I’m Julie, the Creekside Momma. Blogger, dog rescuer, mom to three, explorer of suburban creeks, sipper of perpetually cold coffee. Learning alongside my 9, 7 and 4 year olds. You can reach me via email.
After a year of public school kindergarten, we made the leap to homeschool, an idea that had been floating around in my head ever since Firefly (now 9) was a baby.
Our first year was hard. I had a preschooler, a toddler and a 6 year old who threw some challenges my way. It took some time to figure out his learning style, gain confidence in myself in this new role and for our family to settle into our now comfortable rhythm.
Now starting our third year, we’ve found our groove. We love homeschooling and here’s why:
We do lots of hands on stuff. My kids don’t like to sit and do worksheets for hours on end. They ever-so-patiently taught me that this was not the way they wish to learn. And I finally got it. Learning more about Right Brained Learners was tremendously helpful to me. So far, I have at least two kids with this learning style.
We read at length every day. We go on lots of field trips. We do messy science experiments and crafts. We build stuff. We do some formal math lessons and sometimes we practice our handwriting. And we play. A lot. They’re little kids, they need to play. It’s good for their brains and they learn stuff that way.
We sleep long past the carpools that trudge down our suburban Virginia street towards the local public schools. We love not being tied to the school’s schedule, too.
I’m not so much their teacher as I am learning right beside them. I learn about them and with them, every single day. And I feel so fortunate.
My husband signed on to homeschooling reluctant, but supportive. He’s now a fan. He shares in the kids’ delightful reports of what they did each and every day. He’s really good at explaining stuff when I get stuck. And he feeds us. He cooks really well and really often. And we all feel so fortunate.
In my other life, before kids, I was a clinical social worker, working with troubled teenagers and their families. One of my favorite parts of my job was developing curriculum for psycho-educational programs. That’s a fancy way of saying that I loved the process of helping people who were trying to make big changes in their lives, whether it was conquering an addiction or making sense of personal tragedies. I don’t miss my former occupation, but I value the experiences it gave me. And I’m happy to be in my most favorite career yet, the thing I always wanted to do: Mom.
Meet The Creek Kids
Firefly, age 9. Interested in all things animal or insect. Prefers to be outside, especially if he is in water, up a tree and/or collecting critters. Obsessed with Legos, light sabers, Harry Potter and video games. He’s an inventor and a builder.
The Bee. She’s seven. Her mission in life is to pick all the flowers on the planet, one dandelion and daisy at a time. She once refused to go to a Princess birthday party, based on the fact that she is not a Princess, but a QUEEN. She’s spunky like that. The Bee is an an artist and an author, bursting with creativity. Recently, she was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. You can read about that here.
Love Bug, age 4. He climbs, he gets into stuff. A lot of stuff. All the time. But he’s cute so we haven’t sold him to the Amish (as my grandfather used to say). Not yet, anyway. Loves all things transportation: cars, trucks, planes, trains, boats. You get the idea.
Why do we “learn beside a creek”?
I grew up playing in creeks with my sister, my grandparents and my friends. It is one of my most precious childhood memories, standing in the clear water, climbing over rocks, stopping to watch little fish or to pick up a perfect flat stone.
So I bring my kids to play in creeks too. They love it. They learn a lot there about nature, about critters, about how to help each other not to fall on the big rocks. They are almost always their most peaceful selves when they are exploring in a creek.
- The Creek Dog, rescued via the wonderful organization, LabRescueLRCP.