"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making A Change..One Reader At A Time

When I started writing this blog, it was to keep family and friends informed of the goings-on in our lives. I honestly didn't think I would keep it up this long. My grandma even said to me a few months ago 'Your still doing that blog thing?'

I surprised myself by liking 'the blog thing'.

I like writing. Alot. I always have. And I like sharing all the things I have learned about these past few years. And I like to brag about my kids. Who doesn't? I like to feel that I might be making a difference, even if it's just about something small. Even if one baby boy isn't circumcised because someone read my blog, if one more mama tries cloth diapers, if there are more people becoming informed before vaccinating their babies, if one more baby is breastfed. Even if I made someone think, or smile, or change something they have been wanting to change but didn't know how.

Today, I discovered another blog to read and follow. This man really makes me think. And smile. And think some more. This dad makes you look deeper inside of who and what you really are. This dad makes you believe he can change the world. One follower at a time.

Read his blog. Check it once a day. See if he's posted. You never know when what he writes this day will make a difference in your life. In your day this day, this hour, this minute. It's like a daily dose of LIFE. Read it with your morning coffee or read it at your babies naptime. Read it after your kids to bed. Read it and apply it to YOUR life. Let his writing make you think.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cloth Diapering

*Picture borrowed from the internet
I started using cloth diapers regularly when Annabel was a baby. I had friends who used cloth, it looked interesting, so I gave it a shot.

Almost 5 years later, I am hooked. Addicted. No going back. So addicted, in fact, I don't look forward to potty learning. Seriously. I love seeing my babies laying, scooting, crawling and toddling around in their little cloth diapered bums. I love that no nasty chemicals are on their skin. And I love that we aren't contributing to filling a landfill with dirty disposable diapers.

Some quick (cloth) diaper(ing) facts:

*More than 3 million tons of diapers go into US landfills each year

* Disposable diapers take 1 cup of crude oil each to make and will sit in our landfills for 500+ years.

*Families using disposable diapers will spend $2500-3000 diapering one child, compared to $500-600 using cloth diapers. ) Multiply that by THREE for us, or even FIVE. Yikes!

*The average cloth diaper stash cost around $350. Total.

*You can expect to change your babys' diaper up to 4700 times from birth to potty learning.

Even more interesting facts about cloth vs. disposables

There are alot of different types of diapering 'systems'. AIO (All-in-one), AI2 (All-in-2's), fitteds,
pockets, and prefolds. There are also alot of ways to cover the diapers. PUL covers, fleece covers. wool covers and coverless.

Plus, on various sites on the internet, you can buy, sell and trade your used diapering supplies saving you even MORE money. Now, how is that not a good thing??

I was going to post information on each diaper style, but decided instead to just include links. These are good resources that I found by googling. They do a much better job at explaining things in depth than I could possibly do.




Flats and Prefolds

More cloth diapering websites

The Diaper Jungle TONS of great info here...

Cloth Planet

Cloth Diapering Myths

We use mostly fitteds, with some prefolds and flats. I really like fitteds. Alot. Our stash consists of Goodmamas' and Sticky Peas. For prefolds, I like these.

I also see alot of cloth diapering supplies on these awesome sites: MamaBargains, GreenBabyBargains, BabyHalfOff and BabySteals. Watch them daily, they sell out FAST! (they also have other good stuff, good sites to save to your favorites)

Of course, when you use fitteds and prefolds, you need covers. We use Thirsties Duo Wraps, knitted wool pants and interlock wool. Some great sites for knitted wool, interlock wool and recycled wool are Hyena Cart, Sloomb and Woollybottoms.

You can even knit your own or make your own with recycled sweaters!
This Mama has a blog page with tons of tips on how to save even more money!

I keep my diapers in a dry pail with no lid. (I just bought a small garbage pail at Target) I dump and rinse the poopies in the toilet, then put them in the pail. Pee diapers go right into the pail. I used to use a lid but I found that it holds in the smell even worse making them harder to clean. I use the oxygen to my advantage by not using a lid on the pail. It helps the smell to dissipate and makes the washing machine have to work a little less hard. And, believe it or not, you cannot smell the diapers in the pail. At all. And trust me, if it smelled, Aaron would tell me. He has a very sensitive nose.

Washing those diapers.....When I first started, getting a washing routine down was tricky. You don't want to use a laundry detergent. They have alot of chemicals and residues in them. You want something really simple, basic and that rinses clean When your diapers come out of the wash, smell them. You should smell water. Not soap, not perfumes, just 'nothing'. Some of the things that I have heard that people use for their diapers are Tide, Simple Green, Baking Soda, Charlies, and Dawn Dish Soap to name a few. I've personally tried them all. The *only thing (until recently) that worked in my front loader was Dawn Dish Soap. It's the only thing that left zero residue on the diapers. Everything else left a build up that caused irritation on my babys' bums. The only place I found Dawn Dish Soap was Wal-Mart. You have to use the ORIGINAL Dawn, NOT the ultra concentrated.

*recently I discovered Maylees Garden All Natural Soap, This.stuff.ROCKS. So much, in fact, we now use it on ALL our laundry. It makes everything SO SOFT. And you only need 1tsp. per load for a front loader!

My washing routine (keep in mind this is with a front loader). I do a load every single night. With triplets, I have to. You usually want to wash at least every 2-3 nights. My loads usually consist of about 15-18 diapers.

This is what I do:

Double rinse on cold/cold (22 mins on my machine)
HOT wash on a heavy soil cycle with a stain cycle added (85 mins on my machine)
Double rinse on cold/cold again
Max extract button to lessen drying time

I usually toss them in the dryer, it's faster and gets them softer, but sometimes I'll line dry. Especially with stains, the sun will bleach out any stains you might get.

Just remember, DO NOT use fabric softeners. They will leave a horrible build-up on your diapers. And then your diapers WILL STINK.

If you get stink issues, you can add a few splashes of Apple Cider Vinegar to the wash and/or rinse cycle a few times. You can also add a capful of bleach to the wash. I do this occasionally (maybe once a month) just to keep on top of any stinkies that might start up. A bit of baking soda here and there is good too, I just didn't find that it alone cleaned the diapers well enough.

Whew. Ok. I think that covers everything.

Cloth diapering is not only alot of fun, it's good for your baby AND our environment!

Too Important To NOT Post.....

Given the 'hype' over this illness and vaccine while I was pregnant with the triplets, I blogged about it here.
And now, I am thanking the Gods that I made the decision that I did.
Now, who's shocked at this news? Not I.
Just one more validation for my decision to NOT vaccinate my children. Or my family.
Once again, PLEASE do your research before you vaccinate. Please.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Another one of those 'my views have completely changed' post.
I just did it because that's 'What you do'. Wrong.

Again, there is so much more that can be written on this topic, and I am not an expert. I'm still stumbling along, trying to do what in the best interests of my child. All I have is some experience to go on and the reading I've done thus far. And my conclusion to date is that I don't yet know enough to do something to my child that is irreversible. Injecting a vaccine into my child cannot be taken back. I need to know fully and completely what I'm doing BEFORE I do it. So I am still learning. And reading. And stumbling. I'm sharing what I know SO FAR. I still have so much more to learn. And until I am SURE, I will err on the side of caution. There is also a ton more info out there that I didn't include. It would take pages upon pages. So please, read what I have and do your own, more thorough research if that is what you choose.

Vaccinations. Again, I've been on both sides of the fence on this one. My 4 older kids are fully vaxed. On schedule. To.the.day. Gods forbid if we were even one day late on a vaccination, who knows what would happen!

This WAS how I thought. I also naively thought that the world also had my childs' best interests at heart, as I did. I mean, truly, who would PURPOSELY inject a baby with toxic chemicals unless it was for her good? Alot of people it seems.

My 4 older kids, were always sick with some common childhood ailment. Ear infections, colds and runny noses. Joey suffered from night terrors and migraines. It seemed it was always something. My kids always seemed sick.

Then along comes Annabel and I start to get smart(er). She had birth, 2 month and 4 month vaxs'. Then we stopped. I started researching and thinking. And noticing how much less Annabel seemed to get sick than her siblings.

Delilah. We decided to selectively vaccinate. VERY selectively. She's had one vaccine. A few months ago. She will be 3 in January. No ear infections or runny noses. 2 fevers from which she recovered from without incident, in less than 24 hours. She's been really sick once. At the age of 6 months. With Pertussis. Whooping cough. That she got FROM HER FULLY VACCINATED BROTHER. And you know what? It sucked, but it wasn't the end of the world. We treated her with homeopathic medicines and she coughed badly for maybe a week. And now, her body has a life-long immunity to the disease. A GOOD immunity. Not a fabricated one. Not one that she will have to get 'boostered' every 10 years. This 'experience' is what truly got me thinking. I have first hand experience of a vaccine fail.

The triplets. Not a single vaccine yet. They are 10 months old. None of them have had so much as a runny nose. They've been to the Dr. for 'well-child checks' 4 times. I was told to prepare for alot of illness because they are preemies. Hm. Nope.

I believe this is more than a mere coincidence. True, breastfeeding takes alot of the credit, but so does that fact that my younger childrens' bodies aren't pumped full of toxic chemicals that we are told is 'not going to hurt them'.

Right. Because putting these chemicals into your 7# baby can't possibly do him any harm.

bovine animal parts
sheep red blood cells
chick embryo
human diploid cells (from aborted fetal tissue)
embryonic fluid (chicken egg)
VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells
calf serum
fetal monkey lung cells
fetal bovine serum
aluminum hydroxide

And that is just to name a few.

Now, I am not totally anti-vaccine. Yet. Or, at least, I'm trying not to be without validation. I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind, but to be honest, the more research I do, the more I am leaning towards being 100% anti-vaccine. As it stands right now, I partially feel that the reason alot of these diseases were eradicated was because of vaccines. I do *think* that I fear that if we stop vaccinating, the diseases could come back. But I'm wavering. In part due to alot of the reading I've been doing on herd-immunity and the general effectiveness of most vaccinations. I do think that we vaccinate too much, too early. Our babies tiny bodies should not be injected with all those chemicals so soon. If at all. IF AT ALL.

Just a few of the thoughts that swim around in my head on a daily basis:

*Why is the SIDS rate highest between months 2-6? Is it coincidence that at months 2, 4 and 6 our babies get the most vaccines?

*If vaccines are so safe, why do we have a Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting Database?

*We also have a National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Why is it necessary if vaccines are so safe?

*Why is it that Pharmaceutical companies make so much money? The least regulated and highest paid business in America. Why?

*How is it that my non-vaxed kids are healthier than my vaxed ones?

*Why do they keep adding more and more vaccines. Every year?

*Do they really test them? I mean, the H1N1 vaccine was available as fast as your head could spin. Now it's being recalled.

My favorite part upon hearing that my children are not vaxed is the vaxing parents that say " Your child is going to get my child sick. You don't vaccinate which means he/she will get the diseases". My response, "Really? But I thought your child was vaccinated? If your child is supposedly protected against the diseases that my child could have, what are you so worried about"?

It's common sense.

And Autism. I won't get completely into that, as I don't have an autistic child, but look at the graph at the top of the page. I believe that says alot. Our children today are OVER-VACCINATED whether you vaccinate or not. It's TOO MUCH.

A few good books by doctors to read that give a good overview either way : Stephanie Cave , Robert Sears , Neil Miller and Robert Mendelsohn. They give good info, a list of ingredients, their personal opinions on each vaccine and an alternative schedule for those who choose to vaccinate selectively. All these books helped me alot as I was trying to make such important decisions.

Also, some very good articles on varying levels of thought:

Challenging The Theory Of Artificial Immunity

Aborted Human Cells: The Solyent Green Of Vaccines (from a friend's blog, broken down in easier0-to-understand language)

Thimerosol Content In Some US Vaccines



CDC Info

Reported Cases & Deaths From Vaccine Preventable Diseases


Some stories about personal vaccine reactions

CDC Mobidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

PLEASE remember that I am only sharing the little bit of information that I have. There is a plethora of information out there. My intention with this post is to merely plant the seed of thought. Do your research before you vaccinate. They cannot be undone. You can always do the vaccine later, you cannot undo any damage that may have been done. On the other side of thought is that if you do choose not to vaccinate, you do so with the knowledge that your child may or may not get one of these diseases. In my opinion, a disease that is fully treatable in todays medical society. Vaccines are not an issue to be taken lightly. Research thoroughly no matter what way you road you choose to take. As for me, my children will not be getting any vaccinations until I am 100% sure. And it's looking like that may be never.

Also, please remember that vaccines ARE A CHOICE. Nobody can force you to vaccinate your child. Here is a chart that tells you, state by state, what is legal in your particular state. States allow either religious, medical or philosophical exemptions. Know yours.
*another thank you to Guggie Daly for sharing all her vaccine info so that others can share it too!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yep, Still Breastfeeding!

I figured it's been awhile since I've blogged about how we are doing with breastfeeding. I've had alot of people ask me "How DO you do it?". So, now that the girls and I are very well established in our breastfeeding relationship, I can share more. And hopefully this post will help, motivate and inspire more women to breastfeed. Even and especially MoM's. I blogged here about it. And here. And here. And I'm sure in a few more places. It was all-consuming for me at one time. Determination to breastfeed these triplets became who and what I was. There was NO.FREAKING.WAY that these babies were going to get formula. I hate formula. I hate everything about it. I hate that it is so readily available and accepted as a food for our babies. I hate that it is believed among so many to be 'as good for our babies' as breastmilk (it's NOT!). I hate that I hear so many mamas' say 'my baby was on formula and he/she is just fine'. I hate that WIC, a state funded program that provides food to lower income families, offers formula to Moms as acceptable nourishment for their babies as a CHOICE and not only if absolutely necessary. I think WIC should try harder to encourage breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is NOT easy. It takes alot of patience and hard work. On the part of the mother and the baby. It IS what is best for your baby, regardless of what anyone who uses formula wants to believe, BREASTMILK IS NORMAL. Formula is NOT. It's manufactured. Man-made. And should only be used if it is deemed absolutely necessary. This has always been my opinion and I will continue to stand by it.

Ok. Mini-rant over. Now, on to us. How are we doing? How is the breastfeeding going?

It.is.awesome. Seriously. I thank the Gods, Goddesses, and all the other higher powers that be, every single day that I am breastfeeding my babies. Yes, all 3 of them. My most favorite thing that I get asked when I am out and about?

Friendly curious person, upon seeing me NIP: Are you really nursing ALL THREE OF THEM?

Me: No, just this one. She's my favorite :)

Ok, so I'm being sarcastic but really? I know it's hard to believe but yes, I am nursing all 3 of them. No, I didn't just pick one to breastfeed. I truly do exclusively breastfeed all 3 babies. I wish it weren't so shocking. Then maybe it would be more reassuring that it happens more often than not.

So, how DO we do it? It's really very simple. The hungriest babies get to eat first. The one who ate the least and who ate first the last time, gets first choice the next time around. Yes, there are times when I have a baby fussing while waiting to eat. Luckily, they don't take a long time to eat, and if the fussing gets too bad, I will let one baby get 'satisfied' then put a fussy baby on to eat and then follow back up with the original baby. I'll try to do a basic outline with their ages. If it's too boring, skip it and read more after. This will be a 'timeline' of sorts. Please keep in mind that the 'days' are all approximate. My memory of the true days are so sketchy so I'm just estimating the time on here. I know I'm fairly close, I also don't have time to go back through all the blog posts and paper work to get exact dates and such. But this will give you a good idea. A ballpark, so to say.

Let me start by saying that before the girls were born, I had a plan. Baby A, boob a. Baby B, boob b. Baby C, bottle. Next feeding, rotate. Sounds easy enough right? Well, let's just say, (if your reading this because your pregnant with multiples) if you have a plan, and it doesn't go as planned, IT'S OK. Try something else! Better yet, ditch the planning and just adopt a carefree-come-as-you-go-wait-and-see-roll-with-the-punches-go-with-the-flow attitude. Trust me. I am the most meticulously planned person ever. In the multiples game, plans don't always work.

Birth: Babies are receiving donor milk in the NICU. I'm pumping every 2-3 hours. 24 hours a day. The babies get my milk when I get any, but it's mostly donor milk through a tube in their nose.

Day 5/6: At this time the babies are at about 50/50 donor milk, mommy milk. All through the tubes. I try every feeding to latch them on, but they are still not quite getting it. It is very discouraging. It's stressful. It's hard. Still pumping every 2-3 hours 24/7.

Day 10ish: A nurse suggests bottling to strengthen their jaws. Telling me that it's easier for a baby to bottle feed them to breastfeed. I finally agree. I now know this to be not true. Breastfeeding is NATURAL. Bottling is not. A baby has to attempt to form his mouth to a bottle. A babys' mouth will naturally form to a breast. I was told that nursing them wore them out. Since they were preemies we had to save their energy for growing. Not true. Yes, breastfeeding is tiring, but also, if the NICU were to allow triplets to EBF, it sure would mess with their 3 and 4 hour schedules now wouldn't it? Of course a bottle is less tiring, it just drips out.

Day 16: After almost a week of bottling the babies are finally ready to go home. I am still p.u.m.p.i.n.g. All.the.time. Around the clock. Fix bottles, feed babies, pump while feeding. Start all over again in an hour. I do not, for the life of me, understand how or why a woman would pump, just to turn around and bottle it to her child. Stupid, extra steps. I haven't pumped since the babies got good at nursing.

End of Month #1Beginning of month #2:: Trying so hard to tandem nurse. It's a joke. I get all set up. Get a baby all latched on and good to go, try to latch on the other baby and baby #1 pops off. Get baby #2 on, go back to latch on baby #1, baby #2 pops off. All the while baby #3 is patiently waiting. It's usually Emilia. This goes on until I finally get them both on, and it lasts maybe 2-3 minutes before they fall asleep or pop off, or I just give up and give them bottles. And resort to the pump. This happened ALOT. It was really hard to continue at this point. I had everyone telling me that I did my best and it was time to let it go. EVERYONE. Um, do they not know me very well? Nuh-uh! No way. I'd come way too far to give up now.

Mid-month #2/End month #2: Stilllllllll pumping! And bottling. But this is where the catching on starts. This is when I got about a 2o minute feed out of Rosalie. Weigh her, only to discover she took in only 30 cc's (they were taking in 60-70 via bottle at this point). It is VERY hard to not give in to the numbers. This is also about the time that I started to really look at each baby and evaluate them as individuals. This is where the light bulb finally came on. And this is where Dr. Jack Newman and a student of his, Helen, saved us. This is the 'If I knew then, what I know now' moment. I would never had bottled. It made this process harder, although I do think it got us out of the NICU faster. I would have used a system called SNS. I believe it would have been a much easier, faster, better way than bottling. If you mention it and get blown off, PURSUE IT. It's worth a try before the bottle. I promise.

Month #3/Now: No more pumping!!! The babies get it. Now, we develop our 'system'. 2 babies nurse at a time. Always. It's time efficient. The 2 hungriest babies get first dibs. Or if a baby just needs comfort or a quick drink, it's always available. We EBF. On demand. Always. I mean, if you get thirsty, don't you get a drink? I do. I don't wait every 3-4 hours to get something to drink. Why should my baby? But, sometimes one has to wait. They are good at being patient. The way I see it, it's a good lesson to learn early on with triplets.
Nightime? Yep. They are even EBF at night. There is the occasion where all 3 wake at the same time to eat and we apply the same theory. The last one to eat has to wait. With Daddy. And it's not that long. No more than 15 minutes. I'm not saying they like it, but they do it. What choice do they have? One mama, 2 boobs, 3 babies. Simple math. And it doesn't happen alot. Maybe twice a week.
So, do you just sit around and nurse babies all day long? No. I really don't. At first, yes, it's a commitment. It does take a long time for the babies to eat and by the time you finish that 3rd baby, the first two are ready to go again. So, for 3-4 months you have to commit yourself fully to doing nothing but nursing your babies. So what? In the big scheme of things, it's a mere 3 months. 90 days. Maybe 120 days. OF THEIR LIFE. What else is more important? Nothing. I will say, if multiples are your first babies, do this. Plan to stay in bed breastfeeding babies all day every day for the first month. I kid you not. All.day.every.day. That will get you on the right path to EBF. I promise. Now, at almost 10 months, it takes me a total of 30 minutes every 4 hours or so to feed them. That's it. Soooo worth it, right?
Unless of course you would rather pack a suitcase of bottles and formula every time you leave the house.
So, I'm re-reading this and hoping that it shed some light on HOW we do this. I'm not sure it does. I HOPE it does. I'm not sure I can even tell anyone how to do what we do. For one, the first 6 months are a blur. For another, I really think it's something that you have to be in the heart of to really get it.
My best advice? DON'T GIVE UP!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Takes A Village....

If you all remember a post in June, from me, titled CIO, a reader commented on it, it's the first comment below the post,

"And while I didn't have older kids to be built in babysitters"

and that comment stuck with me. It still does. I try so hard to NOT ask my older kids for help. These babies are not their responsibility. They are mine and Aarons. They are OUR babies. But I do admit, it's HARD to do it alone all day. I don't ask for help, then I get frustrated, then I'm cranky and nobody is happy. The other day, I came across a friends' blog, Ida-Heidi-Ho. She writes about the importance of a siblings role in the family. How most other societies are nurturing their children to be good parents and good role models by giving them the responsibility of caring for their siblings. We, as a society, do not do that. I read Heidi's blog and realized, that I am not 'saddling' my children with a useless chore. I am not merely asking for help with my hands full of babies. They are learning to be good parents. By caring for the younger ones, they are learning themselves to be caring, nurturing adults. Whether or not they choose to have children, its still an important life lesson to learn. How to take care of others. Too many people these days, I fear, never learned that, or choose not to learn it. Or at least, in my experience with some kids, it sure seems that way. And I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents.

While we may not have a village to raise our 9 children, we have each other. My kids have the best role models that they can have because we've taught them to be good role models. They are growing up in a home where babies are worn and breastfed. When a baby cries, it is tended to, whether by a Mom, a Dad, or a sibling. So many people seem surprised that the babies are so good with everyone. They have to be. There 'are 3 babies to care for. And I can't do it alone. I do need help. And, asking for help is ok. As a matter of fact, it actually benefits the babies. They get so much more exposure to things than if only one person were there primary care giver. Each of my children have something different to offer. Each has their own unique way of caring for a younger sibling. It's heartwarming to watch.

So yes, it DOES 'Take A Village To Raise A Child'. Thankfully, I've got my own village right here.

Monday, September 6, 2010


So, remember this pair of longies? From MARCH? Yeah, well, I finally finished the 2nd pair. Second. That means I still have one pair to do. I'm so tempted to 'send them out' for someone else to do. I fear that by the time I get them done, they won't fit the girls anymore. *sigh* If only my day consisted of 36 hours. Or, at the very least, I had triplets that napped for more than 20 minutes at a time. Or more than twice a day for a grand total of 40-60 minutes. Heck, while I'm wishing for stuff, might as well just wish that the Knitting Fairy would just visit my house. And the Laundry Fairy. And the Cleaning Fairy.
Too much?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Babywearing, Sleeping, and Breastfeeding. What More Can A Baby Ask For?

An amazing friend sent me this awesome carrier. I know her from on online forum, http://www.thebabywearer.com/. She is also a loyal blog follower and a dear Facebook friend.

Brandy, (MustangXena) I cannot thank you enough for loaning me this Dream Carrier. I've never tried a buckle waist before and I LOVE it. So do the babies (and Lilah, as she was carried in it on our walk yesterday)

Babywearing AND Breastfeeding? What lucky baby girls :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lacking In Content...

Just wanted to blog a quick apology.
I realize that alot of my posts now are quick and to the point. Some may like that, some may not. I personally prefer to be more concise, especially when it comes to parenting topics.
But I'm finding that my time to blog is pretty limited. And while I could blame just time, it's also my brain. I'm pretty sure that triple the amount of my brain cells died when the triplets were born. :/ I can't even hold a clear train of thought lately.
So, please accept my apologies for my 'half-assed' blogging, and I promise, that I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.
Then again, Gwendolen has started to try to crawl. YIKES! So much for a clearer mind.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Not too long ago, I would NEVER had thought I would homeschool any of my kids. I was of the belief that if a person had to go to college to get a degree to teach, then I was no where near qualified to teach my kids.

My thoughts on this subject has changed. Alot.

Since they were born, I have been my childrens teacher. Think about how much a child learns from birth to age 5. ( I say age 5 because this is the age that society has deemed parents useless in the ability to teach their child anything else ie: the age a child can legally start public school) And they learned it all from me. And their Dad. And everything around them. We provided them with all the resources to learn. So why suddenly, do I become obsolete and my child incapable of learning from me? Because they are 5? Because it's just 'what you do'? Well, I thought that about circumcision and look how well that turned out.

I started thinking. Alot. I was tired of sending my child off to be under the supervision of other people. Some of which, I wouldn't let supervise my dog. We'll start with the bus driver. And it's not just 1. It's numerous drivers. Let's just say, not how I want my child to start her day. Every day.

We've had problems for years with the bus situation. I've come to the conclusion that kids on buses are OBNOXIOUS. Even the most well behaved child will become a whole 'nother kid on a bus ride. Juliette has put up with sexual harassment, teasing, hair pulling, pushing, derogatory language, sexual language, and physical abuse. ON A SCHOOL BUS. All that before she even gets to school. So, how is her day supposed to be productive? And before we start talking about just driving her to school, let's remember that those same kids will also be in the same school. Great. I could go off here on a rant about 'kids today' and sound like an 80 year old grandma, but I won't. I'll save the topic of the demise of the integrity of todays' kids for another post. It will be a long one, I'm sure. So, it's not just about the bus ride. It's about the influences that my children have to experience. Too young. Too soon.

And, to get me started on productivity. 35 kids. 1 teacher. 7 hours. So they get, what? About 2 hours of actual learning in on a given day? Maybe.

And before you start thinking of the 'social' aspect of school, don't we spend most of the day telling our kids "School isn't for visiting, it's for learning'. All of my kids are VERY social. Not going to school isn't going to make them hermits. In fact, given what I've seen from the kids they are around, it should make them much more productive members of society. The peer influences will be much more minimal. Instead of having to spend their days trying to defend themselves, they will be home. Safe. With me. Learning what they need to know. Instead of spending 7 hours at school, Juliette will be spending about 4 hours a day at home doing her schoolwork.

We are doing an online charter school this year. To kind of 'break' us into this whole homeschooling thing. It's called WAVA. Washington Virtual Academy. It's basically public school online at home. I've talked to alot of people who have done it and loved it. So we are giving it a shot. Juliette is excited. I'm excited. Annie and Lilah are thrilled as they are starting school this year too. (And, just to make a note, I did offer this to Noah and Joseph too but they wanted to stay where they are)

So, hopefully, all goes well. I'll post back again in a few weeks, after we've had a chance to get a feel for it all. But I think it's going to be great :)
Still not convinced? Read this: