Monday, May 4, 2009

Will Post for Food

Reconciling Homeschooling Realities and Entrepreneurial Endeavors with Semi-Random Creative Verve Melted on Top: All of This & More in Just One Blog!

This was one of the suggested names that came as a result of my Name Change Poll. I have to admit; it does ring true...don't you think? I've decided to add the "Will Post for Food" part to the blog title permanently but to otherwise leave the title as it is. Raves & Rants of a Homeschool Mom: Will Post for Food. Thanks for participating in the poll! Fun one.

So, the first post of a new month. I love the beginning of the month. The monthly bulletin board of images has to be updated, and this month, I am focusing solely on Memorial Day; though I do acknowledge all of the other cultural Holidays and celebrations this month.


Polski Day!
Cinco de Mayo!
Armed Forces Day!
Grandma Yadrich's Birthday!
New Grandma's Birthday!
Mother's Day!
Old Grandma's (my Mother) Birthday!
Memorial Day!
Asian-Pacific American Month!
Physical Fitness Month!

...and whatever other honorable holidays I MAY have missed!

The beginning of the month is also a time of reflection of the month past and in looking ahead to all of the wonderful things we will experience in the days to come.

Last month, Doug shot his first turkey. He was so excited, and Cole and I are so proud. He also brought home a bunch of morels, which we were quick to wash up, fry up, and eat up! Our chef buddy and Doug cleaned up the bird, and the amazing-looking meat is in the fridge, waiting to be cooked this weekend.

We had a lovely time with our extended family for Grandma Beasley's birthday in April and then again for Easter - when we also met our new little cousin, Whitney. She is a little angel and surely gets it from her Daddy.

Cole wrapped up his second month of guitar lessons last month and is really enjoying spending time with our friend, Danny. He's not much into practicing his guitar yet, and though he gets nervous before each lesson due to his lack of practice, he is not so moved as to change his behavior at this point. I remember starting band at his age, and learning to read - let alone play- music was intimidating and completely alien at first. One of these days, the light bulb will turn on, and he'll "get it" and be on his rockin' way.

My marketing firm, Innovative Design & Marketing LLC, picked up two new clients in April. Each new client heard its own little whoop of joy from me as in this economy, simply maintaining clients is a challenge. I also picked up two coaching clients - one seeking career coaching, the other adult ADHD coaching.

All in all, April was a GREAT month!

This May is a particularly exciting month for our household as it marks the conclusion of our first year as homeschoolers!

After two and a half weeks in public school at the onset of the 2008-09 school year, we decided enough was enough and removed Cole from school. Our decision was based on a culmination of previous and consistent disappointments within a variety of institutionalized education systems - both public and private - and was one of the single best decisions we've ever made for Cole and for our family.

The emotional rush of anger with our local public school combined with the positive energy in a dream realized in being able to finally homeschool Cole propelled us head-on into our homeschooling experience. The decision was made within a 30 second exchange in the school office, and we never looked back, nor did Cole (or us) suffer any negative transition - primarily because we had been wishful for the opportunity to educate Cole in this way for the past four years (and Cole was stoked we'd rescued him).

Cole now is learning in an organic, natural, and passion-driven fashion. We don't have bedtimes or set alarm clocks to wake by (well, we do if I'm traveling), but we don't sit around and talk about iCarly all, okay - we some times we do. Mostly, we are a family think tank driven by and intertwined by our three individual interests (respectively) and by all of the other stuff going on around us - what we see, hear, taste, smell, feel, and think about on a daily basis. We are all very project driven, and if you walked into our dining room, the piles on the table in front of you are a hint at what we are currently immersed.

Another bonus in homeschooling - and a timely topic with the swine flu epidemic: Cole's last full year in school had him down with strep SIX times. This meant six rounds of antibiotics (at least), never-ending make-up work and feeling behind, negative attitudes from the staff who felt we exaggerated the extent of Cole's illnesses, and so on. Within the past twelve months, Cole has had strep ZERO times (knock on wood)...a truly amazing feat when you've dealt with the school year unwellness blues we have.

In summary, we love unschooling!

Soooo...back to it being the first of the month. Yet another reason I love the first of any month are the new magazine subscriptions that begin to arrive in my mail box. This is one of my few green-guilty pleasures, but I do oh-so love my magazines (I also do try to make sure to pick up half of my monthly mags from the local library's donation box.) The latest, greatest from Scientific America, National Geographic, Inc., Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Harper's, the New Yorker, the Humanist, and many, many more. Cole digs into Highlights, Hot Rod, and NatGeo. Some of my favorite evenings are spent sitting around discussing the articles we're all respectively getting into, interrupting each other to read a bit out loud here and there. Awesome!

Beginnings are always so exciting! : )

Here are a few projects we are working on this May.

Windowsill Herb Garden: Here are a couple of photos of Cole planting basil seeds.

We are attempting basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, and maybe a couple of others. All of our dreams involve moving to the Country, and in hopeful preparation, we thought we'd better brush up on growing things.
Cole has also been diligently tracking the many storms that have passed through, and we are discussing creating a weather center in Cole's den. For sure, the kiddo needs a Farmer's Almanac. They are expensive, so we'll have to start budgeting it in. Cole is obsessed with comparing the historical daily highs and lows to current temperature trends. We do a lot of research on global warming, droughts, flooding, etc. Bottom line, this kid is cuckoo for weather.
I found an old airplane kit while digging for dirty laundry in Cole's room the other day. Cole and Doug spent an afternoon working on different models, making adjustments based on their objectives - straight, fast flying plans, loop-de-loo planes, hover planes, etc. It was a wonderful afternoon of flight and physics.

Cole, Doug, and I are also working on a philanthropic project this month. A friend of mine from high school/college, Jackie (Smith) Malena, is battling hepatacelluar carcinoma - a rare cancer of the liver - and is in need of additional funds to continue her treatment. This is Jackie's 2nd occurrence of cancer in seven years, and as you can imagine, their family's savings have been exhausted.
We are volunteering at their May 22nd Fun Run fund-raising event in Liberty and are also utilizing Fun & Funky Finds (my company's web store) as a means to help raise funds for Jackie's cancer treatment fund. 100% of the proceeds from Jackie's page are being donated to the fund.
If you are looking for a gift for Mother's Day, Graduation, a wedding, birthday, or any other special occasion, please take a second to consider supporting cancer warrior, Jackie Malena at Fun & Funky Finds.

Cole and I are also working on Mother's Day-related art projects, which we simply cannot disclose at this time. : ) Photos to follow soon.
I'm behind in my blogging. Several blog posts are in draft-form, and I'm determined to get them finished and posted before the pool opens....or it'll never happen.
Don't forget to check The Cole Train - Cole's weekly blog quote, and as always, thanks for your comments and for your continued support in our unschooling endeavor!
xo, Diane

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