homeschooling my littles

i began homeschooling eleanor last year for kindergarten, officially. unofficially, i have always tried to educate her the best i can since birth and will do the same with wolfgang using the montessori method. last year i purchased and used the calvert curriculum for eleanor. there are many methods and programs out there to help you home school your children. to be honest, going into her kindergarten year was very intimidating and overwhelming for me. being a person who went to public school, i knew very little about how to home school. with some research, help from other homeschooling mothers and phone calls to our board of education, i figured it out. i would say that our first year went well, although we have plenty of growing to do. the calvert curriculum was exceptionally easy to use and they provide you with all of the materials you will need throughout the year. all of the lessons are written out for you. for example, lesson 1 is day 1 and so on. i highly recommend calvert to someone who is new to home school. we will be using their curriculum again this year for first grade.

eleanor also participates in classes outside the home as well, so that way she is able to be around other children and develop social skills. this is especially important for her since she does not have any siblings close in age. on tuesdays she goes to an art class at rosewood art center in a neighboring town. on wednesdays she attends ballet and tap class. and on thursdays she studies french at rosewood. she also participates in seasonal classes as well ... swimming in the spring and ice skating in the winter.

as for wolfgang, last year he was just freshly born so he did not participate in home school. only slept or nursed the whole time! this year i will begin the montessori method for the ages 0-3. this consists of activities that help develop sensory and motor skills. for example: giving him 5 small toys such as hot wheel cars and teaching him how to put them all into a bowl, dump the bowl and do it again. and again and again until he is able to do it on his own.  i am so excited to include him in class this year and will be back with other activities i find work really well for a child his age!

now for a bit of honesty ... homeschooling is tough. real tough, but also extremely rewarding. there were many days i broke down and sat sobbing with my husband saying, "i can't do it." there were many days that eleanor and i were at each other's throats. there were many nights i went to bed feeling like i failed her in every way possible. BUT there were also many days that her and i jumped up and down, shouting hoorays because she sounded a big word out on her own or completed a math problem correctly that she had been struggling with. and on those nights, i went to bed feeling so gratified. telling myself that we are doing fine and she is learning. i know that this year will also be tough at times, but i know she will learn and we will grow together. i think it is important to find an outlet such as a homeschooling group or another home school family to hang out with on time to time. that way, on those days you feel like you are drowning ... you won't be alone and will have others rooting for you.


an afternoon at an orchard

i think i often take food for granted. in the middle of february, during a blizzard, i walk into the grocery store and a bag of carrots could be a box of fruit loops. im just eating to survive at that point. it isn't until we plant our garden in the spring or go to the farmer's market in june that i remember food is a very real thing. the process of planting a seed, watering it and providing adequate light so it will grow into a healthy plant... and then we eat the plant. i became so emotional at the orchard i visited today with my babies. i watched my daughter run from tree to tree gathering as many apples she could hold and plop them down in the wagon. i just stood there amazed because i knew i would take these apples home and make sweet treats for my family and more importantly ... food for wolfgang. i mean, it's so incredible. i really want to teach my children the importance of good food and to take part in the process ... living off the land was a huge part of my childhood and i want that for them, too. it is easy to lose sight of certain things when you live in the city. one day we will move back to the country. i mean, we just have to.



a bedtime song

around the time eleanor was born, i was listening to a lot of Kings of Convenience. they are a band i still hold dear. there is some nostalgia that comes along with hearing their songs. one song in particular because it was eleanor's bedtime song. i would get home around midnight from work and wake her to nurse. we would rock in her nursery and id whisper the words to her. as the years went by, i continue singing this song to her and now to wolfgang. maybe one day they will sing it to their babies and remember me. my sweet babies. forever my babies. 


"nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. we haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time." -Georgia O'Keeffe


little liza jane

so i already have a blog and i think it has been going okay ... mostly pictures of holidays and my sweet babes exploring our city. i really wanted something more personal, i guess. an online journal so to speak. im calling it moon schooling eleanor because a huge part of my life is homeschooling eleanor and sometimes i need to talk about how it's going. that's all i will say for now.

also, we have been hooked on this song and run around the living room dancing and singing along. you can listen here