Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lessons learned in Life


Today, I realised something about compassion. I think of myself as a compassionate person. However, when it comes to myself, I am one tough cookie.

 A couple of weeks ago I miscarried and I am angry and have been exhausted ever since. I think if I would have the opportunity, I could sleep for days. Now I don't have that opportunity, but when Dad drives the car I do fall asleep and I get annoyed when he or one of the boys wake me up. It feels like torture.

 Going back to the tough cookie part, I feel like I should have healed by now. I miscarried, okay. I miscarried a couple of times before, so I should know by now how it works, how it feels and get over it. I have NO compassion for me. No compassion whatsoever. And that hurts me. I am hurting me. Weird right? This is a healing process in itself. My miscarriage is teaching me a fundamental lesson. To be there for me, with compassion. And I thought I already was.

 This realisation leaves me with an opportunity. To be kind to myself. To treat myself with the same compession as I treat others. To treat myself as I like to be treated. To treat myself as I want my boys to be treatened by others and by themselves, as an example. Because, what do I teach my boys if I don't have compassion for myself. If I am "abusing" myself. If I don't "respect" myself. I do respect myself, but I neglect to show it. I want to put non-violent-communication in practice with myself. Be kind. And I know it will be tough, because I have always been this tough cookie, but I can choose to change. I can choose to be who I want to be. Especially now I am aware of what I am doing. At least of this little part. I can't wait to learn more about me. And I am scared at the same time. Does that make sense?

Monday, June 16, 2014

How an Art Cart becomes a topic of Trust

Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com
Yesterday I was preparing this 'art cart' and I must admit. Preparing the cart was fun. Adding crayons, watercolors, scissors, brushes, glue and different boxes for there art work. Sorting all the different types of paper we have. I felt like a good homeschool mom.

However, I experienced this other feeling. The feeling of being anxious. I really wanted to give Maximan and Midiman the freedom to get their own art and craft supply. They had that before, but now it is REALLY within hand reach. I got images in my head of painted walls, cut towels and glue in the carpet.

Talking about trust here. I trust them to learn what they need. But with the art cart, I have to learn to trust them on a whole new level.

Make your own Art Cart

Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com
I bought this cart from IKEA. It has three levels.

In the top one I added the brushes, pencils, crayons, scissors, tape, glue, watercolors, liners and sponses (for wet-on-wet watercolor painting). For the brushes I made a stand from a formula container. And I made a container earlier using a paper box and paper rolls, which we use for the crayons, scissors and glue.

Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com
Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com

On the second level I added their aprons to keep there clothes kind of clean. And I added the placemats we use for drawing, painting on.

Everything they use when they paint is right in those first two levels. Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com

On the lower level I added paper rolls, paper boxes and egg cartons. Items you can use when you want to make something. Like a boat.
Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com

Sorting Paper Types

Do you always experience that you can't find the paper you want, because everything is in one pile?
Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com
I got this paper holder too. I use to have another one, but I like this one better to display paper. And I love the fact that I can sort our different types of paper. For Maxi- and Midiman this is perfect. When they now what they need, it is very easy for them to get everything. Ans when they're done, they can easily put everything back.

Reaction of Maximan

While I was preparing the art cart, Maximan came downstairs because he couldn't sleep. In our room, he and Midiman had been busy drawing and making presents for Father's Day. We always bring the boys to the sleeping room and there they can play or sleep. Which works for all of us. Anyway, Maximan came downstairs and he noticed the art cart. His reaction and the look on his face were priceless. He seemed so thrilled and after a moment of being speechless he said: Mom, that is awesome!
Make your own Art Cart - http://theartofhomeeducation.com

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day



20140615-004833.jpg It is Father's Day and there are two men very special to me and the boys. On this day we like to share it with those two men and with you.

My Dad

My Dad is awesome. Growing up I always wanted to be like My Dad. To be honest, it took me a lot of years to figure out what he did for a living. But what I did know is, that he travelled the world. I wanted to do that too. I think, his traveling and my awareness for his traveling made me want to become an expat. Not just a person who travels from meeting to meeting, but a person who lives somewhere a couple of years and really seize the opportunity to soak in the culture. 

My Dad is the most awesome grandfather you can imagine. He has this special connection with Maximan and even now, he tells him his made-up stories when it is possible. Unfortunately, Maximan his attention span is short. But My Dad can tell the best stories. We loved them as children. 

Growing up and seeing the world and the people around me, I realized what a gift it is to have a Dad who is there. Who is present. Who keeps his promises and help you with the choices you made, even though they are not his. Being supportive above all, because you are his child. 

I am lucky to have you as My Dad. ❤️

Maxi-, Midi- and Miniman's Dad


You would think Dad has had a dad like mine, while growing up. Because just like my dad is awesome, Dad is amazing. I like to call him Superman. He goes beyond what is asked from him. He took care of me when I couldn't walk and was in a wheelchair. He stayed when it was so easy to leave. 

Now we are married and have three precious boys. It is not only me he is caring for but the three boys as well. I take care of the boys during the day and Dad, Dad does everything else. 

Dad loves to share his knowledge about nature and loves building things. Especially Maximan loves to asks questions, lots of questions. Playing together is fun. And although it is hard without his family around, he makes the most of it and is happy that the boys have loving grandparents. 

Today we will take care of you, Dad! ❤️

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Do you know Play Osmo?

I thought we had all of our unschooling preparations, our study materials, our play materials in order. Both Maxi- and Midiman know where everything is and if they want something they get it and when they're done, they put it back in place. At least, that is the idea. Cleaning after they're done is something of a challenge.

Play Osmo. Order until June 22nd with 50% discount.  http://wp.me/p2Ivmh-Zf   Play Osmo. Order until June 22nd with 50% discount.  http://wp.me/p2Ivmh-Zf

And now Dad came across something. Play Osmo. He is so enthusiastic about it, that for the first time ever, he ordered something for our homeschool home. Isn't it awesome. It is so interactive in comparison to play a game on the Ipad, here you play with the Ipad and hopefully others. If you like to order it too, just click here. They give a 50% discount if you order before June 22nd.

This video is what sparked Dad's enthusiasm.

In our case, although we get it for the children, I think Dad will play with it the most.

Play Osmo. Order until June 22nd with 50% discount.  http://wp.me/p2Ivmh-Zf Play Osmo. Order until June 22nd with 50% discount.  http://wp.me/p2Ivmh-Zf
Photos from Play Osmo

Transferring our Blog

Just to let you all know. We are in the process of transferring our blog http://thearofhomeeducation.com to this location. URL will eventually stay the same.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Learning about Flags

When we drive or walk around, we happen to see flags everywhere. The Italian restaurant displays an Italian flag. The Irish pub has an Irish flag hanging.

For the birthdays in our house, I have made a birthday flag. Flags and buntings happen to be part of our lives.

Maximan started to notice this flags. It started with the Dutch flag and after that the American flag. "Mom, why are they different?" His interest was triggered. We read the book "Good Night, Animal World" and it started with children from all over the world and they were showing their national flags too. This opens up the possibility to talk about national flags, state flags, countries, chauvinism, history and pride.

For us a flag gives a feeling of proudness and belonging. The Dutch flag is our flag but we don't know yet what the colors of our flag mean. The American flag is Dad's flag, together with the Dutch flag and it is a flag that is growing on us. We like how the flag looks and we know that the stars on the flag represents all the 50 states of the United States. But there is much more to learn.

Why do countries, states, provinces or groups of people have flags. What is the need to have a flag? Where does it stand for?

So this week we will make a World Flag Bunting available at mrprintables.com and talk more about countries, culture and history.