Friday, June 20, 2014

SUMMER Full Steam With Socialization Fun

WE ARE HAVING SO MUCH FUN - I am extending Summer!

You heard it, the kids are thriving this summer. My goal this summer was 'Socialization' - yep the dreaded word to describe homeschooled kids lack of ability to fit in with their 'traditional' school peers.

The experiment...

Put Tiger Lilly (my 13yr old) in as many sleep away camps as affordable and break it up with family vacations and day camp that she loved when in traditional school.

We are 1 week into our adventure and it's proving FRUITFUL!

The 3 Sleepaway Camps we selected are within driving distance of our home.

River Valley Ranch (MD) $545 for the week

HighPoint Camp (PA) $250 for the week (yes, you heard me - that's it!)

Camp Wabanna (MD) $345 for the week

We booked them early and was able to make payments. She's going to 1 sleepaway a month.

Day Camp in between

1 week of Family Vacation.


The experiment...on my Little guy - Speed Racer


Speed Racer
had some old habits we thought were gone show back up. However, we are still trying him on 1 week sleep away camp.

Day camp, week 1, started off good enough for him. I mean everyday the kid was waking up before I got up to go to work so he could make his lunch and be ready for day camp.

The snag came about mid week when he 'felt' the camp counselor wrongly accused him of instigating a fight and Speed Racer had a 'Tantrum'. Well this is not acceptable. So we had to reiterate the 'CALM DOWN' list rules that he worked on while homeschooling. And exact some punishment of no video game time and the possibility of not going on the camp trip to the amusement park.

He turned his week around and got himself back on track.

If his Tantrum’s show up again...

We will work through them since he doesn't have them at home with us any longer (he didn't when he was in traditional school - for some reason he only did it at school, then when we homeschooled him, it came out. We nailed it down and he stopped but apparently we still need to work on this).

So we talked with the camp, told them to have him read his 'CALM DOWN' List if he does this again.

We also told him and had him repeat, that 'things aren't so bad' if you have to do a time out. Respectfully ask to give your side of the story, if the counselor doesn't want to hear it - take the punishmen - then wait and tell Mom/Dad who will
handle things when we get to school.


AS FOR THE REST OF SUMMER AND HOMESCHOOLING...

I've finished planning our curriculum.

Summer will be extended another week - We will start back homeschooling on July 28th, 2014 instead of 2 weeks earlier as planned.

My oldest daughter Rose, is getting ready to leave for Denmark after returning for barely a week from Ireland (I wish I could go with her). She wants a job when she returns so she is hoping to attend her new college's job fair.

Static Ray, my oldest son, went with Speed Racer as a chaperone to his trip to the Amusement Park and earned tons of 'big brother' stars. He starts his 2nd job as a camp counselor full time next week. Also, the kid is now doing stand up comedy O_o as a hobby he says.

Shesh, I'm tired already@!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Taking The Ability To Homeschool For Granted






Yes, it's true. There are Homeschool SNOBs and Traditional school SNOBs and Private School SNOBs.

I've encountered them all. But I was never one of them because. I went to public school (and hated it). I also went to private school up til 10th grade and (hated it).

However, truth be told, I benefited in major ways from each environment.

When I began Homeschooling I was floored by how many people who homeschooled pointed their noses down at people that didn't want to or couldn't fathom homeschooling.

DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED

If you are able to homeschool because you have a husband who is willing and able to work so that you can stay at home with your kids - you are blessed.

Many women in my Urban community don't have that choice. Their husbands are gone, unplugged, or not around any longer.

Or, the environment doesn't allow for a 1 working person household.

Those poor folks have to fight through the muck that is their school situation.

So I just say be SENSITIVE to the fact that someone else that may want to continue to homeschool - can't because the economics of their lifestyle doesn't allow it. And you know what? That's okay.

HOMESCHOOLING ISN'T ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION

I hate to spell it out, but I would be hiding out if I didn't. Some homeschooling parents don't teach their kids! Some don't. They just take those kids on field trips for days and the kids are obviously behind in their core learning skills.

It breaks my heart to see it and hear their moms complain that they don't have the time and that the kid is learning at their own desire.

My jaw dropped. In that case, if someone has so many kids and doesn't have the energy to give all of them the caring as Mom and Educator - send the kid to school. Give yourself a break. There is no martyrdom in this. Either you can do it or you can't. Traditional school isn't the 'devil' if you need to place your kid there because you can't effectively school them at home.

SIGH...but hey, THEY AREN'T MY ISSUES..right?

That's what I tell myself. But every now and again, when someone is getting snippy with me about the curriculum I selected for my kid being 'too difficult' I laugh to myself because I'm able to pull off a difficult curriculum, work, take care of a house and still don't complain. Why?

Because I know. I know! That I'm blessed.

DO YOU?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Restless Yet Challenged





Do you ever feel like you are Dorothy during the storm in the Wizard Of Oz?

Well that's what I feel like my family is in now. Whew! What a month.

So much is going on I can barely keep up.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE of PLANNING

to Ireland she Comes...

Yes, this week my oldest daughter, Roses, left for Ireland. It was a whirlwind of last minute packing, gorging on foods that she knew she wouldn't be able to eat for 2 weeks and just plain rushing.

She is doing the Study Abroad program at her Community College (yeah, she graduated from there but anyone can attend their Study Abroad program trips). They required she attend classes on the history of Ireland for 4 hours a day for 5 days a week prior to going to class.

a show to remember...

Speed Racer had his end of year show where he did his Break Dancing routine and impressed his grandma (my mother who lives in the area). This Break Dancing activity has been a hit for him and he originally didn't even want to consider it. However, after I took him to the dance school and 'confirmed' there would be boys in the class, he was sold! He loves this so much that he wants to join the dance team later this year.

still dragging feet...

Tiger Lilly still is finishing up her last 7 lessons in Teaching Textbook Geometry. Also, she had corrupted her files for her Youth Digital Mod Design (Java) class and we are hoping she doesn't have to begin from scratch since she is almost done. 

a budding workaholic...

My oldest son, Static Ray, is growing up to be a young man I adore. The guy know has 3 jobs (working at the hospital as a Transporter on weekends, Valet jobs as they come, camp counselor 5 days a week). Oh, did I mention he made it to the All Star Lacrosse Team for Community College Summer League? In addition he got approached by 4 - Division 2 schools to play for scholarships? However, his mind is made up on what school he wants to finish out his 4 year degree at, so we will see what he decides next year. Don't feel bad about all his working - my son still understands the importance of play and has planned several 'beach weekends' and a cruise for himself and friends later this year.

Mom & Dad's musical jobs...

My day gig as an IT Consultant makes it so that I tend to move around from job to job when the time is up on the contract I'm working. So this summer I will be seeking out new opportunities - again. To say I hate this part of my career choice is mild, but the truth of the matter is, on some scale, I'm used to it yet frustrated by it.

Also, my Hubs is in the same field, so he too will be starting a new job in the next 3 months. Thankfully, because I work, and now own my own consulting business with a good friend of mine, he will be our first employee.

To say God is good and does amazing things is an understatement in this case. Truth is, I don't know how I do this, homeschool, work a day gig and build a business on the side, except to say all those things they say about Hyper Active people aren't true. You can be Hyper and accomplish many things.

The beat goes on...

Just because there are many changes going on in our home at this time, the most exciting thing about Homeschooling is, I can make it flexible and fit into whatever changes come our way.

I still ask...

And this year, I still second guess my decision to homeschool going forward. So, I ask my kids yet again, do they want to do this again this coming school year.

Their response was, "Yeah! Now please stop asking us. You're freakin' us out."