I've been toying with this post for a while. Mostly in my head. Not sure how to write it. Not sure what to share.
The beginning of school is creeping up. As I have told you, we are sending the monsters back to school after having spent some time doing the whole homeschool thing. If you spoke to me personally after wepulled Reagan out last October, you probably got an earful about how horrible our experience was at the last school. You probably heard me cry, you listened to me say bad things about the teachers and administration, you encouraged me and told me I was doing the right thing. And for that, I thank you.
I'm so happy to tell you that both kids will be going back to a brick-and-mortar school in a few weeks.
As you know, we pulled Reagan out last October. And we pulled Riley out when we moved in April. Reagan and I had many conversations about school. She decided that she would rather be in school. She is ready to give it a go.
Words fail me here. I am beyond proud of her for her decision.
I am so grateful to my husband for pulling her out in October. I know removing her from her surroundings last year was the right move. The Reagan she is today is confident and more self-assured. The Reagan we withdrew from school was struggling and breaking from peer pressure.
She needed an environment where she felt safe to be herself. And homeschool/virtual school gave her exactly that.
So, it is with extreme pride (and quiet, internalized fear) that I get ready to send her back out into the world.
The Media Specialist at Buddy's school is awesome. She comes up with the most interesting, creative and adorable activities. She was the one who pulledoff the Ellis Island Immigration Day for the 2nd graders last year.
This year, the 1st graders put on a zoo. The students were each assigned an animal. Buddy came home one day and proudly declared he was going to be a gorilla. He needed a costume. The school said we could be creative, or not. It didn't have to be some elaborate, expensive costume. I thought we might be able to get away with black pants and shirt, with a mask. Buddy would have none of that. He told me to order a gorilla costume from Amazon. (insert eye roll)
I have always been a fan of project based learning, even when I was teaching in the public school system. In my opinion, it's an excellent way to see what a child has learned. So it should come as no surprise that I incorporate this into our homeschool life.
Reagan has been studying animals lately. Typical stuff, like classifications, vertebrates v. invertebrates. Interesting.
I thought it'd be awesome for her to put together a scrapbook of the animal kingdom.
My kids are obsessed with technology. YouTube is like heroin to them. They get angry and crazy if they go too long without it.
Buddy is actually less-addicted to it than his sister. Rea sometimes exhibits junky-behavior. It's a bit scary.
I have told her that I would rather she play on her iPod, than watch videos of other people playing. Maybe it's a generation thing...
A few months ago (or maybe longer), Rea decided she needed her own website. I thought "what a great idea!" I can teach her to blog, she can write, plan, code. It'd be awesome! So I built this website for her:
And then she wrote ONE post. Ugh.
Rea asked me if she could have her own YouTube page... we have a family one (and 12 whole subscribers - hahahahaha). But apparently, she cannot share with me. I told her I would let her on one condition: she needed to spend time on her website.
Yesterday, we downloaded this app called OSnap! This app is perfect for creating stop-action videos. I put the app on each's iPod. Both kids spent HOURS making videos. HOURS. It was glorious!
They set up their tripods (the ones that came with their Stikbots) and created several videos each.
Rea wrote a post about the app. As promised, she now has her own YouTube page.
If you have a YouTube obsessed child, please consider allowing him/her to subscribe to Rea's page. I know she will be checking (probably constantly). And if you feel like popping over to her site to see the post she wrote today, click here.
Thank you so much!
We had a series of terrible storms blow through our area last night, including a tornado or three. It was a crazy, stressful, sleepless night.
I am EXHAUSTED.
At around 1am, my phone beeped with the tornado warning. It said "get up and take cover." (<-- ok, that's a paraphrase.) It did the job though. I was awake. The lightning storm was crazy - quiet, but super bright. The lights woke up Buddy. He pitter-pattered into my room and climbed into my bed.
A few minutes later, my phone beeped. This time, it was my mom. She said I should go watch the TV.
The night unraveled from there.
Buddy and I were downstairs with my parents. The weather guy said there was a tornado in the area. My dad said we were in its path. I went upstairs and grabbed Stu and Rea. We brought pillows and blankets downstairs.
I really didn't know what to expect. I have never been in this situation before. Hurricanes?-No worries. Tornados?-No thank you.
The other night, we were supposed to have a supermoon and eventful meteorological night. At least that's what I saw on Facebook.
I have to share with you this amazing app. My dad found it.
We did the full-time homeschool thing for about 2 weeks. Then [thankfully] Rea was accepted into the Florida Virtual School. She was able to begin in November. So far, it has been perfect. And I know friends/family are interested in hearing about it, so this post is for you.
[If this is news to you, start here.]
FLVS has taken a huge weight off of me. In traditional homeschool, I [the parent] create the curriculum. For that, I dug around on the internet and found a check list of the things a Florida third grader is expected to learn, and we were attacking it like a list. It would have worked. I could have pulled it off as a long-term option.
But I am glad I do not have to.
At least right now, I am happy for that.
Being a parent is really hard.
I was warned. There was never any shortage of people giving me the heads up. There's the obvious stuff:
Like sleepless nights when the offspring are babies. The term Mombie comes to mind. It's a cruel experiment to see how long you can survive without sleep.
Like for several years you will smell like vomit. I used to wear at least 4 outfits everyday when the Stu monsters were babies.
Like the toddler-stage tantrums. I was terrified of my kids turning 2-3. The horror stories are real. It was rough.
Like the simultaneous pain and pride you'll feel when your baby goes off to school for the first time.
But all that?... It's nothing compared to parenting an 8-9 year old girl.
Dude. It's finally here.
I can honestly say, I have mixed emotions about today. On one hand, I am so exhausted from a whole summer of kids in my face, kids in my bed, kids screaming at each other, kids complaining, kids whining. The other hand is sad. I miss those boogers. It's quiet here, and I had to wake up early.
Don't worry, my sadness will only last for about a day.
The kids were excited to head off to school. They were happy to see their friends, excited to make new ones. Buddy told me he was most looking forward to getting to know his teacher (tee hee, cutie pie). Rea felt moderately indifferent about the whole thing. Now that she's in 3rd grade, she's too cool for this stuff.
Luckily they both were game to pose for the front door photos. It's the small victories that make me happy. Now, it's time for Mommy to get serious.
Rea is 9 and Buddy is 7. Everyday is an adventure with these two! I love them so much.