Some Resources for Overwhelmed Parents

So we realize a lot of people are now facing having kids at home that aren’t normally homeschooled (or home educated, as they call it here in the UK.) We have some links to the right that our kids have used over the years, and some new ones we’re learning about below.

Not that I can offer much reassurance in this time, but I can offer opinions that don’t count for much… I say do what you got to do. If you’re working from home and you’ve got little ones and school age kids then it’s just about keeping your head above water. For some kids they thrive on structure and this is going to be a chaotic upheaval. You may need some decompress (holiday/time off) to let everyone adjust and cope with the emotional stress of these rapid changes – or your child may do best (and you may do best) with trying to keep some consistency: chores, bedtime, wake up routine, some designated “school” time, outdoor time, etc. There is no one right answer and way to do this, and it may need to change day-to-day as we see how long this may go on for… but it’s unrealistic, in my opinion, to anticipate being able to do work full time AND homeschool kids AND keep your house clean AND process this major global upheaval AND the dozens of other responsibilities we as parents are juggling when things are going as normal. This is not normal.

Continue reading

Rationing Tea Time

We’re watching a show called “Back in Time for Tea” and it’s launched a great discussion about rationing. We found a print out for kid ration books online, looked up what was a standard ration in the UK, and customized it a bit for our vegetarian kids (they get more cheese, for example.) We’re trying it for a week – I predict they’ll last about two days. 😉

These are the amounts we found online for an ADULT, with children receiving a half portion. I let them do the full portion since I want them to keep growing… I’m having them measure out each of these so they can see the actual amounts and we’ll post a photo of those, too.

8 oz sugar
2 oz tea (I told them hot chocolate counts in this category.)
3 oz cheese
2 oz butter (I told them 12 teaspoons.)
6 oz fat (This was margarine and lard, but we are substituting oils.)
2 oz sweets (Mwah-haha!)
2 oz jam (4 tablespoons)
1 egg
3 pints milk (6 one cup servings)
9 oz. bread (A slice counts as an ounce.)

Not rationed, fruits & vegs or starches like rice, potatoes, pasta. It also didn’t mention nuts or seeds, so we’ll count peanut butter in that category. Wish us luck!

Scotland & Ireland Fall 2016

2016 School Year Begins!


SO, big surprise – we moved! In August we packed up and flew to Nottingham, England. We’re in the midst of unpacking and settling into our new home, but we’re also gearing up for our autumn school year. There are hundreds of home educating families here in our city, and we’ve attended some events already. But our littlest thought the scooters and uniforms of the little kids were so adorable that we let her have a “school” uniform, too. Part of our goal this autumn is to blog more while we’re doing our work, to keep friends and family updated back in the US while we settle into our new place.

2015 in Review

January: Moira sold Girl Scout cookies with her new troop; Kit took the older kids to watch the Harlem Globetrotters and Ben got to do the toss up!

February: Kit spent a week in Louisiana at Mardi Gras with Christopher, Moira and Ben while I stayed home with the younger three and visited with lots of friends (including Meg and her goats.) When they came home it snowed! The kids began swimming again at TWU, and Ben turned 10.

March: West Texas – we braved an ice storm and horrendous roads to head west: Midland, Monohan Sand Dunes, Carlsbad Caverns, scuba diving in a lake, McDonald observatory, Fort Davis. J started attending judo with Kit and Christopher, and some of the kids returned to Spirit Horse.

April: Doctor Who day on the Square where we got our comics was fun, and family pictures in the Tardis. Christopher earned his yellow belt in Judo.

May: We flew to England where we were met by Emily and Richy, to the kids’ surprise! (We also set the dangerous precedent that after surprising them with Emily and Richy in both Florida AND England the kids assume they will be joining us for all our vacations.) Mo turned 12.

June: We flew to Washington DC, which needs its own post because it was fantastic.

July: Mo and the Girl Scouts walked in the 4th of July parade. We flew to San Francisco to see the redwoods, Chinatown, the Bay Bridge, and a secret but awesome adventure.

August: J turned 7, E turned 9, Kit turned 41.

September: Mo and I had a sleepover at Sea World with the Girl Scouts and stopped at the Alamo on our way home. Emy joined Girl Scouts, and Mo bridged from Junior to Cadette. We helped harvest the honey from Jean’s beehives. J started a month long hockey workshop in Frisco.

October: We met friends at the Pumpkin Patch and later for a homeschoolers fall carnival, trick-or-treated around the square, and attended the ward trunk-or-treat. Livy turned five. Emy got chickens. I ran away to see Carrie in Canada for a few days and it was a much needed Mommy retreat.

November: C turned 14, and we saw the grandparents and Emily & Richy around Thanksgiving.

December: We toured the Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth to see the changing colors. C and Kit said it’s one of their most favorite places we’ve visited EVER. The weather was weird, from 70s and sunny to snowing and a tornado. I’m back at work, with three babies coming in 10 days just before Christmas.

It’s been another epic year! I’m writing this up to hopefully inspire me to write up some more detailed posts – my resolution for 2016, to get back into the happen of writing. Plus we’re anticipation some pretty wonderful things to come for next year. 🙂

Field Trips, Catch Up, Life

It’s been about a year since I posted… and oh, what a year it has been!

On our most recent trip we tried to list the places we’ve been since NASA last spring.

* Road trip to Minnesota for their great-grandmother’s funeral and visited the home where their grandfather grew up.

* NYC for the Katie Couric show.

* Road trip to Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico to see family.

* Florida for the new Harry Potter World – Diagon Alley – and to see the beach.

* Austin & San Antonio road trip.

* Alaska to see the northern lights.

* Oklahoma.

* C and Ben and I went to Los Angeles for “The Doctors” show.

* The Grand Canyon and CBS Evening News “On the Road.”

* Florida for Disney!

* NYC for Kit, Ben and C for the Rachel Ray show & Food Network.

* Kansas to spend Christmas with the grandparents.

* Mardi Gras in Louisiana for Kit and the oldest three kids.

* West Texas & southeastern New Mexico.

All within the last year. Isn’t that crazy?? It’s been crazy.

We’re writing up the adventures (slowly, I am very behind) on the family blog – here. There are more to come, too! And I’ve not even listed the local adventures.

Field Trips 2014-2015

Dallas Arboretum
Dallas Zoo
Fort Worth Zoo
Aquarium
Fort Worth Science Museum
Perot
Heard Museum
Farmers Branch Historical Park
Log Cabin Village
Kimball Art Museum
Dallas Museum Art
Fort Worth Modern
Bass Hall
FW Water Gardens
Fossil Rim
Turner Falls
Grand Canyon
Alaska
Florida

Playing School

After resisting doing her actual academics this morning, E (age 7) just came running in to ask enthusiastically, “Mom, can we play school in the living room?”

C (age 12) responded rather sarcastically, “Instead playing school how about you actually do your REAL school?”

I admit it, I laughed. 🙂