Teens Growing Up

I remember, both before and after 50, being a teen. The frustration was there where you're too young for so much and too old to act a certain way. The expectations almost seem to vary according to the situation. I didn't like it, and my daughters are no different. Our word for today, however is growth, as I saw it first hand in my oldest. We teach our kids so much, and only hope it's getting through. I had the joy of watching her and sitting back, knowing it got through. We had a tough year in homeschooling this year, but tough that really made all of us stronger as we were blessed to learn from each others' trials. I saw her try and persevere in a course that was really difficult for her. She never gave up and worked with such a tenacity that it inspired me to work harder. And this was my daughter. I was pleased. We came to a point that the hard work was not bringing about the desired results. Time for mom to step in. She worked more. I always told them to do their best and not give up. To her, this was giving up. New lessons. She took it well, and we are re-doing some areas and retaking this course. But lessons learned and character qualities developed? Priceless. Watching your 15 year old inspire you? Also priceless.

Continuing to grow as always-

Fitness after 50

Yes, I'm speaking just about us today. Some of you have started school already, some of us are busy getting ready. It reminds me of New Years resolution time. Actually I've come to think of it as "school years resolutions." We all make them.

Let's make one together, (or at least one). I'm going to start, this year, to really be fit even during the school year. It is a blessing to have a job and work at home, while homeschooling. Those on the outside might think it's perfect. In many respects it is! However, perfection often can have its pitfalls also. Transcribing, homeschooling, helping teens, it all involves one thing that was different before 50. Sitting. Sitting before 50 does not have the same power that sitting after 50 takes on. Especially the frequent sitting. Yes, in transcribing I have acquired knowledge of a DVT that I do not want to have. Basically, that is a blood clot in the leg from sitting too long. One should always get up and walk around in those cases. More within my reach, though, I want to feel well, be healthy, and not look like I have what is often referred to as "middle age spread."

So, in planning for homeschooling, time to work with my daughters, cooking, and transcribing, I can stretch the planning just a bit more and plan my exercise time in. For whom? For me. Plan this just for you as you make this "school years resolution." You will feel better. Start small, aim big, join me.

Have you started school? Have you planned for you? What are your school years resolutions?


Word-ful Wednesday

Memories--Yes, remember through all of our experiences we are making memories. We had a tough homeschooling year last year; however, we made memories and we all came away learning things that we could not get anyplace else. That is priceless. :) The memories of a great summer, the memories of celebrations along the way, and making learning worthy of special memories. That is one of the joys of homeschooling. Through it, we also make memories that bond us as a family, while something as important as education is being accomplished.

Don't be afraid to change, especially with teens. Keeps them on their toes! They enjoy it also. Enjoy teaching them. They know it and you have made a lasting impression of joy and passion for learning that they can even pass down to their children! So go this day, every day, and make memories no matter what you do.


Choices and Options For Any Day

There are days when we need to face the sad truth--we're human. As women and mothers, we tend to try to prove that we're super-human, but even within that all encompassing term, we are still human. That can also serve to show us we will not have it together every day. Our kids might, our spouse might, but for us?? It might not be there. Depending upon the nature of your responsibilities your options are there before you and waiting for you to choose. (yes, it's always a choice). You can tackle the millions of things that could be calling you by name (not including people) and not do well at any of them, thereby frustrating yourself. You could pretend you are superhuman, but have that gnawing unfulfilled feeling deep inside the pit of your stomach and want to lash out at the world. (been there!) You could decide you will prioritize and take the days like this to accomplish the bare minimum. The rest will be waiting for you, and you will do better with a clear head. (this works the best for me, although it involves making some tough choices at times). The fantasy option is to stop everything and just go outside on a perfect sunshine day with no humidity and enjoy the weather, be with yourself and those whom you love, or even if you need some time away from those you love, take it, regroup and rest, get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow is a new and busy day waiting to be unwrapped. (Now there is the choice we all pick).

Hopefully you're into it today and hummin' along smoothly. If not, how do you handle it?

Your Saturday Humor

Sometimes we just have to realize that we can't be so caught up in getting it right, for me, getting the most lines in when I transcribe, making the money, getting the kids through all of their subjects in a day, that we then miss those moments of cuteness, and for whatever reason, the moments that demand our attention.

In transcribing today, a sentence was dictated to me by a doctor, "the patient fell back striking her head on the back of the door before it landed on the floor." What landed on the floor, I asked myself? The head?? Hopefully the rest of the body was following and hopefully as well, the patient was not being referred to as "it." Did the door then land on the floor? Time for a handyman as well as an ER trip as the house needs work. Many meanings can be extrapolated from this sentence! My response after a smile and fixing the sentence was "time for more language arts work in writing with my daughters!"

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Options For Homeschooling Teens

Throughout the years of homeschooling my daughters, many were quick to give me their concerns of not enough social contact, awkward, academic qualifications of my teaching, etc. For me, homeschooling has worked well. First, there is the support of my husband (a number one consideration), and my children made friends easily from their days of going to parks and play grounds. From the times they could barely speak, they could often be heard asking children, "do you want to be my friend?" So we had that conquered. Academic qualifications? I follow our state requirements and I am a former elementary school teacher. (check to that one). But beyond that, it is what I knew was right in my heart and worked well, especially when I was able to start working from home so the financial area is possible as well.

The years calm down and then there is the "you're going to homeschool through high school?" Yes, I am the type of person who wants to see something all the way through and not give up without a fight. This has been a wonderful decision; however, I have noticed that many homeschoolers are "phobic" of the highschool teen years. My children are active in music lessons, church youth group, etc. We live in a very expensive area, so I work a lot of hours and this caused me to look into some options as well. Time, actually more than finances, was becoming an issue as the workload increased for my daughters, as it should. I know the importance of their education and did not want that to suffer due to my increased need to transcribe. Therefore, we enrolled them in a Christian online school this year. I do not look at this as a cop-out at all. It worked out as what I needed to do to be more effective. It is still homeschooling. I am right here with them and the parents are considered the main teacher/supervisor. However, tests and lesson plans are done by the teachers. The school is accredited and my girls will graduate and not need a GED to get into college as homeschooled children! (a big praise for them!). There is a guidance counselor, and I am there to assist, help teach life lessons of planning, good time management, etc. But the grading and the paperwork is done, allowing me to be here, but work with them when necessary to guide them and continue a foundation for them that will be laid for college and lessons learned to be used beyond college.

Through this, we feel that we are blessed in many ways. We homeschool, we are here seeing what they do in each subject. We can still do field trips, etc. We receive all correspondence from their teachers and know the curriculum. They have met many very nice online friends, and have worked on a school yearbook, chat with their friends, and one is actually coming near our area with her parents and we look forward to meeting.

Options? Yes. Fear not. Do what works for you and is the best for your loved ones. We varied it and it worked perfectly. (and there is help for the math I may have forgotten when necessary ;)

Explore all options, pray, and fear not!

Teens Plan and Mom's Plan- Part II

To make a plan work we have to figure out the limitations of the plan before starting and then work from there. For our family, we start out knowing the order of our subjects has to be arranged with dad's subjects first. He is Mr. History and Science, as well as PE, and he leaves for work at 1:30pm. Limitations can be used to help, because, in our case the plan starts to work itself out. Combine that with mom working at home and that part of the day is taken care of. During dad's time with our daughters, I am free to do some transcribing, cook if I need to. I try to save major cleaning for the weekend, and cook ahead of time or use my slow cooker. (notice I say try as there are exceptions and we cannot beat ourselves up over them. We're not good for our family when we're black and blue :) So now we are ready to operate with the school morning plan and I am able to combine this with my own plan and digest it. I try to take on easier work, or transcribe for a company that will allow me to have my own hours so that I can work and still be free to be involved if necessary. For our state, I need to be considered the "supervisor" over homeschooling as I have the teaching degree.

It's important for me to take the time and take a few days to just live with the plan we are working on and think the morning through before I continue. We stop and eat our main meal (dinner) at about 12:30pm, so that hubby gets a main meal before going to work. (it helps with cooking and budgeting also, so that he doesn't have to have his main meal at work. He then can take either sandwiches or leftovers to work).

The time to digest the plan is also necessary for my own sanity as well. I leave you with the reminder that we are not helpful to others unless we have taken care of ourselves, as we can all think of the flight attendant saying to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.

Have a great day-

Word-ful Wednesday: Process

Before I explain the after 50 lessons of the word process, I must confess that in teaching my daughters, I would periodically have what I think of as "FTC" days. Federal Trade Commission? No. ;) Forget the curriculum. Necessity being the mother of invention, I started this when I taught elementary school. There were days where the kids needs were just more important than following my exact time/plan/schedule. And those days, we often accomplished more than on a carefully planned out day. I did this in teaching and in homeschooling. There are times I need that as well. I'm leading up to the fact that I need to continue on with part 2 of my posts on planning, but not until I interpret the word process as I see it.

Our lives are a process from actually in the womb right on through. We are not in the womb and then suddenly one day we are ready to come out on an instant and be born. (many mothers would rejoice were this the case). We don't suddenly walk without holding on to the furniture first and making many wobbly attempts. We don't suddenly ride a bike without training wheels without more wobbly attempts. I taught first grade one year. The first day of school I saw these little people coming in and I realized they are really big kindergarteners, not first grade yet. I was able to relate to them along their own process, meeting them where they were.

Before 50 (but a process, remember, no clear cut day), I had extremely high expectations of people. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but when we are rigid in our expectations it is. I still have the same high standards now, working with my children especially to guide them in life, but again, a process. Working to be a more understanding wife, but seeing my husband where he is in his process. We can reach high, and before OR after 50 I am hoping to continue doing that with God's help; however, after 50 I have possibly "mellowed" a little as I see the process more clearly. Our children, our spouses, every person we come in contact with--take this day to remember that they are all at a different place in the process.

Let's all take this day and in the word process remember we are traveling and not always smooth, but it is a process. We are not "done cookin'" yet. Remember that with every contact you have, positive or negative, it is a process for the other person and a process for how we respond. I have days of total failure in this area; however, it is my process as well and as I work to understand family and anyone I may impact is not "done cookin", I can only hope they understand the same about me.

Options in Planning and Homeschooling

Before continuing on in my discussion of planning with my teens and preparing for homeschooling a new year, I will take a moment to share about the necessity of input from our kids. From about age 8 on up, we told our children that we had 180 days of instruction to do, and we worked with them on starting, finishing, and discussing where any breaks would be. This has been good for them (as well as a good math lesson) as we went from the general of starting and finishing the year, to each specific break and how long.

As one is in high school and the other one will begin it this year, we now work on planning our day from the general (of when to get up and when to end school) to the specific of how long we will allow for each subject. Count it a privilege if you are homeschooling your children at any age to work with them and teach them the life skills that we as adults often do not grasp for a very long time. Teach them work before pleasure in their time management skills. Guide them, so that they will come to these conclusions with our help and not be mini-adults. Let them learn and fail but within the safe environment of their home. Time management and being able to do a plan for the week has proven to be one of the most valuable skills my daughters were mastering this past year. They fought it initially, I watched, (not happily, but I pulled it off :) and they are actually looking forward to doing working according to their weekly plan this year. It worked well for them.

These skills can be taught to students in public/private schools as well. As best you can, work with your children. Integrate life management skills with their academic skills. It's a joy to see it work, and we all learn when it doesn't.