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Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How We Came to Homeschool Part 4: Looking forward to kindergarten

This is the last post in a four Part series about how we came to our decision to homeschool. 

If you want to catch up on the rest, check out
Part 1: Let me Begin at the Beginning
Part 2: Saying Yes to the BoldHeart Life, Saying Yes to Homeschooling
Part 3: Calming the Fear and Moving Beyond
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The preschool year ends on May 29th, the same day we'll be heading north to coastal Maine for an extended Summer vacation. I'm planning to take advantage of all the natural learning opportunities that we'll encounter there by getting plenty of PBH journaling practice in while we are away. When we return home in the first of week of August I'll refocus my attention to readying myself for a September start to the upcoming school year.

Fortunately, the three most important aspects of my preparation are already in place. I've reorganized the main spaces in the house to encourage Roscoe's independence and to maximize everyone's ability to enjoy spreading out and getting to work (this was part of my homework for the PBH Master Class), my journal lies in wait, and we have integrated into our routine dedicated project time by virtue of the fact that Merritt will be in preschool for a couple hours each morning of the week. Of course, Roscoe will be able to work on his projects at any time, but we'll both benefit from having an hour or two set aside every morning when he can expect my undivided attention.

Sometimes planning long-range can feel overwhelming, so another feature of PBH that gives me peace about homeschooling is that I don't have to write weekly or yearly lesson plans. The curriculum is child-led and emergent so I need only to observe, document, and mentor Roscoe's process and help him to dig deeper into his interests as he explores them. I love the simplicity of it.

We'll continue to look to nature and the changing seasons to inspire our activities throughout the year, exploring art, the great outdoors, our community, and whatever else strikes our fancy.  Although we are taking an informal approach to the kindergarten year, I am looking into a play-based elementary Spanish course offered through a local homeschooling academy. One day I hope we can all be conversationally fluent.

I also made a list of the themes and holidays that I want to acknowledge or celebrate in a timely way—this isn't really homeschooling related but knowing that he won't have that structure outside our house has compelled me to make it one of my priorities. I'm sure that developing a new daily routine will be in order too as we transition into new and different ways of spending our time together and apart, with Roscoe at home and Merritt in preschool 5 days a week. Eventually, I look forward to letting go of the construct of the "school year" all together so that we can really take advantage of the flexibility that living off the grid offers to all of us--maybe working year round or perhaps taking off the Winter or other portion of the year as it appeals to us.  

I'm still considering local co-ops and other opportunities for Roscoe to routinely work and play with his peer group. I've started conversations with some of the families of his preschool buddies to create opportunities for them to continue their friendships but the kids are all headed to different school districts next year so I'm thinking it may be a challenge as our need for social time outside of school hours will likely be higher than theirs. I've considered starting a project-based group or a lego club, but also feel that the newness of all of this may be more than enough for me to tackle in the first year. I would love to join in with an already established and thriving group of families, but I haven't found it just yet.

I gather that homeschooling life is ever-evolving and there's still so much I don't know but I'm just going to go for it and learn through doing.

If you're a homeschooling mama do you have any tips or advice to offer? I would love to hear!

5 comments :

  1. Ahhh, the freedom of homeschooling. That's one of the many appealing parts - no morning scramble. So far we only need to get one child out the door to school and I already despise that part of school.
    Will you be blogging during your Maine trip? I can't wait to hear all about it! Will you be driving north or flying? If you are driving, you will probably head right by us on your way through Mass - maybe we could meet up if you are looking to break up the trip a little bit!

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    1. Yes, the morning scramble...Just when the kids are settling into their play or deeply engaged in some activity, inevitably it is time to pack up and leave for school. So many mornings I just want to stay home, even though we love their preschool too.

      I do plan to blog our Maine adventures! We are driving and yes we get to pass through every state on the way up!! We are staying overnight in CT, and then making the second half of the drive on the 31st. I'll PM you to learn your address, a meet up would be so fun!

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  2. Hi, Jacqueline--I just wanted to pop in to let you know how much I've loved these homeschooling posts! I look forward to reading more about your project based learning in the fall. I'm struggling right now trying to figure out how to balance work and family, and am impressed by how effortlessly you seem to have managed to put your family first. Sarah

    http://nextpagenewchapter.com/

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    1. Hi Sarah! It's so good to hear from you! I just added your blog to my blogroll. My struggle for work life integration has been quite a journey, and it's not over yet. I am still challenged with all of it although I'm learning to let go of what I think others may expect from me, or what I think I should be living up to professionally, and just doing more of what I like and less of what I don't. I'm so comfortable with where my time and energy is being focused right now but I definitely feel anxiety for my paid work, and not knowing if and when and how it will all pan out.

      I read your recent post and it definitely resonated with me. It's been a slow evolution for us, a gradual ramping down from my professional responsibilities, and then I embarked on a little entrepreneurial gig that was incredibly fulfilling, and now we're again in flux because of the personal and family choices we are making (i.e., homeschool and travel and new priorities). For years I was pulled tremendously to want to stay with AAMC, it was a great gig. An amazing one, in hindsight. And some days I crave that part of my former self that made a lot of money and dressed nicely every day and had important projects to attend to. But I'm a different person now, I have the same drive but my energy is being invested into two little people, and a husband, and a lifestyle that we're sort of making up as we go along.

      I'll look forward to seeing how your path unfolds. I know you will find the right one. :)

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  3. This is great reading! We have made our decision to HS our eldest starting sometime...this summer? This fall? Love that I get to decide. Like you I have been reading, reading, organizing my thoughts, thinking of my goals, fretting a little bit (only a little), and getting terribly excited! I look forward to reading more about your journey! Have fun:)

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