Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kickin' it Homeschool

At this point, I think that homeschooling is only way to go.

Did you hear that? All my friends from high school just had one, big, collective jaw-drop.

Like every mom I want what’s best for my kiddos. And I’m not convinced that traditional education path is best for us. It’s a gut thing but also a whole-body thing. We just feel it. And, more importantly, I’m up for the challenge-adventure. (This
mom says it very well. I really like her. Please read her often.)

I saw an interesting quote the other day:

I’ve met the village and I don’t want it raising my kids.

Kinda funny and maybe a little snarky, but for me…. Very true.

Education is NOT one size fits all. And most schools treat it as just that.

The traditional education structure seems to be more about crowd control and behavioral management than actually LEARNING.

It’s only been in the last year or so – and only after much hard work and legislation - that parents of multiples in Georgia could even be granted a conversation to discuss whether their twins, triplets or other higher order births should be separated at school. The school simply decided without any parental input and that was that.


It’s unacceptable that legislation had to be put in place in order for dialogue to happen.

And this seems to be indicative of the state of our schools these days.

I would hope that my kids would have a teacher that is smart and eager to teach. But what if that’s not the case?

I think it might be too much to hope that my kid’s teacher would be someone that understands that not everything little thing is taught out of a book while sitting on your bottom in a room.

There are just too many unknowns. And it seems that our rights as parents don’t matter. I’ve heard horror stories about parents not being allowed to switch their kid’s teachers. That they have to “stick it out.”


And you risk your child being punished/singled out/ostracized if you are too vocal, concerned or engaged. That seems very wrong to me.

And the core questions that I can’t seem to get answered:

Will I be allowed to have input?
Will I have any say as to what is being taught to my children?
Will the school uphold our family values?
Are the above even possible when a teacher is managing at least 20 other young minds?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Well, I yearn to learn. And so do my kiddos. So, for now we’re on the homeschooling track and very excited about it.

Now, all you high school buddies, you can kindly shut your mouths. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008


It’s been two weeks since my last post and our lives have changed.


And for the better.

I never really quit work when I had S & J. I continued while pregnant and only took a leave of absence (o.k., a LONG one) when the kiddos came along. Even after letting my wonderful editor know “I’m back!” I only wrote a couple of pieces a month. I worked when the kids slept. Easy peasy. It’s been a very nice schedule and has enabled me to keep up with professional contacts and keep my foot in the proverbial work pool (or at least my big toe) and help out the bank account a bit.

Bu then the economy tanked. And Danger Dad’s biz took a turn. And we started praying for some help, a little guidance and for doors to open. And they did. A perfect consulting gig with a company I like and know well rose to the surface. And so did the wonderful sitter that watches S & J for a few hours while I get things done. And other stuff too, too much stuff to mention. All good stuff.

All the pieces feel into place and so things have changed.

I have less free time but more freedom.

Does that make sense?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


If I know anything it's this:

Nothing is worth more than this day.

Last night we learned that a family friend died in a tragic accident. He was not old, just 56, and had plenty of years and life left. He left behind three children and a wife of nearly 29 years. He was a good man. He did good things. He was loved. He was respected. And now he is gone. Suddenly and without warning.

I slept fitfully last night. I woke up thinking about my life and my kids and my husband and how lucky I feel to have my life. If only for one more day.

I often wonder why we're here, what my role is on this planet and if I am fulfilling my true destiny. Is it to raise great people that will do great things? Is it something that I have yet to discover? Will I find out when it's too late? Will I ever find out?

Full disclosure: I read the obituaries every day. I've been doing this for years and I have no clear understanding why. Maybe it's to see how others mark their time on earth. Maybe it's to see who "mattered" and did good stuff, and who didn't. I am saddened by the simple obits that just have a few lines: John Smith died on Sept. 12. No funeral is planned. Lots of those. Too many of those. My grandfather had a large article written about him when he died. His memorial was standing room only. The same will happen when my grandmother passes. This is how I think it should be. You should leave a mark. You should let the world know that you were here.

I am a thankful person and this is something that we deeply instill in our children. Always. I know what I have and I know how quickly it can be taken away. We teach this to them too. There is no entitlement. No "givens" and no promises in life. I know, especially after the last 24 hours, that nothing, NOTHING, is worth more than this day.

Rest in peace, Doyle.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just like chickens

Brace yourselves:

This afternoon my kids were not in a class. Or inside playing games. Or upstairs reading books.
They were...



Yup, I have free-range kids.

(Don't worry. I was there. They're only 2 1/2, for Pete's sake.)

I live in a great neighborhood. We have 15 kids under 5-years old on my street. There are 27 houses on said street and a whopping total of *29* kids on the street. (With three on the way.) On any given non-rainy day you can hear the noise of kids reverberating through the cul-de-sac. Small packs of kids thundering down the street, a bouncing basketball, loud clackety skateboards, the whirrrrr of bicycle wheels, and happy, giggly, play... It's wonderful music.

And seemingly rare in most neighborhoods these days.

I hear that most neighborhoods are in some kind of lock-down mode. Urban and suburban 'hoods. Parents are afraid of kiddos getting snatched, molested, you name it, so they the kids are under constant supervision and the parents are living in fear. (The wonderful Rosa Brooks of the LA Times writes about this here.)

They don't let their kids experience any sort of independence that might allow them to grow their self-confidence and know that they can do something, anything on their own.

They're just too scared.

Please understand that I have my moments of paranoia and fear. I would lose my mind (this is not an exaggeration) if something happened to S & J. But I am also the mom that will NEVER own a "kid leash". I'm the mom that lets her kiddos run around like banshees on rainy days at the mall - no stroller. I'm definitely the mom that lets her kids wander and explore at the local state park.

I've often joked that I needed four eyes to keep track of S & J - two eyes just isn't enough. When at all possible they head off in completely seperate directions leaving me to do a sort of child chasing triage. (Who might get into the most trouble first? GO!)

Instead of choosing fear I will choose freedom and educate by example. Be cautious but carefree. Be careful but foster independence.

And hopefully they'll choose to raise free-range kids one day.