As I type this, I know I SHOULD BE doing housework, but am drawn here to talk to you! You know what time of year it is....BACK TO SCHOOL time! My husband tells our kids, " It's the MOST WONDERFUL time of the year!" Boy, does that get them! LOL
Our kids are well above Elementary school now. Our oldest, our son, is going to be a Junior in College & our daughter a Senior in High School. I have to say, the trying years are when they were younger. They were hard to keep up with! (Thank goodness we were "younger" then!)
We have been homeschooling now for eight years this fall. I never thought that would be the route we'd go but, circumstances led to it. Our son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was three years old. (You talk about not being able to keep up with someone! WHEW!) I would be laying on the couch with morning sickness with our daughter & he'd be running the length of the living room trying to destroy things! (So much for laying there!)
Our son's Kindergarten year was FULL of trouble! NOT him causing trouble, but others.... It was AWFUL!!!!!!! Three to four times he came home with bruises on him. Being a concerned mother I'd check with the teacher....she didn't want me ANYWHERE AROUND!!!!!!!!!!! I volunteered.... All the schools ask for volunteers, right? Well, they didn't want ME! I was only asked to volunteer ONCE and that was for a Book Fair. I DISCOVERED, they only wanted volunteers to raise money & KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT! Once I drove up on the property & I saw my son out in the field with some of the other boys. The boys had a rope around him & he was struggling to get loose. By the time I got the car parked the bell had rung. That night our son had night terrors! I'd NEVER seen him like that before & we ended up taking him to the Emergency room. Remember, the school wouldn't let me volunteer...I was also told if I showed up "unannounced," they would escort me off the property! I couldn't understand what the problem was! I was a mother who was concerned about what was going on in the school with my son! What had I done? Well, I don't remember which incident brought me to call the school (as I remember back) but, I said I was coming in to observe the classroom & hung up! That afternoon (being our son only went half-day), I went & sat myself down in the classroom. The teacher was surprised & asked if she could help me. I told her I had called, had they not told her I was coming? No, they hadn't told her! I stayed! The kids were "tattling" to me, what they thought was bad behavior rather than doing their work while I was there. My son struggled to get his work done & was the last to get his paper in. (I dare say some of the bruises my son got were from the kids kicking him from under the table!) When we got our sons paper back, there wasn't one sticker on it for a job well done but, the other kids had stickers! At recess time, I watched my son. He climbed to the top of the slide & sat there in the little covering at the top, watching the teacher. I believe my son was afraid of the teacher & I told her so.
Things got so bad that he began to wet his pants. There were other incidents too, & incidents that involved how this teacher treated some of the other children! (I DID tell another mother about one incident I saw & she let the mother know! The mother WAS UPSET at the coldness of the teacher!) I couldn't get ANYONE to help me! The principle, a man, tried to intimidate me... At the end of the school year there was a picnic. I volunteered but, was told they had enough volunteers! I didn't find out till later that only one mother & her mother, (they ended up grilling hot dogs, she's the one who asked why I wasn't there); the teachers' daughter & the teacher went to watch all those kids at a park where there was a large pond. I LEARNED when a teacher DOESN'T want the parent around....THERE'S A PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I transferred my son OUT of that school! Here's something else WEIRD! The kids were told they could only use, girls- two squares of toilet paper & boys- one square! Hm mmm! Like I said, WEIRD!!!!!!!!
We ended up across town. We stayed at that school the whole time our son was in elementary school & he flourished & I got to do ALOT of volunteer work! From tutoring to running copies, helping on field trips, etc.! Then at the end of Sixth grade a teacher pulled me aside & told me there was a problem...We went back to the Pediatrician & our son was diagnosed with Aspergers. Aspergers is the high end of Autism. It stunts social interaction & you get alot of immature behavior, the children focus on action hero's.... & are VERY SMART! But, there is that problem of interacting with others their age. They feel closer & would rather be with adults than their peers. Leaving Sixth grade our son received the "Presidential Award!" We were SO PROUD of him! He had come a LONG WAY from Kindergarten! I had also found out that our son's Kindergarten teacher was the head of the Teachers' Union. INTERESTING!!!!!!!!
Two weeks into Junior High, Seventh grade, a girl punched our son in the nose in the cafeteria! Our son tried to shield himself from her with his lunch bag. I was called & told there had been a "scuffle" & our son wouldn't talk to the Vice Principle but, was only concerned with getting to class. (That's our son! Even with all the mess in Kindergarten he wanted to go to school! He was a SPONGE! His LOVE OF LEARNING surpassed ALL! ) The Vice Principle told me if there were another incident, our son would be suspended! When our son came home, I was able to get the story out of him as to what happened. He had accidentally kicked the girl when he sat down at the table---you know those picnic type tables they have... I asked if he had apologized for kicking her. He said, "Yes." I called the Vice Principle & let him know what our son had told me. The Vice Principle said, our son would still be suspended if it happened again. I said, our son WOULD DEFEND HIMSELF IF NECESSARY & they didn't want that either! Are you kidding? The kids aren't even allowed to defend themselves? I told him AGAIN, OUR SON WOULD DEFEND HIMSELF! And he said, our son would be suspended then! They don't care or don't want to be bothered with what is right or wrong! We even had our son going in early, before the bell rang to help set up in the cafeteria, to keep the kids separated as they were ousting him in the morning waiting for the bell...things were getting a little touchy! This behavior was done right in front of me & they let me know they didn't want me to talk to the kids! Things seemed to go OK after that, as far as we knew.
Two weeks into Eighth grade-----our son came to me on a Sunday morning as I was making breakfast & told me another student had told him, "You'll be dead in seven days." This incident happened on that Thursday. I took him into my husband & we told my husband. My husband called the Police & they came over & we filed a Police Report. Of course, we didn't send our son back to school on Monday morning. The only reason our son hadn't told us earlier, is because he was TRYING TO BE BRAVE & GROWN UP, he had gone to the Principle & told him IMMEDIATELY! Then on that Friday, our son saw that the boy was STILL IN SCHOOL! Our son KNEW, NOTHING was going to be done & the fear was too much for him to carry alone anymore! I called the school Monday morning & let them know our son WOULDN'T BE IN SCHOOL that day, due to what had happened the week before! The Principle called back IMMEDIATELY & my husband took the call. The Principle INSISTED on our son returning to school! My husband told him our lawyer said he didn't have to return & we were afraid of what would happen to our son! The principle said he did HIS "OWN INVESTIGATION!" (He hadn't even filed a report with the police!) AND he didn't want us to talk to ANYONE ELSE about what had happened! We ran back & forth for awhile picking up, dropping off our son's assignments... all the while, EVERYONE at the school would smile at me & be OVERLY FRIENDLY! I couldn't take it anymore & asked my husband to take it over. He did! ( I couldn't take the friendly to my face, stick me in the back with a knife behavior!) Even the school counselor wouldn't help! I felt the kids needed to know there was a difference so they could LEARN COMPASSION! ( This was about the same time a boy had been featured on National News with Aspergers & how everyone rallied around him; a basketball player.... The kids knew there was a difference & they had compassion...I heard after everything was over, the counselor had come down with Cancer! Hm mmm, when you mess with one of God's children.... you're walking on shaky ground!)
We decided to Home School our children! Even though, our daughter was in Elementary School & doing well, a different school, we figured if they couldn't keep our son safe, they weren't going to keep our daughter safe either!They had ACTUALLY TOLD US, they couldn't keep our children safe! When we looked through our son's notebooks later we found where another child had written DISGUSTING, AWFUL things to our son during class. It had been some sort of round circle type of activity. Our lawyer told us we COULDN'T sue because nothing had happened to our son. Another words, because we were smart enough to pull him out of school BEFORE anything could happen, we couldn't sue!
It took me awhile to get things in order but, by the end of the year I had a letter written to the Superintendent! It turned out she FIRED the Principle! He just moved on to another school in Northern Ohio. (We were living in Ohio at the time.) Another Principle took over for him & he called (under the direction of the Superintendent), trying to talk us into having our son come back to school, all the while he was saying what a GREAT Principle the other man had been, & NO MENTION as to whether the other child had been disciplined! We weren't about to have them go back into the Public School System! Home schooling was hard for the children at first; they had to be "unschooled."
Now, with us being in our LAST YEAR of High School with our daughter & our son doing SO WELL in college, you can see why I'd make a BIG DEAL out of this time of year for them! Did I tell you, our son is a MATH MAJOR????? On the DEANS' LIST???? AND he's even in the NATIONAL MATH HONOR SOCIETY???? (He didn't get it from me!!!!!!!!!!! Remember Math ISN'T my favorite subject!) LOL
I could NEVER recommend the Public School System to anyone after what we've been through. (AND I didn't even tell you everything!) I WOULD recommend Home Schooling! We use Alpha Omega Curriculum if you're looking for curriculum to use for your child(ren). It is a FULL curriculum & you can purchase it through Christian Book Distributors. http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find/1300434804?Ntt=alpha+omega+homeschool+curriculum&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCQ&nav_search=1&cms=1
Our children are PRECIOUS to us!!!!!!!!!!! I believe you think your children are too! We NEED to start thinking like our Pioneer Fore Fathers in MANY WAYS!!!!!! AND I think PARTICULARLY in the area of SCHOOLING!
NO ONE will do better for your children than you would! NO ONE knows what your children need more than you do! YOU are your childrens' BEST TEACHER & ADVOCATE! Even Kevin Costner believes this! (Normally, I don't know one "star" from the next! SERIOUSLY!!!!!! I DON'T FOLLOW Hollywood AT ALL!!!!!!!!!! ) I heard him say, his children go with him on EVERY movie set, EVERYWHERE he goes, because he doesn't want someone else raising his children! (I believe this was on a Trailer to the movie, The Hatfield's & The McCoys.) If Hollywood feels this way, I think we should be re-thinking our way of schooling our children!
Here are the cards I made for our children this year to encourage them in the coming year! I know they're older & these look like kiddie cards but, I think the kids will still enjoy them! NOTICE the PUNCH ART???
Here is what I did: I created a collage back ground with a CHF Scrap block-Vintage Ledger, adding script from CHF Supah Star Stamp set, also using Stampintons- French Dictionary set & A B Seas Alphabet Stamp set. I wrote in pencil the basic subjects here & there. All punches are SU. I also added paper clips, Bakers Twine, & colored staples. For the INSIDE of my cards: I typed Ecc. 9:10a "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," on a lined index card & punched the side with SU- Spiral punch, stamping an A+ in the lower right hand corner & layering it on royal blue card stock. The punch art was FUN! Here are the recipes for both the little girl & the little boy! Here is the little GIRL first:
Here is the little BOY:
I used the Peachy Keen Stamp set- PK-490 Everyday Character Face Assortment. They have SUCH CUTE faces! If you check out their stamps you'll see they have SUCH A VARIETY of faces for not only cute little people/kids, but snowmen, critters, etc.! I'm NOT MUCH into "CUTSEY" but, these little stamps are a MUST if you do punch art! I noticed, with the Peachy Keen stamps, they are curved so you won't get the edge of the stamp when stamping! (A NICE little touch!!! AND they're made here in the USA! )
NICE assortment, huh? Flipping the package over----
You can see what you'd get!
You can get your Peachy Keen Stamps here: http://www.peachykeenstamps.com/ OR you can do like I did, & get them through Joanns.com & even use their coupons!
Now, I wanted to make something 3D for the kids too! Something to hold a little SWEET LOVE! CHOCOLATE! Here's what I did!
Aren't they CUTE! Little Paper Back Packs! I used the SU- Stamp in Around stamps, Watercolor Joy & Texture. Looking at them, I WISH I had some LARGE ALPHABET STAMPS! AND I thought they were lacking something! Sooooo, how about a little Back Pack "CHARM???" Anybody, saying "Shrinky Dink?" NOW, look at them!
Here's where you can find the instructions on how to make the Paper Back Packs: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/backpackbox/
What do you think? These were SOOO MUCH FUN to make! I think the kids in your life would LOVE them too!
One last bit of information that will be helpful to ANYONE who is thinking of or already Homeschooling is, JOIN HSLDA ( Home School Legal Defense Association)! Check here for more information: http://www.hslda.org/ If you ever have any troubles with your school district etc., they're there to help you! If you're a single mother who is homeschooling & just don't have the money to join, I believe they have a program for you too! AND this group isn't just for the U.S.A.! They work World Wide! It isn't "insurance" but, they will help you with all the legal stuff that might pop-up! They are Advocates for the Homeschooler!
Be sure to get some ink on your fingers this week! Might I suggest BLUE????
See you here next week for something SPECIAL made in BLUE!