Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alec Baldwin to write a book: ON PARENTING

I saw this on the news this morning, and quite frankly couldn't believe it. As if that wasn't ironic enough, Mr. Baldwin announced it in an interview with Playboy. I haven't ready the Playboy article (although it is listed in the Google search), because I have KIDS. I don't want to have to explain the images that may pop up, know what I mean? In searching for other articles, Yahoo was the best I could find, without going to the direct source.

Here's a tip, Alec: calling your daughter a 'thoughtless little pig' should be under "things not to say." You're the adult, she is a child. Period.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's A Great Day!

Today is my day 'off'. My house is empty and silent for the day while hubby takes the kids to see grandpa and grandma. Hooray!

The quiet is bizarre. And peaceful and wonderful. So while I enjoy my cup of coffee, I will probably break some kind of record in the speed it will take me to write this blog post. Meanwhile, I'm mentally making a list of all the things I hope to accomplish while the rest of the family is away. You'd think I'd be painting my toenails or something, right? Nah...it's more a case of 'where do I start first?' There's weeding in my garden, cleaning the kids' rooms, or breaking out the sewing machine and dealing with the pile of hemming, darning and sewing that needs done. My daughter earned 20 badges in brownies this year, and wants them sewn onto her sash say yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday, hubby and I managed to finish painting our family room. It's now a cool shade called red stone. Not long ago we also painted our living room, in an awesome color called teepee brown, which is reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake. We also painted the trim in both rooms a muted off-white color. It certainly beats the wood panelling that was there before!

Well it's time to stop talking about all I'm going to do and actually DO it. Have a great day!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Un-Charter-ed Territory

Since enrolling our first child, our local school has been a major problem. I've written about this before, when my daughter was in Kindergarten. After witnessing how my son has fared, we're coming to the conclusion that the overall school policy is the largely the problem. With my youngest entering school in the fall, we're simply not comfortable sending her, or my older children, there in the fall. That being said, we're exploring our options.

I've never seriously considered homeschooling before. I believe children can benefit from being in the school setting, from gaining independence, peer-to-peer relations, experiencing diversity and benefit from the wide range of expertise of specialized teachers in music and art. There are many wonderful teachers and school districts in public systems. Unfortunately, due to the lack of structure and lack of real consequences for poor behavior my children are not performing to their full potential.

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to this September. After almost 9 years, all my children would have boarded the bus. For once I could complete household tasks without constant interruption, or could run an errand without being asked if we can stop at McDonald's. I could go to the Dentist without worrying that my children are running amuck in the office, and complete grocery shopping in record time. At home Nickelodeon wouldn't be blaring in my ears anymore, and I could think for more than a minute or so without being asked for a drink, snack, or asked yet another question.


Yes, the BUT. The BUT that knows it would be another year of heartache, watching my kids slip into apathy about education rather than be excited about it. The BUT that knows by the time I'm notified of an issue at school, a month of misbehavior would have gone by that my children have lied to me about every day they got off the bus. The BUT that knows my son would be busy creating his own entertainment in class because he's just that damn bored. The BUT that knows my daughter would be reading the book hidden in her lap instead of paying attention. Early elementary school is supposed to be fun and exciting, and instead they are bored stiff and lost in the pond of other kids. Yes, POND. This is a TINY school, you'd think that would be to their benefit, right? I have no problems being involved with their education, and will lend my support to teachers...all of which have been informed of that early on. My concentration in college was education, so it's not like I don't understand the process. Instead the teachers seem to want to kick me out of it. I'm supposed to be their puppet that solves their problems the way THEY want it solved, instead of letting me be the parent of my own child.


We have been looking into cyber-schooling, which is essentially homeschooling on steroids. It would be through the public school system (statewide), with flexible options tailored to meet the learning needs of the child. For example, since my son is a fast learner, he can be in a self-paced program which allows him to move ahead, thereby alleviating the boredom. My daughter would be in a virtual classroom taught by a state-certified teacher in an interactive format. There would be additional work for her to complete as well. Best of all, you are in continual contact with teachers and are assigned a Instructional Specialist with whom you are required to have a conference with on a bi-weekly basis. If you need them more often they are available. I like that the child's progress is monitored continually this way, so I can fix it or help.

Technology is only partially used to teach and reinforce lessons, so there is still a massive parental effort involved. The program provides the framework and support of certified professionals rather than leave you out there in no man's land. The lesson plans are clear and all materials are sent to you. Yes, I do think about how the plans I had would be brushed aside. But I'd rather put in the effort now for their future than send them back to the school where they crush the spirit and wonder of my kids.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blogosphere, be scared...really scared...

I have an exciting announcement for my vast (*sputter, cough, cough, snort*) readership! Okay, really it's for the passer-by who got sidetracked on a web-search. Worthy nonetheless. Many of you know that Kristin over at the Dragondreamer's Lair is a sister-by-choice to me. We've known each other for years and visit each other as often as we can. Because of that, I've also come to know her hubby, Vic. I was very excited to learn that Vic has started his own blog, The Warped Musings of my Inner Self! So today I wanted to give you insight as to why this is such an exciting announcement.

Vic is hilarious, but only if you can keep up. The speed of his speech rivals that of an auctioneer. He's clear, just talks very fast. As a native New-Englander I've been accused of talking too fast, but I've got nothin' on this guy. Now I can process what he's said and fully digest the humor. ;-)

Kristin has called Vic's humor 'warped', which while true, is only a partial description. It's also very sharp and intelligent. We can banter flies at a fast pace, which usually means the conversation takes bizarre side-paths. Did you know he can do an amazing impersonation of Poe from The Teletubbies? Then there's the Canadian Conspiracy Theory, Tales from A Call Center and all the political punditry you can stand. Vic's an easy-going guy, but a straight shooter. An eclectic mix of Southern Charm and Puerto Rico.