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Settling Down

We’ve decided to settle down in…

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON!

It’s the most logical choice. We’ve lived there twice before. We have friends, doctors, dentists, family and other services already established so there’s no start-up stress. It meets all of our criteria for hobbies and activities. Spokane is warm and dry in the summer, cold and sunny in the winter and experiences the four seasons. And it’s affordable to live here without breaking the bank :)

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The Tides Have Turned

When we set out on this journey 11 months ago, we didn’t know if we’d make it past a week in this lifestyle, let alone permanently. So we set a goal to give it a year and then re-evaluate. We are wrapping up our year and have experienced so much; met some wonderful new friends, saw some much missed old friends, and have evolved as human beings.

We’ve learned how to be respectful of one another in 300 sqft. of space—1000 sqft. less than than the smallest house we’ve ever owned. As a family we’ve learned to practice patience with one another, although I may need a refresher course. My favorite aspect of this adventure has been the process of becoming minimalists—only keeping the essentials with us, even if I need to declutter routinely. The small space allows us to deep clean in about 15 minutes, even if there is so little to do that it’s hard to find chores for the kids to help with. I guess that’s a good problem to have.

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Let the Homeschooling Begin

After way too much electronic freedom, its time to detox the kids’ minds and get back to learning. We are using August as a fill in the gaps month and get a head start on some subjects that need some brushing up. Its a fairly light schedule to ease back into lessons. They will all start their music lessons: piano for Mr. S and Divagirl and guitar for Mr. T.  Divagirl should be able to finish her Reading Lesson book and refresh her memory on All About Spelling. The boys will also work through the All About Spelling program albeit at a much faster pace. They can probably get through the first 2 books in a week.

We will start reading The Wind in the Willows aloud each night as a family round robin. The boys will also start their first assignment with Teacher-Grammy reading The Outsiders. Lastly, everyone will work on Cursive First since Divagirl is still learning to write and the boys need some maintenance on their established handwriting. We also started some art lessons. I bought the Kindle edition of this Art Lab book and the lessons are really delightful.

All remaining subjects will start around the 1st of September.

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Reading Update

Divagirl is a Daisy Girl Scout and yesterday she had a troop meeting. They worked on Sunny’s petal, friendly and helpful, and the girls who wanted to participate could take turns reading Sunny’s story out loud to the group.

Divagirl took turns reading!

I was so proud of her progress I could’ve burst :) She did so well reading fluently for the most part, sounding out the bigger words when necessary and getting a little help now and then. And to think in January she couldn’t retain a handful of sight words! I really had my doubts whether or not she’d be reading anything at all until next Fall. It just validates that I made the right decision to homeschool her.

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Socializing the Kiddos

The first thing a non-homeschooler asks a homeschooler is “What about socialization??” (gasp!) And whenever I’m asked that I know in my head the answer, but I’m usually so busy or distracted with other things that it comes out all mixed up like I’m defending it as I go along.

Or, if I’m having a bad day the comment may be more on the snarky side like “Of course public schools socialize better, just look at all the bullies and standardized testing that will help them succeed in the real world if one of their suicidal peers doesn’t shoot them first.”

Yeah, probably shouldn’t use that one too much. All kidding aside, home-schooled children are more real-world socialized than those in a traditional school setting. I think the question that people are meaning to ask is usually “How will your kids meet new people?”