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March 30, 2016

Politics 2016

It's election season! Of course you knew that --

Four years ago, I had the opportunity to see Romney in person and take the kids to see Santorum in person. Seeing Santorum also meant having a surprise visit; meeting with the Duggars.  They were supporting Santorum at that time and were traveling with him.

This election cycle will be the last one before my own children are eligible to vote. Both of them will be able to vote in 2020 presidential elections -- primary and general. One thing I have tried to do for my kids is when the opportunities arises to take them the rallies of the various candidates or taken them to the capital to fight against bills we don't approve.

We had the opportunity a few weeks ago to a go to a Cruz rally here.

We also could have gone to a Trump event yesterday -- but after hearing about people being arrested the night BEFORE and because I wasn't feeling the best yesterday decided to stay home.  That and reports this morning stated that a teen girl about my daughter's age was peppered sprayed and groped at the event. :smh:

I'm not a fan of Trump. I was only thinking of taking the kids because I have told them for as long as I can remember that when possible you should listen to what the people have to say directly and not listen to the spin that the media gives things.  So going would have been a opportunity to just listen to him in person without the talking heads on TV spinning it. -- it's just sad that his events have become a place for such civil unrest.  I understand free speech, first amendment rights, and those protesting have just as much rights as those that support him.  Supporters or people curious about what he has to say and want to listen to him, in person, should be able to go without fear of being attacked, groped, pepper-sprayed. etc.  Sigh!

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March 3, 2016

Looking Back: The Early Years

My kids are older now 15/14 (well nearly 14 and 15). When you get a chance to look back and reflect you may realize you did somethings good, some things great, and other things ... well you just wish for a do over.

I have a do over wish.

Before I continue I want to make it clear: Your kids, you and only you know what's best for them. You and only you can decide what to do. If you are the type that wants curriculum and formal learning for your 3, 4, 5 year old then this post isn't for you.
If you are on the fence, have doubts, or feeling you have to keep up with the Jones ... this is for you!
This is my 8th year homeschooling. Yes, it's just my daughter now; the boy is at the public high school against my wishes. (Hubby wanted him there).  My feelings about education has changed over the years. If I had a do over ....

If I had a do over I would have never sent my kids to public school for those 2 years. (1st/K for the boy; pre-k/k for the girl) If I had a do over I would have pushed harder to have been able to keep them home and always homeschooled .... or at least waited for the state's compulsory age which at the time was 7 in Illinois (It a few years ago changed to 6). Heck, I didn't even know, back then, that legally I didn't even have to send my kids to school until 7.

I just did what everyone else did .... even though I didn't like it. I truly didn't fully understand my options. I was young 20 something. Now as a 30 something. I get it. If I had to do it over...

If I had to do it over I would have kept my kids home. I would have never sent a 4/5 year old to school. I would have NOT use a curriculum or any formal learning. I would have continued to do what I was doing as MOM.

A good mom. cuddles with books and movies. Library trips, trips to the park. Lots of outdoor play. Always making sure they had access to crayon, pencils, and paper. Taking out the paints, play dough, scissors time to time. Helping them learn self help skills, colors, numbers. All WITHOUT a curriculum.

Help me sort the laundry. I need 3 cans of tuna can you get them? Can't find them they are the small cans with the blue label.  Teaching them our address, phone number, what my name is (real name, not just mommy).  Lets spell your name. All those things that good parents does without the need to use an actual curriculum, books, worksheets.

I would have insisted that formal learning, school, waited until they were 7.

I have realized there is no need to push school any sooner than that! If you do that fine, they are your kids.

I'm speaking to those that are on the fence. Those that have no desire to start formal schooling, but then panic and have doubts because they hear Sally is sending her kids to pre-school or is buying a ton of curriculum to work at home with.  

If you don't want curriculum then don't use it. Do not feel pressure to having to do formal schooling just because that's what the Jones are doing. If you have no desire that is perfectly acceptable! It is totally okay.

God willing if I had younger kids this is exactly what I would be doing today. I would be just MOM. I would be just letting my little kids play and would NOT be doing any kind of school work with them until they were 6.....

February 27, 2016

Organ Concert

One thing I have learned over the years is to take advantage of community events, especially if they are FREE events.

Friday we had the opportunity for one such event. A local community center once a month does a program called Organ Concert at noon. This is a free program that includes a free, light, lunch.

It just happened to be a no school day for my son (against my wishes we sent him to the public school this year) too. It was awesome to have him around while we went to this event.

As for the concert it was nice. We listened to several pieces many classical pieces like Bach and one by a new composer. The composer was even there to listen to his piece being played. It was the first time it was played for the public.

At the lunch the organist approached us and thanked us for coming. No questions about why we weren't in school, no questions about school, just a simple thanks for coming it so nice to see young people at these events.

It was a great afternoon and I look forward to this event next month and the months to follow.

A note about the photo: My kids were actually happy to be there I just took the photo at a bad time.

January 29, 2016

Traveling down the road of socialization

What about socialization? If you have homeschooled for any length of time you know this is always asked.

Having to send my son to public school this year, against my wishes, I realized socialization was easier when we were homeschooling exclusively.

Why? Simple? You know your kids friends, you know the parents - or at least be able to recognize them in a crowd. You most likely have at least have said hi to the other parents, hi to the kids, and feel comfortable with being able to talk to the other parent if there is a need.

The boy has been in school now for 5 months. I have met no one. I know of names, he talks about them, but have met no one.

Tonight he was invited to a party, not by the host or the host parents, but by someone else that was invited. He was told about it today and came home asking can I go?

What was I to do? The party was to be at a local pizza place in just over an hour from when he told me. I do not know the parents, the kid who the party is for, and unsure if he really was welcomed.

Did the parents paying for the food really plan on my kid being there too? I have no one to call. The only contact info the boy has is the friend that invited him.

What about socialization? What about it? At least with homeschooling I knew parents, truly knew who my kids talked to. Not because I want control of that, but because I can say I know and with them being teens can say at least I feel like they are with good kids.... when they do things with their friends  I or another parent is not around.

I understand, with my 5 month exposure, how parents can know nothing about their child's friends. I dropped my son at the pizza place. However I did not do a drop and run. I am sitting here, alone, eating my dinner (and blogging) while my son is in the party room. It's been several hours now and seeing my son is in the party room I guess it was cool he's here ... but I still have not met anyone.  And I seriously don't think I will.

It blows my mind. If it was my kid's party and a child I never met showed up I would be asking is your mom or dad here? Is it possible to meet them? I would welcome the child, even if I didn't plan on having them there, but I would be looking for the other parent to at least say hi, introduce myself, and let them know how long the party would be.

January 21, 2016

Free Number Charts

I have noticed that a few people in a number of groups I belong to have been asking for FREE number charts. I made two of them. One with the evens highlighted and one plain so that the child could color it in if you desire. They are nothing fancy, but will serve your needs.

I have also included links to these on the FREEBIE tab above so you will be able to find them again easily if needed. :D (Click on the text for printable version)

Number Chart 1 to 100 highlighted.

Number Chart 1 to 100 plain for child to color if wanted.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.
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