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Vanishing Into the Wild & Emerging On The Other Side

***UPDATED***
After considering my options for Bakerlady, I  decided that adding a whole new genre of content would take away from the purpose of this blog. With that in mind, I have created Dissonant Symphony. A new blog about the journey to complete a masterpiece of life. About struggles, triumphs, how life changes and how it stays the same. I’ll be talking about activities, field trips, projects, Classical Conversations, my walk with the Lord and all the beautiful things that make life a cacophony of sound. I’m thrilled and excited to get to share more of my crazy life with you, and hope you enjoy following our adventures over at Dissonant Symphony. If you feel so inclined, leave me a comment there and share some of your own symphony with me. I’ll still be posting all the deliciousness of Bakerlady right here.

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Maybe you noticed, or perhaps you didn’t, that I haven’t been around for a little bit the last year. Well, I haven’t existed here as Bakerlady. I still live in the real world…mostly. Around the time of my last delicious recipe post, we made the decision as a family to home school beginning in the 2013 school year. And boom. Bakerlady vanished into the swirling changes of my life. I spent the spring and summer of 2013 preparing a schoolroom, scouring curriculum, adjusting my expectations and laminating more things than I thought humanly possible. And then last fall, started the crazy experience of homeschooling my kids.

Until the fall of 2012, would have assured you in very strong language that I would never home school.  I was convinced I couldn’t possibly handle being my children’s parent AND teacher. That I would fail entirely, go bonkers crazy, or become a uber-type-A-strictly-structured (and hated by my children) person. When I started thinking about homeschooling, I wrestled with all those feelings of inadequacy and worry. For months. Silently arguing with God and convincing myself that there was no way I’d be able to make it as a home school mom. I didn’t even tell my husband that I was considering home school. I was so sure I’d be able to win the argument I engaged in each morning during my quiet time, I didn’t see the point involving the hubby. Then one day God gave me a verse, and it shifted my perspective on the matter.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Well darn. Once my excuses and personal failure expectations were taken away, the time had come to get my husband to put the kibosh on the whole idea. I turned to him thinking surely he’d find the idea absurd — but amazingly, he agreed with God. What a jerk. Actually, Zack was incredibly encouraging and supportive, despite my assurances that I still wasn’t so sure. I envisioned crying children, continually being on my last nerve, a trashed house and complete isolation. But I knew deep down, that regardless of my reservations, homeschooling was the path before us.The funny thing is, none of my worst fears came to pass. Ok…there were some tears in the beginning as we figured out what curriculum worked, or more accurately, what didn’t work. I mostly kept my temper, the house hasn’t fallen down around us, and we’ve developed some beautiful new friendships (for the kids, and for me). I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly we’ve transitioned as a family, and what a blessing homeschooling has been. Note — the classroom has not been this neat and tidy since this picture was taken.

Classroom Set Up

Frequently, we just did school at the kitchen table. And briefly, we were transplanted to the garage. Yes, we moved all this stuff from the house, down the stairs, into the garage, and then a week later, moved it all back again.

Garage Classroom

What has gone out the window is my ability to spend hours scouring Pinterest, baking blogs and cookbooks for new and delicious dinners and treats. This past year has been somewhat of a rut of tried-and-true recipes (a lot of casseroles) that my family enjoys, without  much thought spent on how they’d look presented on a plate to be posted to Bakerlady. Home cooking comfort food may be delicious, but it really isn’t pretty. If it can get thrown together in less than an hour out of my pantry staples, that’s what is hitting the table. Taco Tuesday has actually become our standard every Tuesday. I still bake for play dates, special events, camping trips and parties, but regularly positioning dishes in the perfect afternoon light to give them that special glow for a photograph just isn’t on my timetable anymore.

I considered shutting Bakerlady down, but then realized that many of you (like me) come back to the recipes here as something of a cookbook. I didn’t think it would be fair to just close up shop, lock up the recipes and throw away the key. Additionally, as the school year has progressed and we’ve settled into a nice routine, I began considering the notion of blogging again and including our homeschooling craziness along with the recipes.

We participate in a program called Classical Conversations (affectionately called CC) and spend most of our time singing songs, drawing maps and reading together. This year we jumped in with both feet learning about great artists, composers, history of the world, science facts, geography, Latin and English. Many of the projects and activities we tackle can easily be adapted to a traditional classroom or included in your normal family time. My hope is that by sharing some of our adventures, you’ll be encouraged in whatever schooling journey you choose. Every path has challenges and joys…I don’t pretend to know anything about yours, but am excited to share what we experience on ours. Like turning any game into a let’s-review-our-memory-work-game!

Uno Review

I don’t share our journey lightly, or expect that you will agree with everything I say. Nor do I think that homeschooling is necessarily what is best for every child/family. We changed course from public school because we thought it was best for us. We chose a classical method because it made sense to us. That doesn’t mean you’ll agree. And I’m completely ok with that. Part of the beauty and intrigue of the world is all the contrasting views. Without dissonance, we wouldn’t have the fully formed robust symphony of life.

Please bear with me as I begin catching up on some of our adventures from the last year. My plan is to revamp Bakerlady slightly with some new menus/navigation to make it easy to distinguish between homeschooling posts and recipes. And, to start blogging recipes again. Not with the consistency of the singular purpose Bakerlady of old, but at least a couple a month.

If you’ve made it to this point, I heartily congratulate you. I know this was a rambling post. Thank you for your words of encouragement the past year of silence. I never take it for granted that you are interested in what I have to say, and you have made me feel valued and supported since the dawn of Bakerlady. In short, I have the best readers in the world. Thank you for being amazing.

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Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    Great post! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Maybe I’ll just copy & paste it into my blog. You’re awesome!

  2. I commend you for taking on your children’s education! You are doing them a great justice by allowing them the time shared with you as well as being able to truly give them a focused education designed to suit their individual needs. It is wonderful. As far as Bakerlady goes, keep it up….even if it’s only one or two posts a year! I have your blog set as one of the top bookmarks on my browser. I check back for recipes frequently, and absolutely love your Lemon MonkeyBread! Congratulations on homeschooling!

  3. Melanie Cook says:

    Good for you! Please keep the blog open. I do refer to it often!

    Melanie

    >

  4. christa says:

    Welcome back! Your courageous to teach your children at home! Hope, you`ll have a lot of fun together!

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