About Me

My name is Cat. I'm a fairly un-conventional stay at home momma of two boys, Riley who is seven and Connor who is two. I've been at home for about eight years now and in the past year I've taken my mothering to the next step...homeschooling. For some time now I've always said that my first passion in life is being a mother, and second I love food. I make as much as I can from scratch and I've set out to avoid processed, chemically altered foods. I'm a firm believer that food not only fuels your body but fuels your spirit.  I've been documenting my passion for food on my blog at NeoHomesteading.com and I've found that its really gratifying to have such a personal representation of myself and of my food to share with the world.  My long term goal is to have a cookbook published or to have some sort of success in the food industry. With that said homeschooling does have a tendency to take a lot of my time,  although its well worth it does take time away from my own hobbies and interests. Neo-homesteading has been something I've grounded myself with for a few years. The foundation of our home stresses the importance of values, character content and education. The idea that we can live sustainably and sufficiently surrounded by nature is a big part of our lives. Homeschooling is now one more step into living a life that is happy and peaceful without the necessity of outside resources. I'm not relying on someone else to educate my kids, I'm taking it into my own hands and allowing them to learn in a less stressful environment (notice I did not say stress-free) with a teacher that has their individual needs in mind. So Neo-homeschooling combines the neo-homesteading foundation of love and respect for nature with the classic structure of school. As I'm teaching my children, I'm learning and maturing myself as I go. I'm still making mistakes along the way but I'm really hoping that one day it will all seem so obvious, like it was just meant to be and it was the only way. 

Why Do I home school? More specifically: Why did I start Homeschooling? 
My son Riley attended public schools for one full year of kindergarten and 4 months of 1st grade. He is hearing impaired with full hearing loss in his left ear. In addition to this he is a very willful and hyperactive child. Behaviorally he is not out of the ordinary for a seven year old boy. Although he is not by law defined as "handicapped" hearing loss does cause him difficulties with learning, speaking and social interaction. (He's often teased and bullied.) There are a million reasons why I disgusted his entire experience with the public school, but my concern for Riley's safety, education and well being is what ultimately made me decide to home school. 

He was stressed out, miserable and extremely unhappy. The schools were not capable of meeting his learning needs, he often simply could not hear instruction or focus and because of this his learning suffered. The school staff was not physically capable (or willing) to deal with him in any way out of the ordinary. He was expected to sit still, and obey quietly or else... suspension. He was getting into A LOT of un-necessary trouble. Minor disputes were dealt with regularly with suspensions. In kindergarten he was suspended 4+ times, and within four months of first grade he'd been suspended 2 or 3 times. (We all know that small children learn lessons the best with a day off from school right?) On top  of those issues he was spending almost 2 hours per day on a school bus. During this time other children would harm him or help themselves to his things. He was physically  harmed multiple times during his bus rides, for example one girl took it upon herself to choke him every single afternoon leaving marks on his neck multiple times. If that was not enough other children would "educate" him. (No mother anywhere would appreciate hearing the things I heard from his mouth.)

Ultimately I began homeschooling because I felt I had no choice. My son was unhappy, he would come home crying on a daily basis. His days were long and often gruesome, the people he had to deal with I HATED dealing with. He was put on the bus at 8, and picked up at 4. After this full day he was also given 30-40 minutes worth of additional work that he did not seem to comprehend much. His education was suffering and his behavior was becoming too much to handle. He was extremely sad and the concept of learning left him a defeated, self-loathing little boy. His school day was 98% stress 2% learning. A standard school day was primarily wasted time with only a 20 minute lunch break and a 15 minute recess. In the short time we've been homeschooling his behavior and education has improved 110%. During the time of instruction his needs are directly addressed, he can ask all the questions he wants, he can take the time he needs to understand something, he can pee or eat when he needs to and there's no one here ostracizing him, there's no one beating him up. Its purely learning, that he now enjoys and sometimes even finds fun. He's truly thriving and I only wish I'd not put him through what he had to experience. At home learning allows my children to feel like inquisitive free thinking human beings, the only expectations are that they respect the process and try their best. 

I sincerely appreciate all comments and feedback. Home schooling is new to me and I love the support and opinions, its comforting to know that I'm not the only one!