The Future Holds Promise

Just a quick thank you to those of you who reached out to me after my last blog post. I want to reiterate that while I do have many worries, I am generally positive and happy. Though we never found that ideal “village” to raise our kids in, we have made the best of what we got, and I’m so thankful that my husband and I can work together at home and give the boys our daily attention. Though the past two years have thrown many sad events in my path, I knew I needed to ride the waves instead of fighting them. But I don’t like writing blog posts and giving the impression that everything is perfect because that doesn’t help anyone. I hope I strike the right balance when it comes to that question of “what is too much to share online?”

Having said all that, I am indeed looking forward with much anticipation. I’m pleased with our school year so far. Sometimes I look at the calendar and wonder if we’re getting too behind, but then I wonder if I am pushing forward too hard? If both those things cross my mind at intervals, then we’re probably right on track! But we have never and will never look like a traditional school. We are goal-oriented and not “follow the public school calendar” oriented. My boys thrive with being goal-oriented because they both have goals, so they are motivated to work even if they don’t always love the work.

We recently reached a point where we felt we could take a trip because my youngest son became eligible and was vaccinated with the COVID vaccine. (Can you guess where?) We also took a lot of other precautions so that we could keep ourselves and others safe while we traveled. The main purpose of our trip was so that our eldest son could meet his new piano teacher face-to-face. What a joy that was! Most of his lessons will be done remotely, but we hope to go again sometime. We also decided to extend the trip a few days so we could spend a few days in the mountains and do some hiking. I will share a few photos from that trip in this blog post.

Both boys are taking more online classes this year, and so far I’m pleased with how it’s going, but I’m not sure it’s saving me time. It’s a different kind of busy. But it feels good to be the support person and not the plan-all-the-lessons person. I’m hoping to pull together a blog post about my younger son’s 5th and 6th grade curriculum because I’m way behind in that. Eventually I’ll create another PDF resource about 9th grade, but that won’t come until the year is complete.

Biloxi Vacation

Lucky for us, my husband and I are of the mindset that we just have to get away sometimes, despite the cost or all-the-things-needing-doing. It’s educational for the kids, and it’s important for our mental health too. There are so many places to explore nearby in the southeast U.S., and going for a few days isn’t hard.

This year we decided we would go somewhere we could get to in one day’s drive, yet with all the rain in the east coast last week, we almost had to go further west. Luckily, the rain didn’t wash us out, although it did rain every afternoon in Biloxi, Mississippi. That was okay. There was so much to do there. We spent most mornings at the beach or the pool, and the boys enjoyed finding shells and creatures along the shore as well as getting in the water. In the afternoon when it was hot, we’d go somewhere like the art museum. In the evenings, we’d go back to the beach to just walk and find hermit crabs, other wildlife and enjoy the sunset.

We did so much on this trip, and I’d like to blog about it all. We took advantage of the birding opportunities for our little birder, and we went to two art museums. One of those museums taught us about the rich history of Biloxi, and we also watched an interesting film about the history of Biloxi in the Visitor’s Center. We also visited Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL, which was an hour drive from Biloxi. The boys loved that, and I tagged along with the camera.

I love the marshland. Taken out the car window.

Everything in Biloxi was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, and we saw evidence of this. There were many vacant lots along the beach front, and construction was still happening along the roads. But most of it has been rebuilt. Our hotel was new and comfortable, and we loved the Katrina sculpture project. The beach itself was well-maintained. There are several hotel-casinos in Biloxi, and we were a bit afraid of what the atmosphere there would be like with the casinos, but I think the casinos have actually helped Biloxi rebuild, and though we don’t care for them, they did not detract from the wildlife or history of the place. And they help make Biloxi a reasonably priced place to visit. 🙂

Also taken out the car window.

Now that we’re home, I want to work in earnest on my end-year-year record keeping. That includes blogging about our projects, curriculum, places visited, and then writing up a homeschool report for our records. My summer project is putting together a slideshow of photographs from our year that we usually watch sometime in July or August. I’m also thinking about what I want to work on with the boys this summer.

If I had all day to work on my projects, I could probably finish all this in a few days, but I work around my family’s schedule, daily chores, and meals. So I dip into it whenever I can. Please be patient with me. I’ll be back… 🙂

Meanwhile, what places have you been exploring lately?

The Ultimate Field Trip: Edisto Island, South Carolina

I usually don’t share so many photos, but I can’t help myself.  Recently I had the opportunity to take my boys to Edisto Island, South Carolina for a few days.  I think vacations can be the best learning opportunities of all.  This trip was no exception: from learning patience (the first day was stormy) to getting to touch real, live ocean animals. Anyone who follows my blog will know that my five-year-old has always been crazy about ocean animals, so this trip to the beach was extra exciting.

We’ve been to Edisto Island once before when he was one-year-old, but I’m so glad we got to go back now that he’s five.  And it was my 2-year-old’s first trip the ocean too, so that was really exciting too!  If you’d like to learn more about the island and our visit, please click over to my newspaper column at the Barrow Journal.  Below I’m going to share some of our photos and discoveries.  Thanks for taking a peek!

One lucky thing about the storm was all the shells and critters that were washed ashore!  Above is a horseshoe crab. (It was not alive.)

We found so many shells.

The starfish were so cool.

The condo we stayed in overlooked a lagoon complete with an alligator (we only saw him once), beautiful white egrets, blue herons, fish, turtles and mosquitoes!

We also went to Charleston, South Carolina (my birthplace).  Above is a photo at the Children’s Museum in Charleston.  A wonderful, inexpensive place, if you visit Charleston with your kids.

We saw lots of boats on our trip too! (Since my father loved boating, I felt right at home.)

Where are some places that you have taken your children on vacation?  What kinds of discoveries did you make?