Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Fun

Our past few weekends had been on the busier side and our family was just feeling like we needed to re-charge. So, on the calendar this past weekend I wrote in bold letters, "DON'T MAKE ANY PLANS". Pretty sure I need to do this a bit more often because it was glorious. 

I think my favorite part was our spur of the minute decision to go check out the farmer's market nearby on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect and we had a great time just wandering around. Our kids are now daydreaming of having their own farm and have already named their future chickens (for the record I am totally on board with this plan! If only money weren't an issue!) We founds some good stuff (not pictured is a an elk antler bone for our favorite pup) and are excited to continue going, especially when more fruits and veggies are available!

We also spent a lot of time Saturday getting some toy organization done. Toys get out of control so fast with 4 kiddos! But, I think we have paired it down and organized things so that the kiddos can enjoy their favorite toys more. I still have quite a bit of organizing to get done but it was nice to work on some bigger projects while the hubs was around to help.

We ended up spending Sunday with my parents which was really nice. We met up with them for lunch at Freddy's and then went back to their house to hang out for a bit and ended up staying for dinner. My mom had found a lot of my sister and my old American Girl stuff so Sophie was in heaven!

We are looking forward to our week and are counting down the days until school is out for the year!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

School Year Recap and looking forward to next year!

I thought I would post a little recap of homeschool Ramsey life and share our plans for next year!

I think I mentioned on here that we started off our year in September using Sonlight curriculum. But, with all of the craziness of adding a never sleeping baby to the mix, in January we decided to join a co-op where the kids would go three days a week and do their core subjects and then do homework at home two days a week.

The co-op situation has not been a great fit for our family. There are things that have been good about it but overall it has been a lot more hassle than help. I am so thankful we tried it out because now on those hard homeschool days when I am tempted to want to send my kiddos off I can remember that I did not like it at all! I have realized for me doing a co-op or university model school kind of takes away the things I love most about homeschooling and leaves me as a "homework helper" instead of my child's teacher.

But, the beauty of homeschooling is the chance to try out new things and see what works best for your individual family. This year I have realized that two of my biggest desires in my own homeschooling is the ability to teach my child as an individual (at their own pace and using materials best suited for their learning style) and to learn as a family (having my kiddos be reading a lot of the same books and studying the same things so that our home is a learning atmosphere). The co-op made those two things basically impossible.

So, next year we are going to go back to homeschooling full time and I am really excited. I have most of our curriculum bought already! We are also going to be a part of a Classical Conversations Community one morning a week. I am hopeful that this will be a good fit for our family because it allows us to be all together and all learning the same things while getting to have some fellowship and learning time with other homeschooling families. My good friend Jenn wrote a good recap post of their Classical Conversations experience this past year that you can read here (she explains things better than I do!).

So, my take away this year... don't stop trying to find what works best for my family! I know that there is no "perfect" system but sometimes a little trial and error helps! I have been able to get a better understanding of my own heart and philosophies through trying some different methods!

*And without being too mushy or annoying I just have to give a big shout out to my husband and my mom! They have both been my biggest supporters in homeschooling and finding what works best for me and my kiddos! I am so blessed to have such an amazing support system and my own personal cheerleaders.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Our family had a great time celebrating Easter this year. My sister and brother-in-law were in town so it was great to spend some time with them. We went to church in the morning and then headed out to my mom and dad's for an amazing Easter lunch.

 Of course the biggest challenge is getting a picture with everyone smiling. I didn't get any decent ones with my big camera but here are two that I got with my phone that were okay.

I thought the kiddos looked pretty sweet all dressed up! We were so thankful to be able to spend the weekend with our family and are eager for another weekend to recover from all of the fun!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Think about these things...

I would love to say this is my last post relating to Sonya Shafer at the homeschool expo but I don't want to start off my day lying to you all ;)

But, in her talk Laying Down the Rails, Mrs. Shafer emphasized the importance of building good habits in your children. She mentioned in the early years this often means simply, redirecting your child from doing something wrong so that at least they aren't forming a bad habit... even if they aren't forming a good one. Because, as we know, bad habits are hard to break.

I think this is great advice for dealing with young kiddos. But, I also realized it is something I have sort of been implementing in my own life.

I can't speak for the entire female population in general... but for me at least, I can very easily let my mind dwell on things that are upsetting or worrying me. If someone does something that hurts my feelings or frustrates me I can find myself just sitting and dwelling on it, replaying the situation again and again and again. I can keep myself so sad and upset just by letting myself continue to be sad or worried.

I read awhile back that if someone has hurt you the best thing to do whenever that person comes to mind is to pray for good in that person's life. That is wonderful advice and is the first thing I try to do. But, sometimes I am just not going to do that in the moment... so I would keep.on.dwelling. But, in the past few months, I have simply forced myself to think of something else. Anything else. When possible I try to meditate on a scripture passage. If I am really struggling with something I love to sit down and make a "what is true" list where I list everything that is good and true in my life right now (I have 4 beautiful children, my husband loves me and makes me laugh, a friend texted just to check in on me today, etc.), basically counting my blessings.

But, bare minimum, I don't let my mind dwell on being upset. So, sometimes that means I have to search Pinterest for a fun new recipe to make for dinner. Or I might text a funny quote from a tv show to a friend. Anything to not dwell and reinforce that habit.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -Philipians 4:8