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"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
—William A. Ward

Parenting, especially homeschooling, has taught me one very important thing, while adjusting the sail don’t forget to throw your head back and feel the breeze on your face.  

Our homeschooling journey has had its’ ups and downs and I've been realistic about it. There are days though, like yesterday, when I reach for our materials and realize that my little creator of chaos has actually accomplished the items needed to move from K/1st to 1st/2nd -I do a combination of grades allowing for them to have more flexibility in their core academic requirements-.

So our plans in the next few weeks will include a little graduation for him, something he has been looking forward to for a very long time. As realistic as I am that our struggles aren't over, that there will still be days when I want to bang my head against the desk, or actually bang my head against the desk. There is hope, that there will always be a breeze to refresh us.   


Copyright(c)2014 Rayven Holmes

Wow.  2013, what can I say?  Well, if you've read this blog for any amount of time you can tell I didn't say (type) much during the year.  On my personal blog I love to do a yearly recap, highlighting a post from each month, of course if I did that for this blog I would have FIVE whole post to share.  Blimey, that sounds a bit depressing, and in a way it is because I do enjoy blogging.  It’s therapeutic, it allows me to keep a running log of almost everything we do -when I actually take the time to sit and type it up-, and it’s fun to share our life with others and get a peek into their lives as well.  As much as I enjoy it, 2013 just wasn't the year for it, sure I could have made myself do it, but then it would have lost what makes it special for me and that’s just no good.

2013 wasn't a bad year, just a transitional one -to steal a phrase from a friend of mine-, and I think a break from all those various online things I spent 2011 and part of 2012 doing was good, mostly.  When we got to VA I had one goal in mind, it was my big yearly goal for 2013, to experience “all the things” in relation to home schooling options we have here.  There is a sea of co-ops, home school groups, clich├ęs, clubs, and teams to get absorbed into.  Now we didn't take part in all things on the running list in my head, but we did throw ourselves head first into a lot of opportunities, despite the chaos at home of adjusting to life back in the states, for our kids that was a huge adjustment because they don’t remember life before Okinawa.  As well as adjusting to a new area in general, first time home ownership, and the fact that we spent the first three (almost four) months of 2013 living in and out of TLF rooms (temporary living facilities for you non-military folks) which took its toll on everyone, we soldiered on in hopes that when the house of cards fell the pieces worth keeping would land face up instead of us just landing face down in a puddle of our own salty tears.

Well, the winds of 2014 blew the house down and I can say I’m pleased with the cards that are face up.  2013 was an exhausting year, but we gained some great insight into what works for us and what breaks us.  Once again I find myself reverting back to a central schedule, that got thrown to the wayside in 2013, and as a result there were clear negative changes in behavior, that were further agitated by all the other changes our family was going through, and not just for the children but for the adults as well.  I’m a firm believer in family cohesion and acknowledging that change doesn't just upset the children, but the adults as well, and our reaction to those changes can cause even more issues for our children.  It can easily become a cycle of negativity, stress, and frustration.  Now, personally that’s now how I like to live my life, and not how I want to live it, nor does this allow for a cohesive family unit.  The beauty in today’s obstacles is clarity tomorrow, though, and I have plenty of clarity now.

We’re all going into the new year with a family schedule, once again, and the freedom to say no to anything that doesn't fit, of course Uncle Sam is the only loop hole to this, but we have a pretty good idea about what he has in store for our family this year, which is a tremendous improvement over the last few years, and will allow our schedule to work in our favor even more than it has in the past.

For new readers let me reiterate something I've mentioned countless times before, I know schedules don’t work for every family.  Some like to play things loosely goosey and find that the rigidness of a schedule reminds them of public education and thus they avoid it.  That’s what makes the individuality of home schooling so amazing, what works for my family doesn't have to work for your family.  Take the bits you like and apply them as you see fit and throw out the rest, my family is just one example of the sea of home schooling families out there, and I promise you we all have a very different way of getting through these years of sleepless nights, family upheaval, and algebra.  Find what works for your family and stick with it and if or when it stops working embrace the freedom to change it.

And if all else fails, just dance.


Copyright(c)2014 Rayven Holmes