Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 2/27/18

Today I'm so thankful for my husband.  I haven't been feeling well since Saturday evening and he's been helping the kids, running to the appointments and bringing me all the food and meds I need :)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Review: Set Free to Choose Right by Josh McDowell

Equipping Today's Kids to Make Right Moral Choices for Life... How do we do that and what does it truly mean? I've seen what is almost a moral decline with the rise of technology. When we were growing up you had encyclopedias you could look sex up in or someone's parent might have a book or magazine. That was pretty much it other than kids talking and the discussions that our parents had with us. The rise of technology has changed all that and made it very hard for parents to monitor what and how their children learn about sex.  It's not even just what they learn about sex, but pornography is rampant on the internet. Our children, or even us, can run across it without ever even meaning too!

When I was growing up doing the right thing meant what my parents had taught me and if it was right in God's eyes. As I grew older those were the things I asked myself when deciding to make a choice. Granted I made choices that weren't "right" in my parents eyes or God's eyes, but for the most part that's what I and most people were thinking. In this day and age it seems almost like whatever feels good should be done and as long as it doesn't hurt someone physically then it's ok. Is it ok for a child or husband to view pornography? Well, if it's not physically hurting anyone then why not let them? There doesn't seem to be thought or consideration to the wife or the family as a whole. It seems to be mostly about what I want, what I can get and can I get more than another. It seems what we grew up thinking was right and the moral values we had have quickly gone out with the bath water so to speak.  We need to focus on and work with our families to bring the morals back home and have more accountability in the choices and action we chose.

Josh McDowell has written a wonderful book with lots of great examples and suggestions to help our families get back to those moral values.  He has written about the 4 C's process.  This is a guide to help your children make great choices.  

1. Consider the choice
2. Compare it to God
3. Commit to God's way
4. Count on God's protection and provision

We must learn as we use this process that we should be the ones asking questions trying to get to the heart of the matter with our children.  We can chose our way or God's way. Sin is when we choose our own way in an attempt to fulfill our selfish desires.  If we chose God's way then we have a relationship with him that brings fulfillment and joy.  Following God's way always results in a rewarding purpose. I think this book is wonderfully written with lots of examples of how to work through situations with our children. I would highly recommend it.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review." 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why We Homeschool.....

I have to admit that I had never heard of homeschooling other than my aunt and uncle homeschooling my cousin in Oregon. I was young and it seemed such a foreign thing to me. I really didn't know what exactly it meant to homeschool and since we lived in NC I didn't get to "see" them homeschooling. I really didn't think much about it until we had our first child. I knew early on that I wanted to homeschool. At that time I really didn't have a reason other than it just seemed something deep within me that I felt the need to do.  I remember being very nervous to discuss it with my husband because again we didn't know anyone else that homeschooled. I recall that we were eating at Pizza Hut one day and I broached the subject with him. His response was sounds good and he's been on board ever since.

I remember that it was an adjustment in the friendship department because all of my friends at the time were sending their kids to public schools. It wasn't that they weren't supportive that I wanted to homeschool, but they didn't really understand. I think it was the mindset if public school was good enough for their children why wasn't it good enough for mine? It honestly wasn't that it wasn't good enough, but that I wanted something different. I know many homeschool because of issues they had in school, but I honestly felt that I had a good public school experience.  For the most part I had great teachers, did well in school and had friends.

When we started homeschooling I had NO idea all the information or choices that were out there. In some ways I think that was good because even now all the information can be hard for me to not flip flop around about what is best.  We lived in Ca at the time and used a Charter School. I know many don't like any type of government involvement, but I really liked our experience.  The kids were able to attend classes that we couldn't have otherwise afforded.  We also had access to materials that we couldn't have otherwise afforded.  When we moved to NC we didn't have that same option, so it was like starting over.  We have graduated one child, have a daughter that is a sophomore and a son that is in 5th grade.  I probably have more reasons to homeschool now than I did in the beginning :) Times have changed so much since we started homeschooling and that adds to some of my reasons.  Here are a few I came up with as I was starting to write this post.

* I enjoy being with my kids even on the rough days. There have been many days that I wondered if we were doing the right thing, but it always came down to the fact that I just can't imagine them not being here every day.

* I like that I can decide what I want to teach and how I'll teach it. I teach math, reading/english, science and history and then decide based on each child what other items we will work through.

* When a child has any type of learning issues it is very easy for them to fall through the cracks.  Our youngest has had quite a few medical issues since birthday. I have had to change my way of teaching because there are issues with his learning that I hadn't dealt with before. I've realized that when you have a child that can't focus you have to figure out how to get him to focus.  When he forgets his abc's or his addition facts then there might need to be more review. Sometimes I've realized that we just have to stop some days because it's not working. I like that with homeschooling I can change things easier than they could be changed in the public schools.

* I like being able to use games for learning.  Games can be a wonderful learning tool. Now with the internet it's even easier to find free printables to help your child with their learning. My son has learned so much through games and he's never even realized it was learning (LOL)

* I like that when the kids were younger and my husband would be off sometimes that we could just take the day off as well. It was helpful because often my husband worked long hours and sometimes we really only saw him on Sunday.

* I also enjoy making my own schedule.  If we have a day of appointments then I can just count it as a non-school day. When we get snow I can let the kids play and do a half day and I still feel we are productive. If I don't want to take a holiday off then that's my choice. It's the flexibility to work nights if we need too, Saturday's, the summer, etc.

* Basically homeschooling is a lot about our choices.  I want to be able to have my kids read the Bible and study it as part of their school education. That wouldn't happen if they were in public school.  I want the choices to change programs during the year if I need too or give up a book completely. I like that my kids can go visit a family member or go vacation with a friend because I don't have to worry about whether the public school will ok the time off.  It's my plan, my schedule and my choices.  It's a huge responsibility too though. There are many sleepless nights stressing over whether my kids are learning what they need to know or not.  Are they behind their peers, will they be productive adults, etc?

* There are so many safety issues now in the public school that I might make that my #1 reason if I was starting all over again. I know that we can't control everything that will happen to our children or keep them safe every place they go in life. When they are young though I don't want them to ever fear that if they go off to school they might not come home again. I feel that has become common in society now. Parents are having to discuss with their children about school shootings and how to behave.

My reasons are probably pretty much the same as most parents.  I want my kids to have a good childhood, learn to love learning and be productive citizens as they grow up.  I'm thankful that I have been able to be at home with my children for all these years and homeschool them.  If I was a new mom today I'd make the same choice.  I might make different choices in the schooling process, but I'd make this journey all over again.

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 2/20/2018

Today while I ran a few errands and did some shopping I realized HOW thankful I am for stores! Sometimes I wish I had lived in simpler times, but honestly I can be lazy and I'm NOT sure I could have managed (LOL) It's nice to be able to drive to the store and get pretty much everything I need. 

Review: Bytes of Learning

UltraKey Bytes of Learning
In the ever growing age of technology typing has become more common and used than cursive handwriting! Enter Bytes of Learning and their UltraKey Online Family Subscription.  Bytes of Learning has taken a subject that many would consider dull and boring and changed it into an exciting and wonderfully unique way of teaching typing.  I remember taking typing in 10th grade and we had electric typewriters back then.  Now it seems that even desktop computers aren't that common. It's more laptops, tables, i-pad's etc.  Kids are learning to type at a much younger age than I ever did and it's all due to how connected we are to the technological world.

UltraKey Online Family Edition
Our youngest son is ten years old and has struggled with handwriting, due to fine motor and strength issues, his entire life. It was recommended to us early on that we try cursive handwriting or possibly even typing as a better way for him to communicate. We have dabbled a bit in both, but haven't seem to have gotten to the mastery level in either.  This typing program is much different from others that we have tried. This is more of a success-based learning program.  The learning is broken down into 12 lessons with 12 Skill Checks as well. There are also the Typing Forum where you can practice as well as the Game Zone for practice in a fun environment.  I decided that I could probably use some polishing on my own typing skills as well, so I chose to work on this program along with my son.

When we first received the email I went and logged into the site. I spent some time looking through the User Guide, watching the Intro Movies and learning more about setting up the accounts for my son and myself.  Bytes of Learning has made this be a pretty easy setup and we were sent our own link to log in.  I easily was able to save this link into my favorites, so that my son and I could access it whenever we were ready to type.  I felt like this program was setting my son up for success because we were able to either choose a goal for him or go with the one the program set.  I really liked that because I was able to chose a speed goal for myself and it gave me something to work hard at achieving.  Another key thing about this program that I think will interest most kids is that capacity to make their own personal changes to their program.  The kids can change their background, the colors of their hands for the keyboard, etc. I think my son was MOST excited that he could choose his hand color. Being a bi-racial child this seemed to mean a ton to him that the hands could look like his.

This program is recommended for kids 8+ and to work twice a week for 20-30 minutes. As with any program parents know their children best and this program could be used with a younger child if the parent wanted.  Issac is ten, but as I mentioned struggles with fine motor issues. He has very large hands for a child his age and they tend to get tired more quickly than others his age. I let him work through this program at his pace. I knew he might not get very far, but I felt for us it was more important for him to work on strength and pace and enjoy the program.  For myself I chose a 72 wpm goal with 98% accuracy. I noticed that I didn't have much trouble at all achieving that until lesson 10 when the numbers were introduced. That slowed me down and I struggled to pass that skill check. I had to redo it several times and still have the last two lessons to go. I had no idea that numbers slowed me down that much, but I've realized it's something I need to slow down and work through. I also found that I'm very used to spell check and that was something this program helped me to do was slow down just a tad to make sure the spelling was correct.  Here are a few shots that I took throughout the program while Issac and I worked.

Below is what was shown after I chose my original goal.

This is what showed up in Issac's report for his goal. 

You are always able to go in and see how your student did in the report section. Here's a little look at how it's set up. 

Here is an example of what you learn in each lesson.

Below shows the skill checks that are to be completed.  You are given several selections in the skill checks. You can chose your type of passage, the length and the time you will type. I don't think I've ever seen a program that offered those options and I REALLY liked that!

 You get cute little awards when doing well in the Game Zone.

 I thought it was neat to see this little well done note after I improved in the section I was struggling to work through.  I feel like all the little notes and awards really appeal to kids. At one time it even suggested that I stop the skill check for then because I wasn't passing. I thought that was pretty cool.

Currently this program is setup only for the North American keyboard, spelling and content.  Orientation for the UK and Australian/New Zealand markets will be occurring in 2018. There are currently personal, school and family options available. 

I know that all children are different and some of them like to do certain programs and types of work and others don't. My son didn't complain a single time and even chose to work in the  UltraKey Online Family Subscription that we were given from Bytes of Learning on the weekends. I think it will take us longer than the average for him to get through the program The ultimate goal is accuracy and speed and I don't mind it taking a little longer to get there when he's enjoying the "ride." 

You can always get more information on their Facebook page.  
UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Wulf the Saxon

Heirloom Audio Productions

I was first introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions last year when we were fortunate enough to be able to review In the Reign of Terror and Captain Bayley's Heir.  Heirloom Audio Productions have produced several wonderful audio stories.  They are based on the G.A. Henty's novels and are a fun way to learn history. Heirloom Audio has a love and passion to bring history to our families.  They travel around to literally "live the adventure" when they are producing these stories.  Here is a little video that gives an example of how they do that as they work on their next audio story.

Wulf the Saxon is two cd's with 2 1/2 hours of non-stop audio adventure that includes love, loyalty and sacrifice.  In this story Wulf is a sixteen year old Saxon that is sent away for what is considered "misconduct' to the royal courts.  He is sent back to his estate for one year.  During this time he learned what his civic duties were as a land owner became quite handy with weapons and quite honestly matured.  Later in the story he travels with Harold the Earl of Wessicks and they become stranded on the shores of Normandy.  The shipwrecked Saxons were placed under guard, but Wulf and another managed to escape.  The Earl had told them to go to Barron Deburg and that he would help the rest of the men escape.  After this rescue Wulf becomes friends with the Barron's son and develops a fondness for his daughter.  Wulf has matured as well as become quite the warrior.  He even saves Barron Deburges son's life during battle.  As time goes on we see deceipt, friendship, fighting and dishonesty, loyalty, love and death through this audio adventure.

Wulf the Saxon

 Heirloom Audio Productions has done an amazing job at producing a quality and engaging audio story.  I think often times people don't choose audio stories because they feel they might not become as engaged with no picture. Heirloom Audio Productions has done a wonderful job of getting the audio to be captivated with the wonderful audio quality.  When you listen to these stories you feel you are right in that time period and the way the audio levels rise and lower depending on the story truly keeps the listener excited. I've also realized that the more I listen to the story the more I learn. There is so much included in these audio stories that every time you listen you pick up some tidbit that you didn't catch the last time. These stories are so enriching and full of live that you can continually listen to them over and over and never be bored. I have to admit that I really have never been an audio story listener, but I have become more captivated and entrigued with these stories than possibly even my son.  I couldn't wait to see what adventure awaited us with Wulf the Saxon.

Heirloom Audio Adventure Club

Heirloom has gone a step further to enhance the experience by making a Live the Adventure Club.  Here you have access to many additional items that will further enhance this audio learning experience.  Your child can listen to the audio story in the car to keep them from being bored as well as they can take some of the information they learn and explore it further. We often have to travel to doctor's appointments that are an hour or more each way.  These audio stories are great for trips like those. We were able to listen to the entire audio story in one day on a trip to the doctor and back home.  Heirloom Audio Productions have given us an amazing start with the audio story about Wulf the Saxon and it's up to us how far we take the journey.  

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Review: Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I've said it before and I'll have to repeat myself that I truly love reading book series.  I truly feel that I get to know each and every character in depth and I usually feel I can visual the setting's much clearer as well.  The author is able to focus more on a shorter story and develop what is needed to truly capture the reader's attention. Phoebe's Light is the first in the Nantucket Legacy by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  Phoebe Starbuck has watched over and taken care of her father for many years. Her dream has been to marry Captain Phineas Foulger, but her father and others don't believe he's a good match for Phoebe.  His first wife passed away and his daughter is close to Phoebe's age and is greatly opposed to him marrying Phoebe.  

We have all heard the saying about the grass being greener on the other side. That's Phoebe's thinking that marrying the Captain will save her father from himself and give her a live of love and adventure. What she doesn't realize is that the adventure isn't always a good one or the one we want.  Phoebe is extremely seasick after she and the captain set sail.  The marriage is off to a rocky start and Phoebe doesn't understand why the captain seems to treat her as more of a child than his wife. Thankfully she has the friendship of her old friend, Matthew Macy, and a mute cabin boy named Silo.  Phoebe's Light is an easy read that is shedding light on some of the historical times that we might not otherwise know.  We get to know more about whaling and the lifestyle of the Quaker people.  

** I received this book free from Revell for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 2/13/2018

Thankful Tuesday

As I finished up a good book I realized that I had not made my Thankful Tuesday post today. I asked myself "What are you thankful for today?" the answer couldn't have been clearer since I just finished a book :) Today I'm thankful for books! I know many love reading online these days and while I have read a few things that way I really love holding that book in my hand.  Certain books have a smell to them that for those that love to read is intoxicating.  I remember as a child folding down the corners to mark my stopping place.  As an adult I feel it's criminal to do that and can't believe I once was "one of THOSE people" that did that to books (LOL) I'm really thankful for books in any shape and for the places we can get books. I couldn't tell you when I've purchased a book new.  I love to get them from thrift stores, borrow from friends or the library and the last few years I've been blessed to review for Revell.  

The above pile is my currently stash from the library.  I can't imagine not having access to the library! I've always dreamed of living right across the street, so I could go anytime I wanted :)

This stash is my current pile that I own that I'm working through. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: COLDWATER by Samuel Parker

I'm not sure many in this world could understand the depths of evil that reside inside Michael.  As a young child he let jealousy and the need for love to allow him to take a life.  The life of his younger brother. From that day on Michael's life was never the same. He was sentenced to prison at the age of 10! How does a 10 year old live and survive in an adult prison? The evil inside of Michael took over, like an act of protection. When Michael's sentence is served he heads home to the only home he's known other than prison. Everyone in town knows his story and they don't want him there. They whisper of the danger that surrounds him and the evil that follows his every step. Michael just wanted to be left alone, but Haywood decided that he and "his boys" would handle the situation once and for all!

Cold Water starts off with Michael awakening and realizing he's been buried alive. He is able to dig his way out, but knows that if they came after him once they will continue to do it again and again.  As the story unfolds Michael is desperately trying to stay steps ahead of Haywood and his men. All the while dealing with the evil within and the local men hunting him down Michael doesn't realize that his sister is returning to town to deal with him in her own way.

Samuel Parker is a new author to me and I found I enjoyed his writing. The characters were developed, the plot was interesting and I was hooked enough to read this book in one afternoon.  

** I received this book from Revel free for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week Ending 2/10/2018 Fun, STEM & Crafts

This year I wanted to be a little more intentional in doing fun things, experiments, crafts, etc with the kids.  Issac is still at the age where he's game to do anything even if it's a learning activity :) I've seen lots of activities that are for younger kids, but I still felt he would enjoy them, they would be quick to do and ultimately we'd have fun and learn something. This week we were able to do a few different activities. I think Issac enjoyed them equally, but when asked he said his favorite was the cloud dough. The cloud dough was super simple, it was equal parts of foam shaving cream and cornstarch.  We didn't start out with a large enough bowl, so ended up having to try and mix in two different bowls. That's wasn't best because one bowl seemed drier, so we finally found a large enough bowl to mix the two together. Issac made a video of us making this dough HERE on his YouTube channel. He makes funny videos and is always looking for new followers. He's up to 14 and super happy :) Before I could get pictures he decided to add baby oil to the dough and see what happened. It totally changed the texture and wasn't the fun cloud dough we made :) According to him he was experimenting and that's always fun :)

Another things we did this week was talk about how animals in the cold climates stay warm.  This was a super cute activity and really got the point across to Issac. All you need is a bowl, water, ice and some Crisco.  You first put your hand in the ice water for as long as you can stand it. After that we used a finger on the other hand and covered it with Crisco. He then put it back in the ice water and realized he could keep his finger in there much longer. We discussed how the fat the animals have help keep them warm. He asked since he was fat was that what kept him warm?? Oh Issac...... :)

We also did an experiment on whether you can sink marshmallows or not.  Issac enjoyed this, but then again any time he can sneak a few marshmallows he will :)  The last activity we did this week I learned about from my friend Roxanne over at Homework and Horseplay who does amazing STEM boxes each month.  All we needed to build an igloo was a disposable cup, icing and marshmallows. We did find out as we worked that our cups were super flimsy and made the job a little harder :) Issac and I enjoyed doing this project and again he was happy to eat marshmallows and like the icing off his fingers (LOL)

All in all I think we've done a few neat activities this week and made some good memories. I want my kids to have good memories of being at home and not few school as something bad or not fun. There is always something that needs to be done that maybe they don't want to be done, but there is also time for fun and laughter :) 

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Book Review: Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

I have really developed a love for Irene Hannon's books after having read several.  She does a wonderful job of dangling the carrot in front of our nose, but never letting us get too close to grabbing it :) Dangerous Illusions is the first in the Code of Honor series. 

Trish Bailey is overworked, dealing with heartache and trying to help her mother. When her mom dies and it's discovered that it was due to an overdose of her medication Trish is destroyed. She is the one that sets up her mother's meds each week and wonders if with all she's been dealing with she killed her mother accidentally.  Detective Flynn is investigating the case and wonders if Trish made a horrible mistake or did she have other motives. Money is usually motive number one, but in this families case all the money goes to the charitable foundation her family has run. Trish had no desire to harm her mother, but did someone else? As Detective Flynn investigates there are many twists and turns in the story.  Did Trish do it? Did their accountant, Matt Parker have anything to do with it? Money doesn't seem to be the obvious motive here due to the charity, but sometimes the answers are right in front of us and we never even see them.  Irene has done a great job of helping us to truly know the characters, but to not so easily know the answer to the murder until the very end.  

** I received this book free from Revell for my honest review.

Book Review: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

I think many women have had a secret fantasy about living another life that is much more exciting than what they feel their own is currently.  Sarah Hollenbeck lived what she deemed a wonderful life until it ended in divorce. She's not sure what to do with her life at this point and is struggling to just exist.  Suddenly Sarah is a well loved author for her "steamy" novels. She doesn't want anyone to know she's the author in the beginning. Not sure if she's worried of failure, worried of what people will think, etc. One day Sarah attends church with her best friend Piper when her world changes for EVER! She meets the most handsome man she's ever seen and she feels an instant attraction. Sarah is already planning her life with this man until she looks up and sees him standing at the pulpit ready to start the service. Sarah believes with her history that this man would never want her and why would God even want her in his house?? As time goes on Sarah starts to be convicted that the novels she's been writing aren't what God would want her to write. She has talent, but is that really the best way to glorify God in this new stage of her life? As her relationship with Pastor Ben goes through many hurtles and she falls in love with an amazing little girl named Maddie, Sarah's life heads in a direction she never expected. What happens when we follow the path that God wants us to? He never guides us wrong and Sarah finds that out as she struggles to go where she believes God wants her to go. 

** I received this book free from Revell for an honest review.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Things I believe before I started homeschooling...

I was reading a blog post at Mom.Wife.Homeschool Life about 8 Things she believed about homeschooling.  It got me thinking that most of us have an idea in our mind about what homeschooling is or how our days WILL go. The reality is we really have no clue until we get into it. My aunt and uncle homeschooled my cousin and that put that little thought way back in the back of my brain when our first child was born. I always did learning activities with him and games as he was little, but it wasn't until he was almost 5 that I realized I already planned to homeschool him, but really had never talked to my husband about it (LOL) We talked, he was for it and life went on. When I think back I realize I still struggle with some of these thoughts I had and they often still creep back.

I thought by homeschooling that my kids would just pick up learning activities on their own or seek out activities that they might not get to do in public school. I imagined my children writing poetry or long stories, building things for hours, wanting to take things apart and LEARN how they work by putting them back together.  Our oldest did spend a few years where he built several things out of wood, but other than that when school time was up the kids were ready to be done with any type of learning.

I thought all our children would LOVE reading for their entire lives and never have any struggles due to all the times I read to them.  Child number one struggled for a few years and to this day hates to read. I've worried and stressed over it for years. Wondering what else I could have done, will he suffer in life, etc. I had to realize one day that my husband isn't a reader. He's always said he reads the Bible and blueprints. Our oldest is VERY much like my husband and I just had to accept that he doesn't enjoy reading. Child number two seemed to learn to read almost on her own and has read more books than I can count. She's funny though because I realized early on that I couldn't pick out things for her to read because she had her own interests. She didn't LOVE the Little House Books like i had hoped, but even at 16 she still loves to read and for that I'm thankful. Child number three comes along and seems to be learning to read well and then things went downhill. It took us YEARS to get him to the point of not struggling to read. Guess what? He hates reading and tries to get out of it every chance he can. Yep, I think I have another child like the hubby :)

I thought all of my kids would enjoy some type of musical instrument.  We tried the recorder at a young age because I remember having such fond memories. The kids liked it ok, but not really enough to want to learn lots of songs. Our oldest did guitar for a little bit and he enjoyed it. I think what he liked most about the teacher was he tried to teach him songs he had heard or knew and that made it interesting. When we moved out of state my son wasn't really interested in trying to find a new teacher. Our daughter wanted to do violin and I was so excited. Someone I've always thought the really smart kids play violin (LOL) She was actually very good at it, but decided she didn't want to do it anymore and eventually we stopped. Child number three hasn't done any instruments at all yet and I'm not sure he will.

I thought my kids would love spending time with each other and not really want to reach out to others so much. I imagined them playing together nicely all the time, doing activities and projects, etc.  The two oldest children are almost three years apart. They got along well until they reached about the ages of 7 and 10.  Then the oldest didn't seem to want to be playing with his sister anymore. The youngest is 6 years younger than the middle and it's always seemed to much. There is too much of a gap between him and the other two for them to really have enjoyed playing too much together. They all go through spurts of how they want to be around each other, but there is a TON more fighting than I ever imagined :)

I thought the house would always be clean because everyone would do their chores without being told, arguing about not wanting to do them, etc. I'm not sure that has happened a day in any of their lives (LOL) Someone is always trying to get out of a chore, put it off on another child, etc.

I thought my husband and I would have these wonderful talks every night about how the day had been. He'd be super involved in finding out what the kids did and were wanting to do. Nope, my husband has worked long hours our entire marriage. I'm not sure why I thought that would change as children came along. My husband is also not much of a talker, so those conversations I saw happening daily happen every once in a while. Long discussions about curriculum don't happen. He says I'm the teacher and should choose what I like. 

I thought any curriculum I liked the kids would like. Not sure why I thought that when my children don't like everything I like (LOL) Many things that worked with the oldest didn't work with the others. I've found that the boys did well with certain programs and maybe it didn't fit my daughter. Not saying that's how it always happens, but that's what I tended to notice.

When I learned that here in NC your children can attend community college in 11th grade and the tuition would be waived I was super excited. There are CLEP tests that can be taken for college credit and I just thought that was amazing. The oldest child had NOT a care in the world about any of that. He wanted to get through his daily work as quickly as possible and work. I finally convinced him his senior year to take a few classes. I was super worried because this is the kid that hates to read, but he figured it all out. He realized it was on him and knew what he needed to do to be successful.  Our middle child really has no interest either, but I'm holding out that she'll change her mind :) Our youngest is only 10, but according to him he's going in the 11th grade and already has everything mapped out to complete his future plans.

I thought with homeschooling that my kids would want to jump in and help me with everything I did. That they'd want to constantly do things together. That happened when they were younger, but as they got older they spent more time in their room, with friends, etc. Apparently I thought they'd magically always want me around :)

I'm sure there are plenty more things I thought and aren't reality, but this is just a few that came to mind :)

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