Tag Archives: stay-at-home mom

Don’t Take It At Face Value

Standardized test May 2016

It’s standardized testing season. And I have a perfectionist child. He wants to get everything right – the first time – without exception.

He finishes his practice test and discovers after checking his work, that he got several answers wrong relating to interdependence, cooperation, and wants vs needs. Initially, he was crushed, and came to me about it. Instead of immediately agreeing with his answers being incorrect according to the answer guide, I asked him to explain the answers he selected. I was taken aback. And thrilled. He’s an outside-the-box thinker. He doesn’t just accept the answer at face value. He thinks, reasons and examines.  And I don’t want to change that about him for anything in the world.

I love my little homeschool family. I love my creative thinkers. I’m ecstatic that he understands the answer that may be desired on the test and why, but can still defend his thoughts. It’s an amazing feeling to see his young mind at work.

He doesn’t just accept an answer at face value. Indeed, I’m raising individuals. And I love it.

The Together Shirt …. Raising Up Parents

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My boys would not stop arguing this morning. I’d had enough. They are normally very sweet, considerate and get along well. But alas, it was one of those mornings. Out of patience, I decided to get creative with a solution. I stuck them together … literally … by wearing a huge Together Shirt.

They balked at first. Even cried, lol. Ah, I have a winner here. I grabbed one of my big shirts, squished the boys in, and voila, Together Shirt. I went back to work, pleased with myself.

A funny thing happened. They came up to me ten minutes later, asking if they could wear the shirt all day! It was fun, they said. They were reading, doing activities, and were pretending to be one big monster!  No fussing on my part, no yelling, no additional punishments – just teaching a valuable lesson to learn to work together.

How is this raising up parents? I read an article today about the rise in Kindergarten suspensions – Kindergarteners!!! For throwing chairs, bullying other kids, drugs, even lewd conduct. Sad. Disheartening. Also angering. And preventable.

Parents – where are you? What are you doing? Raising children is not a pastime or hobby. You don’t do it when you feel like it. You don’t get to decide when to pay attention and when to ignore. It involves time, effort, diligence, energy and patience! It also involves love, caring, sacrifice, and as you can see by my example, a little creativity. What is your “together shirt”? How do you reach your children? No answer? Then that is your answer. Get busy doing it. Now. Don’t know what to do? Get help from books, resources. Put in the time and effort.

In raising up your little ones,  you’ll find yourself growing, too.

Why I Homeschool . . .

Homeschooling December 2015

When I started this journey over a year ago, it was daunting, to say the least.  I really wasn’t sure I could do it.  I mean, the thought of the responsibility for all that my children would learn, being in my hands, overwhelmed me.  Good teachers, teachers who care and love and have a passion for helping children, are amazing and deserve our respect and accolades!  I hardly thought I could measure up.

Then a funny thing happened.  I realized I didn’t have to measure up.  It’s not a competition.  Instead of trying to teach in a certain way or be like that amazing teacher, I had to put my trust in God to navigate this journey.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do my research, lesson plans, preparations, field trips, grading papers, science experiments (I’m getting tired just reading that J).  Rather, it means if God has trusted me with this noble calling, then He will equip me to do it.

So in spite of myself, my limitations, my shortcomings, I homeschool.  I homeschool because I am putting more than academics into my boys.  We are studying Godly character.  We have a lot of life lessons – we study how to prioritize time, how to make decisions on what is most important and why.  When we’re all tired and no one can focus, we can take a break and go play outside, or head out the door to a field trip.  We play together, talk together, have lunch together, think together and dream together.  We study what intrigues them, and have time to research fun activities. We take vacations when the beaches are empty, and do science experiments at night. We stay at the free university called the library for hours, or make grocery shopping a time of math and critical thinking – why should we get milk instead of chips? We have afternoon cuddles and wonderful story times of reading. It is an amazing adventure.

It’s not easy.  It’s not convenient. But I love it, and I’m so thankful for homeschool.

Freeze A Feeling

Freeze a Feeling

I wish I could freeze the feeling of …

A 4 year old hugging me around the neck
How I feel when my son says “yes ma’am” and shows respect.
My joy at hearing my children laugh,
The relaxation of a soothing warm bath.
A tender touch, my husband’s kiss
A first day of school I dare not miss.
Just a few family moments on my mind tonight … feelings I wish I could freeze and feel forever.

Don’t Be Sorry for the Struggle

Fantastic blog written by Christy Wright. And well worth sharing.

“You’re spoiling that child! She’s going to grow up thinking the world revolves around her!”

From the time I was a small child, friends and family warned my mom that her parenting would ruin me. They said I would grow up selfish—that I would expect everything handed to me on a silver platter.

It’s true that I didn’t suffer many consequences when I misbehaved. They were right that my mom rarely told me “no” when I wanted a new toy or outfit.

That’s because my mom, like many single mothers, often operated out of a sense of guilt that my dad wasn’t in the picture. This led to more freedom and fewer consequences.

But all of those well-meaning family and friends didn’t consider this:

I watched my mother struggle.

– See more at: http://christywright.com/2015/03/dont-be-sorry-for-the-struggle/#sthash.DNl9aKW4.dpuf

The Greatest Show On Earth . . . Part 2

Circus popcorn

I told you Monday about how we got into the circus for the low low. Now I’ll tell you how I kept quiet a couple of little boys who eat for sport … and want everything in sight.

– Feed them – good – before we go inside. And I don’t mean in the food court of the venue, where prices are sky high. We stroll past Chick Fil A or another restaurant where it’s food they like, they can fill up, and it doesn’t break the bank.
– Strike up a deal, almost immediately. Their eyes will glaze over at the toys and gadgets they could buy. Then hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza, oh my! I scope out the prices and find something they can both SHARE. Don’t you want Popcorn? Bingo. Redirected.
– Bring in a few goodies of your own, if you can. A snack pack of cheezits or something similar can go a long way after the salt and butter of the popcorn have worn off.
– Eat slowly. Doesn’t always work, but I try to slow them down.
– Give them something to look forward to. No, I’m not going to buy any other items (gotta stick to my budget). But when we get home we’ll have a special snack and talk about our fun time.
My tricks don’t always work, but use a few together … and you’ve got a winner.

Love Me Some Him

My youngest son and I are opposites. I’m outgoing, he refuses to communicate. I’m pretty affectionate, he’s … not. When it’s time to be calm and reserved, he thinks it’s time to get buck wild. Though we are alike in one critically important way – we both love chocolate and macaroni and cheese. Lol. But I digress. Let’s just say, with two completely different personalities, there may not seem to be a lot of common ground.

Yet there is in one very important way. Love. I love my sweet four year old baby boy. I love his little fat juicy hands and cheeks. I love the way he talks. I love his smile. I love to see him run, happily playing, without a care in the world (even if he’s wearing me out). I love to hear him sing and laugh. I love to see him lick his lips and rub his belly for his favorite foods. And I love to cuddle with him.

As a parent I’m learning that it’s not about trying to get my kids to fit in a certain mold for me, or about seeing how “like me” they can be. It’s about loving them for who they are, as the precious gifts God meant them to be. And I do love me some him.

Yes, But He’s Mine

I had a harrowing day. Dentist appointment, school, business calls in the middle of grammar assignments, grocery shopping, son that ran buck wild around the store (there truly is not another way to describe it), basketball practice, baths, prayers and bed. To say I am exhausted would be an understatement. As my mind wanders over my day, it becomes fixed on one point … one little 4-year-old point to be exact. My youngest son (the one who ran around the store and screamed, crazy and carefree). It took all of my energy – mental, physical, emotional – to maintain composure. I warned. I was firm. I threatened. I finally pleaded. Nothing worked to calm him down. He wasn’t upset mind you … just having fun. I felt the other shoppers’ eyes. Some were scathing. A few came over and told me how “cute” he was (not quite sure how they meant it). A few times I wanted to pretend I didn’t know him. But as I think back over it all, I come to one conclusion … this kid is pure energy with legs. He’s loud, wild, funny, maddening, silly, frustrating and exhausting. But he’s mine. And I love him just the way he is.

Of course I can say that now … lol. But if you see me out shopping … don’t ask.

Not On The Court, Mom

Not on the Court 2

It finally happened. I embarrassed my son. He was incredible on the basketball court – as incredible as an 8-year old can be. He’d actually made two shots to help his team win the game! I was so proud. I shouted – a lot – during the game. During one of my “let’s go” moments, I let a nickname slip. It’s not a “cutey” name or doesn’t contain the words “sweetie, honey or precious”, so I thought I was in good shape. After his face morphed into a deer caught in headlights, he frantically waved his hands “nooooo!” from the court. I thought I was just too loud, lol. Turns out, after the game, he explained that I could only call him “Andrew” on the court. My face fell. I was crushed. Really? Yes, really.

And the list has grown. I also am not supposed to randomly kiss him in public, and I can’t be too silly, lest any of his friends are around. Plus, I can’t mention certain TV shows he watches or fun things he does at home, in case it’s too silly. I mean, really, how am I supposed to remember all this?!

I can’t believe the regulations from my 8 year old. Sniff sniff. Not on the court, indeed ….