Why We Homeschool

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With it being my first year of homeschooling, I thought I would do a short series of our own personal life of homeschooling.
I will start with the why.

Before I go on, let me just say, I in no way shape or form think I have this all figured out or even put together.  I am only on week five currently and already, I have changed some things and learned real quick what is not working for us.  This is more just a documentation of our homeschooling life so far. 😉

One thing I have been asked frequently is what made us decide to start homeschooling.
I’ve always known that I would want to homeschool my children.  For me, personally, it was just a no brainer.  Then, we had our first born and in a blink she was school age!  We agreed for her to go to preschool.  It was the best in our area and I knew it would be something she would enjoy and gain a lot from.  I also became pregnant right in the beginning of her year of preschool so there was no way of me homeschooling.  I had about as much energy of a sloth for both first and third trimester.
We now had kindergarten to think about.  That’s when I discovered, “oh!  Kyle is not exactly on board with this homeschooling thing”.  What??  It honestly was just a conversation we never had so neither of knew exactly where the other stood.  So, we nicely debated. 😉  No, really we did.  We both did our research and was getting those all together when we got the news that Anna’s preschool was opening up for kindergarten for the first time!
I was hestitant at first as, again, I really wanted to homeschool.  However,  I also had just had a baby and by the time the new school year would start, she would only be a few months old.   After more praying, (because yes, there was a lot of praying about this decision.  Who would have thought decisions regarding our children’s education would be so stressful?!), we knew this was the right thing to do.  So, off she went back there for kindergarten, and I am forever so grateful that she did.  That year, Anna flourished!  The whole staff and community there was the best for her.
As first grade was approaching, we had “the talk” again and there was no debating.  We both agreed it would be good.
There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to homeschool my children and why I think it’s best for my family.  One of the big ones is I want for Kyle and I, as the parents, to have our hand on what type of education our children will have.  As well as, allowing our children to go the pace that is right for them individually.  We get that with homeschooling.
As for Anna, it’s something that she had vocalized that she wanted too.   She is loving it and tells everyone and anyone who will listen, about how she “goes to homeschool”.  😉

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Again, it’s just our fifth week.  I have a lot to learn too.  Still finding our groove in some areas.  However, I feel really good about this decision and look forward to what all this year has to bring.

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Introducing…

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Lily “Sunshine” Hock

We got ourselves a puppy!  A bichon frise.  Crazy, right?  What is a family of three young kids doing with a puppy??  Perhaps we’ve officially lost our minds.  Who knows.  However, we love this little snowball and are so excited to have her as part of our family.  It’s been one full week of us having her here in our home and already we couldn’t imagine life without her.  She has joined right in with the chaos.
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She was one of five puppies born on June 24th.  She was one of two females out of the five.
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We chose the name Lily from Tiger-Lily on Peter Pan.  Our kids had already been calling her Sunshine from the day she was born and didn’t think they would go for a different name.  However, when we did a family vote, they all agreed to Lily.

I love seeing my kids with her.  They’ve been so good and helpful.  Harper is still getting used to the idea of something smaller than her who gets mommy’s attention being around the house.  For the most part though, she does great.  Lily has been great with them too. ♥

We are excited for all the memories that are to be made with having Lily in our lives.
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August Highlights

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This was the last month of summer.  Though, living in Florida, summer lasts here until about October.  It was just the last month before school started.
Though it was a busy month, filled with a lot of working over time for kyle, it was a lot of fun creating memories.
Here, I will share with you some of the highlights for this past month of August.

There was lots of water play all summer.  Between our own backyard to swimming in friends and families pools to going to different park splash pads.
The week or two before we started school, I tried to fill up with a lot of fun activities.  We went to a splash pad and then got some frozen yogurt that is right next door to the splash pad.  It was such a simple outing but one my kids still talk about to this day.  It was just one of those days that was so fun and I wish I could bottle up and relive over and over.

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Everyone’s childhood summer must involve popsicles, right?

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Midweek sleepovers.  These girls would plan sleepovers for every week if it were possible.  They would plan and scheme and come to each mom with all the questions and planning details.  Finally a night was open and we had an end of the summer sleep over. There was lots of dancing, giggling, painting finger nails and movie with popcorn and m&ms.  When I had Anna, these were some of the things I was so excited for with having a girl.  {Of course, Nolan joined in too}

Some cousins we haven’t seen in over a year, visited in August!  They were living across the country and because our brother in law retired from the Marines, they have now moved back to the east coast and stopped by Florida.  It was so good seeing them!  Anna and Nolan went and played at a local putt-putt, Goofy Golf, where Nolan made his first hole in one.  Thankful for Aunt Jill, who snapped this picture for us.

It was a great summer, indeed.  Though the heat of the summer will stick around for a long while, we’ve changed our schedules around some and added some structure.  Which I believe we were all ready for.

We had decided to start Nolan in a 3-k.  Basically preschool for 3 year olds.  It’s at the same school Anna went to and we, as well as Anna, loved!  Nolan would ask to go every day last year when Anna went to school and so we put him in this year.  He only goes three days a week and for only 3 hours a day.
School started the middle of the month and Nolan is loving it so far.  Of course, it was sad seeing him so big and leaving him there but I am thankful that he is loving it and that it’s at the school we’ve come to love and appreciate.

I am also homeschooling Anna for the first time this year.  We started the same week Nolan started going to school.  It has been great.  I plan to write a post all about it soon.  So, stay tuned for that. 😉
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To top off the month, we got a puppy!  Introducing Lily “Sunshine” Hock.

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How was August for you?  Are you sad to see summer end or are you excited for Fall?

-Sarah
XOXO

Motherhood

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Motherhood.  The most amazing and rewarding calling.  As well as the hardest and most draining.  Let’s be honest.

Reality.  As I am trying to even type this, I have my toddler clinging on me and my older two screaming at each other.

*Pause*

Hours later….

Let’s try this again.
Motherhood.  The most… hold up, I have to roll up all the tin foil my toddler just unraveled.

Motherh…

*Holding and nursing squirmy toddler and allowing screen time for older two.

This is motherhood.  Getting minutes to do what you want to do or even need to do, to only getting interrupted by your kid/kids to do something more important they need you to do.
Completely giving up on even trying to sit down because as soon as you do, they let you know real quick that they’re hungry, thirsty, need a certain toy down, need a diaper changed.  The list goes on, really.
At times forgetting to eat for  yourself after you’ve made all the breakfast or lunch meals.
Cleaning up a room only for them to destroy it again in a matter of seconds.
Forgetting what it’s like to have a full nights sleep.
Not being able to use the bathroom without at least one kid screaming at the door or just waltzing in.

Motherhood is seeing your baby smile at you for the first time with the sweet eyes of recognition.  That look like you are the most important person ever.  Because, well, we are!
The snuggles and them wanting to sit next/ on you and just be with you.  Even during the days that you might have snapped a lot.
Hearing them say “I love you” as you close their bedroom door, (for the hundredth time), at night.  However, each time fills your heart.
Never wanting to see them hurt and knowing you would do anything for that to never happen.  But when life happens and they do get hurt, being right there to pick them up, pray over them and allowing them to get right back up to try again.

Motherhood is hard and draining.  But I would trade nothing for it!  I have always wanted to be a mom and I am forever grateful that dream became a reality in 2011.  Then in 2013.  And again in 2016.  Even on my hardest days, I go to sleep thanking God for my three beautiful blessings.

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ToteSavvy Review

Having three children, I have gone through many diaper bags.  Most of the time it would be a bag that I figured could play the part of a diaper bag.  Some mega failed and others did pretty well.  One issue, however, I ran into with each one was that there was never enough pockets or big enough compartments to hold all the stuff.  By stuff I mean mine and babies.  Everything tends to get all jumbled at the bottom of whatever bag I am using.  When I need something, I end up pulling stuff out  to get to that thing.  Only to then just throw everything back in making it even more messier than it was before.

I then came across this savvy little thing.  (Pun intended 😜).   Because Harper was already a toddler and the fact that she’s my third, I ordered the mini size.  Game changer my friends!

Again, with Harper being a toddler I don’t tend to overpack like I can with a newborn.  However, I do use cloth diapers, and let’s face it, one cloth diaper takes the same amount of space as about 5 disposable diapers.  There’s plenty of room for bulky cloth diapers, wet bags and all.  The ToteSavvy has 6 pockets to fit all that is pictured.  Plus more room.  It also comes with a changing pad attached.

I had purchased this back pack when I had Harper to be my “diaper bag”.  The ToteSavvy slides right in with plenty of room.  So much easier to grab what I need without having to pull everything out and then shoving everything back in.  It’s also very convenient to just pull the ToteSavvy out when it’s diaper changing time without having to take the whole bag.

The best thing?  The ToteSavvy fits perfectly in my Michael Kors handbag.

 Before I got the ToteSavvy, I would carry two different bags to some places, like church.  Where I wanted my purse but also needed a bag to stay with my children in nursery.  It’s so nice being able to carry just one bag!  I will just leave the ToteSavvy with Harper and take my purse with me.  Life just got a whole lot easier!

I just wish I had this 6 years ago when I had my first! 😉

Click HERE to check out their other sizes and to purchase your own and turn any bag into a diaper bag. 💖