My concerns about reading

Every month, maybe more than once, I question our choice to homeschool our kids. Mostly I think this is because we’re unschooling. I know in my heart that this is right for us. I know that my children, day by day, are growing into who they are meant to be. I know this path will allow our children to be free, independent thinkers. I couldn’t ask for more.

I cycle back and forth as to whether or not we’ll continue with homeschooling. I question if we’re doing enough.  I cycle to the not side when I think of Cas and how he isn’t reading. I know that if I stick with what we’re doing and we continue on this path, one day I’ll read this post and laugh at this. Just like a first time parent is concerned with every one of their baby’s milestones and if they’re on “track”. By the time you get to the second, third, fourth baby you just learn to appreciate each and every milestone and hope they don’t come too soon.

Now mind you, Cas is five. When we started him in kindergarten (for three weeks before pulling him out to homeschool) he was just four and turned five less than a week after school started. So I don’t know why reading is on my mind. Its still early. I know reading is different for everyone. I know that children will be more affluent readers if they aren’t forced to read and we don’t quantify their reading. I have a book I started with him a while back, but he didn’t enjoy it so its been set aside for now. Maybe I’ll pull it out again this summer or try another approach. Maybe I won’t. Maybe he’ll learn to read on his own like all the unschooled children before him.

I’m not entirely certain, but I’m pretty sure Siri is reading above a first grade level. Probably above a second grade level even. She learned to read in kindergarten but where she’s gone since then I can’t attribute to school or any curriculum. She reads text everywhere. She plays games, watches YouTube and reads whatever interests her. I don’t force her to read. I myself, love to read. I always have. But I remember when I was younger, immediately losing interest in reading if we had to read a book in school. And book reports?! Forget it. Those did me in. I detested having to analyze what I read. Siri was the same when she was learning to read in kindergarten and would have to answer questions that went along with the book. She also didn’t like having to read books selected for her for a set period of time. Kind of like what Alfie Kohn talks about in his article on how to create non-readers.

I want my children to make choices about their learning. Reading will come for Cas. I don’t know when, I don’t know if I’ll play a part, but just like a child will eventually walk Cas will eventually read. The age when he walked is insignificant. The same will be true for reading. I need to remind myself of this. We are on a journey, together as a family. What we want for our children is so much more than what they would have inside the walls of a school. We want them to feel free. Free to make their own choices. Their own decisions. Why should that stop when it comes to education?


The girls’ room

Since moving into our house in 2010 we haven’t done much to the girls’ room. It actually started out as a room Eric and I stayed in while we were thinking of tearing up the carpet in the master bedroom to refinish the floors. Well, that never happened (this summer, maybe?) and we moved into the master and this room became the nursery for baby #2.  The only thing we did to the room was add a fresh coat of neutral colored paint and at some point later (its all a blur to me now) Siri moved into this room with Elin. Cas was actually in there with them too for a while – they really love to be together at night – but now he’s back to his room with West (we’ll be tackling his room after the bathroom). Continue reading

Dear Elin

You’re 4 and proud of it! “My big now” is how you’d word it. We counted down the days to your birthday from a little less than 2 weeks prior and you were getting really excited those few days leading up to it. The day of your birthday you were waiting and waiting for everyone to come over for your party. You were so proud to have your day with everyone there to celebrate you. I wish we could celebrate you every day. Continue reading


Last month marked a year of Andrew being gone. It was an awful way to start out 2015 and I carried that feeling with me through the rest of the year. The day he died wasn’t real. It didn’t feel real anyway.  I felt like I was in that scene in a movie where they’ve sped everyone else up and you see all of these blurred people and lights moving behind and around this one person standing still in the middle of it all. I couldn’t catch up to what had happened. I couldn’t sort through all of the thoughts and the questions. One year later, I’m still sorting through it all. I try to remind myself of the lessons I learned and how grateful I am to have this life, my husband, my family, my friends, everything. I try to remind myself not to take anything for granted. I need to get this story down and I should have months ago. I wish I remember more. I wish I forgot some. Continue reading