They Need It Too

Some days are nothing short of exhausting.  When the kids have woken throughout the night, resulting in less than cheerful attitudes throughout the day.

Some days I feel as if I must be wearing a black dress with a white apron, because everyone seems to thinks I'm only there to serve them.

Some days I'm all mommed out.  And though my love for them is unfailing, what I think I want is a little break.

A break from them.

Jon offers to take them to the beach, so they can run around like little beasts, and for that I'm so grateful, but something in me usually seems to want to go too.

This is my break time - my chance at a moment of silence, but still, I go.

And I realize, it's not them that I need a break from.

It's life.

It's routine.

It's home.

And it's not just me.  They need it too.

They need this time to run like little beasts when the sun's harsh heat has begun to fade, and the gentle breeze of the ocean allows them to use up the energy that's been trying to press through the wrong outlets all day.

They need to see their parents, walking hand in hand in the evening light, watching them as they race up and down the sand and splash in the water.

Some days I don't go.  Some days do I choose to stay home and let them have their beastly boy time.

But on those days when I end up joining their adventure, I never seem to regret it.

Goodbye May

I'm not much for Summer time, but I do love me some May.  It's hot, but not stifling, and all the "regular" kids are still in school so we can have all the great swimming spots practically to ourselves.

Our most recent favorite is Alexander Springs.  It's the best we've been to for the little ones because you enter the water at about one foot depth, almost like a beach.

There are tons of picnic tables, grills, a gift shop, and restrooms.  Plus, a couple of hiking trails.

Cole found this "rootbeer leaf" (it smelled like flat soda), and couldn't resist making everyone take a whiff.

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, all the great swimming spots will undoubtedly be littered with families, busy making memories of their own.

And though I find it wonderful to see them out there, adventuring and enjoying the beauty of this little planet we call home, I can't help but wish for a little bit more May.  When the other families are back in school, and we have the place to ourselves.

There's something so magical that happens when you are out in nature on your own.  It's like the latch is lifted on your imagination and you can be anywhere, anyone, at any time.  I am able to envision more easily the Timucua people who inhabited the land in years long past, and what their life may have been like when the radio of the couple next to me isn't constantly pulling my awareness back to 2017.

We studied Florida history this year, and along with it, read a wonderful book about the Timucua people. They are fresh in our minds, so when Bent spotted a sign at the springs about the Timucua Indians, it was easy for us to imagine how they lived and where they may have hunted and fished.
(I will post an affiliate link to the book below for those of you who may be interested).

This is one thing homeschooling does for him that I very rarely saw during his stint in public school.  It allows him to really explore certain subjects with enough depth that it raises his awareness to the subject in the real world, naturally helping him to make connections.

I really blame the Charlotte Mason method for this, but that is a post for another day.

Cole's Rashguard can be found @ Swim Zip
and Swim Trunks can be found @ Lil Boo Apparel

Natural Insect Repellent

Summer's nearly here, and everywhere I turn, someone is celebrating. Celebrating the end of the school year, more family togetherness, and outdoor adventure time.

We already have plenty of outdoor adventures and family time, but for us, summer means a huge increase in water activities and.....mosquitos.  The time for dousing ourselves in sun screen and bug spray is in full swing, so when I heard about Buglet Bracelets, I knew we definitely needed to try them.

Buglet sent us 2 bracelets and a bottle of their Bug Repellent Essential Oil Blend to try out for free, and they are so awesome!  

Buglets are basically slap bracelets (Yes! Like when we were kids), with a diffuser pad that slips on, making it look sort of like a watch, where you apply a few drops of the oil.  They sell diffuser pads in different colors, and even animal shapes, that are interchangeable, making them fun for littles, or "cool" for older kids.   

I love that the ingredients are just natural essential oils like Citronella, Lemongrass, etc., instead of harsh chemicals like other bug repellents.

Here in Florida, I think we might benefit from wearing one on our ankle in addition to the bracelet on our wrist, because the mosquitos are so prevalent here, but they do make a difference.  Normally, I'm the first one to want to leave when it's super buggy out, but when Cole took his Buglet off, I wore it for a while, and I was barely bothered!

Check out Buglet's Facebook page to see more of the bracelets in action!  

Have you tried Buglets?  Leave a comment, I'd love to hear how they worked for you!  


Our Homeschool Daily Rhythm

We've been homeschooling off and on since preschool, re-enrolling in public school a couple of times, but the end of January marked exactly 1 whole year of schooling at home.  It has been so incredibly wonderful.
I won't lie, there were quite a few times in the beginning when I questioned whether we were doing the right thing; when my boy seemed so lonely, desperate for companions his own age, but every time I'd bring it up, Jon would just remind me of all the awesome things about homeschooling (no car rider line, no one bringing weapons to school, not having to study useless information, and learning at our own pace to name a few), and I'd settle back into feeling (mostly) like we were doing the right thing.
Not long had passed into our most recent homeschooling journey when one day, the neighborhood kids decided to come out and play, and Bent finally got the nerve to introduce himself.  They been great friends every since, so my motherly worries have vanished.

We follow more of a rhythm than a schedule, so there are no "set times' when we do any particular activity.  A rhythm is more of "first we do this, then we do this, and after that we do this.  We usually never do this before we do that" - type of thing.

Here's a peek into our day:

Wake up.
Breakfast and chill.  I don't believe in making your children start on work while they eat a meal. Meals are for eating and enjoying, not absentmindedly shoveling food into your mouth while your mother sings/reads/hands you work to be done.  The boys eat their breakfast in peace.

After breakfast, they may watch a little television or play together while I shower and get ready for the day.  It usually amounts to 10 minutes of television watching and the rest creative play.

They then get dressed, brush teeth, tidy their rooms, and Bent gets his Morning Work basket.  He has until lunchtime to complete his basket, so if he is struck by a creative thought, or the need to run outside and get some energy out, that's perfectly fine.  This helps him to learn time management, since he is the one in control of his work schedule.  He has a deadline to meet, and consequences if it's not met (no electronics for the remainder of the day if his work isn't completed by lunch time - electronics are the bees knees right now, so if his work is complete, he earns the privilege of electronic time after school).

Lunch.  Again, no school work during meals.  We just enjoy our meal together.

Quiet time.  Unfortunately, my 3 year old has decided he no longer needs to nap, which was when we used to do our main lessons.  Quiet time now consists of my 3 year old quietly laying down and resting while he watches a movie, usually ending with him playing blocks/legos/puzzles independently in his room.  This is when Bent and I work on the parts of his daily schooling that require my guidance - Math and Literature daily, alternating Science and History every other day.

Once our school work is complete, the boys have free time to play for the remainder of the afternoon.

That's our homeschool rhythm.  I'd love it if you tell me about your day in the comments or link to your post for me to read.  It's so interesting and helpful to read about how other homeschool families spend their day.


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