Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Things Homeschoolers Do That Are Not Awesome

I love, love, love the homeschooling community. Love it. These are some of the most inclusive bunch of independents you'll ever meet. Most of us love to include newbies and prospectives in our lives and convince them "You can do it! But only if you want to!" And it will look different than any other homeschool.
"You can!" is our motto. Patience is not a prerequisite! Someone say, "Amen!" Right now. Say it!

Also, homeschoolers, by and large, have a bit of a rebellious streak, a quality you need in order to go against the grain and I dig that junk. It takes guts to do life differently than the norm. Again. I dig that in people. A lot of homeschoolers parent well, too. They aren't perfect, but they are doing the hard stuff and that's worth something in my book. I'm not talking about parenting the way I do. I mean parenting their way, well.
People takin' Deuteronomy 6 seriously? I'm all about it.

But, let me tell you something. There are some thangs about my own kind that are just not awesome. And, I'm man enough to look inward and call us out on the screen for it! (It's a short list; most of what homeschoolers do is on the pro-awesome list.)

~Unschooling.
I'm just gonna come on out with a bang here. Fire the cannons. I know my deal is that I just don't understand it, but I just don't understand it! I am a pretty relaxed homeschooler. As in, our schedule is quite flexible. Hellerr!? Homeschool perk. But, I just can't go lettin' these yayhoos direct their learnin'! (Ya like that? Stellar writing.) They would direct their learning to Netflix! Now, when they were little, we were more flexible with this, for sure. They got all into horses, we did a unit study on horses. But, I still directed the process. I guess that was unschooling, but as they get older and college preparatory material, we've got to cover some historical facts that they would never "direct" themselves to. No on the unschooling here. Yes, on the relax.
Frankie says "Relax. Don't do it."
You clicked the link, didn't you?
~Not telling the ugly truth.
I've said before, I have made it my goal to put it out there. The good, the bad, & the ugly of homeschooling. Yes, homeschooling has been great for our family, and I'm grateful for it. Most days. But, I'm not going to paint this serene picture of peace-filled schooling every day for five years now. There have been more than a few days when I would've let these students be schooled by the Manson family. I don't believe that has one thing to do with homeschooling. That is a result of a houseful of sinners living under the same roof. (Church word alert: Sinners- those who are born selfish, temperamental, prideful, mouthy, prone to anger, & otherwise jacked up. Ex., your writer.)
That said, it gets more and more peaceful the longer we do it and the girls get older. The early days years? Yah. I quit every month.
I just think this is hilarious. Plus, are his glasses the cutest?!
~DEFENSE! DEFENSE!
Why are we so defensive about homeschooling? People are curious about homeschooling as a lifestyle. There are still folks (in Texas, no less) that aren't even sure homeschooling is legal! I have straight up seen with my very own corrected eyes mommas get a total panty wad over someone asking genuine questions about homeschooling. "How do they take the STAAR test?" is not the same as asking, "Is your kid too stupid for public school?" Be gracious. Good Lord, just like people. Come to think of it, this probably isn't a homeschool thing. Just a personality issue. These are probably the same people that complain about food and service and restaurants all the time. GAH! I can't deal.

Moving on...

~"Oh, Alexander Graham would be in 7th grade, but he's really a junior in high school." Listen. Listen. Listen, Linda. (I crack myself up.) I know, as homeschoolers, we tend to be a little non-conformist. I love it. But, when you sign Alexander Graham up for co-op or Sunday School or whatever, if he is the age of a 7th grader, he's in 7th grade. Tell him to humble himself and answer truthfully when someone asks him what grade he is in: 7th grade. Unless he's Doogie freakin' Houser and has a degree to prove it, he can hang with the peasants his own age every now and again. Also, if you or Doogie are always having to tell people how smart, mature, gifted, gag he is, he probably isn't as gag as you think. If he is, in fact, as wicked smaht (#BostonStrong) and mature as y'all think, the rest of us are smart enough to figure it out and make adjustments accordingly. Let other people notice the mature prodigy you are raising and offer to "promote", if that's even the right word.
POTUS or Doogie. Either will work. :)
~Being apathetic to current events, news, even some pop culture & trends.
I'm all for not assimilating to the culture. I get standing apart and all that biblical language. But to brag about not knowing about world events is just...Jerky McGavin. You shouldn't brag about not knowing about special elections or current news, you should apologize for it. I've had to do it. "Oh, goodness. I have not heard anything about that. I have been so self involved lately that I haven't seen or read a bit of news. What is going on with that?" Also, I have to chuckle when someone who uses social media (!!) claims not to know Harry Connick, Jr. is a judge on American Idol. Shut it. I'm calling Bull Honky. I get that you are trying to avoid all things "idol" cause it's a Commandment and all, but do not think for a split second that I believe you use Facebook and didn't know that jazz. See what I did there?

Anyway. That's it. If I say any more things that get on my nerves I'll be talking about the junk that goes on just outside this bedroom door. Ha! Like none of these goes on in this house!? Psshaw.

What about your own kind gets your goat?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

11 Things I've Learned from Being Her Mom.

Last week, my oldest turned 13. I wrote a post of 13 Promises for a 13 Year Old. 

And, now, this nonsense: this little gardener is 11 today. 

So ridiculous, really. I feel like I just wrote this for her 10th birthday.

Proud gardener at 5.
I tell you what, I just can not imagine a world with out this one. 
She's like a small adult in so many ways, wise well beyond her years.

She's taught me a few things these last 11 years. 

Here's 11 things I've learned by being her mom:

1. Kids will repeat anything you say.
Before her FIRST birthday, I kid you not, this kid was verbal. Spouse was fussing at me for a certain word I use(d) often, warning me that she would repeat it. I was trying to stop saying it, so while I was on the phone with her in the back seat, I was careful to spell out, "C-R-A-P". About 2.85 seconds later, little Chatty Cathy in the back starts repeating, 
"Cee-Aww-Ay-Pee, Cee-Aww-Ay-Pee". Good job, Mom. 

2. Kids want to learn from you.
Seriously. They do. Teach them well. 
Respect their intelligence and, on occasion, let them use power tools.


3. When you wear a uniform, rock it.
She is more than just a cutesy dimple.


 4. "Dealing with yourself is hard, isn't it?" - My Spouse says this when necessary.
Cause, ya know. Mini-me. I've had to learn to handle her in the way I need to be handled, 
not in the way that comes naturally. 


5. Your children will use your words against you.
Because #2 is true, they are listening.
Not really feeling like serving someone at a particular time, she said, respectfully,
 "Mom, people first. This is about relationships." 
She's also been known to say, "Mom, have you had lunch?" on an occasion when I was a little on the hangry side. 
6. Aim high.
Driving through a more affluent area of H-town a couple of years ago, she asked how much a particular house cost. I looked it up and told her, "$5 million. So, if you study super hard and get a great job, maybe you can buy that house." 
She said, "Can't I just marry a millionaire?" Well, there's that.

7. Aim high. No really.
This cutesy sets the bar to just above excellence. She doesn't begin anything she can't pursue with diligence and excellence.  I mean anything. Like make the bed or a school assignment or pack a suitcase.  

8. Your kids see things you don't see.
Open your eyes. Ask them what they see.


 9-11. Any time is snuggle time.
This child is the 'snugglingest' kid ever.



Honestly.
She & Hannah snuggling on a long car ride.


 So grateful to be these yayhoos' mom.

Happy birthday, Little Sister. I love you more than pickle juice.