Saturday, February 25, 2012

Projects EVERYWHERE!

So a few days ago I deactivated my Facebook account. It has been a major relief not to look at updates and posts throughout the day. I have been at ease and have discovered a couple of my issues that are holding me back emotionally. I know now how to deal with myself. I know that to move forward I must sometimes take two steps back. I accept this.

Onward: Projects 
I have been working on some things here at home. First being FILING! I filed all the papers and documents that I could think to file (aside from the ones that the adult male of the house has neglected to hand over). With filing comes organizing! And we're getting there. I have made up some templates for household stuff. Including cleaning lists to keep on top of it all, a chart including dates (or about dates) when bills are due and the average totals for each. I also made a check off list for the entire year for the bills. So once it is paid and the check mark is in the box we can rest assured. :) You get the idea.

My next step is to get all of my kids crafting and learning supplies in order and available for use. I am also working on a rewards system project for my kids. Every week they will earn points for completing chores, school work, and general good behavior. At the end of the week these points will be added up and they will get to select a reward from the basket. The rewards will vary according to the point system. The higher the number of points they earn, the nicer the reward. I will blog with photos on this more when I have it all completed and in effect.

The next order of business I have been working on is me! Yes, taking time to do things I enjoy like blogging. I bought myself a new journal because my old one lost its appeal along the way and just seems like a place I don't want to put my memories into anymore.

Now it is time for me to get back to the real world!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Head on Collision?

I do my best as a mother (and as a person) most days and some days I am impatient, annoyed, and not what my children necessarily need but I am the other version of me that they get. Some days I just want to hibernate on the sofa. I want to be allowed to have a headache and curl up with a blanket and stay put(some days I make it happen). Most of the time someone always needs me for something and I am not complaining. I love being a mommy. I love my children. I love that I can be home for them and for their every need. I feel like this is where I need to be and this is where I want to be. For that I am so thankful.

I have a lot, and I mean a LOT, of moments when I feel like I'm not doing everything that I need to be doing. I feel like I could do better or more. I want to live this specific lifestyle and I have no idea how to make it happen. There is a part of me that feels like I need to burn the foundation of everything I know to the ground. Even when I feel this, I have no idea how to light the match and put it in motion. Maybe its all internal and because I can't see it I don't know where to begin.
People seem to get their feet so firmly rooted into something that to uproot this tree of ourselves seems impossible. They think they might as well let it stand there because the only other option is to chop it down. I don't want to kill my tree of me. I just want to move it. It's not easy but I'm sure it can be done. I want someone to show me the way. I want someone to hold my hand and tell me, "Hey... this is not going to be easy but if you really want it I will help you get there from here".

I want to battle my inner self and I want to win. I want to sever the head of the me that has been so corrupted by society and shoved into this little box with a shiny little label. I want to kill it, stomp it in the ground and say NO MORE! I feel like I'm falling apart at the place where my soul and my body collide.


Maybe falling apart is how we get it together after all. I seem to be pretty terrible at falling apart if that's the case. It's like being scared to fall and so you climb up so high that to fall apart would go against everything you've been told.
Why must we fall apart anyway? I was told that sometimes hitting that bottom is the point you want to prevent coming to and recognizing it ahead of time is the best option to prepare for the landing.
With that said, I feel like something bad is coming, perhaps the fall and the collapse of everything. The head on collision with everything I know and cling to for comfort. The comforts that I don't necessarily even want. When I come out of it, I hope to be a better version of who I am today. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Would you like a tall glass of Education?

I have been doing a lot of research about homeschooling and about public schools and the pros and cons of each.
Homeschooling!? I know, I know. My kids will have "poor people skills", "no friends", "will not know how to function in society" and "will not get a good education". That's absolutely the case right? They'll probably growl and bite people too! "Beware, I am home schooled" signs will be a must in every window, door, and I'll have to make some collars too. I have read it all... really.

I will be honest and tell you that I have not had the best of experiences with my oldest child during his time in the public school system. I have been ignored, judged, threatened, and all the while at my son's expense. He was behind in kindergarten and I was told that he would do just fine in first grade; I was told that he would catch up. I was nervous and unsure but I trusted the judgement of his teacher over my own.
First grade came and I explained to his teacher that I feared he was behind in some areas and to please take note of it and give me updates. This teacher was very annoyed with me from what I could sense and no matter what I tried at home after his already exhausting, and sometimes humiliating, day at school nothing worked. So I sent a letter in to find out what the teacher's point of view was for my son's progress during the second half of the year. No answer after a week so I sent in another asking for a conference with him. To which I got a note back, on a post it no less. The post it was in reply and telling me that he would not see me for a meeting because they do not make time at the end of the school year for parent teacher conferences. This teacher also told me that Gavin would be going on to second grade the following school year and that he would "catch up". I understand "no child left behind" but pushing him into another grade he is not prepared for is not going to help!

We found ourselves upset and angry at the school system at this point for denying us the right to speak to the person responsible for teaching our child for at least 6 hours out of every day for 180 days a year! However, it was at this same time we found ourselves moving out of the school district over the summer and praying that someone somewhere in the new school system would listen to us.

They listened and felt the same as we did, that our son needed to be held back. We assured him that it was not a punishment and explained that we wanted to make sure he was learning everything that he needed to know. We explained that some kids need extra practice and more time to learn things and that it was absolutely okay. He wasn't thrilled about doing first grade again but he knows and understands it.

On to more details, in both schools my son was denied access to restrooms. Last year it was so bad that I actually had to write a note explaining that my child was coming home telling me he almost pooped his pants because he was not allowed to use the bathroom. I explained that he is not a child who can just HOLD it in! He has never been like that when he has to go, he has to go; look out because he is coming through!
          So, you try to sit there and pay attention to what your teacher is saying while squeezing your butt cheeks together and tell me how much you remember!

Something else that is bothering me is that the children have snack toward the end of the day. That's not the issue. The problem here is that these snacks are full of sugar, for example rice crispies treats. For one thing my child does not care for those kinds of snacks. He says they are "junk". Yes my seven year old child is referring to sugary treats as "junk". I am so proud of him for this. So instead of paying for snacks he doesn't want to eat I started packing him his own snacks. Natural fruit and granola bars and fresh fruit. The teacher told him that he was not allowed to bring snacks in anymore. If kids are allowed to pack lunches why can't they pack their own snack? He has an undiagnosed sucrose intolerance. He knows that he has to limit  his sugar or he will have adverse reactions courtesy of his bowels! Then here comes the bathroom issue again. Full circle. So I would imagine that I have to get PERMISSION from my child's DOCTOR (who see's him on average once or twice a year) stating that my child, who I raise and care for and know better than anyone else, needs to take in his own snack because he has tummy issues. Also second note stating that he needs to use a bathroom at his convenience not his teacher's. Seriously? Yeah... I'm guessing that is how they want to play their cards.
More issues? Yes, my child gets excluded from activities and punished but claims that he does not know why.  He also knows that he does not get a second punishment when he gets home for something that happened at school and was taken care of. I will talk to him about it and that is the end of it. I like for him to know and understand the rules. Basically I am saying that if he does not know why he is putting his head down on his desk or being "uninvited" to activities how is he supposed to change his behavior to meet the necessary expectations?

Next year I will have two children in school and I am terrified. My daughter, who turned five in November, is in the bathroom twice an hour. I can only anticipate all the phone calls that she peed her pants in school. Mind you she still pees the bed at night and thus I believe she may have an under developed bladder or maybe it is teeny tiny. I understand that it will interrupt her "education" time to have to use the bathroom so much. Is there a way to change her? Probably not. So what is a mother supposed to do? I worry about all this stuff. I worry that she's not going to be able to keep up because she really does seem to need the one on one learning experience to understand.

I don't want to shelter my children from life or put them in pretty little bubbles. I just want them to succeed. I want them to be understood and respected just like adults (should) respect each other. If I had to use the bathroom while at someone's house I would not be told that I was not allowed to use that bathroom until they were done telling their story.
Social skills do not come from the school atmosphere they derive from the manners you are taught by your parents and how you apply them in real life situations.
Think about this... my son goes to school 8 am to 4 pm and those are the hours that we do all of our "out and about" things. We go to the stores and take care of errands. When my child comes home from school we are now considered to be home for the day. All our social skill improving activities are completed. So my child goes to school, comes home, does his homework, plays, watches some tv, eats, baths, and goes to bed. The home schooled child will have gotten to go out to the store/post office/the gym with his/her parent(s). Before, after, or between lessons. Kids are permitted to talk to other children during lunch time and recess. It is a controlled environment in which they only socialize with other children who live in the same area and are the same age. When do you as an adult find yourself surrounded by a group of 20 people who are the same age as you? Your office? Nah that's not right, hmm. At the beach? No that is not it either.. Ohh the class reunion!

As an adult how many friends do you have? I have a few good friends. I could most likely count them on one hand. Most vary in age by a few years. One of my very good friends today was simply someone I knew who went to the same school as I went to. My boyfriend went to the same school as me but not for long. He was home schooled and we're going on a 20 year friendship. He has a couple good friends as well. Friends, boyfriends/girlfriends an issue? I think not. I was there when we got pregnant with our son when we were only 16 years old.

To be quite honest my home schooled honey is way better with society than I am today. He tells me that I am a hermit. It's something I need to work on. Once I get out of the house though I am just fine. I do have a hot temper ooooh boy. I have a hard time keeping my cool. Now that I really think about it maybe it had something to do with being picked on and teased through school. Someone always had something mean to say or a dirty look to flash at me. Sometimes people will look at me "the wrong way" while I am out and it sets off that inner psycho and it's screaming RUN.

Home schooling is something that I am seriously thinking about. So tell me, is your blood pressure rising? Are you left sitting there thinking back on your childhood and your public education in the process of thinking about the future.

I love my children. I want them to enjoy life, make friends, have boyfriends and girlfriends, gain knowledge and experience through living and seeing. I want them to learn in the way that best suits them. I want them to be respected individuals.
Also.... I want to keep my sanity!   To be continued...?

My Inner Psycho Feeds on your Vanity

I pride myself in not caring what other people think of me. I don't care about the vanity of life's everyday things and happenings or seeking the approval of others. For this very reason I really have to keep myself in check especially with things that upset me. Me not caring what others think = escape of the psycho! So you could say I do worry about how people will judge my inner psycho.
I am happy to make my own decisions and not wait around for someone else to step in. However, I do ask opinions and thoughts on different topics from friends and family. I like to get other people's view points and I think this is important. If the only opinion and way of thinking you use is your own you are guaranteed not to see all angles of the situation. Confession: I may ask someone for advice but I will rarely use it. I always fall back on the advice I would give to someone else in the same situation. Taking your own advice is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.
Confession: I do get jealous when people play the vanity card. 
It just seems to be all "Heyyyy look at me...." and I want to snap out and punch people and be like, "Glad you have it alllll figured out!" It is for this reason that I really wish I could just deactivate my social networking profiles and go back to just using the internet for educational and entertainment purposes. I can't seem to do that though I like to feed the inner psycho with other people's vanity. Which really makes me sit here and question myself. Is something wrong with me?  I hope this is normal behavior... but deep down. I really don't think that it is and it certainly cannot be healthy.
I have "friends" who I wish I could just delete from my list but I don't because my inner psycho feels the need to feed off of their idiocy! I wonder if people keep me around for the same reason? It would only be fair if your psycho needs its daily dose to feed on me.