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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've often wondered, why choose to home school?

Perhaps it has to do with the things they learn in school when they are away from a parents eyes and ears?  The following has caused my husband and I to wince in frustration:

- You're not my best friend any more.
- I don't want to talk to you.
- Get out of my face.
- I don't want you to talk to me.

And many more that I've likely blocked out from self-preservation.  So I'm wondering, if you are a home school mom, what has motivated you to do home school? 

Pre-School continues to drive me to tears

This morning started out well, Charlotte picked out her new navy blue dress to wear to school today but then refused breakfast - that's always a sign of bad things to come.  We made a smoothie hoping she'd drink that on the way to school and thus get something in her tummy but she refused it in the car.  I tried everything to cajole her into drinking it to no avail.  Upon arriving to school I told her that I'd tell her teacher she didn't have breakfast and that she'd need to drink the smoothie.  She bawled.  She has this screeching cry that is impossible to talk over.  I tried to explain that she needed to have her breakfast in school since she didn't have it in the car or at home.  She reluctantly gets out of the car and follows me into the school, while I carry the offending drink.

We arrive to her class and as before she hangs out by the coat rack, just outside the classroom.  I drop off her lunch in the class come out and try to convince her to go in.  She refuses and suddenly exclaims that she doesn't want to go to school.

We struggle back and forth, I say go into your class, she says no. 

I'm done.  I simply can't take it anymore.  I grab her stuff and say fine let's go.  I don't even tell the teacher we are leaving.  Down the hallway we go, another teacher says "bye mom, have a nice day" to my grim face.  To the lady at the front desk I say, "I'm tired of fighting with her, she doesn't want to stay so we are going home".

I call her dad and say come get your daughter, she refuses to go to school.

In the car she wants to draw, she wants to talk, she wants a pen.  I snap at her to be quiet, I'm very angry and not going to talk to her until her dad arrives.  Then she cracks my anger wide open with a quiet statement "but I don't want to fight".

I'm upset because I put so much effort into getting her lunch ready, getting her ready for school, getting to work on time and all for nothing.  It's not a justifiable anger, she's obviously going through a social panic about school and I'm too absorbed in getting to work to help her through it.

I keep thinking the solution is to leave earlier so she doesn't have to walk into a classroom that is full and so I have time to spend with her in calming her anxiety but to do that I need my husbands support to wake up earlier and help us get out the door at 8am.  We talk and talk about how to make our mornings go smoother and more efficiently but until that day when change actually happens, I'm not sure how I can keep balancing work and pre-school. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

"But mommy I don't know how to sing"

As you can see from the post below we skipped Thursday's pre-school because of attitude issues.  Then Friday Charlotte threw up before breakfast so I worked from home and helped take care of her.  Today was her first day back to school and we were running late - again!  Charlotte seems excited to get back to school after several days off and she picks out her prettiest new birthday rainbow dress to wear.

The excuses started coming as we neared the school -
"But mommy I don't know how to sing"
"I don't want to sing"
"I don't like to sing"
Today being "Songs with Maria" day.

We walk into the school and find her classroom abandoned, park her lunch and look for her class who is lined up against the wall, each waiting their turn to use the bathroom.  Charlotte clings to me as I walk towards the class, suddenly not wanting to be at school.  I struggle to get her to release me and she clings harder.  I'm running later and later and wonder if I should just give up and take her with me, have her dad pick her up.  A teacher comes over and tries to entice her with stickers.  Charlotte turns to me and asks for make up - exasperated I say NO, you don't need make up.  She says she wants to show her friends her make up.  Finally, after 10 minutes, Charlotte walks away with the teacher and talks about how she doesn't want to sing today.

I leave and while driving to work realize that even at the age of 4 a child needs something to talk about upon walking into a crowd of ones peers.  By arriving late, I push her into a full classroom of her peers and she's intimidated.  She wants a subject matter to have up her sleeve, you know, the things you work out in your head before attending a party - if I see so and so I'll talk about this and that.  It's probably why she loves it when I paint her nails because she has something to show people and talk about. 

I'm guilty of being an impatient mama.  Tomorrow morning I'll focus on giving her "talking points", stuff to talk about and I'll be early so she's not the last to enter a crowded room.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The last straw!

This morning started out with Violette taking her time with breakfast - like 45 minutes of time!   Honestly child, the morning is not a time for socializing.

Husband got breakfast on the table and Sam happily ate everything in sight while Charlotte snipped and picked over her food finally requesting apple sauce which wasn't on the table and then eating 2 bites when it was delivered.

I was running late from feeding Violette, had worked late last night and didn't do any dishes in preparation for this morning which only means packing lunches is an even bigger ordeal.  While in the kitchen I found myself mobbed with children underfoot so I gave them each a piece of ice - never done this before - and they went off to happily chase the ice thus allowing me to finish making lunches.  Husband walks in to see them both licking the ice AFTER IT'S BEEN ON THE FLOOR - ewwww gross, but at least lunches are finally packed.

I rush into the bathroom to do some final things and upon coming out find a GIANT PILE OF TISSUES ON THE FLOOR!!!  And Charlotte, frozen in the corner at the tissue box with piles in her guilty hands.  I ask, "did you do this?".  Deer in the head-light look.  I ask again and she breaks down into tears.  I make a snap decision - "Fine, you're NOT going to school today!".  She howls in the background as I sail out the door, leaving her lovingly packed lunch box behind.

I realize that pulling dozens of tissues out of a box is a relatively minor thing but she's four and she knows this is a very bad and wasteful thing.  She knows we are leaving for school in a few minutes and she deliberately does something naughty the second my back is turned.

This is not the first time I've seen naughty behavior ramp up right before we are set to run out the door.  Therefore I'm initiating the "couch policy".  Going forward, all children must sit on a couch for the last 5-10 minutes while parents run around gathering and filling bags.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Still bewildered by pre-school

They just keep coming up with these special days that parents have to prepare for and it can be daunting to plan into an already packed schedule!  Tuesday was designated as "Career Day".

Last night I laminated about the lack of career options we had in place for Charlotte - none, and decided she would just have to be a Princess.  I even proposed the Princess career on Facebook and received a very favorable response.

Today we were running late - as usual - when I announced to Charlotte that she must wear her Princess dress and crown because today was career day and she was planning to be a Princess when she grows up - right?  To which she said no, but she says no to everything I suggest and still does it.

We get to school and NO ONE in her class is in any type of uniform whatsoever!  What's more - the teacher shouts out "Charlotte I told you to wear bright colors for Joseph day!"  What?!?  That was not written or announced anywhere!  I respond weakly that pink is her favorite bright color and rush off to work.

Tomorrow is Water Wednesday where they will have water slides IF it does not rain.  For the past 4 weeks in a row it has rained.  I've now learned that NONE of the other parents dress their kids in swim gear in the morning so tomorrow I will pack her swim gear.  See - I can be taught, once I know the rules.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Random Tuesday Thoughts

10 minutes ago I sat here without a thought in my head.  Tired, shoulders and neck hurt but I haven't blogged in a long time - yes a few cartoons - which take a really long time to make but I haven't written anything of substance - unless you count office "toilet" politics.  And isn't that the worst sentence structure you've ever seen?  Maybe friend blogger Katrina can come around and set me straight with her English degree :), or friend blogger Grit with her UK grammer skills - she's a copy writer and home educator - a scary mix when inviting friends to read one's writing.  I might have a mind to pay more attention to my words if I wasn't so tired.  Then there is teacher mom, teacher aunts and teacher cousins who stop by occasionally.  What will they think of these broken sentences?  Probably that I need more sleep.  Yes I think I'll do that now, maybe Violette will sleep through the night again?  That would be nice.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

4th of July

Yes, I actually put effort into dressing them all in red, white and blue.  Color coordination won't happen again until Christmas.