• studio3z photography {the blog}

    If you have landed here...bless your soul.  Welcome to our little tiny corner of the cyber world, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Below you will see favorites from our sessions we do professionally, and also loads of personal nonsense that we hope at least will entertain you.  If nothing less, you can keep up on our adorable children.  Really, they are worth the trip back here time and time again in and of itself.

    My name is Jess.  My hubby is Brett.  We are crazy about each other, our 4 babies, and our art.  Welcome to our world.

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Category Archives: BALANCE

We have moved on!

WE HAVE MOVED, and we are so incredibly excited!!! Check out our new name, new site, and lots of hard work that was put in to our brand: Life In Balance

We will not be updating here anymore…..

Thank you all for your years of support for studio3z!! We can’t wait for what is to come!

jess & brett

Saying goodbye. Saying hello.

You served us well, studio3z. We had some great years, but it was just time to move on.

And now this is the last business day with you….

FAREWELL!!

And with that,

let me show a little behind the scenes.

A few weeks ago our amazing designer and friend came in from Indy to do an “art class” with the kids, and draw up some things to be used on the site. He wanted the kids to be involved, and he had them helping, making their own versions of things, and we had a lot of fun. Our HUGE chalkboard wall was covered- some things for the site, a LOT just for fun.;)

Chalkboards are a big part of our life with schooling, and now we have a 42 ft one running through our house so you will see this incorporated in the new site!

Oh!

And speaking of new site…………..

You better be here this MONDAY!

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It’s going to be BIG.

And NEW.

All fresh, shiny, and pretty. :)

September 30, 2011 - 11:38 am

lucy - so exciting!!!

September 30, 2011 - 12:06 pm

Gail - I remember sitting at your computer in February 2010, talking about this new name and how stumped you were. I am SO proud of you and Brett for tackling this, being excited about the new feel of your business. And excited for you, too, that you had a friend to help you make it happen. Congrats Jess, Brett and Ryan!

PS – Marvin the Martian for the win! :)

September 30, 2011 - 12:19 pm

wrecklessgirl - be still my heart! holding out!

September 30, 2011 - 12:25 pm

Lauren - So excited! Can’t wait til Monday’s news!! Best to you guys ;)

September 30, 2011 - 12:30 pm

Betsy - Holy cats, this is EXCITING!!! WOW!!!

I can’t wait until Monday!!! WHINE!!!! ;-D

Seriously, so awesome!!!!

September 30, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Marta - So exciting … I’ve been checking your posts everyday this week like it’s Christmas. Can’t wait for the big reveal on Monday. Congrats!

September 30, 2011 - 1:44 pm

Barb - Such a tease!

September 30, 2011 - 1:53 pm

meredith - I see my legs :)

September 30, 2011 - 9:08 pm

Clary - Yay! Can’t wait to see!!

October 3, 2011 - 7:26 am

Amber - I’m here and ready for the unveiling! So exciting!

October 3, 2011 - 8:26 am

Emilie - Oh I can’t wait!!! Yipee!!!!

October 3, 2011 - 12:21 pm

Ciara Richardson - It’s Monday!!!! can’t wait ;)

October 3, 2011 - 12:46 pm

emily - is it time?!

October 3, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Britt - I’ve been checking all throughout the day! I can’t wait!

October 3, 2011 - 1:40 pm

Kelly - Me too! WOOHOO!

our little schooling house.

The most difficult, time consuming, patience testing, emotional, grey-hair making, endearing, joyful, fulfilling, gratifying  job I will ever do.

(I enjoy challenges.)

FAQ’s:

“How long have you homeschooled?”

We’ve always homeschooled our kids. Priya is in sixth grade now, and that means I have seven years of teaching under my belt. Well, the kind of schooling where you sit at the table with papers and textbooks. I’m a believer that we begin teaching our children the day they are born, and everyday there after. They learn much in everyday living of life.  Technically speaking, Priya was an October birthday, which is the odd cutoff for the school year. At four she was ready to begin schooling, but would have had to wait until the September she was five to begin kindergarten. We decided to teach her, and we’ve never looked back.

Then we had Adin, Riah, and now Gabe.

“What’s your day like? How do you run a business at the same time?”

Below is a summary of our day- Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. On Wednesday we spend the day at our supplemental school, Classical Conversations.

I require the kids to rest in the afternoon for 90 mins. I work. They have quiet time. I work. Some people I know enjoy something called a “weekend.” I work. It’s a tough line, and a balance I continually evaluate. The biggest step this year was committing to leaving the computer off every morning, and just BEING with the children. This was HUGE, and it literally redefined the efficiency of our “schoolhouse.” It’s been going really well. Now that 10:30 part (below) rarely happens. I have to have at least one point on my schedule that remains wishful thinking. I just don’t have time to go to bed that early. Maybe someday.

“How do you teach them all when they are different ages?”

We model the old-fashioned “little schoolhouse.”  We have a 12, 9, 7, and 4 year old. I typically teach the same subject to the oldest three. Then they each break off into whatever they are capable of doing for that subject. For example, we may study Verbs. Riah will copy definitions, Adin may make charts and an example sentence, and Priya will dig much deeper into Verb Anatomy. We may read a paragraph from a book together. Priya and Adin will keyword outline and rewrite the paragraph, and Riah may reread it and choose one important point.

Occasionally, a nerf gun fight between subjects is necessary……

Kitchen redo meant new chalkboard wall! It’s so much bigger and better now.

“Do they like being homeschooled?”

This answer can vary day to day, just as I would imagine any child’s answer would. Of all my children, Riah most definitely comes to the school table with the most enthusiasm and it has always been this way. ;)  One of the greatest joys is seeing how each of their personalities work and handle tasks. Seeing their little minds compute is such a gift to me.

Being older means Priya has more work than the rest. Sometimes she needs to break away form the brothers to concentrate.

“What has been the hardest thing to teach so far?”

Grammar. Diagramming sentences was never a real passion of mine, but I am learning so much more this go-round. I’m actually enjoying learning and teaching it to them!

“What will you do when they are older and classes are harder? Will you teach Chemistry, Trigonometry?”

The older they get we will most likely implore the services of specialized classes, tutors, and mentors of particular subjects. Brett also studied engineering and science in depth in college, so he can always help out as well.  It is so amazing how large the homeschooling community has become. The options truly are endless.

We’re focusing on American History this year, and here are some books we’re currently studying….

According to many people, writing is a dying art, and many schools (and homeschoolers) are no longer teaching cursive. We are keeping this art alive and writing well in this house.

And of course, the most common question of all:

“Do you worry about their socialization?” (Interpreted, “Are they sheltered weirdos?”)

I have come to learn that this is a valid question, and can only be answered on a “per-family” basis. Socialization depends on the parents and personal family style. Obviously, if a homeschooling family is very shy they may not choose to interact with others often. This would create children of the same breed.  The same is true of children that go to school as well.

There are so many options to get homeschooling families out and interacting from every class imaginable, sports, field trips, traveling groups, you name it. Being “socialized” is no problem for the modern homeschooling family.

If you met our kids you would know that they are quite social, and have no problem making friends. In fact, I notice that being homeschooled has made them very comfortable around all age groups because they are not limited to daily interaction with only peers of their exact age. I remember first hand the feeling of being shy and uncomfortable around “older” kids. I have seen children look down on those that are younger. One of my favorite things about watching homeschooled children is the “little schoolhouse” effect. Children of all ages play together with ease, and acceptance comes easily.

Below, our friends came over for a break from school to play Just Dance. They danced it up for an hour, and we got our P.E. in for the day. Bonus. ;)

Have a question for me? Feel free to ask! I’ll gladly answer and perhaps respond in another post down the road as well.

September 27, 2011 - 12:14 pm

Emily A. - This is so sweet and wonderful! I was homeschooled all the way through high school and (on most days) loved it. I’m much closer to my parents as a result. According to some people’s standards I’m a weirdo, but I’m ok with that. ;-)

September 27, 2011 - 12:20 pm

Gail - LOVE that you’re sharing insight into your homeschooling efforts Jess. I don’t tell you often enough, but I so so SO admire you (and Brett) for being such good parents, running the business and still making time for friends and, well, cool stuff like house projects ;)

September 27, 2011 - 12:34 pm

Uncle J - i LOVE you guys!

September 27, 2011 - 12:36 pm

rich - I saw my buddy, Betsy, retweet this and I LOVE it. Our elder son turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and so we’ve had to more seriously home school since we have to be ready for what New York State will require of us next year. So far, so GREAT. We’ve already met some other local families who are going through what we’re going through (what curriculum, do you use a curriculum at all, etc) and plenty who have done it a million different ways. Reading about and seeing how you are going about it is really super cool and I’m very excited you shared this :) !

September 27, 2011 - 12:45 pm

Kara - Really love this post, especially family Bible time! I homeschool my 6 year old and will also do the same with my daughter. The social question always bothers me. When I tell people I homeschool that is always the first thing they bring up. In my case the ones who ask me about that are looking down on me for how I am choosing my son to be taught. But he definitely has no problem being social. Everywhere we go he makes friends. He walks right up to them and starts talking away. And you are right about them being comfortable around all age groups. Preston has made friends with kids as young as 3 and as old as 11.

September 27, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Samantha Ferguson - I am so very encouraged by reading this. My husband and I are photographers and we started really homeschooling my just turned 5 yo and I have been more than a little overwhelmed. I am so grateful to see another family in a similar position. Bless you and your family!

September 27, 2011 - 2:50 pm

Ray - Can you teach me? :) I think I could learn a lot from you all. Great read. Thank you for sharing. Xoxo

September 27, 2011 - 3:22 pm

Cassie - So interesting! With Jason’s experience teaching public school the last four years, homeschooling has come up much more frequently in our conversations about the future. Especially with Avram’s condition I feel like he is going to learn at his own pace anyway, so I’m very interested in how you do this! I wish we lived closer so we could meet in person; Betsy always speaks so highly of you!

September 27, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Roberta - Thanks for sharing this. Before I had kids (and taught for 5 years in public schools) I thought homeschooling was a good option, but not for me. Well my oldest is 4 now and we will begin homeschooling next year! We have many friends that homeschool and they all have well adjusted children who are comfortable around all ages as you have said.

September 27, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Lindsey - Sounds exactly like our recent convo! :) I know your kids appreciate what you do and all your hard work…I know I’d love to have you as my teacher!! :)

September 27, 2011 - 3:58 pm

bonnie - these questions were answered so honestly and beautifully. LOVE the picture of dad reading the bible with the boys. took my breath away. treasured art!

September 27, 2011 - 5:14 pm

Tina Folsom - As a homeschooling mom and photographer, I love this blog!! My biggest challenge is balancing it all with the extracurricular activities they love…it fills up my evenings. I have 4 fantastic kids 14, 12, 10 and 7. There’s baton, dance, baseball, soccer and scout schedules to keep up with and my husband works away from home. Does your hubby work from home?

September 27, 2011 - 6:59 pm

Donna - Thank you so much for sharing…we are seriously thinking about the homeschooling route next year! Your words are real and encouraging!!! Please share more!

September 27, 2011 - 9:27 pm

lucy - if this looks amazing, it’s because it is! love this post….so inspiring…even if one doesn’t have kids! love the zwo fam!

September 28, 2011 - 7:05 am

Rachel - I love your beautifully documented homeschool! And that photo of Brett reading the Bible with the boys made me draw in a sharp breath. SO PRECIOUS! – The house looks wonderful! And I can’t wait to see y’alls rebrand. I am so excited for all the good things that are happening for y’all!

September 28, 2011 - 5:12 pm

Ellee - I was homeschooled from fifth grade on. I loved it. I get many of the same questions about my experience and have had different answers as I continue to mature as an adult and consider the option of homeschooling when I have kids. Your open and grounded answers were fantastic.

I might borrow them.

September 28, 2011 - 9:49 pm

gina - can i just say…YOU ARE AMAZING! really, truly amazing.
xo

September 29, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Jake Ford - My fiancee and I have always talked about whether or not we would homeschool or not. This definitely makes me lean towards homeschooling. What a great post! Thank you for always giving us a small glimpse into your lives.

October 2, 2011 - 9:14 am

brian rickey - Being a public school teacher for 14 years I can’t say that I blame you at all for the choice you made for your children. Good parenting is the biggest thing missing from the system today. It looks like your kids hit the jackpot there. If you ever need any history or literature help let me know! :)

{still} more or less

This week is big for us. We are in our final stages before the new name and new site come A L I V E.

I am so giddy that I can hardly handle it. It’s almost as if I see my dreams that have only been visible in my head and my heart coming to fruition before my eyes. It’s a bit overwhelming.

I couldn’t think of a better post to kick off this week of daily postings (you heard that right, DAILY!) than this one from January of this year.

What was a hope of yours for 2011?

These were my hopes for 2011, more or less.

September 26, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Gabe - thank you for this.

September 26, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Betsy - This is the best post ever! So glad you reposted it. Godspeed your new brand!!!

September 26, 2011 - 2:13 pm

Reagan Z - Love this post especially the last quote. Need to remind myself of these things all the time. Looking forward to your big launch!

September 26, 2011 - 5:15 pm

Keaton - So excited for this new launch. This post was one of the first posts I came across when I first found your guys’ blog, and NOW look at where you are. I’m so thrilled for this new chapter of your life. Thank you for sharing with us. :-)

September 26, 2011 - 6:23 pm

Ellee - Inspiring.

September 26, 2011 - 8:16 pm

Kel Lee - Tanks for this post! Just what the doctor ordered for a tired first time mama! Thanks for creating such beautiful work and reminders we all need once in a while.

September 26, 2011 - 8:17 pm

Kel Lee - Thanks for this. This tired mama needed a pick me up!

September 27, 2011 - 12:50 am

wrecklessgirl - having a difficult time waiting over here; i’m so excited for you! hugs.

September 27, 2011 - 12:58 pm

amanda reynolds - This might be might favorite post of your ever!!!

September 27, 2011 - 3:56 pm

bonnie - i loved when you posted this the first time and love it again… beautiful.

September 28, 2011 - 8:07 pm

Melody - Thank you for this. Need to read this one over and over.

September 28, 2011 - 9:50 pm

gina - i see i am not alone. i loved it the first time as well and really, all of it, so true.
can’t wait for your reveal. no doubt it will all be full of personality and creativity and ‘real’ just like the two of you.
xo

September 29, 2011 - 11:42 pm

Kelly - Hi there! My name is Kelly, and I actually went to high school with Adam, your bro-in-law. I first came across your blog when I saw Adam & your sister’s engagement pics on FB and asked him who took them. Needless to say, I’ve pretty much been following your blog since that time. My hubby Seth encouraged me to write you a little note, because every time I’m using our computer, I’m asking him to “get up and come over here and read this post!” :o ) I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your realness and raw honesty. The way you (and your entire family) live your life is so beautiful. And if we ever need professional photos taken in the future, you’d better believe that we’ll either be making the drive up to you guys, or inviting you down to Nashville! Much love.