Simplify

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You may have noticed that I have been missing around here. With two teens off to college in the fall and my youngest starting his high school years I just haven’t had as much to blog about in regards to homeschooling. I also have been busy starting a new business.

I do want to let everyone know about this business as I am very excited about it. It is called Simplify and it provides homeschool and college counseling.  My great friend Suji and I started Simplify in the hopes of helping other families who need support homeschooling or with the college application process for their homeschool students. I am most excited at the prospect of helping families who have turned to homeschooling as a last resort and who need specific help to get started.

We are also expanding Simplify in the hopes of having experienced and enthusiastic homeschool consultants all across the country. This week we brought on another wonderful consultant, Farrar Williams, who is based in Washington D.C.. You can read all our bios here to learn more about us.

And if you would like to follow Simplify we are on Facebook and Twitter. If you know anyone who could benefit from our services please pass on our information. And if you are interested in becoming a consultant with us and are located in the Southern US, Southwestern US, or Europe please email us at simplifyconsultants@gmail.com. All our consultants must have 7+ years homeschool experience and have a presence online. It is also helpful to have carved out a special niche in the homeschool community and/or have an educational background.

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Looking ahead I do hope to have time to share my youngest son’s journey through homeschooling high school. He is such a creative and passionate teen that I do feel I will have plenty to blog about. I am just finishing up his yearly plan for the next year and as soon as it is finalized I will try to post it here.

Homeschooling the Teen Years – Be Prepared for Changes

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Recently I was reflecting on my twins and their homeschooling journey, and as I was thinking about the last few years, I was somewhat surprised at how much they have changed. I thought about how at thirteen my son was the astronomy/math guy who spent hours studying these topics and spent his first big summer camp studying astronomy in the mountains of Arizona. I thought about my daughter who was in a school of the arts for classical voice and was spending hours a day practicing singing and was entering national voice competitions. I remember looking at these two and thinking about how great it was that they had already figured out their future and that they were on the right path for these futures.

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And then the twins started to grow up. They started dealing with puberty, hormones, and other issues which changed them. They began exploring different areas of interest (as all teens should) and began questioning who they are and what they want out of life. The twins began that long journey from young teenhood to adulthood (a journey they are still on) and everything that I thought was planned out and in stone changed. Their interests, passions, challenges, and strengths altered. Their college plans began to look different. Their future I envisioned suddenly started to become hard to imagine, and I realized that their future was not something we could predict or see.

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This hazy future, one that I cannot know, is not a bad thing. It is a joy to see the twins grow and change. It is exciting to think that their future is their own and it is an unknown. It is wonderful to know that they have been given time to explore their many interests through homeschool and that they can continue to grow and change for many years to come.

I write this post as a reminder to my future self (as I will be going through this same journey soon with my youngest son) and to other homeschooling parents. It is so easy for us to craft our child’s education to their interests and passions because we do homeschool. It is exciting to know that we are able to give our children opportunities that their peers may not have in traditional schools. The ability to be able to create their path and to be able to work on just one interest is a very attractive option but sometimes it does get in the way of a person’s growth. Remember this as you go through the teen years. Be flexible, allow your child to explore freely, and be supportive. They will get where they are going in the end even if the journey does not look the way we imagined.

High School Year 3

Amazingly these two great kids are juniors this year. I can hardly believe it.

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They have been back to school for a while now as they take classes online at Harari. Harari goes year round with their first quarter having started in June. In addition the twins are running an online book club this year over at SEA. They even made a video introducing the club for anyone who is interested.

Outside of Harari and book club the twins do not have a great deal of down time. When they do have free time they work on their own projects, mostly art, music, and making games. In addition they like to hang with friends (what teens don’t?) and are making plans, lots and lots of plans for their future. Basically they are just being teenagers which is great because honestly teens are so much fun!

Here are their school pictures for the year. They took a great deal of interest in their photos this year as opposed to all the other years we took school photos. The pictures came out great and really captured their personalities.

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I am looking forward to the future too. I can’t wait to see where it takes these two. At the same time I find myself feeling a little sad at how fast time passes, at how quickly the twins have grown up. It is a cliche but time really does pass by in the blink of the eye. These last two years will be gone before I know it. In the meantime I am going to sit back and enjoy watching these two make their final journey towards adulthood.

A Quick Check-In

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We have had such a few difficult weeks here, but I wanted to check in with everyone to let you know what is happening. Tru has had several chalazias on his eye since January. About a month ago they became infected, so I took him into the doctor. After several doctor visits with various specialists we figured out the problem and Tru started on antibiotic drops. After a week there was no change, so he was put on oral antibiotics, but he has had no change and will need eye surgery soon. I have to figure out if he will need it before or after space camp which he leaves for on June 5th. The doctor said he could get it after, but Tru’s eye looks so bad that I wonder if that is a good idea. We are going to go in one more time to the doctor to see what he says. I am hoping we can get the procedure done soon, so Tru doesn’t have to live with this problem anymore.

Autry has also been sick with a terrible sore throat for two weeks (we all have), and now she cannot sing. She fears that her voice is damaged, and that thought really scares her. We are not sure what has happened, but she was quite sick and now when she sings her voice is tight and sore. She also feels like she has been over-singing the past few months and that may have contributed to the problem. Regardless, she has been on vocal rest for a while now with no improvement, so she is on two more weeks of strict vocal rest and if that does not help we have to go to a specialist. I cannot explain how sad she is. It is like a part of her identity is missing, and she doesn’t know what she will do if she doesn’t get her voice back.

The whole situation with the twins is making me feel quite drained although I am trying to stay upbeat. I don’t talk about being a single mom that often, but it’s times like this that I wish I had a parenting partner. I am emotionally drained and financially stressed (doctor visits can really add up), so I haven’t had much time for my blog. I did however want to check in with everyone to let you know what is going on. Hopefully my next check-in will be more upbeat. Until then…