The One Where I get Honest about School Here Lately

Do these kiddos look happy, or what?

And look:

Their mama looks every bit as happy too!

We have officially finished our 2015-2016 school year.  

(While the bigs took end-of-school-year pics, the littles were doing this:)

Because this is the best way to watch Backyardigans, amIright?

We went out to a "fresh Mexican" place last night to celebrate being done with school.  


This was our 8th year of homeschooling.  And honestly...it was our hardest year yet.

There are many and varied reason for this...some obvious, some not so obvious.  


We have a 1-year old and a 4-year old in the house.  (duh)

Not so obvious:  

Learning disability/differences for one child (What I had already been noticing was confirmed during last year's standardized tests.  We did more testing, and we've had to change things and been working on ways to address this all year)

Challenging behavior (from one of my children in particular)(this is one of the main reasons we're doing GAPS again now)

Put these things (and more) together and it means that the nice way we'd been homeschooling for the previous 7 years was simply not working anymore.  


 So we made a curriculum change halfway through the academic year.  (From My Father's World to Mystery of History).

And then changed out another part of our curriculum about 2 months ago.  (From Teaching Textbooks math to Saxon.)

I am praying and reading and praying and researching and praying and talking with other homeschool moms - and praying - about what we need to do next year.

Because "Next Year" is really just another way of saying "2-3 months from now"...because if I say "2-3 Months from now", that might make me freakout.

I have had to do some real soul-searching, and all of this has prompted me to lean harder on the Lord (which is a great thing).  And I need to do that even more.  

Because never in the first 7 years of homeschooling had I ever considered putting my children in public school.  And I absolutely did consider it this year.

But when it comes down to it: I know that I know that I know that we are supposed to be homeschooling.  

And so, I will pray.


  1. Jolie - We are putting our girls in a charter school next year. I felt I just wanted to be their mom for awhile, and not the teacher too. One in particular doesn't take authority well. We are FINALLY realizing that while food intolerances play a MAJOR role in her behavior, attachment may play an even bigger one. We are following the guidelines in The Connected Child and seeing pretty good results without having to keep such a strict dietary regimen. Strangely, I'm reading more and more about how all this is connected. The child has a history of fear, they go into this mode very easily (although it may look like anger, manipulation, etc. it is basically fear), and this makes the brain go into flight or fight which pulls blood from other organs into the lower animal brain which then makes it hard to digest food. In the meantime they are not getting the nutrients they need from the food due to slower digestion and so their brain chemistry is off fueling everything into a vicious cycle. I'm no expert for sure but since a lot of us adopted parents have one of these kids I feel the more we share about what is working for us the better.

    1. Ok, Debbie, you had me at "attachment" and "fear." This child struggles with those the most of any of our children. Where do I start reading??

  2. The Connected Child by Karen Purvis and the website Empowered to Connect. Also, anything by Daniel Hughes. We adopted our daughter at 6 months and didn't recognize the problem for a long long long time because she had been such a good baby. We figured she was just a very strong willed child. We made a lot of mistakes in dealing with her because we didn't use the kind of parenting we should have. Unfortunately we now believe she was so good as a baby because she gave up trying to get her needs met by her birth parents.

  3. Sorry, if you are asking about the brain/diet/attachement connection I had to make that myself through all my reading and talking to my daughter who is a nutritionist. In Purvis' book there is a study where the child's neurotransmitters changed drastically after 20 days of intensive therapy. Purvis talked about how keeping the child relaxed prevented the fear response to kick in. In another book,Reset Your Child's Brain (amazing book about electronics and kid's behavior), I learned about how blood is taken from all the other organs when your body is in flight and fight mode to fuel your primitive brain. Your primitive brain does not allow you to reason but only be reactive. I asked my daughter if removing blood from the stomach and intestines could impair digestions so much that you wouldn't be able to break down hard to digest things like dairy and grains and she said definitely. Not very scientific, I know. But you know what a puzzle these kids can be and following the steps in The Connected Child every time she misbehaves, giving her loads of love and attention, and keeping her diet low in gluten and dairy right now is giving us a sweet little girl.

    1. Ok, my copy of The Connected Child showed up yesterday. Thank you for your comments and help, Debbie!



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