Did you notice that it’s been a little quiet around Ironwild Fitness lately? Catch up on the latest and find out why we’re gearing up to start a homeschooling journey and RVing adventure.
Yes I know, this is a fitness blog.
The thing I love about blogging is that I run the show and this little corner of the internet is MINE. I am a real human, running a tiny little business. I talk mostly about fitness-related things. Sometimes I talk about motherhood, depression, and other things that affect me personally.
But today I’m talking about our homeschooling adventure.
If you don’t like it or don’t care – cool.
If you do indeed follow the blog for more than just fitness-related stuff, this might be of interest to you.
Yep, my family has just purchased an RV and we have *officially* started the homeschooling journey.
I’ll admit, I don’t really know much about how to homeschool (yet). I also don’t have a huge list of how to get started homeschooling (still to come). But – we are beginning homeschool this summer and I am determined to make it work, and I admit I’m actually a little excited!
But let’s back up a little bit so that I can tell you why.
Why We Decided To Start A Homeschooling Journey
I have always dreamt about a simpler life. I have probably mentioned it a few times, but I am really into the whole “homesteading,” off-grid sort of life. (Actually, I even wrote a post about how to start a homesteading blog because it’s the first type of blog I ever had.) The whole idea really gets me excited – and I wish it were realistic for us to just jump into that lifestyle.
But it’s not.
For much of this year, and for almost five years before that, we had been living in a cute little house in a “small” town in Oregon.
However, with my husbands impending deployment approaching, we decided to sell the house. We did this to take advantage of the hot market, as well as the opportunity to save money. The ultimate goal was to buy land and start a small family farm.
But we were recently informed that my husband will NOT be deploying because his enlistment is over during the scheduled deployment. (Two months before the deployment, thanks ARMY!)
So with that new information, we started looking for a house.
The more we looked, the more discouraged we got. We kept lowering our standards and getting frustrated. The price of land or houses with land in our area are through the roof.
Pretty soon we found ourselves looking at homes that weren’t even close to what we originally wanted.
We had a moment of poor judgment that *almost* led to us buying a brand new, cookie-cutter house that would have resulted in a mortgage of over $2500 per month.
I was having anxiety just thinking about our situation and everything that was happening. Nothing felt right, and I just KNEW we weren’t meant to live in a house without any room to roam.
But what else could we do?
We’d sold our house and uprooted our kids on the premise of the impending deployment. Now that it wasn’t happening, we didn’t have a house, or a solid plan of any kind. It was hard for us to want to commit to anything because we were all over the place with jobs, my husbands transition out of the military, etc.
There seemed to be only one logical next-move.
I know it seems crazy, but we decided to buy an RV and homeschool our daughter.
Since our boy wouldn’t be in school anytime soon (he’s 18 months), and we had no other real commitments, nothing was really holding us back. We made my parent’s house “home base,” and have set up three bedrooms there.
The plan is now to explore new places to possibly put down roots, homeschool, travel, and enjoy the freedom!
Benefits Of Homeschooling
I’m sure that there are many studies that illustrate the drawbacks and benefits of homeschooling. But in my personal opinion, there are more benefits for us in this season of life.
Here are a few of the biggest ones for us:
- More time with family. My husband works out of town most of the time and is also in the military. If we were in traditional school, we’d typically only see him 3 weekends of the month – and that’s it!
- Less “sitting time.” There’s a statistic out there that says kids only actively learn academically for a fraction of the time they are in school. (I looked everywhere for the stat but couldn’t find it, sorry.) A huge amount of time is spent waiting for other kids, transitioning from one activity to the next, waiting in line, etc. My five year old is already ahead and her preschool teachers told me that she is often done with her work before other kids. I don’t want her to be at school bored when she could be doing something else.
- It’s flexible. Our lives are very “up in the air” right now. As you know, we don’t have a house, and haven’t found anyplace we’re really set on living. We plan to explore Idaho and Montana as places to buy land and build, but we need time to do that.
- I believe that kids need one-on-one time often at the elementary age. Kids in public school typically don’t get that.
- Homeschool is highly customizable. If my daughter is advanced in an area, we can move forward. If she is behind, we can stay there a bit. You don’t get that personalization in public schools.
- We can study what we want. Aside from the typical subjects, we can add in Bible, homemaking, wilderness studies, cool impromptu field trips, and more. We can go to the places we’re talking about!
- Both parents can be involved. My daughter can learn from both parents and spend quality time with everyone.
Obviously the biggest concern for me is that my kids won’t get enough time to socialize.
However, I don’t think they are overly sheltered because they still play with cousins, make friends wherever they go, and participate in sports. However, I don’t think that this will be a forever situation, so I’m not too worried yet. I’m considering this homeschooling journey a test and we’ll just continue to play it by ear!
How Were Getting Started On Our Homeschooling Journey
I did some research on homeschool curriculum. You KNOW I read all of the reviews. I have been playing with the idea for some time. But in the end, I am trained as an elementary school teacher, and it can’t be that hard in kindergarten (right!??). Haha.
I knew I wanted a curriculum that featured Bible studies because we don’t attend church regularly. And since most of the people in my family struggle with math, I knew that I’d probably have to supplement with an app or two in that area.
After much research, I went with the Horizons curriculum from Alpha Omega Publishing. It’s Christianity-based, but the reviews were overall positive.
Obviously, I plan to supplement on our homeschooling journey, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest. LOL.
I also have a few kindergarten workbooks, a lot of free homeschool printables I found online, and other ideas. I am still on the hunt for the best math and reading games or apps to supplement. (Hit me with ideas!)
My General Plan
I am currently throwing together a binder for my daughter’s work. I have a lot of planning yet, but I plan to have her school year go August through June. That means we’ll get started pretty soon! However, I have yet to outline each month and plan specific activities. But rest assured, my idea list is growing!
As my daughter is only at the kindergarten level, I don’t plan to spend more than two hours per day doing homeschool. We have a lot of playing and hands-on learning to do, ya know! (Plus, toddlers make it hard to do anything, am I right?)
Why This Has To Do With Fitness
If I have learned anything during this very uncertain time in my life, it’s that I need to better adapt to change. I have always been someone who thrives off of structure. But there’s a big problem with that. As soon as there is a major change in my life, I lose control. I lose my ability to continue doing the things that I need to do.
I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself, “I’ll get back into my routine of blogging, eating clean, and working out as soon as things settle down.”
As soon as life throws me a curve ball, everything that moves me forward is on hold. And I can’t allow it to be that way anymore. (Read about why I think self-awareness is the missing piece.)
I’m learning that there may not be a new “normal” in my life for quite some time. Honestly, I can’t wait around until my life is in a strict routine to workout and eat right. I definitely can’t wait until I have a home office set up to keep blogging.
I have to go with the flow – and I have to adjust!
As our lives change and we experience new things, the way we approach fitness must also change. I used to be a die-hard gym person, but now I am struggling to go at all. Not only this, but with my life being “on the road” for unpredictable amounts of time, I must learn to exercise accordingly.
That means that I’m going to be riding bikes, going for walks/runs, doing outdoor workouts, and more.
In fact, I have to – there’s no more waiting around until we buy a house or settle down.
(Luckily, I have found that most of you ladies like home workouts most anyway!)
The point is that if you are going to be successful with anything, you can’t allow things to come to a screeching halt anytime something isn’t your idea of “right.”
What To Expect On The Blog
The beauty of blogging is that I can do what I want. This blog is ever-evolving and I can take it with me anywhere I go!
With that being said, here’s what I’m tentatively planning:
- Outdoor and do-anywhere workouts.
- More outdoor adventures – like hiking tips, outdoor product reviews, etc.
- More personal posts – expect updates on homeschooling, RV life, travels, etc.
- Possible personal and group training online.
- Posts related to eating healthy while traveling, etc.
I am excited – you should be excited!
Could This Be Really Good For Everyone?
I have a really good feeling about all of this. I will miss gardening – but I know I will have a home again someday.
But otherwise, I think that getting to travel and see more of our nation is going to be really eye-opening for my whole family. Not only this, but I will be challenged by our homeschooling journey. I will also be challenged by having to be more flexible (I am really anxious in uncertain situations) and I can already feel myself growing there. (Try my dumbbell upper body workout!)
Plus, I will get to try all sorts of new ways to stay fit on the go and in the wilderness!
Furthermore, my kids will have to learn more resiliency. They will be forced to be flexible and continue learning and growing while being on-the-move. I think that this will help them as adults.
It feels good to “go against the grain” and do something I’d always dreamt about!
We will see where it goes!
Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschooling journey and new RV adventure!