On Homeschooling Bella

About a month ago, we enrolled Bella at the CDC (Child Development Center) a little ways down the road from our home. It’s an on post child care and early school program that is highly monitored and adorable to boot.

We’ve loved it. I have her going about 3 times a week for a few hours – either so I can work or be in therapy.

Bella's Classroom

A few weeks ago, one of the teachers approached me about her upcoming class for the school year. It’s a morning preschool/PreK and she thought Bella would be a great fit. She showed me her classroom and the teacher inside of me wanted to pack my bags and move in. It was so perfect, with a schedule for the kids I couldn’t have made any more delightful.

I went home and suddenly doubted my desire to homeschool. After all, it was only 8-11am. We could homeschool in the afternoons. I would have time to work and clean, run errands. Bella would be with friends in a wonderful environment and with a great teacher.

What pulled me the most was the thought of normalcy that would come with it. I could be a room mom. My daughter would be in a school setting. After all the things that we’ve had to work through, this would just look so normal to everyone from the outside. We could seem – ok. That was a very huge draw for my heart.

Yet. 

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Little Changes

Lately I’ve been in a real funk. Besides all the horrible anniversaries next month, there has also been massive guilt about Bella. To put it bluntly – she’s been really hard to deal with lately. On top of that, I’ve been hard to deal with too, and Sam’s been working either the longest days or gone for a week at a time. We’ve all been stressed out and on edge.

Yesterday I was at my wits end. I just could not figure out whether I should continue with my desire to homeschool Bella, or if I was being selfish and it would be better if she was in a school this year.

On top of that, with our friends having moved, we don’t know any families with kids here, and it’s so hot out that meeting people at a park or something is out of the question.

I laid on my bed yesterday and bawled. I felt like on top of everything else, I’d pretty much failed as a mom this past year. I didn’t want to keep Bella away from peers, but with our story it was like facing a shooting squad to “join a mom’s group!” or “go to a Bible study!”

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Summer Adventures with Kiwi Crate

This post contains affiliate links.

Once a month, a little green box comes in the mail that makes Bella squeal and me sigh with relief. My uncrafty mom-guilt at this moment is squelched, because we have a Kiwi Crate.

Kiwi Crate is an award-winning, monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials to inspire creative, educational fun. With themes like Music, Color, Robots, and Safari, these crates deliver everything needed for unique activities that you and your kids can enjoy together. See sample crates here ››

Kiwi Crate Summer Edition & Discounts

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Education Matters to Us All – How You Can Help

When I volunteer in and then taught school before Bella was born, I remember being pretty shocked at the amount of unpaid time it took for teachers to prepare for the weeks ahead and work with students. Even volunteering at public schools in California, I saw the amount of work and time each teacher put into running a smooth classroom, helping the kids, organizing things, and talking with parents.

I know firsthand that teachers spend an extraordinary amount of their own money (hundreds of dollars) at the start and during the school year to fill in gaps that the system isn’t able to provide to them.

No matter the grade level, each teacher truly went above and beyond to ensure her students del valued and listened to. I was privileged to watch these men and women at work, because it impacted how I taught my classroom and now my daughter. Even as a homeschooling parent, public education is important to me because one day, my child will be a part of all of her peers lives in some shape. Each child deserves the best education and start in life that they can get.

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Themed Lunches for Kids at Home with Fruit Shoot

As a homeschooling family, Bella and I don’t have the chance to pack a lunch too often. Maybe for the zoo or museum, but often those are just grab and go in the rush of the morning. I remember school lunches fondly when I was little – napkin notes, special sandwiches – so once in a while it’s fun to recreate that at home for her.

Since she is completely obsessed with all things dinosaur, I thought I’d make her a dino lunch with a new berry Fruit Shoot:

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It was a hit.

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These are fun moments we get to have, sometimes in the middle of long days. I want her to look back on our days together fondly, and some of my best childhood memories are small, short little moments that someone went out of their way to create for me.

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I don’t do this every day, but it didn’t take too long. The baby dinos played on cheese, the sandwiches were cut with her dino shapes, the egg is hardboiled and on a bed of green onions (which no, she in no way wanted to eat). Triceratops took a look into yogurt that looked like mud with cinnamon and wheat germ.

Fruit Shoot was a treat for her. Fruit Shoot also features an innovative no-spill cap (no more juice stains in the car!) making it easy for kids to be independent and on the go. These vibrant fun colored bottles come in tasty flavors of Orange, Apple, Berry Burst, and Strawberry/Raspberry.

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The cookie is a peanut butter/banana/oat recie from SkinnyTaste. We turned them into little volcanoes.

If you have a bit of extra time one day, (distract the kids with the new free Angry Birds game that comes on each Fruit Shoot) make a meal a little different once in a while. It’s so fun to watch their faces as they see something besides the same old boring lunch (guilty here of that).

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Find more ideas for lunches at home and on the go on Fruit Shoot’s Facebook page, and enter for a chance to win a trip to the Kennedy Space Center!

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With purchase of Fruitshoot, there is the option for a free download of an Angry Birds game, perfect for parents to play with their kids. Download the Angry Birds game and enter the code on the back of your Fruitshoot bottle to play!

Fruit Shoot sponsored this post, but the ideas and opinions are my own.