Reflections of 2016


2016 was one of those years where so many people, myself included, felt overwhelmed and, many times, lost in an emotional journey. The year was hit hard with loss on a personal level as well as a public one but it’s also had moments of great triumph.

Living in Kamloops I brought in this year with good friends, and although I was looking forward to a year of great things after an emotional roller coaster that was 2015, it became a year of great learning as I overcame obstacles and challenges thrown my way. 

I still remember the day I got the call from my cousin that her brother had died in a car accident and then later that day my mom calling to tell me my grandpa had passed away. It was like a Mack truck rammed me so hard in the chest that I could hardly breath. Little did I know these deaths would completely alter the course of my journey. Instead of moving to Fort Mac I ended up back in my home town and Have spent more time listening to God.

My daughter had been homeschooled for so much of her life that the choice to allow her to return to public school for grade 8 was very hard on me. I do believe she is right where she needs to be at this point in her young life. My career has altered slightly, I left childcare and now I have the challenge and joy of working with ASD Children. I learn something new ever day and I absolutely love it. It’s different then just working with my own ASD child. I left the Church I thought I was supposed be part of and ended up in a a place where I can feel God on such a deep level that it can become overwhelming sometimes. Financially it hasn’t been easy but that’s ok. I am making it work the best I can. Although things aren’t exactly how I pictured they would be I know I’m ok and I know my child is ok (even if she is driving me crazy some days) and that’s really all that matters. It’s funny to think that I thought I knew where I was headed and God said “nope, time to go this way!” 

I used to be of the mindset that “God only gives us what we can handle” but this year changed that for me as I really have taken the time to listen to him. He uses trials as a teaching moment and waits for us to ask him for help because we can’t go through life without him. He is a good father who, like any good parent, wants nothing but the best for us but we have to trust him and ask him for guidance and help because that’s what parents are for.

As 2016 is coming to an end I look back and can see the learnnng that has taken place through the loss and through the times of great joy. Relationships have ended, new friendships have been formed and through it all I have come out the other side a stronger, better me! I will go into 2017 knowing the importance of real, healthy relationships, cutting out toxic ones, and plan on spending the year accumulating less “stuff” and creating more memories with the people who are important in my life. 

My prayer for you is this. May God bless you with memories of great joy. May your heart be filled with love. May you spend more time laughing and less time hurting. May you be surrounded by people that enhance your life. May you reach out and help others without hesitation whenever you can. May broken relationships with family be healed. May 2017 be a year of listening to God and following where he leads and when you are feeling overwhelmed, may you call out to God and ask him to help you through the difficult time. May you remember to be thankful through all the good and the bad and know that God’s plan is always greater then ours!

Happy New Year!

It’s Getting A Lil CrayCray!

As we approach the slow down part of our school year it seems like things are just starting to get crazy. We have a lot going on in our family life with school, jobs, wedding planing, summer planning. It never ends, or so it seems, and there has been some added stresses this year but we are trucking through them as a family. I actually went as far as turning to my daughter and saying “It’s a lil CrayCray up in here!” She looked at me and smiled!

So what’s been going on?

Becca turned 12 last week… There was a party with friends the Saturday before her day (lazer trek, mini golf, games, prizes, a clown…) and the a family BBQ on her actual day. She loved every minute of it… Clown and all!

 
School is slowing down but we will work through the summer to get the last things done before September… She will be a grade ahead in the new school year and it is very exciting preparing for what’s going to happen next year. Nature school continues to be a hit with our homeschooling group… Today they enjoyed MacArthur Island Park and some Geocaching!

    
   

Our day also took us on a tour of our local Radio/TV station. It was fun and the kids even made it live on the air as well as doing a recording for the evening show. My daughter got to record her voice which was the played around with to sound like she was in different locations and even a robot.

  

Monday was YPC and one of our homeschooling groups got to join public school kids at a proformance by the Dumster Dragons (a fun group from Vancouver BC). The had instruments from around the world as well as some created by one of the members. 

We have had some stressful moments this week but I am blessed to have good friends and a man who is willing to take my mood swings with a grain of salt while we navigate the stormy weather.

My prayer for you is that in all your “CrayCray” may you see the blessings you are given, feel joy when you see your children learning without even realizin it because they are having so much fun. May you be blessed by a friend when you are in need without asking for help and don’t be afraid to reach out to those you trust when you just need somebody to listen. May you be a blessing to another when they are in need and may remember to thank God for the good and the bad!

Now I guess it’s back to Spring cleaning, wedding planning, work and education planning! 

What Are We Learning?

I often get asked about curriculum, scheduling, extra curricular and what the life of a homeschooler looks like from Day to day! I do my best to answer because sometimes we just don’t know! I have decided that each week I will give a run down of what we are learning and the curriculum we are using and what kind of extra curriculars we are involved with.

Scheduling is always up in the air. I do have a written schedule but it is more of a guide to help rather than set rules! 

 

Rebecca’s had 2 calendars. Her monthly one gives a quick overview of what’s happening for the month. It lists all her field trips, vacation days, holidays, birthdays, youth. Pretty much everything on it has specific dates and times that we need to work around! Her weekly one is a run down of her week. This particular calendar gets a little more specific and each day is sort of planned out. She knows what subjects she has, when chores need to be done and what they are. It’s colourful and easy for her to follow. Because I like her to have a say in her learning nothing is ever set in stone and sometimes her mood determines how the schedule will change and she can trade one item in her day with another item in the same day

This Week in Learning!

  • Bible: curriculum we are using is God’s Perfect Plan from Explorer’s Bible Study. Memory includes Jeremiah 1:5, Mark 6:4 and Isaiah 40:8.
  • Art: we have no set curriculum for art at this time and she is using this time for free expression through drawing.
  • Science: Curriculum The Geology Book. This weeks Lesson is on the Earths Surface!
  • Math: Curriculum Singapore Math 6B. This week we are working on Triangles and 4 sided Figures.
  • Socials: curriculum is Mystery of History 7th Grade: Creation to Resurection as well as Outlooks 6
  • English: Curriculum is Lightning Litrature 7th Grade. Currently we are working our way through Tom Sawyer
  • Languages: we have been working on Frech throug this year. This is the last year my daughter wants to do French and we are looking into Japanese for the next school year!
  • On Wednesday and Sunday evening we are participating in Combat Fitness.
  • On Wednesday we are participating in nature school which is a new thing in our community where, no matter the weather, homeschoolers are outside learning. Every Wednesday is a New location. This week we are headed to Edith Lake!

The key is to remember to try and have fun with Education. Kids get bored easily and so do a lot of parents. Use knew experience and everyday activities as opportunities to learn!

A Crash Course in Home Education!

It was a lovely day spent with family. We woke up opened our Christmas gifts, hung out as a family and then headed over to my parents house for Christmas dinner. December 25th 2014, the day we all agreed that my mom and dad should take their 11 year old granddaughter to Fort Mac. for 3 weeks. the plan was that she would drive up with my dad and spend a week of bonding with Grandpa, my mother would arrive a few days later by plane and then at the end of the 3 weeks they would all fly home. We booked her flight, my dad changed his original ticket information to accommodate having to now travel back with his granddaughter. The phone was passed bak and forth between my dad and my fiancé as things were sorted and payment was made. It was after all was agreed upon that I reminded them that their daughter was homeschooled and she would still need to get her work done…. I smiled on the inside at the thought of getting a break from her pre-pubsent crazy for a couple weeks and that somebody else would be in charge of making sure she still did her school work… I also felt kind of bad that somebody else would have to deal with the crazy and the school work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart and I miss her when we are apart. We have finished the first week and have spoken every single day and every single day she try to get me to help her with her school work over FaceTime….. It’s not easy and I have to remind her that her grandparents are smart people who are perfectly capable of helping her. Today I told her “Grandpa and Grandma are there to help you. Whatever you can’t complete we will work on when you get back… I will review all your math with you when you get home… Don’t worry you’ll be fine.

I was informed not much was done the first week. My dad was working so it made things a little difficult but Grandma is there now so today they were playing some catch up. One of the perks to homeschool is that you work at your own pace so if you don’t get it done in the “allotted time” its not a big deal. I do try to keep her on somewhat of a schedule but thats more just because some structure is good for children. It teaches them time management, deadlines and responsibility. My parents haven’t been on “homework” duty for a while now (their last child left high school almost 12 years ago) and homschool is a little more in-depth than homework. I honestly believe they will do well… I have complete faith in my parents as they continue through the next couple weeks helping her. Sure, it’s a crash course in home education, but they are getting to experience a unique bonding experience. Praying that God grants my daughter the ability to stay focused and my mother an over abundance of patience for the times she decides she’s “just not that into it”

“It’s like an Educational PJ Party Everyday”

Sometimes I wonder what my child is getting out of schooling. I hope she is meeting the appropriate outcomes for her grade level while learning valuable life lessons and perhaps having fun along the way. There are days where she wishes she was in public school but most of the time she is quite content learning at home and having as true say in her education. According to her “it’s like having an. Educational PJ Party every day!” No we don’t spend everyday all day in our PJ’s but we do spend a fair amount of time in them because, well, we can and who dosn’t like a PJ party?

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chemistry in your PJ’s is educational and comfy.

School at home means we get to learn together, my child is meeting outcomes for her grade level while also learning pratical skills she can use in everyday life especially when she gets older. How many 11 year olds can say they regularly help makes bread, bake muffins, help with meal prep and cooking and do laundry?

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She loves that she can participate in the physical activities she chooses like soccer, swimming, climbing and and hiking and that they count towards her grades. She’s content learning bible lessons and how important it is to help others in the community through volunteering at the food bank, babysitting for the neighbours, and even helping out at home when there is a lot to be done.

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Because she can work at her own pace, to ensure she is meeting expectations, she has opportunity to work ahead in areas where she is exceeding expectations and has the opportunity to graduate early. She will have the opportunity to go on missions trips and help more of the world around her and gain valuable experiences while getting credit towards various courses. Cross learning is huge in homeschool. What this means is one thing, like baking bread, counts towards multiple subjects, like math, science, and home economics. She is constantly learning because her education isn’t limited to the schedule of a traditional campus and even something as simple as a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the park can be used as an opportunity to meet learning outcomes.

There are days where we just want to take a break from it all and we can because our schedule is our own and it is far easier to make up missed work. We choose our vacation time around what works for us and even vacations get turned into an opportunity to learn. In our homeschooling program she does have to turn in Work in order to get grades and she does get a report card that looked like this

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Taking control of my child’s education has been worth it. She’s learning more, she’s getting the one on one she needs, and she is mostly happy.

Learning from Children and Youth

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about” Angela Schwindt

This quote is one that is speaking volumes to me today and maybe with good reason. At a. Rey young age I was told that one day I would work with children and youth. It was spoken through so much prof ethic word through members of the church community but meant very little to 12 year old me. I was far more interested in just being a kid and why shouldn’t I have been? As a grew older and drifted away from the church and my walk with God, those words spoken over me were always in the back of my mind but still had no real importance to me. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I started my journey back to God on the oath he had pre chosen for my life. April 23, 2003 god blessed me with the most amazing gift that would alter my perspective on life, lead me back to him and start on a road that has eventually lead me to where I am today, working with children and youth.

It amazes me sometimes how God can show something to somebody else that makes us go “yeah right” only to have it come to manifest in such a real way. As I am helping young people navigate their way through life I am also learning as I am teaching. I have learnt more about myself and about life and about Gods Grace simply by listening to what these kids have to say. I have learnt more patience by being a mother and looking after young children then I could have ever done just living, I have learnt more about acceptance and love from school aged children, I have learnt more about dreams, forgiveness and the need to have somebody just listen from teens, I have learnt so many things from these young people then I ever could have done on my own.