Monday, April 29, 2013

aren't you just lazy?

So, people give you some pretty weird looks and comments when you mention that you are unschooling. Many people aren't even sure what that is and it really just sounds like lazy parenting to them.

*You aren't making your kids do 50 math problems a day??  That is basically child abuse!
*How on Earth will they actually learn anything?
*Do you even bathe your kids?
*That's just laziness. Real parents sit down and force learning on their kids!

Babies learn. Think about the incredible amount of things your baby learned in that first year!!  Just in the first year!

Why do we think natural learning stops? Why do we think we need to turn our children over to the government for proper teaching? And why do we think the best way to learn is through boring repetition and useless information?

As I have said before, I had to memorize the entire periodic table in seventh grade. I have not used it since. I don't need to know the atomic weight of Francium.

So, why learn this stuff? Why make our kids learn it? Because the government said that is what they need to learn? I'm sorry, but that isn't good enough for me.

My kids are learning. They are learning a lot. The difference is that they are learning what they are passionate about. And we are relaxed about it. I'm not worried that Super J (6) isn't where his friends are in math. He is way ahead of them in Science and Nature- because that is what he is passionate about.

We will get to the things we need to learn. We will cover the stuff that it is important. And we will do it in a way that works for them.

We are learning about money by using it. Going to the store. Comparing prices. Talking about wise spending and saving. Not by looking at some numbers on a worksheet.

We are learning science by doing it. We experiment every day. And the kids are constantly in the kitchen with me- mixing, measuring, experimenting.

Can they go to college like this? You betcha! Will they want to? I have no idea. If their passion requires it, sure. If not, they could just go into an internship or something similar. Or trade school.

They have plenty of choices. And they are more involved in their education and have more freedom than any public schooler.

Is it lazy? Not at all. In fact, it requires a lot more work at times. I have to find ways over and over to learn about the same passion. My son is obsessed with animals. And we have done every animal project I can think of. And every day I have to come up with new ones.

So, go ahead. Judge us if you want. We are too busy learning and having fun to worry about it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I have heard from several people lately about silent lunches.

What kind of lunches??

Apparently, now children are being asked to sit boy girl boy girl at lunch. And to eat without speaking.

Some schools are playing music. Wow. That's great. That really makes up for taking away what tiny bit of freedom these kids already have. Music. Stellar decision there, powers that be. But don't talk during that music. Or you will get punished.

They say it is for safety and so the kids will actually eat and not get up.

I'm just disgusted. The schools already have too much power over little kids anyway. And now they are taking away one of the tiny little perks of the day.

Lunch should be fun! You should get to hang out with your buds. Joke around. Trade food.

But, no dear public school. Let's just suck the fun out of lunch, too.

Friday, April 26, 2013

In the works

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you miss most of your life. ~Buddha

So, this is what I'm working on. I've been working on it for a long time.

I got that piece of advice a few years ago from a dear friend regarding my, at that time, business. What ever you are doing- do it. Be there. Be fully present playing with your kids. Be fully present in working. Be where you are.

I have a bit of an addictive personality. I don't mean that I have ever truly dealt with a debilitating addiction such as drugs or anything like that. But I easily get sucked into things. I used to play SIMS before I had kids and I would get so wrapped up that I would play for hours! I would play at living. How dumb is that?

Electronics are a suck for me. They reel me in. And I use my phone take pictures to document our lives. So, I'm not going to put that one down without a struggle.

But I'm trying to step away. To ignore the ding of the new message. To ignore what every one else is doing on facebook.

I still check. Frequently. But I'm spending less time there. I'm there for a couple of minutes.

And then I'm back to slaying dragons. Or planning a zoo. Or giving belly kisses.

I love those belly kisses.

Now, I can't be fully present when doing anything else. I'm a mom. So, I have little ones hanging off of me and needing me while I make dinner or clean or fold laundry or do anything else.

So, I'm trying to take time for me, too.  It's a challenge, but I feel like we need to recharge. We need to be there for ourselves, too.

And now the baby is up. And that belly won't kiss itself.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

follow up to warts

Well, y'all sure know how to make a gal feel better! Thanks so much for all the encouragement!

We did a lot of talking while Super J was sitting at the table. We talked on and off all day. He was there for hours. He did have books to read, but nothing else.

Oh, and I don't think it helped that I am running on little sleep. Sugar Britches is still teething like a bear! I didn't sleep more than 30 minutes consecutively the night before this incident. And she has been crazed like this at night for more than a week.

The Mad Scientist came home and talked with him.  Then during dinner we talked in front of him. I wanted him to see the heartache this caused and see the process of us trying to parent.

Other than pretty mild stuff, he really has never had to be punished. I thought last week after the violent episode, he had enough. But there is obviously still something going on.

A friend and I were talking. She thinks Super J is trying to gain some independence. (He is special needs and has had to have more help during his life than most- for instance, he still can't ride a bike.) I asked him and he said that was it. But I'm not sure if that was really it or if he was just saying that because I asked him. It make sense, but I'm not positive.

We talked and talked more.  I explained to Super J that he has a right and obligation to question authority- even us. But he needs to be careful in the manner in which he questions. Questioning is good. Being rude and hateful are inexcusable.

We decided that the "grounding" was sufficient, but we did take away outside playtime with friends for the next two days. (One of his favorite things.)  There was a lot of crying and talking and crying and talking.

He says he gets it. He realizes how much his words and actions have hurt me lately. He is a very kind-hearted person.

I hope we are there. I hope he understands. I don't want to go through this again.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Warts and all

Super J (6) is going through something. I'm not sure what is going on with him.

Usually he practically has a halo following him around.

But lately? He's started with these little snide comments and some rude behaviors. Last week he even physically attacked me.

This kid is darn near perfect, so I really haven't known what to make of it.

And today? Well, today we got kicked out of Fernbank Museum.

We went there to meet some new homeschool friends. He had a couple of moments where we were having some issues. Nothing too major, though. He had run off and when I tried to talk to him about it, he was very, very rude to me. I told him that he lost treats for the day because of it.

Later, when it was close to time to go, he said he wanted to see an exhibit for a second time. We were taking the last of the friends left on the trip to see the star display. I told him that if he was nice during that time that we could certainly go back to the exhibit again.

He wasn't.

I very matter of factly told him we had to go and couldn't do anything else, because he was choosing to be unkind.

He started getting very upset and said he was going back to the exhibit himself. The elevator came. I calmly told him to get on the elevator, that it was time to go. He grabbed the stroller and started jerking it around screaming that we were staying. A security guard was on the elevator. He stepped out and helped me get in.  At this point (with other people on the very tiny elevator), Super J started screaming. Ear drum bursting, paint peeling, screaming.

I apologized to the other riders.

As we exited the elevator, he laid on the floor and continued to wail. I very calmly held his arm and started pulling him. Tornado started crying from sheer fear of Super J melting down. Sugar Britches started crying. And the security guard continued to usher us out the door and down the steps to the parking lot.

He remarked how calm I was. I looked at him and said, "this is not the good type of calm".

At the car, I had to nurse the baby. Super J was asking for a leaf he had found. This was the first time I turned on him. I told him that we had just been physically removed from a building for his behavior and he better not dare ask me for a single thing.

Great job, mom!

On the way home, I stopped for a rare treat of a drink for tornado. I refused to let Super J have one. I was trying to demonstrate that he didn't get rewarded for poor behavior.

Probably not the best parenting move.

Once we got home, I have made him sit at the dining room table with only books.

I'm hurt. I'm heartbroken at the things he has said to me lately. I don't know what to do.

This is not the way I want to parent, but I don't know what to do.

I don't think he can be allowed to treat people this way.

We have talked a lot.

But we talked a lot after the violence last week. And apparently, it didn't help.

This is me. Warts and all.

Fighting through this parenting thing pretending I know what I'm doing. When I don't have a clue. I'm second guessing myself all the time.

Wanting to give leniency and not wanting to raise a little person that is disrespectful and hateful and horrible to other people.

Wanting peace and finding discord.

Wanting love and being told I'm unlovable.

And trying again tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I am SO sorry for the blog neglect. I am not going to lie. That exchange kicked my tail. It was literally hours and hours and hours worth of work. Totally worth it! But still a ton of work. I just did not have time to do any posting. My apologies! But I will get back to it now that the exchange is mostly done.

In the ever present responses to "oh you homeschool?", one that I get is "I could never do that. I'm not smart enough."

A lot.

So, let me get this straight. The very same system that spit you out after twelve plus years made you "not smart enough" to educate your own child. The very same child that you know better than anyone else in the universe. This child that you watch every day. This child that you know all their quirks and what they are interested in and what they are passionate about. And you can't teach them.

That system failed you. But you think that system is good enough for your child.

Instead of making the world bigger to learn, you made your child smaller to conform. To regurgitate.

And you are trading your child's childhood for that system.

You aren't smart enough. You know what?

Neither am I.

But I will not put my kid into that system. I don't want them to grow up "not smart enough".

We will learn together. The system failed me.

It will not fail my kids. And neither will I.