A typical day in the country…

Our family lives in the country… one of the things we thank God for every day. Continue reading A typical day in the country…

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Constitution Day Cake

Today marks the anniversary of the Constitution!  Our Classical Conversations group decided to host a Constitution Day celebration and what a celebration it was….

My task was to get a sheet cake for the event.  Being the “Martha Stewart wannabe” that I am, I decided I would make a cake SHAPED like the fabulous document that is our Constitution (I mean, doesn’t our Constitution deserves something Martha Stewart-esque??)   Continue reading Constitution Day Cake

gopher tortoise

Our short-term visitor

Last weekend, my husband, Jason, noticed a Gopher Tortoise in our back yard.  The kids and I scoped him out, kinda weary of his presence.  Gopher Tortoises, we thought, are an endangered species and we weren’t sure if we were supposed to have one in our “possession”.

The tortoise wandered around our back yard and originally had himself wedged behind our doghouse.  Finally, after an afternoon worth of struggling, Mr. Tortoise made his way inside our unused doghouse.  After a solid day worth of digging, we decided that Mr. Tortoise was Mrs. Tortoise! She was hurriedly digging a hole in our doghouse to prepare for baby tortoises!That’s right, our new visitor was in our doghouse about to lay her eggs. Our entire family was excited!

gopher tortoise, homeschooling
The Gopher Tortoise digging the hole in our dog house. This picture is of her rear- with her head down while she’s digging.

I rushed inside and scoured the internet for info on this spectacular species.  Thanks to Google  I discovered that the Gopher Tortoise is extremely important because over 300 species of animals depend on it’s burrow for a home.  Some share the burrow with the tortoise, some wait until the burrow is vacated to make it their home.  I also found that the female Gopher will stay on her eggs for about 100 days on a nest (in South Georgia) and that the temperature of the soil determines the sex of the babies.  If the soil temperature is over 85 degrees, all of the babies will be female- under 85 degrees ensures male tortoises will be born.

The most exciting information I discovered was that the baby tortoises stay with the mother, near the burrow, for 3-5 years which would mean that we would have baby tortoises in our yard for the next several years.  As a homeschooling mom, I thought about the amazing things we could learn over the next couple of years from these amazing reptiles.  I think I was more excited than our girls!

gopher tortoise
Mrs. Tortoise in the nesting position.

I made up my mind to start tracking the tortoise’s movement.  I walked outside daily to check the progress made by Mrs. Tortoise.  Last week, while Jacy and I were checking on Mrs. Tortoise, we realized she had moved into the “nesting” position and seemed to be laying on her eggs.  We ran inside, charting her movements in my homeschooling planner (the only thing I look at daily).  We were so excited to start the countdown until the day we could expect 6-10 little tortoises in our yard.

Today we went out to check on Mrs. Tortoise and see if she needed some food, and to our dismay, she was gone.  She left us, and her new home, most likely to find a suitable place to raise her babies where there weren’t prying eyes.  (Sometimes as humans, we get so interested in our own wants and needs that we don’t even consider the needs of others.)

We checked for Mrs. Tortoise everywhere and still can’t find her.  While we’re disappointed, we hope she’s able to find a home suitable for raising her babies.  Jacy and I hope she’ll bring them back for a visit.

The information I found on Gopher Tortoises can be found at the Gopher Tortoise Council website.

Follow me…

It’s 10:33 p.m. and I’m writing.  I’m writing because I don’t know what in the world I’m doing.  I just had a 30 minute conversation that consisted of tears and pleading with my 13 year old, essentially begging her to give homeschooling a chance. Continue reading Follow me…

Rejection never gets easier…

When I sat down at the patio table, my husband could tell something was bothering me.  I had just arrived home from picking up my 8 year old daughter’s friends for a play date.  “Jacy didn’t get chosen for the new gifted school”, I said, obviously irritated.  My husband looked at me puzzled.

Let me give a little back story.  Prior to my sourpuss attitude with my husband, Jacy and I were on our way to her best friend’s house to pick her up.   On the way there we were discussing how the Terrific Trio (my daughter, her friend Sarah, and her friend Carly) were in panic mode.  I had already made my plans for homeschooling for this year known and Carly was going to be transferring schools.  As the part of any Terrific Trio, Jacy was concerned about the last member, Sarah, being by herself in 3rd grade.  She didn’t want Sarah being alone and expressed how important it was for Carly to remain at the same school.

About a week ago, we got the letter in the mail that told us which 3rd grade teacher Jacy would have.  We were homeschooling so it was of no consequence.  When I asked Sarah’s mom who Sarah would have as her teacher, she recited a name I had never heard of and followed it with “Sarah will be going to the Gifted Center”.  That’s when the rejection hit.  And when I say the rejection hit…. it was actually more like a Mac truck hit me going 100 miles an hour.   Ok, maybe I am overexaggerating a teeny bit but it really did hurt.

Both of my daughters were identified as gifted when they were in kindergarten.  They’ve always tested high and performed extremely well in school.  When the first rumblings of the potential Gifted School began, I never imagined that Jacy wouldn’t be “accepted”.  I just assumed she’d be included…. and I’m sure you know where assuming gets us!

Now, unlike some moms, I have the ability to realize that my children AREN’T actually the smartest or most advanced.  I can even realize Sarah’s academic ability exceeds Jacy’s.  I realize that there are children that could actually be rocket scientists at 10 years old.   Those children are not my children.  I accept that wholeheartedly.

This is where it gets tricky…. once I got over the initial shock of rejection, I started asking myself why in the world it mattered!

Why did I care that a school system I didn’t want to be a part of didn’t want my daughter in their gifted school?  If I didn’t place any merit in this system, why would I feel rejected by them?

I decided that it didn’t matter if they didn’t accept Jacy into their school… even their gifted school wouldn’t be as good as the homeschooling God had planned for them.  Even if said gifted school turned them into rocket scientists by 10 years old, it was not GOD’S plan.  A plan, that I remind myself daily, is greater than anything that I, or this school system, could imagine.

 

Man, Oh Man!

My intention of this blog was to journal the feelings, emotions, and lessons I’ve learned with homeschooling.  As with every project I start, I started but I didn’t finish.  I wrote an opening blog but never any follow up blogs.  Today is going to be different!

This morning, while checking Facebook, I read a post from Half-A-Hundred Acre Wood.  It was one that Brandi drug from archives to remind us all about the importance of just “being” good parents.  In “If You’re Not Sure You Measure Up”, Brandi discusses the importance of understanding that it’s OK not to accomplish everything we plan for our homeschooling venture (and she even reassures us that it’s ok to have a messy house by including a picture of her own- WTG Brandi!). Continue reading Man, Oh Man!

Why I Didn’t Homeschool From the Beginning

My decision to homeschool wasn’t an easy decision.  I always believed that children deserved to have outside influences, outside friends, and the socialization that came with attending school .  My daughters loved school.  To be honest, I loved that they attended school.  It gave me a break!

Now, I know that a lot of mothers will not understand my feelings but I’m sure that there are a lot who will.  I am a “Mama” (as we say in the South) and I love my daughters more than life itself.  BUT, (Dr. Phil says that a “but” erases everything that came before it) I felt like I NEEDED to work to have some “me” time.   Continue reading Why I Didn’t Homeschool From the Beginning