update December 14, 2012-I have asked all of the amazing people that read our journey for some of their questions here. I am in the process of answering their amazing questions and updating the FAQ’s. If you have any questions to add just leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
update-January 10, 2012. the following is from before Trek’s diagnosis. So much has changed and is changing. i just wanted to leave it b/c it reminds me of a time when i was not worried about my baby dying. I have updated the ‘Our Story‘ page at the top since Trek has been diagnosed with Neimann Pick Type A, you can also read about Trek’s journey around the world and his too short life here.
Where do you live and how did you get there?
We live on the island of Maui in Hawaii. We rent the bottom part of a house accross the street from the beach! Jarrett was transferred to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Lahaina from the Denver restaraunt in 2009.
How did you decide to homeschool?
We had never seriously considered homeschooling for all the usual reasons like socialization. But as Peyton neared school age I grew more interested and comfortable with the idea. I kept thinking I know him better than anyone, who better to teach him?! Peyton and Conner are both active and we enjoy letting them be free spirits, so we thought homeschooling would be best for us since we could do school for a minimal amount of time each day and then play the rest! By just having 2 children in our ‘classroom’ we can accomplish in one hour what would take all day with a room full of chlildren. Also, while I do not think at all you need a college degree to teach your children ABCs (or even calculus), Jarrett and I both have graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree, so we thought between the two of us we can figure this out.
What type of homeschooling do you do?
We use any tools we and our boys are interested in. I have a homeschool corner set up in our house with a large desk and many shelves and drawers of supplies. We do workbooks that we pick up at the store or order on the internet that interest the boys, we play toys, watch movies, go out in nature, look up things on the internet and talk-a lot-about anything and everything. The boys are free to use any supplies any time and in any way they want. They are never forced to ‘do school’ and so far always eagerly ask almost everyday to do some form of learning. Jarrett and I view learning as fun and natural, we also will take their schooling on the road soon as we travel and boy will all our brains grow then!
What do you guys do about vaccines?
We stopped vacinnating when Peyton was 2 years old and Conner was 3 months. Conner became really sick after his 3 month shots which contained ‘live virus’ shots-the MMR and the Chicken Pox. He just had a fever and was generally ill for about 3 days, but it really bothered me so I began to research vaccines. My favorite book on the subject is “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears. He actually is Pro-Vaccines (he recommends an alternative schedule), but his book was fact-based and I was able to make a personal and educated decision from it. We believe for our boys the risks outweigh the benefits and choose not to vaccinate at this time. This decision is also based on the fact that the boys are homeschooled and live on an island with lots of fresh air and few diseases. If we are in a country or place where we believe there would be a benefit to a vaccine we would strongly consider it.
So your boys sleep in your bed at night?!
We joke around our house that we play musical beds all night! We never planned on co-sleeping and had a whole nursery set up for Peyton and Conner (which we never used-I actually have no memories in either ot them!) We brought Peyton home from the hospital and by the end of the week he had tried his bed, a pack n play and a little baby bed that fits in the parents bed and ended up just snuggled in between Jarrett and I. We never wanted the boys to associate bed time or darkness with fear or being alone, so we just go with the flow on who needs to sleep where. The boys have always asked to go to bed, even for naps-anyone who has been to my house has seen my boys in the middle of playing with their friends ask for me to go put them to bed! We did not even bother getting Trek a bed-if you came to my house you probably would not know we had a baby:) This is obviously a very personal decision that we feel is best for our family. I also breastfeed on demand all night so it is really convenient. I love how deeply they all sleep and how I keep my hand on thier chest all night just to feel thier breath.
What do you do for discipline?
This is a hard one b/c its hard to explain what we do without seeing it in action. We don’t use any form of traditional discipline, no spankings, no time-outs, etc. We just talk the boys thru situations in a way that Jarrett and I like to be talked to when we make a mistake. Now obviously we have to go into much greater detail with our boys then we do with each other, but this has always worked for us. We all argue and yell and have bad days just like everyone else, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously and when we hurt each other we talk about it and move on.
How do you get your ‘mommy’ time and what do you do when you get it?
First of all, I have the best husband ever! He never minds if I nap, go shopping, or go out with my girlfriends when he is off. Most days when he is working, there are natural lulls in our day when babies are napping or the boys are deep in play that I can lay down with the baby, wash some dishes (ahhh-I hardly ever pick this-I hate cleaning!), read a book, get on the internet or sew. I also enjoy watching movies with the boys, so many days we stay in our jammies, pop some popcorn and hang out in bed all day:) I save most of the cleaning and projects that take a lot of brain cells until everyone is in bed.
How do you keep your marriage a priority with 3 little boys?
Two words: Auntie Amanda! Hehe-our boys (not Trek-he still goes on dates with us:) LOVE to go to Aunties house and she lovingly watches them at least once a week so Jarrett and I can go out to a movie and dinner. Jarrett and I have always made sure we have weekly dates since Peyton was about 6 weeks old. Man do we blow a LOT of money, but to me it has been the best investment! We also talk constantly (Jarrett probably thinks I over-talk things!) about anything and everything, we read the same books and are generally interested in the same things so we have endless subjects to discuss. We also are constantly working on making sure we get what we want and need to be happy (our boys included) this is kind of hard now that we have 5 peoples opinions to blend. But even if we go to 3 fast food places-we will do it-we all deserve to be happy!
Why do you blog?
This is actually an experiment to see if this will be a tool to help me be a better mom. Being a mom is all I ever wanted to be and I try so very hard everyday to be the best at it. Not because I feel pressured to, but because I LOVE it and have so much fun doing it. I devour parenting books on peaceful parenting and I want to find ways to have mothering be more fulfilling to me and our children. I have a bad memory, so I hope this blog will help as a write and record this wonderful journey I am on. I also think it will help as a creative outlet and to help me reflect on my day and hopefully be better the next.