Lessons from 2019

Made it to day 365 of 2019!
My birthday is October 30th so ever since I was little I was always looking forward to my 30th birthday. I wasn’t wishing I was 30, but always knew I would get there… so when I turned 30 I wasn’t shocked and like, “oh my gosh! I can’t believe I’m 30!” Like I was seeing from so many others.
Now, when I turned 31 I felt a little thrown off like, “Well, I was prepared for 30, but 31 came out of no where!” I know it sounds silly but I think that is how a lot of things in life are. You prepare for the wedding but what about the marriage? You prepare for birth but what about the 4th trimester? You prepare for having a plethora of learning tools and creating just the right environment for free play but what about the tantrums and meltdowns or the hangries!?! Everyone talks about the terrible twos but what about the stubborn threes?
I think we tend to get tunnel vision on the short term goals so when we hit them we’re kind of floundering on what happens next…
I hope you don’t misunderstand me. Short term goals are great! And when you hit them it’s invigorating and a time that should be celebrated! But I do think we need to see what our long term is. What is the ultimate goal? Because the ultimate goal is what directs our daily path.
My ultimate goal is to love my husband and show my children Jesus (to love like Him, serve like Him and take the time to spend time refreshing my soul like Him). To pray for my clients and help them to see how blessed they are (immediately and years from now) by using my talents that God has given me to share. To raise awareness of amazing causes and document those who might otherwise go unnoticed.

I see much, I feel deeply and I am fully aware of the limited time I have, so I want to make the most of it.

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The lessons I learned walking through 2019?

I have to be truthful here… I was this close and I mean this ** close to just saying, “I’m done”. I was feeling pulled in too many directions. I was ready to close the doors on Alaina Nunez Photography once I was done with current obligations.

I was asking God to show me if this business should continue and if so what direction He wants it to go in.

I don’t want to give my leftovers… My children don’t deserve my leftovers, my clients don’t deserve my leftovers and my husband for sure doesn’t deserve my leftovers! I am not a perfectionist but I am definitely one who carries high expectations for myself.

This past year has been the slowest year I’ve had in a long time. Being an artist, I’m pretty accustom to the wave of clients that come throughout the year but after awhile it can be demotivating and super discouraging.

December came and I felt this renewed vision. I was asking God to show me if this business should continue and if so what direction He wants it to go in.

My kids and I have these great conversations one the couch at least once a week. I think I’m impacted by them more than they are but even if they just hold onto snippets of these moments I know the memories of these conversations will come to mind at the moments they will need them. We were talking recently about why it’s important to have respect for yourself. The main consensus was, “Because if you don’t, no one else will.” I said well… You can’t control what other people say and do but you can control what you say and do. So then I repeated my question, “Why is it important to have respect for yourself?” They couldn’t think of anything other than trying to reword their first answer. I told them, when God created you, He didn’t just speak and you were there like everything else He created. No, He took care to “weave” you together with your hair color, eye color, gender, skin color, character traits, strengths and weaknesses. You are created in the image of the Almighty. You are created to do mighty things even in your weaknesses. If you respect the Creator then you will have respect for the created and be in awe of it. You are created to do amazing and mighty things because the Almighty made you. If that doesn’t deserve respect, I don’t know what does.

So with that, I have an appreciation for the 2019 business blight. It was a good year of emotional and spiritual growth. Pouring into myself, my marriage, my family and the clients and students that I was pleased to be with.

My husband is my life partner and now will be my business partner. I’m pretty excited about that!

So 2020… I won’t be floundering when the clock strikes midnight or when I wake up tomorrow to celebrate “Nunez Day” with my family (I’ve told you about Nunez Day right?). I’m ready. I’m ready to see the sights and enjoy the company. And when I don’t know which turn to make… I know Who to ask for directions.

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Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her about her travel schedule.

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Our School Year at a Glance – Morning Time (Homeschooling)

I have had numerous mamas ask me what our school day looks like and what we use as our curriculum. So I figured it would be easier if I wrote a few posts and walk you through it.

Our school approach is a mix between Charlotte Mason, unit studies and unschooling. I know those don’t seem to go together at all but I figured the best way to describe our school is to give some method titles.

For curriculum we use a wide variety of things. We do use Ambleside Online as our basic reference as far as book lists go and we mostly follow the scheduled composers, hymns, folk songs, poets, artists and nature studies for the year, but not always. We do not follow the specific “years” because I have such a broad range of ages. When my daughter was in year 3 and my son was in year 1 I quickly (or not so quickly) realized splitting up what we were studying was NOT going to work for our family. So for a time I just picked a year that was usually between the two and we followed that. But then I would feel defeated when we would fall “behind” the weekly schedule. I kind of laugh now because, how can you be behind if you (as the teacher) are the one setting up the curriculum and expectations? It’s the homeschool mama struggle, for sure.

Teachers guides are just that, a guide. They are not meant to be followed to a T. They are merely suggestions to help us mamas who need some guidance and direction from other moms who have done more reading and studying (than I have) or who have already graduated their children. The curriculum needs to work for us, not the other way around.

Back to what I was saying about splitting up our topics and why we combine them. When my daughter was in 3rd grade, school would start like this. I would say, “Here’s your work, make sure to do this and then finish up that. Let me know if you need any help.” and then walk away. I would come back to a perfectly capable self worker (she was an early reader) having done nothing other than draw doodles all over her paper. Seriously! What was the problem! I figured out (after many tears of frustration from my daughter and myself) that she functions better in a group setting. She loves the community aspect of sharing in stories and discussions (I recently realized that I am the same way!). Poor thing, that’s how education had looked to her from the beginning. We did “school” together and then now all of a sudden she felt pushed away so I could focus on teaching her brother who was not an early reader.

So we changed it up and have combined as many subjects as possible since then.  We’ve added more students/siblings to the mix and they seem to just slide right into the routine because that’s what they’ve seen from the beginning. This is what a lot of people refer to as morning time.

I love the concept of the one room school house, that is real life to us.

Our Morning Time varies a little but it typically includes Bible, hymns and the “riches” as Charlotte Mason calls them and usually some literature or science. This year our morning time will include: Bible, Hymn, Spanish, Literature and rotate between Composer, Artist and Poet(ry). Sometimes our morning time includes nature journaling and other times it includes solfege singing. When I say rotate between composer, artist and poet that means Monday we learn about our composer, then on Tuesday we would study our artist and now on Thursday we would study our poet. Wednesday we participate in a co-op and Friday we have nature studies. But say we only got to our composer on Tuesday so then Thursday we would study our artist and the poet would be studied the following week on Monday. I hope that make sense. That is what is called a loop schedule and that is the only part of our morning time that is on a loop.

Bible, Hymn, Spanish, Literature/Biography/Copywork (Loop) Composer, Artist, Poet

This year we’ll also be doing an overview from Medieval to Modern times for composers, artists, painters, sculptures, architects and poets with our weekly co-op. I’m excited because we’ll actually get to put together our time line/book of centuries! I have the perfect wall for it, just need to move the tv. 😉 It’s not plugged in so it’s not that big of a deal. haha

Hymns at Home

September: Children of the Heavenly Father
October: Like A River Glorious
November: All Hail the Power
December: Amazing Grace
January: All My Hope on God is Founded
February: Crown Him with Many Crowns
March: What Wondrous Love
April: Savior Like Shepherd Lead Us
May: A Child of the King
June: I Need Thee Every Hour
July: In the Sweet By and By
August: Love Divine All Loves Excelling

Here is our 2018-2019 Schedule that I put together for myself and for my kids so that we can all see what’s expected or the goal for the week. My kids ages are 13, 11, 8 (almost 9), 6 and 3. The only reason the 3 year old is on the schedule is because she wants to be a part of “school” and she’s a great little helper and wants a “job” like I give the rest of the kids.

This is the schedule we used last year Mon-Tue-Thurs Schedule I would print one up per week per kid and they would check off as we went through our day.

And this is our 2018-2019 Weekly Schedule. Notice how I put space between a lot of our end times and start times? I just wanted to give us all a little more breathing room and leeway. So far so good!

 

Let me know if you have any questions or if I need to clarify anything. I will write more about how we cover each subject per age/grade and what our afternoons look like. Would that be helpful? What age group are you wanting to hear about?

Blessings,

Alaina

Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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“Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in a lifestyle and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love to travel on road trips together so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding contact her to see if she’ll be passing through your area.”