Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not Prepared for Parenting Older Kids... Or the Zombie Apocalypse

When you become a mom of older kids, like I am (mine are 13 and 10), and you see a mom with younger kids, I'm sure the same thing goes through all of our minds...

"Oh, thank goodness I survived that section of parenthood."
Now THAT's Being Prepared...
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No more diaper changes, no more wordless temper tantrums (now they are silent altogether, except for the sound of marching off and a bedroom door slamming), no more mandated nap times screwing up schedules, no more bottle feedings/stopping to breastfeed, nothing. Just older kids who can express their thoughts and feelings (somewhat) coherently, who you can tell to disappear if they are angering you, and who can wipe their own asses.

Bliss, right?

Yeah, not exactly.

Yesterday, we went on a field trip with the homeschooling group we are members of, to a waste water treatment facility. The tour was supposed to start at 10, but as this place was very difficult to find (everyone's GPS had us doing some crazy u-turns in subdivisions and crap) and somewhere around 50 of us total showed up, it took a while to get things rolling.

I *thought* this was the field trip that was supposed to last between an hour to an hour and a half. Come to find out (the hard way, yes), the timed one was not this particular field trip, but the one we have in 2 weeks. Not knowing this when we left the house, the kids asked if we should bring anything with us.

Why? We'll only be gone like an hour and a half max, we'll be home in time for lunch and to spend time with Hubby before he goes to work. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The guy heading the tour started his presentation (what? There's a presentation with this? Just thought

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm Not Screwing Up My Kids for Life... I Think...

Every parent worries at some point if they are screwing up their kids for life.

When you start homeschooling, that fear and worry seems to triple.

Two and a half months now, the kids and I have been trying to find our place in the homeschooling world. At this point, I feel like Goldilocks:

We started out with an online school-at-home program "porridge"- Too Strict
We moved to unschooling- Too Relaxed (according to Hubby)
We started a more relaxed daily online curriculum program- Too Easy & Boring

At this point, I've thrown the homeschool porridge against the wall and am currently pouting in the corner, wondering if there's any porridge out there that's "just right" for my kids and I.

Two months now the consistency has been rather spotty. They do math at Khan Academy everyday, we've found literature and grammar curriculum that we've stuck with, and they write posts for their blog each week, but as far as science and history are concerned, we're just bouncing around.

I'm totally screwing up my kids' lives, aren't I? Why did I start homeschooling in the first place? Why did I think I was qualified to do this?

These thoughts stay in the back of my head like poison, seeping forward every once in a while to drive me bat shit crazy.

Needless to say, I've been stressed beyond belief lately.

My readers and my friends tell me that we'll figure it out. They say homeschooling takes adjustment

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Regaining My Nerd Status

I was a nerd in high school.
Pic Courtesy

Ha! Who am I kidding? I'm still a nerd now.

I'm a nerd, though, with a pretty big secret that was revealed to my kids this week. While they didn't fully understand the scope of the secret, Hubby looked at me like I had grown a second head and said, "Seriously? Whoa."

I never read 2 of the books that are some of the top books on pretty much any required reading or greatest books ever written lists...

"Lord of the Flies" and "The Catcher in the Rye." Never read either book.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Every single conversation in the last 15 years or so where either one of these books has been brought up has gone something like this:

Person: You know, like in "Lord of the Flies"/ "The Catcher in the Rye."
Me: Oh, yeah, I understand, but I've never read it.
Person: (blank stare) What?
Me: Yeah. I've never read it. But I know the concept of the story and all.
Person: (continued blank stare) What do you mean you never read "Lord of the Flies"/ "The Catcher

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Explosions and Chopping My Hair Off, All in a Day's Work

Yesterday, I lost it.

We are talking full-on, champagne bottle that had been shaken for weeks and finally exploded lost it.

So I did what any woman who fully lost it does- I went and cut all my hair off.

Yeah, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's head back to the scene of the crime beginning.

Yesterday morning started like any other morning. The kids got up, ate breakfast and then around 9-ish, they start their homeschooling. They start out with math, because, let's face it- most people hate math, so if they get it out of the way first thing in the morning, their day can only get better, right? (For the record, I love math. I have this annoying quirk where, if numbers are thrown at me in an equation-like way, I have to compute them. A simple question, standing in the grocery store, like, "Hey, is it better to get the 30 count for $5 or the 72 count for $9?" immediately makes my brain start working to figure out the problem. It gets annoying sometimes.) Both of the kids were on word problem lessons, which compounded their hate of math even more.

I usually work while the kids are on the computer, doing their lessons. So, I headed into the front room to organize my work day and figure out what orders needed to go out. I had barely even walked into the front room (25 feet from the kids), when I heard the first, "Hey, mom...".

I love my kids, I do. I love that they need my help. But I find it very hard to believe they need my help 2.5 seconds after I leave the room, when they've clearly been given directions on what they need

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Silver Linings and All That Shit

Tomorrow is the big day for The Girl. Exactly 1 week from her 13th birthday, she's having her braces put on.
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And she's excited about it.

WTF, right? So many WTFs right now, it's not funny.

WTF #1- She wants braces. She's looking forward to braces. She's been begging for braces. Not so much because she wants her teeth straightened, but because in this day and age, braces are cool. Which leads me to...

WTF #2- Braces are cool? Since when? 15 (cough)... 20 (cough)... Okay, fine... 25 years ago when I had them put on, they were the devil. No one wanted braces. Braces were a necessary evil your parents forced you to go through; a rite of passage into the teenage years; another horrible part of puberty, as if the pimples, greasy hair and weird ass hair growth (sorry, not weird ass hair growth, like weird ass hair growth... maybe a hyphen is needed for that? Weird-ass hair growth. Better? Fuck it) wasn't horrible enough, your parents threw in braces. And for me? A lovely head gear. I'm just

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Kids Now Blog, Therefore, I Blog

Lest ye be warned, internet goers. My children now have blogs.
Ye have been warned...

They aren't public (yet- we'll see how this goes), and they were created for homeschooling purposes, but nonetheless, they still have blogs.

I've been reading my ass off lately- homeschooling books, unschooling books, curriculum standards. My poor Sarah Addison Allen novel has been quite lonely, sitting untouched on my bedside table while I reach for the non-fiction books beside her. But at the moment, it's a necessary evil.

I'll run y'all through a quick timeline of recent events, which can somewhat explain why I've been MIA lately.

  • Beginning of January- Hubby left for school for 6 weeks and the kids started homeschooling with k12.com.
  • 2 weeks later- Kids and I were highly frustrated with the rigors of k12.com, and went to our first local homeschooling group, where I learned about unschooling. Our lives changed forever.
  • Beginning of February- Withdrew the kids from k12.com and let them start the unschooling thing. 
  • Middle of February- Hubby came home, having graduated with the top GPA in his class (this, from the man who slept through high school- we were shocked and thrilled beyond belief). When his structured-military-trained brain saw unschooling in action, his headache began. He