Are you ever looking for more ideas for ways to have fun with your family? Or, things you can do to grow and deepen the love you have for one another? Or…tips for making your homeschool days and activities even better? Well, if you answered “Yes!” to any of those questions, you’ve come to the right place! Finch and I are beginning a new series on finchnwren called (yep, you guessed it)…..
Family, Fun and Homeschooling!
Each Friday, we’ll be introducing you to fellow bloggers who’ll be sharing the ways these ideas work out in their families. You’ll get to meet other fascinating women…and enhance your own creativity as you hear about the neat ways they connect with their family. We’re excited….and we hope you will be too!
Today, we’re introducing you to my friend Kemi, who blogs at Homemaking Organized.
I started Homemaking Organized about 11 years ago, before my daughter was born. It was the lull before the kiddie storm (the year before we became foster parents) and my sister suggested starting a website. It was a static website before it was a blog. I just started sharing how I take care of my home and it seemed to touch a chord with people. Some days I want to drop it but God won’t let me. Not sure why so I just plug away.
Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?
Just one, eh? I love reading vintage homemaking books and while I don’t really talk about them much on Homemaking Organized, I do have a site (that’s in serious need of an update), Vintage Homemaking, where I do. I should have merged the two sites eons ago, but they’ve both been going for the same amount of time and now have vastly different audiences. I’m an old soul and really just like talking about the details of keeping home. I like home and being at home. Making the home a lovely, restful place where guests are welcome and the cares of the world are left at the doormat.
Tell us about your family. How did you and your husband meet? And what would you like to share about your child?
I met my husband, nicknamed Daddy Big, when I was a senior in college and he was recruiting for the Coast Guard. It was at an educational fair which I was participating in as part of my degree. Not sure what he was doing there, but oh well. God knows. 🙂 He hung around my family for several years before making his intentions known. Courting early style! He’s very sweet and the nicest man in the world. God has touched him with something special, because many times people will start to talk to him and before you know it they are crying and pouring out their troubles to him and making a commitment to the Lord. Very strange to watch. Early on I would ask him, “Oh no! What did you say to her/him now?”
Our daughter, nicknamed the Sweet Peanut, is a very inquisitive girl who is a bug and animal whisperer. When she was little one day she looked at me with those pretty brown eyes and asked why there was no show called “Bug Rescue.” She was serious.
What made you decide to homeschool?
God laid it on our hearts to homeschool. My aunt homeschooled her 6 children and I didn’t think much of it one way or another. Then, my sister homeschooled my nephew. They were learning so much (as a family) — how could I pass this up? But really, God told us to and we don’t question that. Even if God had not told us, there are a lot of other reasons that would have swayed us to the way of homeschooling. I can’t say I would have hung in this long, but the bottom line is: God pointed us in the direction of homeschooling and perfect it may not be, but it’s perfect for us.
What does a day in your homeschool look like?
We wake up at the “crack of noon.” Haha! Just kidding, but we do start later than most. Our written schedule says 9 a.m. but that’s a rare day when we get to start then. My husband can often come home late, especially in deep winter and late summer. And we always eat as a family. That means we get to bed late and wake up late. So, we get up late and mill around and eat breakfast for about an hour. I get up before my daughter and try and get a little work done. She’s in tune to her mother’s comings and goings and, as soon as she senses I’m awake she’s in my face, so I try and quietly work for about an hour before getting her up. We eat breakfast together and then get ready for the school day.
We start our day with prayer and then work on memorizing Scripture. In our church Bible study, she has her own weekly Scripture to memorize, so we work on that. Then we start on school and begin with our heavy hitters: English, math and science. We use Bob Jones DVDs which, by themselves, only add to an hour and 15 minutes of video; but then when you add in seat work and my daughter asking endless questions, we can be at it for 3 hours or even more. And this is just the first three subjects!
We take an hour break for lunch and then get back to it. Lunch, we might run an errand, get some play in, tackle a project or do some gardening, and eat. After the break are reading social studies, spelling and handwriting. Except for spelling, the last set of classes are not every day. These are also the subjects my daughter excels in, so they fly by.
These classes are all video classes and fun to watch. But nevertheless, we change up about mid-year and I teach the courses from the teacher’s manual to give us and our eyes a break! We have a 4-day work week and my husband takes off a day mid-week for field trips or just hanging out (he works Saturdays).
Do you have a favorite “date night” activity you love to do?
Hmmm….”date night.” Such a new concept. My husband comes from a large family and I come from an extended large family, so going off together just doesn’t happen unless we stay home and our daughter goes off, leaving us alone (it does happen occasionally). At those times we like to just hang out quietly. Watch something interesting and get some snacks. Or cook together (we love doing that). Work on a project together. Going off together is hard because if it’s exciting, we always think of someone in the family who would enjoy the experience too. Even on our honeymoon (Hawaii), we were like, “Oh, so and so would love this!”
What are some of your mama-child activities?
My daughter and I have “Music Parties” on Sunday nights. We watch Gaither TV (online subscription) and eat popcorn and ice cream. We sing so loud my husband eventually comes to join us. He’s usually in another room pretending to read or doing some paperwork. But when I attempt to hit those David Phelps notes he comes running!
We’ve also been having tea parties since she was about 2. She loves those. We make a pot of peppermint tea and I cut sandwiches with cookie cutters. Sometimes I’ll make a spread with strained yogurt and some fruit. Just sweet things where we enjoy each other.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I love soap and never think you can have too much. I also love perfume but I got into veggie gardening a few years ago and that attracted too many bugs and bees. So I just bring my bottles out every so often and take a sniff. Every so often my daughter and I sit down and pull out my collection of soap and perfume and go through everything oohing and aahing. She’s creating her own collection of perfume.
We don’t post our faces online, so instead our lovely doll family has agreed to stand in for us, representing the makeup of our family. Mama doll has forgotten to add the grey streak that runs the length of my hair, but you get the idea.