Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feeling thankful

I'm laying in bed unable to sleep. This is a rarity for me, I'm generally the type who can sleep anywhere, anytime.

But not tonite. Tonite my mind is reeling.

I'm tossing and turning a I ponder which educational opportunities are best for my children. Yet, as I fret the night away, I'm reminded of how lucky my family is. It wasn't that long ago that education wasn't available for everyone(I've been watching a lot of period dramas and learning about the origins of education. In America through the 5th grade history curriculum.) There weren't always choices, advocates and champions to fight for your children. In many countries the basic right of freedom STILL doesn't exist.

So tonite, I'm choosing to cast aside the worry and be thankful.

My son's were truly blessed to begin their education at a public school where everyone involved in their education cared. That school accepted us, nurtured us and helped us all grow. Even with the champions working alongside me I still felt my oldest son slipping further and further away. When I felt it was time, that school supported us in our decision to try something new.

Now, as we reach the 3/4 mark of the year I find myself in awe of what my children have accomplished. Going to a blended public charter school has allowed us to regain our health, find their individual learning styles, and most of all, it gave me my son back. He still struggles, but now he can process his struggles and we can take the time we need to build good educational habits. We've had some wonderful teachers that get my kids excited about things I was sure they would dread (who begs to work on their handwriting workbooks?) I've learned more than I could imagine possible about each of my boys and I've been there for each of my daughter's milestones.

How amazing is it that we have available to us so many quality choices? Public school, homeschooling or 2 different public charter schools are all possibilities for my family next school year. They all have strengths and weaknesses but they all also provide my boys with a safe place to grow and thrive educationally.

Thank an educator for all they do and hug your kids tight. Life is good.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm an environmentalist

I mean, not in the traditional sense necessarily (although sometimes) but on the "I need to know about my environment sense."

It's something I encourage everyone to try. I love figuring out ways to eek fun out of every nook and cranny of my home environment.

Currently, that environment is an island.
I've posted before about staycations and some of our favorite island activities. That's all well and good, but you've got to strive to find new and different things too. There are hidden gems around every corner!

Recently I've stepped outside my comfort zone a bit and found some real winners (and a few stinkers.) I keep thinking we'll run out of options because it's an island, but even after 12 years on this island I'm still finding new things.

Do you get out and explore your environment? What do you find?

The hardest part of doing something new is my kids. I'm often hesitant unless I have extra adults to help if things go south quickly. You never know when nap time, hunger, dirty diapers, bad attitudes or allergies will hit and it's hard to gauge how to handle these predicaments in new environments. Things get awkward fast.

To push myself outside my comfort zone I'm trying to come up with challenges to do stuff that's not my favorite. My first challenge idea was a beach crawl. This was a huge success and deserves it's own post so look forward to that soon.

The next challenge is new restaurants. I don't like eating out because I'm a really picky eater so it's usually a waste of money. But, I need to come up with date night activities for my husband and I so for the next month or two we are going to try restaurants that we've never been too. I don't expect this to become my favorite new activity but it should at least be interesting and should expose me to new people and places in my environment.

My challenges come with rules because it's more fun for me that way :) So, with that in mind, what should they be? I'm thinking a picture to prove I was there, a notation about prices and ambience and I'm not allowed to just order a burger at every single place. I would say pictures of the food but do you really want to see that?

Any suggestions for places I should try? Want to join my challenge and try at least 4 new to you restaurants in the next 2 months? It could be fun.

I think my next challenge with kids involved will be parks. Still brainstorming this one but there are a lot of great parks on Maui and I'm sure I'm missing out by never stopping at them.

Enjoy some pictures of my kids and I enjoying our environment this past month.