Welcome to this week’s Family, Fun & Homeschooling!
This week, I am very happy to introduce you to my friend Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams. Wendy is another friend and co-reviewer from the TOS Crew. Like me, she’s got boys at her house, and I love her homeschooling style. She has a bright and cheerful blog (you’ll love her header) and is such an encouraging mom. Meet Wendy!
Tell us about your blog. What was the spark of the idea that enabled you to create your blog?
My blog is called Ladybug Daydreams. It originally started as a place to share the crafty things I made, and even had a name to match that pursuit: Crafts by Wendy. When I started blogging more regularly, I wanted a title that would be a bit more open. In my pursuit of the “perfect” title, I went through several names over the course of about 18 months. I finally settled on Ladybug Daydreams in December 2014 (which is when I made the “big change” and bought a dot-com as well as switched over to self-hosted), and I couldn’t be happier with my blog name.
My blog is mostly about our family life. I write about things ranging from things we do together to “What simplicity means to me” (we try to live fairly simple lives, even with three boys) to reviews for books and homeschool curriculum.
The idea for Ladybug Daydreams was something my husband helped me with. I spent the better part of a year brainstorming names and searching on Google when I came up with one I liked to make sure it wasn’t taken (most of them were). My favorite name with all that brainstorming was Ladybug Dreams, but that wasn’t available, so my husband added the “day” to it, and my site was born.
Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?
Not really. In 2014, I started a 52-week series about Simplicity (back then, my blog was called Simplicity Breeds Happiness), but around August (30 weeks or so in) I felt like I was running short on ideas so I abandoned the idea of committing to a Simplicity post every week. I still write them on occasion, but only if I feel I have something worthwhile to say on the subject. Forcing myself to write about one topic over and over again was stressful, and that’s not what I want my blog to be for me. It’s a place I love to go to write down my thoughts and ideas, not something I want to dread.
If you count “what my family has done recently that’s cool,” then that would be something that I write about often. But that can vary widely from month to month, so I don’t really think about it as a topic I specifically write about – it’s just what my blog is about.
Tell us about your family. How did you and your husband meet? And what would you like to share about your children?
My husband and I met when we were in high school. We went to different schools, but the same church. We started dating fairly quickly, and got married about three years later. I was 19 and he was 20 when we married.
Not long before our third wedding anniversary, our first son, “Seahawk,” was born. He’s now 11 and in 5th grade and a huge fan of the Seattle Seahawks (hence his internet nickname). He’s the athlete in our family.
Two years and eleven months later, we were blessed with our second son, “Munchkin.” He’s now 8 and in 3rd grade. He’s the studious one of the kids – the natural student. He can most often be found with a book in his hand.
Our youngest son is “Small Fry,” and he’s 2 ½. Currently, his interests include Franklin the Turtle and Franklin the Turtle. LOL.
I’m also expecting our fourth child in November, and we’re really excited about that.
My husband always knew he wanted more kids, but it took him until Munchkin was 5 to convince me. I know, I know, it’s usually the other way around! But I grew up with just one sibling (a brother), and never thought I would want more than two kids since that’s what I knew from my own childhood. After Small Fry was born, I came to the conclusion that it’s okay to do things differently than my mom did. I don’t have to be just like her, and recognizing that was wonderful. Now my hubby and I agree on the fact that we definitely want more kids.
What made you decide to homeschool?
We never considered another option. My husband was homeschooled periodically, and I wanted to be but never was. We decided when we were first married (long before we had any kids) that when the time came, I would stay home with the children and, later, homeschool them. I suppose one of the deciding factors in that decision was seeing some of the high school graduates (just a few years after me) who didn’t even know the significance of the year 1776. Something like that may not be a big deal to most people, but it was to us. We didn’t want our kids going through a school system like that. So we homeschool.
What does a day in your homeschool look like?
We tend to sleep in a bit. I get up between 8:00 and 8:30 and like to enjoy some quiet time before I wake everyone else up between 9:00 and 9:30. The boys eat breakfast (usually cereal) and we dive in to our day after that.
My goal each day is to cover the subjects we do every day (Bible, spelling, grammar, and math) before lunch. We’re usually successful at that.
Around noon, I send the boys to play with the baby (who’s really more of a toddler…) while I fix lunch. This is often a full meal (albeit a slightly simpler one than dinner) because my husband works from home about half the time.
After lunch is done, including cleanup, we dive back into school for the afternoon. The afternoons are spent with things that a) the boys can do on their own, or b) we don’t do every day. These include subjects such as French (we use Rosetta Stone), silent reading, writing a report, science, and whatever read-aloud book we’re doing at that time.
At 3:00, Small Fry goes down for his nap. If we’ve finished all of the schoolwork by then (we usually have), I let the big boys go to their friends’ house to play. There’s a homeschool family just around the corner with two kids, and a public school family two houses down from them. During naptime, I typically relish the quiet time and work on my own projects: sewing, cross stitching, crocheting, blogging… whatever I’ve got going on during a particular day.
I wake Small Fry up at 5:00, and that’s usually around the time I start thinking about dinner as well. We eat around 6 and after that is family time. The children go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00, and hubby and I follow around 11:00.
Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?
We’re pretty boring… we usually just go to a movie. For this reason, we try to plan our dates for Tuesdays because that’s $5 ticket day at the local theater. In addition to cheap tickets (all shows, all day), the popcorn is on sale that day too for only $2. That makes for a wonderfully inexpensive date .
What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?
It depends on the child… Seahawk is really into basketball, so sometimes I’ll shoot hoops with him in our driveway. Munchkin is quieter and likes to just relax, so I can often be found teaching him embroidery or crochet. Once he’s mastered a craft, we’ll sit together and work on individual projects. Small Fry likes to play “Go, No,” which is really just Red Light, Green Light. He’s a late talker, though, so we (and his speech therapist) are just excited that he’s using the words without prompting – he’ll often request to play the game by tugging on me and saying “Go! No!” and pulling me toward the living room.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for having me, Wren. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today!
About Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams:
Wendy is a homeschooling mom of three great boys, ages 11, 8, and 2. She loves making things, especially quilts and crocheted hats. She blogs about exploring simplicity in a family setting, crafting, books, and homeschooling at Ladybug Daydreams.
Be sure to join us next week for another Family, Fun & Homeschooling!