Book Review: The Well-Adjusted Child

I’m absorbing Rachel Gathercole’s The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling through my pores.

This book consists of all the thoughts I had no idea were whirling around inside my brain matter.

Out and About

My first fear (as is the fear of a lot of parents on the brink of homeschooling) is that Ava and I will be trapped captive at our kitchen table, longing for companionship and counting down the minutes until Matt comes home to describe the colors and sounds of the outside world.

Gathercole’s book dispels that monster of a myth.

If anything, homeschooling seems to be the social mecca we’ve both been craving.

How so? Well, the typical 8 AM to 3 PM schedule is tossed right out the door since as the teacher, principal, and superintendent of my own school, I can create a schedule molded to the way we think and play. Plenty of breaks, trampoline time for my ADHD student, and a break up to any possible monotony with the promise of museum trips, pool time, and volunteering put a pretty attractive period on the end of the sentence.

Academic Adventures

Academically speaking, homeschooling is on point simply because of the smaller child to teacher ratio, not to mention the emphasis on learning because you want to learn, not just to do better than everyone else in the class.

I like this approach. I like the idea of finding new ways to learn and new subjects to tackle with the only thing potentially hindering us being the finite number of moments in a day. And I also kind of love that I can fully explain the love Christ has for her and how she can impart positivity and kindness to others because of this love instead of, you know, just showing off the new Nikes she just got.

Social Butterfly

But what about other kids?

Easy. Homeschooling co-op. By doing a simple Internet search, I found a co-op that offers field trips and meet up time as well as bi-weekly classes like sewing and American Girl history all for a VERY minimal yearly fee. Ummm…yes, please.

I like the idea of Ava engaging with kids of various ages and that those interactions, while happening intrinsically, can still be monitored by a parent who loves her fiercely.

Putting an End to Bullying

In school, there was too much bullying, too many hurt feelings, and no way to gauge how to walk that path all on her own.

And I know proponents for traditional schooling might say, “Well, she’ll have to learn some day how the world really is.” But have we ever stopped to think that maybe the world is the way it is because we aren’t guiding our children the majority of the day? We’re essentially offering them a Lord of the Flies type existence and are surprised that we’ve birthed a generation of Kim Kardashian wannabes.

Gathercole puts this another way: just because she’ll one day be living on her own in an apartment working to pay the rent, doesn’t mean I’m taking her apartment shopping any time soon. Just because one day she may need to put a fire out on the stove doesn’t mean I’m going to overheat the coconut oil and tell her good luck. Things should happen as a child can fully understand and handle them. And this is the very reason we parents exist in the first place.

So ultimately, I want her to learn the tools necessary to appropriately navigate her feelings and tend to the people who incite them. And Gathercole’s book gives a myriad of reasons as to why homeschooling lends itself to this kind of learning. I highly, highly recommend giving it a read!

Thinking about homeschooling? Want to pick my brain? Reach me via the contact form.

 

Advertisements

What happens when my brain splits in two.

dear hearts

Unkept may be the two sides of my brain, but Dear Hearts is the two sides of my heart.

It was difficult to write, not only canvassing the pain that comes when infidelity inflicts a marriage and family, but writing from the perspective of a man who loves said family and adores said marriage yet has an affair with another man? Well, all I can say is life is gritty and Mitch’s life? It ain’t no exception.

Each word sheared away a piece of my heart.

Mitch and Elena are characters that are deeper than characters. They’re a pulse, working together and withering apart. They are victims to their own love story, craving happy endings when understanding what true, devotional, Godly love is has never glimmered on their radar.

They’re the prime example of what happens when life shuffles its cards and you’re left empty-handed.

What can we learn? Appreciate everything you have, even when  life feels like a single grain of sugar boring through a tooth.  Talk openly, honestly. Do no judge but do not blindly accept either.

Love with a sacrificial heart and an expanse of pure dedication.

Know that we only flicker here for a little while. So use every moment.


Dear Hearts is for the over eighteen crowd so please keep that in mind. Also understand that this book is not a promotional platform for any particular viewpoint. It is an examination into the human mind and heart and the struggle life brings when you leave God out of the picture.

You can read Dear Hearts for free here on Wattpad.

Click here for the ebook.

Click here for a paper copy.

Spoon

I’m
Just
Afraid
My brain
Will
Eat
And rot
Me hollow
So I spoon
It clean
To watch
You glean
All the other
Wings
In me
I never
Gave
Room
To
Grow.  -e.c.

The Clay Family Guacamole Recipe

One of our favorite things to do is cook together. Tonight we’re making tacos and Ava’s making her signature dish: guacamole!

THE CLAY FAMILY GUACAMOLE RECIPE:

• 3 avocados
• 1/2 a lemon
• 1 roma tomato (chopped)
• 1 clove of garlic
• Coarse sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Remove the skin and seeds then smoosh those suckers in a bowl with a fork.
2. Squeeze the lemon half into the bowl.
3. Fold in the tomatoes.
4. Use a garlic press to smoosh the garlic and fold it in.
3. Salt the heck out of it!

Eat, enjoy. And go have some vodka. Because Saturday.

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1Pvcwlh

5 Ways I Stay Healthy

I’m kind of a health nut.

I’m kind of a regular but, too, but that’s neither here nor there.

What’s most definitely “here” is the looming fact that society expects so much of us in terms of the way we’re supposed to look.

So it’s one of many reasons I ditched society and got on board with God.

But that doesn’t mean I can ignore my health. In fact, for the very first time, I understand the incredible importance of maintaining and respecting my body.

Here are 5 ways I do just that: • DETOX! This one is so important. It helps your body get rid of so many nasty things that can make you sick and pack on extra pounds or even make your body actually hurt. I drink lemon water every day and do an Epsom salt/baking soda bath once a week. • CLEAN EATING! We make almost all of our meals at home , being sure to include tons of veggies and going easy on gluten and dairy. • NO COFFEE! This one was hard and originally sucked. But now I’m an herbal tea maniac and will never look back. Coffee started to give me severe stomach aches and anxiety attacks so I had to nix it. • WORKING OUT! I got to the Y twice a week to do the leg and arm machines. I used to be hardcore lifter, but I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. Now it’s less about bikini body and more about respecting my body. • PRAYING! This one sounds weird, but I pray for my safety on a daily basis. I need to stay strong (and frankly, in one piece) to be a good mama so I ask God to keep an eye out for me.

How do you take care of yourself?

#healthtip #healthtips #cleaneating #healthnut #healthy #detox #tealover
#coffee #tea #workout #prayer #writerslife #workingout #prayerworks #twitter from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1PgT2SP

Instagram Peeps You Should Follow

#followfriday newbie alert! I just wanted to share a few accounts that have offered me inspiration and have strengthened my faith in the “something more.”
Posts from @hibbzhouse are incredibly thoughtful and well said. She gives you the beauty of real life while keeping it just that: REAL.

@thefreckledfox is an amazing woman who is helping her husband battle his health struggles while gracefully raising her beautiful children.

I’ve known @lucilleinthesky via the interwebs for awhile now and think of her as an incredibly wise soul who doesn’t balk at change or embracing life.

And @christ_within gives me a beautiful wake up call on a daily basis.

Go, run, follow, you guys! 😊

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1HgxEKs

Book Review: The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff

I was asked by the author’s publicist to read and review The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff and to post my honest option about it. I didn’t receive compensation for this review.

So here goes. Oh and heads up, *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS*

I wanted to read this book because I was intrigued by the storyline. It’s about a young woman, Addie, who is shipped to America from Italy during WWII to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City where she meets the Connally family. The Connallys basically become her surrogate family and she begins to develop feelings for the oldest Connally brother, Charlie.

But war (and the actions of the middle brother, Liam) changes everything and Addie escapes to London where she becomes a war correspondent, rebuilding a new life until Charlie steps back into the picture once again.

Told ya it was intriguing.

But I have a few issues with the book:

• I feel like there’s a lot of telling and not so much showing happening throughout the book. For instance, there’s a fight that occurs later in the book between Charlie and Liam and Addie narrates the scene as if she’s hiding behind a bush, blindfolded. I know the protagonist is looking back on her life, but action needs to happen in front of your readers’ eyes. Always.
• Addie has not one, not two, but three love interests and for me, it made her seem a little all over the place. However I understand now that this is more romantic historical fiction than historical fiction, so if you like the former, it probably won’t bother you.
•When the author did show a scene versus just telling it, she quickly added a “telling” line right after it. I know it can be difficult to avoid over-explanation and to truly trust your readers, but readers are smart cookies. They’ve got this.
•There were a few editing issues. For example, photograph is used instead of “phonograph” in one chapter.

Despite these issues, I still give Ms. Jenoff a solid 3 (out of five) stars. ✴✴✴

She’s a decent writer, the book’s premise is well thought out and just because I’m not a romance fan shouldn’t be the reason you don’t read this book.

I Gave Birth to a Golden Girl

She’s finger knitting while watching The Andy Griffith Show.

If I couldn’t be a Golden Girl, then gosh darn it, I was going to give birth to one!

#goldengirls #anyoneneedsomethingthatfaintlyresemblesascarf #kidsofinstagram #kidsofig #twitter from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1MmjqZ4

Being an Adult is Hard for Me

I’m volunteering at Ava’s school today, so I decided to go as an adult (or what a tiny wood nymph would imagine an adult looks like).
FUN FACT: I was having lunch with Ava at school and after getting on to our table, her teacher goes: “Oh, I’m sorry, Mrs. Clay. I just assumed you were one of the children.”

You and me both, lady. You and me both.

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1kcuvl6