I am a great parent…. My kid is busier than your kid!

When did parents living through their children become the monument of parenthood? When did kids having schedules jammed pack become the staple to good parenting? When did kids being the best at everything become the focal point of conversation? What happened to children going to school, coming home, going outside, and neighborhood basketball was the highlight of their evening. What happened to the innocence of childhood? As a mother of 6, people always ask me how can you afford them, my answer- children are only as expensive as you make them. In reality, parents make the cost of raising children unbearable. Does your child need to play in every little league sport there is at the age of 3 or are you doing that for your gratitude? The only real expense to children is food, daycare, (if you work) health care, and college fund. Of course there are diapers and formula (if you choose not to breastfeed), but that is short term. Let’s be honest everything else can be budgeted and adjusted. Do you really need to shop at Macy’s for a 2-year-old and how many outfits realistically does a 4 month old need?

In reality many parents have this idea that the more my child does, the nicer their clothes are, the more money I spend on them the better parent I am. As if any of these things classify as a great parent. I have seen 3 year olds in $100 shoes, but they couldn’t count to 10,  I would argue the latter speaks volumes about your parenting. It has become that parents across the country are shuttling their poor children around from one activity to the next. I have heard parents in their circles comparing notes on whose child is busier and not to mention whose child is the best on the team or in school.  I myself have fell victim to this pomp and circumstance and was running all over the world keeping my kids ‘active’. My question is,  have any of these parents really stopped and asked the child is this what you need or for that matter want? I did and their answers were life changing!  Most kids want the simple things in life.  Many of these kids are being shuttled around, but are completely disconnected from their parents and feel alone. If you were to ask these parents what is your childs favorite color, they probably wouldn’t have the slightest clue, however,  they can tell you how many goals they scored in soccer. There is a complete disconnect happening. The idea of family dinner is being replaced by t-ball and cheerleading.

When you ask many of these parents the rationale of their child playing so many sports at such a young age, the rationale is college scholarships or the infamous “maybe they will put me into retirement” I didn’t know that children served as 401k’s now. The reality is  there are 7 billion people in the world the chance of their child getting accepted into a pro league or becoming the next president or whatever astronomical goal they have placed on these tiny souls is slim. So what is it with these demands and pressures parents place on their children. When did the idea of childhood and parenthood shift?

the-odd-life-of-timothy-green-1

I was recently watching Timothy Green, and they were listing off the qualities they wanted in their child. (what happened to we just want a healthy baby) They originally didn’t want a child that was athletic, but once Timothy came that thought was booted out the window and they were pushing Timothy to be something he wasn’t. All the while, it was for their own selfish purpose. Somehow they got caught up in the hoopla of parenting wars of the whois of who of childhood. The husband wanted to redeem his failures as a child with his father and the mother wanted to save face with her sister. The big picture their insecurities were becoming Timothy’s cross to bear.

Don’t allow your fear of failure to become your childs cross to bear. -Tanyell

Timothy was carrying the weight of all his parents issues on his shoulder, and because that is a tall order for a little person, he wasn’t doing so well, which then stressed the parents out and made them want to push him more and more toward unattainable perfection.

Children are not tiny robots that we program and control, they are tiny people that we encourage and love -Tanyell

The one moment in the Movie when they thought their child was going to be the star child…. he kicks the ball into the wrong goal! Is that a not teachable moment for those parents that want their child to be the best at everything. It is so important to understand your child’s best may not be the same as Johnny’s best.

So what is this blog about Tanyell? This is about parents relaxing and allowing children to be children. This is about parents allowing their children to smell the roses and understand that life doesn’t have to be a rat race filled with an overflowing schedule and to do list. This is about parents not passing stress down to their children. this is about slowing life down. This is about parents understanding that family dinners and quality time will always and forever be more meaningful than anything else. This is about parents understanding that heartfelt conversations with your child, bedtime stories, weekend cuddles and lazy afternoons will be the moments that your child will cherish. Sure extra curricula activities are nice and maybe even a little important, however, they aren’t iron mike trophies to great parenting. Children don’t require a lot of money what they do require is a lot of love, patience, and attention. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have those three things to give then maybe you need to rethink the idea of having a child.

Homeschool money woes…

This past weekend was the MTHEA homeschool curriculum fair! This was my first year going, and I must say this was probably not a good idea for someone like myself who is a curriculum “addict.” I was in heaven and at the same time miserable. What I learned from this experience is that there are soooo many curriculums to choose from, and it is not cheap to homeschool your children. There is public school, homeschool, and private school. None of them are free, but I tell you what the cost goes up with each one. I found so many curriculum’s that I felt both of my children, along with myself would LOVE. I originally only attended on going one day, but ended up going back a second day and taking my son to look for a history curriculum. This past year we used Abeka and a little bit of My fathers World> We also used explode the code as a supplement she loves those books. When I pulled my son out we started using alpha and omega for math and L.A. We did not focus on science or history. He has been reading a lot of books for history.

So because we will school all year long. I have decided to use My fathers world for our summer enrichment program for my daughter and finish up Alpha and Omega for my son. For the 09-10 school year I am leaning toward a program called beyond the page for my daughter! I am really excited about this program because what I have learned this year from Jayden is she is a creative learner. She is very hands on and likes to ask a lot of questions. Her strong point is math, and she it comes natural to her because she can visualize math in her head! So I want this to be the same for her for reading and all her other subjects! Depending on how this summer goes with MFW we may use that as well. We will continue with Abeka math and cursive. As for my son, because I am holding him back a year he will continue to use Alpha and Omega for L.A and Math. We will be studying American History for history. We found this awesome history music C.D, a time through history, that we will be using also for history. This C.D covers American history from the indians to present day President Obama. It is music song by several different music artist. IT covers Katrina, 911, and so on! We are very excited about this program! As for art, this year I have found an art teacher that I will be using they will go to her once a week. We will be having p.e at our local community center for home schoolers, along with their monthly activities.

I was not happy about the cost for these curriculums, but I know and understand to educate my children there is a price to pay. I want to make sure they are getting the best education for THEM that they can get. I know that every child learns differently and that is why I love the joy of homeschooling because I can cater to each one of my children’s learning styles. I want to take this time to learn more about what Jayden likes and does not like. I want to use this last year before my son enters into high school to try and spark a love for learning in him, so that he will enjoy high school, and truly love learning and not feel bad about it. I want to nurture their loves. For Jayden that is animals and for D.j that is history. I am learning how to be more economically smart about choosing curriculums. I was going to buy my son this 30.00 time line program, but decided we can make our own timeline notebook! I was going to use Sonlight for his history, but decided we can put together our own list of readers for our American history program, and go to the library and check out books. I will post a list of our readers once we compile it! It is these small short cuts that will help me save money, and spend money where it matters most! For science we will use our world wide web! And find science projects to do. I am thinking we will focus on the anatomy of a male for science and use this year to talk about his body, sex, and becoming an adult! Hey that is science!

So here is a run down of the upcoming school year. This is still tentative!
Jayden-Summer Enrichment- My fathers World K
D.J- Summer Enrichment-Alpha and omega math level 4,5, and 6. L.A level 6, and 7
Jayden-Fall school year- Moving beyond the page for L.A, science, and history. Abeka for math and cursive, Bible Old Testament and the seven laws of Noah. Supplement Explode the Code
D.j-Fall school year- Alpha and Omega Math level 7 and 8, L.A level 8. History American History, Science Anatomy and physical science, Bible Old Testament and seven laws of Noah.

I am excited that I have come this far, this far in advance! I am trying to be more organized and well prepared. I am in the process of putting together Jayden’s summer binder, and D.j time line notebook for the fall. I think by being prepared, I will not spend as much money, because I will have a clear plan, as to what I am doing and what I need to get it done. I hope I will not run into to many stumbling blocks! My goal is a penny saved is a penny earned!