Like most parents we flooded our home with everything 'educate baby.' These traditional avenues were absolutes for development, but I knew, as a mommy, I wanted to take it further so I began reading, researching, and then tailoring an early educational system that I believed would help our boys truly thrive. I wanted to give them the absolute best, and that meant trying different modalities, to figure out what worked for them. I utilized PBS, Baby First TV, and nature programs, while also introducing them to classical music, art, instruments, and foreign language. At one point everything in our home was labeled in French, even though they were years from reading. I used any free materials I could get my fingers on, supplemented by items I picked up second hand. I gathered printables, videos, things schools no longer needed, including tables, chairs, desks, and I was fortunate to scoop up some fantastic learning tools from a Montessori school I had assistant taught at, which I put to practice in our schoolhouse. Very early on it became evident that our sons were exhibiting some health issues. True to form I tackled the unknowns of asthma, tic disorders, anxiety, and un-diagnosed auto-immune disease like their lives depended on it, because they did. Watching them suffer from debilitating G.I. issues, migraines and other symptoms I decided to approach wellness from a whole-child standpoint.
This meant more research. I had to completely overhaul their diet, activity, sleep schedules and routines, but over the years it began to pay off. These underlying health challenges, and many hospital stays have been a strong motivator in our decision to school at home. Flash forward to today and it's simply all they know. Our boys have been exposed to what I would call traditional public school, child-led learning or 'un-schooling,' and Montessori based curricula. Currently they use Khan Academy for a majority of their subjects, Duolingo for foreign language, grade level complete curriculum books, and lessons plans that I develop for them. The biggest take away for myself as their teacher, has been an openness toward multiple approaches to educating children.
Living on one income has had its difficulties too, but we have created a sustainable learning environment using the knowledge we've gained over the years. Free is the key word here. I am a busy mama, with projects, books, boys to raise, a household to run, and a husband on the road, the more I find free or low cost to continue our sons learning the better! Thank goodness for the internet. I would like to share our story, programs we use, sites we've grown to love, and places to find materials, as well as personal experiences, in the hopes that wherever you are in raising and educating your children, be it public, private, or you're daring to tackle home-school, you'll find comfort that you're not alone. I will strive to point you in the right direction, be a beacon of hope, a shoulder to cry on, or a new friend you can laugh with. Parenting isn't always roses. It's okay to say so. In fact, it's encouraged here! Please take your time, click on whatever is of interest to you, and don't forget to subscribe so you never miss future blogs, tutorials, Q&A, online lessons, healthy recipes and more!