Broken Beautiful

What do you do as a parent when you’re kid thinks he’s broken?

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After three years in school, this is what my son has decided is wrong with him. He’s broken. Specifically, his brain is broken. He can’t concentrate, can’t sit still, can’t tell people what he feels when he feels it, He has heard it from teachers, from coaches, and sadly from his own parents.

It happened again yesterday, his karate teacher, made him feel broken and incapable of learning (the teacher was not cruel or mean, just not a fit). At 8 years old, he doesn’t rebound as quickly as he did a few years ago from such set downs. He’s had such a great summer at camp, and in a few short minutes, the confidence he’s built working with the horses and playing outdoors, was knocked down like house of cards.

I love all three of my precious little humans, but if I have only one goal this school year, it is to rebuild this child’s confidence. We are going to discover all his strengths and use each and every one to help him move forward.

I will remind him of his heart, which is full of compassion

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I will remind him of his imagination (J.K. Rowling watch out)

Each creation played a different tune as it was knocked down..really cool actually

Each creation played a different tune as it was knocked down..really cool actually

 I will ignore the traditional ways of learning if they don’t fit. If he needs to sit inside a desk drawer and juggle in order to learn…that’s cool…and maybe we’ll become YouTube sensations in process.

I will apologize. I’m going to get frustrated. I’m likely to lose my temper from time to time (please, Jesus, help me), but I will breathe, apologize and keep working to find solutions.

I will do whatever I have to do to show my son he is NOT broken. At least no more than the rest of us. Like diamonds, it’s our cracks and imperfections that show our brilliance when they reflect The Light.

Shine on, beautiful. 

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Crafty

We have finished our first week of homeschooling…and survived. I feel like I should make a t-shirt. Oh wait, I did! Check it y’all. I got my craft on. Anyone who knows me knows that even the word “craft” sends cold chills down my spine. I have friends who have entire rooms dedicated to all things crafty. I don’t spend time at their houses lest they get any ideas that involve me, glue guns, and scrapbook paper.

For my kids though, I realize I’m going to have to face this fear. Monet we are not, but not bad for our first try.

Star Boxes

We knew we would be ending the week by spending time with my Aunt and Uncle, so we decided to make them 4th of July themed boxes. Our unit study this week was on the American flag, so we spray painted star shaped boxes we got at Hobby Lobby with blue metallic spray paint. Then I gave each boy red and white acrylic paint and let them create whatever they want. Willy-man did the flag, G-Money attempted the flag as well. I’ve decided not to tell him it looks like Japan’s. Susanna and I used straws to create fireworks on her little box.
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Patriotic Tie Dye shirts

Every year I feel like I am running around on July 3rd trying to pick up red, white and blue gear for the kids to wear on the 4th. This year we planned ahead and decided to tie dye our own. G-Money wanted a Captain America themed shirt, and we found this website that gave us a how-to.

Captain America Themed Tie Dye DIY

I thought the instructions were pretty straight forward, but I made a couple of changes. I used rubber bands instead of zip ties. Who has those lying around? She also used some fancy thing called a ciricut to create the star. Round these parts we ain’t so fancy so I used construction paper and scissors.
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We started by selecting several plates and bowels of differing sizes to give us the target.

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Then we used a pencil to sketch around each.
Once that is done you pick up the t-shirt from the center of the target and put rubber bands around each line you drew. Then dye to your specifications. Again, no fancy craft thingy to give me the perfect star so I used a cookie cutter and scissors.
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We just used basic spray paint, and voila.

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The other kids chose different designs, but I thought all turned out pretty well.

I’m not going to create my own craft haven any time soon, but this was rather fun.

Happy Independence Day!

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Defending the Decision

Surprisingly, I’ve had a lot of support from family and friends for this move to homeschooling. My hubs and I had made a firm decision before we told people. I got my arguments ready, and was honestly a little bummed I didn’t need them. I enjoy a good argument. 

If I had gone head-to-head with anyone, it might have gone like this:

Are you out of your mind? Yes. Next question

What about your job? I am fortunate that I’ve had a great career, but I am also fortunate that if we really tighten our budget, get rid of what we don’t need, I don’t have to work full time. I am sure I’ll have some regrets when I get older, but I don’t think one of them will be spending as much time as possible with my kids.

Is this because you don’t like public schools? Not exactly. I know a lot of extraordinary teachers. They like nothing more than helping children succeed. However, they have to follow rules that I may or may not agree with, and they have to help teach an entire classroom full of children. This means that most have to adhere to the “law of the normals”. Normal here is the midsection between two extremes. I have two children who exist in the extremes and I just think they need more than a school is capable of giving. Not because they wouldn’t want to, but because there are lots of other children with needs of their own. 

What was wrong with the private school? Nothing really. Except that Willy-Man had to be medicated to meet the law of normals. More on this in another post.

Do you really think they’ll get a better education at home? I have no idea. Guess that depends on your definition of an education. If your definition is that they know a little about a lot of subjects, maybe not. If the idea of an education is to learn skills to help you navigate adulthood, gain deep understanding of interests and strengths, and know a lot about what’s important to you, than I hope so.

Are you patient enough to do this?: No. Absolutely, positively no. However, I believe I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) I truly think God wants to teach and train me every bit as much as the kids through this. I hope they will watch their mama transform in amazing ways. Dear Lord, help me.

What will you teach them? Life. In life we read, we learn, we research, we work, we clean, we eat, we save, we spend, we travel. There isn’t a subject that isn’t covered in life. Don’t worry, books will help too. There are almost too many resources out there for homeschool. Talk about paralysis by analysis. Seeing me comparing two science curriculums was pure comedy. To me a periodic table is one that shows up in your kitchen every once in a while (ba dum, ching!)

What about friends and socialization? Ah, there it is. There is the argument everyone has in the back of their heads. “How will these kids be normal, functioning adults if they don’t spend 99% of their childhood surrounded by people exactly their age and development level?” Are you surrounded by people exactly your age and development level as an adult? Maybe in a retirement community. Real life requires working with people of all ages and backgrounds. They will be around their family (a unit I hope will be strong, and act as a support system for them for the rest of their lives no matter how far apart they are), mom, dad, grandmas, grandpas, brother, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends from sports, people at the community center, the people at the library. The list goes on. As I recall, school kinda sucked. Bullying, peer pressure, some creepy teachers, bomb threats (no joke). Forgive me for not jumping for joy to sign them up for that. Might they be looked at as weird. Yes, but they have my DNA, that was going to happen anyway. Hopefully growing up around people who love and care about them will give them the confidence to rock their weird. The path is narrow for a reason people. 

What will you do if this doesn’t work? I have a hard time thinking God would ask me to make these rather huge changes to our family if it wasn’t exactly what we needed, but should the call change, we will adjust.

What if the kids hate it? We will adjust. 

If you can think of any other questions, feel free to ask them. Maybe it’ll help me round out my decisions. Remember, I don’t mind arguing 🙂