Monday, April 18, 2011


Warning:  This is one of those posts that's just gonna let it all hang out.  So, if you can't handle the truth you may want to skip to the next in a long line of  happy-go-lucky blogs.

I'm a grump today.  Major grump.  It started in yesterday and my levels of frustration have become increasingly more obvious and hard to control.  I even called my ob/gyn this afternoon to see if I'm a normal human being.

My first disclaimer is this:  when compared to other things that could be happening in my life right now, my mind knows that I should feel like I've got it made.  I want to put that out there right now before I dive deeper into the pit of despair... said with the hoarse, gravely voice like the guy on The Princess Bride and I want you to know that I totally should be able to clear my voice and sync up my feelings to my knowings and shrug my shoulders to say that things really aren't that bad.  So for everything I am about to say, I just want you to know that, yes, I know things could be worse.  I know that my kids could be sick or dying instead of just frustrating.  I know this stuff... but sometimes we need to admit that while we know this stuff, we might feel differently.

So today,  I've totally lived out the Romans 7 Paul, I do what I hate and I don't do what I want to do.

I had intentions as I sat down to do this post, of writing everything out in detail of how I've yelled, frustrated and exasperated my children today and how they triggered each incident... but I have now decided against doing that.

Instead I just want you to know that even folks with good, descent, blessed lives have issues... me definitely included.  And there are days that come along that make you wonder if you are all alone with the overwhelmed feeling, or if everyone is just as overwhelmed but they aren't admitting it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's Play a Game...

How 'bout the ol' standby, "What's Wrong with This Picture"

1.  Everyone is still in pajamas...
2.  They are all "wasting time" watching video clips on the computer...
3.  Oh yeah, Isaiah has a big boot on his foot.

Which explains the first two details.  Isaiah tried to be superman last night and tried to leap tall creek banks in a single bound... and found out the hard way that we mortals are prone to accidents.  He's ok.  It's not broken officially, just badly sprained.  Hoping that in a day or so he won't be so wobbly.  But today we'll just take it easy.... I'm tempted to even call off schooling, but am afraid it would totally unravel what we've built up.  Maybe we'll just abbreviate it a bit instead.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Better Strategy, A Better Result

"Day One" down on the 100 day challenge and everything went surprisingly well.

We did 3 hours of school before lunch time.  The little guys did coloring books, drew pictures and played quietly in their rooms.  There were only a few times when I had to shoo them away from the school workers.  Huston and Isaiah were focused and had good attitudes... although I will say that Isaiah kept a clock right by his side so he could keep tabs on when high noon rolled around.

Hoping that this much improved success continues, but I do wonder if I should chalk it up to a honeymoon period.  We'll see. 

Here are some pics to prove that I had them working :)  Creating their own "cave paintings"....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And the Crown for the Most Crummy Mom to Ever Play the Part of a Homeschool Educator Goes To...

Yeah, it's a long title, but one I totally deserve.

I had Isaiah in tears tonight.  I know, it's not the first time, but I think it was the first time I finally got through that thick noggin of his.

We've been struggling with the whole homeschool thing, and I know a lot of the responsibility - ok, so like all of it - falls on my shoulders.  I always envisioned homeschooling my kids as a "fun" task... in that you would choose what you wanted to study and you were more flexible in how you were gonna study it, etc.  And that is all true.  But my kids don't seem to want to choose to study anything.  And if they are interested, it is only in a small sliver of a whole pie that needs to be ingested somehow.

I waffle a lot.  I go back and forth between thinking that this laid back approach to schooling is a good thing.  That they will learn the important stuff eventually and a window will open when they are interested in learning a particular skill or piece of knowledge.  Then I think that I'm teaching my kids all the wrong kinds of habits and that as they age they will slip further and further behind because they have no work ethic.  Then I swing back the other way and think, "Who determines what the norm is? and why should I be worried about it anyway?"  You know, small issues like that.

I've determined lately though that I'm cultivating all the wrong attitudes and habits in Isaiah for sure.  The only thing that he seems to be learning really well is how to roll his eyes at his mother.  The boy is spoiled and doesn't know how good he's got it.  I'll request that he read or practice math facts or whatever the task may be, and I get a bad attitude or a fight every. single. time.  Then I get mad and yell and threaten and he feels convicted for about 2 seconds and we're right back at the beginning of the same vicious cycle.  And I'm weary.  He's weary.  And our relationship is strained.

So tonight I sat him down.  I told him that life is full of choices and we not only make those choices with our words but we make them with our actions too.  So starting tomorrow we are going to schedule our school day (I know, I know... no, we've never had a schedule - the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?)... anyway, we're going to schedule our school day to be from 9am until noon.  If work does not get accomplished or if objectives/deadlines are not met by noon then the school day will spill over into the afternoon or fun things will at least be taken away until school is caught up.  But here is the kicker of the plan. We will do all of this 100 times.  If within that "100 days of school" I still get the bad attitude, the whining, the refusals... well, then he is choosing to pursue another schooling route.  Cuz I can't take it anymore.  We even signed a contract.  And he went nuts.

This is as much a challenge for me as it is for him.  I need to put my actions where my words are and I need to become more motivated and structured and organized myself, if I'm going to help him to be a successful student.  I realize that - I need to see if I can meet that goal or I feel I am doing him more of a disservice as his teacher than I am helping him. 

The next few months are going to be quite interesting for sure.  I've thrown the choice in his lap, but it's just as much a test for me as it is for him... maybe more so.  I'm kinda scared of what the outcome might be - either way.