Homeschooling Adventures: Upper Canada Village

Frequently I am asked about our reasons for homeschooling, and it seems I am never able to deliver the right message, the real juice behind why homeschooling suits us. I tend to ramble on about how disappointing the experience has been with BigBrother’s schooling years, about the lack of emphasis on the foundational skills such as handwriting and spelling, not to mention the fact that children are essentially, raising themselves while they are away from their parents for the majority of their young lives.  People tend to nod, half interested, hardly convinced. I’m not interested in standing on my soapbox because I know the decision isn’t everyone’s brand. (We’re a seventh generation laundry soap kinda famjam while others prefer Tide; and ya know what? I think if we all used the same kind, no one would notice how delicious their soap smelled, cause everyone would be wearin it.) Someday, perhaps the next time I’m asked, I might just tell people some of the real reasons we choose to bypass traditional education.

Cue photos of awesomely fun times:
uppercanadavillage1
uppercanadavillagefunWho doesn’t want to spend their days with friends, despite their ages? Who doesn’t want to learn from real life experiences, using all of our powerful senses? uppercanadavillage3Learning to work together, respecting each other’s individual skills, is something that children need help with, and who better for the job than a person who she deeply respects. It could be a parent or a carefully selected individual. We can see all around us that children need someone to orbit around, and if we don’t help them choose those people, they WILL find ’em themselves, whether we think it’s best or not.uppercanadavillage2Sibling relationships, although not always amicable, are valuable. uppercanadavillage4

How about just being outside?Uppercanadavillage

How about having the freedom to grow and learn in the direction that best suits your family? How about saying to your kids ” Get your stuff on we’re going out”. And then you just…do.

The opportunity to learn is everywhere…just waiting for you to drink it up!

 

Happy learning, happy living,

HayMama

The Midnight Hour

This one’s short and sweet. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve just come off a great late night high. The kind that’s induced by a quiet house, the midnight hour, chocolate cake made for me by a dear friend, and soulful conversation with the love of my life, my partner in crime, my best friend. Everything wonderful comes at a price, and last night, I paid in hours of sleep, but it was definitely worth the sacrifice. We spoke about our life and our dreams. We rehashed our master plan, beating it down and building it up, building each other up. Yes you can do it, yes we can do it. But we can’t do it the way we are going about it right now. SO we’ve marked some milestones on the calendar, we’ve set some financial goals, and we’ve planned our summer. It’s going to be a good one. beach6 beach7forestwalk

 

HayMama

Musical Monday

Music is a pretty important part of our lives here; it’s what brings us together before bed while we sing along to Papa Bear’s guitar playing. It’s how we clean the house. It’s how we measure time (let’s clean your room in just one song okay?). It’s how we handle car rides (6 songs, one news break and a commercial block to dance class). We have songs that mark milestones in our past, and some we’ve tucked away for future events. It’s what makes us smile on the inside.

Throw back to 2002. Where would you have found me? The bottom bunk, in a teensy cabin full of female camp counsellors, the place where I met my best gal. Sigh. What did we do while we hid from the campers you ask? Listen to Nora and eat snacks…..same thing I do as a grown up when I need a quick breather.

 

Happy listening,

xo

HayMama

For the Mamas

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.

~Author UnknownmothersdaypostThanks to the mamas for everything you do… our own mamas included.

Happy Weekending

xo

HayMama

The Beach and Bathroom Hideouts

Yesterday was the kinda day when we decided to leave it all behind, the mess, the dishes, the unfinished paperwork, and the hunt for the best topsoil price. We packed up our picnic basket with some fruit salad, water, and iced coffee for Mama, and headed straight for the place that no other Canadian would ever dare to go this time of year– the beach. beach1
We took turns holding our wings out like birds, until we almost blew away. The wind was incredibly powerful, so much that we couldn’t hear each other unless we shouted. More than once, we were chasing after our belongings, and of course, we never once set foot in the water. beach5beach3beach4We left sun kissed and refreshed. I could be the kind of blogger who tells you that I returned home to the mess and calmly put it all away. The kids ate all their vegetables, and I sent them off to bed with no complaints, but then you’d either think I’m lying, or you’d wonder why your children don’t do the same, and since I’m not out to do either, I’ll tell you what actually happened…

It’s 9pm, dishes are still scattered as well as a plethora of building blocks, clothing, and shoes that no one ever seems to leave by the doorway. Big Brother is still grumbling about, and Wild Flower has stumbled out of bed to go to the bathroom just this once’ and Lil Eagle, well, he’s been asleep for an hour and is now awake, yelling at me to “SNUGGLE”, the way he has all.day. PapaBear? He’s just finished showering off his day, feeling a bit more calm than I, so I jokingly run into the bathroom and slam the door, telling him to saaaave me. We sit down in the teensy space, him on the toilet seat, myself on the step stool, and sigh. I ramble through all of the frustrations I’m feeling, and he listens. And then we giggle. “Isn’t it funny that we live on eight acres with four out buildings and a great house, and here we sit in this tiny bathroom”. It’s as though he read my mind. “Hiding?” I add in. When we emerged, WildFlower was quietly reading in bed, Big Brother had Lil Bro snuggled on the couch and was waiting for us so he could head off to bed, himself, and when I woke up this morning? The mess was still here. Who knows…maybe we’ll head to the beach.beach2

 

xo

HayMama

Musical Monday

Music is a pretty important part of our lives here; it’s what brings us together before bed while we sing along to Papa Bear’s guitar playing. It’s how we clean the house. It’s how we measure time (let’s clean your room in just one song okay?). It’s how we handle car rides (6 songs, one news break and a commercial block to dance class). We have songs that mark milestones in our past, and some we’ve tucked away for future events. It’s what makes us smile on the inside.

 

Love me a lil Indie