Friday, July 25, 2014

No Big Yellow Bus?!

Well, if going organic, raising chickens on pasture and getting a family milk cow didn't already plant us firmly in the 'crazy-hippie' category, our next move surely will. 
We've decided to give homeschooling a go. 

Let the adventure begin!

 Lucy attended kindergarten last year in the public school system and although I wasn't overly impressed or even remotely enthusiastic about most of the things she learned, this decision is not a criticism of 'regular school' by any means.  It's based almost entirely on the fact that we spent 9 months rushing around in the morning to get on the bus by 7:45 and then at 4 would prepare to deal with an exhausted child who wanted to play outside and get some energy out until supper at 5, help clean up, do the farm chores and off to bed 7- 7:30.  It basically gave me zero time with my own kid and the time that we did have was usually her in tired tears or quiet cuddles.  I missed the smiling, bouncing, laughing kid I used to know and I will admit that I missed knowing what she was up to all day.  She did learn some amazing french that impressed me a lot, but there was a lot that didn't impress me too, so as with all things, we take the good with the bad.

And so it will be with the homeschooling too, I am 100% certain.

I received the first of the curriculum books in the mail the other day and have been brooding on sharing this decision with our families for a long time.  In a family of many teachers and principals, I didn't/don't expect it to be welcome with open arms, but receiving the curriculum books and meeting so many friendly (and normal!) homeschoolers here on PEI, I'm standing tall, shoulders squared and telling you now. (And am so happy to report that behind a veil of tears-of-relief I read supportive messages from both my mom and my sister -who is an amazing teacher- which means the world to me!)

So we're taking it one year at a time.  Well, one term at a time.  If this is a complete disaster by Christmas, I will gladly admit that and throw the kids back on the bus and congratulate myself for having gave it a shot.
Surprisingly, Lucy is very onboard with the idea.  She grew pretty bored of school this year, after Christmas, asking to stay home many days because she thought the boys and I would have more fun.  Admittedly, she was probably really more ready for a grade 1 curriculum last year and it was my fault for holding her back due to her late-in-the-year birthday, but schools don't bump ahead or hold back kids anymore.  I've spoken to two moms just this summer about wanting their boys held back and the school refused.  They went to the district for help and again were refused.  Then in the news this week there was a whole piece about 'placing' in schools and the policies surrounding repeating grades (or lack thereof). 
Anyway, that's a different post.
I'm looking forward to working with Wilson to find out how it is he likes to learn best and the kinds of things that make him love learning.  (I will read this sentence over and over again when it's been months and I'm yet to find anything that he loves learning. haha!)  He seems to have relaxed a bit since we shared the decision with him regarding kindergarten at home and besides 'wanting to make new friends', he's happy too. 

I think, especially in these early grades, that I can achieve in a couple hours what school manages to do in a day, so am taking comfort in that.  (Plus no lunches to pack!!!)  I'm working on a music teacher and have made contact with a co-op of other homeschool moms who take turns sharing various subjects of interest.  And if the specific co-op doesn't work, they get together often for social time at parks or field trips or whatever, so there will be no shortage of 'socializing'.

This sounds pretty rosy so far, but don't be fooled. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and have zero guidelines from the province to follow in terms of expectations for the grades, so am trying to plan curriculum based on what I think the kids will enjoy and will still achieve what seem like reasonable standards.  I expect it will change nearly constantly as we go, but I've committed myself to being open to deviation from the "plan".
Anyway, I've thrown it out to the world now, so we'll see what happens! 

My next post, which will hopefully follow in the next few days, will be one of great pride for me.  Lucy, on her own, has started her own business called "Lucy's Offal Good Business", selling pet food and people food from chicken organ meats.  The videos are PRECIOUS!  And she's learning all kinds of great life skills. 
So keep your eyes peeled for that.  (Our internet is turning out to be too painfully slow to upload them, so we're heading somewhere with highspeed to get her marketing plan underway.)

In farm news- things are growing and growing and growing.  Weeds included.  But the crops are looking really good, the pigs are doubling in size nearly daily, the chickens are finally putting on some good weight and the hens are starting to lay in more numbers.  The birds are singing, the sun is shining and the spiders are working hard to catch as many mosquitos as they can.  Life is good.

Hope this finds you pulling food from the ground (or at least buying it from someone who does)!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Keeping multiple blogs going can be tricky, so I'm kind of cheating this time.  I just updated my Chicken CSA blog with some pictures from the farm, so I'm just going to post it here and you can click on the link to see them. 
At least I'm down to two blogs this summer, rather than the three from last year.  (And admittedly I'm not very active on any of them!)
So here ya go:

Chicken CSA Blog

Babies, eggs, piglets, oh my!