Really. It takes great courage to admit that as I now have two "graduated" children, and one ornery, uncooperative junior. The 8th grader and the 3rd grader have not had the privilege of experiencing the "totally" fun and cool mom that the older children had at the same age.
Seriously, teenagers can really dominate my life!
I am relieved that summer has arrived, seminary is taking a break for a few short preparatory months, and I now have time to plan and organize a better school year for my younger children. I don't think a lack of planning has ever been my problem. My problem has always been follow-thru and motivation to avoid distractions.
I was searching for the inspiration to not only make this a summer focused on the 8 year old, but to make the approaching school year a bit more successful, and I came across the following wonderful website:
I'm in love!
I have found great ideas, people just like me (although I have to admit most of the mom's commenting and writing for the site have kids younger than myself and have not experienced the joys of motivating a teen young man to accomplish assignments without contention), and the inspiration I am seeking.
I do hope that I will be able to make some meaningful connections that will help me finish this home schooling adventure I started 16 years ago.
I found that many of the same people blog about life, menus, recipes, goals, reading, and family activities. Me too!
Friends! (even if they don't know they are).
The thing is... when I began homeschooling 16 years ago I had a family in my ward that had children of similar ages who also home schooled who I could plan activities with, bounce ideas off of, and even whine and cry on an understanding shoulder with. That same friend still home schools (until next year when her 2 remaining children have decided to enter HS full time), but her children are all grown (in fact her oldest and my oldest married each other in March). I no longer have someone to get into trouble with... to try some crazy idea with... to trade off teaching days with.
My youngest 2 are stuck.
In addition to finding "friends", I am hoping that I can find inspiration as I tackle a rebellious son. Much to my aching heart, my son makes choices that I do not agree with. There are times I wonder what happened. I raised him the same way I raised his sisters. Still, he is defiant, lazy, demanding, and unrealistic. He refuses (no matter what the consequences are) to attend church, complete school assignments, do chores, and treat others with respect. This is very perplexing to me (not to mention exhausting) because we have always had the family rules of discipline, always attended church, had FHE, scripture study, etc, have always expected chores and a good work ethic in our children. Yet, he has developed an attitude of entitlement that bewilders me.
I am hoping that I can connect with other home schooling moms who are experiencing similar attitudes and to gain a better understanding as to what do with attitudes that don't reflect what I stand for and what I hope for for my children.
So here it is... This summer I plan on doing the following:
Gain inspiration through meeting, reading and communicating with others such as those who contribute to Latter-day Homeschooling.
Continue my Salad Challenge, complete with weekly reports as to my results for the week. I am also planning on continuing to find ways to inspire myself to seek and achieve better health.
Plan the up coming school year with fun activities and curriculum that will benefit my youngest children and to somehow motivate my son to value learning and working.
Plan seminary for the upcoming school year.
Do something every day to make this a "summer-to-remember" for my 8 year old.
and read 2 books... just because.
Oh... and then to blog about it. Even if no-one ever reads this, at least my grandchildren will know what I thought and did "back-in-the-day."