Entries Tagged 'children' ↓

Happy Birthday

Mark, you have no idea how proud you make me. You fight to prove yourself every day, I see you try. With your tenacity and energy I am excited to see what your future holds. You’re wicked smart and driven, alternately cheeky and sweet. Happy 6th birthday, Little Man, quit trying to grow so fast.

Happy Birthday

It’s amazing watching you come into your own.

Pants are “icky” and sparkles and princesses color your world. I may not understand the appeal, but I love seeing life through your eyes.

I love that you stand your ground and don’t let the boys push you around. I can only hope that trait stays with you through your life. Your brothers love you, even when they are tormenting you. Don’t believe me? Just wait until the first kid outside of our family picks on you. Your brothers have already been planning for years what to do if they ever find a bully; I already feel a little sorry for that kid.

If you only knew how short these four years have been.

I Should be Doing Other Things

Yet, I don’t feel good so Ellie and I are lounging in bed and watching stupid videos.

My favorite find this morning? Paul Klusman’s Dorky Cat Videos.  As most of you know, I have a thing for engineers, being married to one, it’s sort of a given. And cats? Well, I don’t mind them so much online where they can’t make me sneeze.

For those wondering why the recent rash (comparative) of posts? I’m trying to be better about keeping my life here. You know where I won’t lose it if Zuck and co have a bad day.

Other little updates:

Less than a month until my first conference of the year. I’ll be speaking on two topic.

I got a positive response from a HARO inquiry. Like a dumbarse, I forgot to save the original query, so I have no idea whether it was for a national publication or not. We’ll see what happens there and in the meantime I’ll keep plugging away and answering queries.

Last night’s first ever #homechat with Angela England went quite well.  She’s the founder of Untrained Housewife, we cover similar topics, but our audience is  little different. In the one hour chat, we had 53 participants and over 350 tweets. I’m looking forward to next week’s.

Despite our issues with Aidan’s charter school, we’re going to finish out the school year. Hopefully next year he’ll get into the local magnet school or perhaps other situations will change and we can swing private. Who knows.

I’ve been working with Mark on reading and he’s picking it up like a champ. School is going to be a piece of cake with him. Aidan is bright and curious -he digs science and history and picks up math like it’s his native tongue. However, he hates anything where there’s actual work involved (writing for example). I have the feeling once he can type there will be no stopping him. Mark? Well, he’s driven to be better than Aidan in everything and will pursue it no matter how much work is required. He’s taught himself to write, granted it’s often still a mirror image of regular writing (this happened after his cast came off and he switched back to his left hand) his letter formation is spot on.

Aidan recently announced to his violin teacher that he’s going to write a book on the Civil War and the Revolutionary War to help pay bills. Kids. What do you do?

Ellie? Well we have entered the bald Barbie stage of parenting. She has a stash of scissors somewhere and it frequently looks like it has snowed in our house from all the paper snips. She’s happy, it’s mostly harmless and supposedly good for fine motor skills. I let it go.


My kids all have big personalities.

They are constantly on top of me.

In my face.


They need something.

They are hurt, they need fixing.

They need to be fed.

They need to be held.

They need to be wiped.

Then there’s their messes.

Their bickering.

Their noise.

I forget how small they are.

Until I see them as others do.

I Didn’t Shoot the Messenger

But I was sorely tempted.

If you hang out on Facebook, you probably already saw this.

My oldest is 7, he attends virtual charter school which is funded by the state of South Carolina’s public school system. Today I sent an email, through their obnoxious proprietary mail system, to the teacher to make sure everything was up to date and that we were we needed to be.

My kid isn’t a genius. He’s bright, he’s inquisitive, and can almost rival me in the stubborn department.

Last year my son started kindergarten and finished the 1st grade curriculum for phonics and math. They don’t let children complete more than one year in the other subjects: history, science, art, music, and PE.

That was fine, his favorite subjects are history and science and he’d do those all day long, if I facilitated it. Don’t worry, it’s not like I restrict learning activities after school is done for the day, I just don’t force them or do the ones provided by the school after our work is completed. Maybe that means I’m not “up to the task” or not cut out for this. Whatever. He’s ahead, he’s happy, we’re getting through. I think that means we’re doing ok.

What ticked me off is this. The response to my email was, “your son is progressing too quickly in math and will run out of lessons.” They won’t release the third grade curriculum for him until he is in the 2nd grade. She suggested instead of progressing, he should “play learning games.”

Our daily math lesson usually consists of handing him two assessments. If he makes a 100% he’s got the concept mastered. If he doesn’t we go over the lesson(s).  Sometimes we play a math game, he loves the games.

Is it crazy to want to reach a point where my child is challenged by the curriculum? I don’t really think that’s out of line.

What I’d like is to progress to a point where the lesson is actually needed, so he can learn how to learn. I was a lazy student, I didn’t get that skill until well into college. I relied on my ability to absorb the information from half-listening to my teachers. I coasted with good grades, without doing homework, until after graduation.

My husband? Same story.

What I hate is that each week we have to sit through a one hour online lesson geared toward where the 1st graders should be in the 1st grade curriculum. He’s bored, I’m bored, but we sit through it. I’m sure review is great, yada yada yada. (We also have the same deal for Language Arts, makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil, but I plaster on a smile and redirect his attention to the computer screen every 25 seconds for 45 – 60 minutes)

As far as Language Arts, he’ll finish the 2nd grade program this year. We’ve reached a point where he has to work to remember the spelling words, but he gets them. His reading and comprehension are great. His grammar is good. I’m ok with this. He’s still developing the fine motor skills for good handwriting (and the patience to write is another story entirely, but we’re getting there). So I don’t push him in Language Arts, we’re moving at the expected pace.

Next year he’ll be labeled a 2nd grader, but take 3rd grade English and 3rd grade math.

I need the structure of a program like this one. Where there is a laid out curriculum and some oversight, it helps keep me on track. What I don’t like is this arbitrary crap preventing his progress.

The Boys’ Music Recital June ’10

Another family post.

Here is the video from the boys’ violin recital.

Two for Tuesday, Easter Best

Homeschooling, Just One Reason

I don’t talk about Aidan’s education much. We are using the state funded k12 program; it’s a home-based charter school that gives us an amazing amount of flexibility with our schedules. This morning I was reading BuzzMachine, a blog by Jeff Jarvis, when I came upon this statement in TedxNYed: This is Bullshit:

We must stop looking at education as a product – in which we turn out every student giving the same answer – to a process, in which every student looks for new answers. Life is a beta.

I can’t begin to wrap my mind around the idea of the amount of information at my fingertips.  What I’m doing at Home Ec 101 isn’t creating information, it’s simply listening to the questions people are asking and distilling the information into a form some people find more palatable.

Do I know what the kids will end up doing or being?


I want to teach them to find the information they need, to vet it, process it, and perhaps share it in a new form.


Parenting Aside

I’ve read a lot of advice to parents and most of it has been utter crap, with the boys.

With Ellie the little magic tricks all seem to work. Want her to lower her voice, I simply have to whisper. If I say she needs to be gentle because something hurts, she gets very concerned and wants to give me a kiss.

The boys? It’s always been a matter of enforcing boundaries to keep them from running pell mell over everything, destroying themselves, the house, and people’s opinions in the process.

I was recently recognized in the grocery store as the lady from church with three kids. She was very kind, but I had to wonder how hard she had to work to not say the crazy lady from church with three kids.

Yes, I am procrastinating.