5 Lessons From My Latest Homeschool Freak-Out

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Last week, I was looking at schools’ open house schedules again. It was a week filled with anxiety, overwhelm, and self-doubt. Granted we’ve been in re-entry from visiting family and world schooling in India, but still, it was more than that. I’ve gone another round with my biggest homeschooling challenge–finding (and losing and finding again!) the balance between structure and freedom.  I am grateful and relieved to report that I am again feeling inspired and excited about this crazy journey called homeschooling. Here’s how I peeled myself off the ceiling, and what I learned in the process.  Continue reading

An East-West Love Story’s Strange Beginning

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In 5 days, my husband, our two boys and I leave for India. This is our fifth trip, our third with kids in tow. The picture above is G and I the day we left for our first trip to India together 13 years ago.

As I make lists, run errands, and get out suitcases, scenes from previous trips always play in my mind. This time, that first trip is coming back to me the most. Continue reading

How It Feels to NOT Be Sending My Baby to Kindergarten

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This post also ran on KiDOinfo: Connecting Families, RI and Beyond on August 26, 2015

The other day, I realized that if things had played out differently, I would be gearing up to send Boy 2 to kindergarten.

My boys are 9 and 5, and this will be our second year homeschooling. Last year, my little one was in a beautiful little co-op preschool, and I got my bearings homeschooling Boy 1. We had our tough days, but we love this way of learning and this lifestyle for our family. So both boys will be home this year.   Continue reading

More on Ritual: 6 Favorites that Make Our Lives Better

In my last post, I wrote about a prayer ritual from my husband’s religious tradition that I do every day. Since then, I’ve been thinking more about the role of rituals in my and my family’s lives. It’s kind of funny that I’m writing about this, because I used to hate the word “ritual.” It conjured up vague but frightening images of biblical animal sacrifice. Or something. Either that, or it was synonymous with routine, which I used to equate with boredom and rigidity.  Either way, I had no use for it.

I love the word “ritual” now. This was a gradual change, and I never noticed or thought about it as it was happening.   Without ever planning it that way, I keep adding rituals to my life one by one, and now they are my spiritual container, my guideposts. Initially foreign and even a little bit forced in some cases, with time and repetition, most of them have become part of me now—as comfortable and familiar as a favorite pair of broken-in shoes.   They are reliable reminders to focus on what really matters. On the harder days, they help me hang in there. On the best days, they create more joy in our lives.   Continue reading

The Gift of Ritual

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Sometime during the year after Boy 2 was born, depression snuck up on me. I had experienced several bouts of it since adolescence, but it took a while for me to figure out what was happening since it came on gradually and I had some legitimate stressors to pin it on. Once I finally accepted that it was more than just situational stress, I got some counseling.   Just as important, I thought about lifestyle changes I could make—more exercise, a regular meditation practice, etc.  I was talking with my husband, Gurpreet, about that and he said very definitively, “You need to do prayers.”   Continue reading

Decluttering Brings an Unexpected Mother’s Day Gift

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I’m in the midst of a massive decluttering extravaganza via the KonMari Method. So far, I finished the clothes category and I am completely sold on the process outlined in the book. My reluctant husband was inspired to do his clothes after seeing my results, and we have gone from filling two closets to sharing one. And we both have room to spare in our dressers—we could probably share one and move the other one out if we wanted to. We are both finding it simple, easy, and pleasant to get ready in the morning.

I haven’t had time in the last week to tackle another category, but I have been doing small things to stay in the mindset. Continue reading

Decluttering Via the KonMari Method: Clothing Purge

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This week, I bid farewell to my perennial half-assed, unfinished and unsustainable decluttering efforts and started what I’m determined will be a massive and complete purge of our house and a total overhaul of our STUFF habits. I’m doing it right this time with the intention of never doing it again. No doubt, there are many ways to do it right. I’ve chosen the “KonMari method” detailed in that little book in the picture by Marie Kondo. The gist of her method is:   Continue reading