I have been very focused lately on Homeschooling the kiddos and spending a ton of time outside now that the weather here in Kentucky has been warmer. We have been training the kids to Kayak. The older boys, Mason 7 years old and Hunter 6 years old, have one youth sit on top kayak that is extremely stable and a great learning tool for them. They are learning to focus on paddling and balancing which does several things for their therapy. It helps with overall focus on everything they encounter which they struggle with a great deal. Mason has a hard time following through with almost everything he tries to do. Since we have started the kayak training he is able to sit for long periods of time (2 to 5 minuets used to be his normal and now he can go to for a full 15 minuets. Wow!)
We are so very lucky to have this great, quiet and secluded lake only 15 minuets away from our home. there is a great little cove off in a tucked away corner of the lake that we are now able to set the kids free in on the kayak. I spend a few minuets setting up our camping hammocks on the trees right on the shore and they paddle around til they get tired and then switch. My husband is usually in our adult sized kayaks paddling around the same cove and i lounge in the hammock when I can. (I started hammock camping 20 years ago with my faithful search and rescue dog Kiya....I miss her so much. I like to call myself the ORIGINAL hammock camper. It is very much mainstream now days.)
Homeschooling got to be such a battle that once spring break came around i wan't ready to start back up when it was over so i took another week off to focus on our new chickens, ducks and garden. After that second week of "mommy spring break" i new something had to change or we just needed to be done with school for the year. The daily battles over EVERY subject and activity was more than i could handle and both Brandon (my husband) and I were completely over it and were yelling about everything. At that point NO one was having fun anymore and there was no actual learning getting done. It was all going in one ear and out the other. Nothing was sticking.
So my solution was to take one more full week, (go with me on this one) and kick them outside, me working on coops, gardens and swing systems in the garage we turned into a motor room, and the kids exploring nature. It was a last stitch effort to help them learn how to be creative again and help them understand that the world around them was amazing and full of wonder. I encouraged them to get muddy, messy and have as much fun as possible. I sent them to the creek to catch tadpoles and crayfish (they did that for 3 days straight and LOVED it.) then we learned about what kind of habitat was in our back yard. We went to the library and got books on creeks, ponds and streams in Kentucky.
Then we got them climbing trees again and they discovered a few Nests, this was really exciting for them. They found a robins nest and a sparrows nest. Then we started learning about these birds, how and why they layer eggs. Why do robins lay one egg everyday for 4 days and sparrows don't. Why and how do the birds protect and incubate the eggs. It was lots of fun for them to watch and learn about these types of birds. We visited our friends farm, we looked for wild turkeys, we feed horses, goats and dogs. Mason learned how to catch a baseball with daddy. Ammon eat tons of frozen blueberries, his favorite food. Life got to be fun again.
My entire goal for this time outside was to once again create Fun in learning. The kids had lost their creativity and were obsessed with Minecraft on the iPads and I was OVER IT!! It was a complete success. I caught the kids stopping everyone they came across, be it family, friend or stranger, and excitedly started teaching them about all the things they were discovering about the world around them. It was amazing to see and inspired me to do more.
I went out to the local book store and got a book i had heard about about an autistic boy the school system gave up on but the mother never did. This boy is now 14 I think and on his way to getting a Noble Peace Prize for his incredible work in Physics. His name is Jacob Barnett and his mother wrote a book on "nurturing genius" the title is "The Spark" by Kristine Barnett. I highly recommend it. I am very dislecsic and have a hard time learning anything from reading but I was able to devour this book in 2 and a half days and was COMPLETELY inspired. It is a must read for sure.
So once again things have been crazy, fun, exciting and entreating around here. I seem to have less and less time for anything but I have been learning to find so much joy in the journey. I have started writing a book about my life and my Light Bulb moments that have been apart of shaping my life and who I am to the core. It will take a ton of time to finish and who knows when I will Actually be able to finish it but it is a goal on my life time bucket list so ONE DAY it will get done.
Stay strong out there friends. Life is not an easy journey and it is way too easy to loose our way and fall into depression and dispear. I know this more than most. It is never going to be easy for find joy in the journey but it will change your life on the days that you fight to do so. God bless.