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.  :)