Valentine’s Day, New Homeschool Mommies and More

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Next Time We Are Making Our Own!

Gah! I have to say it again (having already said it to her), my friend Bethany was totally right.

I teased her relentlessly on Facebook yesterday over her posts of making her own valentine’s cards for 84, yes that’s right, EIGHTY FOUR students. Actually, times two, because her middle child came to the LEARN party as well, so 168 Valentine’s Day cards.

I was sitting at home, feeling quite sorry for myself as I suffered from weird intestinal issues. “I’ll buy mine,” I announced cheerfully, and after dropping Em off at her music class I made the trek to Wal-Mart and stood there, befuddled and sick, trying to calculate how many cards I needed to buy.

Somehow I managed to buy 192 cards when I only needed 84 + 12 (for the second Valentine’s Day party we went to later today at Park Side).

And at 8 a.m. this morning it suddenly occurred to me that we needed to (duh) sign Emily’s name to them. We opened them up and Em got to signing as I stared in dismay at the cards. Not only did we need to sign them, but we also needed to add a little sticker/tattoo doohickey to the card AND fold them and seal them with a heart sticker.

“Oh hell no,” were the words out of my mouth. Yes, I swear around my impressionable young daughter, deal with it.

It took us an HOUR to complete the sign your name, insert sticker/tattoo here and put into the bag routine. I handed Em all of the sheets of stickers and instructed her to become the Mad Sticker Person. The rest of our visit to LEARN I would see the little red heart stickers showing up on arms, faces, clothing, bags, and backs of various attendees. The kid took her mad stickering job very seriously.

I figure it took me an hour to drive to the Wal-Mart and back, just so I could spend $15 on crap that required assembly, the very thing I was attempting to avoid. Next year we are making our own!

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Homeschooling Can Be Intimidating, Even for Teachers

In the midst of my intestinal issues yesterday, the grown daughter of my neighbor, and new homeschool mom, came by for a visit with her son.

He is nine years old, and she removed him from public school this year to try on homeschooling for size. She was a teacher at some point, and we sat and talked learning and homeschooling for an hour or more.

For some reason it always takes me by surprise when a former teacher turned homeschool mom (or dad) expresses nervousness or worry over whether or not they are homeschooling the “right” way.

For the life of me, I cannot seem to understand it. After all, they were trained on educational methods. Teaching their children would seem to me like a walk in the park.

That said, we have a lovely conversation and I realized she struggled with the same things I did at first – self-doubt (am I teaching the basics, am I keeping up?), socialization (does my son/daughter have enough social interaction with other children?), and more.

I told her that it gets better. And it does. It is scary at first, but homeschooling is NOT reproducing the public school environment at home, it just isn’t.

  • You don’t have to spend hours homeschooling…unless you and your child absolutely want to. Learning occurs far quicker when it is a 1:1 ratio.
  • You don’t have to touch all of the subjects every day…life is not a perfect balance of social studies, science, English, math and more. It is crafts heavy one day, science heavy the next.
  • Public schools do not encourageĀ socialization, they discourage it…don’t talk in the halls, no more recess, don’t talk at lunch. Unless socialization is forming cliques and teaching your children to only associate with others that are born within the same year as him (like you ever see that in the real world). Socialization, if you must call it that, can be easily solved by involving your child(ren) in a play group or co-op and encouraging them to play with kids in the neighborhood after the schools let out.

She has joined LEARN and I look forward to seeing how her thoughts and attitudes evolve in the coming months and years.

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She is Fearless and Determined

A couple of weeks ago, Em ran into a bit of a friendship snag. She really liked this girl who was in all of her LEARN classes, Peacequest, Girl Scouts, AND her acting class on Wednesday nights. Basically we see her EVERYWHERE.

The girl was a couple of years older and fast friends with another girl her own age. I think that Em struck her as a little young, but she also was really close friends with this other girl and wanted to basically spend her time exclusively with her.

Em reacted with confusion and sadness. Why didn’t this girl like her? Why was she not wanting to sit with her or be friends?

Tears were shed and I struggled to explain the situation, grasping at possible explanations, hoping things would resolve themselves – either she would move on and make other friends or the girl would warm up to her.

Either way, I hoped for the best. My little girl wears her heart on her sleeve, and even as I explained that she wasn’t going to win over everyone, no matter how nice she was, that some people were simply not a good fit, she would hear none of it.

And over the past two weeks she has been on a campaign of friendship, an all out “bang my drug, YOU are going to be my friend” kind of focus. She has been beyond nice, extra nice, in the girl’s face and world in every possible way, determined to win this girl’s heart over. Today, for the Valentine’s party she made three “special” Valentine’s cards – one for her friend Ellie, one for another older girl she likes, and one for this girl who, while friendly, had remained a bit standoffish.

The determination my little one has exhibited has impressed and inspired me. She knows what she wants and refuses to give up. The girl in question has warmed considerably. I see her with a bemused expression on her face, somewhat taken aback by the tenacity of this younger child, and definitely willing to consider expanding her friend base.

I remember what it was like as a child. I fell in love in a way, wanting one friend and one friend only, unwilling to share my heart and every possible free moment with anyone but that ONE friend. Now, as an adult, I recognize and truly appreciate the depth and variety of so many wonderful, funny, comfortable female friends. I know now that having one friend, just one, limits our worldview and is just a wedge of what is possible to have.

Emily has always held her heart open to so many and I love that about her. I want that for her and I am glad she is so outgoing and that her days are filled with friendly faces and play.

Homeschooling Article

I found an interesting article on the Huffington Post about homeschool. Enjoy!

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