Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Exploring Egypt...

Today my 12 yr old son and I toured around Egypt. We saw the vendors on the street and the funny way the buildings and houses were packed in like sardines. We also got to visit a few pyramids while we were there. One of the pyramids even offered a tour down INSIDE of it! We got to see the old king's tomb that grave robbers had already gotten to, and unique passageways carved out thousands of years ago.  Then after exploring Egypt we visited a cave in France in which ancient paintings of animals and people were on the walls within the cave.  After we were done, we were still home in time to pick the other boys up from school and make dinner.

Isn't technology great! Google maps is such a fun tool for exploring the world. It felt like the next best thing to being in Egypt ourselves (minus the hot sun, sounds, and smells of it...). The tour of the French cave was a virtual tour provided by an educational website. I think it's amazing how technology is changing how we learn and what we can learn.

Today was day two of homeschooling Brayden. After a lot of careful research, reading, and thinking - we decided to go with the Easy Peasy curriculum. It is an all-in-one curriculum that provides adequate education in all of the areas we wanted to cover. It covers math, reading, writing, language arts, history, science, art, music, PE/Health, computer/technology, among a few other areas.   This curriculum is fully online with some worksheets/printables that are to be printed out from home.  It also comes with a wonderful support system/network.
The very best part? Its ALL FREE!
 The curriculum is given in bite sized amounts, which is perfect for a child with low attention span. This also allows more time to explore areas of interest or dive into subjects further (like we spent an hour in history just touring around Egypt and exploring pyramids).

I can't wait to see what the rest of this school year brings! Tomorrow we are making papyrus among other fun activities. :)


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saying Goodbye

As we ushered in a new year and said goodbye to 2014, I thought about the last year and everything it brought us.
It brought us happiness in the form of a new healthy baby girl.
It brought us a lot of fun and family memories.
It brought us big decisions about homeschooling.
It also brought sadness. The sadness came at the very end, however.

Life is so unpredictable. When you make careful plans, typically what you were planning for doesn't or won't happen. Yet, when you are least expecting it (and thus are typically unprepared), life has a way of sneaking up on you...like a giant jack-in-the-box just waiting to spring out.

Change can be good, but with it also comes a period of adjustment and sadness from saying goodbye to the way things were. In our case, it also involves saying goodbye to a person who became like a grandfather to my children and like a father-figure to my husband.

For the past 14 years my husband has been a caregiver for one person. I often joked that he spent more time at work then at home! Work and home time was muddled, as he often thought about the person he cared for even when he was at home. It was more then a job, it was like caring for a family member.

We knew, of course, that the day would come in which that person passed on. It happens to all of us eventually... We carefully planned what-if scenarios and budgets so that we'd be ready, because it can be scary thinking of supporting a large family while starting over again with your job or career.  Yet, no one can really plan for death, Can they?

Sadly, over Christmas the man my husband cared for became sick rather unexpectedly and passed away.

My 12 year old son, Brayden, was quite attached to this man. Brayden was his favorite of all our kids (but shhhh don't tell the others...).  We think it's because Brayden has ADHD and is often in trouble at school and at home, and the man my husband cared for felt the strong need to reach out to him and make him feel special.   Brayden took his passing very hard. He was sad and depressed for several days. He still has his moments of sadness.  Watching your child grieve is hard for a parent to do, although I know its another one of those necessary lessons of life.

So that brings us to 2015...big changes. The reality of it all is that we have to figure out a new path in life now, a new career, and income to support our large family. I have no idea what to expect in 2015, but I hope it brings us some good changes and lots of happiness!