Saturday, January 1, 2011

You.............home school?

I began homeschooling my seven year old son in Oct. 2010.  I did this for a few reasons...the most important being that a.  he was being bullied and b.  he was falling behind in school.

Now if you know me, know my family, know my kids you also know that none of us are people that are capable of failure or worse...not trying at all.  So, when I discovered that Preston wasn't reading well, doing assignments, and getting into trouble in FIRST grade I got worried....then the self deprecating statements started... "I'm stupid", "I'm a dork", etc.  And then he asked me to spank him because "D" hits him when Preston does something he doesn't like.  I was in shock and my heart was breaking for my little boy...the more we tried to advise him, the more people we met with, the further my son was falling away and behind...he was more introverted, scared, he cried when I dropped him off each day....and the inspiration I needed was right around the corner.

All our lives we are taught to comply with the institution...the school knows best and all that rot.  But you know what I know?  That is not always the right answer.  Sometimes the school is wrong...sometimes the institution is corrupt.  I had contact with everyone from the principal, teacher, counselors, and school the MP's trying to protect my son.  And it wasn't working.  Then my friend, Kari, brought me the People magazine with the article on bullies and the children who committed suicide because of the emotional torment and torture the bullies put them through.  After reading this article on bullies, suicide and the effects on their families I asked the school to define "Zero Tolerance".  When the principal said that it meant that they had NO tolerance for bullying I said.."Well, why hasn't anything been done to "D"?"
     and her reply was, "Well, Morgan, you wouldn't know if anything had been done because we can't discuss     discipline and such with other parents."
    "Well, I know that if anything had been done you would have assured me that all appropriate disciplinary measures had been taken and that Preston would be safe here...and since you haven't said any of that it tells me you haven't done any of it either." was my reply.

Her face turned red, I withdrew my son, and our home school adventure began.  Because my son will not be a statistic.  He will not be some damn article in a magazine for people to mourn over... My son will be safe and happy and be ready for the world.

New Year's Eve

So, there we were....ready to go out on NYE and 42 ninjas show up and mug my uterus.  I started cramping so bad I was nauseated and praying for a quick and easy death.  My kids were disappointed and my husband was I gingerly crept into my bed the doorbell rang and it was my friend, Kari.  I love my friend, Kari.  I refer to her as my hetero life mate.  She had called and Pj (the hubs) had informed her of my present physical condition and the girl came over and made four pans of lasagna so I wouldn't have to cook for a week.  Then she delivered a special drink that made all the pain go away, tucked the kids into their room so they could see fireworks go off and put a movie on for me. 

What I wouldn't give to be done with the tumors and cysts and the pain.  It affects each and every part of my life....but at least it gets me out of mopping.  hehehehe

So we had to have a family meeting about division of labor.  I maintain that a woman is a one person fortune 500 company.  We run each department and oversee the whole operation at the same time.

I told my husband and kids this morning that we were going to run our meetings according to the rules of parly.  And I prepared my notes and went to the head of the table, called the meeting to order, and began the process of stating new business.

Here's how it went:

I.  Division of Labor
     A.  Dishes
          1.  Alex puts away cups
          2.  Preston handles plates/bowls
          3.  Both put away cookware and utensils
     B.  Laundry
          1.  Alex empties dryer
          2.  Preston empties washer
     C.  Trash
          1.  Pj & Preston handle all trash and icky messes
          2.  Alex empties her bedroom trash
     D.  Sweeping, Vacuuming
          1.  Turns are taken
     E.  Any chemical cleaning will be done by mother or dad

II.  Rewards
     A.  Options on Small Rewards
          1.  BX play center
          2.  Park day
          3.  Game/movie night
     B.  Med. Rewards
          1.  Yabadoos
          2.  Kids' zone
          3.  Movie theatre
    C.  Large Rewards
         1.  Day trip to anywhere in a 2 hour radius
         2.  1 toy from shopping center
         3.  Weekend getaway to theme park

And thus, my kids stood on chairs this morning drying dishes and cleaning.  :)

We'll continue with parly and see how it goes and if it continues to work.  :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Dangers of Family Time

Today is Dec. 23, 2010 and we are living in Germany.

Let me tell you what Germany is really like on a military is, in a word, COLD!  The snow is melting, but it's foggy, and more snow is on the can't see six feet in front of you and we're hibernating in our flat here in Kaiserslautern as if we were bears awaiting spring time.

So I figured...while we're in hibernation mode....let's do some school.  I know I know...overkill, but seriously...there's only so much I can bake, clean, and craft with two kids in the house and cold weather outside.  So I sat down with Pj (the husband) and we were looking over the monthly school reports on grades for Preston and Alexandra.  Pj was blown away by Preston's skills in math, science, and social studies...and poor Alex is so bored we upped her grade level to grade one in a few subjects.  lol.

While we left the kids to debate the merit over amphibians versus reptiles, Pj and I snuck away to put together the home game of Jeopardy!  Seriously, what were we thinking?  As soon as we sat down and started to review rules and such the kids come running from the computer center and land in our lap. Tinkerbell, (our great dane) goes insane and her tail wags so hard that she knocks Christmas ornaments from the tree across the room... Pj ducked and missed an ornament to the head by a fraction of an inch...(that was a math joke..get it?!  a fraction..heheheh....huh..maybe I need some grown up time...I'm now making math jokes) and I move like ninja fast to avoid her big butt landing on my head, so while I'm buried in Pj's arms trying to avoid a dog that is 160 lbs of love and slobber jumping all over the living room and Preston's NERF missiles shooting across the living room, she decides to wedge her head between me and Pj....forcing me out of his lap and she decides that his lap is her now, I'm dumped on my tush next to Pj while Tinkerbell looks down..(yes, I said looks down) at me with a sure and smug expression on her face. 

I've never wanted to sell her so badly in my life.

Pj looks at me and says...rather impressed with himself... "I think school is over for the day, dear."  And now he wants to know if I'm coming out of my room... "but why," I ask... "it's dangerous in the living room."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So it began...

Home school....

"Shhhh...they'll hear you..." says one neighbor.
"I cannot believe they yanked those poor kids out of school to home school them." replies another.

I continue walking as if I hadn't heard a thing even though my heart is pounding and I feel the pressure in my head mount.  From the next aisle over in the commissary (military term for grocery store) I'm picking up stuff for tacos, because it's my seven year old son's turn to make dinner and his specialty is tacos...and I can hear them still talking only this time louder and I feel my husband's hand rubbing my lower back as if to give me support...and I decide I've had enough.  I walk away from my family and back over to the soup aisle and I stand there behind them until my presence causes them to stir and turn.

     "The next time you want to talk about my poor children being yanked out of public school where the educational goals are low, bullies are tolerated, and child rearing tactics are left to the school to determine for you what is it some place where my children won't hear it.  I never discuss you, your poor choices, or your ...ahem...habits in front of your family and friends."  I stand there calmly for a few seconds while I soak in their faces wide with disbelief and I nod my head, turn on my heel and walk away.

Three aisles over...while I was pondering a roast for dinner a woman approached me and said, "Hi, my name is A.  I'm a home school parent too...and I just wanted to say thank you for standing up for your children.  It's often hard to make the decision and face the pressure and ridicule..but you are the definition of grace under fire."  A then hugged me and handed me her card...and disappeared into the mists of the commissary shoppers laden with coats, hats, and shopping carts.

I realized then, that the true adventure of home schooling my children had began. 


Welcome to my blog!

Blogging is a new thing...well not NEW, new...but relatively new.  Everyone has a blog...a myspace, facebook, twitter...but what's new here on my blog won't be tales of domestic'll be the real stuff.  The juicy, gory bits of life that no one wants to admit.

I love my life...don't get me wrong...but I'm also realistic when it comes to my world.  I hate to clean...yet I love a clean house...I hate to pick up poop...but I've got a Great Dane....I can't stand screaming kids...yet I detest a quiet house...I'm a walking contradiction in terms...and I'm a mess. 

It's my mess, my world, my life...and you're welcome to enjoy it with me.

Much love,