This work by Rayven Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
There is really no other way to put it. Our life right now is completely insane, in a
good way of course. Six weeks ago I had
our third son, yup third! Some people
collect stamps I, apparently, collect sons.
He has brought with him tons of joy and of course the typical chaos that
ensues when your schedule is based around when a little one needs to nurse or
be changed. I've sat down to blog, or at
least think through a blog, and have had to quit in order to please the podling
who from this moment forth will be referred to as Stormaggedon Dark Lord of
All, or Stormaggedon for short.
First: We applied distilled white vinegar to the mattress and poured baking soda over it (this helps remove the smell). The vinegar smell will linger for a bit, but it will eventually go away-and vinegar smells way better than pee-. We let this set for a while and then vacuumed it up. I would highly recommend applying baking soda more than once to ensure the mattress gets thoroughly dried-the baking soda is what pulls the moisture out of the mattress; it’s also great for when the accident first occurs in order to dry it-. We did it only once since we started a bit later in the morning and wanted to get the mattress out in the sunshine before it got too late.
Second: Place the dry mattress outside in a nice sunny spot. We placed Professor Chaos’ mattress on top of T.B.M.’s outdoor play equipment so it wasn’t lying on the ground and had a great sunny spot. We kept it out there for the rest of the afternoon-roughly 3 hours or so-. There was a noticeable difference in the mattress when we brought it inside, not all the stains were completely gone (some of the darker ones had faded but not completely disappeared, while others were totally gone), but we had only had it out there for a few hours so we weren’t expecting them all to have vanished.
We plan to repeat the process on another weekend, skipping the vinegar/baking soda process and then placing the mattress out in the sun first thing in the morning and not bringing it in until just before the sun goes down. We were very pleased with the difference and are happy we won’t have to replace the mattress anytime soon. Not only does the sun help get out those pesky stains, but it kills any gross bacteria that may be lingering on the mattress as well, giving your little one a fresh smelling, stain free, bacteria free place to lay their head. I recommend vacuuming the mattress before you put the bedding back on just to make sure there is no lingering baking soda, pollen, etc. that may have been leftover or picked up while outdoors.
This article on Slate is making the rounds today…and it’s the typical anti-homeschooling nonsense we have all come to know and love. Although, this one is a bit different because it takes aim at “progressive, liberal” homeschoolers, did I just get called out? I did! Darn it! I was hoping to just read this, get pissed and then return to my cave.
I’ll give run through all the silliness-and some opinions of course, because you know we all have one, even if they are wrong-:
1.First we have the a-typical worst case scenario used to paint a portrait of all homeschoolers/unschoolers
2.We have the vast assumptions that if you fit into this group here –in this case liberals- that you of course do the following: don’t use textbooks, only teach history that fits into your viewpoints, and teach college level math to 13 year olds-regardless if they are ready for such a thing or not-
3.If you homeschool then you believe you alone should decide how your child is educated-ok I must admit that I believe the education of one’s offspring should fall on the PARENTS regardless if they make the decision to send their child to public school, private school, or use one(or all) of the many methods of homeschooling. That decision lies with the PARENTS because THEY are the ones responsible for the child that THEY created/adopted, so that part isn’t really silly although their claim that this is somehow a bad thing is very silly- If the decision isn’t being made by you then who is calling the shots with your child, and more importantly why are they the ones doing it and not you?!
4.If you homeschool you hate public school, you don’t trust it, you are taking part in some elitist, two parent home, class privilege- ok I had to stop and laugh for a bit at that part. I’m so glad they injected a bit of humor in that article. But seriously though of the homeschooling families I know I can’t think of one I would classify as “privileged” unless we are talking about their homeschooling classroom/space I which point the correct word I would use would be “envy” as I really would love a large homeschooling area. Although, living overseas doesn’t allow for much space –glances at clutter…I should be ashamed, but I’m not-. Many homeschooling families actually have a child or two in public/private school as well. I know this probably comes as a shock to the writer, folks use both methods?! Why yes, yes, they do. Because, each child is different and part of being a good parent means doing what is best for your child, either through public, private, or homeschooling. Also, the two parent thing…given the divorce rate in America one can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, there are some homeschoolers in single parent homes. In fact, a good friend of mine, and single mother, homeschools her children. It’s only temporary, but I think that makes her a good parent since she is putting an effort into her children’s educations instead of just sitting around waiting for when a school that doesn’t make her cringe becomes available, but what do I know I’m an elitist. She also isn’t a “welfare queen” either, yes that’s right single homeschooling parents work hard at paying jobs too, in fact many homeschooling families where there are two parents also have two incomes, go figure!
5.Oh this one is a goody, ok it’s another a-typical scenario where a group of parents sets up a preschool playgroup for children that have “never left their side”-considering that a preschooler is usually between the ages of 3-5 years old the whole “never left their side” thing kind of makes sense. Other than a babysitter where is the kid going to go if one of the parents stays home? Then there is that silly assumption that attachment parenting equals kids who have never been away from their parents and breastfeed well past toddlerhood? Yeah that last part confuses me as not every attachment family engages in extended breastfeeding. I get it, you see the word attachment and you think permanently conjoined at the hip, or that they are still hanging on by the umbilical cord, I get it, the word is hard for you to understand. So let me grab the dictionary and define the words “attachment” and “parenting” for you:
Attachment: 1. Emotional Bond: an emotional bond or tie to somebody or something.
Parenting: Child-Rearing: the experiences, skills, qualities, and responsibilities involved in being a parent and in teaching and caring for a child.
So what happens when we put the words together? We get “Attachment Parenting”: a parenting style that establishes an emotional bond with the child through the child’s upbringing –I made that up using my knowledge of the two words, it’s amazing what someone can do with a little knowledge!- Now yes, we do the “attachment parenting” thing. Of course I just define it as loving my kids and doing what feels right. If I have an infant that needs to eat every 2-4 hours why would I stick him or her in another room, when I can easily have them room-in with us and not have to go hunting for them at night? It seems rather counterproductive to place them in another room don’t you think? Of course attachment parenting involves way more than just extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping, it also entails respect for my child as an individual and validation of their emotions. Of course I wouldn’t expect someone who only has a TV based knowledge of what attachment parenting is to actually understand. That would involve some thought and actual research, what happened to those in journalism? Then there is the a-typical “hippy” homeschooler. To quote Cartman “die you damn hippies!” Ok, not really, I love hippies, they are fun. I’m not one though, I prefer to eat plants not smoke them and I’m not a big fan of tie-dye, sorry I disappointed you again-but I did just give into a stereotype, darn it I thought I was better than that!-.
6.“I don’t want my children to be raised by someone else for eight hours out of the day” this was a comment made by the “hippy” homeschooler. This isn’t silliness. There is a quote that most homeschoolers know “I’ve seen the village and I don’t want it raising my children”, I stick by this quote. I love it. It sums up so much of what I feel on the issue and you can call me every name in the book for making the decision to homeschool my children, because all you are doing when you do that is confirming that the village has NO business raising my children. Of course the writer of the article can’t let that quote go, and so the silliness resumes. The assumption is made that we are only teaching our children to trust just us, the hand-picked few people we allow them to come in contact with, and no one else. Yup, everyone else is just pure evil. Then there is the whole “it’s hard work to be your child’s “everything””. Ok, that part is a bit true. It is hard work being a PARENT period. It doesn’t matter if your kid learns at home or at a building someplace else if you are a real parent you are involved in their life. While they may not acknowledge you as their “everything”, you are in fact their “everything”. Taking them to school –or pulling up a chair and teaching them- , picking them up-either from school or the afterschool program you place them in(and pay for)-, sitting up and doing homework with them, helping build science fair projects, and mediating fights between siblings and friends. You cook, clean, and drive them from one sport, musical, or school related activity to another. Without you, you the active, involved parent, they would have nothing, because you hold the keys to everything. You get to know their teachers or you plan co-ops, you take an active role in your child’s life and in doing that you are doing WORK. Lots of hard work that will pay off in the end. If you don’t want to work hard I suggest you don’t reproduce. And furthermore if you see tending to your children as being their “babysitter” PLEASE I beg of you DO NOT reproduce! You ARE NOT their babysitter, you are their PARENT. If you can’t handle that work –and as I stated before it doesn’t matter what method of education you use an involved parent is going to put in some serious work- then put on a condom!, instead of sitting around bashing those of us who feel our work as a parent also includes overseeing our children’s academic educations as well.
7.Then there is the “if you homeschool you have money” nonsense. I would really like to know where this one came from. Ever since we started homeschooling that is all I ever see, homeschooler=wealthy. People with money tend to, overwhelmingly so, put their children in private schools that reflect their views and opinions-wait…where is the article on them?-. Look, if we were wealthy my husband wouldn’t need to lace up a pair of combat boots every day and pull 10-12hr shifts-without overtime-, nor would he need a job that runs the risk of killing him before he hits the age of retirement. Don’t be so ignorant and uninformed to believe that because we are able to live off of one income that we can do so easily and that it doesn’t come with its sacrifices. For us, for our family, and millions more these sacrifices are worth it. The fact that I have the ability to halt lessons on days when the pain of daddy being gone is too much to bear, the fact that my children don’t have to worry about missing a school lesson in order to be there when their father steps off a plane, makes every penny we have to stretch worth it. I know, for those who don’t understand the concept of attachment parenting wrapping your mind around the fact that a family chooses the emotional well-being of their children over keeping the status quo seems a bit difficult to grasp. So here is a visual:
This Means More To Me:
8.The writer claims we aren’t a country ready to self-educate our kids…nope we aren’t. I’ll agree there, but a lot of us better be willing to because our public schools aren’t ready to educate a fraction of the children that walk through those doors. The sad reality is that most of our public schools are understaffed and over budget. It was bad when I was in school and I finished high school almost a decade ago when the economy was actually doing pretty well and I know it hasn’t got any better-in many cases it has got worse-. When I was in school you had 30-32 students to a classroom and only about 28 desks. Usually a student sat at the teacher’s desk to get their work done. If we wanted to be able to write on a worksheet assignment we had to provide the copy paper ourselves, not to mention the countless other supplies the school needed each semester for each class. There are exceptional school systems, where the class size is just right, there is an abundance of school supplies, and the teachers are well-paid and not overworked slaves. These school systems are not the norm and furthermore tend to be in affluent areas-as in areas the average homeschooling family can’t afford to live and since most school systems use a zoning technique to determine who goes where if you don’t live in that nice neighborhood you might as well not bank on your kid going to that nice school-. That’s the reality of the American school system on average, if people really hate it they should spend more time trying to fix it instead of attempting to blame the problem on those of us who have found a solution that works for our families. Putting our children into the problem schools won’t fix the problems, in fact it will just cause more problems –since you have more bodies but no extra money to provide them with up to date textbooks, materials, or in some cases even a place to sit!-.
9.Then the writer goes into the typical kids will meet people from different social and racial backgrounds, I covered above that where you live determines where you go to school so you essentially will interact with the same kids who live around you and more than likely come from the same background as you, whose parents income is similar, and who are probably the same race as you. Furthermore, my children are part of the minority of children being raised in bi/multi-racial families by the time they are adults they will be able to write a book on everything they’ve experienced in their Northern Yankee/ Southern Conservative family. Not to mention the experiences they gain from being the children of a service member whose job gives them the unique experience of meeting people from other countries, belief systems, and economical levels. You can try to tell me all day long that my kids will experience a better variety of people in public schools but I will just call shenanigans on that nonsense. Generally, we all know this agreement is pointless, unless you just don’t allow your children near anyone who doesn’t look, talk, walk, spend, and believe like you. At which point I say SHAME!
10.The writer finally gets to the reason behind their homeschooling distaste, FINALLY! A family of public school educators. I don’t get it. I mean what is so upsetting about parents doing what you “do”? Granted, I don’t do what public school teachers do,-I’m not micromanaging a classroom of kids, and figuring out the lowest common denominator that I need to teach to- and before someone goes and blows a gasket on me, that me clarify something, the only debt I have in my name is for student loans taken out to get a degree in…wait for it…wait for it…EDUCATION! Yeah, I know crazy, right? I actually wanted to be an educator and then I thought wait…I don’t like what I’m seeing in these schools and no matter how hard the teachers try things aren’t changing. Maybe, I should put the education of my own children first instead of relying on a system that disturbs me. Not saying I hate public schools-or that they are the “root of all evil” some are actually doing great things and some kids do really well in them, but they aren’t good enough for my kids. So, maybe I am a bit elitist, I value my own children’s educations over others, and I don’t think a school should be compared to a “daycare” either. Really? Come on, at this point we should just call it what it is, 8 hours of herding children together like cattle to keep them out of the way of all the “hard-working” adults.
Our young people deserve better than this. Until the system changes, until our tax dollars are used for properly educating children, then our children will remain at home.
You don’t have to like it and you damn sure don’t have to agree with it, but my kids are worth the hard work that goes into home educating them and if you can’t see that then may I suggest some glasses, oh and this Webster’s Dictionary too!
Ok while most of the US zones out on American Football, I’m going to do some homeschool blogging. *GASP* I’ve mentioned previously that we use a morning meeting board; you can read that post HERE.
I had wanted to do some updating to it and wanted to find something bigger to house it all, especially because my updates involved expanding what we use/do as well. After thinking on it for a few days I decided a tri-fold display board would be best. It can be folded and kept out of the way (saving us space) and should be able to survive our move –although if it doesn’t I can easily get my hands on another tri-fold board and spend less than 2$ so it’s cheap, which is important to a family that moves a lot and is on a budget-.
Once I figured out what I would use for the board I went about collecting the resources for our Morning Meeting Board. I reused a lot of what we already had but also, as previously mentioned, I added in a few more items.
Here is the finished product*the picture's not that great but you get the idea*:
I currently have everything stapled to the board but this isn’t very affective, it’s just all I had on hand at the time, I’ll be getting Velcro circles so we can pull things down when we need to. We have a monthly virtue we go over (using We Choose Virtue’s classroom edition-that’s the secular version-) we have them laminated so they can withstand years of use and moving. Under that is our “I’m Grateful For” list, the kids and I list two things each day that we are grateful for. After that is our word of the week along with a picture of Dr. King I figured Equality and King went hand in hand so whenever we use that word we also talk a bit about him, it was also our word of the week the last time I did this…hmm I should track my changing spurts to get the most out of them. Under that is also our artist of the month (which I desperately need to change, I finally have something I feel will be affective in our artist studies I just need to get the printouts made and added to the board).
In the center we have two “Days In School” printouts, they are a bit different from each other and I liked both of them, so we use both. Next to that is our Number Chart, I pick a number each day and Professor Chaos has to fill in the boxes (while counting out loud until he gets to the number I’ve chosen, sometimes I let General Disarray pick the number). Once Professor Chaos has counting to 100 down we will use the number chart to aid in our skip counting.
Under that we have our Days of the Week tracker from Trend© as well as our temperature tracking printout that covers indoor and outdoor temps, we have a digital thermometer that gives us a constant readout of the indoor and outdoor temperature as well as a few other fun things that we’ll use when T.B.M. are a bit older. We track temperature in Celsius since we use the metric system in our schooling, it’s what the scientific community, and most of the world, uses so that’s what I’m teaching the kids. Plus, honestly, I strongly dislike –read as hate…yes I know it’s a strong word- the US measurement system, always have. Especially, when I stepped into an advanced science class and was told I could no longer use the method I had been taught my whole life. Far easier to just start them on metric, anyways I’m rambling so back to the main topic I go!
Also on our board we have the current Season, Color of the Day, and a printable for learning time. I need to acquire a small clock to affix to the printout, for now though General Disarray has been drawing in the clock. We also have a Weather Tracker, Important Information sheet (which I will have to change up a bit since we have a local phone provider and can't just dial 911 in order to get emergency services), and rounding out the middle section, for now, is a skip counting page. I’ll also be adding a weekly shape as well to the board, but I need to get the Velcro circles first!
The last section of our meeting board features a Months of the Year song (all the way on the top), an Every Week song (which tells the number of days in a week and the actual days of the week), as well as a Days of the Week song (we found this song first and just LOVE it so it was kept on our Morning Meeting Board), and finally a Name Spelling song. I wanted to make sure Professor Chaos knew how to spell his name- he was doing pretty well but would skip a letter every now and then- so this has been a prefect addition to our morning meeting, especially when it comes to learning his middle name which is a bit long.
That pretty much sums up our new Morning Meeting Board. I store all the extras on the back inside little Ziploc baggies, that are affixed to the board using the last Velcro circles I had on hand.
For the printouts used, as well as ideas for your own morning board, check out the following sites *as always the views and opinions expressed on any blog/website linked here do not represent the views and opinions of this blog unless otherwise stated*:
1 +1 +1=1
Confessions of a Homeschooler
Here is the list of the fun places we hit while in the US of A-finally-!
First we saw the St. Louis Arch –A must if you are in the area.-
Next we enjoyed the Indianapolis Children’s Museum – A treat from my good friend Karen, we didn’t get to spend too much time there since we were on a time crunch so it’s on the list of places to go back and spend a whole day at! I highly suggest planning to be there the whole day, it’s
AMAZING!! Completely worth spending a whole day and more. -
Afterwards we arrived in NC and checked out the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, North Carolina Museum of History – Both Free! –
While in NC we also enjoyed the Children’s Museum of Wilmington, the USS North Carolina Battleship, and the Discovery Place. There is also Discovery Place KIDS which we were close to a few times but never got around to actually going – so it’s on our to-do list for when we head back to NC for another visit-.
Before departing NC we also went up to the mountains and enjoyed a rainy day of fishing at Grandfather Trout Farm – you’re guaranteed to catch something, trust me we tested this! Despite the weather- and my lack of fishing skills- we walked away with 3 very large fish, we would have stayed longer because the boys were having a blast but we were all soaked and still needed to dry off before our dinner date with some friends-.
We also wanted to enjoy Chimney Rock while we were in the mountains but the rain prevented that, so it had to go on our to-do list for the next time we are up that way.
After leaving NC we landed in Washington and having a few days to burn before our next flight we decided to rent a car and do some exploring.
We hit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park on the recommendation of my friend Melonie – it was AWESOME! I highly recommend it if you are in the area - ,afterwards we headed to Mount Rainier National Park and had tons of fun hiking around.
Once our adventuring was over and done we boarded a plane to come back home, somehow we managed to squeeze a lot into a short amount of time, but we would have still loved to do more. There is always next time and we have a rather long list of places to enjoy!
You poor neglected blog. So much potential. I just allow you to sit here, waiting, hoping, longing for words to fill your “Text Here” box. I know. You miss me. I miss you too. I have so much to share with you, the list of awesome places we explored while in the states, the list of awesome things I want us to do before we leave this island, my strategy for homeschooling while moving, and the various things I’ve done on the homeschooling front from changing our morning meeting board to exploring a Letter of the Day curriculum. So much to share with you. And then there is the blog giveaway series, oh sweet neglected blog giveaway series. You two can blame FB, for it is a lover that has proven hard to shake. But I will shake it, for us!
Until then though enjoy this video featuring A Perfect Circle's cover of John Lennon's Imagine:
Well it’s a New Year! So of course my first post is about our 2012-2013 plans. I just love planning! I can’t help it; I’m always thinking, planning, and plotting.
Here is a rough draft of our 2012-2013 Plans:
Language Arts- Harcourt Language Grade 3
Math- Saxon Math 4
Science- Science Fusion Grade 3 (have you all heard about this science curriculum for homeschoolers! I can’t wait to try it out! Finally, a secular science homeschool curriculum I can be excited about!)
History- Early Modern Times (a collection of supplies that have yet to be determined)
Language Arts- Hooked on Phonics (starting with grade K and then moving on from there all the way up to grade 3, General Disarray got through within a year but I’m not going to make the assumption that Professor Chaos will. We will move at his pace to ensure acquisition of his reading skills).
Math- Saxon Math 1
Science- Science Fusion Grade K
History- Early Modern Times (he will be working with his brother, since we follow the classical method for history so when we get back to ancients for General Disarray it would coincide with when Professor would be starting Ancients. Allowing for one subject that flows between T.B.M., decreasing the amount of history planning I have to do, only planning for one time period at a time makes my life so much easier).
This year also marks our last full year in Japan so we are going to make the most of with plenty of field trips and festivals in the works to help round out our school year.
There will also be a continuing of things currently in the works, like our Monday activities, and possibly an increase of a few other activities.