Monday, October 1, 2012

in {her} shoes...julie

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today's guest poster is Julie from Creekside Learning, a site that documents the natural homeschooling that she does with her children.  Some of her recent posts include self-care skills and totally awesome Star Jars.


I am so pleased to be able to guest post today on Crayon Freckles. Thank you, Andie, for the invitation. My name is Julie and I blog at Creekside Learning. My blog started out to be about our journey with homeschooling. Much of what I write about, however, applies to anyone who is learning alongside children. We love to be outside and despite our suburban existence, or maybe because of it, we seek out creeks, woods, and other natural spaces to explore and learn from.

These are my favorite, pretty red shoes. I don’t wear them much, as they’re just not suited for stomping through the woods and splashing in creeks. But one of my kids straightened up our mudroom and arranged the shoes like this: all of their boots and my pretty red shoes. It made me smile.)
My kids are Firefly, my nature and animal loving 8 year old boy, The Queen Bee, my creative, full of joy, 6 year old daughter, and Love Bug, my adorable mop-headed, nearly 4 year old boy. My wonderful husband of 16 years loves to cook and feeds us all every day, in addition to being the primary wage earner in our family, so that the rest of us can do what we do: learn, play, and explore. We’ve been homeschooling for three years. We also have a sweet Labrador Retriever that we got from a rescue organization. Before staying at home with my kids, I was a social worker. Now, in addition to my blog I also write, mostly for parenting/learning websites.

What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?
Homeschooling doesn’t afford me a lot of time by myself, although my husband is great about helping me find little pockets of time to take a break. But when I don’t get a break, it shows. Growing my patience and learning to take a break before I get too overwhelmed are things that I am working on.

What is the most rewarding?
Being there for those a-ha moments. And being able to watch my kids thrive by learning in a style most natural to them. The other day, we read a book about trees and they immediately wanted to go on a bike ride to the woods and see if they could find the same types of trees we were reading about. We were riding down a hill towards the woods on our bikes and I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude that our life circumstances allow for me to homeschool them, that they are learning in such an organic way, outside enjoying a beautiful fall day. I am so glad that I can give them that. It’s not so much about homeschooling as it is about feeling that, as a parent, I am doing something right. Have you ever had that feeling?

What do you think are the most important values parents can instill in their children?
Kindness and being helpful to others. Every day. Whenever you can.

If your children could describe you in three words, what would they be?
I honestly wasn’t sure what they would say, so I asked my niece to interview them. They thought this was a fun project. My oldest son said I’m really funny and helpful. My daughter said I’m silly, funny and “she looooooves doing school stuff with us”. My little guy was confused by the questions and said simply but quizzically, “She’s nice?” Oops, I just realized that I didn’t follow the directions and put this in a 3-word format. That’s a bit indicative of our learning style—we kind of see where it takes us and we don’t always follow directions.

Thanks so much to Andie for allowing me to participate in this series. I love reading all of the In Her Shoes entries! If you want to read more about what we do, head over to my blog, Creekside Learning.
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