Tag Archives: Curriculum

Super mom is dead.

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Super mom is dead.

I sat in my daughters horseback riding lesson, up in the upper viewing area. I sat there with another homeschool mom. We chatted for a while, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. I was reading a book on my iPad and she was going through her grocery list, recipes and printed ingredients list. I glanced over and sighed. I wish I could be like that, but really it’s just not going to happen. Not in this lifetime, nope. I started letting my mind go down the rabbit hole, you know the one. perfect homeschool mom, perfect organized house, perfect super intelligent kids. I looked at my daughter through the window she sat taller, smiled at me, I smiled back her grin was really infectious. I looked over at my friend asking her husband if he liked a certain recipe. My husband was driving my other daughter to soccer and well I don’t even think we ate. Sigh. I also forgot my daughters homework, well I didn’t, she did. The truth is she has a slight dyslexia and well her working memory is well not working for her. I chatted a little more and found out that this other homeschooling mom has 2 daughters with Dyslexia, and well she struggled with the same things I did. she just was a little more organized than me. We chatted and laughed about our circumstances and funny thing, I really didn’t care if she had all her recipes and lists. I know what my family likes. I can cook well and most days what’s a recipe?Mom

The next day I was on Facebook or fakebook, however you choose to view it. I was being informed by people I actually know and respect that if I didn’t take a particular health drink, wellness product, diet supplement ,(whatever) I was categorized as a supplement snob.I also have heard that I’m apparently supposed to be a super mom. naps are not okay and we need this wonderful , amazing , product for energy.( Where in the world did we ever get the idea that we were not supposed to be tired?? )Seriously.( disclaimer; I know people are trying to be healthy and um  make money, I’m all for it. But I am not for highschool pressure and bandwagon advertising. I’m for sustainable health that can be grown, not bought.If this particular health choice is for you, have at it. But please stay off my news feed with your sales pitches. Thanks) I mean is this highschool where we pressure moms ( who in my opinion are already under so much pressure) to purchase products?  It brought me back to one day at my high school, Nonnewaug in Woodbury Ct. I was not the kind of person to follow fashions, fads or people. I was very much just me. Save your brand names for someone who actually cares, I don’t. I’ve seen people in designer jeans punch the lights out of a sweet overweight boy and I’ve seen dept. store clothing on a skinny nerd protect that same boy from the popular bully. Clearly clothes don’t make the person. Anyway I’m in the bathroom and this popular, designer girl says to me,” Oh hey I love your shirt. Did you get this at”( totally forget where) I actually had bought this shirt after work, at the mall, but there was something in me that just could not tell her that. So I looked her right in the eye and said” Actually I got this at Kmart, On Sale.” She got really red and said, “oh um”, and walked out. I washed my hands with a special smirk on my face. So here I am on Facebook and I have absolutely NO desire to follow diet fads or homeschool fads or any such thing. I’m me. That’s it. If I like something on Facebook and my whole world didn’t like it, I like it. I don’t wait for someone I know to like it. God made me an individual. That means I’m gonna like, do and be things others completely disagree with. I will not follow the herd. I actually do not care if people talk about my blog , my choice in music or how I raise my children. I just can only do the thing God called me to do, and that means being me. (Which surprisingly is really difficult to do).

So I ignore the sales pitches on Facebook, I disregard how to organize your home in 10 easy steps. I drink my delicious coffee and smile. When I’m tired, I allow myself time to unwind, read, sleep, whatever I have to do to rejuvenate. There was a once upon a time where I felt guilty for it. I mean I’m a Christian and a homeschooling mom. I’m supposed to work harder than everyone. I’m supposed to farm, teach, clean , drive, love, be the perfect mom, wife and believer. I nearly killed myself.( and i am serious, depression, nerve pain which i still have forever, along with my mind which betrays me. bad stuff) So now that I have 4 back surgeries under my ,um belt? I decided that I definitely did not fit the qualifications for supermom. I fit the qualifications for Barb, who gets tired during the day, who absolutely loves super heroes( like cute ones LOL) who loves Ron Paul, Joel Salatin and thinks very Libertarian. Who loves Tom Woods but wishes my mind could think like him. I love my kids, but honestly this homeschooling is hard and there are days I’d ship them off to Narnia. They can drive me right to the brink of crazy and back.( I think my husband wonders if I came back) I love my husband and we have a great relationship. I don’t post mushy , I love my husband posts. Honestly we are not like that. We laugh, zing each other, yell at each other and we both accept the days of exhaustion that consume us and fall in our beds mumbling about how tired we are LOL. I don’t need people to think we are perfect or my kids are perfect. They aren’t. We are all undone right? I’m also someone who cannot tolerate heat, like the overwhelming kind. It makes me freak out and think about things I usually don’t even think about. I hate to hear about suffering of any kind, it gives me a terror or sense of dread I could never explain. I will always speak out about anyone who abuses children and I don’t care if they were your favorite Christian celebrity,rock star or President. That doesn’t make me bitter, unforgiving and helpless,  that makes me passionate and mad as heck that people abuse power and trust. Please don’t tell me how to heal or forgive with idioms or preaching videos. I honestly don’t need them. I function( most days) just fine The past is the past until it steps on the heels of the present. Then I have to refocus and regroup. Yes that is hard, yes it messes with my mind and yes i have to fight for everything I’m worth.There is no magic wand to erase the feeling of dread, of complete utter terror. It’s not going to go away. (where are the MIB when you need them?) So here’s me. A bit of a mess, A bit crazy and a whole lot sarcastic. I am not a super mom. I don’t need a super pill. I have A Super God. He’s always been sufficient, even when I’m not. Be you. Living for everyone else is just exhausting!super god

People

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She posted again. her fantastic recipe for homemade laundry soap. I just bought my Arm-n-Hammer from the grocery store. Well, at least I used a coupon? Scrolling through Facebook another friend was telling me how to home-school. If I even dare consider Common Core I must be a communist or something. The handwriting program I have for my son is Common Core aligned. “Heil Hitler? Another mom posted on modesty as my daughter ran by in her bathing suit to swim in our pond. Oops cross that off the list. I also must make Kombucha, If not I am not the Homesteading mama. I am a failure. Oh and sleepovers are completely sin. Any mother even considering it is worldly and asking for trouble. Sorry kids, I failed that one too. I guess ministering to those girls was a mistake? Teaching them to pray, to shower, to love. allowing them to have fun without judgement. Psht, what a terrible idea.I just got my scores back from the standardized testing my kids took. I have now allowed them to be data mined in the system. What a complete ignorant socialist I am. My unsaved friend told me yesterday another Christian won’t let her 17 year teen over because she is not a “true blooded Christian”. ( she meant saved) . I guess I’m not either, I allowed my son over. She’s been at my house chatting, laughing, talking about family, struggles and God.

Friends whatever happened to caring about people?

My husband taught me this the other day. We have a neighbor who is a Vietnam Vet. He is gruff. He will talk of Dem.O.Crats,( pronounce each syllable, it sounds more disgusting) women and possibly a various ethnic person. He has one eye. You can’t tell because He has a glass one. He smokes and swears. He is also very alone and will NEVER talk about Vietnam. He changes the subject and gets that faraway look. He’s worked in factories and hard construction. He has asbestosis  in his lungs. He tends to come over when my husband is working on a project or we have company. He talks and talks. My husband came in and said “Barb when did life get like this? I looked at him. He said, “so and so was over and I was getting really agitated. I wanted to get that building done. He was driving me crazy. All of a sudden I just realized. Who cares? There is nothing more important than people. When did people stop being the main thing?”

Friends people ARE the main thing.

I know, especially in the home-school community we think making our own laundry soap, resisting common core, remaining separate, all of those things they are the main thing, But when you stand before that all-wise, ever-loving Creator, do you think he will care if you made homemade laundry soap? I mean honestly okay you milked your goats and it’s hormone free. But he called, and he needed to talk. So your children were on that schedule and you had to put them to bed instead of coming to church. But she was struggling with the diagnosis she just received.You weren’t there and she gave up, most likely not stepping foot in our church again. How about you were so busy making that utopia, you did not know your child was struggling with porn. It’s happened.woman-consoling-her-friend

Life is not supposed to be this hard. Cherish the seconds. Take advantage of the cup of coffee. Talk of our Savior at the Beach. Invite that dirty family over for supper. Love on those two unruly girls at church. Show them the Dad they should see in you. Not a man who only concentrates on rules and order. Learn to love. Learn to put people first. I will warn you. You will get hurt. They will abuse your love. I know. In light of eternity, it’s so worth it.

We have made Homeschooling. homesteading, and homemaking our idol. We have forgotten Jesus when he said, “John 13:34 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Be the person who is like this,

Jude 1:22-24

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Friend it’s about them. Not our perfect, little obedient homeschooling families, it’s about people. I might add that your kids matter, laundry soap might make your clothes clean but it does not tie heart-strings or cause sticky kisses and hugs from your son.

For Christmas our gruff neighbor gave money for Christmas, for my kids. He said we have always been good to him and he wanted to help. ( What he did not know was we had taken a huge pay cut so my husband could get closer to home, we were struggling with doctor bills and having trouble with our mortgage. We had been agonizing over Christmas.)

I was making dinner the other day. my son came in from visiting a friend. He walked over to me and hugged me. He said,” Thank You Mom”. I said for what? Knowing my 15-year-old teen usually wants something. He said for teaching me my faith is not blind. I was able to talk to so and so about God. You taught me to defend my beliefs with or without the Bible. I just wanted to say Thank You. I never appreciated it until now.” What he will never know is that every night I pray for my kids and ask God to forgive me for failing them. This meant more than any A or academic achievement. People matter. If he learned nothing else, at least he learned this.Helping-Hand

Dislxiu

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I wonder if when a person hits the “post” button they have actually let those words filter through their brain. Are people so desperate for recognition that they have let the whole world know that they are clearly superior intellectually or can they just let it slip?( which I clearly am not) I see the posts everyday. People telling other people the different types of there’s. People telling others how and when to use commas.( what a badge of honor. Thank you so much!!!) The person let’s you know that they have the awful burden to notice every grammar mistake on a sign at a grocery store. People seriously we all know auto correct messes up half of what we say and others are human errors. Then I’ll see one that grabs my heart because I have taught one his whole life. The spelling errors are all over the place. People will tear this one up. I think to myself how did he slip through the cracks?
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I know how people slip through because I just heard another story. My husband was talking to someone Who said the first key words” “I hate reading”. He actually has been through college and is now in a good paying job. Your thinking so he hates reading.He has a job, the worst you can say is that? He was asking my husband” how do you spell..this, and this.?” My husband finally started asking questions. He struggled all through school. Spelling was not his best subject. He hated reading. Of course the public school assigns you remedial reading because obviously when you already can’t read you should read more? It’s the same old broken system that has never worked. He got pushed through. He found a way . To get where he is today he had to struggle , work twice as hard and rely on friends. His teachers thought he was dumb. His word problems in math looked like hieroglyphics. No one knew to call it dyslexia.
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With the introduction of the Common Core and all of its assessments I can’t imagine a dyslexic student in the public school. The race to the top initiative is leaving people behind. Students like this. I guess though the public school is set up that way. That is why we homeschool. My son is not going to be left behind while others race to the top. The President may have sounded good with his eloquent speech but his children get their education paid for. Most dyslexic students need very expensive tutoring. The intervention required in the public school is usually not adequate. Most parents turn to private tutoring. I myself love it when homeschoolers say “let the children educate themselves.” I’m sure that will work very well for my son who is dyslexic. There is an element of independence, but to completely allow unmonitored schooling is hogwash.

I used to really worry that we were not doing the right thing. Progress was slow. My son was struggling so bad. Every dyslexia specialist has a different technique they prefer and it’s crazy trying to discern what works best for your child. I was told by someone who was an expert that certain things we were doing would not work. Only their program worked. Their program was thousands! We were already spending that much. We just slowly plodded along because our son liked what he was doing and fought us on the experts program. Guess what? We are seeing tremendous progress. The new spelling curriculum we got has also helped. It’s slow, tedious, repetitive. He actually loves it. He’s gone up a grade level in reading and comprehension. I’m more excited about the comprehension part. He actually is reading the King James Bible with his Dad every night ( if you have ever seen a King James Bible, please clap with me now).I also love, love the immersion narration from Kindle . It’s an option with some of their books and replaces the robotic like reading my son HATED. He would not even bother trying to read along with those TERRIBLE narrations. He was last heard reading along with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer on some adventure. Who would have thought that possible? In case you are wondering about my title. He spelled that.He will never be “cured” of dyslexia. He is always going to have an element of struggle.He most likely will be a poor speller his whole life. Aside from his dyslexia I’m more proud of him for something else. I told him about this korean pastor who started this box in Korea so that people could come and bring orphans. The people came they dropped babies off in the box and the Pastor and his wife took care of them. My son said to me” Mom when I grow up I want to go there and adopt those children and help that Pastor. Why doesn’t anyone want those babies? I was telling him about the Pastor and the good he was doing, he was focused on the need of the children to have parents. That’s my son. Always seeing the hurt in others. Struggles only become a handicap if you let them.
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Freeing Myself from the Coop

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Do you ever just get so sick of reading the homeschooling blogs where the blogger is telling you how their day was so perfectly organized and they show you wall to wall manipulatives? Well I do. I’m there. You see . I left the coop. I used to feel so trapped. I had to use that one curriculum . You know The ONE .The one where I have to use it .If not my kids would be failures. They were doomed to be dumb. Bottom of the pecking order. They would Never get the worms. Homeschooling is a lot like my chicken Coop. It gets real stinky sometimes. There is definitely a pecking order. You know what ? You can break free . I did. I free range.20130303-000520.jpg

So how did I do it? It actually started when I had my fourth child Cheyenne. I was homeschooling three and my second son Joel was struggling so bad. We were using a traditional Phonics curriculum that is supposed to be two grades ahead. Joel was in tears every day. He actually said to me,”Mom I am sorry I am so dumb”.I did not know what to do.My heart was breaking. I was so burned out. I thought maybe I was just dumb . I taught Daniel( my oldest)and he caught on. Joel was not getting it, at all. I started to google the problems. The word Dyslexia came up over and over and over. So now some of you probably think I googled writing backwards . Right? Well actually that is a myth. I googled lack of comprehension in reading, can’t sound out words, poor spelling ,can’t blend words. Can’t read. ….. That alone makes me cry even now. Then Susan Barton a Specialist in Dyslexia came to Erie and I was able to attend her lecture . It confirmed what I had Googled. Joel was definitely Dyslexic. Do you know what that feels like in the homeschooling community. I mean those moms pride themselves on how smart their kids are. Here I am with the diagnosis of Dyslexia staring me in the face. Now what? Well the first thing was I got a different curriculum.( which does not cure dyslexia, it is a life long challenge. We will talk more about this.) In looking for something different I found that there were so many choices and began my eclectic( free range) choice of home educating . I don’t model my home after the public schools so I can’t really say homeschool. I’m really educating. I will tell you I tried to once. Total fail. When I started to get free from the confines of what everyone else was doing. When I stopped comparing my kids to everyone else. When I realized that my kids were unique. That God had made them individuals. They learned differently. He wanted them to learn according to their own unique design. My world got a whole lot bigger. I became free.
I know I get so intimidated home educating. Especially when I first started. Phonemic awareness. What is that? I mean I grew up in the public schools. They taught me to read by the sight method. Had I not gone to a Christian College I don’t think I would have even known what phonics was. Honestly though I have learned more homeschooling then all my years in school.I want this blog to be honest. I can’t do it all. Seriously my house is totally trashed by the end of the day. I often tell my children. Well no one will ever put our house in a blog! Do you people hire maids? I mean with people like the Duggards up on a pedestal how can someone like us ever compare? In this blog I really want to bare my heart. What makes me different then every other blog out there?I have home educated through: three pregnancies, two back surgeries, two moves, my daughter having seizures, my husband being gone for ten months , (while we lived in our new house and I killed 267 snakes) yes, that is true. Oh, I’m Joel’s mom and he has Dyslexia. I think that is my biggest challenge yet.
Hi I’m Barb, home educating mom of four. Hope you join me as I home educate and free range my kids .

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