I love homeschooling. It’s truly what my husband and I feel is the best fit for our family. Homeschooling offers us so many benefits. We have flexibility with our schedules, can tailor our lessons to the interests of our kids, can adjust our pace (faster or slower) to meet their needs, and so much more. Like anything else, though, it’s not always sunshine and kittens. Sometimes homeschooling is hard, and complicated, and exhausting. Homeschooling with a new baby is one of those times.
That birth and recovery were complicated by some rather unusual life circumstances leading up to it and after (I’ll explain more about that another day). So, while it’s been quiet on this site, it has NOT been quiet in my house! About a month after Isabelle was born we started back to school. The transition went smooth as silk. The baby peacefully slept or cooed through every lesson and the toddlers patiently and quietly played with toys the entire time while big kids faithfully completed their work without a bit of whining or impatience. Wait, no, that’s not right. That’s what I had fantasized about, but it’s NOT how it worked out!
The reality was that our days were ROUGH! The baby fussed and cried. A lot. The toddler and preschooler alternated between wreaking havoc and bickering. The big kids? Well let’s just say that taking a month off didn’t exactly do wonders for our routine. Throw in me being exhausted with roller coaster hormones and I’ve never felt less capable of homeschooling! That’s why I am so excited that the OCEANetwork (Oregon Christian Home Education Association Network) homeschool conference is this weekend (July 22-23, 2016)!
Every year I find the OCEANetwork conference so encouraging. This year’s theme of ‘Growing in wisdom and stature’ is perfect for me. I definitely need some wisdom on how to handle the season of life we are in now! If that wasn’t obvious before, it was when I noticed the theme of the workshops* I plan to attend.
*note: You can find the full workshop listing, with descriptions, on the OCEANetwork page here.
Session 1 (not related to my chaotic life): How to Build Lifelong Learners with Math-U-See– I want to use this curriculum with Aidan, so I figured familiarizing myself with it would be good.
Session 2: Get REAL– From the conference page, “Are you convinced that every homeschooling family except yours is great? Do you believe the lie that others are more organized, better prepared, have smarter kids, are wiser parents, and have a child in the national spelling bee? Well, let me set the record straight…that’s not the way it is! The truth is most moms feel inadequate. Homeschooling moms fear that they’re letting their kids down in their education and in example. They feel like their house is out of control, their children are beasts, and the sizzle has left their marriages. Join us as we unleash the power in being REAL. You’ll never be the same again.”
Session 3: When Life Broadsides Your Homeschool– From the conference page, “You had a wonderful plan at the beginning of the school year for a well-rounded education, envisioning academic excellence and character development in your smiling, well-adjusted offspring. But then . . . life happened. How do you find “normal” again? In this workshop, Vicki helps you focus on the essentials when you’re on the frontlines, especially in a crisis situation.”
Session 4: (not related to my chaotic life) Climate Change and Your Right to Homeschool- This one is just for me to stay informed on what is going on in the homeschooling world.
Session 5: What to Do When Your Plan Doesn’t Go According to Plan– From the conference page, “We like things nice and neat, orderly, and with a predictable outcome, but most of the time OUR plans don’t come together as we hoped. Instead, our plans often fall apart, disintegrate right before our eyes, and leave us dumbfounded and stunned. Join me as we take an honest and humorous look at plans, why they fall apart, and what to do when they have.”
Session 6: (not 100% related to my chaotic life) An Unbeatable Team– My husband and I try to attend 1 marriage workshop together each year. While this isn’t 100% about our chaotic lives, it does relate. If we are going to make it through this crazy season we are going to have to stand strong together!
I can’t describe how much I’m looking forward to the conference this weekend. I plan to soak up as much wisdom as I can, visit with some good friends, have quality time with my husband, and do some SHOPPING! Are you coming? If you see me there, be sure to come say hi to Isabelle and I!