Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wow. It's been over a year since my last post! Both my husband, and my dear friend, asked me not too long ago if I was still posting because they haven't been getting anything. King Bee even steered me away from a page I was on one day over to my shortcut to the blog. I figured that must be a clue to get back to buzzing. Honestly, so much has happened in the past year that I totally forgot about blogging most days. I mean, when you are trying to help your #1 daughter plan a wedding, well, all other things get put on the back-burner.

Yes, you heard me right, I'm a mother-in-law now! We are parents in-law!! I'm happy for our girl. Even though Jessica is18 and young, I feel she was sent a blessing in her husband. Jacob is currently serving in the military as a Marine and we're very proud of his accomplishments so far. He and I totally get punny jokes and have help Jessica to understand them better! LOL

I'll post an update soon on the events surrounding our oldest getting married and how it changed me as a mother. Things like these always do and there isn't a thing you can do except embrace it (don't worry, no little Jessica or Jacobs yet! 😉)

Oh, and BTW, I still feel the same way as I did in the last post. The beginning of the school year brought out all of those people who jump up and down and yell out to the world that the kids are back in school and out of their hair. I get it though, sometimes you want to eat your young, or put them in military school. You just have to weight whether or not you want to wear an orange jumpsuit for the rest of your life, or if you want to sell all of your belongings on military school tuition!!!! Seriously, when you start to feel like it is a constant battle to keep a civil relationship with your kids, it probably means you are needing a break, or you are pushing the kid against the grain and will just end up ripping a whole in the fabric of your relationship with said child. Don't neglect these situations, pray over it, meditate about it, go get your hair and nails done, then go get yourself the biggest pumpkin spice latte you can find!!!! You cannot refill your kids skippy cups if your own pitcher is empty.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Are We Fostering A Bad Attitude?

I hate this time of year.  Not because Summer has decided it has had enough of the heat (like me), and will be making an exit soon.  Not because Fall is peeking their pretty eyes through the trees at me reminding me that Winter is on the way.  Oh and certainly not because my brood , and the King Bee, have already started reminding me how many days until Christmas there are (a bunch of meanie heads I tell you!) The thing that gets me is this "YIPPEEEEEE my kids are no longer in my hair" mentality that comes from so many moms on social media.

As you know my dears, we HOMESCHOOL.  So we don't have to do the Back-to-School shopping, meetings and paperwork with the school, or the consoling the kid who is anxious over a new teacher or a notorious "bad" teacher.  But what I do have to deal with is this:

Today, while thumbing through my Facebook, the picture above came across from a friend who liked and shared it. Now looking at this, you can understand that the Mom is VERY excited about something. At a second glance, you see the kids are not partaking in Mom's enthusiasm. This is a picture of normalcy that many parents in the world are taking this month.

Not me. I'm relishing in the fact that I get to spend so much time with my kids. It's a opportunity that not many families can choose to have and I'm thankful that ours can. I try to not judge parents who express this type of joy, but it is very very difficult some today. I hear so many parents say they can't wait to get their kids out of their hair when they know school starts in 3 days! I often think to myself, "Self, I bet those kids can't wait to get her out of their hair too!" But then I feel a teensy bit of remorse for my judgmental ways and go eat some chocolate.

It's not rocket science though to understand that many of our children's bad attitudes toward their parents come from attitudes like what we see above. I know that when I see a change in my kids behaviors I eventually start looking to myself and usually find that my attitude toward them (or life in general) is the cause of whatever issue we are having with each other. And believe me, being in the house with your kids, and sometimes the husband, can cause some major attitude failures for Mom. It's a tough Love situation everyday of a mom's life if she is doing it right. I guess that is one of the reasons we see so many pictures like the one above. Tough Love is hard to deal with and trying to do it on a day-in and day-out basis is exhausting for public school and homeschooling moms alike.

I encourage all moms to take a look at your attitude, and your heart, when you see that your kids are having some respect and attitude issues toward you...or toward life too! It may just be that you (and me) are fostering this environment and we need to check our self before we wreck our self! You are the BOMB cause you are the MOM!

Joy is a weapon we use to fight life's battles!
-Margaret Feinberg

(I mean seriously...look at the oldest child in that picture. Does she not have that look on her face that says, "I'm just as excited to get away from her as she is from me!") 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Homeschool rule #2: Have fun

In order for the kids to start lessons back after lunch today, I was asked to play a round of hide-and-seek. Homeschool rule #2: Have fun.

There is nothing wrong with having a little fun while doing your homeschool thang! It not only helps to let off steam that you or the kids have built up over the course of the day, it also helps to create memories! How many kids do you know who will remember how their parent played hide-and-seek with them right before Grammar lessons!?

I realize you are just starting out your year and your new "school" schedule, and it probably doesn't include "fun time". Well my advice to you is don't put it in there! Wake up every day and tell that task master in your head that fun will happen even if she tries to schedule around it!

You are a unique Mom with a unique opportunity to make unique memories! Do it and have fun!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Taming the Math Monster with Teaching Textbooks

Math. Need I say more? That prickly, icky, stinky monster called Math has a arch rival, and it's name is Teaching Textbooks. Years ago, when I was just getting into the realm of homeschooling Middle School, I ran upon this beastie called Math. Up until that time I really didn't have any issues in dealing with Math. IT had always behaved quite well.

Then it happened. I went out and bought a used edition of a well known Math curriculum. It even had it's own tutorial CD with it. I had been warned to not purchase the CD-Rom that was not produced by the publishing company of the Math I had just bought. I was told it was just the answers and no extra help. So I listened. The first year was a pretty good one. My 8th grader was doing well at working independently on half of an Algebra (those who have researched math curricula, as well as used this math will understand my wording completely.)  The lady on the tutorial was helpful...except for going back and pointing out common mistakes made on particular processes that can be easily forgotten. I'm no expert on mathematics, but the materials we had used up until this point always had tips and helpful advice for the student who would forget to remember these steps and concepts.

The next year I found that even though I had purchased the next level of the same curriculum, the lady in the CD-Rom was totally different in how she worked Algebraic equations; and didn't bother to go over what step you may have missed if  you got the problem wrong. She basically wrote out what was already in the teacher's solutions manual, which I already had!.

Even though I got A's and B's in Alg I & II, it had been 25 years or better since sitting in a classroom and stuff in my brain has disappeared since then! King Bee, however, was a great help at teaching things that I got stumped on cause he is a brainiac when it comes to how to handle the Math beastie.

Once I realized this particular curriculum was not all that and a bag of fries, I started researching and complaining to friends. I was told of a thing called Teaching Textbooks. I went to the website many many times. The price was the one thing holding me back because I'd already put out good money for a book with a CD-Rom and regretted it. I really didn't want to go that route again; always looking over my shoulder at that Monster wondering when IT was going to wreck mine and my child's brain.

So in the past two years I've taken this beast by the horns and purchased the one thing that has tamed our Math Monster. TEACHING TEXTBOOKS!!!  I can not say enough good things about this curriculum. The student hears the same instructors voice throughout all grade levels. His style is inviting and clear. The student book is like a typical textbook, except the key concepts and information is highlighted for the student. This is a great help for the student who is just not good at taking notes or recognizing important info to make note of. The book is a little daunting though because of it's massive size, and so far this has been the case for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 & 2, and Geometry. Geometry....UGH. A beast of a different breed entirely. However, my child is doing way better at it than I ever ever ever ever did. You will see once you start combing through the pages that they have given the student plenty of room to make extra notes, as well as room for working the problems. So don't let the size of the book throw you for a loop when you open the shipping box.

The process that they suggest using is to watch the lesson, do the problem, watch the tutorial for the problems missed. My process is a little different, which includes having my child read the lecture and lesson before in the actual book before doing any work on the laptop. To me this just helps the student to comprehend the concepts better.

I'm not even going to give you a list of pros for TT. You just need to hope on over to their site and check out what they have to offer for yourself. They've just updated their website and it's easier as ever to surf through their very organized information on their product.

Teaching Textbooks

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschool Cat Named Buster

I was zombiefied this morning. That 8 hour drive yesterday from Jacksonville, NC yesterday has really played tricks on my mind and eyes. As I sat there at the dinning room table, enjoying being back at home and sinking in to my first cup of coffee, I see out of the corner of my eye our cat, Buster Bob, do the unthinkable. PLUCK A CAYENNE PEPPER FROM THEIR DRYING SPOT!

As you can see, the door on the side of our island (which needs a good painting) fell off months and months ago. I decided it was a great place to store and dry the peppers; never even thinking that Buster would entertain the idea of playing a game of cat and...peppermouse...?

He wasn't just bopping it around showing it who's boss. Noooo, he actually gnawed on the poor unsuspecting thing before he spit it out and slapped it away as if IT was the one who brought an offense to him; causing his hair to stand straight up!

Coffee nearly exited my nose when I saw this madness. Then I realized he's just a misunderstood, weird, unsocialized homeschool cat who has a passion that no other brick and mortar feline understands. And that's OK. One day he and his misunderstood, weird, unsocialized homeschool feline friends will rule the world and we'll all be better off for it.

I wonder what would have happened if he had decided to pick on the Habanero......

Never a dull moment. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

The picky eater will be the death of me.

I love hearing the oldest talk to the younger ones about her experiences in classes that she takes on Wednesday. Especially the funny stories.

I'm hearing the brood laugh at each other while they eat lunch. It's all worth it, whatever it is.

I need chocolate.

I wonder how I would do as an Virtual Administrative Assistant?

Why is the picky eater picky? She's just like the oldest child when she was that age.

Don't forget to put your make-up on before you go to the dentist to have your teeth drilled on.

Wonder what King Bee wants for dinner tonight?

See Queen Bee, this is the state of mind you get yourself into when you don't write stuff down on the calendar....why don't you trust your little android to help you with the stuff....if you're gonna be a VA you need to learn how....just don't destroy your phone again.

Don't forget to load new Math program onto laptop for B2!!  Did you put that in your planner?

I need wine, too.

So what if it's almost Friday.......

The crunches are paying off again. :)

Yesterday was very busy.

Remember chocolate and wine.