Monday, September 26, 2016

Telling the Freaking Truth ~ Homeschooling

Lately, I have been inspired and pulled to write the freaking truth, about many different things. It is so simple really, but when we stop and really think about it, it is more common for most of us to never really dig in and tell the real truth. We might share the surface, but the deep stuff...we have lots of "reasons" why we don't share our truths. They might be: it's personal, it would make people uncomfortable, it isn't meant to be shared, when people ask how are you? they don't really want the honest truth, they want the usual answer "I'm fine, how are you?" ...

Part of me is still very influenced by my French upbringing and even though I have spent more years now in Canada than in France, I still have that uncensored way of telling what is on my mind. It has gotten me in "trouble" in the past. Sometimes I have been told that I am too honest, too real, too raw. This was mostly several years ago, because I have learned over time to know which people I can be completely myself with and which are only wanting the "perfect" exterior. 

Telling the Freakin' Truth is one of those awesome phrases from Julie that really hit me at the Brave Writer Retreat. She had been sharing that message through her periscopes but really hearing her in person, hearing her encouraging all of us moms to speak our minds, was so free-ing. I have been wanting to share so much more on my blog, to open up more. Part of it worries me, because in the process of sharing the truth, I don't want to upset anyone but I really feel the need to do this. 

I have written on this blog about our homeschool adventures for 9 years. When I moved to the island, I started a new blog and migrated all my homeschool blog within it, as well as my personal blog so there are some more personal posts in the archives but the majority have been about homeschooling, books, and a bit of traveling. 

I believe that it's important to share more about my thoughts. If you know me personally, you know that I love to write and want to practice much more. Blogging is a great outlet for writing so here I go! 

Two of my kids and I being silly in the rain together 

Now that I say I am going to tell the freakin' truth, does it mean that my previous posts have been lies? NO! It just means that they were all "surface", similar to what you see on a photo. You see the surface, you don't necessarily know all the details. Just like I mentioned earlier, I always treated this blog as a friend that wants to know mostly just the good parts. Telling the freakin' truth doesn't mean being negative or ugly either, it just means being real. At 44 years old, I am done with just sharing the surface, only showing the happy picture of my life. There was a time when I believed that this was the right way to blog for myself. I didn't want to share too much information about my children especially. I likely won't share much about them still but I want to share more about my own life, my experiences, relationships, struggles, and whatever I feel inspired to write. 

So I leave you today with a little powerful truth. This one about homeschooling. It might be obvious or not, but I feel that it doesn't get shared enough. Homeschooling my own children was very rewarding and an amazing experience. But, I gave myself completely to that, I dedicated my time to my children and their education. For 11 years, they were my number one priority and I don't regret that one bit. Looking back, I am not even sure I would do anything differently but if someone was looking into homeschooling, I would encourage them to try to balance their lives better than I did. 

For the first few years of  homeschooling, I truly lost myself in my children. I dedicated myself to learn with them, coach them, help them, etc...I lived, breathed, dreamed homeschooling. During any spare time I had, I researched curriculum, projects, library books, books, supplies. I looked over their work, I constantly looked for ways to improve their experiences. I looked for interesting things to do in our community that would enhance their education. Everything I did was focused on that. So much so that when, a few years in, we moved to a different city and they chose to try public school again, I was completely lost. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my time. I sat on a chair in the quiet house after they left for school and truly had no idea what to do. I had to learn again about myself, what I might be interested in for me, not for my kids. This was not healthy and once the school year was done and we all started homeschooling again, I vowed to myself that I would not ignore my own interests or shut down my own curiosity ever again. 

So that is my first freakin' truth is that homeschooling is amazing but try to not loose yourself completely in it. Try to continue knowing who you are and what excites you. You can be defined by what you do with your children and be the homeschool mom, but don't forget that you also had a life before this adventure and interests, talents, abilities, goals and curiosity! 

Even if you are so busy with home education that you can't imagine carving any time for your own pursuits, try as best as you can to take some time, even if it's just a tiny moment, to do something YOU like. Steal a moment to read a chapter in a book, do five minute meditation, play the piano, practice a hand stand against the wall, knit a few rows. At first, it might just be five minutes a day but as you build the habit and your children get older and used to this practice of yours, you will be able to stretch your moments into longer periods of time. This is not about being selfish, it is about not forgetting about yourself. It is also about modeling that adults can also learn, try new things, have passions and curiosity about anything and everything! I truly believe that is a very powerful message to give to our kids. And when you retire from homeschooling, you might just have some amazing ideas and interests that help you through the transition. 

The two questions I get asked a lot since we stopped homeschooling is if Celeste is enjoying school and how I am doing. I appreciate both questions equally and I am grateful to have caring friends but I am also very relieved that I can honestly say that we are both doing great. She is really enjoying the new experience of school and I have transitioned well too, pursuing my interests and being excited about what the future might hold for both of us! 

There is another big truth about homeschooling that doesn't get shared often, but I will keep that for another post!

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Love Lists #7

Another week, another I Love Lists edition! The beautiful blue sky and soft sand dune below is from Blooming Point Beach where my son and I went for a windy walk yesterday. I will share more photos with you in a blog post this weekend, hopefully! 

1. We have survived one more Mercury Retrograde! It ended yesterday. The next will be December 19 to January 28. 

2. Dawn from Mud Puddles to Meteors did a Tedx Talk this past summer about creating a nature habit. You can watch it here and download her free accompanying PDF.

3. In the absence of the Village, mothers struggles most

4. What I've been watching this week on Netflix: Very British Problems - amazing to see how many of these are also Canadian problems!

5. Now that I like working with paper piecing, I might try making these: apple and pear patterns from Charise Creates. 

6. I am at the end of Winter, the conclusion of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer...and I don't want it to end! 

7. This past Wednesday, our little peaceful island wasn't so peaceful. Everyone was safe but it was a stressful morning. 

8. Another great gentle yoga video from Yoga with Adriene: Yoga for Mood Swings . I did this one today and it felt amazing, especially since it's been a couple of weeks since my last yoga session...

9. I can relate a lot to this post from Patricia at Wonder Farm. It inspires me to write down my thoughts about the end of our homeschooling and how different life is now. She also just finished homeschooling after many years. 

10. I want to learn how to sew a dress like this one

That's it for this week! I hope you have an excellent first weekend of fall! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Page Layout ~ Bullet Journal Video

Happy Monday to you! 

In my second YouTube video, I show you my weekly page layout and explain how I go about using it and migrating items from the previous week, plus a couple of other things I do with it, like my Daily Goodness Chart.

You can watch the video below or visit my YouTube channel here to watch the video! If you like it, please hit the like button and subscribe to my channel!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I Love Lists #6

I Love Lists #6! A busy week with the second week of school done, a great experience with the Barley Feast , and I also got a part-time job! Here is my lis for this week and what caught my interest: 

1. Remember 1986, a pop culture nostalgia trip to the year 1986 was such a fun video to watch!

2. So honoured to be featured again on CBC in their 9 PEI Instagrammers to Follow 

3. I have this song on replay.all.the.time 

4. Did you see the Harvest Moon? It was beautiful! Read more about the eclipse (I didn't see that part) at this National Geographic article, along what interesting things happened in the stars this week

5. I listened to Johanna Basford, artist and creator of adult colouring books, on Beaks & Geeks and now I like her even more

6. How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit on Literary Hub

7. I loved this instagram video showing how to draw a pretty "wreath" so I did it in my bullet journal 

8. Good article about What Teens Need Most From Their Parents in The Wall Street Journal 

9. These wheels are a beautiful and creative way to document the seasons and weather: phenology wheels  . I might try one in my bullet journal.

10. I made this recipe this past week and it was a big hit with my carnivores!

Have a great weekend!