Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Which I Reflect

I have one foot in the home school world and another in the foot of public school. One child still educating at home while the other is enrolled at a local charter academy. It makes me reflect on many things, evaluate.

Mommy wars: I never have liked them. My philosophy is every one is doing the best they can with the circumstances and resources they have. I am uber grateful that I have not faced any (known) backlash in the homeschool world for our decision to enroll DD. For all I know we are being talked about behind our backs but I choose not to dwell on that. I think about all the years we have homeschooled and while we have faced curiosity and questions, I don't recall people being mean or judgmental about our decision.
Hey Mommas! Don't let others determine your happiness. Stand by your choices for your children. Stop the mommy wars. Stop comparing your child and choices to others. It can start in pregnancy and follow you all the way through your life if you let it. Midwife or hospital. Circumsision or uncircumcised. Breast fed or bottle. Vaccinations or non-vac. Work or stay at home. Cry it out or co-sleep. Organic. Public school, private school, home school, or boarding school. What books your kids are allowed to read. Allowances. Privileges. Oh, stop already.
As for me and my house. That is my philosophy. My husband and I make our decisions based on what is right for our family. That is all.

What to do with the boy? I am really trying to sort this out right now. What is best for him? I seem to be at war with myself. Keep him at home and work with him one on one. Help him in his areas of struggle and keep plugging away even though at times it is difficult. Or, enroll him too. Allow him to experience answering to multiple teachers, homework, class room dynamics, different set of distractions.  He already has two teachers besides myself, science and writing, that he receives weekly homework from. Honestly, he has struggled. Would I be setting him up to fail? My boy struggles to stay on task. Or would the school be able to get him to respond in ways he has not been able to for me? It is an inner war that I have not yet determined the answer.

Homeschool mommas, Don't beat yourself up! I know the struggle of am I doing enough. You are!

Yesterday, as I was driving home from school with my daughter she was sharing with me her day. Not sure if you heard all of the meaning in that last sentence. We had an awesome conversation.  She shared a synopsis of what they were working on in each class. Her conclusion, "Mom I  already know most of this stuff." Halleluiah, she is not behind, she is ahead. Social studies is taking a different approach then we have previously used so she opened up her social studies notebook and read me all of her notes! I was really excited about that. She liked what she was learning so much that she had to share it with me. I was able to connect the links of what she previously knew about the subject matter and the new stuff she had just learned. It would be fair to say that History was her least favorite subject while at home but she knows I love it. So she shared it with me. :) My mother was right! She told me that with her away all day she is going to have so much more to talk about. This momma is thankful!

I don't have all the answers. I have a God that does. I am trying to listen to His voice and do the best I can. I trust that everything is going to work out just fine.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

I Can't Believe She Just Went There

With public school comes homework. It is a reality for middle school students everywhere. Homework!
Since she had multiple productions of her show this weekend, homework was put off until tonight. Not an overwhelming amount. One math review page and her vocabulary workbook. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Apparently it was enough to send my daughter over the edge. She insisted that she was unable to do her Math problems. I showed her how to do one, went over the review problems, wrote out the steps to take and told her to finish the work. She escalated. I calmly replied. She did a couple with me talking her through step by step. Then I asked her to do the rest. To which she escalated again. I decided to leave the room before I freaked out on her. I knew the issue was not that she was incapable of doing the work, she simply was not trying to.
I decided to escape to a different room and relax. Through the door she cries out, "You don't even care about my education!"
Oh! No! She! Did! Not!
"I absolutely DO care about your education!
I home schooled you because I care about your education.
I provided opportunities and resources throughout your life because I care about your education.
I supported your decision to try public school because I care about your education.
I sat down with the Dean to find the best possible solutions because I care about your education.
I contacted teachers to make sure your transition was as smooth as possible because I care about your education.
I always have and always will care about your education!
I will be your advocate because I care about your education.
Until I take my last breath on this earth I will help you to be a life long learner because I CARE!
Do not tell me I don't care."

So when you are ready to listen:
You are loved.
You can do whatever you make up your mind to do.
There are steps you can take to be successful. Take the steps.
Don't freak out, it's going to be okay.
Oh and to find the answer to percentages of a number.
First, change the percentage to a decimal.
Next, multiply the decimal and the whole number.
Count your decimal places.
Finally, write your answer in your workbook.
It looks like this:
40% of 60
.40 * 60
= 24

Friday, February 06, 2015

The All Star's First Week

 My sweet daughter was all set to begin school on Monday when this happened:
 I had originally put an exclamation point at the end of the message but she erased it. She was not so excited for it to be a Snow Day, she was ready to start school. Tuesday came and it was another Snow Day.
 She was not impressed.
Then Wednesday:
Yeah!!! Finally, she had school. A first official day. Off she went with a smile. As for me? I was smiling too. No tears. No fears.

Her initial response to public school was, ""Good first day of school. It's really loud though." Ha!

Her second day she was relaxed and happy at pick up. Excitedly telling me about her day.
At 4:30pm her teacher called me. The best teacher phone call in history. He explained that each month, a student from each homeroom is given the All-Star Award for showing exemplary behavior and the character virtue of the month. The virtue? Courage.

My sweet girl walked into that school with her head up, ready to learn. Taking what could be a very daunting transition and doing it with ease and grace. My sweet girl had courage. :)

He went on to say she is a great kid and a wonderful addition to the school. Yeah!!!

So this morning I attended my first ever school assembly as a parent. As soon as I walked into the gym I was instantly chocked up. I had managed to escape tears all week up until that point. In my defense I am often choked up by kids; parades, singing in church or concerts, whenever I see kids doing big things, or a sentimental commercial. So it was not really a surprise to feel that wave of emotion. I did however have to pull it together before the kids came in. Which I mostly did. ;)

Receiving her award.
My All-Star! Barely entertaining my request for a picture. ;)
Needless to say, this momma is super proud!