Saturday, August 16, 2014

Things To Remember

This month I am beginning the planning of my tenth official homeschool year. It is crazy to think that if you include kindergarten that we have been a homeschool family for a whole decade! For us homeschooling isn’t just how we school, it is such a part of our lifestyle that I could not imagine what life would be like if we weren’t homeschooling.

Encouraging Advice I often find myself in conversations about homeschooling. Many times those conversations are with a mom who is just beginning her homeschool adventure. I love these conversations. I love giving encouragement more than advice to moms who are beginning their homeschool adventure. But there is some encouraging advice that I think is so important for all homeschool moms. Even veteran homeschool moms need to hear encouraging advice from time to time.

Remember that you do not have to recreate the classroom at home. One of the reasons you homeschool is so that your kids can learn at home so why turn your home into a classroom? There are many who have a school room or area set up in a classroom style. That is great if it works for them. But if you designate a room or area and find yourself on the couch or at the dinning/kitchen table instead, then maybe a classroom at home isn’t what your homeschool needs. When we moved to our current home, everyone told me how great it was that I could use the extra room as a classroom. I started to set up the room as a classroom and quickly realized that is not what we needed. We school where we are most comfortable and that is how it should be.

Remember homeschooling should be a joy. There should be a joy in the learning adventure. I am not talking rainbows every day that is not joy. Some days will be hard and some days you will question why you made this decision. But joy is different. You and your child should look forward to what the day of learning has in store. Find what they love and teach to their interests. Make learning enjoyable and fun not monotonous and boring. And enjoy the journey together. Don't be afraid to change things up once, twice or several times finding what makes your homeschool a joy for both you and your kids. Lord only knows how many times I have.

Remember homeschooling is about relationship. The greatest benefit of homeschooling is the relationship you get to cultivate with your child. The best part of homeschooling is that you get to spend so much time with your kids! Being able to spend your days hanging out with your kids gives you the opportunity to build strong relationships with your kids. 

Remember your time with Jesus. This is so vital. Your time with the Lord is the most important thing. That is what will carry your throughout the hard days. That is how your good days become great. My time with the Lord is so important to my day. The days I don’t spend time with the Lord, shows in my reactions to what the day brings. My patience is short, and I get stressed faster.

Enjoy your adventure and remember there isn’t a one right way to homeschool. What works for your family is unique to your family.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The One About a Depressed Chicken

Poor Vanellope. 

Oreo decided that she was no longer happy being at the bottom of the pecking order. Being at the bottom of the flock really happened by default as she is the youngest of the chickens. When we brought them home she just naturally ended up at the bottom. In fact it seemed like for the longest time the pecking order was actually their age order. Oreo realized she wanted to be higher up and not at the bottom anymore.

So one day Oreo started to challenge Vanellope (who was number 4 in the line) for her spot in the flock. Have you ever seen a chicken challenge another chicken? I wish I could get a picture of this but sadly every time I see it, I don’t have any photo taking device on me or ready. (shocking I know) It happens rather quickly and randomly, so I would have to be just standing their waiting and waiting for her to decide to show her stuff or just be really lucky. Oreo would run up to Vanellope and puff her chest out (think chest bump) then sometimes peck her. Vanellope sometimes pecked back and other times she would just turn around and walk away. And then Oreo would go about her day. Until she decided to do it again.

Vanellope lost her position and is now at the bottom and became a bit depressed. Yep that’s right, depressed. Did you know chickens could get depressed? I didn’t know chickens could get depressed. What does a depressed chicken look like? Well, let me tell you.

Vanellope started to mope around her head not held as high. She would sit around off to the side instead of roaming the run or the yard scratching and pecking for bugs with the others. She would be the last one to go after any treats we put out. Sometimes she would hang back and just not go after any of them at all. She even stopped hanging out with Sparky all the time. Those two were practically inseparable when they were little. I felt so bad for her I decided to make a point of giving her treats before setting them out for everyone. We would go in to the run or coop and seek her out first before saying hi to the others. We made a point of making sure she knew that her position in the flock didn’t matter. She is still a great little chicken. After a few days she started to perk back up and be more playful. She stopped hanging back and starting moving in to inhale as many of her favorite treats before the others. While she is still at the bottom, she seems to be more okay with it. And she is running around like her energetic self again. 

This pecking order thing has many rules that this human doesn’t understand. How do they make the decision not to fight for their spot? When is it decided that there is a new order? Do the others have a say in the change? I just don’t completely get it. Chickens are quite fascinating creatures to study.

Click here to read about our
Chicken Adventures

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