Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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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!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Homeschool: Let Go or Be Dragged

The start of the school year came and went for us without fanfare. Roscoe’s pre-schoolmates and the kids of most of my friends had started kindergarten by September 2nd, but the boys and I remained in Summer mode as we waited for the 9th to roll around. Eager for Fall’s arrival we spent what would have been Roscoe’s first official day of kindergarten picking apples in the humid heat atop a mountain in Charlottesville, and then roaming the promenade downtown for gelato.

The boys’ first day of school did eventually arrive, and the combination of a truncated preschool schedule and Merritt being slow to warm up to his new routine meant that Roscoe and I didn’t get the one-on-one project time we had planned for that week—though we were able to make up for it in the afternoons, the three of us.

First Day of Homeschool 2014
First Day of Preschool 2014, Merritt is pleased that he has his own decorated cubby
I’m very quickly developing an appreciation for the non linear unfolding of homeschool life.  It really does require a long term view or big picture perspective as the day to day happenings may or may not reflect our hopes or intentions. 

Let go or be dragged.

Our first month of homeschool has been a lot more relaxed and a lot more fun than I expected. The first week was awesome; Roscoe was so focused on dissecting, showing his brother the finished specimens, drawing them, taking pictures of his work, and watching dissection videos online. By the second week he he had satisfied his curiosity after dissecting eight animals, (which was actually accomplished over 4 weeks because he started this work in August) and next he wanted to practice computer skills; he wanted to watch documentaries about dinosaurs, and play make believe dinosaur games, and make animal habitats, and animal fort/dens for he and his brother to play in; he wanted to play animal charades; he wanted to go to Starbucks and order and pay for his own food. In the third week he called himself a mad scientist and made bubbling, oozing experiments in the back yard with self chosen ingredients from around the house, then changed direction again and asked to go for a nature hike, to scale the big ravine walls, to go to another coffee shop to play games from the game shelf. He’s requested trips to the library to play computer games and to check out books on everything from castles and knights, to secret agents, police, and military weapons. 

Roscoe's interests have rapidly taken on a life of their own. Some days I wonder where this homeschooling gig is taking us, but I can't help but marvel at his enthusiasm and joy for learning about the world around him.

Dinosaur play and documentaries
Smoothies and the introduction of Mancala
Successful rockwall scaling
Library mornings
Last week I introduced clay to the playroom and we had a collaborative making session contributing different pieces to a forest scene with caves, snakes, worms, snails, lizards, and other small creatures. This week we searched for different kinds of clay and bought some tools to expand their skills and exploration. Roscoe built onto the previous week’s theme and made a big sea serpent and added a bee hive to the inside of his cave, as he figured out how to twist the clay into a hive and pinch out plates on the back of the serpent.

3D representations in clay
We’ve made it to a few playdates at the park with our local homeschool groups, and friends. We’ve jumped right into Maker Monday’s with a handful of boys and girls ranging in age from 3 to 11 years to build and dismantle and explore together in the woods. 

A new friend showed Roscoe how to catch and hold chickens at Maker Monday
Working together to build a fort, learning how to use new tools, exploring 12 acres of family farm
We’re enjoying getting to know some other elementary school families while working along side them in the GROW Community Garden at a local private school that shares our learning philosophy.

Turning mulch, watering the beds, pulling weeds
All this to say that our homeschooling so far is feeling very UNSCHOOLING to me, which I’m coming to terms with. I’m open to following the unschooling path, and it does feel good for us right now. I also have to keep reminding myself that Roscoe is just five years old. He’s learning things! He’s learning how to ask questions, how to find answers, and he’s understanding himself better: how he likes to spend his time, what his interests are, and different ways to explore them. He’s made big strides in writing his name, and recognizing letters, and he’s learning about a lot of different kinds of making materials and ways to express his ideas. We’re enjoying our time together, which says a lot, and we’re meeting new people and experiencing new things every single day. 

Roscoe seems to be running with the freedom that he has to choose how he spends his project time. I can see one obvious project theme of animals/nature emerging, and several others that aren't as well documented: building and law enforcement. I imagine he'll settle into a deeper long-term project at some point, but we're not in a rush.  

Anticipation for the start of our school year has peaked and I’m happy to note that it’s still just us, doing what we always do but with a little homeschool twist. That the transition has been smooth and no big deal, really, comes as a surprise and a relief for this Type-A mama. That I’m having fun and enjoying the way our days play out is a sign that this is a good fit for me too.


  1. I love his clay sculpture :) and everything really! Glad to hear it's a good fit for you, too. I never really question our choices to homeschool as what's best for the kids, but I do have moments where I question if it's best for me. Ultimately, it is and I agree, it can be so much fun!

    1. Clay seems to be the making material that makes the most sense to Roscoe. He's into the hands-on, 3D stuff! Painting and drawing doesn't do it for him. But I didn't know that until recently. It's really cool to see his ideas come to life...dragons and vultures and predators of all kinds :)

      Yeah, I had no appreciation, when we first started out, for how the methods we pick have as much to do with their fit for our kids as they do for our personalities and ways of thinking and doing. As with most things at home, if mama ain't know how it goes! Thanks for reading :)


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