Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One More Catch-Up Post...

I can't believe that the last time I posted a blog update was July (before my recent one a couple weeks ago)! I missed so many fun things that happened this summer and fall.

So one last catch-up post in pictures:

First of all - our big family trip this summer was to Silverwood (a semi-local version of a smaller scale Disneyland). We spent the whole day there, only going home at closing time. It was exhausting but the kids had a blast.

The older boys kept trying to win toys at the game booths with no luck. Gabe (age 5) kept begging to go to a certain game and win this giant stuffed lemur. We told him that it's very hard to win toys, so not to be disappointed. However, his first attempt up there he won a small toy AND a large toy (he got three balls for one attempt). He was VERY happy and proud of himself. He named his giant lemur Mr. Cuddles.

Billy Jr and Gabe LOVED the little kids' rides. There were a lot more of them this year (little kids' rides)!

Abby got tired of walking (even though we had a stroller with us) so her big brother offered to carry her for a (short)while!

To beat the boredom, one summer day I took the kids to a local "island" walking trail.

Look at Billy Jr's socks!! That was after they played in the water some.

When we stopped to read some signs along the nature trail (talking about the type of native plants there) -  Brayden saw something brightly colored in the weeds. It was a geocache!!

Gabe got a pair of sunglasses from the geocache.

First day of school!!!!!! Everyone was pretty tired in this picture from trying to adjust to the new early morning schedule. We have a 10th grader, 7th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner!

Gabe's in kindergarten now!

Billy (dad) made us an awesome homework station!  This was just after it was completed, but now it has books on the shelves below and some lamps. :)

That brings us to....Halloween! 

Carving pumpkins:

Billy jr didn't want to touch the pumpkin guts so he tried wearing plastic bags on his hands:

Abby even helped!

Four of the finished pumpkins....

The kids' costumes: Owen was a scary clown, Gabe a ghost pirate, Brayden a werewolf, Billy Jr a ninja, Abby a princess/Elsa, and Eden was a pink poodle. Also two extra friends pictured here... :)

Crazy Owen!

The candy haul! The boys were trying to play a game where they traded/bet candy. Surprisingly it didn't end up in a fight. ;)

Then mommy and the girls went on a road trip to visit their Auntie and cousins (including a new baby cousin!) This was actually my first time taking a long trip alone with the baby, but also my first time driving over the mountain passes and on a freeway. Yikes! My Garmin GPS did a very good job helping me though. :)

We went with the cousins to an aquarium. :) 

Abby and her cousin hugging...awww. What the picture doesn't show is Abby trying to claim EVERY animal there as HERS. "Mine!" she'd say, and try to edge out her cousin from even getting close to the glass/fence. 

Cute Abby :) 

Pretty fishies!

And a petting zoo too!

 The end for now! We had a lot more adventures that I didn't get pictures of. However, I'm going to try to do much better at that in the new year! :)

Until next time....

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Catch-Up Post: First and Last Pageant

While looking through my pictures, I realized I haven't updated much over the last few months! So here is one quick catch-up post.

I decided to try putting Abby in a little mini-pageant to just try it out and learn how it all worked.
While it was fun, I am pretty sure it was her first and last pageant. Mostly I was doing it to get Abby her very own crown. 

I realized that I just didn't have the patience for it! Abby just wanted a princess crown and that was all she cared about. Getting her to walk a certain way and smile was almost too much. She usually is full of smiles and personality, but not in front of judges!
I also realized that I don't take criticism of my daughter's  beauty very well. While I understand the judging of her personality and whether she was outgoing, engaging and so on - I don't understand how beauty can be judged and why she was marked down points on the photogenic portion.  See? The whole points thing - it can obsess a person.

However, I did get some VERY cute pictures out of it. I also had a lot of fun dressing Abby up and having a girly day. I never thought I'd have that!

Now...onto the pictures:

Her head shot that we got mysteriously marked down a ton of points for:

See? She didn't really want to cooperate. ha!

She did take a brief moment to give the judges a cheesy smile though!

After she got her crown...she kept insisting on wearing it backwards.

Cute girl!

Back of her crown - but also showing her cute bows someone made for me, and the back of her hair :)


Thursday, December 4, 2014

You can't force something that just doesn't fit...

Education is not one-size-fits-all.Everyone learns in different ways, and that is a scientifically proven fact. So why is our public schools - in general - rigid in how they teach children? Some children may excel and flourish in that type of setting. I have a couple children who do very well with the teaching and learning methods at public school.

Then I have those who don't...

I have a child who's learning style is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole...it just doesn't fit.

I'm tired of trying to pound him into fitting the public school mold. It doesn't work for him. The only thing it's doing is destroying his confidence and self-esteem. How fun is learning if everyday is just more stress and pressure to sit completely quiet and still or else risk constant discipline and being labeled a difficult student/child?  What does that do to someone's self-worth?

I knew it was finally time to readdress things when my son continually called home from school at least once a week with various complaints of  headaches and stomach aches. He admitted later that he was never sick, but that he can just concentrate better at home. Not to mention that the stress of having to always focus on sitting still gives him anxiety (thus the stomachaches and headaches..)

Why keep pushing things? Who or what is it helping?

Thankfully we live in a time when there are so many other educational options. There is traditional homeschooling, unschooling, online/cyber schooling, eclectic homeschooling, classical homeschooling, and so on and so on.   My current plan is to enroll him in an online school for the remainder of this school year. His academic progress and goals will be supervised by a certified teacher as well as his curriculum and testing. We can then evaluate where we are at the end of the school year and what works best for him beyond that.

The bottom line is that I'm responsible for my child's education - every parent is.  I can't worry about what others might say or think, but only what is best for my child. And right now...he's drowning. I can't sit back and watch him struggle anymore...

Check back next week for more updates and holiday fun! I'm in my last week of school myself for this year, so I hope to pick back up with the blog again over break. :)