Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lazy post

I am feelin' lazy-and I enjoyed this so I am cut and pasting it for your enjoyment.

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Movie night

We hired a DVD on Saturday night for all the family to watch-something we have only done maybe twice before. Tannah is quite sensitive when it comes to content in film. She is scared easily and Willow gets bored and I find it hard to find a movie that I think is (a) appropriate and (b) that we will enjoy. Not to mention the fact that there are a million more fun things to do that gather around the box...Anyhoo,we hired Bolt


We all really enjoyed it-Tannah even did well with a bit of a scary scene. I was, however, amazed at how much the girls understand as far as emotional content.
Willow cried every time Bolt and Mittens got separated because she was worried about "catty", she got upset when she thought either Bolt or Mittens had been hurt. Tannah was mildly worried about that but she blew me away by getting really upset in the scene where Bolt (wrongly) thought his person had replaced him with another dog. She TOTALLY understood the rejection and hurt they were trying to convey and her heart broke for Bolt. She started to cry-so I joined in. She took a lot of reassuring and when all was right in the world at the end (c'mon, it's Disney...course it was lol) she was visibly relieved.

It was both lovely and heartbreaking to watch my growing-up-fast girls experience those tough emotions through film. There was also a lot of laughter I might add, and Harper slept through most of it. A nice night in.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Things I know

-if you put it out there you will get what you need
-Harper being able to move around is exciting and terrifying at the same time
-2 bored children + yogurt + no parental supervision = mess
-the more free time I give the kids the more fun things they find to do
-you can't always be the nice one
-our rabbits are on a mission to eat the lettuce we are growing
-I can sweep the floor a million times a day and it is still usually filthy by bedtime
-spring is so much more appreciated after living in a climate where the winter is so cold
-I feel blessed to have an amazing group of diverse and inspiring friends
-when you homeschool you dread the school holidays-everything is much more busy that we're used to!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blogs!

Oh dear.
I have just discovered the world of blogs.

Obviously I know about blogs lol but have just started looking through other peoples blog rolls, which leads to more links which leads to more links and so on....I could sit all day on my laptop and peruse the bazillion awesome blogs out there.
The children are unimpressed. The husband is unimpressed.But me...well I am hooked!

I've added quite a few blogs to check out on my own blogroll (Mainly because I finally learned how) so check them out...and see where the links take you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I don't get it

It is widely known that junk food, processed food, white flours and sugars, colours and preservatives and all the weird genetically modified or hydrolyzed foods are bad for you right? I mean there is a lot of evidence that it is bad for your health to consume these things. There is plenty of well regarded data that says in no uncertain terms that putting this crap in your body leads to disease and should not be eaten.

You've all heard this stuff right? I'm not the only person on the planet who is aware of these facts?

Why is it then, I wonder, that when I say my kids cannot eat this type of food I am often treated as someone who is depriving my kids? I would think that avoiding this type of "food" would be a good thing and being very interested in the health of my children would be encouraged. The eye rolls and looks of pity at my poor deprived kids(note sarcasm) confuse me.

The message seems to be that because something tastes nice-even if it is toxic crap- I should feed it to my kids. Not "treating" them with sugary crap is mean. It is also weird that they enjoy healthy, real food. And it is definitely not acceptable to deny them something just because someone else is eating it.

I do feed my kids this type of crap food from time to time. I do it because it is everywhere and because they like it (of course). I'm not implying that I am a saint Mama who children have never had a Mcburger in their mouth. What I am questioning is the culture behind it.

All this type of "food" has become so much a part of our culture and what we eat that NOT eating it often has become the sometimes part of our diet. Look at the groceries we buy. Even a lot of products that claim to be healthy are modified, filled with artificial colours and flavors and very highly processed. Trying to avoid highly processed food all the time is pretty impossible unless you make and take your own food all the time, who has the time for that?

I was at the petrol station last night and while waiting to pay I looked at all the sugar laden crap they had all over the counter. Chocolate, lollies, energy shots, bright orange chips, chewing gum. It was all there in it's bright and exciting packages, in it's sugar free low carb fat free two for one deal glory. And it made me sad.

No one bats an eyelid at kid walking around with a lollipop in their mouth but when my kids bring out their lunch box with their biscuits made from real flour and raw sugar (which taste awesome by the way!) we often get looks (depending on where we are). If I say yes to a happy meal I'm normal, if I say no to my kids eating that sort of rubbish I'm mean or paranoid. And I find it hard to say no, I really don't like to be difficult in that way.

The thing that shits me the most is probably the perception that my kids are missing out. Missing out on what? I get that junk food has become a part of our culture. Does that not disturb anyone else? That one of the ways of looking after the health of my children can be seen as an inconvenience by some. That I should not be so worried about what goes into their mouth. That I should ignore that our culture which supports all this consumption of fake food is in an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cancer (to name a few)-is that a coincidence? I don't think it is-and I'm not alone.

It's the same with breastfeeding. See a 2 week old baby having artificial milk in a bottle and (most) people don't even give it a second thought. In fact some people want to have a turn! But see a toddler over one year old having a breastfeed and you are more than likely to "offend" someone. Even though it is widely known fact that it is normal and healthy-in fact optimal- for that child to be doing that. I just don't understand.

Sorry if I'm sounding a little ticked off but sometimes I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

Now off to bake some snacks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why can't I?

I'll admit I can talk myself out of things by wishing for different circumstances.
If I was 10kg lighter, if we had more money, if we lived in QLD, if we lived in VIC, if we lived in a community etc etc.
One of my big "if only's" at the moment is about the backyard. If it was only bigger, if we had grass/sand/pavers/tan bark, if we had it landscaped and so on. My dream is of lots of lush grassy yard with a big veggie patch, chickens and a sandpit, cubby house and swinging tyre for the kids-and a house cow. It ain't gonna fit in our teeny tiny backyard.

I was lamenting to Kate about how I wanted a little farm type set up like hers. I love watching all the kids run around in all that space & come in all muddy and worn out. I'm not sure Kate is as jazzed about the mud. I am always grateful for the shared eggs and veggies. Kate points out that I have quite a bit of raised garden bed space and ample room for a couple of chooks.

I start thinking about it. I get excited. I don't have to live on acres to be a little more self sufficient and give my children an idea of how fruit and vegetables grow. We can totally have a couple of chooks. My visions of the girls picking some veggies straight from the plant for dinner and collecting eggs can still be a reality. They just don't have to go very far to do it.

So I can drop the wishing for different things and make the absolute best with our lovely house.

But I am going to have to let go of the house cow idea....maybe herd share??

Monday, September 21, 2009

I could never do that....

The way you parent must be so HARD. Really? I think it's mostly pretty easy.
I don't have to get out of bed at night because my kids are already there. That means more time spent sleeping! I never have to worry about how long I'm going to be out with a baby. I have all the milk I need right here in my breasts-heated, packaged and ready to go. I don't run on schedules for sleep so it's much less stressful worrying about who "must" sleep and when. The kids eat as much as they want, when they want. No worry about how many mouthfuls more at dinner or if they are not interested at breakfast. I will admit that the content of what they eat DOES stress me out when we are out and about. So much horrible toxic food out there. There is no kinder run, no issues with what school to go to or having to be somewhere by 9am 5 days a week. I have very few hard and fast rules which makes for less arguing over them (though the girls find plenty to argue with between themselves).
Most of all I'm hardly hung up(trying for not at all) on feeling judged by others on the behavior of my children and the way I parent. Taking those expectations of my children and off myself makes life that much easier. Then we are all free to be more authentic in our relationships and who we are.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I know

-Google is my friend and can fix many problems
-my kids are true Victorians, a little bit of sunshine and they are running around in the nude in the backyard because they are "hot"
-menu plans work.And they make me feel very organized which is a bonus.
-wheat + Willow = EPIC FAIL. I need to stop feeling jaded at the fact that I have to limit what she eats and remember the tantrums and twitching after she eats it.
-2 children playing very very quietly is always worth a quick investigation.
-trust your kids with what they can cope with, they may just surprise you.
-having a sand table means having sand in the house
-being woken in the morning with little arms around my neck and little whispers of "you are my sister and I love you" by my 2 year old makes all the hours I've spent awake so totally worth it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things I know-the I forgot to do it on Friday and now it's Sunday edition

-Harper sleeps better when Luke is home and/or I have nothing to do.
-Tannah and Willow can fight about anything. I'm sure this is not the 1st time I've posted that.
-watching my kids eat what I have put down in front of them for dinner and ask for seconds fills me with happiness. I need to be less emotionally invested.
-I am old. I don't get WTF the "band" Short Stack and their hair is all about
-new baby teeth are puppy sharp-yeowch!
-my lunch today was falafel, hommus and tabouli that I made-from scratch! I need to get a life cause I almost took a photo of my kitchen skillz.
-when you have kids and you are sitting next to a screaming child on a plane you are not annoyed-just super grateful that the screaming child is not yours.
-the joy of knowing that your baby is going to be the last is knowing that it's only a matter of time now before I can sleep next to my husband for a whole night again. Perhaps with benefits ;-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A blusterous, gusterous day.

What do you do when the sun is shining but it's blowing a gale?? Head off to the park for some kite flying fun!

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Dad shows how it's done

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Bit of help

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Tannah at the helm

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Willow having a go

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a fun day was had by all

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My parenting journey

I was having a chat with some women the other day about why I parent the way I do and what inspired me. Truth is I was quite a mainstream parent until, can you believe it, I went to sleep school.

When I was pregnant with Tannah I had all the routine tests and scans, knew her sex and did all the expected shopping and nesting. We had a cot AND a bassinet, a pram and the only baby carrier I had was a borrowed old school type one. I was a very good girl and did as the hospital asked of me and we had a very traumatic birth. I came home and did what you are supposed to which is cope. Jump back into life. Pretend that all was fine and that the gaping wound on my baby's head from the ventouse was "standard" with instrument deliveries. I expected sleep-for her and me. I expected that she wouldn't feed so much and that I would be back working part time asap.

I was misled.

Tannah was just as angry as me about her birth and she screamed and screamed and screamed for the first...say 12 months. She didn't sleep. She liked to be rocked and rocked and rocked-and carried! All the time! Who knew. She fed A LOT and sucked all the skin off my poor nipples. By the time she was 6 weeks old I was stumbling around with a still sore perenium, excruciatingly painful nipples and I was on the verge of tears a lot. This was not what I signed up for.

But I started to feel a shift.

When she was nuzzled at my breast she calmed, when she fell asleep in bed and I crashed before I had time to put her back in the bassinet she slept better and holding her in the crappy baby carrier was not only helpful-it was lovely. It was becoming clear that following the path of least resistance was keeping us both happy. By listening to Tannah and me and trying to meet our needs and not worrying about how long she slept, how often she fed or where I was supposed to be we were finding our groove.

I finally got into a breastfeeding clinic (at 7 weeks! I wonder now how I hung in there that long!)and the support and advice I got there was so reassuring. But then I went to the health nurse for a visit and my world came crashing down.

I was told that I was feeding her too much, she was not sleeping enough and under NO circumstances should we be bed sharing. My concerns at her excessive screaming after her 6 week vax were not listened to. I felt like the worst Mum in the world-I was doing a bad job. I was not "coping". I was sent to sleep school to learn how to be a good Mama. I felt like such a fool going with my instinct and against the books.

At sleep school I was shown how to ignore my baby, how to "be strong" while she screamed for me. That my distress at her cries was normal and I'd learn to get over it. I took their advice and my new knowledge home-but every time I cried when she did it felt so wrong. After a couple of days I started to question if this was how I wanted to raise my daughter.

I wanted to find an alternative. I was at the shops and what should I see but a copy of Byron Child magazine (now kindred )I read it from cover to cover. Attachment Parenting! There was a name for the instinctive style of parenting I had been enjoying. I put Tannah in my bed and we never looked back-she is still sharing the family bed!

Through this amazing publication I found aba and a contact for a local attachment parenting playgroup. I bought a sling and an Ergo. I bought a few books. Through this magazine I even saw an ad for the Sustainable Living Festival where I saw some incredible speakers who inspired my path to have a homebirth and address the trauma I had been repressing since Tannah's birth.

It is through the amazing people I have met on my journey as a parent, through questioning the advice that the mainstream spoon feeds us, through reading some great books (anything by Robin Grille- it'll change your life!)through forums (see my places I love on the right hand side of my blog) but mostly through listening to my kids and my instincts that I parent the way I do. Some would totally disagree with my choices and some do a waaay better job than me. But I think I do pretty well :-)

It's an ongoing journey and I learn new things everyday, mostly from my kids.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Because I am lazy...

If anyone wants to see any footage of the homebirth rally, read any links or read a story of another Mama's experience of the day read www.ilithyiainspired.com
The lovely Sazz has put it all on her blog for your reading pleasure :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Mother of all Rallies

I'm back!
I went to this rally- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/07/2678679.htm

It was amazing to see so many out in the awful awful weather for the cause.

It was a LONG day. I only took Harper which made my life pretty easy but because of all the rain I couldn't sit on the ground to feed to there was a lot of standing breastfeeding acrobatics going on. Thank goddess for my ergo and sling lol. The day was definitely sponsored by baby carriers, I think the ergo won hands down in numbers. There were some awesome banners and T-shirt slogans everywhere. Some that made me laugh and lots that made me think-and a few that made me sad. I ran into lots of people I knew from far and wide but took very few pics as I was busy chatting.

Here is one of me a couple of local friends
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my view of parliament house
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When I got home I was cold, wet and exhausted, but so glad I went!

This slogan sums it up...
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Photos as promised

Harper-she is such a happy soul

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Some pics of the girls playing together

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adventures in co-sleeping...
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This is the best shot of all three of them lol
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Hope those make up for the photo drought!

Finally!!

I have always had bits and pieces of other peoples old computers, or been borrowing someones computer or had a tiny computer which didn't do all I needed it to. I've never had my own computer-chosen for features I wanted and empty of other peoples leftover bits n pieces. I've pretty much always had slow net access for lots of reasons and I'm ashamed to say we've been stealing our neighbors wi-fi for a bit to get any access at all.

Well not any more!!

I sold a whole heap of stuff and funded myself a laptop!

I won it on eBay for exactly what I wanted to pay for it and it has all I want on it. I like that it only has programs on it and plenty of hard drive for me to use. I'm glad I got what I wanted second hand too-for the price and consumption reasons. And we have our very own fast internet :-)all organized.

So no excuses for lack of blog action....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Things I know

-I've been slack at blogging this week
-getting something off eBay for what you want to pay for it is an air punching moment
-the best way to find out how much washing you do is to have your washing machine be out of action for 48 hours. Apparently we do lots.
-2 year old + rice = mess
-my baby rolled and cut a tooth this week. And it makes me feel sad for my teeny tiny baby who is growing up & excited about where she is heading.
-kids learn all by themselves.
-it is near impossible to not laugh when your kids swear.
-the high from booking tickets to see my parents was followed by the fear of taking 3 small children on a plane all by myself and has settled into nice anticipation. And list making
-there are no cheap gifts I could buy to express my love, gratitude and respect for either my Dad or my Husband.
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