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Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Beginnings: My Doula Story

In three days Marcus will be one year old... I can hardly believe that a whole year has passed. Last night I was reflecting on where I was a year ago... the night before my contractions started, gearing up for a birth experience I was first told I could not have. I had spent six months watching God making my dream a reality.. throwing open doors that were seemingly jammed shut. Six months of my faith being stretched. An experience that definitely changed me. After three c-sections I was going to have a natural birth... (you can read about the birth of Marcus here. )

God placed some amazing people in my life along that journey. People who prayed for me, encouraged me and helped me to believe when I began to get discouraged.

One of those people was my Doula, Fiona.  She was in my corner from the moment I approached her asking for advice on trying a VBA3C (vaginal birth after 3 c-sections).  I had never considered having a Doula with any of my previous pregnancies... I didn't even know what a Doula was until a couple of years ago! But she was an answer to prayer.   She stood my my side, gave me advice and reassurance along the way, gave me a realistic picture of what I was up against and heped make the whole birth experience what I had prayed for.  I don't think I could have had an unmedicated, natural birth without her help. 

Would I recommend having a Doula?  Absolutely!  I try not to play the what if game, but I truly believe that if I had had Fiona the first time, I would not have had the first c-section which in turn lead to the next two. 

Fiona Dill, a registered nurse by profession and trained as a Doula (Childbirth International) has been a great support to many families.  Her company, Great Beginnings, offers Doula services, Parenting classes, Child Birth Education Workshop (Birth Matters), and Breastfeeding support.  Check out her website and facebook page!  If you are pregnant and in Bermuda I would strongly encourage you to consider her services (childbirth classes and/or Doula services.)

If you are not in Bermuda and want to consider a Doula,  here are a couple of links to get you started  Dona International, Doula UK.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Plans and 2011/2012 Curriculum

School officially ends for us next week although the weeks that the kids are not enrolled in a camp or attending VBS it will be business as usual around here... for two main reasons.

First, adjusting to life with a newborn this year meant lots of days that "school" did not happen. I am not really concerned about checking off boxes and filling in blanks (it's been a process for me to get to that point!), but I would like to be sure we have covered the materials before we move on to the next level. Also, more importantly, I think the kids react better to a regular schedule and 8 weeks away from the rhythm we have been working hard to establish would not be best for us. I really think there is merit in schooling year round with regular breaks throughout.. for us anyway!

One of the things we completely abandoned at the beginning of the year was science... (science experiments after 2 hours of sleep with a newborn tied to my hip and a 3 year old ready to knock everything over just wasn't very appealing to me :) so I am looking forward to spending the summer digging into the Reason for Science Curriculum we had intended to use. It will be a summer science camp at Best of All Academy!

And on the topic of curriculum. I think I have finally decided what we are going to do for 2011/2012. After going back and forth I have decided to leave things very similar to this year. If I am not careful I can get excited about every new thing that comes or by seeing what others are using by and after reading and praying I have come to the realization that most of what we are doing is working so "why fix what ain't broke!"

So here is the plan:

Micaiah (Grade 3/ Primary 4)  He is excited about P4!!  Micaiah is very structured.  He likes routine and can work independently very well.  He love a challenge.

Horizons Math 3 supplemented with Teaching Textbooks 4
All About Spelling (finish book 3 and then move to book 4)
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind Book 3
Writing With Ease Book 2 (we will move very slowly through this)
SonLight Grade 3 readers
Story of the World Vol 1 (we are about a third of the way through)
A Reason for Handwriting (Transition to Cursive)

Eli (Grade 1/ Primary 2)  Eli is my free spirited/ unconventional/ hands on learner.  We will do math and reading every day.. the rest we will take it as it comes! 

Horizons Math 1 supplemented with Mathtacular DVD
Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (we are about three quarters of the way through)
First language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind Book 1 (we will start this midway through the year)
All About Spelling 1
All About Reading Level 1 readers (vol 1-3)
Sonlight Introduction to World Cultures (Core A)
Handwriting Without Tears level 1

Eden (Pre-K) VERY RELAXED!  Eden likes to "do school".  She is learning to read and I am taking her lead.  Her day will be mostly structured and free play but we will also use a mixture of:
Get Set for School
All About Reading Pre- K
Raising Rock Stars Preschool

All kids currently do the Word of Life Quiet time each day and I have started going through the Walk Thru the Bible Key Word flashcards with them(they will learn the name and theme of each book of the Bible) Eli and Micaiah will both be in Word of Life Olympian Club so we will work on the memory verses from that program.

They will continue with recorder and piano and I want to begin exposing them to different composers this year.

I have chosen not to go with a formal curriculum.. I will see how this summer goes and decide how we handle science going forward.

In addition I have been chosen to be a Crew Member for This Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew (Curriculum review team) so I will have the opportunity to use different products with the kids for review purposes.. I am sure that will add lots of variety to our year!

SO there you have it.. now let me go order it before I change my mind!