About 5 yrs ago we met Jess and Brett and were forever inspired by their lifestyle. Jess was the initial nudge to get me obsessed with
natural birthing which took very little work on her part. The passion she and Brett had when talking about her births was so mesmerizing,
I just needed to feel it myself. Besides being the most granola and all around awesome family I know, they make some of the best choices
for their family. Choices that I can’t ever see myself being brave enough to do, like getting rid of our microwave. :0 Anywho, back then she
started educating me on homeschooling which was just fascinating. All I’ve ever known was private parochial schools. The homeschoolers
I knew growing up were few and far with lots of awkward between. But then I met the Zwo family. This group of 6 is beyond outgoing,
driven, smart, clever, dedicated and the list goes on. They were far from the HS mold I knew. I wanted to know more. My goal in life is to
be as open minded as possible. I try to have zero fear in the unknown which is hard in today’s society. People are just scared of what they
don’t know. Part of which is the reason I hadn’t talked about this much because the responses I get are black or white. “Wow! That’s SO
awesome of you! I wish I could do that with my kids! They’ll really thrive with that one on one attention!” or “Seriously? Your kids are going
to be so awkward and they’re going to miss out on so many cool things. There is no way you can teach them past kindergarten.” So
frustrating. If people knew the possibilities and how much HS has changed, then I know more would be doing it.
Just like with birth, Jess told me that I could absolutely successfully do it. Then I had kids. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to
balance working 70-80hr weeks on top of mothering and life and general. I found my groove a couple years ago when I started shooting
solo and made some promises to myself to enjoy my life because each day is no guarantee. This is all a learning curve as much for me as it
is for Nori. My threenager has been strong willed and independent since she decided to make her traumatic entry into the world. I knew I
would have trouble without ever having a break from her and I butting heads throughout the day. I actually thought homeschooling would
stay a fantasy up until a handful of months ago. Then my friends Kelly, Karianne, Sarah and I got to talking. We decided we would slowly
introduce our 3-4yr olds to preschool via a coop. We each are taking turns at each other’s house, each taking a subject to teach. Then one
other day a week, whoever wants to join, we learn in the field as a group. Days between we have a curriculum that we can seriously or
casually follow. We are into our second official month as a group and it’s going fantastic. Teaching together is perfect for holding each other
accountable and truly working hard to educate the kids. Nori has been waking up so excited to learn. She can wait to run into Pace
Academy, aka our dining room, and get her hands on learning materials.
I have a fairly large support group of current and veteran HS moms. Without all the empowerment and encouragement, this would be a
scary undertaking. Adam is fully on board as well and is stoked about all the things our kids will get to do. Almost every veteran has told me
to take it “one year at a time.” It’s a perfect analogy to birthing as well. One contraction at a time. Don’t look to what comes next because
you can easily be overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel. So that’s what we are doing. Who knows what the future holds. I’m certainly
not anti school. There are so many pro’s with one major being, I’m home and I can! So why not try it out? If we love it and want to continue,
awesome! There’s SOOO many opportunities and the little things they’ll be missing here and there they’ll be gaining elsewhere! I have
so much to say but have already written too much so I’ll get on to the pics. 🙂
If we were going to do this, we were going to be legit. Duh. (Thankful to have married a graphic designer.)
learned through teaching there into PA. The rugs on the right are used as mats where the children have to work independently on the floor.
It creates their own space and they can only have one “work” out at a time on it.
The chalkboard wall is a huge hit. Nori has been creating like crazy on it. We start our days with the Calendar then into a motor skills activity. Next is writing, letter and number recognition and then at
least one Bible story. Part of homeschooling is also carrying over teaching into practical living. So the kids help me cook, they each have
had jobs pretty much since they started walking. Things like feeding Lilo, emptying the dishwasher, sorting laundry, cleaning,
(Nico is obsessed with vacuuming!) and any other thing that can teach them independence. My family has always been believers in
letting kids “figure it out” themselves. Kids feel super cool when they have responsibility. It’s a win/win for me as it keeps them out of
trouble and they’re learning so much.
For now I have different sorting, patterning and fine motor skills work for them.
You know, only 2 other times she’s mixed up her letters like this. HA. Oh, Noir. 🙂 So cute. From a distance Nico heard me telling Nori to
smile, so he sprinted in and jumped in the picture. My heart!! This is my current struggle each morning, keeping little bro busy. Today he
snapped one of Nori’s crayons and it was the end of the world. :-/
Nico!! Gang signs or thumbs up, buddy? Bahaha.
Since some of Nori’s cousins are in school and always talk about it, I wanted her to have the same experiences when it comes to a lot of
stuff. We actually pack bags and go to school every Monday. (Our sister schools are Brown Preparatory, Armentrout Bible College and
The Smith Schoolhouse. 🙂 ) Even here, she puts on her bag and when friends arrive, they line up at the door and walk into school
together for circle time.
Olivia has a new nanny who will be participating with us! It kills me because I know how much Ali would have rocked at all of this stuff.
She lived for opportunities like this as a mom. Sigh.
Our first class picture. 🙂
I dramatically asked if they were “soooo excited?!?” 🙂
Love that Nori and Corbin always know when a camera is out. HA! (you’ll notice that the walls were still blue when I took these:) )
My first art lesson was intro to the color wheel. We danced in some primary colors to see what happened.
Some had a better time in the paint then others. :0 Lol.
Here’s some random iPhone shots I’ve taken when the kids are doing something I want to share with Adam or my IG friends. 🙂
Kelly taught here because the Smith Schoolhouse is currently under construction. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what she does with her new house
and school room. It’s guaranteed to be awesome.
I’m super excited for what is to come. I’ve been missing teaching because of all the fun things I did with my students. Now I can start doing
all those things again! This Monday is RED day!Sweet!! That’s all for now. 🙂 Heart, Pace Academy Principal.