Well, a journey always starts with the first step, right? This begins my first step into the blogging world as I share my homeschooling adventure with you all. It’s been quite a journey, after all . . . You know, homeschooling is so entertwined as part of our living, that it will be inevitable that our lives will be interspersed with my homeschooling stories. I mean, I started off choosing to homeschool because I wanted to continue our lifestyle as it had been working out so well up to that point before my first child turned 5. So, thus, one often hears the adage, “living, loving and learning” mentioned about homeschooling, and unschooling in particular, since that seems to most define our way of learning. And so it will probably be with my blog . . . living, loving and learning together on our journey of life.
So, let me introduce myself and my family. My wonderfully supportive husband, Weston, and I have been married coming on 21 years! We have a “divide and conquer” mentality. With a family of seven children, it works really well for us. Whoever has the talent, the desire, and/or the time/energy takes upon themselves particular responsibilities in the functioning of our home and family. We truly work as partners, and have a lot of respect and trust in each other as we work and play and learn together in this family venture.
We were senior year high school sweethearts in Michigan, and were married at 20 years old in Washington, D.C. for time and all eternity, which we strive to fulfill each day. I helped put my hubby through university, which ended up taking six years, as we experienced some health challenges as well as bearing three children before he graduated with his bachelor degree. We then spent the next ten years living the corporate gypsy lifestyle as my hubby developed his career options. We have lived in Ohio, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, central Pennsylvania, and now here in North Carolina, where we have lived for six years and hope to continue settling down here for a good season.
As I mentioned, we chose to homeschool our children from the beginning at which time our first child, Eric, successfully trained me up to embrace unschooling, which is perfect for his learning style and the personality of our home lifestyle. Eric is now 19 and loves drawing, anime/manga, everything Japanese, and video/computer games. He is preparing to leave for a two year mission for our church to report on June 21. Abbey is almost 17 and loves to write (anywhere from fiction to poetry to journaling), animals (particularly her beloved pets: two dogs, Spencer and Precious, four parakeets, and a tree frog she raised from the wild from an egg, Tasolen), and reading books. Eli is 15 and for many years loved Legos, Technic, and any other building materials, and trains, which has given way in his teen years to computer programming, math, piano, and video/computer games. Adam is 13 and loves watching movies, playing video games and computer arcade games, books, bouncing on the trampoline, and swinging. Alex is 11 and loves our cats (5 of them!) and making voice-over movies of them compliments of his sister, mechanical things (especially garage door openers and ceiling fans), watching “how to” videos on the Internet, and watching movies. William is 7 and loves swords, LOTR, Star Wars, pretending (he always has items attached to his body representing various costuming and/or weaponry), riding his bike, and bugs. Joseph is 5 and loves tractors (especially John Deere), construction vehicles (he used to love the grader), riding his bike, and hanging out with dad working in the yard.
My diverse and unique children have taught me so much. If you look in the right spots, and learn to change your perspective just a bit, there is an apple star hidden within each of us. I created the name of my blog because of my own personal experience as I realized that there are different ways of doing things. I know, it sounds pretty naive, but I didn’t know there was another way to cut an apple. I thought everyone cored it down the center, but my first unschooling friend accidentally taught me a valuable lesson when she showed me how she cut her apples. If you lay an apple on its side, and slice it against the core, inside is an apple star! This simple but profound realization changed how I viewed everything around me. I no longer thought life ended at my perspective, but always chose to explore and wonder and question every assumption that I faced in my life and toward each of my children. It allowed me to find joy so much more easily.
My blog will especially talk about areas of great stretching and learning for me from my children as they shared their apple stars with me. One is learning styles, especially the visual-spatial, right-brained, creative learning style. The other is autism in all its elements. I have several children who strongly identify with each of these topics. I desire to share what I have learned from them to others who have similar children. I will do that at this blog, and I also do it at two yahoo groups I moderate: aut-home-fam for families homeschooling their children with autism, and homeschoolingcreatively for families homeschooling their creative learners.
I hope to hear from some of you along my journey . . .