Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet - A is for...

So I have seen this done on several blogs and wanted to give it a try!  :)  I am going to blog through all letters of the Alphabet.  They may apply to homeschooling, life, family, God, or whatever random topic comes across my mind.

Lets start at the very beginning!  Letter A.  For me A is for Adaptability. 

Growing up I moved 4 times.  Three of those times we were able to stay with the church I had grown up with.  But the last time took us further away and there were other issues behind the scenes that we were unaware of at the time.  We left the church I had known for 16 years and started at a new church. 

Then I moved again when I married the love of my life.  I left the state of Tennessee and moved to Pennsylvania.  We lived in an apartment for a year.  During this time we had our first child and our apartment got even smaller.  So we moved to a house when Jonathan was 5 months old. 

The next 5 years where a whirlwind.  I stayed at home the first 10 months of his life and then had to go back to work to make ends meet.  I worked evenings and my husband worked days.  Those were hard days but we adapted the changes necessary.  Then working minimum wage and almost 30 hours a week weren't enough to help.  I had to go back to a full time day job.  That was really hard!

We got pregnant with Jordan in September of 2006.  He arrived in May 2007 and then when I was on my 5th week of maternity leave, the company that my husband (and I) worked for let him go citing reevaluating positions and needs.  I had also just applied for my 12 weeks FMLA.  Darren felt I should still keep these as we wanted to make sure that we could establish a nursing/bottle routine.  Again, trying to adapt to our circumstances.

Well, I went back to work after the 12 weeks and Jordan was a stubborn little guy.  He refused to take a bottle.  I would come home with my milk that I had pumped at work and he would be screaming cause he refused to take that bottle.  It didn't matter how hungry he was, he just wouldn't take it.  This lasted a week.  Every day was the same.  He would not take that bottle for anything.  Just wanted his mama.  Well, I couldn't let that keep going on so I turned in my notice and left. 

So we still needed my income.  I wound up finding a job at the JCPenney Portrait studio in the mall near where we live.  This allowed me to work evenings (though some daytime as Darren was still at home job hunting) and I worked most weekends.  They were flexible with me and my needs to nurse Jordan and every 4 hours Darren would bring the little guy to me so I could nurse him.  They were great to work for. 

I also made a good friend while working there.  Jesse was one of the Sr. Photographers there and we became best friends during the time I was there.  We have kept up with each other and she was even present at Cordelia's birth to photograph the event and also be there as another support person.  She is pretty much awesome!

Also in that year, I started homeschooling Jonathan.  He was in Kindergarten and we started out pretty good.  We used ABeka as that is what I grew up with and it was a great curriculum for that year.  1st and 2nd grade, I saw that we needed to change from traditional textbook to something else.  I wasn't paying attention to how Jonathan learned.  Instead I paid attention to how I wanted to teach.  That lead to lots of conflict and frustration.  So in 2nd grade I completely overhauled the curriculum and went with a more traditional (Charlotte Mason) style of learning for him. 

I found 2 books that are forever in my repertoire.  The first one is Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson.  This is a GREAT book and resource for those wanting to homeschool or if you are already homeschooling and need advice, resources and more. 

The 2nd book is 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.  Here is where I learned about the different learning/teaching styles.  It also provides curriculum choices that go along with those styles.  Another great resource to have in your home.

So we adapted.  We have changed things up several times to accommodate learning styles and differences.  Now we have two children of school age and completely different learning styles.  However, we are able to use similar curriculums for both of them.  I try to do a lot of things together.  Science, History, Music are all done together but at different levels.  One of the GREAT things about homeschooling.  ;)

I will admit that I have often called my mom and some good and trusted friends about my homeschooling dilemma's.  Especially since we have to submit paperwork to the school district.  Louise (my other BF) is someone who keeps me calm about getting things together.  I often panic and she can calm me down.  She lives near me so she knows the district and also the ins and outs.  We met at church and once we discovered that each other homeschooled it's been almost like peas and carrots. 

It's been nice to find some good friends up in PA.  Moving state to state is not as easy as it might seem.  Adapting to a different culture and lifestyle is quite a challenge.  But thankfully I have been able to make friends and there are some family members up here as well.  I will also say that finding a good Church is important too.  It was very important to me to find a good, stable church home.  And I believe we have done that too.  Our children go to the Wednesday night group and we all go as a family on Sundays.  We have also taught Dave Ramsey's FPU at our church.  It is time to enable people with the tools to get out of debt, learn how to give and thrive.

So as you can see, we have adapted quite a bit.  Life is all about how we can adapt to change.

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