Friday, May 9, 2014

Found the help they (or Me) needed!

My last post was a little negative about my homeschooling and the way my kids are taking to it.  They have improved a lot over the past couple of months.  I did sit down with them and told them that if I don't get some help from them they have to start school in the fall and that is that.  My 8yo told me he really enjoys being home schooled and wants to continue so he has really stepped up. At 9am he is ready to work and is done by 1 or 2 with a break for lunch.  We also had a talk and he voiced some concerns he had about the fact that I can't really help him when he needs it because of his brother (who's in 1st grade) and the fact that I also help him.  So I went online and found Time 4 Learning.  Time 4 Learning  is online learning.  It is exactly what we needed which was help for one child while I was schooling the other.

Here's an example of our old school day: both boys
9am - argue for 30 minutes than start and work on math sheets for 30 minutes with lots of questions and lots of frustration
10am- try and take a 10 minute brake for snacks bathroom and etc. which would turn into 40 minutes do to more arguing and frustration
11am(ish)-science with experiments no arguing, no frustration but lots of questions.
noon-lunch with play time outside
1pm-English/reading and writing lots more arguing, lots more questions and lots more frustration
2:30pm (ish)- social studies they didn't mind this that much because I read this to them so...
Now what you need to know is that while I would be helping one child I would try my hardest to have the other one working on something else. This didn't always work out. We also had our days where all they wanted to do was argue and school work wouldn't be done until 5pm.

Example of our school day after I found time for learning (and my talk with the boys)
9am- Math worksheets (a little arguing from my 1st grader but he's 6 so...)
but while I would be helping one the other would be doing the math lesson on time 4 learning that went along with our math lesson.
10am- science - science with experiments no arguing, no frustration but lots of questions - While I would be helping one the other would be on the computer doing their time 4 learning that went along with it
11am- Language arts - online for one
            while the other reads and writes
noon - lunch with outside play
1pm - social studies - online for my 3rd graders is all we use now and he loves it
                                    Book for my first grader and online if we are away
Our school day is usually done around 2pm but now that the school year is wrapping up we are sometimes done by lunch.  The best part, well in my opinion, is that  I added weekly spelling tests with words provided by Time 4 learning. They provided a reading list and a spelling list, I have to pick out which words for the test, but I am OK with that. They hate the test but it has really helped them with their reading and writing.
I am so glad I found Time 4 Learning, it has helped us work smoother as teacher and students. Our school day runs so much better now that when they are done for the day, I don't worry that something is missing.
They one question I get a lot of is if we do summer school.  This summer my answer is "yes", 45 minutes of Time 4 Learning every Monday, Wednesday and Friday plus reading everyday.

please note: As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why am I doing this to you and to me? A confession

We Homeschool!

There I said it. What a thing to get off my chest.  I should be relieved but I'm not, why?  Because that's not it, I have no problem telling people we homeschool.  What I really want to confess is that I think my kids are stupid and it's all my fault.
This is the hardest thing we have ever chosen to do.  Deciding to have kids was easy and we did it twice, but this. I had no idea that there would be days and days and days on end that I would argue, fight and cry. My stress level never come down, unless I have a drink and I don't like to drink.   I have fights everyday with my kids because I'm thinking "why don't you get this, it's easy!"  Well of course it's easy I'm 35.  When I was 8 I struggled with school so bad that I can remember faking sick day after sick day just so I didn't have to go.
My kids really aren't stupid,  my 8 year can recite more than 1/2 the periodic table and tell you all about molecules and atoms and how they were made.  He did that work on his own only asking for help with words that I had look up.
My 6 year old has the most creative mind and I love it.  He wakes up and will talk about his dream for an hour.  He would make a great author one day.
Why did we choose this form of learning? 
There is nothing wrong with our school and hundreds of kids go everyday.
Why did I think putting myself through this was a good idea?
I am a Mom and Mom's can do anything they put their mind to.
What am I doing so wrong that my kids hate school so much?
Every kid hates school and even if they went to school they would still hate it.  I am personally responsible for my kids education that when they say they hate doing this I take it personally.
Are my kids so far behind that they will never catch up?
There are many children behind in one subject but excel at others. Mine are no different.
Are mine the only homeschoolers that fight everyday?
No, I've asked other homeschoolers and they laugh at the fact that they think mine are the only ones who fight.
Why do they say "this is taking forever!"?
They've never been to a full day of school. so of course the fact that I ask about 4-6 hours a day from them seems like a lot.  What the don't understand is that if they went to school they would go to school for 8 hours, come home and do more school work and still have chores to do.

I've got my answers, so why do I still have these feelings.  Because I can reason with myself but an 8 and 6 year old don't understand reason yet.  I try and explain to them that if just sat down and did the work it would be done and they could go about their day.  No they want to cry and fight and argue until the worksheet that should have taken 20 minutes to do took and hour.
Now why am I confessing this. Yesterday was the worse day yet. My 8year old fought me all day about his work and missed his hockey tournament game because he didn't want to do his school work.  We still went, but he sat had to tell his coach and team why he wasn't playing and than sat in the stands.  Than he came home and I still made him finish his work.  He didn't but I got him up at 4am to finish it and he did it in 1 hour flat.  No arguing, no fighting, no tears, Just work!  WHY is he doing this! I can't do this everyday.  I am ready for them to go to school but it won't be any different when they get home.  We will still fight, argue, cry and stress out because now they have homework!
I really hope some day they will understand that we choose to homeschool them because we love and care about them and their education but now... Now I just want to get through 1 day with out a fight!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A little sadness

My cousin died today. He was about 3 years older than me but was very sick for at least 3 years. I don't know how to feel about this. I am very sorry for my aunt and my cousin (his sister) and my cousins wife. But on the other hand there is also this sense of relief. He was so sick for so long and was not a very honest person before he got sick. Before you ask I have no idea what was wrong with him. There were so many things over the years and he was in and out of the hospital. Every time he went in they would either find something new or whatever was wrong with him last time was worse this time.
So back to the honesty, he asked if my oldest son could stand up in his wedding. And I told him straight up that we had just had our second son, my husband's 3 month strike had just ended and we had to travel to his wedding. He said to me if I could get there he would take care of the tux rental. When I went to pick up my sons tux I got a bill for $130. My son was almost 3! When I said something to my cousin he said "I'll write you a check." Never got it. Said something again and he said that he sent it and I cashed it. No I didn't. Now I know this sounds petty, but it was more the point that he has not only done this to me but to many members of our family and our family's friends. I do believe that what goes around comes around but for what he's gone through the past 3 years he must have been much more dishonest than I thought. I think the real problem with the way I am feeling about all this is I don't feel loss I feel relief. All my grandparents, 1 uncle and 2 of my aunts have died and with those I felt loss, I was sad. This.... This is new.

- Love ME

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Not a bad way to read a book

No I don't usually read books, I listen to them, but since it is a 9 hour plane ride to Hawaii I figured I would get a book for the occasion. The husband was off playing with the kids, the sun was out and I read my book.
First about the book it is the 3rd in the Divergent trilogy. They about about a Chicago that is split up into to fractions and when you are of age you pick yours. These books follow a young girl name Beatrish (she shortens it to Trish) and her journey from one fraction to a completely opposite one. She has to deal with life, love and trying to bring the people who run fractions down. Now onto my opinion! All three books where very well written and I enjoyed "reading" all of them. Never a dull moment, I always to to find out what happened next. But by the end of the third I was very disappointed. The ending wasn't bad, just disappointingly unexpected.

So onto my Hawaiian vacation. Beach vacation are not our thing, they are my thing! Cold, mountains and snow work very well for my husband but he travels for his job and had accrued enough miles for 4 of to enjoy a vacation of my choosing.

Exploring near the turtle bay resort.

Dole plantation

Hiking to a very small waterfall


Hike up Diamond head (view of Waikiki beach)

Pearl Harbor

North shore


And than right before we moved to the next island this little guy showed up!

Crater hiking


Banyan tree

Eucalyptus tree

Pretty rain forest flower

Hana highway

Waiting to go on to our next and final leg of our trip
The big Island

Kona coffee

Best husband got me the best car ever!

Because we're dorks! He's standing I front of a lava tube.

Lava arch

In volcano national park the road used to go all the around until a volcano and it's lava stopped that. No we did not see any flowing lava but we did find the road!

Lava rock

And than this happened the next day. Don't get me wrong I love snow but after 2 weeks of shorts and fun in the sun (yes it did rain but not all the time). I was and am ready to go back.
One word of advice that I wish someone would have told me. If you rent a car it it going to take you about an hour to get anywhere!
- Love ME

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trying something new

So physical fitness is very big in our house. My husband and I have been running together (between his broken bones) since we've been together. My kids "workout" the best they can. As a family we'd rather be out doing something than sitting at home doing nothing. But over the years between kids and gravity my skin isn't keeping up with the rest of body.
We are going on a beach vacation soon and I want to rock a 2 piece. So I'm going to give Skin tight a try.
I've bought products like this in the past and since I put it on everyday I haven't seen a huge difference in my skin. But the way I look at it is if I didn't use it how bad would my stomach look!

- Keep crafting! Love, Me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Woes

My two boys couldn't be more different.

My 8yo has major anxiety issues and get nervous over stuff that he's done his entire life. Which drives me nuts because THAT'S ME! I see a young me a little person who took ballet for 4 years but would never dance in public.
Like in this picture (touch a truck day) he wanted to sit on the zambonie, walked past it 3 times and than asked to leave. We had to pick up his little brother from camp. After getting him we walked past 1 more time and his 6yo little brother ran over to it wanted to sit on it. He climbed right up and sat down. No issues. Only than did he sit on it. I asked him latter why he didn't sit down the first time. His answer "I didn't want to get into to trouble". It took everything I had to not yell out "it's touch a truck day that's why their there."
One of my friends once told me when your child does something you hate about yourself it looks 100X worse.
- Love ME

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When the kids are away...

Mom REALLY cleans the house! Not my ideal Sunday but a couple of weeks ago after my 7yo finished his hockey practice my husband took the kids to the auto show for the day. I was going to go shopping but instead of that I cleaned.
The cleaning concoction - baking soda, peroxide- make a paste put on grout and than let it sit.
I worked in sections so by the time I finished putting the paste down I would start from the beginning to clean it up. Lots of water and toothbrushes.



Water before

Water after- gross

Magic eraser and elbow grease-

Everyone got new toothbrushes after this cleaning!

All the cleaning took me about 6 hours and than I had to make dinner.
Fun day but weeks later the grout and bath tub still look great.
- Love ME