About, Parenting

Teach Your Own – John Holt – Chapter 2

I am reading another John Holt book, so I have a lot I want to talk about. This book is Teach Your Own, the how and why of homeschooling. John Holt originally wrote this book in the 60’s, but the book has been updated in 2003 by Pat Feranga.

Chapter two addresses the common homeschooling questions of, “how will my children learn enough”, “how do I teach my kids for x number of hours a day,”. More importantly it provides some background and studies on what it takes to be a good teacher, and to be successful at homeschooling.

Continue reading “Teach Your Own – John Holt – Chapter 2”

About, Parenting

10 Minutes / Big Boy Bed

We’ve been having some bed time struggles with the 3-year-old. I think it has to do with the baby regression that was mentioned in a previous post, where my 3-year-old acts like a baby in order to get more attention. At nap time he has been asking me to lay down with him, and it has gotten to the point where he is unlikely to nap if I don’t lay down. Alternatively, if I do lay down and say something along the lines of, “Mommy is tired, I am going to lay down. Will you join me?” he usually (not always) jumps at the opportunity.

And yet at night, he would cry every time mommy and daddy would back out of the room and close the door. He shares a room with baby brother, but it is not the same.


Yesterday he told me he wanted to lay down with someone who “has a mouth” and “can talk”. This was specified after he rejected laying down with his stuffed animals, and he also rejected laying down with our dog.

Well, astute parents that we are, we decided to get him a full size bed to replace his open crib so that one of us can lay down with him at night until he gets settled and calm. 5/7 nights last week he has gone to bed with a minimum to no fuss. He cried once when I left because he was having trouble settling down due to a large fly in the room.

This has also been an opportunity to witness the cuteness that is baby brother (15 months old) and his love for Little Blue Truck. He will roll around with that book and rub it on his face. He will sit and read it and point at all the pictures. It is a wonderful thing to cuddle with Mr. 3 and watch Mr. 1 settle down in his crib. Usually I stay for 10 minutes and then try to excuse myself, but it is a happy 10 minutes. 10 minutes that makes me feel more connected and close to my children. 10 minutes away from the demands of a messy house, phone full of emails, and everything else.

10 minutes just to love my children.

(Before bed we brush teeth, read 1-2 books, and sing 1-2 songs. Then we lay down and try to sleep.)

What do you do for bedtime?


Father’s Day

As late as it is, I wanted to take the time to say it. Happy Father’s Day to all the father’s out there that do their best each and every day to take care of their children.

These little people look up to you so much!

We are lucky to have such a great father in this house. My husband is calm, patient, funny, hardworking, and so good with the little ones.

Whenever I get frazzled, he is quick to offer advice that makes me feel silly for never having realized.

I complained once about not being able to sweep the kitchen because the boys kept taking my broom and dust pan to sweep the ceiling, or refrigerator, or carpet. He just said, “what’s the hurry?”. And he’s right, there wasn’t any hurry. 

He’s always thoughtful and puts his family first. And we love him. 

Happy Father’s Day!


Mother’s Day 2017

I’m having a wonderful day today, and I hope that you are too! My day has been full of happy surprises.I got to sleep in all the way to 8 am, and when I came out of the bedroom there was breakfast on the table and a hot cup of tea. Then, my husband took Mr. 3 to the grocery store while the baby was napping and I had a whole hour to myself to read and play with my new Kindle 8HD. But that’s not all, folks! They came home with beautiful flowers. Later the baby took his first few independent steps while playing basketball!  I’m so happy I could burst! Thank you!


Traveling for work… ick

I don’t know exactly how to describe the way I am feeling. I don’t know if I’m tired, sad that the sun has gone away again, PMS, perhaps even that 3rd child we’ve been trying for… but I feel … I feel bad.

My husband has been out of town for work this week, and he comes back tonight. Yay! I thought I was doing really well but today it’s catching up to me.

I was going to make a post earlier this week about how a can-do attitude can change everything, but now I think it takes more than that!

It’s so lonely being away from family and not having anyone to help out. I know it was only 4 days, and the kids are happy and healthy, but it’s been hard!

I have the utmost respect for those people who’s significant others travel a lot and I am very grateful that mine does not. Although maybe it gets easier with practice? 

All in all though, the kids have been great. Thanks to the sunny weather we spent a significant amount of time on the patio playing sandbox, or restaurant. We did some art, we read some stories. We played with trains and trucks. We walked the dog 3 times and saw a nearby construction site. 

Still, I told my husband for Mother’s Day I want to stay in bed all day!

(By the way, those Play dough creatures and tape collage projects are all inspired by Rachelle Doorley at Tinkerlab. )

About, Daily Lessons

What do you want your children to learn?

“I’ve been to day-school too,” said Alice; “you needn’t be so proud as all that.”

“With extras?” asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.

“Yes,” said Alice, “we learned French and music.”

“And washing?” said the Mock Turtle.

“Certainly not!” said Alice indignantly.

“Ah! Then yours wasn’t a really good school,” said the Mock Turtle…

Have you thought about what you want your children to get out of school? What qualifies as a good education for you?

This is a really hard question but I’ve been thinking about it and I came up with a little list. I am sure it will change as my children get older, but it’s a foundation to build on.

  1. Reading and Writing РI want them to be able to read and write at a level that will allow them to do well in a business environment.
  2. Mathematics РI want them to do all the basic math we do daily without a calculator (calculating tips, fractions, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction , basic algebra).
  3. Science – I want them to have a basic understanding of the different branches and how they fit together to make the world work.
  4. History – I want them to understand how our history affects us today, how to learn from our mistakes, and how to protect our futures.

More importantly, I want them to

  1. understand how to take care of themselves. Eat healthy, be safe, take care of their house and belongings.
  2. be good people who help those in need and are always respectful of everyone regardless of color, age, sex, or anything that may make someone different.
  3. know how to find answers to the questions they have. I want them to know where to learn more about the things they are interested in or may need to further themselves in school or work or life.
  4. how to spend/save/give money wisely.

The more I think about this, the longer the list gets, but I am confident they will learn everything that they need to learn and much more besides. I feel that the best place for them to learn all of these things is out in the real world, interacting with ordinary people, and seeing how things work first hand.

What do you want your children to learn?


This job is hard.

I asked my husband last night if he ever felt overwhelmed, as if he felt in over his head. He said, sure, sometimes. I clarified, did he feel this way about the kids, did he ever not know what to do with them? And he said “no, never”.

That must be nice, because I feel overwhelmed and unsure several times a week.

Last night, shortly after bedtime, Mr. 1 makes an unusual cry and I go in to investigate. His foot is caught in between the crib and the wall and in the dark it looked completely backwards. I immediately try to get it out and without light it feels stuck and I freak out that his leg is broken or his ligament is torn and that’s when he starts crying for real. I feel like I’m the one that broke his leg so I yell for my husband and he comes running but by then the foot is out and the baby is fine. It all took about 30 seconds and I was the only one crying after that. 

My toddler watched the whole thing from his bed (they share a room) and said “what’s wrong?”. 

If I had taken the time to turn on a light and look at the foot or consider that the baby noises were of discomfort, not screaming pain, I would have realized there was no reason to worry.  

There are other signs that make me feel like I am not cut out for this job. We were brushing teeth last Thursday, the night I put them to bed myself because my husband plays basketball, and Mr. 3 was goofing around and not listening and I may have said something along the lines of “put your teeth together, doofus!”… 

It’s shameful, calling my three year old names, isn’t it? 

My husband tells me he thinks I’m doing a wonderful job… but there is no way to really tell, is there? 

I have to remind myself that these kids are happy and healthy. That is all that matters in the end. 

Do you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing? 


My Inspirations

There are a few people that really inspire me to homeschool and fill me with the confidence that I can do this. (Other than my husband, of course.)

Sara at Happiness Is Here blogs about what it’s like to Unschool her four daughters in Australia. I find her content just so inspiring because it really works for her family and she can explain it all in ways that make anybody feel like they can do it, too. She also promotes respectful parenting which sounds amazing but is REALLY hard to do. I fail at this ALL the time.

Rachelle at TinkerLab and her Art Habit art class has shown me that is possible to make art with children without lasting damage to my house or my nerves. My children really enjoyed the projects she explains in her class and her play dough has lasted us for months. Best of all, it is all online so we can do it whenever it is convenient to us. I strongly feel more capable of providing art time for my children and more urge to do so because their learning and happiness is evident with these activities.

I would love to find more people like these, so suggestions are always welcome.