Book Review: Your Inner Compass That Could

Ohmigosh!  I seriously am so excited to share this with you!  I have so many reasons I love this book ….

As 99% of you know we started our homeschool journey two years ago.  (We actually JUST completed our second year of homeschooling this week).  When we started that first year, we created goals for each of our kids.  We had three goals for each of them and they were:  Academics, spirituality and self esteem/self worth.  We wanted our children to grow in each of these three categories.

Academics was the easiest one to create for them.  As homeschoolers,  there is no shortage of curriculum to choose from to align with any education standards you wish to achieve.

The self esteem proved to be easier than we thought as well.  Apparently love IS ENOUGH lol – Each of boys have grown in this avenue substantially.  But I know its strongly because we create an atmosphere in which they are able to honor themselves at all costs.  We put very little pressure on them in the way of social requirements and really allow them to move through their lifetime  as freely as they wish.

The last leg of our goals has been more difficult to create for them however.  When I started homeschooling, I took my knowledge as an Intuitive Empowerment Coach and wanted to create a space in which my kids could listen to their souls and hearts and decide what they wanted.

Unfortuntely for them, their mother is strongly versed in the lingo that connects with ADULTS and I had a difficult time bringing it down to a kids level in a fun way that they can connect to it.

I noticed early on that there is a plethora of books for kindness, sharing, keeping promises, bullying and so many other childhood topics however, NO one wrote about honoring your soul.

I have worked with countless adults who have to LEARN at an adult age what honoring your soul means (myself included).  And as such, I really wanted to teach my kids to do it now, instead of waiting until they are adults when it seems to be SO.  MUCH. MORE. DIFFICULT.

And then I learned of THIS book.  Your Inner Compass That Could.  This book was written by Kristin Pierce, a fellow Sasky girl (woop woop)!  And she teaches kinds in rhyming words and fun illustrations how to honor their INNER COMPASS!

I was sooo excited to get my hands on this book and share it with my Littles (age 6 & 8).  I am a huge believer that every child should know a few things that are mentioned in this book…

First, that they have an inner compass (or as us adults call it, their soul) which knows why they are here and can guide you if you let it!  Yay!  So great.

Second, it teaches them that if they want to change their minds about where they are heading they can.  Woohoo High Fives, Kristin!  Cause how many times as adults do we stay in a space because we have “committed” instead of honoring the fact that our souls desires have changed.  This portion of the book gives the kids the freedom to change and reroute and realign and it doesn’t make it scary or a bad thing!!  Like I said, High Fives, girl!

Next it teaches them when we ignore our compass not to worry, just blow off the dust and realign.  We do this as adults ALL.  THE.  TIME.  We lose our way.  We get tossed back up into our old thoughts and belief structures and programs and forget to honor us.  This passage in the books releases all the fear and guilt, and just reminds us to “blow the dust off” and realign.  BOOM!

I love this book for a hundred reasons.  But for fear that I will give away all the goodness of the book, I will leave you with only those three above points.

THEN, because you know, Kristin is just a rock star.  She created activities to go with the book FOR FREE. With a link listed at the back of the book, you can access add on activities to help the kids really discover their Inner Compass.

And as a homeschool mama, this was a perfect addition to our curriculum.

We did the “Door of Unlimited Possibilities” activity.  It allows the kids to create their door and look within themselves for what they want for their future using their inner compass (their soul) as their guide.

This activity was so much fun.  I did take a bit of a side road and allowed my kids the freedom of creating any door they wanted (even though Kristin provides a template, I’m sure she won’t mind our detour lol)

My littles just blew me away with their creativity and original ideas on what their door looks like.  We didn’t even google doors or anything, they just knew!  It made me so proud of them!

Here’s some pictures of them creating their “Door of Unlimited Possibilities”

This one (above) is C’s – he had large double doors because he said he needed HUGE doors.  Anyone who knows my C knows there is not a truer statement ever spoken.  That boy is HUGE with his energy and spiritual knowledge.  I could see why his soul would desire a dramatic double door.  Inside he created his dream of being a Roblox YouTuber with 30 trillion? viewers!  Rock and roll, little buddy.  If anyone can woo 30trillion viewers it will be you!

This one (above) is Miss E’s.  She needed her door surrounded with flowers and a door hidden amongst them.  Once again, that’s our girl.  She keeps her biggest and brightest moments put away and only those closest to her will see her wit and charm and LOVE.  If you aren’t in her circle, she will nod and smile and walk away so non-chalantly that you will wonder if she talks at all.  She does.  She’s my daughter, so trust me, SHE DOES! Inside she created her dream of owning a unicorn.  And while the mom in me wanted to tell her to create something attainable…I controlled myself and just let her have the freedom of connection.  I wanted her to allow herself to move into her soul and allow her six year old self to dream and feel her soul.  And what six year old little girl wouldn’t dream of riding off on a unicorn.  Hell, I know some adults who still want this to happen.

So there you have it folks!  This book is a home run over here.  It allowed us to accomplish a portion of our goals for our kids that nothing has been able to touch.

Thank you Kristin for writing a book that has moved our family.  Not only did you allow my kids to connect with themselves in a new capacity, but you also allowed me to create a space of dreaming for them.

Our family is so incredibly grateful that you followed your heart.  You listened to your inner compass and created a ripple that is felt all the way over here!!

Where to buy the book:

The book is available in both Hardcover and Paperback online.

It is also available in the following stores:
– Cole’s in Northgate Mall – Regina
– Chapters Indigo – Regina
– McNally Robinson =- Saskatoon
– Coles in Lawson Heights Mall – Saskatoon
– Santosha Yoga – Warman
– Rosetown Central Plains Co-op – Rosetown

(Discalaimer:  LanaEckel.com did not receive any monetary imbursement for the creation of this post.  All links included are not affiliated with LanaEckel.com nor are we receiving any funds for this product review)

Homeschool: Day 29

Today I was a Maxed Mommy. We had a late start to our day by a few minutes because of kids who didn’t want to leave their beds. 

Plus, I had a furnace who refused to show up to work today so our thermostat was showing a balmy 15 degrees!

Not a great kick start to our day. 

Add to that the fact that my kids are fair weather kids. They don’t like too cold or too hot. They only like outdoor play when the sun is shining juuuuust right. 

They have not been wanting to play outside because it is “too cold” <Insert eye roll here>

For this reason, I had three kids who had entirely too much energy this morning. Circle Time was executed with about as much efficiency as that of one who is hired to hold an octopus in a paper bag. 

It didn’t go well. After 20 excuiating minutes of me endlessly reminding them to “sit down” or “pay attention” and “don’t lick your sister” I was losing patience quickly. 

 (Yes, I meant to type lick. Even auto correct is positive that I surely meant to type “kick” Unfortunately I did not make a mistake – I meant lick)

I’d like to say I was losing my sanity, but this morning I realized my sanity left the day I applied for the permission to homeschool from the Board of Education. 

So yes, indeed it was my patience slipping. My sanity left me 29 Days ago. But I digress!

After 20 long minutes I fly into full out Mama Hissy Fit. Toss our Library Book (*gasp* – I can’t believe I treated a library book this way) back into our Morning Basket. 

And assure the kids without their education they will assuredly live under a bridge without food or fancy clothes. 

Then I stomp upstairs and give myself a well earned time out. 

After several deep breathes and a couple flips through my Facebook to calm my nerves I realize, my kids have been wayyyy too cooped up. 

I come down the stairs, with outside world clothes (instead of the Jammie’s they now live in each day) draped over my arms for each child and announce “Anyone who has not eaten breakfast needs to do so now, because we are going to Get Air!”

Three confused, and slightly terrified children gape at me. I can feel their mini brains training to grasp what the hell is happening. 

B, ever the brave solider willing to fight a good fight, but still bewildered says, “Huh, what’s the catch?”

The truth was there was no catch. They needed to run off some energy. They have been bouncing off the walls for two days and they needed to burn that energy. 

So we spent the morning at Get Air where they bounced and jumped at their favorite Trampoline Park and I got to catch up with a great friend on the phone. 

Then we came home and did as much school as we could fit into a couple of hours. It was a win for all. 

I have read articles about days like this. Where homeschoolers blow off the day because it just isn’t working. And, if I can be so bold to admit, I judged the shit out of them. 

I literally have thought, “If your child cannot sit and listen to you like they would a teacher in school, that is 100% the parents fault.”

I know differently today and will publicly admit, I was wrong. 

My kids are not the kids who they were at school for their teachers. They are not the version of themselves they present to their grandparents on any given weekend. 

They are completely different for their parents. 

And as a result, they will not just sit because they are in circle time like they sat during circle time at school. 

So I had to honor my kids today. And our school schedule was meagre at best as a result. 

But they are rosy cheeked and tired and happy with a lot less energy buzzing through them than was present at 9am this morning. 

Now let’s just hope when they are living under the bridge without food and fancy clothes they remember that their mother tried. She had zero sanity and little patience, but damn it, she tried. 

Thank you for sharing in our journey!

Homeschool: Thanksgiving Week

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There is a vast diversity in homeschool styles. There is Charlotte Mason, School At Home, Classical, Unschooling and still many others.

When deciding to homeschool, my husband and I discussed what version we felt would serve the boys best. It was a decision that we made without the boys.

We gave them opportunities to become a part of the decisions made in regards to this process. But, truthfully, our style was not something they got a say in.

Because we knew they would choose Unschooling.

What is Unschooling? It’s completely child led learning. No curriculums. No schedule. Just learn as the child decides.

And while this style may serve many families, I knew it was not an option for us as a family.

I feel it crucial my kids to, not only, learn academically. But I want them to learn about schedules and requirements on their time.

In addition, I wanted my kids to be fully aligned with the Cirriculum required per grade, therefore ensuring that should they ever decide to go back to Public School, we would not worry about them being behind. And we ensure we hadn’t skipped any part of the subject outlines.

AND I needed the schedule to stay on track and build my personal confidence that they were learning what they needed.

We chose to school within a Classical Approach. It is what my husband and I decided would serve our family the best at this time.

Yet, even though, we unwaveringly chose this style – my mom guilt felt begin to creep in.

If you have looked into homeschooling, you will see a large number of posts pushing for child led schooling. And I started to feel bad.

Was I jipping my kids out of a personal empowerment opportunity? Was I trying too hard to create a School At Home structure.

During my Mom Guilt Moment – I created Thanksgiving Week. A week based around a Thanksgiving Unit.

Rather than learning math from the worksheets, we baked.

This week we created pumpkin pies from real, homemade pumpkin purée. We also made cornbread as well as pumpkin cheesecake.
Rather than Social Studies about communities and government we dove into Pilgrims and Native Americans and The Mayflower and Plymouth Rock

We made crafts around the Thanksgiving theme.

We read poems and learned sentence structures based around the same theme.

B loved it. He embraced it. He rocked it.

C, not so much. Literally by Wednesday he stomped
off on me. I sat calmingly and gave him a minute to breathe.

Before I could go to him, he returns. With his little hands covering his face and complete exasperating in his voice he says “Ugh, Mom, this just sucks so bad. Can we please just do Math and our Reader and Social Studies.”

C loves structure. He thrives in it. He likes to know what to expect and when to expect it. Although he is known to fight the process, he does best in the structure.

B wants to implement cooking into his school week. And I have agreed.

And my Mom Guilt has definitely receded. Perhaps the Thanksgiving Unit Study was a bit of overkill. But it pushed us into finding balance.

For both boys.

And me!

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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Homeschool: Well, He Is Learning Something

I have 180 school day to teach my kids something this year. 180 Days for some sort of educational knowledge to saturate into their brains.

I’m not going to lie, it feels like a tall order. I hope they learn something, but considered for the past 10 years my experience has always gone a little something like this:

Me: “Hey buddy, how was your day?”
Them: “Good” (Declared in their most monotony monotone voice)
Me: “What did you learn today”
Them: “Nothing”

*Sigh*

I don’t doubt that they learned something that day, but their fact retention abilities are clearly limited.

So I have promised to not be upset with myself should they tell anyone we meet with that they actually learn nothing each day.

Maybe that’s why this particular incident was so fantastic and exciting for me. So exciting and funny, in fact, that I had to share it with you.

My husbands only stipulation regarding homeschooling the boys was to ensure they go outside daily. I think he can be directly quoted stating, “They must go outside and get fresh air into their lungs every day. I don’t want any pasty white kids who are suddenly sensitive to natural sunlight.”

For the state of my marriage, I agreed and each day we go outside after we complete our school day.

Right now we are working on Community Workers. What kind of community workers there are in different communities. And if they provide a good or a service.

I have learned that Social Studies is no more fun the second time around. But I am presenting this material in a few different ways (books, projects, anything I can get my hands on) in order to keep me interested.

Last week while I’m at the park with C & E a couple of city workers drive across the lawn in a Kubota Side by Side. They cut across the lawn, cross over the stream and head up and over the hill out of sight.

C sees them and shocked says, “Hey! What are those two community workers doing?”

I bust out laughing and say, “I don’t know, buddy. What do you think they are doing.”

His curiousity peaked he says “I don’t know either. Let’s go see, Mom!”

We cross the stream, which was no easy task for my Miss Priss, and climb over the hill.

At the bottom of the hill is the two city workers pumping water from a backyard that backs the park.

C was over the moon as he declares, “Mom, those guys are pumping water. Yep, that’s definitely a service all right!”

I was laughing so hard I had tears. He’s learning something. I wouldn’t have known for sure until the city workers at the park.

Woohoo!

#homeschoolwin

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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Homeschool: And Now There is Three

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Tuesday was a day of tears and self reflection. Not for me, but for B!

In order to assist my kids in the decision to homeschool or re-attend (is that a word) Public School I created a “Trial Run.”

I created the Trial to portray exactly what our school day would look like. This would ensure that the kids would have no surprises to what they were agreeing to or perhaps, walking away from.

C did the trial because he truly had no idea what Homeschooling even meant. After the trial, well you know what he chose.

(For my new followers: He started homeschooling on Sept 1 this year)

B never did the trial. The idea of leaving his friends and giving up his Public School Days was an emotional and difficult decision. He opted to continue where he was at.

Until Tuesday.

I don’t really know what pivoted the change in heart. As there was no major happenings that upset him. (We made sure).

The only thing I know for sure is B has always hated school.

Hated.
With a capital H!

When we ask him what he wants his answer always is, “I want to work! I want to make money.”

That’s our B. Always has been ## going on 35! Always thinking about money and a career. He doesn’t want to waste his time doing frivolous things like art and drama and music.

He wants to work.
And make money.
And have a career.

Let’s be honest: Once he has a career he will beg to go back to 12 years old. But I digress!

Let’s be even more honest: He did not get this need for a career from his mother. Nothing makes me happier than art and drama and frivolous things. Once more, I digress!

But his desire for a career made me think. Why can’t he create a business now?

We have all seen the articles linked to them. Those miracle kids who create a business at 12 years old only to be bought out by Google or Kevin O’Leary for 86 kafillion dollars.

None of us have ever actually met one, but we’ve all heard of them.

And perhaps this will be B.

And perhaps not.

All I know is, I’ve made it more than clear that in order to add up to kafillion or to balance a cheque book with those types of numbers, you need Math.

In order for a bank to take your finance proposal seriously, you need Language Arts.

In order to understand the government and current events and the social structures of the world, you need Social Studies.

In order to understand chemicals or animals or whatever the hell else we will learn in Science, you need Science.

Whether you take it at Public School or Homeschool, either way, you need to take it. You need school.

But the cherry on the cake for my little entrepreneur is he can start looking into his career options. Whatever that looks like.

He currently has a Door Hanger Business. Time will tell, if he continues down this path or changes it up.

He chose Homeschool.

He requested to finish out the week. Kind of a closure, in kids terms, I guess and we granted that to him.

But he only made it two more days.

Maybe he needed to sit in class for two more days to help him decide if he wanted to be there. I don’t know. We just honoured it.

We didn’t tell the school until he was 100% sure of his decision.

100% sure arrived yesterday on his at home lunch break. In order to ensure we honoured his teachers time and prep work, we called his teacher to tell her he would be homeschooling and that he would like to finish out the day. Or the week (whatever he chose)

B had also requested no one knew, prior, of his plan to leave. He wanted to tell his friends after he had gone. And he most certainly, did not want any big deals being made on his behalf.

His teacher helped us honor this.

Its been one hell of a week so far. Quite an emotional one for B.

I can only imagine the emotional decisions he struggled with between Homeschool and Public School. It’s not an easy one.

His biggest fear was losing his friends. But we have created a plan to help him stay in touch. And will implement it as he needs.

So…..
Today was his first of Homeschooling and WOW!! I gotta say. I am pumped. This was one of the greatest days I have had with my kids, nearly ever!!

They supported each other and loved each other through their day. They talked about how weird it feels to be able to go get milkshakes and play at the park in the middle of a “school day”. And bonded. In an surreal way I have never seen before. I’ve seen glimpses, but never to this scale.

I am under no illusions that this journey will be easy. I know it’s going to have days where wine will become my BFF.

But I am focusing on today.

And today was a beautiful day of love between siblings and me bearing witness.

It was a day of “Hot Fudge Milkshake” Cheers as we ended our first day with smiles and excitement.

I have no idea where this journey will take us or what it means for the boys.

The way I see it this has two outcomes:
1) It will create a new way of life for my kids and myself. A life that will be filled with school books , and Milkshake Cheers and love.

2) They will dislike Homeschooling, which will then restore their love of Public School.

As I walked into the school today to clean out B’s locker, the sun shining brightly above me, I smiled to myself and thought, “Either option is fine with me. Either option ends in love.”

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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Homeschool Day 3 & 4: And The Tears They Did Fall

Since our decision to homeschool I have spent hours and months researching and reading and planning and pinning about homeschooling.

I have savagely collected every resource I could to teach me how to homeschool and what to expect during this journey.

And while I can confidently admit I have been better educated as a result, I can also say that some of the articles are flawed in one major way.

Most of these articles are composed by people who have dreamed about homeschooling since the conception of their child.

As they rubbed their swollen pregnancy bellies, they daydreamed about how they would one day created awe-inspiring science projects at their kitchen table.

We were not these people. I dreamt of how I would manage school buses and lunch boxes and school yard bullies and parent teacher interviews.

We have transitioned from public school to homeschooling.

We have emerged from the swirling, twirling tornado of non-marking indoor runners that is Public School and have been dropped unceremoniously down at our dining room table. Yes, my dear child, we are certainly not in Kansas anymore.

Through the hoards of articles I have become versed in the many scopes that is the world of homeschooling. Some pieces of information, seemingly, more beneficial than others:

I have learned:
1) To expect the first year to be the toughest
2) Each child has a learning style
3) There are resources which will work best in conjunction with my child’s above mentioned learning style.
4) Baking counts as math, or reading or home economics or just about anything else you are creative enough to pitch it as
5) There are people who sit in a field counting daisies and call it math or school
6). We will never be #5’s
7) Never say never
8) There are hours of videos on how to choose the proper daybook
9) There are people who actually watch the videos mentioned in #8
10) How to deal with those who do not agree with our homeschooling decision (although we haven’t run into any yet…but I’m ready should they show up)

But there is one major tidbit that no article mentioned. No author touched on the very topic to which our day spiralled towards today.

No one.

I feel like we embarked into complete, uncharted territory today.

Day 3 created tears for this mama. Every single subject for three days straight he hated. He complained about spelling. He complained about math and Language Arts.

Hell, at one point the little fart stain was, even, unimpressed by the selection of colours Crayola has manufactured.

I should have guessed the course the day way going to go when circle time proved to be a stretch — and all we did was sit and sang songs.

By 10:30 I was in full out sobs. Shoulder shaking, can’t even get up and compose myself in the bathroom, SOBS! It was on 10:30 and I had already broken down in tears.

Shit, let’s be honest, I started to cry even harder when I reminded myself — it’s also only Day 3! Oh, sweet hell!! Only 177 more days planned!

I thought he was being difficult in order to test the level of commitment required from him each day. I thought it was to see if I would send him back to school. I thought it was to see how much sass he could give me before my head popped off my damn body. But I thought wrong.

Day 4 I came to the table Standing in my Power. Promising to not waver on what needs to be done. To explain and encourage. To help him understand that no matter what he puts me through we, as a family, are committed to homeschooling.

Committed to him.

He fought the entire schedule. Again!!!

Starting off with large whining protests about starting at 9am instead of his self-proposed 10am start time, which had been declined.

He then carried the protests through the rest of the day until such a point as we only had two subjects left to complete.

During break time he started beating on his sister. C can be far from a model big brother. He can be bossy, overbearing and controlling. But he rarely hits anyone. (I say rarely because it has happened, but it’s not frequent, by any means)

I give him a time out and he breaks down. He takes a page from his mamas book yesterday and showcases shoulder shaking sobs. But ups the ante by adding hiccup weeping and loud snivels. This kid is a pro. I envy his level of commitment in the creation of a meltdown.

I gather him up and start asking him what’s wrong. And this is when I learned something no articles have taught me to date:

When you tell your kids they have to go to school – otherwise it’s against the law — rest assured, they hear you

Each morning last year as he cried with tummy aches and anxiety attacks he would beg to stay home. We would answer with our “as-good-as-any” response of “Sorry babe, it’s illegal if you don’t go to school.”

Today as I gathered him close and soothed him. He looked at me with his big, brown eyes filled with a mixture of confusion and fear and asked, “Are we going to get in trouble for homeschooling? Is it allowed?”

No article or pin or amount of research had prepared for this question. Most of the articles are written by parents who never sent their kids to public school, like EVER! They have barely a clue of the transition, and the lack of understanding this creates in a child.

Sure, I did the paperwork to register us and celebrated with him when we received our Approval Letter. But I never gave a second thought to the “illegal” aspect of this scenario. But he did.

My poor, little man truly believed we were doing something wrong. That we were pulling a fast one on our judisical system and it was only a matter of time before we would be found out.

Of course, I explained to him “We are safe.” That the government has approved our right to teach him anyway we, the parents, feel is best.

I explained to him that as long as we cover the subjects and he learns what he would in school that we have a right to learn in our Jammie’s and make pillow forts in the afternoon.

He adds “Then why does it feel weird.”

I then had to explain that sometimes we have to do what’s in our heart. And sometimes our hearts will tell us to do things differently than what everyone else is doing. And as long as it’s a good decision. A decision that doesn’t hurt anyone, we are allowed to make any decision we need for our hearts.

But, let’s be honest, I was Blown. A. Way! This little man had such a fear for the past four days that weighed on him so heavily that he couldn’t enjoy his day.

It had clouded him and confused him.

On Day One, I had had the same feelings. It does feel weird. The first day of school when only one kid was dropped off at the doors. When only one kid left our house that day. It felt weird. Damn right, it did. But it never occurred to me that he would feel the same way.

That being said, I’m 3__ years old and I have the ability to work through the emotions. I have friends to call and the ability to read and research and grow. He doesn’t have that ability when he doesn’t even understand completely how he’s feeling.

Add to that the fact that he thought we were going to “be in trouble” he would NOT open up to just anyone with this doozy.

So here’s my tip: If you are considering homeschooling and your child is making the transition from public school discuss with them the “weirdness” of it. That it will feel different.

That the first time the bus drives by your driveway, and you aren’t on it, you will feel like you are cheating at a test that no one else knows is going on.

And tell your child how it feels different for you too. Validate to them that you feel the weirdness.

And assure them that together you are going to figure through it.

As a result of the past four days I have formed the following conclusion:

The first portion of your homeschool journey is focused, very little, on academics, but instead on the emotional transition required from everyone in your household.

Not a lot of learning has happened so far. We have completed some subjects, yes!

But mostly we have been merging together emotionally. We have been learning about each other and bonding as a result.

We have been melting down to come back together and understand one another greater than ever before.

And I guess I have no other choice than to embrace this portion of the journey.

C is a brilliant kid. He truly is. And once we are righted emotionally and become strong in understanding one another, I am confident we will fly through the academics portion of our year!!

Until then I will drink coffee and wine and take deep, deep belly breathes and blast music. Anything to keep the vibration in our home humming higher than the emotionally chaos we have been falling into.

Thank you for sharing in our journey!

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What I Realized Today: Our First Day Of Homeschooling

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If you follow me on Facebook, it is not new news to you that we started our First Day of Homeschooling today.

I have had many requests today for updates on how we did — so here ya go!

This year we have our oldest, B, continuing with Public School in Grade 7. There was a lot of back and forth on what he wanted to choose, but in the end his friends and his “normal” won out. Honestly, I am sincerely fine with whatever his choice is as long as he is ok, emotionally, with whatever his choice may be.

That being said, this morning together as a family we set intentions towards what this year will bring for each of us. What we are going to require of ourselves and each other. Which creates the energy of how this year will go moving forward.

C had an incredibly difficult year with Public School last year, so the choice to Homeschool seemed like a no brainer to him.

We did a two week trial during summer vacation for him so he would know what homeschooling is and if it was something he felt he wanted. Indeed it was.

I had prepared our school year prior to the trial so he would see clearly how our day was going to go. I made sure to Create the trial days with materials that he would be using during his actual school year to ensure he received a proper preview of what to expect, as well as what was expected. He loved it. He said “yup, mom this is exactly what I need for me!” (😉He makes me giggle)

E is four years old. Technically old enough for pre-school, so we have implemented some pre-school activities for her. Only about an hour a day to work with her and teach her letters and numbers and how to cut and paste. Nothing too stressful. She was the most excited out of everyone, last night, to start school.

So that brings us to today…Day 1! Today greeted us with sniffles and sore throats for C! So I knew today was going to be more difficult — he’s tired and depending on Tylenol in order to smile.

But let’s back up for one second — I dropped off B at Public School this morning, as I have done for the past eight years. But this year was different! I was filled with emotions that I have never experienced before. Contradictory feelings that kind of make me laugh, even as I share them with you.

As he gets out of the truck this morning every fibre of me wants to grab him back and say “No! Stay! You’re making a mistake — you need to homeschool – just come home!” Instead I plaster my smile on and wish him a “Good day and good luck!”

Yet, as I drive by the doors to which I normally would drop C, a part of me screams silently “Shit, what have we done! He should go to school! What if I ruin him?!” I grip the steering wheel and talk myself through in my head just as C says, from the back seat “Wow, mama! I don’t have to do that drop off anymore! This is the best day ever!” Small victory for both of us!!

So this morning was a tough day. More of an emotional turmoil day than I would have ever thought. More difficult to stand in my power of the choices we have made as a family than I thought it would be. But we made it. With lots of Lego breaks (for the littles) and lots of deep breathes (for me), we made it.

We finished our school day at noon. Yes noon! We didn’t jump into anything too major today as I’m sure the public school system was the same. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself to pump out something major for the first few days. Just getting them to the table and acquainted with the routine is a major win for us for now.

After lunch we went to the Public Library to pick up our reading material for our Morning Circle Time and part of our Morning Work, which includes Read to Self/Someone.

Then I treated my kids to the new playground that just opened over the summer. It was barely packed, but still quite hopping with people as it was 32degrees today! Still low crowd numbers was another major win in my books.

It was truly such a weird experience to “play” today. It was like we were doing something wrong. I felt as though I was looking over my shoulder waiting to justify why my kids weren’t in school.

Then I realized something. Something so big that I had to share.

We all carry programs. A program is something we are taught to keep us safe. Some programs are taught to us through the advice of others. And these programs we never have to test out in order to know it’s a good program to have such as “Don’t lick a knife.”

While other programs are created from our past hurts or from the actions of others. Our bodies create these programs so we don’t get hurt again, such as “Don’t rely on anyone, except yourself”

As I sat today and watched them frolic through the water, I realized. Public School is just a program we are taught. We are taught that in order to be successful in life, you must sit in a classroom between 9:00 and 3:30. You must sit with children your age. We are taught that you will learn with this group of kids and you will be graded according to the specs and perimeters laid out by the school system.

Now let me be clear: As I stated before, I still have a son in public school. I have no problem with it. He is surrounded by a fantastic school and this school has always been more than wonderful to us. We , also, experienced outstanding support last year with C and his anxiety.

And so Public School works! For my oldest son!

But it doesn’t work for C.

That being said, I am confident he will be fine with our homeschooling curriculum. I have spent HOURS, literally, on his curriculum. I have spent months researching resources in order for him to have the very best of what’s available to him. We have also been blessed beyond our wildest dreams, with people who are assisting in making this a great year for him. AND I am committed to making this work.

Public School is the social norm aka The Program we have all been taught. But it’s also not the only way to learn. It’s not the only way to be successful. I am confident C will learn this year. In the most unorthodox way, he will learn. And we will be ok.

We are schooling differently than I ever thought I would. But he will learn. He will learn his subjects by noon each day. And then he will learn at the park, at the pool, or wherever our afternoons lead us. And I will do it all without looking over my shoulder. And we will be fine. We will stand in our power and stand in our choice. For C and for us all

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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