Our “project table” (from IKEA – it has a leaf not shown – so it gets even bigger).
Today, I was inspired to share some of the things I do with my four year old daughter. Our living space isn’t huge but we make the best with what we have. Perhaps, if I didn’t have extra shelves filled with pots and pans taking up space, we’d have more, but that’s not going to happen. I need my pots.
So, here are the things we did today.
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I keep these in the car for enhancing foods I eat at restaurants.
We had a very busy day so I thought I would share how we sometimes eat when we have a full schedule and we’re on the go. The majority of our meals are all made from scratch three times a day, and almost always eaten at home. However, sometimes I need a bit of help in the kitchen so there are few organic premade items that I buy from the grocery store (jars of organic tomatoes as they’re often more delicious than fresh tomatoes depending on the season, organic pasta sauce – with no sugar added, snack bars, gluten free crackers, sardines, smoked wild caught sockeye salmon, etc). And, sometimes we eat at a couple of carefully chosen restaurants.
Here was our schedule on this busy day…
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I’m not much of a social butterfly, though I pretend to be one sometimes (because deep down I wish I were more extroverted). But I’m a mom now, and, well, Kamea needs more human interaction than just from her parents, right? Add homeschooling to the equation and the pressure increases to expose her to people and situations so she doesn’t grow up to be a hermit.
Therefore, the hunt to do more with others began for us.
Kamea learning science. Homeschool.
To start, it seemed like a good idea to enroll Kamea is various classes where she could learn skills, enjoy herself, experience new activities, and meet other kiddos. I put her in classes like music, gymnastics, dance, swim, etc, but I learned that in those structured environments it’s kind of difficult to really meet and get to know the other kids. Not to mention it’s hard to strike up a conversation with other parents who usually have their noses in their smart phones. Err… not that I would ever do this myself.
So, I did what I always do when I’m trying to figure something out… I went to the internet. It works for most things, including introducing me to my husband years ago (thanks, eharmony!), so why not see if I can learn how to make more friends for us with it?
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We recently went on a two week trip to Guadalajara, Mexico where Kamea received her first stamp for her passport. :)
One of the reasons we are excited to homeschool Kamea is that we love to travel, and this offers both flexibility in our schedule as well as a rich education for her. As part of Kamea’s homeschooling (she’s 3.75 as of this writing) we have a native Spanish-speaking woman come over weekly to play with Kamea, while speaking primarily Spanish. It’s a way for Kamea to get exposed to another language but not in a typical classroom setting. We started this before she was two and she learned to say “rojo” before “red” (except she pronounced it “hoho”). So, going to Guadalajara was a great way to build upon those lessons.
Guadalajara, Mexico and six things I love about it.
Sunrise (and Venus) in Guadalajara, Mexico
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No, it’s not anytime real soon – so don’t get too excited (although I must admit I’m very excited at the idea of it in the future!). However, here are some things I’m researching to get prepared.
1) Having the birth at home with a midwife
I was introduced to this idea after reading a phenomenal book by John Robbins, Reclaiming Our Health (I highly recommend this book, it’ll blow you away). Since then, I saw The Business of Being Born (also available through Netflix) and my resolve intensified greatly to give birth at home (or in the very least by using a birth center).
2) Insurance doesn’t cover maternity
WTF? This is something I didn’t know until recently. The good news is that having a home birth is supposed to be less expensive than a hospital.
Last year I saw a Penn & Teller: Bullshit show (it aired on Showtime, but I watched it online. It appears to have been taken down though). Their premiere episode, Circumcision, was a fascinating, yet comical at times, investigation into the controversial medical procedure that gets people asking, “to snip or not to snip?” It might not be so crazy to say “no” to this procedure anymore. Thus, the days of a boy feeling weird in the locker room are probably not going to be much of an issue in the future, if people continue to elect not to have the procedure done to their sons.
4) To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate
I saw an episode of Larry King Live with Jennifer McCarthy and she talked about her concern over the fact that in the recent years we’ve added so many new vaccinations and the speed to which we schedule them could be extremely harmful, with the possibility of being linked to autism.
5) Homeschooling – A Smart Microtrend
Homeschooling has become a microtrend in itself (just like veganism). It’s exciting to see this option gaining popularity with people taking their children’s education into their own hands to make it the best possible. In a time when… 1) more people are working from home, 2) amazing technology like the Internet makes this easy to do, and 3) families are growing tired of our shitty educational system…this is no longer a “fringe” lifestyle.
In fact, I was amazed a few months back, while teaching a Raw food class, when the topic came up and I had a handful of Scottsdale moms (all very normal, well-to-do ladies) who homeschool their kids – and they didn’t even know each other! I say “Scottsdale Moms” and describe them as such, because there was a time when homeschooling was associated with either bible-thumpers or granola-backpacking-barefoot-tree-huggers. On the contrary, these women, and their families, are far from that.
As far as our teaching skills…well, my man is wicked smart with an MBA from Wharton (he’s brilliant), a mind like a steel-trap (he remembers everything he reads and hears), and he has the patience of a monk (he’s going to be such a good dad). Me? Well, I’m college educated myself (University of Michigan), I’m resourceful and well-versed in many subjects, I’m super fun, I have the time to dedicate, and I can make a mean-green-smoothie! We feel like we’ll do a world of good for our kids if we homeschool.
6) Breastfeeding – I know I’ll do it…but for how long?
It’s my understanding that some women in the United States do this for the first 6-12 months typically. Yet, in other parts of the world, they breastfeed for at least a few years.
Check out this NEW study suggesting that breastfeeding is associated with increased intelligence!
7) The Diet!
Of course, my children will be living a High-Raw-All-Vegan lifestyle. The concern can be with letting other people babysit (family, friends). I’ve experienced, first hand, people making food for me, and thinking it follows along with my lifestyle, only to find out there was an ingredient included which wasn’t vegan. Oops.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes because, although some of the practices mentioned in this post can seem foreign to many, I can’t help but think that they feel very natural to me. I love what Gandhi said, Be the change you wish to see in the world.