Tag Archives: school

Be surprised by a radical sabbatical

Do you like surprises? Have you ever been surprised so much that it makes you jump and shriek? (I used to love surprising my mama!)

I am jumping for JOY over this radical sabbatical right now.

As a volleyball player I was never known for my vertical, but I think I can fly right now.

The boys driving their “learning”!

I love seeing my boys happy.

Truly happy.

No more morning stomach aches before school.

I love living this small space, small refrigerator and no dishwasher life.

Hands in the warm water and our family working together to get cleaned up.

I love wandering with no direction.

Walking out the door, into the woods and then deciding which direction to head.

I love being so far away from town that I don’t pop anywhere.

At. Any. Time.

I love the relationships I have that are growing deeper through fascinating conversations and not just two minute fly bys in the school parking lot.

Facetime. Phone Call. Texts. They all keep us genuinely connected to those people who are embracing our radical sabbatical and supporting us on this journey.

I love perspective brought on by the time and space of stepping out of life’s routines and the mundane moments of life.

Time.

Space.

To do the work that I need to do to accept the death of people I have loved deeply, to accept the direction that my family of origin has taken, and to accept where I am right at this moment.

Acceptance.

I love learning acceptance.

I love less laundry. We wear pretty much the same thing every day, except when we go into town.

I love making a weekly meal plan, ordering my groceries, picking them up and sticking to it.

Like I mentioned, we don’t pop anywhere. Nothing is open at the ski hill right now, so we are flying solo or relying on the generosity of wonderful neighbours, if we forget anything from the grocery store.

I love our simple super food nutrition that gets delivered to our door.

I love saving money.

I love being stretched to try new things. Living a small refrigerator life has caused me to find an alternative to the gluten free Costco pizza crusts we used to devour. I have been making sourdough spelt bread and pizza crust from scratch. Can you believe it? And I love it. It is incredibly simple to do and takes only a bit of prep time either the night before or the morning of. Small spaces need simplicity and I am finding it through baking.

Our family loves to walk, no matter where we are in the world. We love to explore on foot and see what we will see. No agenda, no timeline, just walking, talking and seeing what is around us. We have noticed that there is a rhythm in the mountains that is more in touch with the seasons. There is a flow that reminds me of squirrels. Right before the season change in autumn, people were bustling around chopping wood and preparing their homes and cabins for winter. It was a beautiful thing where families worked together and often ended the day with time around a fire. The city doesn’t really have this flow. It seems that most people have similar routines and rhythms no matter the season. I encourage everyone, as you read about our radical sabbatical, consider the seasons of the year that exist where you live and what could those different seasons look like. I believe that change is a great things for human beings to feel fully alive, and noticing the seasonal changes can help us live in the present moment.

I love watching my boys learn and seeing where their learning takes them. I am surprised at how much they love learning. My boys previous love of schooling involved recess as the highlight.

Amongst ALL of these surprises the largest have been my absolute delight to step outside of the “school system” and the holiday of Halloween.

I am jumping and shrieking as I write these words.

Eeeeeekkkk!

These were scary to jump out of culturally, but oh so wonderful now.

The “school system”.

All Hallow’s Eve.

Schools are filled to overflowing with delightful teachers and parents as well as amazing kids. But anywhere that there are more than a few people gathered, there are bound to be systems in place to make things “easier”. A system meaning “procedures, principles or methods in which something is done”. These ‘procedures’ and individual teacher’s ‘principles’ often are there for the greater good of a class. From personal experience as an elementary school teacher, I know it is really hard to truly individualise learning in a school system and to really see our students every single day. Not every child’s needs can be met on a semi-regular basis. Teachers do need to have eyes on their students, so they can’t have them zipping around the neighbourhood or even the school grounds during class time. We are truly grateful to be outside of this system for this year of homeschooling. As I write these words, my eight year old is researching bakeries in Paris, my ten year old is learning about “Game Theory” in Math and my twelve year old is zipping around the online program IXL learning about Grammar. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. They are fully immersed in their learning. Soaking it up and working hard. The past seven years in the school system, I have 2 times per month, taken my boys out of school to ski or enjoy a day at home or to go visit relatives, but I didn’t feel good about it. There was this tension that they would “miss” something. As we have stepped fully away from the “school system”, I don’t feel that we are missing ONE. SINGLE. THING. Truly.

The boys meeting with their teacher.

My other huge surprise this fall has been realising the energy and thought that went into the holiday of Halloween for our family. How do you feel about Halloween? For me, it has always been a holiday with a spiritual ramification that I try to ignore. Is it a dark holiday that creates more bad than good? We may have to ask a law enforcement officer to answer that one. I don’t know the answer to this question because the optimist in me always creates good from every situation that I encounter. I have chosen to embrace Halloween because I love the opportunity it provides for my boys to be creative with their costumes and meet our neighbours. How often do neighbours get a knock from a child to say “hello”? Yes, my kids do love the candy too, but for me, I love the opportunity to say hello and get to know our neighbourhood. I wonder if my boys will miss it this year. We will be standing on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on October 31st and most likely walking up the 674 steps. We thought this would be a fun alternative to Halloween this year! We did have our eleventh annual pumpkin carving get together with friends, which is always a highlight. Other than that, we are stepping aside from Halloween this year. Whew!

Jumping for joy.

Happy boys.

Small space living.

Less laundry.

Simple super food.

Saving money.

Shrieking.

Jumping.

Grateful on this Thanksgiving 2019 for this opportunity to be surprised on this radical sabbatical.

Be a Grower or a Grumbler

Last night, I was talking to an old student of mine about her new job working in a retirement home for the local health authority. I used to work full time in education. Both of these union jobs are where wages are not determined by your performance but dependant on how long you have worked there and what level of education or specific job title you have. Again, how much you are paid is not dependent on how well you do your job.

In this type of occupation where the monetary value is not determined by performance, I have personally witnessed that we end up with two types of employees: Growers and Grumblers.

Growers have their focus on always learning first and growing themselves then they have their eyes focused on exactly who they are there to serve. They embrace visionary leadership that may be different to how they do things. If they see problems, they have solutions to go along with them, plus they take action to solve those problems. Growers live in a constant state of being able to adapt, see the change and be the change. They overflow with gratitude and enjoy 99% of their time in their position.

Grumblers have their focus solely on how things “used to be” or how things “ought to be”. They love talking about what’s wrong. That’s it, they just love talking about what’s wrong. Leadership that involves any type of vision, change or growth is not embraced, but rather seen as another thing to add to the “what’s wrong” list. They live in a constant state of stress, worry and fear. Grumblers clearly do not enjoy most things about their jobs and they are sure to let everyone know when it’s almost Friday. I have been both a Grower and a Grumbler so I speak these words from personal experience.

Three things I discovered reflecting on these two types of employees were:

~ Grumblers tend to stick together. Growers seems to stick together. It appears they don’t often have a high tolerance for each other.

~ Inside this type of employee structure, the Grumblers are often the loudest and have the largest amount of influence.

~ Outside of this employee culture, Growers prevail. The Growers are the ones that most people gravitate towards, even the Grumblers. Where performance matters, Growers shine. Grumblers fall behind.

Since leaving the education world full time, I have full embraced and now thrive in the performance-based structure of creating income. As an entrepreneur, I know, with certainty, that my business will only grow to the rate that I grow myself. As an entrepreneur, I am paid by the value that I provide to my customers and the world around me. I don’t have a set income. I can choose who to surround myself with. Truly the opportunities are endless.

I loved education. I was passionate about learning alongside my students. And I still use the skills and knowledge that I received in that profession, but I am very happy to be outside that environment and surrounded by Master Growers every. Single. Day.

Growers.

Planting.

Looking.

Open.

Seeking.

Finding.

Grumblers.

Harvesting.

Talking.

Closed.

Sitting.

Found.

Take a look around you today and see who you are surrounded by. Are they Growers or Grumblers? This will tell you exactly where you are. Believe I know. I have been surrounded by both and lived as both. And like I said, now that I am surrounded by Master Growers. I can never go back into the Grumbler culture.

Find freedom my friends.

Exactly as you are.

Exactly where you are.

Never stop growing.

Surround yourself with Growers.

Be.

Enough.

Joanna 😘

<come hangout with me on Instagram @cannjoanna)

Dedicated to all the growers that surround me, inspire me, share what they are learning about and what they are grateful for.

Be Going to the Jaguar School

Sexy Neck heads back to work today.  A summer of fun, adventure and holidays that are now just a memory.

As he moves from the Bear School to the Jaguar School, we are very excited to see what all the new experiences our family will have through this school community.

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I saw this quote when I was leaving the building.  What a great message to send teenagers.  It is going to be a great year! IMG_0564

Be Reading at School

Last week was Family Literacy Day and our school celebrated by inviting families to come read in their children’s classroom.

We love reading with our children every day and I especially loved reading in my boys’ classrooms.

We were asked to bring our favourite books from home.

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2015/02/img_8149.jpgOur neighbours and CC’s kindergarten classmate brought the same book from home.

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I love coincidences.

I love these neighbours.

I love reading!

Be Walking With 200 Friends

Footprint Days 2014.

Imagine around 200 people walking throughout your neighbourhood on a five kilometre route. Add in bright orange shirts and you have a mental image of what my son’s school organized. They walked four different routes on four nights in a row. There were apples and water afterwards plus each child was entered into draws for different prizes.

We chose to go on Thursday night. The night they decided to go up towards Knox Mountain. Ha!ha! The route ended up being 5.6 kilometres and I laughed as I pushed our stroller with sweat running down my back. I made some mighty footprints. My boys had a great time walking and running with their friends. OC enjoyed watching all the people as he rode in the stroller. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a new friend, M!

We are ready to walk:

20140526-134131.jpgLooking in front of us:

20140526-134149.jpgLooking behind us:

20140526-134158.jpgJC with his classmates and CC with his friend J (This photo was taken when we had walked for over an hour.):

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Walking together.

Friendship.

Nature.

Community.

School.

Well done everyone!