Saturday, December 3, 2016

Homeschooling, Gilmore Girls, Little Girls, and Podcasts

November is over.  This frenzied year is coming to a close.  This year has surpassed all of my expectations so far, with both the good and the bad.   The good far outweighs the bad, of course.  God is so good. 

My third daughter, Kaylee Lynne, was born in February, and already I feel like she has always been a part of our little family.  She is so beautiful, excitable, loud and precious.  There really isn't much greater than peering across a room to find her gorgeous little face, beaming at you with the most delightful smile you've ever seen!   

Avery, our three-year-old, has been gracing us with the most incredible laugh-out-loud comments lately!  She wants so badly to be like her big sister, while at the same time is still striving to hold onto the much-beloved title of, "baby".  Her little face is beginning to gradually change from her baby face to her big kid face.  I'm not sure that I'm ready for Avery to be past the toddler stage!  Last year at this time she still nursed, she was still in her toddler bed, she was just a baby, wasn't she?!  

Zoe.  Oh, my sweet Zoe.  I am not sure where to go with this... she is growing up so fast that I feel like if I blink she's just going to graduate high school.   She loves art, music,  baking, and growing her friendships.  She is a true fashionista now - picking out her outfits ahead of time, making sure that her pants, skirts, shirts, scarves, shoes/boots, and her earrings are all properly coordinated! Truthfully, I am very proud of her for this.  I personally did not learn how to dress until just recently! :-)  Having three girls has been redeeming my ability to put together an outfit, and for that, I am extremely thankful!

Homeschooling has been a challenge, but the richness of what we've both been learning has been edifying and has broadened my outlook on what education truly is.

I feel like this year I had my "ah-ha" moment and I came to realize that the modern educational system no longer offers anything that I want or need for my children. It's a wonderfully freeing feeling!   I no longer worry about getting through a specific "curriculum". Meaningful rabbit trails, rich discussion of the different aspects of life we're learning about...these are always going to be more important than completing every last English or math lesson. We spend much less time "doing school" this year, but make the absolute most out of the time that we "do school".  I have very few qualms about teaching anymore.  There are so many wonderful resources available, and I know that God can and will give me everything that I need to take my kids all the way through their educational journies.  I have a clear end-goal and we are WELL on our way to that goal, that is all that matters.  

In addition to our home studies, we have been so enriched through our experiences in both Classical Conversations and Living Legacy Academy this year.  I'm not entirely sure that we will continue to do LAA forever, but for now, it is essential for our family to be actively involved in both.  Classical Conversations has improved my overall view of the world and education.  There IS a way to redeem my own education and provide my kids with a rigorous, quality education!  I no longer see life in different sections or "subjects".  God created all of this world to function together.   We are integrating everything now - math, history, music, astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, handwriting, languages, fine arts, and so on.   

We'll be watching a show such as Gilmore Girls, and Zoe will pick up on the HISTORICAL references.  She will watch historical documentaries with me and recognize people, places, or events that she's heard about through her memory work.  Those types of things would have completely gone over my head when I was her age. 

Speaking of Gilmore Girls... there is no way the show is really over for good.  Don't worry, fellow fans.  :)  I am holding to that hope for the next several years, or until they release a real ending.

Lastly, podcasts.  When I was pregnant with Zoe (9 years ago) I listened to Way of the Master Radio all. the. time.  I loved listening to it and I learned SO much during that time, but alas, when the show changed I ended up tabling it.   I have listened to a few podcasts very sporadically over the years but never really put too much effort into listening.  Well, this week I changed that, and boy am I ever glad that I did!  I finally discovered podcasts that line up with my interests in education and motherhood, and let me tell you, I have been SO encouraged by these men and women leading these podcasts!  I no longer feel like I'm in my own little mommy bubble, floating around above a sea of terrible news stories, distasteful ads, and heinous facebook comments.   I can listen to helpful, lovely things that remind me that there is still beauty and truth in this sinful world.  My favorite so far is called "Read Aloud Revival", which has also been encouraging me to read more! 

And with that, I leave you, for now.   Zoe just asked me if I wanted to help her bake some Christmas sugar cookies.  Um... yeah!  How could I ever turn that one down?

As with reading more often, I am trying to put more of an effort into blogging.  We'll see, I can make no guarantees! 


  1. Love this Shaina! Such sweet girls you have! Gah, why can't Gilmore Girls be back as a regular show one night a week?! I want more!! :) And I have a favorite podcast I think you'd love... The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. Check it out! :)

  2. Thank you for the recommendation, Angela! I'll definitely check that one out. :)

  3. Hello Shaina. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you as well as know you through your proifle on the blogger and the blog post. Your All the faces in the family pictures look radiant. I am also blessed to know your love for the Lord. I love get connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthend and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest ofp oor live. We reachout to the poorest o fpoor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vadation time. We would love to have young people from yor connections or from your church youth group to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Wishing you a very joyous Chritmas season and a prosperous and a Christ centered coming New year 2017.


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