i love reading
we all love it over here.
my favorite part of homeschooling is the reading part.

this year we are reading the Little House on the Prairie books and i had no idea how hooked we ALL would be.
it's amazing.
i really believe that God speaks to me through books.
i mean....the Bible, of course.
but i have found that he can use any book. (and anything!)

these books are written for chidren, but they are for everyone.
and they are especially for us reeds this year.
we are not going west to homestead, 
but we are traveling to different homes with only really our family as a constant.
we aren't fighting prairie fires, 
but we are learning to make a home somewhere unfamiliar.
our "pa" isn't going off to harvest in neighboring counties for the summer and coming back on foot in the snow,
 but we all know JUST how the Ingall girls felt when we find ourselves listening for reedo's footsteps and counting the days until his return.
it's just a gift.
the kids beg for more every night.

the more i read to my kids 
the more they seem to love reading.
to me and to themselves.

and just one more thing.

i have found that reading something they are enjoying to them 
while they sketch or do quiet legos has made me feel like a really good mom.
do your kids ever just really want you to "play" with them and you just don't have it in you?
you want to be with them, but you just can't pretend to like legos or barbies right now?
well, that happens to me a lot 
and i've found that if i first just volunteer to read while they play it still counts as playing to them!

just a thought.
you should try it.



if you live on our street you will know us because we have a tee-pee on our porch.

this is the story.

we are studying early american history.
i am a newly homeschooling mom, who has a good amount of over confidence in my creativity.
it thought about what i wanted to do for our first homeschool art project and a tee-pee was the obvious choice.
patterns and DIYs are all over pinterest so, why not?

i got the pattern here
i liked it because it was a big one.
but the pattern has the words "bad ass" on it which jake thought was pretty edgy, for me...
you've been warned.

this is how it went down.
i gathered up a bunch of example patterns for them to look at and
they each designed a panel on paper.

i drew out the panels on the canvas and
we cut out all the pieces
there were some mistakes.
but i knew that would happen.
i had purchased an extra drop cloth for that reason.

i let jake man the drill
that was hard for me.
but he was fine.
and we all sanded the wood.

i let them all sew a few of the seams, but that is not pictured since i was too stressed...
and i finished up the sewing part by myself after loosing my cool a few too many times.

and then the best part came.
the part where it turned into "the best homeschool project ever in the world".
after i transferred their designs onto their panels in sharpie, we set the whole thing up and everyone began to paint.
it was good.
everyone (including me) was relaxed and happy.

we worked on it in the garage at night, while reedo was away on a trip.
it was probably 89 degrees in there, but no one cared.
everyone was focused.

when we finished i gave them each a toy bow and arrow to play with in it and it has been quite a hit.
it even inspired some of our halloween costumes

i think it will go down in history as a very cool part of our time homeschooling.


why o why do i homeschool?

first of all, thanks for still being my friends.
even after i ditched you for a time.
you guys are the best.

so, i guess i'll just start at the beginning.
why did we choose homeschool?
if you are hoping that this is going to be a rant about how homeschool is the only way to raise kids properly, click away....
homeschool is what WE chose for our unique circumstances. 

it is hard.

i sorta hate it.

i sorta love it.

i am very very tired all the time from it.
i am also amazed at the amount of really truly good times i can have with my favorite ever people.

we chose to do it when reedo got a great job opportunity in hawaii.
it is a two year commitment but it COULD be less than that. 
we don't have much say about the timing for our next move OR where we will go next.
we moved to hawaii in the middle of the school year, last year.
so as you can see there are a large amount of unknowns.
but we decided that we could do it and that it might even be good for our family.
and we decided that it'd be a great opportunity to try out homeschooling since it might make a bit of a more stable environment while moving our little guys all over for the next few years.
it's not like hawaii is super well known for it's amazing schools either.
(although i am sure there are some great ones out there) 
and we are just not going to be here long enough to figure out where we'd need to be to go to the good schools.

so that's kinda it.
i haven't been pining to homeschool all my life.
i WAS homeschooled until I was in third grade, so i think there was a part of me that thought i could probably do it because it's not completely unfamiliar.

when we move to our next place, i do not know what we will do for schooling.
we just have to see.

but i will tell you this.
i DO NOT regret choosing it.
it is such an incredible learning experience for me.

i feel light years ahead of the mommy who felt at the mercy of the public school teachers and the whole set up over there.

i feel in charge of my kids education.

i feel well educated MYSELF (and still growing) on the fact that i can choose what is important and needed for my kids to become intelligent well rounded human beings.

and when/if i do go back to sending them away to school, i will feel a good kind of power and understanding while dealing with their teachers.

i'll hopefully know when to just let things go.
i'll know when to push for things and how to better help my kids.

having your kids with you ALL the time is hard, my friends.
but so is letting them go.

so i can't wish any of it away, by reaching for the other.
it's all hard.
this parenting gig is not for the weak of heart.
it is heart wrenching.
and just when you think you've got it down...

you WILL get a reminder (somehow) not to get up on your high horse.


oh my gosh, hey!

i just sat in front of my blogger dashboard for a few seconds trying to remember which button to push to start a new post.

i think if i picked up my cannon, i'd have to do the same.

things in this reed life are different.
just different.

homeschooling is different than not homeschooling.

living in hawaii is different from not living in hawaii.

starting from scratch with relationships and personal connections is different than dealing with them after years and years of history.

and because the is so much work, blogging has lost it's luster for me.

i am still on instagram, with a tiny community of people that i already know, but not wanting to expand it past that since i have a hard time keeping up with what i already have.

but i do feel a pull every once in a while to share.
the things that i've been learning about life and homeschooling and friends and kids.
i don't get my camera out much at all lately though, so phone pictures is it for today....

i may have lost all my blogging friends by now, but i am feeling like i want to try and get back into it, so if you are still out there, do you have any questions that you've been wondering since i've been gone?

my list, so far, for ideas for sharing:

1. why we chose homeschool

2. our teepee that we made

3. the books we are in love with

4. what moving has taught me

5. my feelings/thoughts about living in a place that we know is temporary

6. my understanding with God that he is giving me a time of a sort of isolation.

7. how my kids are swimmers now.

8. how homeschooling will change my outlook on my kids future teachers

9. my trip to portland and bend

10. how it's so awful to have to teach your kids about gross stuff like war and cruelty and hate since it's best for them to be aware of some things from you instead of others and when you send them to school you can sort of distance yourself and be a little mad at the school or the teacher (or something) about telling them, but it's different when you have to choose to tell them....to take a certain amount of innocence.(wow, maybe i should start with that.)

11. how i struggle with long distance friendships since i am not a phone person.

12. food in hawaii

13. discipline, chores, allowance and manners with my homeschoolers

14. the bond that our time here has/is creating between the reed kids

15. how reedo and i have dealt with the stresses that come with his traveling back and forth to the mainland and the move and all...

16. some of our favorite places on Oahu, so far

16. me and my reading glasses, and how i am (only) 34, but i really needed them and didn't realize how much my eyes were straining until my face started twitching and my head started aching....

17. the reed PE class

what do you think?
any input?
i can barely even remember what i've last shared...