After a horrible start to the 2017 year, (my broken leg, a busted vehicle, daughters mumps and divorce, and I nearly quit grad school), I used the summer to refocus. I mean, who wouldn't need to after all of that nonsense, right?
In May, I began working on the next school year - because if there is one thing that grounds me, that provides solace on those "unsure" days, it's that I made the right decision to homeschool our children.
In the classroom, I pored over curricula, trying to decide whether we should continue with what we used last year, or risk something new. Was I capable of working with something new when I wanted the certainty of something I knew worked? What was making me consider a new curriculum? Would my goals for this homeschool year be the same as last year or would I update them to include better mini-goals?
You know that feeling? The one that hits before you really had time to process it and before you know it, you're in a funk of astronomical proportions. The one where you'd just as soon drop everything and go back to life before homeschooling. The one where you had a small amount of "me time" that happened after the kids got on the school bus. Or perhaps when they went to daycare so you could go to work. I mean, at least at work, you didn't have an infant attached at the breast, gnawing away at the very fibers of your being. That small little light, where If you played your cards right, you might get a hot lunch out of the deal, too. You could go to the bathroom and didn't worry about a tiny hand reaching under the door scaring the bejeezes out of you -- and if you did -- you'd report to HR as soon as you washed your hands, to tell on them!
Regardless of how you got here -- here you are, in all your "hot-mess homeschool glory", trying to keep a smile on your face when you really have a hard time just walking through what used to be your living room, but you've now dubbed "ground zero". Your hair hasn't seen a hot roller or hair dryer in a week and you are almost positive that if given the chance, you could sleep standing up and not fall over. And let's not forget the husband, you know, the man you fell in love with and promised to cherish - he's missing you and telling you all about it. He might even be putting negative thoughts into your mind such as "enroll them in public school" *GASP*!
I've been there. In fact, I just went through it. It started in late March. I brushed it off as end-of-the-year burn-out, knowing that I would push through and feel better when the school year ended. But then a rather dismal blanket of depression settled over me. I was no longer the semi-chipper person I used to be. I didn't worry if the house was tidy. I fought back tears every time I had to leave the house. I was suffering from some heavy emotions and I was certainly not prepared to deal with them. I talked to God, my husband, my friend, I'd journal or blog... Nothing. Nothing seemed to help. The closer it got to summer, the more confused I became. I couldn't understand why I wasn't perking up. After our last homeschool class, I vegged for an entire week. I didn't read anything, do anything, or go anywhere. I literally became a fixture in our home. My husband even began to worry about me, so much so, that he suggested I go to the doctor. But after that week, I began to feel a little lighter. Granted, i wasn't back to my old self yet, and as I posted previously, there is a changing season going on for me (and I don't like it, nope, not one bit). Said change is causing me to feel emotions I haven't felt in a while, and requiring much more sleep than I am accustom to. Truth be told, I'm nearly 40 and working my way through grad school - there isn't a nerve I've not frayed, nor a thought I haven't entertained about why in the devil I am doing all this.
Then it happened.
I come to you a very humbled woman today. Not because of my own issues, but because sometimes, seeing what others go through makes you truly appreciate what you have.
I want to tell you about a woman and her son. No, he is not an only child. He has four siblings. He is an uncle. He is in First Grade. He has not always been a homeschool kid. But he wasn't pulled from public school for many of the reasons you might think:
Problem child? No way
Education standards? Nope
Spoiled? Heck no.
Loved? Of course
Cared for? You bet
Lazy pancreas? Unfortunately
Younger than three years of age, this little guy was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then, his life and that of his family was literally tossed up into the air. Throwing aside all other issues, the most important became keeping their son alive.
Through heartache, lonely cries, and mounds of support, this family has become a beacon of hope for many other families who struggle with childhood diabetes. And no matter how difficult their journey has been, they have found a way to make the best of a bad situation. His mother elected to homeschool him because he is still too young to know what his body is going through and she hopes when he is older, he can return, should he choose, to a traditional school settings.
You see, this little fellow has won the hearts of hundreds of people. His infectious smile and bright blue eyes make it hard to stay away. His eagerness to be involved is heart-melting, and his strength to battle through the numerous blood checks, ups & downs of sugar, and the fear of simply knowing he is not like others, is a tug at the toughest of hearts. Yet he perseveres.
He knows the angels that encourage him to keep going. But little do people know about the lives HE has touched. Along with receiving hundreds of birthday cards from family and friends, to patches from local police, fire, and rescue departments, and around the country, he continues to remain a part of the public school life and the teacher he left behind.
I've requested permission to post this about him, and his mother has generously allowed me to do so.
Read on to find out just how wonderful they are!
Hello Homeschool moms and dads,
It's a New Year! It's a new semester (for some), and for us, it's a new day! We are two days into our new homeschool semester and the tempers are flaring! I kid you not, yesterday, the boys carried on like I had taken away every fun thing they have ever known or experienced when I said, "it's time for lessons". The displeasure of their assignments dwelled well into the evening, and the only one who seemed remotely happy was the dog!
Little Bit was eager to get to the telly while the boys were slugging through their work, aimlessly and without intent to learn.
And here I was thinking we were going to start the new year in a pleasant way! What was I thinking? Where did I go wrong?
The answer might surprise you!
Hello Readers and Passers-by,
It's been a Wednesday... all day. I'm feeling it, too. I woke this morning with goals and plans. I've accomplished nothing. Well, I can't say nothing, but I did not cross one thing off of my task list. So much for that.
Is it me, or are the mid-week blahs real? I have tried multiple times to avoid these and this week, they caught up to me. I am never ready for them, either. I would blame it on the weather, but it's been this way all week.
What do you do to tame the mid-week blahs? I'm curious and would love to hear from you.
In other news, I've thought of nothing new to do for homeschool this week. I really am feeling a burn out. I want to feel that elated feeling I get at the beginning of the school year. I know it will happen by the time we start back to work on the 2nd, but this week is just... terrible. I find myself getting bored (and that NEVER happens). I could read, but I don't want to sit still. I could clean the house, but I don't want to work.
Tell me I am not the only one who experiences this feeling? Please!
I think I'm going to take the remainder of the week off from the blog, from homeschool, from it all. I'm simply not going to do anything blog or homeschool related (if I can bare it), and just rest.
Until next time,
I hope the week has been good to you. If you have already started your homeschool year, you may come to appreciate this post a little more than those who have yet to start back. If you haven't started your homeschool year, take a moment and digest what I'm about to say. It isn't too pretty, but the end is spectacular!
As mom's (and dad's) we can become overwhelmed with all that life asks of us. From our children wanted the fanciest gadget to doctors appointments, vision check-ups, teeth cleanings, and not to mention the favors that are asked of us by our family and friends.
By now, I'm sure you've come to appreciate advice from others. At one point in time, you've been online looking up information. Perhaps you are looking for a recipe, or tips on budgeting. If you are like me, you've researched how to do some of the more difficult things, such as changing the brakes on your vehicle or even how to identify learning problems your child may have. Why are these things seemingly left out of learning?
Seldom do I post anything of great value. Most of the time it's a rant here and there about one thing or another. And usually, it involves homeschool, field trips, freebie downloads, etc. And those are GREAT!
But, I'm going to be real with you for a moment. Life happens. Life... just... happens. And we can complain, we can pray, we can procrastinate, we can argue until we are blue in the face. But it doesn't change a thing. Stress, worry, worry, and stress - the uglier parts of being a grown up. And I have had my fair share throughout my life - but never all at once.
Let me break it down for you. We are a big family. We drive a full size van. We traded in our Pacifica for this vehicle nearly two years ago. Granted, it was used but it was a pretty penny. We are still making payments on it. We live month to month. We can't afford big ticket costs right when they happen. So our Savana (that's our vans name) starts running hot. I called my dad in Florida and asked him some questions. He gave me some ideas on what could be wrong with it. After spraying off the condenser real well and adding more coolant, she is doing fine. Then, all of Hades blazes were upon us.
In trying to keep our vehicle up and going, we went to our local Walmart for an oil change. While it was up on the rack, the man told my husband that our tires were bad. We knew the tread was getting thin, but I thought they would last until September so we could buy a new set of tires. But hubby was concerned and rightly so. Apparently, there were metal wires beginning to show on the inside. Well, I knew that meant the front end was out of alignment. But I had zero to pay to get it aligned. On a hope and a prayer, we went to the local tire place and purchased two used tires on a 30 day warranty that would surely get us through for what little bit of driving we do. All was good... or so I thought.
After driving to see my mother 45 minutes away, we were on the road headed home, going 60 mph... And the passenger front tire blew out... Yes, one of the two we just had replaced. *Sigh* We drag the spare out from under the van. Grab the scissor jack and proceed to change the tire. Until the jack bends and the van is no longer safely positioned. *Sigh*
I grab the phone and call my lady-knight in shining armor - my neighbor and sister from another mister, Rena. She brings her floor jack out to help us. We get it propped back up and just good enough to loosen the scissor jack, when her floor jack starts to give. *Sigh*
Mind you, we are on a fairly traveled highway in Northeast Arkansas and NO one had stopped to see if we needed help. Until a kind young man, who unbeknownst to me at the time, was a former neighbor of Rena's! This young man not only had a second floor jack, but proceeded to change the tire for us. For that, I am truly thankful and the $10 dollars I had to my name was given to him for his hard work, but did not amount to nearly enough, because he changed the tire in the rain! Yes. In Arkansas, the sun shines, it rains, hails, sleets, and snows, all within 48 hours of each other. Luckily, it was just the rain this time.
Gladly, we made it home in one piece, minus hubby's shoe! *Sigh* The sole blew out of it as he was trying to climb up the ditch incline to better position himself before the scissor jack gave way.
Now, we are at another dilemma. Mother-in-law has a doctor's appointment in Little Rock Friday. I have several options:
1. Drive the van to Little Rock hoping that I do not have a flat (because the spare is being used on it already).
2. Allow my mother in law to pay to rent a vehicle (which is costly) and drive her to the appointment for her biopsy.
3. Reschedule the appointment until we can get tires on the vehicle, and pray the cells do not turn cancerous before they can get them removed.
4. Give up, tuck tail, and run for the hills. NOT!
My grandma raised me to do the best with what I have. I have hope. I have faith. I have prayer. I may be at the end of my rope, but I will not let go! I'll tie a knot and hang on!
Until next time,
As we begin preparing for our homeschool year, I started thinking about how, as parents, we strive to help our children. Whether we are working on lesson plans that will give them the best opportunity to learn, all the way to coping with everyday stressors that arise. As parent’s we want nothing but the best for our children. As a former public school family, I knew right away that my younger boys were struggling. Not just in school, but with bullying. I fought their fight. I pulled them from public school because I didn’t want them to be afraid. I wanted them to have the ability to learn in a stress-free environment. I wanted them to know that they are loved and appreciated. That their opinions are just as important as the next persons and to be equally responsible for their actions.
As I sat down this month to meditate on things, a notion popped into my mind. I couldn’t help but wonder… was my help actually hurting them?
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and sociologist. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!