Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
My youngest Tae had a bloody nose again today. He gets them often. He was quite cranky today too so I put him down for a nap. At age 4 1/2 he doesn't usually nap anymore but every once in a while he needs one. When he woke up from his nap I was also sleeping and found him out by the chicken coop with his brother. Morgan said to me, "Tae has bug bites". I pretty much ignored the comment. We live in the woods-of course he has bug bites.
I wandered outside to see what the boys were doing. Geee- something looks funny on your face Tae...and on your neck. OMG! He was covered in hives, his eye was swollen, he had huge hives on the back of his neck and on his belly and back. "I itchy momma!" I walked over to the neighbors to get her opinion as she has kids with multiple allergies. We promptly gave him a Benedryl cocktail. Now the task becomes to see what caused the hives. He did have peanut butter for lunch but eats it a lot and has never had a problem. Ramen noodles? Juice. Arrgghh. I have no idea. Kinda scary.
He was better within half an hour of taking the antihistamine but geeez.
I watched the DNC last night. It was very exciting. One thing about being sick and housebound is the fact that I got to watch a lot of the olympics and the DNC. I'm looking forward to the Republican National Convention next week too. It was interesting to watch McCains choice for VP be announced today.
I wonder how this will turn out.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
We had 8 parents today and 20 kids! Really great and have had a lot of interest in the group. I get about 1 new member a week. I'm hoping more parents will become involved and plan some activities for the kids. Maybe story time, build a worm farm, some science experiments, book clubs etc. There are so many possibilites for enriching our kids. Just look at this cutie in the picture. Future homeschooler in the works!
Over the past months I've been contemplating starting my own homeschool consulting business. I'm home most of the time so this would be easy and I just completed a packet for new homeschoolers in Rhode Island. Oprah said to find something you love and that should be your career. Not those exact words but something like that. It's been a long time since I've been able to watch Oprah. It's difficult for me to pick up hours at the hospital. Finding a babysitter for 3 kids while I work and to have to pay them is just so difficult. I need to find something that will allow me to be home and have access to my computer. We'll see. Time will tell.
The chickens need to go to bed, the kids need baths and I'm exhausted. More tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It's so difficult to explain how homeschool works for those that are so used to public school. A fixed start time, moving to class, 35 minutes spent on one subject then move on. We may spend our day engrossed in one book. Maybe it starts out in Ancient China then moves onto construction of the Great Wall of China, then Chinese architecture, then the topography of China, maybe food and local customs, maybe Patrick goes on the internet to find Chinese Recipes and we make egg rolls and lo-mein for lunch. This happens all year long, even during the summer so my kids are fine thank you. We may wake up late, stay in our pajamas and make zuchinni bread instead of sitting at a book. Today's lesson is fractions-how to measure-did you get that 3/4 cup of oil right and what happens if we double the recipe?
If we start on math and the kids are struggling we spend extra time and may not get to phonics. Or maybe we put the math away for another day because the kids aren't ready and it's causing tears. Nothing worth learning is worth crying over. I've spent too many years crying over more important things than wondering whether my kids know how to conjugate a verb. I will admit there are times that I wonder what those kids in PS are doing. Do my kids compare? Are they as smart? Are they getting everything they need? I have no idea. What I do know is that I'm so much closer to my kids since we started homeschooling. I know their quirks and their needs. I know that they now love learning and search out things on their own for their own knowledge. You see as a parent, I don't feel it's our job to teach our kids. It's our job to show them how to learn and let them do it. Yes, I guide them and help them but mostly show them where to find the answers and how to apply what they already know to what they don't know.
I don't know if they are learning the same things as the kids in public school. The general subjects are covered but they work at different grade levels. Patrick does grade level math, one full grade ahead in English and is doing High School Science-specifically Marine Biology. So I guess I just answered my own question. Each child does what they are capable of and life takes care of the rest.
I spent some time outside today taking pictures. My bottleneck gourds are coming along nicely and will be turned into bird houses, maracas and bowls when dried. My pumpkins are starting to ripen but see how the bugs have devoured the leaves? If anyone has a natural remedy with no chemicals let me know.
More pictures in the next entry-won't let me put anymore in.
My other clue should have been that he didn't want to eat dinner last night. This from the child who spends all day on 1 meal, all day long. Hmmm. A yogurt for dinner.
The other two kids have been sick off and on all week. Coughs, goopy eyes. We've taken stock in the Puffs tissues. So I have piles of laundry today that are sitting on my piles of laundry that I haven't been able to get to anyway.
More later-dentist appointment this morning and I'm running behind.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I drove my husband crazy yesterday and after 18 years you'd think we would realize that we can't work together on projects. On Sunday we were working on ticket printing and flyers for the fundraiser we are sponsoring. I was in a panic because they should have been done weeks ago. I have very specific ideas about what I want. He's great on the computer but has no vision for design. I stink at creating things on the computer and have vision. You'd think that would be a great blend. Nope. So now he creates what I'm looking for, send me the draft to proof and I email back the changes. Sigh-whatever works.
My daughter is ill today. I hate when she's sick. Her diva comes out. Not that she's not always the diva but she's one of those kids who has an all around great personality and is well liked by everyone and thus usually gets the royal treatment by friends. She excels at everything. I don't think she knows she's a diva. Then again, maybe you have to know your a diva to be one. I'll have to find the rule book on that one.
The public school kids start back to school this Wednesday. We homeschool and don't start until after labor day. Why do we homeschool? Many years ago my oldest son was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and a seizure disorder. He ended up in Special Education despite an above average IQ. The vocal and motor tics made it difficult for him to complete any work. He was bored to death yet couldn't complete the work. We tried for over 2 years to work with the school dept to help him and it even went to state mediation. Ultimately we decided to homeschool him and even pulled out our daughter. We met so much resistance thru the school that it only made us wonder what was going on in the classroom.
We are entering our third year of homeschooling and I can't imagine sending my kids back to public school. I have friends who send their kids to public school just to get away from them and have some "me" time. Am I anti-public school? Not for others-but it's not the right choice for our family. I see so many others who have struggling kids and hear the comments, "I could never be home with my kids all day", "I could never teach them", "They would never listen to me", "He's happy in public school-he has friends there", "What about socialization?". Ugh -it all makes me cringe. If your kids won't listen to you it has nothing to do with homeschooling-it has to do with discipline and respect. You taught them to walk and talk and potty train-why can't you teach them math and science? Socialization? Last time I checked socializing was discouraged in public school.
I'll do more posting on how we homeschool later. There is so much to talk about. Check out the site http://www.toadhaven.com/ to see how real homeschoolers live.
This thursday is our Meetinghouse group. It is our homeschool group that meets at my house in our empty in law apartment. It's been phenomenal. Every week for 2 hours we meet, let the kids play and then have an activity. This week it's our "Not the End of Summer Bash". Potluck, games and lots of fun. Homeschoolers get another full month of summertime fun while others are sitting in public school. Hence the "not the end of summer bash." We still do our work but there is much more time to play and socialize with our group. The kids have made so many friends and the moms get to sit and have coffee and share. Awesome time.
Maybe more later.