First Year of Schooling in Florida Continues

“How we became a homeschooling family” was my original title for this article.

I have to tell you, I had a whole blog article pretty much all written up about why we pulled our kids this past March from public school and are now a homeschool family, but I decided to scrap it.  As I would read over the article to proof read and add to it, I felt like all I was doing was being a “Debby Downer”.  That is not me!  Yes, the school here was not up to par with what we were used to and my girls did not have proactive teachers like we had in Tennessee.  But, the school in general is a nice, new, and is big.  They are also really good with students who have an IEP.  But as I was writing my previous blog (the one I deleted) I realized that it is our job as parents to be proactive for our kids, not the teacher.  I had a change in heart and decided to write something more positive then negative!

Vacation Time by Holly Hedman

Vacation Time by Holly Hedman

Oh my, so it begins!

With summer coming to an end (not sure that ever happens here in Florida), getting back on a schedule has been the first and foremost thing on my mind.  I am such a night owl it has been hard for me to think about having to get up earlier then my kids so I can have quiet time to drink my coffee, read the Bible, and Facebook/emails/play on my iPad.  Since we just got back from vacation, I have had a hard time going to bed before 11 pm (well, that is my normal bed time) but I have done really well with getting out of bed, with an alarm, before my kids.  This morning I was enjoying my quiet time so much I let the kids sleep in! 🙂 I love slow mornings!

Official First Day of School by Holly Hedman

Official First Day of School by Holly Hedman

Oops!  Off my schedule already.  

My plan was to have them up by 7 am so we could start by 8 am and be done by 11:30 because I am teaching a PE class for a Classical Conversations group.  Basically, I was not ready for our first 2 full days of homeschooling.  I am sure at some point in time things will run more smoothly.  I am sure I will have days where we get NOTHING done (not looking forward to that) but we will keep pressing on and moving forward!

First full week of schooling.

This weekend I am going to organize our classroom so we can start our first full week of schooling without feeling overwhelmed.  I am excited about using My Father’s World for our main curriculum.  They have it all planned out and it allows you to teach multiple aged kids at the same time!  Also from MFW, we are using Spelling Power.  For math I decided on Teaching Textbooks because I am not a math savvy person.  I also decided to use Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for Language Arts.  The homeschool group we joined has a plethora of great programs but one that stood out to us was the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.  We used the first day of STEM, which meets for over 3 hours, as our first day of school!  Luckily, our first full week will only have volleyball and CC PE for extra activities.  But in September everything starts up.  Dance two days a week, volleyball with games and practices, MOPS homeschool activities, AWANA on Wednesdays, STEM on Thursdays,  and CC PE on Fridays.  This should be interesting.  Crazily, I scheduled too many things for the afternoons but with doing that, I think it will keep us on the ball to get our work done so we don’t have to do it later in the afternoon!

I know this all seems like first timers syndrome, so much out there to do seeing as we are not tied down to the public school schedule and I am sure some of you are yelling at me through my computer telling me how crazy I am for planning so much our first year of homeschooling.  But that is me, I jump in before looking. Sometimes it end up be OH SO BAD and other times it was the best decision I could of made.  So with a little guidance from the Good Lord above we will have a great first year of school!  This is an exciting journey and I can only pray to God that He has chosen this path for us for a reason and that we (all of us) will survive! 🙂

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Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling.  Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family!  Also, I would love to learn from you and how you homeschool.  Please leave a comment below.  Have a Blessed Day!

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Life is always changing, so you have to be ready to change with it!

How about that, we now live in Florida.  Never thought I would live in this state.

Roasting Marshmallows Copyright by Holly Hedman

Roasting Marshmallows
Copyright by Holly Hedman

We are a family that loves the rugged outdoors, being on the lake fishing and sitting outside by a campfire on a cool night.  Oh, yeah, now that’s the life!  But now we have traded that for palm trees and white sandy beaches.  A person could get used to that… I guess.

For a lot of people Florida is where you go for vacation, snowbird in the winter or retire to.  Then you have those people who end up in Florida because of work or to be with family that have moved down here.  For us, we are here because of work. The Army decided that my husband was needed down here, so here we are.  Florida is growing on me, ever so slowly.  Not sure I will ever feel at home like I did in Tennessee but I will keep a positive attitude and embrace the fact that I am living in Florida.  I know, you are probably saying that I am crazy, what is not to love about Florida.  Well, I am a true northern girl through and through and I love the 4 seasons.  I know, I know, I am crazy for loving the snow and cold but I really do!  Time to face the fact though, we now live in Florida!

First Day of School 2012 Copyright by Holly Hedman

First Day of School 2012
Copyright by Holly Hedman

We moved here in August of 2012 about a week or so before school started! I have to say, I was getting excited for the girls.  I was ready to get our life back to a normal schedule and have them in school.  Also, I was ready for my son and I to have our one on one time.

I have always enjoyed getting ready for the first day of school!  There is always an excitement about it and an anticipation to the new school year a head.  This year was even more exciting because we just moved to Florida and our kids would be meeting new kids and making new friends!  With the girls all registered at the public school and ready to go, it was time for school to start!

First day of school, how exciting.

Seeing as we were living with friends of ours till our house was finished being built, I drove the girls to the bus stop in our neighborhood.  This way we could start meeting our neighbors and start making new friends.  So, bright and early (actually it was still dark as you see in the photo above) we were all up and getting ready for the day.  Once we were all done with our morning routine, out the door we went.  I have never driven my kids to school and waited in that crazy car lane and I wasn’t about to start now.  By driving them to our subdivision instead of driving them to school I was able to have some adult conversation and got to know our neighbors!  Oh yes, even mom got to have some chit chat time and I looked forward to it everyday.

In September I was able to close on the house (yes, I said I… my husband was off on a his 2nd or 3rd trip since moving here so I got to close on the house… All By Myself with POA in hand and a pen that luckily never ran out of ink!) and that night we slept on air mattresses in our new home.  Two days later the first two PODS came (we pack and move ourselves and the military pays us to do it) and the unpacking began.  It felt so good finally being in our own home with our own stuff, since we were technically homeless since the end of June.

Our walk to the bus Copyright by Holly Hedman

Our walk to the bus
Copyright by Holly Hedman

Now that we actually live in our house, I no longer had to drive every morning and afternoon to the bus stop, we walked.  I have to say, I really enjoyed our 3 block walk to the bus stop.  Now with the cooler temperature in the morning, there were times where we walked to the bus stop in the fog (I loved it)!  The fog reminded me of Monterey, CA and the crisp morning almost made it feel like fall! OK, I guess Florida is growing on me now.

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Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling.  Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family!  Also, Please leave a comment below.  Have a Blessed Day!

A New Journey

Copyright by Holly Hedman

Copyright by Holly Hedman

Oh, the life of a Soldier and his family! 

We started off our journey together back in 1995 (um, yeah, I just dated myself) when Dan and I were married.  Our first move was to Oklahoma for 6 months of training.  We actually enjoyed Oklahoma, but we were there in the winter so we didn’t have to deal with the heat.  Once training was done, off to North Carolina for 5 1/2 years. We had many adventures during our time there but I will save those for another time.

Our next duty station was in Tennessee and that is where our first daughter (the brunette in the photo above) was born.  Beautiful Tennessee was home for 3 1/2 years then, while pregnant with our second child (the blonde in the photo above), we moved back to North Carolina.  This time we only lived North Carolina for 2 years and then the Army sent us out to Monterey, CA!  Oh, how fun it was to there!  We really enjoyed Monterey, so much to see and many adventures were had.  While there our oldest daughter started Kindergarten.  She was only able to do one semester there and then off again.  Eighteen months was not long enough… so many more things I wanted to do while there, oh well!  We left California in December while I was 8 months pregnant with our third (the boy in the photo). This time we moved home to Illinois for 6 months and then landed in Tennessee again.

Point Lobos Copyright by Holly Hedman

Point Lobos California State Park                                     Copyright by Holly Hedman

Yes, being a military family… it is never a dull moment.  I have to say, as much as we loved living in Monterey,  Tennessee truly felt like home to all of us.  It is truly beautiful in Tennessee with the rolling hills and big oak trees.  Have you ever experienced Tennessee in the fall? Oh, my!  The colors are just amazing, the crisp fall air, leaves falling everywhere and the aroma from the smoke houses (that is how the dry tobacco) makes for the best autumn!  We thought we were only going to get to stay in Tennessee for 2 years, but we ended up staying for 3 years.  It was so nice not having to move for awhile but it made it soooooooooo much harder to move for many reasons. One reason was because we knew it was the last time we would live there.

Copyright by Holly Hedman

Moving Day

Copyright by Holly Hedman

Boxes in every room

Every move we have made has been an adventure and we really enjoy living in different areas of our great nation! But, each move has been a little bit harder because you leave great friends.  Once we added kids in the mix, moving became even more difficult because we are disrupting their sense of “normalcy” and taking them away from the friends they made.  But moving day came and it was time for our next journey, this time to Tampa, Florida.  This move was particularly hard because we all made such good friends and had a GREAT school that the kids went to. We loved our neighborhood we lived in and love having the pond behind our house where we would go fishing all the time!  We were happy there.  But, here we go again… All packed up and ready to go and see what our next adventure brings!

Copyright by Holly Hedman

Pond behind our house.

 

 

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Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling.  Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family!  Also, Please leave a comment below.  Have a Blessed Day!