Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Homeschooling--Down to Six:)

I'm a huge fan of home schooling for so many reasons, particularly because it encourages bonding...especially when your children are adopted and you didn't have the benefit of bonding with them as babies.  Home schooling feels natural and peaceful, and I like the content of what my kids are learning as opposed to what they'd be learning in public school.  I'm glad I can have my kids around me as much as possible, as I am growing in my relationship with Christ and encouraging my children in the same.  

Last school year I home schooled all seven children, and to be honest, it was a huge challenge with having three boys who are YEARS behind academically and didn’t speak English.  But I chose to keep them home and work with them because the only alternative would have been for them to be placed in a special ed class for moderately mentally disabled students, and the IEP goals set for them by the school team were pathetically low (they are not moderately mentally disabled, but did score poorly on their IQ tests).  I knew they had much greater potential, and now, one year later, they have FAR exceeded those pitiful goals that were set out for them (draw shapes, listen to a story, cut on a line!!)  Benjamin, for whom they had the lowest expectations, is reading simple books and spelling simple words and adding and subtracting with manipulatives….things I’m sure he wouldn’t be doing if we had taken the advice of the IEP team at our local elementary school.

This year is going so much smoother now that everyone understands English and has learned the alphabet!  We decided to send Luke (13) to public school because home schooling wasn’t contributing to the love a mother and son should feel for each other. Lol   I believe in home schooling, but when you have to be on top of your child ALL. DAY. LONG. then it’s time to let someone else be the bad guy.  And this has improved our family dynamics a lot.  We are also in the process of having Steven tested so that he can go to public school—not because I have trouble with him completing his work, but because there are some services for visually impaired students that we are not giving Steven and we would like to see if these can benefit him. So, soon, it’ll be down to 5 over here! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Simple Life is Over! LOL


I have to hurry up and write this before one of the other football moms from Luke’s team finds my blog.  No sooner did I write my sweet little post about “The Simple Life” than Norman and I felt tugged to sign up our son, Luke (12) for football this year.  He has wanted to play since he came to live with us in the summer of 2011, but the first year it was too late to sign up, and in 2012 we were raising funds for our Bulgarian adoptions, and in 2013 we were adjusting to three new boys in the family and having seven kids.  But this year, there wasn’t really a good excuse and we decided to bite the bullet and sign him up, because playing football has been Luke’s dream for a long time.  Here’s a short snippet from a text conversation between Norman and myself, the night we were having Norman’s older children over for dinner to celebrate his son, Sammy’s, birthday.  It should give you a little insight into how we feel about the football commitment:
            Me:  Who is taking Luke to practice tonight?
            Norman:  Practice again??
            Me:  Yep
            Norman:  Let him miss tonight
            Me:  He can’t
            Norman:  Why not??
            Me:  Because he’s new and he needs to learn everything
            Norman:  It seems like Luke has practice every single day!
            Norman:  We did not sign up for slavery!!

Oh yes we did! Parents should beware that if they choose football as the sport of choice for their child, it is tantamount to slavery.  It’s only been two weeks and I’ve already screwed up in several ways.  One night I picked him up 30 minutes late because I forgot about the time change.  He was at the park all alone, in the dark, with two dads from another team staying back with him.  Then, the night of Sammy’s party, we left Luke out in a lightning storm.  It was only 8:25 and practice doesn't end until 9PM, and even though it was lightning outside like crazy, it never dawned on us that practice would be called short.  DUH  So, before I know it, some random dad from another team is calling me asking me what I am going to do with my poor son who is the ONLY child there without a ride.  We finally agree that I am sending my son with a complete stranger (he did have his son with him as well) to meet my husband at a nearby gas station.  On game day, it turns out that I never pressed the button on the dryer, so his football pants were still wet, and I never turned on the washer with his football shirt in it, because I ran out of laundry detergent and then forgot!  He’s gone to practice without a mouth guard, and without a water bottle (his own fault, not mine!!!) and we’ve dropped him off for practice at the curb, instead of parking first, which is “against park rules.”

Can you tell that this isn’t the life I was cut out for?  But once again, God calls us to stretch out of our comfort zone….even in things that seem to have no importance whatsoever.  But it was important to Luke.  We had hoped that the importance would dwindle once he lived with a non-football loving family for three years….but it didn’t.  If a kid hasn’t watched a football game in three years and is still passionate about it, then I guess it’s time you do something about it.  So, we are officially a football family now.  You can totally disregard my last post about “The Simple Life.”  And I really mean that, because, guess what….we decided that the chaos of football practices and games just wasn’t enough for us, and we went and signed up our two youngest for soccer!  Much less of a commitment than football, but time driving and away from home nonetheless.  The cuteness factor kind of makes up for it though!


Maybe I wrote that last post because I had a stirring inside of me that things were about to change, and I wanted to convince myself, in writing, that sports was NOT the way to go.  Either that, or God just wanted to shake things up a bit and let us see that the peace we have doesn't come from NOT doing extra stuff.  It comes from being connected to him and centering our lives completely around him.  And there's no way that a couple of hours of distraction per day is going to take that away from us!  We are our Beloved's and He is ours!!  Let the games begin!! (And November will be here soon enough :)

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