Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Why Question, and How TJed Found Me

Hmmm... an intro. I feel weird sometimes doing these Shiloah... everyone else's intros are so short and sweet. I'm too complicated. lol!

I guess I should start with the basics, huh?

I'm Aine, and I've been married for 17 yrs to the funnest guy ever. We have 7 kids: 14 yr old girl, 11 yr old girl, 7 yr old girl, 4 yr old son, 4 yr old nephew (that we want to adopt), and twin boys, 2. We have a scholar, a practice scholar - the practice scholar is newly developed, a love of learner, and all my boys are, of course, core. We moved 5 yrs ago in Sept. from Texas to Idaho. I started a blog back then, and have blogged ever since. My family laughs and says I'm addicted - I have so many interests (poetry, short stories, novels, homeschooling/TJed, family, adoption, etc.) I share them all on separate blogs so that I don't overwhelm my in-laws who just want to see cute pics of the kids. It's a running joke. I am a writer - it's part of my mission.

Why do I homeschool?

There are so many, many answers to that. Maybe someday I'll write them all down. The most important reason I guess is the one that I go back to when I start to feel ineffective - because I feel like it's part of why I'm here on earth. This is my calling - to give my children a great education and childhood without turning them into mindless zombies that can't think for themselves. Sometimes I wonder if I've failed in that last part, but I always remind myself that hormones are stronger than my good intentions. :P

I know that sounds harsh. I was stifled all my growing up years, trying to be who people wanted me to be, instead of learning who I was. Until recently, I wasn't even sure of my mission. I have spent the better part of my life denying it. I still feel inadequate at times as I seek to understand it, develop it, and embrace it. I homeschool in hopes that as I help my children find their missions and embrace them, that they will not be in their 30's, 40's, even 50's saying "Gosh, I hate doing this." I want secure, happy adult children who are excited about their lives and what they're doing. That's why I homeschool.

Ah, so how TJed found me.

I am a native Texan - I consider Montgomery to be my hometown (my family moved there in 1979). We had a group in Houston (I think it's still down there) called CTR Beacons of Light. When my oldest daughter (now 14) was 4, I decided it was time to find out about this homeschooling stuff. That way I would *know* what I was doing when it really mattered a year later (go ahead and laugh at my naivety - I do!). So I stopped by our library in the church and asked the only other mom that I knew who homeschooled how she did it. She looked at me and said, "Aine, I don't think you want to do it my way. But here's a brochure. I can't go, but maybe you'd like to."

It was the first conference Jolene had ever put on, and they invited Glenn Kimber (Love of Learning Curriculum available at GWC bookstore) to speak. The rooms were small and I sat literally under him while he spoke, and I had a glow in my heart I hadn't known for a long time. What he said was right for me. For several years I came to hear him over and over. I wanted my kids to enjoy his schools when they got older. I couldn't understand the waning interest of the women around me - they wandered back to the conveyor belt way of doing things, because it was "safe". I was frustrated.

Now, I've always been Internet savvy. So one day I'm looking over some emails from a yahoo group on homemaking, and a woman named Donna Goff had sent some emails talking about family rhythms. I was intrigued. So I started emailing her, asking her questions. She sent me to her Mentoring Our Own yahoo group (about half the size it is now) and told me about TJed. As I read her archives, I thought, "Geez. This sounds a lot like Dr. Kimber's stuff, with different lingo."

So I went back and reread the archives on the Kimber's yahoo group (I don't know if it still exists) and ran across a woman by the name of Cherie Logan, who had the year before opened up a website called "The Noble Child" (I see Shiloah has put her blog on the sidebar). This was a breaking point for me, because she incorporated BOTH Kimber and TJed together. Again, I felt that warm glow, and knew it was right for MY family. I've always known that just as no two people are alike, no two families are alike. If we aren't alike, then how could what is right for me be necessarily right for you? It might be, but it might not. One size NEVER fits all. I believe that with all my heart.

I've since then had the great blessing of moving to Idaho (that's a whole other story) and have enjoyed the benefits of Mom Schools, Commonwealths, and Colloquium. I got to take the Basic Training Class from Diann Jeppson and Jody Palmer, and have been facilitating that class for other moms this past year. I've attended Oliver DeMille's Math Seminar, Analee's Hero Generation All Day Seminar, the ALYI all day conference thingy (lol - I've got a twin bouncing on me - it's hard to think) among others. We even had the pleasure of having dinner with Shannon Brooks with other Moms and Dads in the area - that was fun. Don't gasp too loud - I've never attended a Face to Face. Maybe someday I will. I'd like to. It's all about timing. My daughter is talking about attending GWC - I hope she continues to flirt with the idea.

I'm excited Shiloah has started to look to creating a colloquium in her area. I had started to look to do that in Texas, but by then it was apparent we were moving to Idaho - it was where we were supposed to be. Where we ARE supposed to be. And I am eternally grateful. I love all our new friends here, and we make new ones and increase in friendship of the old ones every year. It is an exciting time!

That's my intro., complicated, but complete. ;)

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