Its been over a year since we updated, and boy has it been a busy one. I've toyed with the idea of changing the name of our blog to fit with our family more but haven't decided on a name yet. Something about our gluten free challenges in the last 6+ months. Or something about the great home-school debates, discussions, and decisions happening over here.
We figured out last Spring that Kevin and Soph can't eat gluten. It seemed like an impossible challenge for me. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G has gluten in it. But with a whole lot of research, advice from friends, and too many hours lost in gluten guru's blogs, we have figured it out (I think...)! We have experimented and had some awesome discoveries and gigantic mistakes along the way. More on these and our favorite products soon. Many thanks to family and friends who have helped us make this transition. It has made us much more aware about our health and what we are putting into our bodies. We tend to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store now (like we should have been all along) and avoid the middle as much as possible. We have grown to love Fresh and Natural in Hudson, Taylor Made in Woodbury, and Whole Foods in St. Paul, and Cub Foods in WSP, for their nice selections of healthy food. We also recently switched to eating grass fed beef and organic fruits and veggies as much as possible. Free Range chicken is our next switch. It is pricey to eat well, but we are preventing our health and future health care costs. We also save a lot of money not eating out and not buying the junk!
We recently pulled Sophia from her two day a week preschool in order to use the $90/month for a newer car payment. (our vans transmission is dying....again. Plus its a 1996 without a/c and with limited heat, not so dependable for hauling our precious cargo) We are currently researching the best minivans and crossover vehicles in our price range. My current favorite is the Chrysler Pacifica.
Another reason we felt peace about pulling her from preschool is because I can do pretty much everything her teachers were doing with her, plus devote more one on one time to areas she was struggling with. I really have enjoyed doing the at home work with her. We are having a lot of fun, she is learning tons and we are bonding in the process. I was one who was VERY against homeschooling for a long time. Kevin was homeschooled and has always wanted that for our kids. I told him no way. Its been a very recent switch in my mindset that I may really enjoy this. Here is my current list of pro's vs. Con's
We can build character in our children:: I have met so many well balanced kids and adults recently that were educated at home and I have been blown away by them. They are kind, compassionate, smart, and totally normal and socially adjusted.
We can teach bible to our kids without it cost the $7,000+ a year tuition that a Private Christian school would charge.
Our kids would have the opportunity to bond more than kids who are separated most of their time.
Pretty much everyone we know is planning on or already educating at home and we would have such a strong community of help, encouragement and resources. Not to mention the social interaction that we could give them in field trips and team taught classes.
My husband would like me to. The bible calls me to be submissive to my husband and this is an area I can't really argue. We have spend time in discussion and prayer in this area. He is not pressuring me to or forcing me, but I would like to honor his wishes.
It would seem that God is greatly working on my heart in this area as it has been SUCH a drastic change in thought. I need to follow his leading, my husbands leading and do what is best for our kids.
My family is VERY against homeschooling. I think this is mostly because we were not around people who have home schooled successfully. The two situations that they have witnessed have not been positive. I am very concerned for how the reaction would be and if we would be supported at all. My husbands family is very supportive as is our friends and church family.
Can I do it? Sometimes I wonder. Am I skilled enough? How would I teach math to a high schooler? From what I hear from families who have home-schooled their children, you learn along side your child. Also, that is part of the beauty of co-ops and friends. People with strengths can team teach different subjects.
Money. Homeschooling curriculum cost money. Field trips cost money. Supplies cost money. Much less than a private school, or even less than the public preschool Sophie was attending, but still it is a consideration. It could also be factored in that I wouldn't be able to go back to work if the kids stay home. Fortunately, I have been very blessed to have a job right now that allows me to work overnights and then be home with the children during the day. I pray that this continues so that I can help provide for my family and stay home to train my children.
And that is where we are at. More posts to come with some fun activities and "school" that we have been working on.