Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Us Vs. Them.. Why???

Why does it have to be us vs. them?  Public school VS home-school.   Yep, I'm going there. Why? Because I'm angry.  I'm angry at the assumptions about public school parents.   The assumptions that we don't teach our kids anything. That  we just send them off to school and don't care.  That we just let the school raise them.   Guess what? THEY DON'T!

I spent the first 5 years of my oldest sons life teaching him his ABC's, shapes, colors, math,  how to spell and anything else I could. He was reading at the age of 4. Spelled his first word at age 4.5.  I then, hesitantly, sent him to Kindergarten.   Guess what I did when he came home from school? I continued to teach him.  Did I ignore his education and let the school teach him whatever they wanted? NO.  I honestly don't know any public school parent that does.  I'm sure they are out there, but I don't know them.  

He is now 9.5 years old and in the 4th grade.  And guess what?  His education doesn't stop when he leaves school. I have not stopped teaching him.  He learned about centrifugal force at the laundry mat with me.   We learn, all the time.   We do the same things that those home-schooled families do, just in a different time frame.  We may not do it on weekdays during the hours of 8-3, but we do it.    

What really gets my goat is when I hear stuff like "only a home-school parent would do something like that!"  Uh, guess what. You are wrong.     Even non-home-schooling parents will gather their children around to stare at a bug on the sidewalk and then research it at the next possible opportunity.        Even non-home-school parents will read to their children for hours just because the child wants to.     Even non-home- school parents have "school" supplies all over the house because their children were doing some great project.

Home-school families aren't the only ones that make butter with their children.  Or use cookie making to teach math.  

And non-home-school parents like to see educational websites too.  Or printable's for the kids.  Or free resources that we can use to enrich our children's lives and educations.

We have kids who aren't afraid to be themselves.   We also can have kids who don't care what the rest of the world is doing. We also have kids who do what they want, regardless of what their school-mates might say.

Why? Because WE taught them.  Yes, shocking, isn't it? Public school parents actually teaching their kids stuff? Oh my, I think the home-school community just gasped  and fainted.  It couldn't be possible! Could it???     Yes, yes it is. :)

So, the next time you want to start bashing or making fun of public-schoolers, remember, there are those of us who care about our children's educations.

And don't tell us 'homeschooling is best for everyone', because it isn't.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

The one where I talk about my house...

My house is messy. Why? Well, I'm an exhausted mom of a spirited toddler who thinks that making messes is fun.  Add in the fact that I'm naturally a messy person, and yes, you have a messy house.  Is it dirty? NO. It's cluttered. It's a messy. But trust me, you won't find anything freaky or disgusting around. No bugs. You aren't going to catch some crazy disease.  I'm not that bad.    I don't sanitize daily, I happen to have a love/hate relationship with germs. Love the good ones, hate the bad ones.  I'm not going to kill the good ones one too. We need them. They help us and our immune systems.

So, if you walk into my house, you'll find toys on the floor. Clothes on the floor. Maybe some pieces of paper that the toddler ripped up(yay! fine motor skill practice!!!!).   Books(Yay! We LOVE to read!).    In the boys' bedrooms you'll find toys all over the floor(yay! My boys play in their rooms! How great is that???). Maybe some clothes that the 9.5 year old didn't pick up because, well, he's 9.

In the kitchen you'll find dirty dishes.. Why? Well, the dishwasher was out of commission for a few days, and I'm still trying to catch up. I've been busy and tired in the evenings and haven't gotten them done. I plan on doing them today.       In addition to being busy, I have kids.  My kids are growing so incredibly fast that I don't want to miss a single moment of it.   And if that means leaving dishes in the sink at night so I can play with them, or even sit and watch them play, I'm going to do that.   I don't want to look back on their childhoods and say "man, I spent all that time cleaning my house.. What did my kids do while I was doing that?"
Yes, I know, kids can clean too. And they do.  For the most part.   But this isn't about them, it's about me. :)  So, I just have to say, that if you come to my house and complain about it being messy, I'll reply with this: If YOU want my house clean, feel free to come and clean it yourself.  I'm going to play with my babies.

One Hundred Years from now (excerpt from "Within My Power" by Forest Witcraft)
One Hundred Years from now
It will not matter
what kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
how much money was in my bank account
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.

Cooking and Cleaning....

"Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow
                                                  For babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow. 
   So, settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. 
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Something to think about......

I saw this today and had to post it. It's the second time I have read it, and it means so much that I had to share it with you.

‎"When I was about twenty years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time.

"But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking--the first in his life. And she told him he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying.

"He said to her, 'Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock you can throw at me.' All of the sudden a mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, it mkaes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.

"The mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. Because violence begins in the nursery--one can raise children into violence."

~From a peace prize acceptance speech given by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I forgot how hard it was to have a toddler...

I really did forget.. Could be something about the 7.5 year age span between my two kids. :)    I forgot about the tantrums. The BIG, HUGE feelings that cause them to go crazy.   I forgot about the constant mess. The sleepless nights.   The crying.  Oh, the crying...     The lack of help from a husband who works constantly, either at his job or at home on his computer.    

I'm exhausted.  Constantly, always exhausted.  I had a splash of energy the other day and spent it playing with my kids.  We had a blast.  But the house didn't get clean.  It's a disaster. It looks like a tornado flew through it.  Constantly. Always.  Picking up is pointless because it's the same mess an hour later.   And it's not even toys. It's blankets, and papers and who knows what.  Why are those on the floor in the first place??  Good grief.       I think I'm getting an ear infection. I don't have time to be sick.  My house and my family will fall apart if I am sick.   And moms don't get the luxury of lying in bed for 3 days like dad does.    Or does that only happen in my house?

Anyway, toddler hood.  It has it's ups and downs..   Said toddler just crammed a handful of pumpkin muffin into my mouth. Thank you son.  Now he's pulling on me because he wants to do his animal sounds app.  Problem is, I'm writing and we have to leave in a few minutes to take Mike to work.    Nope, no animals right now.   And that pumpkin muffin is gross..  EWWWW.  Glad I didn't make them, or buy them.  Oh that is NASTY.  Hooray for good coffee to rid my mouth of the flavor.

This post is really discombobulated, isn't it?  Oh well.      One more month and Samuel will be two(whaa, my baby is growing up!!  No fair!!!) and then he can go to the drop off day care down the road.  And then I can come home and get my house clean.    Just an hour or two is all I ask.  Enough to get the house clean with out him hanging on me, or screaming, or flipping out.

Hmm, sorry for the venty post.   They can't all be happy, that wouldn't be normal. There are other emotions, after all.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

So, yesterday was Halloween. Which, in my house, is only for dressing up in an awesome costume and getting as much candy as possible.  First we had to carve the pumpkins. Strike that, I had to carve the pumpkin. The plan was for Cias to do it, but he backed out at the last minute.  He chose a dragon stencil and sent me to work.   I think it turned out pretty good.  Cias later added red "flames" to the mouth so he could have a fire-breathing dragon. :)

 After that came pumpkin painting.   Samuel loved that.  Note to self: do more painting.  :)    

 Then they got bored of painting pumpkins and painted the table....

 And themselves.. :)

  This year I had an adorable Pikachu, from my extremely Pokemon obsessed 9.5 year old, and  Woody, from my very Toy Story 3 obsessed 22 month old.    Talk about CUTE!!!     Sammy wasn't too sure about it, but after the first 4 houses or so when he realized he got candy, he was all over it. Well, technically, he was all over the candy.. He ate it as fast as he got it.   The words "trick or treat" came out something like "ta uh tu plba" or something like that.. I couldn't quite figure it. LOL      Our neighborhood was THE place to be and was overrun with cars and people.  I'd love to say they were all friendly, but the teenagers have some things to learn about manners regarding trick or treating and young children. :(   I was sorely  disappointed.      But my kids had fun and neighborhood is still intact, so I guess all went well.

And of course, we had to trick or treat at our house.
We wrapped up the night in pajamas, answering the door and handing out candy.   The boys had a wonderful night.    And mommy had a very low stress night by staying close to home. :)  One of these days, however, we might get a family picture on Halloween... Or any other time for that matter..   Sigh.......  This is as close as we'll ever get.

Today, Tuesday, was spent trying not to eat too much candy... We failed.   We ate way too much.