Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Homeschooling - what do you think?

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

Hot enough for you out there?  Phew! 

So, jumping right into today's topic. 

The other day I was on a forum for Mom's in the area I live in.  One of the posts was "Homeschooling - what do you think?"

I read through a lot of the comments and was surprised and saddened with how many of the mom's commented that they would have loved to homeschool, but just didn't have the confidence.  I was probably just as surprised with the responses that said they disagreed with it and thought teachers were the only one's experienced enough to teach children.  I think my favorite quote was the mom who said ' I can't teach Susie to build space probes'.   Um...I don't think most teachers could either....   :)

This post came up at a good time for me because me and my hubby plan to discuss soon what we are doing in the Fall for our oldest.  She would be starting Grade 1.  So we will be deciding whether to keep her home another year or send her to school.

I wouldn't say I had a lot of confidence going into the homeschooling.  I have some now but I constantly second guess myself or get upset when a busy day goes by and we didn't get to our 'sit down' work.  Or a day like today where it was so nice out, finally, and we spent the afternoon outside playing in the sprinkler and plastic pool.  No 'sit down' work done today.  But days like today are part of the reason I wanted to homeschool.  I got to sit on my lawn chair playing with Martin and listening to Ryanne and Charlotte play. 

Charlotte was pretending the plastic pool was a skating rink and would circle around and then fall flat on her butt.  On purpose, of course.  She said she was learning to skate!  Ryanne was running through the sprinkler saying it was a water park and she was the maintenance worker.  She came over and asked if my 'little girl' (Charlotte) would like to come for a tour and see how the water park operates.  I agreed of course!  So she led Charlotte around and got her to 'help' with all the hard work the maintenance department has.  It was so fun to watch! 

So maybe we didn't get our 'sit down' work in but they got to use their imaginations and I got to enjoy it.  I will definitely cherish the memories of today.  We can catch up on the 'sit down' work another day instead.

Back to the forum post though.  It got me to thinking about why I wanted to homeschool and if I'm getting what I want out of it...or just creating a lot of added stress and work.  It's not easy and it kind of makes you a bit of an outsider.  I constantly worry and wonder if my kids are getting enough out of it, but forget sometimes to check that I'm getting something out of it too.

I have to say so far it's worth it.  I've gotten to do some great things with my kids and see them accomplish some great things!  I'm proud of them so often.  It is hard.  It is a lot of work.  I do put a lot of stress on myself.  But I'm willing to do that a little bit longer if that's the route we decide to take.

So, after thinking over everything, I put my thoughts up on the forum about homeschooling.  I've pasted my response below and decided I would share with you guys too.

-----------Homeschooling - what do you think?---------------------------------------------------------------

I guess you could say I'm for it. I've been homeschooling for about 2 years.

I have no issue with schools and I'm sure when the time comes my kids will like school a lot.

I didn't make the decision to homeschool easily. It came with a lot of thought and stress. But when it came down to it I am doing it for a lot of the same reasons I chose to stay home from work.

Life is too short. My kids are growing up so fast and who's to say I'll be around forever. When I did send my kids to day care, the day care got the best hours of their day. They got to teach them all the fun stuff I had imagined I would teach my kids. I was jealous of this. I got them at night when they were hungry and tired. It wasn’t much fun.
By homeschooling I get to see them at their best (and worst). I get to teach them. I get to see the pride on their face. The smile after they accomplish something. Know what they are interested in.

It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. Some days I wish I’d sent them to school so my house would be clean and organized. Or just to get a break from ‘them’. But I made this decision and I’m happy with it for now.

I don’t think that I know ‘everything’ and can teach my children’ best’. But I can show them how and where to find out the things that I don’t. And having that skill will be valuable.

I was very lucky to have the choice to stay home and the choice to homeschool. Not everyone has that choice. Not everyone wants that choice. But I put a lot of thought into my choice and find it tough to swallow when people make assumptions and judgements about my choice. I do want what is best for my kids. I do want what is best for my family. I’m not trying to set them up for failure. I’m not trying to protect them from the world. I want to enjoy them. I want to teach them confidence and independence. I want to help them have a love for learning.

It's interesting to see all the comments. Was interested when I saw this thread.

So I guess that’s my personal take on it.

Friday, 20 May 2011

End of the World As We Know It...

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

So apparently...according to the news...tomorrow is the End of the World!  At 6pm.

I have no idea of this is true or not.  But it did get me to thinking.  If I somehow had the
inside scoop about when the world was ending...what would I do? 

Here's what I came up with:

1.  Update my status on Facebook so my family and close friends would know.
2.  Update my blog so my cubicle buddies would know.
3.  Contact some of the media networks to let the rest of the world know.
4.  Try my best not to yell at my kids and make sure I tell them how much I love them.
5.  Try my best not to yell at my hubby and make sure I tell him how much I love him.  :)
6.  Make sure my last encounters with friends and family were left on good terms so they knew I loved them.
7.  Have a few 7 course meals with all my favorite foods.  Nachos, steak, fries, cake, chocolate fondue with fruit, asparagus, raspberries, ice cream with chocolate and peanut butter in it...to name a few things.
8.  Stay up as late as I wanted at night by a campfire watching the stars and chatting with my hubby.
9.  Leave the house alone.  No need to clean up if I can be spending time doing things I enjoy instead.
10.  Travel.  Depends how much warning I'm given.  But if I get a bit of notice then we are spending all our money and travelling!

What I wouldn't be doing?  Standing on a corner holding a sign to tell people the end is near.  My feet would be sore at the end of the day.  My hands and arms would get tired of holding the sign for so long (I know this from having to hold my 15 pound baby all day every day lately).  I'd feel like I was wasting my last few days!  There are easier and faster ways to spread the word.  Just a thought.

As I look over my list I think these are good ways to live in general.  Since I don't know when the end is coming exactly.  I didn't get the inside scoop this time around.  But I think I may just have to check this list occasionally and make sure I'm living life the way I want.  Hope you do the same! 

So, here's to living life my friend!  Cheers!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rain Rain Go Away!!!

Hey there Cubicle Buddies!

I've got the Spring time blahs. Never knew they existed to be honest. I've heard of the Winter blues and that made sense to me. But now I'm inventing the Spring time blahs! It's so wet out! It's raining all the time! And the forecast is so depressing as it shows a week of wet with very little chance of sunshine.

I usually like Spring. I look forward to the flowers growing, the birds chirping and seeing the buds on trees. I accept that rain is a part of this process. I do! But Spring usually has a bit of SUN to go with it! Mother Nature has been teasing us this year. She gives us one or two really nice days with sun and heat...and then throws two weeks of rain at us! What did we do to make her so angry at us? I don't think I did anything.....was it you?

I so badly want that perfect Spring day where it's warm enough for shorts...but occasionally a brisk wind blows by and gives you goose bumps and brings a smile to your face as you realize Spring is finally here.

To go with my Spring time blahs I now have a sick baby. My poor 4 month old is so stuffy and coughing and can't sleep. And when baby can't sleep...mommy doesn't sleep. It all goes with the territory of having a baby. I'm not complaining about that. It's just tough to adjust to. Especially since my poor baby has spoiled me by sleeping through the night for 2 months already! So I have to adjust to lack of sleep again. And anyone who knows me knows I don't require a lot of sleep to function. I'm a night owl. Always have been and always will be. It's not uncommon to find emails from me sitting in your In Box sent at 1am. But there's a definite relationship between how much sleep I get and the level of patience I have for my kids or in general really.

So today I find myself not being the ‘perfect mom’.  I haven’t been using my ‘big girl’ words as much as I should.  Those day to day reminders I’m required to pass on like; say thank you, no you can’t have Easter candy for breakfast, take your dishes to the counter, flush the toilet, don’t yell, don’t whine, don’t kick your sister, I think you can get your own water, leave the cat alone, etc have been said with a bit of ‘edge’ to them.    
Every time I say one of these daily reminders I look out the closest window and say a little prayer for some sun.  The sun will solve everything!  We’ll be outside and happy!  No one ever gets sick when the sun is shining!  And if we are all happy and no one is sick then I’ll be well rested again!  Right? 

So I’ll put a smile on my face and I will make it through this week, sleep or not.  I know that my dream will come true and that perfect Spring day is just around the corner.  So think of me and the big smile on my face on that first day you get those goose bumps! 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Stop This Roller Coaster of News. I Wanna Get Off!

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

Wow, it’s been a while.  I apologize.  Wish it was because I was on vacation…but nope.  Just really busy.
But I’d love to catch up with you!  Let me know what is happening please!
I’ll do my best to listen but I have to tell you, my brain is on information overload!  There has been so much in the news lately and my brain can't take it!  It jumps from one thing to the other without finishing a thought and I need it to slow down so I can just process it all and think about it.
Here are the things I’ve been following and a bit about what it’s doing to my brain.  I’ll try to keep it short…
·         Tornados – The weather lately has been really crazy and the number of tornados down in the States or even here in Ontario have kept me on top of things.  I am TERRIFIED of tornados.  I don’t know why.  I used to have a reoccurring nightmare when I was younger that there was a tornado coming and my family ran down to the park and hid in the playground equipment.  Maybe that’s why I am scared of tornados.  We were idiots thinking we were safe there!  J   So with my fear of tornados I am pretty much terrified through any storm that comes along and I spend my time walking back and forth from the front window to the computer to see what the Environment Canada website is saying.  Then I stare at the basement door and wonder if I should just take the kids and go down there.  But I don’t want to pass on this fear to them so the entire time I’m doing all of this I have a smile on my face and keep saying ‘Wow.  Look at this storm.  Some people really love rain storms.  Nature is an amazing thing isn’t it?  Oh, look at the gusts of wind!’  So when I follow the news and see how many tornados there have been and lives lost and homes, I am sad for the people affected.  I can’t help but picture their terror during the tornado. 

·         The Royal Wedding – I didn’t do a lot of reading about this ahead of time but you can’t help but have heard so much about it.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to get up early the morning of because let’s face it.  I can tape it and watch it later…or catch all the clips on the news that day.  But then so many people kept saying how they remembered when they were young and woke up early to watch the Royal wedding with Diana.  I recall snippets of this and thought.  Yeah.  It’s true.  Everyone commented on how they woke up early more than anything else.   Cause it was fun and something different to do!  And it’s a story about a princess!   So I too joined the world in waking up early to watch this wedding.  And for this same reason I woke up my kids too.  Now…I did tape it and woke them up later to watch it…but I still woke them up ‘early’ so they too can tell people someday that they woke up early for the Royal Wedding with Kate.  We had tea and toast on a somewhat fancy tablecloth in front of our TV and had a great time!  I got caught up in the moment and spent the day being happy for this newly wed couple and hoped they were enjoying their day too.

·         Bin Laden – Late Sunday night my husband was on the computer and read the news.  So we waited up and watched the president tell the news on TV.  I could not process this for some reason.  I sat there and watched it and could not decide if I believed it or not.  But why would they lie?  But of course people lie all the time.  Then when I thought I’d maybe come to terms with it…they announce the next morning that they’ve buried him at sea.  What?  I’m not sure what I thought they would do…but it just seemed so….bizarre?  Then I struggled with how I felt about the killing in general.   Don’t get me wrong.  I have no sympathy.  But I still feel confused about how I feel about the whole thing.

·         Canadian Election – I’ve been trying to teach some of this to my girls as part of our homeschooling.  We got a ton of information from Student Vote (which was awesome!).  They sent us actual voting booths and ballot boxes and ballots and maps of Canada and Ontario with all of the ridings.   I kept it pretty basic but my girls loved going behind their booth and writing on paper and then putting it in the ballot box and kept telling me to ‘SSShhh…we are concentrating on voting mom!’  Then we took the 2008 information and coloured in the ridings on the Ontario map to show the party colours.  Then we would go back after the results and make any changes from this election.   So taking the girls with me to vote was fun for them because they had done this so many times at home.  They wanted to stay up to watch the results and were disappointed that it would be too late for them.  So, I was much more interested in the election because I’d put so much into it with my kids.  I was glued to the TV and internet for the most up to date info.  It was a great election to show my kids what can happen.  How I will explain it all or even what I will explain I still haven’t completely decided.  But I was very shocked by the results.  When I finally went to bed I couldn’t sleep trying to figure out how Harper got a majority.  Even today I find myself not being able to process this information. 

·         Easter – Finally, although there are lots of every day pieces of news that make me think and busy days with my 3 kids and our activities…Easter still looms in the back of my head…because it brought  so much CHOCOLATE into my house!  I can’t stop thinking about chocolate.  What is an acceptable amount to eat each day?  If I eat it all quickly then it will just be gone and I can move on with life.  Or I could eat it slowly and make it last…or maybe I’ll get sick of it!  Ha ha!  Right!  So usually by the time I am in bed I’m either thinking ‘Oh…I ate too much chocolate. (groan) I’ll never get to sleep! (groan) I need water!  Cold water!’   Or I’m thinking ‘OH!  I totally forgot to eat that Easter cream egg I was waiting to have after the girls went to bed….I could go eat it now.  It would be so yummy.  I might forget to eat it again tomorrow and then Dave might eat it instead and then I’ll be craving an Easter cream egg for weeks!’ 

So as you can see, I need the news world to slow down for a bit so I can process all of the above.  I need to get a good night sleep for goodness sake!