5 Things You’re Getting Wrong About Homeschoolers

For those of you who don’t know, we are in our second year of homeschooling, after several years in the public schools.  We chose that path for many reasons, which I will write about another time, but mostly because of the flexibility.  When my ex and I decided that we would be divorcing and would live in different cities, I knew we needed a good custody solution that worked for everyone.  We both really wanted to do 50/50 custody and homeschooling was the perfect solution for our family.

While on Facebook recently, a friend remarked that she was considering homeschool so that her son could experience lots of travel – not just normal summer vacation, but more like months-long journeys all over the world.  In the comments, someone showed his obvious distaste for the homeschool lifestyle, despite never having experience it himself.  I got defensive and then just had to laugh.  Stereotypes are everywhere, but I believe homeschool families get hit with the most ridiculous ones.

So here, the top 5 things you probably have all wrong.

  1. “Kids need to socialize.”  Sure, it’s a life skill.  Is making conversation with another 12-year-old at an uncomfortable middle school dance a life skill?  Not necessarily.  How about communicating with a cashier, speaking to adults and authority figures, and asking a librarian for help?  You bet your ass.  I still have problems speaking to a bank teller without anxiety, so I am glad my kids have to go through the agony with me.  Seriously though, most homeschool families (not us, because I don’t like people) are involved in plenty of groups where they get tons of interaction.  My children get playdates and also hang out amongst lots of adults, where they are comfortable carrying on a conversation.
  2. “Your kids may fall behind.”  Behind who?  Behind what standard?  Who decides?  Every kid is different and there is no need for them to know X thing by X age.
  3. “Oh my, you’re going to be so tired of your kids.  I couldn’t spend all day with mine.”  When they go to dad’s, I rejuvenate, recharge, and spend so much time alone that I actually get sad.  And guess what, y’all?  It’s fucking AMAZING to be the one to witness them discover a new skill or finally grasp a concept.  Believe it or not, I like my kids.  We give each other space and needed and it just works.
  4. “Oh, I get it.  You want them taught in a religious manner.”  Oh hell.  You must not know me.  Did y’all know there is a HUGE community of secular home educators in the U.S.?  Yep.  There are even Christians who choose the secular route of educating, because they want their children to make their own decisions about religion.
  5. “I guess your kids won’t go to college then?”  Did you know there are colleges that seek out homeschool students because of their ability to lead their own learning and to keep themselves on task?  Universities enroll tons (super fancy stat, I know) of homeschool students.  And – gasp – my kids are undecided about college and I support that because, hell, so am I.

No matter what decisions we make as parents, or even just as single people, someone is always going to have something to say about it.  It’s crazy.  Let people do their own thing!  What have you done in your life that brought out someone’s unsolicited opinion?

Week In Review: Rhonda

Dang, it’s Monday?!  Only discovered that when I saw that Ashley posted the recap of her week.  I guess I’ll update you on MY life.  I’m sure you’re just dying to hear all about it.

You all know what Monday was – big eclipse day!  Well, it was also our first day back to school and we had a great day!  We watched the big event live on NASA’s Facebook feed all day.  Later I found Harper using a flashlight to recreate the eclipse.  I love watching his mind work.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were pretty basic.  Figuring out a school routine and general household and work duties.

I got a great surprise Friday when I woke up and Stuart was still in the bed, smiling at me.  He had taken the day off unexpectedly and it made my day.  He helped me with school, which the kids really seemed to enjoy.  We played Trivial Pursuit, during which we discovered Nick has never heard of Levi’s.

Saturday, we took another trip to IKEA, this time with two kids.  We spent so much time there, during which we LOST CLAUDIA.  We were in the kitchen area of the showroom and Quentin was marveling over some stools.  We mentioned that we were headed to the dining tables to take another look at the one we wanted.  Some baby girl hobbled over and touched my leg and I looked down expecting it to be Claudia. It was not and it was then that we realized Claudia was not with us.  Panic.  I immediately turned around and retraced my steps, thinking she got turned around in the crowded store.  Stuart and Quentin were searching the surrounding kitchens.  When I didn’t find her in the last few areas we had been, I switched directions and went ahead.  I found her with an employee who was calling to report her found.  Turns out she had wandered off and a customer found her standing alone.  Scariest moment of my parenting so far.  It was probably only 2 minutes, but it felt like an hour.  Once that nightmare was over, we finished shopping, picked up Claudia’s bed from a friend, and headed home for a late dinner.

Sunday, we started putting together our lovely IKEA haul and that was quite the adventure.  Quentin and Claudia were surprisingly helpful. Stuart’s coworker Jim came over in the evening with his power tools to help with one of the more complicated assemblies in exhange for a steak.

 

Week In Review: Rhonda

Another week in the books, folks.  Holiday weeks always fly by for me and this was no exception.  What’s super exciting is that I am now TEN DAYS from my vacation, which means I can NOT let this week fly by.  I have so much prep to do for the trip!

I had a typical Monday.  Lots of stress, clowning kids, and work.  Restocked the shop and now I have so much in stock!

We studied moon phases on Tuesday, which was a hit for all four kids.  I was incredibly impressed that even Quentin fully understood and retained the information.  I got a great workout in, even doing my planks with two children on my back.  In the afternoon, I made Nick help me out with the shop.  He hated every second.

The littles went to Ulta with me on Wednesday.  They were obsessed with the lighted wall portions and wanted to take like fifteen pictures in front of it.  I didn’t get anything super exciting, just some pore cleansers and stuff.

Thursday was playground day, mostly due to the fact that we had a plumbing issue and waiting around on the maintenance guy to come was annoying.  We decided to just get the hell out of the house.  I somehow always forget that the playground we like is overrun by school kids between 12 and 1 every day.  We ended up ditching it and trying a new park.  It was a hit and I am glad, because it is super close to home!

I also started working on my vacation wardrobe, trying to figure out what I am taking and what I need to buy.  All the color and pattern in my closet and I chose a bunch of black and olive green.  Typical.

Friday, we did some watercolor painting for school, then Claudia and I went in search of some things for my vacation. I am a romper lover and seriously over half of what I tried on was rompers and that was not intentional.  I just gravitate toward them.

On Saturday, I got the rare opportunity to go shop solo after brunch.  I was determined to find a swimsuit for my trip, but not surprisingly, that was a fail.  You know what wasn’t a fail?  Restocking my sparkling water supply.

Easter Sunday was lovely, but really not much different from any other Sunday.  We didn’t leave the house and I stayed in my robe all day.  Nobody wore pants.  I lived vicariously through everyone on Facebook in their Easter outfits.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I busted my ass carrying Claudia down the stairs.  I now have a gnarly bruise on my ass.  It is super painful and I can’t even sit normally or lie on my back.  A group I am in on Facebook completely imploded when I took shit to a petty and dramatic level.  I was just all done with it.

Did you have a good Easter?  What do you do for the holiday

Week in Review: Rhonda

This week was so much fun, but went by incredibly fast.

Monday, I ate amazingly and prepped some deviled eggs and cucumber salad. Unfortunately. I also go into some gelato.  Oops.  We finished up math and science before the kids’ spring break.

Tuesday, we wrapped up our Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day studies, during which my children proved to me that they don’t understand religion at ALL.  I think we are starting next school year with a unit on world religions.   I went grocery shopping, which I genuinely enjoy. We watched the much-hyped This is Us finale, and I was completely underwhelmed.  WTF was that nonsense?  Came prepared with tissues and didn’t need them.

Wednesday, I took the kids to their dad and it was time for me to do ME.  I watched TV on my living room TV without interference and went shopping for both clothes and wine.   It was lovely to have time to myself.

Thursday was a great day for me. With the kids gone and Stuart at work, I took care of some errands and shopped again.  I stocked up on my nails, found a top for my weekend plans, and browsed some wedding dresses.

Friday was St. Patrick’s Day.  We spent most of the day driving to Mississippi.  We met up at Buffalo Wild Wings, the place we first met, with my brother and sister-in-law, Stuart’s sister and nephew, and our mutual friend Dave.  It was the first time being together with family members and it was a great time.  We stayed the night at his sister’s house.

The entire reason for the trip to Mississippi was to get my hair done.   You could say I am a little loyal to my stylist.  I got my unicorn hair back and it feels and looks amazing.

Saturday night was epic, as it always is when Ashley and I get together.  Our Michael and Stuart made great dates for Chili’s and the Chill Lounge at the IP casino (totally our place forever).

Boy, was Sunday long AF.  We had a 13-hour drove and I was so hungover during the entire trip.   I guess that’s what you get when you stay out drinking til 3 am when you’re 36-years-old.

Week In Review: Rhonda

Monday, I really hit the ground running, but perhaps it was too much, because in the afternoon I hit a wall and really didn’t feel well – chills, achy muscles, and sore throat.  I think my body was trying to fight off an illness.  I got my workout and hair washing and drying all done early.  We got school done early and I got fun mail!  There is nothing better than makeup in the mail, especially a poppin’ highlight.  I also love when a seller or company really steps up the game in shipping out packages.  I ordered a Texas koozie and patch and Bryan threw in postcards and a sticker!  Great service.

I had the most productive day on Tuesday!  I couldn’t even begin to name all that I got done, but among those was a killer workout, quality time with my kids, and bathrooms cleaned.  Hell yes!

Claudia and I got our exercise on Wednesday, ran some errands, and brought a stack of packages from the mailboxes.  Who doesn’t love happy mail?!  We shipped off some happy mail too.  I love sending items to their new owners.  I think it’s the best part of running a resale shop.  I made a delicious dinner and enjoyed some quality time with Stuart after the kids went to bed.

I worked my tail off Thursday, prepping for something major I am planning and dropping prices in my resale shop.

Friday was spent doing little tasks like washing rugs and cleaning my ring, then a target outing for my mini and me.  She helped me make the kids’ dinner while I simmered chili for Stuart and me.

Y’all know I love my Saturdays. I kicked things off this week with my squats (booty is starting to pop!) and then was rewarded with a mimosa (or 4).  We had an amazing afternoon nap, then got groceries.  Stuart made us some phenomenal tuna steaks and I drank WAY too much vodka.

Sunday was much like all our Sundays… did my nails, had some adult beverages, and kicked it with my family.  Claudia did what she does best and “helped” Stuart cook and eat his dinner.  It was of course the start of Daylight Saving Time, which is always such a damn treat.  The entire day seemingly disappeared with the omission of a single hour.

How are you adjusting to the time change? Do you feel like you lose the entire day instead of a single hour?

Week in Review: Rhonda

Dang.  Like, where did the week go??  It went by in such a blur.

Claudia woke up Monday deciding so absolutely follow me around all day.  That’s always a challenge when it comes to getting thing accomplished in a timely manner.

Tuesday was one of those days to get stuff done.  The realization that my annual beach trip is so soon motivated me to really buckle down my diet and exercise.  I had a great workout and ate perfectly between helping Quentin with his numbers and running errands with my little Minnie.

Wednesday was super amazing weather in the DFW, so we got the hell out of the house as quickly as we could finish school.  I even shortened the lessons, because I needed that fresh air in the worst way.  We had a great time at our favorite playground.  When I started dinner in the evening, everyone was TURNT and I had to retreat to the bathroom to drink my wine.  Bless.

Thursday, I got a lot done around the house and we had a longer school day than usual. Claudia helped me out on naming my future business and the highlight of the week – I GOT MY NEW MACBOOK!  I am loving it so much.  My old MacBook Pro was so worn out.  Big thanks to Stuart for spoiling me so good.  I also placed an Ulta order, which I hadn’t done in a long time.  I had to get on those 5x Tarte points while I had them.  If you aren’t in the rewards program at Ulta, you’re really missing out.

Friday, the kids and I went to Target.  This is legit one of my least favorite things to do.  Target is my happy place and they totally mess it up for me.  I spent too much, didn’t get everything on my list, and was all kids of frazzled when we left.  It exhausted Claudia though and she passed the fuck out at our late nap time.  When she woke up at 7:30, she was still cranky, but got much happier when Stuart came home and played with her.

I am just gonna go ahead and say that Saturday was the best day this week.  I put on my highlighter Chris Crocker “paintbrush” style (watch here if you aren’t familiar) and it was amazing.   I also gave stamping in my journal a try after hating it previously.  It turned out better.  But most of Saturday was spent just soaking up some Stuart time, which I don’t get nearly enough of.

Sunday was lovely, as Sundays tend to be.  We didn’t do much other than go to work with Stuart for a couple of hours and organize my underwear drawer.  Fancy.

It felt great to own the fact that I am never going to wear the tights in my collection and toss them out.  Did you do anything this weekend that just felt good?

Week in Review: Rhonda

I don’t know why, but it was the longest week ever to me.  I stayed busy and had a great time, but Monday through Thursday absolutely DRAGGED.

On Monday, I drove down to pick up the kids from their dad.  On the drive, Brett Young’s Live from NYC show came on The Highway.  It was exactly what I needed for that drive.  I sang, laughed, and cried the entire way.  His stories behind his songs are what really made the emotions connect.  When we got back into town, Claudia and I went on a last-minute hunt for Valentines, which I absolutely do not recommend.  Claudia was so excited to be reunited with her ‘Tuart, which is always nice to witness.

Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day.  My homeschool social group held a Valentine’s party.  We find that the one thing previously public-educated children miss the most is school parties and events, so we recreate that the best we can. Our holiday party was good, but this Valentine’s party was epic.  I owe it all to the hostess, Trayci.  She did an amazing job hosting in her beautiful 100-year-old home.

When Stuart got home (at a decent hour for once!), we exchanged our simple valentines.  He gave me a beautiful card and I gave him a framed image of the day I started falling in love with him, paired with the morning after we got engaged, both taken at the same table at our brunch spot.  I topped it with part of a song by Ryan Follese that is so “us.”

But I’ve got one thing right
Here in my arms
And for once in someone’s eyes
I can do no harm
Ain’t no laws up this high
I don’t need these lucky stars
I got you
And I won’t think twice
I got one thing right

We ended the day with a delicious meal I made and some TV in bed.

Wednesday was a day to stay home in a comfy sweatshirt and get some housework and meal prep done with lots of coffee….then cocktails.

Late Wednesday night, the kids were horsing around and Quentin busted his chin.  So Thursday morning, having not had enough sleep, he crawled into bed with me while I was having coffee.  Once we got out of the bed, I got so much shit done.  I don’t know what motivated me, but I was just nonstop all day, washing sheets, cleaning our bedroom, and cleaning out kitchen cabinets.

 

I had planned to finish organizing the kitchen on Friday, but the weather was amazing and our kitchen light was out, so we hit up the playground and the grocery store instead.  Back at home, the kids watched some movies and then we of course greeted Stuart on the patio when he got home.

 

If you aren’t new to this blog or my social media accounts, you know my weekends involve lots of mimosas.  This Saturday was no different.  We started the morning with drinks and brunch at home then Claudia and I “helped” Stuart clean his bike. Late afternoon, we went to downtown Dallas for the kids to hit up the splash pad and get a change of scenery.  It paid off, because they had a great time and slept really well that night.

I had every intention to spend Sunday cleaning out my closet and doing some purging, but being lazy just felt right.  I did pull a few items I don’t wear out of the closet and purge some old photos, but I spent most of the day sipping on assorted beverages, snuggling my people, and participating in spontaneous dance parties with Claudia.  It was absolutely perfect.

I hope your week was equal parts productive and relaxing, because isn’t that the best kind?

 

Week in Review: Rhonda

Welcome to my first Week in Review!  We are excited to share the highlights (and let’s be honest, lows) of our week with you.  This first recap of mine will likely be longer than most, so that you can get a feel for how our days play out.

My week varies depending on the weather mostly.  We try to go to the playground when it’s good weather.  We will sometimes skip school if we have a lot of errands, or just want to get outside.

Monday was lovely weather, so I did some printing and planning while Claudia took an early morning nap.  Then we went to the playground briefly.  The visit was cut short when I decided to show Quentin my “trick.”  I jumped out of the swing from an impressive height and made a not-so-impressive crash landing.  After lunch, I ran some errands and stopped by Harbor Freight Tools in a shady neighborhood in order to get a bag for my journaling supplies.

It was then home for some patio play time while I sipped a cocktail and made dinner.  I love when the busy days end somewhat peacefully!

Tuesday was more representative of an average day in our home.  I had too much to do to go anywhere.  We resumed schoolwork and I did a lot of work on my t-shirt business and getting this blog set up.  I dealt with some personal stressors.

In the evening, Claudia and I sat on the patio and waited for Stuart to come home.  After dinner, they did the dishes together.

Wednesday, I was in much better spirits but still stayed busy.  You’ll notice Claudia wore the same dress for a couple of days.  She’s a serious outfit repeater and there is no point in arguing with a strong-willed toddler.  We did the usual routine of lots of working and organizing on my behalf (with my little shadow) and lots of school and video games for the boys.

(shirt can be found at a Southern Medley)

Claudia and I cleaned and organized my vanity, which was desperately needed.  It had become a dumping ground for her toys and my paperwork.  I intended to purge some items, but ended up just tossing an expired foundation and a nearly-empty lip gloss.

The highlight of Wednesday (and let’s be honest, my week) was some fun mail!  I got in my BaubleBar order and a Zulily cardigan (I included my BB referral link if you want to go check out what they have)!  I then ended the day as usual, with my best helper making dinner with me (or trying to eat the butter through the package).

You won’t believe what we did Thursday – yep, school, working, organizing, and cleaning.  I also took some pictures for a review I am working on (I did it for social media, but will post some of it here when I am done).  I did a thorough cleaning of our bedroom and also started wrapping up the setup for this site.

Y’all already know my shadow was there for it all.  Please know I adore my boys too, but they don’t love pictures and they certainly don’t stay under me all day.

I had so much work to do Friday, that I didn’t even talk to the boys until after noon.  We decided to just skip school for the day, since our Friday work is usually just art projects or wrapping up stuff from the week.  We weren’t behind on anything, so I decided to let it go.  The boys suggest we do a Monday-Thursday school week.  I am considering it!

Friday was a fun mail day again and as soon as Claudia saw the box, she said, “It’s makeup!”  She is completely my mini.

And then?  It was Saturday.

My Saturdays and Sundays always begin the same way – coffee in bed, then mimosas.  We then have a late brunch at home, during which I work in my journal and don’t lift a finger otherwise.  It’s quite a lovely break from my hectic weekday mornings.

In exchange for pooping on the potty, Claudia got her hair washed and blown out, nails painted, and makeup done.  Best of all, she got to put on her Minnie dress.   I continued to sip on wine during the afternoon and then Claudia helped us make dinner.  Stuart let Claudia chop veggies and my anxiety was off the charts, so I had to look away!

Super Bowl Sunday rolled around and started with coffee.  To be honest, I drank way too much all day Saturday and couldn’t look at a mimosa until I got some food in my stomach.  Oops.

(mug can be found at a Southern Medley)

Claudia and Quentin had a great dance party with Stuart while he made brunch.  Once I was mimosa-ready, I got my drink and did my Superbowl makeup look while Stuart went to work for a bit.  I then did some more design work before settling in for the Super Bowl.  I am super spoiled and got my daily leg rub, this time with Claudia’s help.  I couldn’t be happier with the results of the game and boy it was intense in the end!

I hope your week was lovely and that you got some pampering too!  Let us know what you’ve been up to.

If you haven’t already, click on over to Ashley’s recap!