Potty Training….. Who does that?!

image_1

 

I started using the bathroom at the ripe age of just 1 hour old! Yep, I was a smart little cookie. I have no idea how I knew what to do, but somehow I just did! No one had to teach me this must have skill, but yet I did it anyway. I can apply this to eating, crawling, talking, and walking, maybe I am a genius! Buzz… Wrong answer! Amazingly, as humans we are designed to learn, and sometimes without the help or assistance of others! Can you believe that, our survival as humans is totally and completely dependent on us learning and mastering new skills. This information and change in thought process changed my life when it came to potty training my children.

I remember with my first son, playing games like sink the tissue and with my first daughter giving her candy every time she would pee on the pot after sitting there for hours. It was a dreadful and tedious process. I literally stressed myself out trying to get them potty trained by the age of 2! By the time my fourth child came around,  I was over the idea of potty training. Everyone I ran into would recommend books for me to read they were appalled by the idea that she wasn’t potty training. Let’s just be honest does it really matter what age you were potty trained? Raise your hand if you remember what age you were potty trained.  Was this a question that I overlooked on my college application? Does being potty trained by a certain age make you smarter than the next kid? These are the things I began to ask myself. I mean really, what is the big deal? When son number 3 child number 5 came along, I decided I wasn’t going to potty train him. GASP!!! I said to myself as long as he is potty trained before he is 5, it doesn’t matter. My philosophy became if we learn how to walk and talk on our own who is to say we won’t learn to use the pot on our own. Who became the brainiac behind this idea of potty training, and where did they get this magic number from? I was no longer going to stress myself about this. People thought I had lost my mind when I would say I am not potty training him. When I explained our nontraditional potty training, I got remarks like “ok when he is 5 and still not using the bathroom you are going to regret this.” I knew my son was smart, and he picked up on these things pretty quickly. He loved and still loves to learn, is curious by nature, and wants to know and understand everything. Wait, isn’t that every toddler? So my thought was if he saw everyone else in our house using the toilet (more so daddy) then surely eventually he would want to do the same. If all else failed, he isn’t going to walk around in his mess forever, right? So the nontraditional potty training quest began!

I wasn’t going to potty train

When my husband would use the thrown, he would allow my son to watch, explaining that he was going pee in the potty. My son was amused by this feat! First off, daddy as a penis too! Secondly, Look what daddy penis can do! (boys have to love them) Soon my son started peeing  in the shower amazed by his personal feat,  I would praise him for this! Using statements like, “Wow you went pee” “Whoa look what you did you made a peepee” or “Great Job, now you can do that in the potty like daddy”! We would do this routinely with him. Never stressing over it or making him sit on the potty for hours with nothing happening. I allowed him to run around the house without clothing and without a diaper so he understood his little penis would make pee throughout the day. After just a few weeks of this non stress, nontraditional potty training, my little 21 month old started using the potty. He started at home on his own. One day he took out running for the toilet, when I followed behind to see what was going on, I was sure he was getting into trouble. To my amazement, he was going pee! He completely bypassed me and did it all on his own! I of course praised him and genuinely praised him because I was absolutely  amazed and shocked! I got the same feeling of joy I had the first time he took steps on his own! I am proud to say he is less than 3 years old and sleeps through the night without a pull up and doesn’t have any accidents, all of this without ‘formal’ training! Yep, he pretty much learned on his own. I couldn’t care less about the age, I am merely proud because he did it on his own and without me STRESSING!

For me this changed my view of potty training and teaching for that matter. Children are sponges and they love to learn especially visually and when involved.

“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn” Benjamin Franklin

You home school……

imgres     What do you do all day? What do they do all day? How long do you do school? Do y’all watch t.v all day? Are you qualified to teach? Do they have any friends? What do you do for extra curricula activities? I don’t know how you do it! These are just a few of the annoying curious question/statements I get when people learn that my children are homeschooled. When I say that it pisses me off, I am being kind with my words. Sometimes I have to realize that it is simply people’s ignorance lack of knowledge about homeschooling and understanding how homeschooling works. People tend to make irrational judgements about things they don’t understand. What frustrates me the most about these questions, is people often assume that my children are at home playing video games all day and cut off from the world. I love when people say, “I sure hope they don’t get into the real world and go crazy because they have been sheltered.” Let me attack address this statement.

When did sheltering protecting our children become a bad thing? For me, my goal is to allow my children to be just that, children. They have the rest of their life to grow up, be adults, and deal with this big bad world. Of course I am going to equip them for the real world, but in an appropriate order. I want my children to maintain their ignorance innocence and the joy they see in this world. The idea that my oldest daughter has no desire to kiss a boy, thinks that sex only means female and male, and wants her daddy on every single date when she gets older as protection, is bliss to my ears! Do I encourage these thought and belief system, of course, will my world come crashing down if these ideas change for her, of course not; however, right now at 11, she is exactly where she should be. I love the idea that they still want to play with dolls and wear ponytails. I see nothing ludicrous about this. Our culture has a way of rushing life and rushing us to grow up. It makes sense where this idea of rushing children to grow up comes from. There was a time when adults needed children to grow up and be little adults to help take care of the family, but these rules no longer apply. We can’t double talk, although that is what we do. You are old enough to go to the military fight for your country put your life on the line, buy cigarettes, but heaven forbid you have a drink! (okay that’s another soapbox)

“Aren’t you worried, they aren’t going to know how to interact with their peers?” “Do they have friends?” What is it about homeschooling that makes people think our children are locked in closets cut off from the world. Honestly, homeschoolers (mine anyway) are some of the most “socialized” children I know. Because our children aren’t spending hours doing busy work and learning test taking skills going to traditional school, they are able to participate in life with real people, might I add all kinds of people! We aren’t segregated in homes school by age and grade. This means that our children play, communicate, and interact with all kinds of people giving them the capability to be able to communicate with several different types of people not just their peers of the same age. The homeschooling world is a world of several different types of people and when you immerse yourself into this world, your children are exposed to all types of people. There are children that go to school every single day and do not have a clue how to interact with people or who aren’t sociable at all. Besides, when did school become about learning social skills?

“What do you do all day?” This presumptions question alone ticks me off not only as a working stay home mom, but also as a homeschooling mom. Here is one for you what do you do all day on your job? I didn’t know that a house could run itself, and because I am homeschooling my children chances are I am schooling my children! I’m not exactly sure where the soap opera theory originated from, but if I could get 10 min of uninterrupted time to sit on my butt and do nothing, I don’t think I would waste that precious, valuable, and golden time on watching t.v. No sir! I can think of several other things I could be doing with that time.

“I don’t know how you do it!” I don’t expect you to. For me homeschooling is a calling, and God knows who those select are that will be called for this duty. I never intended to home school my children, but it was loud and clear when God called me to duty. I am thankful for this calling, thankful that we are resourceful to be able to do this, and thankful that we have the right to be able to educate our children at home. I don’t know how a police officer does his job or how a gynecologist looks at vaginas all day these things were not my calling.

“Are you qualified to teach?” To ask am I qualified to teach my own children is like asking a person are they qualified to parent their own children. I am not teaching a classroom full of other people’s children, I am teaching my children. Homeschooling my children encompasses so many things, it isn’t just about learning reading, writing, arithmetic, but it is also about learning life skills, building a family bond, fostering independence and a love for learning, building skills and knowledge to be productive citizens, learning to problem solve, and nurturing talents and gifts already within. I love spending time with my children and to see the sparkle and glow in their eyes when they solve a problem or learn a new skill. I was there for all my children first; first word, first steps, first words read, first math problem solved, and so much more. Many of these goals, I didn’t need a certificate of qualification to help them achieve.

No one wants their child to succeed more than the parent. I want my children to be the best version of themselves and for us homeschooling allows us to work toward that. But it goes beyond future success, the memories we are building through homeschooling are memories that could never replaced. The freedom of not being tied down to someones else schedule and the freedom to vacation when we want, and tie education into these vacations is pure bliss. Homeschooling isn’t all bells and whistles, it’s not for the faint of heart, however, it is a blessing for those of us who are called to walk this journey with our children.

So the next time you run into that home school family, be of encouragement to them rather than critical or condescending. If you are a home school family, be proud of your choice to home school your children! Wear this decision with a badge of honor, and don’t hesitate to educate those that do not have the knowledge about homeschooling. Remember not everyone was fortunate enough to learn outside of the box or think outside of the box.

Review of Get Ready For The Code

Here is a review of the homeschooling pre k-1 curriculum Get Ready for the Code. One of my favorite supplemental curriculums to add on to any phonics program!

 

Review of Abeka Homeschooling Curriculum

My personal experiences and thoughts on using the curriculum Abeka.

Review of Moving Beyond The Page Home school Curriculum

Thinking about trying moving beyond the page as your homeschool curriculum? This is my personal take on this curriculum. One of my personal favorites. If you have used or currently using moving beyond the page, let me know your thoughts on this curriculum!