and totally confused on why I was so unalterably happy.
Many people throughout my life have tried to squish this intuition, this positive feeling that everything always works out.

Today I want you to have faith in yourself. Reflect on your talents, your strengths, and your dreams. Don't allow others to define you and your way of life, but reach inside yourself, find your affirmations and sing out your inner belief.

Give yourself a hug  - do it now!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Colour your day.

Perception is everything. There are always two stories. There are two ways to look at something. You have heard the cliche's before. I felt them come alive today.

My day:

My 3 year old learned how to paper mache today. He learned that newspaper tore in very different ways depending on the way you held the paper. He was patient for a long time and enjoyed mixing ingredients together. He concentrated and put his hands in the goo and placed each piece on his balloon carefully. He was attentive and involved at great lengths for a 3 year old boy. When he tried to help his brother, that balloon popped and no one cried and no one melted down. We talked about science and why the heat of the sun made the balloon pop.
My 5 and 3 year old boys snuggled up to me tonight and listened to stories. They were gentle and kind to each other in the evening when we shared popcor. They offered snacks to each other and used manners during a movie.
The boys played at the park and met new friends. They showed them how to play Go, Go Stop.
My 5 year old wanted to learn how to spell words and work in a big kid workbook. He asked lots of questions about science today.
Each of the boys hugged and kissed me many times. They helped put their dishes away. They learned to count quarters and bought treats at the corner store with their own money they earned from cleaning up.
They played quietly in their room just before bed after brushing their teeth and learning to floss by themselves. The said they loved me and they giggled with each other into the night.

It was a wonderful day.

My day:

The 5 year old woke up crying and was whiney all morning. He hit his brother and he hit me when he was angry about getting a toy. The 3 year old spilled his milk all over the table and then began to 'slide' around in it with his bare feet.
The 3 year old threw his dry towels into the kiddy pool. The 5 year old threw all their clothes they were wearining into the pool. I yelled at them, feeling frustrated. I told them they were being dumb. The 5 year didn't want to participate in paper mache and was making ruckus because he was jelous of the time I was spending with his brother. He got the 3 year old to leave the project and go inside and smush veggie stix into the carpet.
The 3 year old spilled cherrios all over the floor, the 5 year old spilled coins all over the floor after telling him not to touch the coins until we had a change purse.
The 3 year old tossed the clean folded clothes onto the floor.
The 3 year old refused to nap and kept coming out of his room for 40minutes before I gave up and just ignored him.
My husband has been away all day and won't be back until 11pm tonight. I have been cleaning up all day after mess after mess. They boys fought bedtime and the 3 year old was acting crazy because he was overtired. He hit me down the hall and threatened to spit at me. The 3 year old did eventually apologize. They finally fell asleep.

It was a hard day.

Now, which do I post? Both are true. What do I choose to think about, focus on and share? How do I want to retell my day?

We have choices everyday. Things happen all around us. What we focus on, what he feed into our minds and our hearts depends on us. We are responsible for our own happiness. It is about perception. It is about choice.

If I want to become a more positive person, a more happy person then I must choose to post the top portion of the day.
You have a choice to share with the world your successes. By doing that, you concentrate on that part of your life. You choose to hold those memories strong. You reflect on your day with a smile. You become that positive person you want to be. Replay the video in your mind of happiness.

Enjoy your day!
Your stories become your happy moments,
Your happy moments become your memories,
Your memories are your life.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Higher Learning for Preschoolers

As children reach closer to the age of 5 or school age learning, the fears, anxiety, pressures and worries begin. Will my child do well in school? Should we homeschool? Do we pick French Immersion, Art School, Private School or another choice school? Who is my child, what can they handle, what can I handle? Will my decisions affect the rest of their life? Who will their teachers be? Their friends? Are they ready to cope? This is not always an easy transition for parents or children.

Parent know that this world has become a highly competitive world and because we want them to succeed we want them to learn as much as they can as fast as they can, but is that always the best way?

What have we learned about children and brain development in the last decade or so? The early years are critically important in the formation of thinking and reasoning skills. The brain begins to wire itself. The brain then continues to grow and learn throughout childhood and adolescence. The prefrontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for emotional regulation, impulse control and more adult forms of reasoning, does NOT fully develop until the age of 25 years old. 25 years old! Remember this the next time your frustrated with your 16 year old and their lack of self control or emotional stability.

For the first three years of a child's life, the brain is "under construction." In these years what he observes around him, experiences and decides about himself and others will become part of the wiring of his brain.

Q. What primes learning?
A. Stimulation from the outside world. When a child hears, touches, smells, tastes and sees something, this enable the brain to create or change connections in his wiring. These small windows could be missed and it may be more difficult to acquire these abilities later in life. Language development and vision are some of the earlier necessary learning that takes place. This is why pretend play can be so valuable and important. The parents that are excellent at pretend play have children will larger vocabularies and higher reasoning skills later on.

By the age of 10 a child's brain begins to 'prune away the synapses' that haven't been used enough. By adolescence, half have been discarded. For some functions, brain development is a 'use it or lose it' proposition.

Some parents worry their children may not be ready to learn when other children are. Should we be teaching them so many academics and flash carding them all time? Shouldn't we be smashing in as much information as possible right now before it's too late?

The truth is children learn in different ways.
Some researchers agree that it could actually be harmful to force children to learn too quickly or absorb concepts their brain is not mature enough to handle. You may be patching connections in the brain with information that is not fully understood and therefore is less effective and this may have an impact on this skill later in life because it was wired in wrong early on.

Forcing children to learn before they were ready may have psychological effects as well. They may experience self doubt, thinking they are not smart enough or good enough if they have difficulty mastering a concept. They may feel too intimidated to even try and therefore start to exhibit inadequacy behaviours.

The truth is young children learn best in the context of relationships and hands on learning. Brain development is about connections. How the caregivers relate to her, how you talk, play and nurture your relationship is far more important than how to count to 10. Children learn best when they are unstressed and when they live in a stimulating environment says Ross A Thompson, a professor at University of California and a founding member of National Scientific Council on Developing Children.  (

Play actually meets all the criteria a child needs to learn at this age.Since they learn best in the context of 'relationships' to others and their environment, what they need most is active involvement. Children learn by using their senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. They need opporunities to connect new information. Play allow this. Children usually want TO DO rather than watch. Let them get messy squeezing mud through their fingers or throwing your decorative pillows on the floor to become lily pads for him to jump across to the island you call a couch.

Q. How do we encourage play?
A. Lets say they learned something about snakes. You read some information about snakes, then on a nature walk, you encountered a Garter snake. You showed a video on this snake and later you observe your child playing with plastic snakes. Later still he is slithering on the ground hissing like a snake. You can encourage this learning. Become the mouse and let him chase you and eat you up. Tell him he's scaly or slimy. Play with him! He will learn much more about snakes and their habitat through your pretend play and it will wire itself into his memory to use later on when he may want a deeper learning about animals and habitats. Play is your child's way of working and developing his healthy brain.

Some tips on what is most important at such a young age.
-Demonstarting affection, interest and acceptance of your child
-Practice conversation, pretend play, open questions
-Read to them, with them, around them often
-Encourage hands on learning, curiosity, show them the resources
-Limit television time, there is no critical thinking going on, it is a very passive activity
-Use gentle positive discipline, do not shame, threaten or humiliate a child
-Recognize and accept your child's uniquness
-Provide learning through play, especially as a preschooler
-Select childcare carefully and stay involved
-Provide raw materials and hands on activities that they can choose and manipulate themselves
-Take care of yourself, children learn through observation how they should treat themselves.

Creativity, Imagination and Flexibility - Raising kids 101

This morning my 4 and 2 year old were fighting a bit over a toy issue. The 4 year old would not allow the 2 year old to play with the big pirate ship. They each had their little men, but the cooperative play wasn't happening. When my two year old came to me, my first thought was awe, this sad little boy, How dare that 4 year old of mine not let him play! But I took a breath and asked what was going on. He said GG wouldn't let him play with the Pirate Ship. So I immediately got a small satchel of coins and passed it to the two year old and then I said quite loudly. Here is some pirate treasure, when you show this to the captain, he will let you on his ship.

Guess what? It worked. 1 cool idea at a time.

Unschooling Update

Are you an unschooler? Do you have children between 3-10 years old? Would you like to work with other highly committed parents and their children 2 times a week for group learning experiences? Learn more at FreeSchool, opening in the fall. Group project building, hands on learning, field trips and more. The projects are child led, interest driven, natural, organic, eclectic and self directed.

To get on the waiting list simple follow these steps:
1. Like our page
2. Message Freeschool with your name, email/contact info, number and age of children
3. Keep checking back for opening date in Sept.

Free School:
Related links:

Pretty excited about our new journey.
Feel free to follow our forum on the Project Based Homeschooling Blog of Lori Pickert as well.
Under Preschool check out Starting a Group Project

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rules of Kindness 50 tips

I read this great article, and I loved it so much I wanted to copy the idea for my own children. Feel free to share at least one of yours from each category and add it in the comments.

Tell your child:
1. I love you
2. I love you even when I'm frustrated with you.
3. I love you even when your mad at me.
4. I love you always behind any behaviour, I love you no matter what.

5. Even if you don't agree with what they say
6. Listen to kid songs over and over if they love it
7. To their questions
8.  Even if your visiting, take a second and listen
9. For feelings behind the words

10. Using a kind tone
11. To eat, drink and sleep enough
12. Dancing, jumping, moving
13. Not being sarcastic

14. Board games (over and over)
15. On the floor with the kids
16.  Outside
17. 15mintues a day with no interuptions (no tv/cell/computer)

18. To catch their kisses in your hand
19. Your hugs and kisses tank are empty and they have to fill it

20. Why your feeling this way? HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?)
21. What are you thinking?
22. What do you want to know more about?
23. How are you feeling?
24. What will happen next?

25. The story of their name
26. How mommy and daddy met
27. That sometimes you struggle too
28. When you hold hands and squeeze it 3 times, it's a secret code you meaning, "I Love You"

29. For the little messes they make while becoming independent
30. Toys on the bottom of tub, cause one day they will be gone
31. Hugs and clingy love, cause one day it will be no more

32. That everything will work out, it always has
33. Your child is more capable than you know
34. That you are enough
35. Your human and it's ok to make mistakes

36. Of guilt
37. Of how you envisioned it to go
38. Of trying to be perfect or right

39. To be happy
40. Find beauty
41. To carve our relaxing time for you
42. Show a kind face and calm body

43. When you need a time out
44. When to say nothing and just hug

45. Affection to your spouce and yourself
46. How to garden and enjoy outdoors
47. How much reading is part of your own life
48. How to whistle

50. Smile when your child enters the room.

Original Idea:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Based Homeschooling

As many of you know and for those who don't, I am embarking into new waters. I am beginning to shift my 'unschooling' plan into a 'project based homeschooling.' I'm trying something new. I found a core group of women with this same shared idea and we are going to start our own project building together with our kids.

We had our first 'adult' meeting and went through the Steps for "How to Start a Project Group" by Lori Pickard. From her book, "Project Based Homeschooling."

 What is project-based homeschooling? It’s the same educational values applied to learning at home. It’s about combining personal interests with long-term, deep, complex learning. It is a way of learning centered on making, doing, sharing, collaborating, and acquiring real skills.

You can use your ability to 'draw, paint, build, act, create' and incorporate them into learning whatever your interests are.

We had our first meeting, some of us as practically strangers, others have been life long friends. It went really well. 6 of us together were able to have a better understanding on our collective goal. We are all very excited about this endeavor. We decided to start a sharing circle with the kids at first. To include the 15min free play at the beginning of our meets with the kids. To have a meet 2 times a week at least from 10-12 if they last that long. Our kids range from 1.5 - 7 years old. We were talking about having the kids say their name and talk about what they did in the last week to get to know each other. For the next 3 sessions will be just allowing more creative play and having raw materials out for the them to build with while we begin observing and writing down shared interests, questions and ideas.

We hope to start a shared group project as of April 1st. I'll try to remember to keep you all posted. I feel like a fish out of school waters. I am enjoying it.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

From baby to child

I saw a mother the other day googling over her new baby. She oddles him and cooed at him etc. Then before getting into the car, she picked him up and kissed him gently, tucked him slowly and chatted a bit before shutting the door. I've seen this a lot, pretty regular thing for new parents.

I began to wonder why am I rushing? How come I don't take this time much any more. With my toddler on hip and 4 year old racing ahead, I began to feel like life was rushing away. So I slowed down. I walked a bit slower on purpose. I looked into the eyes of my two year old and we chatted a bit. I held my 4 year old's hand and we stopped at a few things I wasn't interested in, but he was. We chatted, I got down to their level. It was wonderful.

I think I used up about 30min longer than usual. I remember I use to take more time when baby was young, feeling 'privileged' as a new mom to do so. When did we become these people who are too busy to show down to the tiny foot step strides of our children?

I'd like to try to keep my steps slow, let my 2 year old guide the steps and our pace. In the meantime, I try to make sure I look my babies in their eyes when I put them in the van. I give hugs and kissed before putting them in as I did when they were babies. I'm enjoying this child pace.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Project Based Homeschooling - the beginning

I've been reading and learning about Project Based Homeschooling, but more to the point, about child led and child directed learning. Even as young as 2 years old, we are able to help mentor our babies to learn how to self-manage and self-direct their own learning.

What a cool thought; a child who cares about his learning. I want to learn how to teach my children to directs their own projects and create their own ideas and pursues them for as long or as little as they likes. As a new homeschooler, this was the reason why I wanted to start this journey to begin with. I'm so excited to see how the next few years unfold and I'm excited to watch my children grow, create and learn.

I'd like to share a bit of what I've learned so far.

In Project Based Homeschooling (PBH), you hone in on what interests your child has and stay there as long as they are interested. You are in the room with materials, support, feedback, interest. Your taking notes, taking pictures, writing down their ideas, questions, arguements. Try to resist the urge to 'direct' out of fear they may not be learning all you think they need to be learning.  Allow them to work through their challenges as much as possible, when they ask for help, be an asking parent. "What do you think it needs? What will happen next? What are you trying to accomplish? How can I help you? What materials do you think you'll need for that?"

Truth is they are learning tons by play acting, creating, project building and talking with others. Even children that go to traditional school will be missing information and have holes in their learning after they graduate. With a child who has been taught how to learn, create and direct their own learning, you will have a child who has the skills to fill in those holes with enthusiasm. After a child graduates the learning doesn't stop. They have the choice to continue to read, learn and create or not. I'd rather have a child who is an enthusiastic and creative learner who is missing a few facts than a child who memorized a few facts but hates to read.

The truth is we are all in charge of our own learning. As many teenagers have proven again and again, "we are not the boss of them." True, you can get them out of bed, drive them to school, throw some books and paper at them, sit them in desks, but then it's all them. They can choose to listen, engage or just fade away or 'get by' with minimum.

Project Based Homeschooling is concerned with the underlying motives, habits an attitudes of  thinking and learning. The point of PBH is to devote some time in your day to help your child manage and direct his or her own learning. This doesn't have to be your entire curriculum or it does.

But it is important to allow this 'free learning time' at some point in your day.

This is part of your child's life where he is free to explore his interests and passions. He receives attention, support, and consistent, dependable mentoring from you, the parent, to help him succeed.

As I am reading all this great juicy stuff I was asking myself, um ya, great, awesome, um... HOW?

This is answered in the few books I've been reading, but in so many different ways. The how, will often depend on your family and your child. It's about becoming the people we want our children to become. Sitting quietly and taking notes and and pictures as your child is playing/creating/building. It goes beyond showing him out use a library card or bake cookies or build a mailbox.

It means being that example of learning. Not in the traditional sense of lecturing and force fed learning, but in everyday immersion in life. A life that shows challenging, meaningful work. It means you are being that life long learner. You are the mentor, the example of what's important. What do you do in a day? What do your children see you doing? Are you reading? Watching tv? Cleaning? Writing books? Painting? What are your passions? They are watching you.

Having a child watch how you handle mistakes and challenges will teach them more about how to mange your emotions than lecturing at them would. Let them see you pursue your dreams, interests, passions. Talk about your dreams, passions and your goals out loud. Let them see you continue to work towards your dreams. First step - become the mentor yourself.

That's all for today. Keep posted for more discoveries on the home front. Feel free to share ideas, questions, and your own homeschool journey. I love chatting with community.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Quick Tips on hard days.

I forgot to breathe today.

1. We need to Breathe. When kids are on our laps and lapping us around kitchen tables, it's time to breathe, not yell.

2. Observe. When the kids are wrestling and tearing the books off the shelf, don't run to the bookshelf and grab each in your hands and berate them, breathe. Close your eyes, the mess will still be there when you open them. Then shut off the lights. Watch them stop and look. Sit down quietly. Look at what they may need. Ask if they'd like a hug, a walk, a wrestle. Sometimes they just want to play with you.

3. Run Away. That's right, run and fast. Feeling your pot overboil? Go into the bathroom/bedroom, lock the door and breathe. Tell the kids your putting yourself in a time out cause your getting upset and you want to calm down. You'll teach them loads about what to do when their pot is boiling.

4. Get up and get out. Unsure what they need, what you need? Feeling stir crazy. Out of ideas? Bored? Lonely? Take a walk, even in the snow and winter. Bundle up. A walk around the block will change your view, your thoughts, your mind as well as your children's.

5. Distract A Box. I've mentioned it before and it works. When your on the phone, they KNOW! They hunt you down and find you and crawl on you. They suddenly have a crisis and a meltdown. They need you more than they did the entire day, why? Your on the phone! So be prepared. Have a bin above your fridge. The BOX. Keep it updated. Recycle old toys and books and puzzles and put in new ones they have never seen before. Don't let them see it until your on the phone, then bring it down. CHRISTMAS time. They love to discover new items and toys etc. Make it easy, you don't want to set up or open anything for them, your on the phone.

Last bit of advice... call a friend. Go for tea. Make a playdate for YOURSELF and soon.

Take care guys.
Happy Parenting