Friday, May 22, 2015


My thoughts on children and learning:

Children need free time to learn things on their own and to explore their surroundings. 
Children need time in nature. 
Children are naturally curious and inquisitive.
Children need space and independence.
Instruction is not necessary for learning to occur. 
Learning should be fun. 
In the appropriate time and setting, learning will happen seamlessly.
It is easy to learn things you have interest in. 
Learning is not confined to certain hours of the day or days of the week.
When children are going about their day doing normal things, they are learning.
Tests are not necessary to measure learning.
Children should have a voice in deciding what they want to learn. 
Learning can happen anywhere, anytime, and in any situation. 
Playing IS learning.
Play is essential.
Given a rich and stimulating environment, children will learn every day.

When people ask me "So, why DO you homeschool?" it's hard to answer. It feels deeply personal to me and depending on the person asking, it usually makes me feel uncomfortable. For me, it's much easier to talk about what I DO believe about learning and life and children, rather than trying to explain why I don't send my children to school. I think taking that approach helps to keep things positive  For us, homeschooling was a natural extension of the way we have been parenting since becoming parents. It is deeply rooted in the way we live and the ideas we stand behind. I read recently that one of the biggest misconceptions about homeschooling it that the schooling happens at home. This is a huge truth for us. Every time we step foot out of our front door, I view it as a new adventure and a new opportunity for learning, growth, and exploration. Learning and living life as a family is what we do best.

We value creativity and art.


Sometimes homeschoolers even get to ride on school buses. 


Whole Foods tour with other homeschoolers. 

The one who is never afraid to touch something a little scary.

One of our favorite places, the library. 

Working on some math. 

Bird watching.

We plan to reevaluate things each year and with each child. We have no long-term plans for homeschooling, but hope to always remain open to whatever works best for our family as we grow and change over time. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Avett turns 2

Well, another year has come and gone and Mr. AP is now TWO years old! 
Current likes: eating, Olaf who he affectionally calls Bubble, anything Thomas or train related, nursing, sleeping with Mama, his blankie, swinging, reading board books, playing and trying to keep up with his big brother and sister, taking baths, climbing into his carseat from the front of the car, building legos with Ezra, being a transformer with Ezra, and being worn. 
Avett is an absolute joy to each member of the family. 
His kisses and hugs are in high demand and he really has captured all of our hearts these last two years.
He was a late walker (15 months) and talker, but has just recently gone through a big leap in the talking department. He probably has around 50 words in his vocabulary at this point.
I really wanted to keep his birthday celebration small so I didn't have to stress and we could just focus on enjoying him on his birthday.

Since Avett's birthday falls on January 1st, on a holiday and around Christmas,  I saw this idea on Pinterest and already love the tradition. 
A birthday tree! 

Birthday boy opening his first present. 

Avett doing his birthday thing and Cambria doing her Cambria thing to Ezra. :)


Enjoying Hardee's for breakfast. 

More unwrapping. 

Reading his new book all about bellybuttons and birth. 
It's definitely a new favorite. 

His birthday banner. 

We decided to spend the day downtown for some park time and some Zunzi's.

The whole birthday crew.

Checking out the new playground at Forsyth with Grandma. The new park is AWESOME!

Cute Amber and Mateus. 

Sliding to Grandpa!

He took a little break for some lemonade. 

Mr. Birthday Boy

The whole family. <3

My precious Avett. 

More gifts!

He was a pro at blowing out his candles. 

Enjoying his salted caramel layer cake.

Perfect way to end the day, a hug from brother Ezra. 

Happiest of birthday to you Avett Patrick!
Can't wait to see what the 2's have in store for you!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Our first Disney trip!

I can remember having conversations with Kyle about how we NEVER wanted to go to Disney. It just didn't seem like something we would ever want to do with our kids; a waste of time and money we thought.  Then somehow, after many late-night conversations about what trips we wanted to take with the kids, we decided we wanted to go. I think we had a change of heart after we discovered Avett's admission would be free because he is under three and because so many people told us how much fun we would have with them at their current ages.  I am so glad we made the decision! Our experience at Disney greatly exceeded any expectations we had. We did two days at Magic Kingdom; one full day and one half-day for Mickey's Christmas Party. After reading crowd predictions online, we ended up choosing the first week of December and it seriously was the best time to go! We got to experience all of the beautiful Christmas decorations without the extra Christmas crowd. The park was so clean, the parades were amazing, there were few to no lines, the rides were fun for all of us,  the cast members were friendly and helpful, and the fireworks were incredible. And we didn't tell the kids about the trip until the morning we left which added an extra level of excitement to the whole experience. Kyle and I enjoyed ourselves as much as the kids and are already thinking about our next trip.

We love the welcome center for Florida because they serve grapefruit and orange juice! 

Our hotel had bunk beds and that was very exciting. 

Trying to get the kids to sleep required a little bit of hallway hangout time for AP. 

Cambria decided to be Tinker Bell for our first day. 

By far Ezra's favorite ride was the Buzz Lightyear ride. Thanks to fast passes he was able to ride it 5 or 6 times! 

Taking the escalator up to the People Mover ride. Also another favorite. 


Riding the train was one of the highlights of the trip for Avett. He kept saying "choo-choo, choo-choo" over and over again the entire ride. 

The carousel was probably the worst ride. We had to wait for 20 minutes and it only did three revolutions, lame. 

This was meant to be a picture of just us, but Cambria decided to sneak in.

Family teacup time! 

Day 2 was Mickey's Christmas Party. We weren't able to get into the park until 4, so we had time to swim at the hotel pool and eat Moe's before heading into the park. We ended up getting to the gates a little early and they let us in early at 3:40! Score! haha 

We loved riding the Monorail. It was a scenic, comfortable ride. 

All of the workers had cute Christmas clothes on. 

Ready for another adventure!

Our children were thrilled to be at Disney, can't you tell!?

Astro Orbiter was awesome! 

Awesome shot Kyle got on the Astro Orbiter. I am in the front rocket with Avett and Cambria. 


Cambria found her best friend's name. 

Two parents happy and actually enjoying themselves at Disney.

One of our favorite experiences at Disney World were the parades. They were incredible! One minute there would be 30 people parading down the road and the next second it was over and you would never even know it happened. Disney's ability to make things happen as if by magic was seriously awesome. The Christmas parade we saw at the Christmas Party was incredible. Kyle and I were blown away by the detail that went into it all. 

This was when Avett first spotted Olaf a.k.a. Bubble in the parade. 


We thought the light show on the castle was going to be lame, but it was very impressive and fun to watch. 

AMAZING fireworks! 

Some people just couldn't hang. 

Two deliriously happy and exhausted kids having a blast at Disney World. 

The castle all lit up! 

Couldn't have done Disney with three kids 5 and under without the Ergo! 

This was at 12:30 a.m. Fake snow in the streets. Only place in the world no one thinks anything of little kids and babies out this late. 

Because Ezra took a quick nap earlier in the night he was the only one awake by the end of it. This was right before we went to get one more serving of free hot chocolate and cookies, a perk of the Christmas Party. 

Overall, we had a blast and will most certainly be back. I now know why people call it the happiest place on earth! Don't believe those sad looking faces.  :)