Learning Photography

 

My dear husband purchased a semi-professional camera for me! I’ve been playing around with it in manual mode. I’ve taken some not so great shots.

But…to my surprise, I’ve taken a few that aren’t horrible. I asked around and was pointed to Digital Photography School; I’ve gleaned a lot of great information from the website and forum!

I’ve learned all about aperture, shutter speed, f-stops, etc. It’s all overwhelming to me reading about it, so I decided to just play around with the settings and see what works.

I can not wait to learn more and share better pictures.

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The Big Picture

Since we created a whole new vision for our homeschool, I’ve been working on our bigger picture.  This includes what we will be covering over the years we will be homeschooling. Instead of just planning the year, our big picture includes laying out a scope and sequence through high school.

bigpicture
The Big Picture for our oldest son.

We will be using two great free resources, Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool and Ambleside Online. Both of these free online K-12 curriculum sites are absolutely wonderful.  EP was born from a mother who put together her children’s education and made it available for others to use. Ambleside Online is based off of the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling and offers a great education by reading great living books.

I put together this overall plan for a few reasons. Collecting resources is an important part of homeschooling. Having at a glance the subjects we will be covering allows me to prepare ahead of time. If I come across a book or activity that isn’t quite a subject we are working on at the moment, I’m able to look ahead and decide if it will be helpful for us down the line.

I have made a spreadsheet for each of my children. The years and their ages are listed. I will not be keeping grade levels as I believe each child learns at their own pace. With this in mind, these spreadsheets are not set in stone. If one child needs and extra year of a certain type of math we’ll get through it. If another child needs to move ahead in a subject, we have the freedom to do that.

Being able to look at a piece of paper and look remind myself of what is planned out helps me relax during the long days of juggling wife, mom, and teacher. The ultimate prize is that my children grow up with a curiosity for life and everything around them.

A Whole New Vision

DSCF0022I have struggled with confidence in my ability to homeschool. My oldest son is in 3rd grade at a public school.  During his K, 1st, and 2nd school years, he was homeschooled and in public school. I would start out homeschooling and then freak out that I wasn’t doing a good enough job, or I had a hard day and just gave up.  This year I decided to just put them (my son and daughter in K) in public school, they keep begging to homeschool.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last few months and I realized what the issue was. I was trying to force a style of homeschooling that doesn’t work for us. I was trying to mimic the public school classroom…it wasn’t working. Our life needs to reflect education. I need to immerse them in a life style of continuous education. There shouldn’t be a line between home life and education. Education should be a part of life, not separate.

I’m not sure that I could choose just one style of homeschooling for us. We will be learning through living books, not textbooks. We follow more of a Charlotte Mason/Classical style of homeschooling but we will also add in a technological spin. We are techie nerds and technology is a huge part of this world we now live in.

I’ve learned that homeschooling is what we make it. It isn’t about learning exactly what someone else is learning, at the exact same age they are learning it. It’s about teaching the children to have the know how to get the information they need. A person who knows how to educate themselves, instead of relying on other people to feed them information, will have a deeper understanding of the world around them. We’ve decided that for our family, it will be through home education.

The kids are very excited for their last day of public school on December 14th. They are excited to be able to pursue their interests without having to figure out how many hours of homework they have that night. They are excited to be able to participate in activities around the city during the day. We are all excited for this shift in out lives.

If Only I Had More Time

hadmoretime

I tend to find myself day dreaming while doing my household duties. While doing the dishes or folding clothes or putting toys back for the millionth time I start thinking about the things I could do if only I had more time.

If only I had more time, I could…

-make fancy homemade soap

-crochet

-get better at knitting

-read more

If only I had more time to do the things I wanted to do.

“You’re the best, mommy!”

Wait, where did that come from? After thinking through the day I can’t think of a single reason why my kids would randomly say that.

So far I’ve…

-reminded them to put their toys away at least 10 times

-scolded them for hitting each other.

-put them in time out for talking back.

At this point I’ve been getting increasingly irritated. While angrily cleaning up the toys, I’m reminded of the sweet moments we spent together sharing tea and crumpets, playing “waiter and eater”, chasing each other pretending we are super heroes, reading Sandra Boynton books, getting the baby out of the dishwasher.

I am reminded that my time is not mine.

I am in a season of motherhood where my time is theirs. There will come a time when I’ll look for toys to pick up…and there won’t be any. There will come a time where I’ll be cooking for two again.

There will come a time that time is mine again. When that time comes, I’ll enjoy my time soap making, crocheting, knitting and reading.

Until that time I will remind myself that my time is theirs…for now.

Being a mommy…it’s not the only reason I’m tired 24/7

After becoming a mom everyone and their mother told me I would be tired forever.

For.EVER.

ugh.

That didn’t sound fun but I dealt with it because I loved my baby…fast forward to 8.5 years later and 2 more kids later and I’m more tired than ever!

I always chalked it up to the sleepless nights. People would tell me I need a sleep study for sleep apnea. (Which I did but the test was inconclusive and I didn’t want to do it again!)

Finally, I contacted my doctor for some blood work to figure out what is wrong with me.

My youngest is now 14mo old and I’m getting a little more sleep; although, by 11am I am falling asleep while playing with my kids. This is not right. I should not be this tired.

There were times I napped while the little was napping that the older kids would wake me from a nap to ask me a question…I started falling asleep in the middle of my sentences.

I could NOT stay awake. I did this several times to my son, even when just relaxing in my recliner. I was so tired I physically could not keep my eyes open.

I kept thinking “Stay awake! Open your eyes! Why can’t I form a coherent sentence? Why does it sound like my speech is slurred? I know I haven’t had any wine yet!”

I’m still working with my doctor to figure out a bigger picture, but in the mean time she is treating me for iron-deficiency. Which causes chronic fatigue. It’s hard to explain what this type of tired is to people who are just tired from a late night. It’s hard to explain it to people who are not suffering from iron-deficiency/chronic fatigue.

When I say “I’m tired.” I’m not saying…”Gosh I had a late night, I’d really like to take a power nap and be good for the rest of the day.”

It’s me saying: “I literally can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I am going to endanger myself or someone else if I don’t sit down or go lay down right now because I might fall asleep and fall over.”

I have to FIGHT these sleepy spells. I splash water in my face, do jumping jacks, sing at the top of my lungs while clapping. Anything to try and get my blood pumping and catch that second wind.

Sometimes most times I lose. :/ It’s hard when I know my children need me or want me to read them a book or sing them a song and I physically can’t.

I’m learning to take pro-active steps everyday. Most days I forget, but some days I’m really good at taking my iron supplements/vitamins/walking. Reminding myself that I feel better, even for a little bit, after doing my daily morning routine helps to motivate me to continue with it.

Hopefully this phase of my life will pass soon. In the mean time, I will continue to just keep swimming.