why am i schooling at home, you ask?

why am i doing school at home?

lots of you have asked.
(lots of you haven't asked.)
i also ask myself this question all the time.

why am i doing it?
it's not like i couldn't really benefit from a few hours of quiet everyday.
we all know i love silence.

i am not anti-public school.
i am not anti-private school.
i am not anti-social settings (well maybe sometimes).
i like people.
my kids like people.

so here is my place.
right now, my place just for today.

i started teaching them in hawaii from (in my mind) necessity.
it started with me thinking,  "i really don't think i can handle this, but i'm going to try.  I'm going to do it anyway".

and it somehow (surprisingly for me) turned into me liking it!

i realized so many things about myself and my children.

i started learning things with them.

i realized that they are learning possibly just as much from watching me learn things and modeling an open interested mind as actually learning the thing.
we read the little house on the prairie series.
they begged for next chapter after next chapter.

my mind had never really wrapped around the story of our country, but we all read our history book and were inspired with patriotism as our founding fathers wrestled with the declaration of independence.
we learned and cringed over their first exposure to the horrors of slavery.
we talked and discussed wars and national struggles.

we hugged little bodies when math was so so incredibly hard and helped them realize that they truly must try again.

i watched them get mad when i edited first drafts of papers.
i smiled and kept my chin up after more anger at the second draft edit.
i sighed as they REALIZED that that's just how you do it. It's NEVER perfect the first time. or the second. or even the third.

i read journal entry after journal entry and watched them morph and from crumpled, mis-spelled fragments to confident strong strokes of hilarity.

i started by doing parent led art projects and watched their love for artistically expressing themselves (through whatever art supplies we had lying around) become part of our daily lives.

they pretend all day long.

they argue, but then they work out problems on their own.

they have responsibilities.

they are getting older and their chores and jobs really do help me and make our home a place i want to be.

i could go on and on, but i think you get the picture.
our family dynamic completely changed.

and now we live in a place that has many many good school options. public, private, charter…you can send them anywhere you want.
i was ready to do that.

but, now i have to ask myself if i even want to?
is that best?

i mean, it might be nice.
the good part would be to have quiet space.
to be able to think on my own.
to be able to have a little bit of time for myself.
but in thinking about those good parts, i sometimes forget to think about the challenges of putting my kids back into (possibly 3 different) schools.
i don't really need to do a list do i?
(homework, teacher's ideas, fast paced schedules, social dynamics….)
the challenges aren't impossible.
i'm not afraid.
i just add up the pros and cons on both sides, for US and…..

i pick school at home.
and let me add, so do my kids.
if they were begging to try out school, i don't think i'd say no.
i'd let them go.

i am not interested in forcing this.
i don't think homeschooling is the key to life.
in fact those that do are the reason i hesitate to get involved with homeschool groups.
(even though I DID just sign up for one to start into in the fall…pray for me)

we are all just figuring out this parenting gig.
no one is an expert.
our story is different from yours and homeschool fits for us.

reedo travels a lot. and we have been asked to move around a bit and that part of our story probably isn't over.

the homeschooling works with that.
if i have to follow verizon wireless around the country so that my husband can provide for me staying home and being the mom to our children, then i don't need teachers and principals and schedules in the mix too.
i start to feel too smothered.
and when i know i can just teach them myself and that it is actually great for us, is there really any other choice?
is there something ELSE that i ought to do?
i don't think so.

for now, this is my place.

i am always looking for my humble place.
and this is it today.

ask me again tomorrow.


the reeds get settled in arizona

so, usually when i start to feel annoying by posting so many words or even pictures onto instagram, i end up coming back to the old reed life blog.
i feel like that today, but i also have some things to consider regarding this little share space.

we really live in Arizona now.
we left behind the ocean and the tropics for the desert.
we ditched the tiny temporary apartment.
we found a lovely spanish, santa barbara style home that i LOVE.
so far so good, but i mean, it's the FIRST hot week of the season, so….

we've decided to continue homeschool for the time being, but my mentality is changing.
instead of feeling like it's sorta my only choice ( like its the lesser of a few evils), this year i am feeling like i have a million options and the best one for us is learning at home.
just typing that feels sorta crazy.
but it is true.
this year, instead of feeling terrified i feel pretty excited.
this year, i've made some good connections with some rad, humble, "non-bossy" homeschool moms that are just willing to share and have good honest conversations ( like texting in between business) about things to make teaching three grades without going insane possible.
it's helping me have courage.
it's helping me take my place as the boss of my kids learning.
i like it.
(i mean i'd love to go get a pedicure right now, but this is good too.)

and yet again, i am reminded that my hopes about my own certain needs may be a little off.
i'm reminded that i CAN survive without alone time as often as i'd like.
deep breath.
with out a quiet house.
deep breath.
God will provide what i truly need in the midst of this.
i can lean on him, right?

so, all of that said, here are some photos of fun things that we've been doing around here.
and, you know, the old snapshots that i've always done of the crazy reed life…

Jake says goodbye to surfer hair

the kids are all getting used to their new chores and jobs in our new house

reedo takes us for a spin in his fresh car
(he's not nervous at all)

i've been trying to be more fun and willing to do science related activities.
we tried making dry ice filled bubbles.
it was very cool.

we live in the desert, but our house has a crazy amount of potted plants that need water constantly.
ella and ty help me get to them all regularly.

i wish you could hear ty talk about his plants.
he tells them his memory verses. 
 he told me he feels like they have their own way of talking to him
like, if they've had enough water, then it starts to pour out the bottom of the basket 
and if their leaves turn brown he has to snip them off with his pocket knife to let the plant send it's energy to the new buds.
he says they are like his treasures.
and i just stare at hime with those little emoji heart eyes...

today, we did this rainbow milk experiment.
i followed the directions from this.

my favorite part was making all different hues and tints in the swirling milk….
not sure if this is really science but i don't really care.
maybe it's more in the art department.
which is fine with me.

so, that's what we've been up to.
thanks for keeping up with this little on again off again sharing spot of mine.