Tag Archives: Triplets

Homeschool in the White House

I shared a long time ago about how this past school year (2017-2018) was going to be the first year of homeschooling Avie and the triplets, but I never shared anything about it again. It’s been hard. This post hasn’t been an easy one to write, the words haven’t come together willing.

I knew going in that teaching the basics wasn’t going to be easy, not because I’m incapable or the kids are inept, but just because of personalities. And I was right.

We plowed through much of the school year, dealing with attitudes and personalities, trying to figure out how to approach things for each kid, because they all are different and learn different too. There were times when it was sweet perfection and times when there were tears, either me or the kids.

I love homeschooling, don’t get me wrong. I love it….in theory. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the kids, maybe it’s all of it together, but it was not working for us this past year.

One thing I do know is that I have always said

I will not sacrifice my motherhood on the altar of homeschooling.

I won’t do it.

My relationship with my children, as their mother, is far more important to me and our family, than whether I homeschool or send my kids to school.

In February, Avie expressed interest in going to school…then Jamie (Henry and Ellie were adamant about NOT going to school). We played with the idea, talked to the school. Right now we’re in the process of finding out where they will fit grade-wise and deciding whether or not to send them in the fall. Then the other day Henry and Ellie said they wanted to go to school.

There are parts of public schooling that are very appealing to us, and no, getting them out of my hair isn’t one of them. I really want my children to play instruments, I want them to be exposed to the arts. Honestly, we can’t afford piano lessons for all five. By the time we’ve checked off the boxes of what we HAVE to do, I have nothing left to give for the things I want to do (crafts, art, etc), and that part SUCKS!

As of right now we haven’t made an official decision yet regarding any of them. The school really feels strongly that James needs to go into Kindergarten and that Avelyn needs to repeat second grade, and I’m not sure I’m ok with that.

James will be 7 in December and while he’s not fluent with his letters, I’m concerned that he’s going to be bored and frustrated surrounded by 4 and 5 year olds (not to mention that he’s going to stick out like a sore thumb with his speech issues, glasses, and being a full head taller than any kid his age). I  truly do believe that he will rise to the occasion if he’s placed in 1st grade, as will Avelyn.

As for Henry and Ellie, I really don’t think there’s any convincing I could do on the school’s part to enroll them in first grade. They’re smart, but they’re just not there with their letters.

Needless to say, I’m struggling. Struggling with feeling as though I’ve failed them, that they’re behind, that this was my fault and my selfishness of wanting to homeschool, that my “little experiment” resulted in their being behind their peers academically. Then the other part of me is “screw it”; we did what was right for our family at that time, I don’t regret for one second having them home with me.

What is the rush of getting them into school?! Why? So they can be in the workforce or college a year earlier? I want my kids to LOVE learning, not be “educated”. We all have our opinions on curriculum, common core, and socialist education (no child left behind etc). Traditional schooling is NOT for everyone, not every kid flourishes in it, and the same is for homeschooling. And I refuse to be made to feel that I’ve done wrong by attempting this year of homeschooling.

And none of this is to say that we will never homeschool again. I really do feel that for our family homeschooling is the right choice. I truly feel that if we do send the kids to public school that it will be for a season, maybe not for all of them, but for some of them. Maybe once they’ve had the “experience” and have the basics under the belts, we will all be home again. I don’t know, but I know that I’m ok with whichever way we decide.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I write on this, because this is a huge thing in our family right now. None of it’s easy.

Life Happens – Where I’ve Been for the Past Year or So

I know I kind of fell off the face of the earth for the past, umm year, is it? It’s been a while since I posted anything of any substance, anywhere, longer since I posted anything about my family. I still have drafts I wrote last Summer that I have every intention of publishing…someday. In all honesty, life has been a bit of a struggle for me, the past few months, the past year.

I read something about stress-levels post multiples and how post-partum depression hits later than with singletons. I don’t know if 6 years later is feasible or not. Maybe it is. At just the time they say it hits (2-3 years of age), we had Peter, which didn’t give me the chance to breath…life marched on. There was no time to feel “depressed”.

There’s still no time, but it’s there. The tired, the not caring, the overwhelmed. 

And this is where I always freeze up when it comes to sharing, because no one knows how or wants to admit that they don’t really like themselves or their life sometimes. At least I don’t. And there’s another part that if you are liking who you are becoming or what you are doing, there’s a problem with that too.

I love my husband. I love my kids. I love our home. Sometimes it’s all too much though, too much noise, too much stuff, too many personalities, too many to-dos. And all the too much means there’s not enough of other things…quiet, clean, brain power, focus, clarity.

My mind gets swept along the raging river, bashing into rocks and being sucked under the waves. Sometimes, I’m able to keep my head up, manage to keep afloat amidst the debris, and other times I’m sucked into one of those underwater crevices of a rock and the panic sets in.

They tell me that this is normal, that it’s just “motherhood”. Then why do I feel so alone, despite opening up to others, that no one really is drowning in this as much as I am. I don’t honestly think I’m failing at this, I think I’m doing a pretty darn OK job at mothering these 5, but why does it feel like I’m the only mom that wants to walk away from it, from them?

Last summer my book club read “The Awakening”, and most of the responses of the other moms was how could she leave her children, that she was so selfish for all she was doing…and all I could think was how I “got” what she felt. She would do anything for her children, except kill her “self”.

I’m sure there are many Christian moms that would read this, clutching their pearls, at the very thought of not dying to self, of not living solely for their children. I’m sorry, I can’t, and I don’t honestly think that God wants me to become a shell of a woman for the sake of my children. I don’t for one minute believe that I am supposed to entirely relinquish my interests, identity, or any part of me for my role as a mother.

That said, it’s finding my self, finding the time to remember who I was before any of this, that feels impossible. The part that makes it so impossible is that I’ve always lived for someone else and what they expected of me, so it’s not just FINDING my self, but actually LEARNING who I am, and in that there is a struggle.

When you start figuring out who you are, what your interests are, who you want to be, you have a tendency to piss off people, to disappoint people. You become no longer willing to just make every one else happy, to be a doormat. Suddenly, there’s a whole other part of you. Your interests and opinions and feelings don’t line up with what people expect you to do and be. And that can be a very hard place to be.

It’s very often pointed out that the marriage/husband should be the focus of a family, because after the children are long gone, that will still exist…and it’s true. Your children are your’s for a season, your husband will be your’s until death do you part (baring anything else). But here’s the thing, YOU will be you until forever.

What happens when a spouse dies? You’ve lived your entire life for that person only to not know how to function when they’re gone. I don’t want to do that either. I don’t want to curl up in a ball and not be able to live if something were to happen to my husband, and I know he wouldn’t want that for me, just as I wouldn’t want that for him, no matter how old we were.

Now that I’ve taken this whole big thing to explain what my mental state has been for the past year. I have been in a constant struggle between taking care of my children and husband and taking care of myself. I don’t have an answer on how to manage it. I don’t have a solution.

Sometimes I feel like me. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed (I d0 anyways). I’m not sure that there is a way to find a balance between the two, because as soon as I feel like me, I’m hear that I’m failing my family. It’s lovely really *note sarcasm*.

I think the hardest part of my writing and being active on social media, is that I don’t want to be open with certain people in my life. I honestly don’t want to share my struggles with nosy relatives, the neighbors who are just going to gossip, but I don’t know how to cut those ties without insulting someone. So I shut myself up instead. At the time it seems easier.

That said, I am seriously considering going private again as a blogger, because I know I need this space. There are a lot of things that I want to mull over and share and process here, and hopefully in the near future I will be sharing more about things that are going on in my life.

Henry, James, and Elanor Turn Six

Henry 

  • Standing 3′ 11.5″
  • Weighing 53 lbs
  • No more Georgie! But he still has to have his oma blankie at bed time
  • Very much into nerf guns
  • Loves Ninja anything
  • He’s still saying he’s never getting married, that he and his friend Roran are going to be ninjas together
  • His laugh is the best…I hope he never loses it
  • He’s definitely a lefty
  • He’s been fantastic with his math
  • Counting and identify his numbers and letters is still a struggle
  • He is still my most snuggly baby….he’s quite content to sit in my lap
  • He definitely has very strong opinions on things, whether it’s clothes or food, or anything else. He knows what he likes and sees no reason to be flexible about it.

James

  • Standing 4′ 3.25″
  • Weighing 60 lbs
  • Probably the more mature of the three. I sometimes forget how old he is and expect things from him beyond what I do the other two.
  • Has the most massive temper…and Avelyn does a perfect job of setting it off.
  • Loves helping in the kitchen and is always wanting to cook something up
  • He’s big….it’s an understatement. He’s strong, and the days that I can throw him over my shoulder are numbered
  • He loves doing his school work, and honestly between the three he’s probably the more rounded when it comes to his numbers and letters.
  • He’s doing ok with both, but the letters are still a struggle.
  • He has a very kind heart, even if he does fly off.
  • He loves to push….push…push. He definitely is the one who pushes me the most.
  • He’s all about doing what the adults are doing…going in the woods, etc. He’s the one that’s the most interested in hunting.

Elanor

  • Standing 3′ 10.46″
  • Weighing 48 lbs
  • This one…phew! She’s exhausting. I love her like crazy, but she takes a ton out of me.
  • We’re always on an emotional roller coaster. One minute fine and the next in tears.
  • I think we’re dealing with anxiety or ADHD or something.
  • She canNOT focus on her schoolwork.
  • School is the biggest struggle with her. She doesn’t seem to retain anything from one day to the next.
  • She can count and identify a few numbers, letter are not happening.
  • She loves playing with dolls
  • Loves her big sister…she has a really hard time on the nights when Avie goes somewhere for a sleepover
  • Ellie’s love language is absolutely touch. She wants to be next to you constantly. I can always tell when she needs to be loved on because the tears happen more and more constantly.

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

HENRY

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Nerf Guns
3. Favorite thing to play? Rainbow Tag
4. What is your favorite fruit? Cherries
5. What is your favorite TV show? Ninjago
6. What is your favorite thing to eat for Breakfast? Eggie Sandwich (scrambled egg on toast, with avocado and pepper jack cheese) 
7. What is your favorite thing to eat for Lunch? Mack-y-doodle (mac n cheese)
8. What is your favorite thing to eat for Dinner? Meatballs and Pizza
9. What is your favorite snack? Chip and dip
10. What is your favorite outfit? Batman shirt, black hoodie, and jeans
11. What is your favorite computer game? Lego Star Wars
12. What is your favorite game? Shoot guns with Daddy (Nerf)
13. What is your favorite animal? Dogs
14. What is your favorite song? Transformers’ Theme Song
15. What is your favorite book? Flip Flop Fish
16. Who is your best friend? Roran
17. What is your favorite cereal? Honey nut cheerios
18. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Invite my friends over
19. What is your favorite drink? Milk
20. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Birthday
21. What is your favorite vacation we’ve taken? North Carolina…The beach
22. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My oma blankie, teddy bears
23. What do you want to be when you grow up? A ninja
24. Favorite place to visit? Roran’s House
25.  Least favorite family rule? Obeying
26. Favorite thing about our family? That we play together and go to the pool

JAMES

1. What is your favorite color? Orange
2. What is your favorite toy? Basketball launcher
3. Favorite thing to play? Rainbow Tag and hide and go seek
4. What is your favorite fruit? Sour apples, peaches, and plums, and pears
5. What is your favorite TV show? Transformers Prime
6. What is your favorite thing to eat for Breakfast? Egg in a frame, and dippin’ eggs 
7. What is your favorite thing to eat for Lunch? Oooey Gooey Grill Cheese or Turkey Avocado Sandwich or Liverwurst
8. What is your favorite thing to eat for Dinner? Meatloaf
9. What is your favorite snack? Chip and dip
10. What is your favorite outfit? Spiderman Pajamas at night, and my Captain America Shirt and Sweatpants
11. What is your favorite computer game? Disney Games
12. What is your favorite game? Lightening McQueen Racing and Descendants
13. What is your favorite animal? Fishes
14. What is your favorite song? Hush Little Baby
15. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter
16. Who is your best friend? Abby, Roran
17. What is your favorite cereal? Honey nut cheerios and Rice Crispies…mixed
18. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Talking to Roran through the fence and playing at his house
19. What is your favorite drink? Lemon Ade, and apple cider/juice
20. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween and Christmas and Summer
21. What is your favorite vacation we’ve taken? North Carolina…The beach and Hershey Park
22. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Hootie, Flaggle, and Crockie
23. What do you want to be when you grow up? Car and Motorcycle Racer
24. Favorite place to visit? Baba and PopPauls, and Oma and Opa
25.  Least favorite family rule? When I have to go to bed.
26. Favorite thing about our family? My brothers and sisters, because they play with me, but not that much, because Avie doesn’t play with me, because she doesn’t like me.

 

ELANOR

1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? My teddy bear, Dr. Wiggles
3. Favorite thing to play? Barbies
4. What is your favorite fruit? Pineapple
5. What is your favorite TV show? My Little Ponies
6. What is your favorite thing to eat for Breakfast? Chocolate Chip Pancakes
7. What is your favorite thing to eat for Lunch? Pasta
8. What is your favorite thing to eat for Dinner? Spaghetti and Meatballs
9. What is your favorite snack? Carrots and ranch dressing
10. What is your favorite outfit? Pants with a tunic top
11. What is your favorite computer game? Pinkalicious
12. What is your favorite game? Rainbow Tag
13. What is your favorite animal? Bunnies
14. What is your favorite song? Can’t Stop the Feeling
15. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter
16. Who is your best friend? Natalie and Madison
17. What is your favorite cereal? Honey nut cheerios
18. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go on the swings
19. What is your favorite drink? Water and milk
20. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Spring and Summer
21. What is your favorite vacation we’ve taken? Hershey Park
22. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My oma blankie (it’s called Floki) and Dr. Wiggles
23. What do you want to be when you grow up? A ballerina teacher
24. Favorite place to visit? Roran’s House
25.  Least favorite family rule? Cleaning up the house
26. Favorite thing about our family? That we spend time together

 

Box Day! Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Curriculum

What we are using for our 2017-2018 Homeschool Year

It’s Box Day! Our 2017-2018 homeschool curriculum has arrived!  The kids, or maybe it’s just me, have been excited awaiting the arrival of the last of our books for next year. This next year is going to be completely different, because the triplets start. I’m not going to lie, it scares the crap out of me, but we’re going to do. We’re getting ready, they’re excited, and we’re moving forward.

It took me a while to figure out just WHAT we were going to do this year. There’s not many blogs out there chronicling the antics of homeschooling triplets, especially not from the start. Most of the homeschooling families that I know of with triplets started once their kids already knew their numbers and letters.

Being that I’m not sure of the HOW of homeschooling triplets I really didn’t want to overwhelm myself and be setup for failure. I really wanted this first year to get our feet under us and figure what homeschooling triplets looks like. That said I wasn’t sure I wanted to move on to the next core (which would be D) in Sonlight.

I’m taking a different approach.

When I officially started homeschooling Avelyn (the year she turned 6) she already knew her letters and numbers, thanks to ABCMouse.com; the triplets aren’t there yet. They just turned 5 in December, so they wouldn’t even be beginning Kindergarten until the Fall, so I’m not concerned that they’re behind.

I decided that wouldn’t be progressing to Core D; we’re actually going to go backwards. Avelyn has already done Core B and C (Ave has always been on the young range for the recommended ages for each core), but she never did Core A. Some of the books we already had and some we still needed to order.

Our Homeschool Curriculum with Triplets

Here’s the breakdown or our homeschool curriculum

Math

Avelyn will continue on with Math-U-See, she will be in Beta after this year. The triplets are actually going to start in Horizon K; the reason for this is that they have no connection between visual numbers (1, 2, 3, etc) and actual quantities. They know how to count and they know quantities, but the actual numbers are arbitrary. Math-U-See Primer is just a bit beyond them. Horizon K looked like it gave them a good foundation for learning the number associations.

Science

Avelyn loved Science A last year and B this year from Sonlight, but we never did any of the science experiments…I’d like to talk to a parent that actually does the experiments on a regular basis. I still haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing with science yet. A friend of mine is interested in doing a science co-op so I might just supplement that with other books that we’ve found. Whatever we do, all the kids will be doing the same thing.

History

All of the kids will be doing Sonlight’s Core A, which is an Introduction to World Cultures and History. Yes, Avelyn has done Core B and C, which were more in depth, but I don’t think she’ll be hurting for History. The wonderful thing about Sonlight is all of the FANTASTIC read-alouds and books that are included. We have quite a few from the last two cores that we haven’t managed to finish (they include so many more books than can be read in a year).

Reading and Writing

These will each be done on their individual levels. Avelyn will continue with Explode the Code and A Reason for Handwriting, the triplets will begin with Before the Code and A Reason for Handwriting K. I am planning on adding in whatever things we need, such as ABCMouse.com. Also, we have a ton of Beginning Readers books for all of the kids to work through.

Bible

Sonlight does a great job of incorporating Bible readings, theology, and studies in their curriculum! Unfortunately, I do a REALLY bad job of keeping on top of these things as they’re dictated in the Instructor’s Guides. Really bad. Now before you’re ready to throw me under the bus, we do some of our own storybook bibles and devotionals. Right now though, I have an EXTENSIVE collection of books that I want to work through with the kids. I’d much rather save my money and use what we already have.

~*~*~*~*~

Most of our curriculum is from Sonlight, the rest of it I purchase through CBD.com (Christian Book Distributor) or directly through the program (ie Math-U-See). I think we’ve done well with Sonlight and have enjoyed their structure as well as the books they use. I don’t have endless hours to pull together curriculum and plan everything out myself. I give those who do a TON of credit. I just can’t.

Our Homeschool Curriculum

This year I was trying to save money. I ended up spending $350 on what we purchased through Sonlight (the picture on the left above), and an additional $250 from CBD (on the right) for our Explode the Code and math books.  I still need to purchase Avie’s math and handwriting. I will wait until the fall to do that, but it shouldn’t be more than another $75.

For this year, I’m significantly under what we spent last year with purchasing a full prepackaged curriculum. Since I wasn’t buying a Core from Sonlight I was able to save quite a bit of money by only purchasing the books that I couldn’t get cheaper elsewhere. Some of the books we already had, some of them were significantly less buying them used. It worked out well.

Where are you in your homeschool journey?

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Our’s was crazy-busy (there’s a reason I’ve disappeared for almost a full month!). Just before Christmas we had had the triplets fifth birthday, then Christmas, then New Years, and then we all got a lovely stomach bug that has been making it’s rounds. The last man standing was Matthew and he finally succumbed last weekend.

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There’s so much I want to be sharing with you, but I know I can’t just rush and throw it all out there. There’s the triplets Growing Up post, Peter’s 19 month post (yea, I know those are more for me than anyone else). We started finishing some major home renovation projects that I’m really excited about. Our iPhone 5C exploded and caught fire (no one was hurt). One child, he who shall not be named, decided to try and close my laptop with Legos in it (the Legos won). Needless to say my computer time has become severely limited.

I have been reading so many good books that I can’t wait to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as some of my really fun Christmas gifts. One of my friends has a fantastic new book that just came out, that I have yet to read and am so looking forward to. I started a Moms Group at our church, which is a whole other ride. It’s been crazy!

How have you been? How were your holidays? How are your families?

I hope everyone is well and I’m really looking forward, and hoping, to getting back to my space in the ether!