Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You're not fooling us

That's right all you Perfect Homeschool Moms (PHMs) out there, you aren't fooling us. Freakmom and her Freak Readers know the truth. You aren't so perfect, you are making it all up. There's no way you could actually be that perfect, have such perfect homes and children, and not be carted off in a straight jacket. You must be lying.

Signs of a PHM:
  1. You claim your kids teach themselves. We know the truth, homeschool kids don't teach themselves any more than any other kids. Sure they'll memorize every cat in the entire Warriors series, but they'll never learn all the presidents just for fun.
  2. You turn every question into a "teachable moment". Sure it sounds great on the playground or in the forum that when your kid asked you why you could see the moon during the day, you turned it into a week long unit study including a model moon made out of paper mache, a fictional story of a talking dog who went to the moon with his best friend a squirrel (written and illustrated by the child), repainting the family room in a moonscape mural, and a field trip to the planetarium. We know the truth, you answered "I don't know, look it up" and it was quickly forgotten and never looked up.
  3. Your second grader is teaching herself calculus and your fifth grader just finished high school. Why is it you people that are always interviewed by the local newspapers anyway? Like we need that kind of pressure. We're happy if our kids are doing borderline grade appropriate work and not sticking boogers on the walls.
  4. Your house is always clean. Uh huh, sure it is. We won't ask you what that is growing in your bathroom sink. I don't think we want to know.
  5. You make all your meals from scratch using ingredients you grew in your garden. We see that McDonald's bag stuffed under the front seat of your car.
  6. You never return a library book late, miss a birthday, forget to pick up the groceries or leave a child at the store accidentally. Do a quick count, odds are there is either an overdue library book under the couch or a kid unaccounted for.
  7. When left alone your child begins an impromptu study of the ocean, complete with salt water versus fresh water experiments, model jelly fish and a play about whales. Right, he dumped the salt shaker in the goldfish bowl, smeared Jell-O on the wall and ran around the house making whale noises like Dory in Finding Nemo all afternoon.
  8. Your children promptly show their day's work to their dad when he walks in the door from work. They fully explain the diorama they made, recite the capitals of all 50 states and retell the classic novel they finished reading. "What you do today, kids?" "Nothing." (mumbled). "What's this?" (pointing to diorama). "Some stupid shoebox thing Mom made me do."
  9. You make all birthday presents from scratch, for fun, not economic necessity. See number 5, you didn't even remember that your mom had a birthday until she called you three days later with the guilt trip.
  10. All your vacations and field trips are purely educational. I saw in you in line at Dumbo. Eating that ice cream bar.
  11. Your whole family exercises together everyday. No, walking into Taco Bell from a remote parking space doesn't count.
  12. Your children take complete responsibility for the pets. Rest in peace, Mr. Hamster. It was nice knowing you.
So give it up PHMs. You aren't fooling us, save it for the public school moms. They'll buy it. They'll believe anything. Lose the act and come join us on the dark side, "The Freak Side." We'll be waiting for you, we're the ones with our hair sticking up, mismatched shoes and a slightly dazed look in our eyes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hope there's no frost

We got the seedlings yesterday and Mr. Incredible helped us plant them. (I wonder if he is secretly reading my blog and saw me complaining about doing all the work?) We bought 6 little tomato plants and 6 green peppers. But I also wanted some other things that we don't grow every year, so we got 6 of each: broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant. Why do I need 6 eggplant plants? Well, they came in packs of 6 and they seemed reasonably priced and well, I wanted them. Tomorrow we are going to my folks and I'm taking them 2 each of broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant. I'm not sure they will want them, but they are getting them.

We haven't planted our eggplants yet, they need lots of room and I'm going to try to wait until next weekend and see if we can tell which of our seeds won't sprout. If all the seeds do sprout, I'm in trouble, there's no room for them. Unless I plant them in the front yard, by the porch, where the daffodils and tulips are. Boy, I can't even imagine the look on Mr. Incredible's face if I try to do that. He'll be out there digging them up and transplanting them in no time. I love the idea of flower bed eggplant.

School is pretty much over. We're just doing a few little subjects. Today we did the last history chapter we're going to do until fall. Violet wants to keep doing art and geography, both heavily literature based. Today we also made some homemade tortilla chips with some leftover corn tortilla shells. I'm about to have a big bowl of them with some salsa.

Oh, back to my title and my point. It is supposed to get down to 38 tonight. I hope those little seedlings are okay out there. I feel like I should take them tiny blankets.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Flower beds

Today we worked in the flower beds. By "we" I mean "I" of course, but you all knew that. I cleared out one by the house (Mr. Incredible thought I pulled up stuff that was going to come back, I said I only pulled up dead stuff. It ended in a stalemate with Mr. Incredible saying he'd go out and buy more plants to go in it.) Violet planted some sunflower seeds in that one. I hope the sunflowers come up.

Then I worked on the one out in front by the mailbox. The one that after I started I remembered is rock hard and I've sworn to never ever set foot in it again unless Mr. Incredible agrees to turn it into a rock garden. He thinks something can grow in it. I weeded it. Tomorrow Violet is going to plant her marigold and zinnia seeds in it. If they don't come up, Mr. Incredible will go out and spend more than I want him to on bedding plants to put in. This is why I meant to start seeds in the house back in April so we'd have bedding plants of our own to put in. But I got too busy with work and didn't. Now I have to hope it all grows before he hits the greenhouses.

Violet and Red spent much of the day playing together. First here, then at Red's house. While they were here, Mr. Incredible fixed the grill so he fired them up some hot dogs. He made them 2 each and we were surprised that Violet did a better job at eating hers than Red. Last summer Red was in a perpetual state of growth spurt and ate everything in sight. Guess she's leveled off and Violet is taking off.

About the grill. It blew over several times this past winter in storms. I thought for sure it was a goner. Mr. Incredible hadn't sounded too encouraging, so I was surprised when he declared it fixed. He made turkey brats for the two of us. Yum!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spoke with an expert today

As all my regular readers know I am quite concerned about Violet and her timidness in groups and difficulties with more than one other kid at a time. She's highly sensitive with a touch of shyness thrown in. She's quiet, reserved and likes to have lots of downtime for reading, drawing and painting and playing by herself. I know she's fine and plenty "socialized" but still I have trouble defending her nature to other parents whose kids are outgoing and gregarious and involved in activities every day of the week.

Today we were at a party with all of Mr. Incredible's family. His cousin, Kay, was there, and if you think I'm quiet, shy and reserved, you haven't seen anything. Kay was nearly 30 before she came out of her shell. She is the nicest, most fun person you'll meet, but so many people missed out on it because she was really, really shy as a child, teen and young adult. Then she spent a month living with an aunt, uncle and cousins in California as an adult and that being on her own with another family is what really pulled her out. Actually many members of Mr. Incredible's family are very quiet, shy and reserved. I fit right in with them as do several of the spouses. We sit around laughing and talking at parties, but we'll never get up and dance or start singing. Karaoke? Good gosh no, not at an Incredible Family gathering. We won't even play charades. Cards would be more our speed.

But I digress. I asked Kay for her opinion about Violet and her advice on how to help her. Her answer, let her be, she's fine. It takes her a while to warm up, but she does. She has close friends so she is capable of interacting, so what if she doesn't do it with 30 other kids all running around like whirling dervishes. (Yes, I know this is all sounding just like what you all have told me again and again.)

And Kay pointed out that Violet's ability to be alone, to read and entertain herself is a skill she actually use far more often in the rest of her life than having to play with strange kids at a party. I hadn't really thought about that, but she's right. I do know people who cannot be alone and therefore they end up very lonely when they are by themselves. Kay said she'd think about suggestions for coping skills and will let me know what she comes up with.

So I will do better at listening to you all and stop worrying. Violet's fine. She's not nearly as shy and quiet as either Kay or I were at her age. And we both manage to function in society. Well, I have my days where I barely do, but that has more to do with the idiots out there than any residual shyness. Violet will be fine too. For now, she acts just like an Incredible. We are all quiet and reserved, but a lot of fun when you get to know us.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The result

I got an e-mail back from Cookie's mom. Cookie would love to come to our house again. She suggested two times next week. Sigh. Actually neither will work for us. I replied back with alternate dates for the next week. Like Ami said, at least I'll know what they are doing if they are here.

Thank you all for your comments, suggestions and insights. I really do appreciate them all!

Melyssa, I wish you lived in my town! I'd love to give our girls the chance to see if they hit it off! We could have coffee and let them play. Gossip about the large families. :) Danette, you too. Your daughter's a lot older than Violet, but hey a tree hugging vegetarian sounds like a great role model for my kid!

Piggy, I think most of the time Violet is happy with Red and Tinkerbell. It seems like one more might round it out and fill in the gaps though. She does get bored. Yesterday she tried to make friends with a stray cat. Maybe she needs a dog.

Dana, I think you are right, it just isn't occurring to them that an invite to their house would mean so much. I know many of the families we meet either have a set of friends already in place or the siblings just play together. I'll keep suggesting things to the families of the girls she really likes.

Sabrina, they all drop their kids off and flee for everything. In fact, if you hang out it is considered weird. Girl Scout meetings, classes, gymnastics, playdates, parties, there's never a parent to be seen. That makes it harder to set things up with kids she meets at them too. The parents swoop in at the end, grab the kid and they are gone.

By the way, I hang out. In part because Violet has had bad experiences pretty much everywhere. But also because I'm lazy. I'd spent most of the time she's there driving back home and turning around again. Have they seen the price of gas lately? I'm over in the corner with the latest issue of Home Education Magazine.

Maria, you are right, they are busy too. And it probably doesn't help that I insist that Violet gets the downtime she needs. What I mean to say, it doesn't help our case to meet more kids. It definitely makes living with Violet much more pleasant!

Mare (I refuse to call you old and grey!), you are right too. I had Violet call Red after school today to see if she could come over. She had a family obligation, but I spoke with Red's mom and made tentative plans for them to play Sunday afternoon. And I e-mailed Tinkerbell's mom invites for a playdate and a sleepover (it will be the first time we've tried that with them). Maybe Violet has just already found her few close friends.

It is probably more a problem in my head than Violet's. I've been trying to make her realize that most people only have a few close friends and many acquaintances. She sees public school friends inviting 20 people to their birthday parties and thinks they are all close. I try to explain that most of them are there because they've invited the whole class or the whole Brownie troop, but I'm not sure she believes me.

Thanks again for all the support and words of wisdom. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I gave in

Remember how we were auditioning new friends for Violet? It is all here. We weren't going to call again unless the other family invited Violet back. Well, it has been nearly a month and neither mom has called or e-mailed. It doesn't help that we haven't been attending many homeschool events, but still they could make a little effort. Tonight I broke down and e-mailed Cookie's mom and said Violet had a great time would Cookie like to do it again sometime. We're hoping to get back a yes, let's do it at our house. But even if it is here, that's okay Cookie was a really good guest and Violet really liked her.

Sigh. Am I asking too much? Is it really too much to ask that friends put a little effort into setting things up too? Whenever Violet is a guest somewhere the moms always say how nice she is and well mannered and that they'd love to have her back. We have their kid here, then nothing. I know people are busy, but so am I. In many ways it is easier to have the kids to your house, you don't have to drive back and forth to pick them up. But still she doesn't get invited.

Except to Red and Tinkerbell's houses. She does get repeat visits to both of them. So she must be a good guest. Red's mom always tells me if there is a problem. She'd be honest if there was something really wrong in how Violet acts there. I don't think there is. I think she is well-behaved and a good playmate.

Violet doesn't want daily playdates. She needs more downtime than that. But she'd like to see her friends more often. She really hates large group events and even at small group gatherings she complains that she doesn't really get to spend time with friends. There are too many others around and they are all busy with the activity. I've tried to get her to call her friends directly, but she hates doing it and then they still end up invited here because I refuse to teach her it is okay to invite yourself to someone else's house. It makes me sad that I can't do better at getting her together with kids she likes. But I really can't host (and set up) every single playdate here.

What am I doing wrong?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beautiful weather

Have I mentioned what great weather we've had the last few weeks? Most days have been sunny and in the 60s. Once in a while it has rained, but only for a short time. We've had a couple of icky days, but after the winter we had, nothing to complain about. Violet has been spending a ton of time outside at her swing set.

We seem to have hit another wall with math. Violet can't concentrate on it. All that beautiful weather I guess. I've agreed to let her take a break from math and she's agreed that we can do a couple of short weeks through out the summer, with math lessons. Little does she realize that she had a real life math lesson this afternoon when she helped me add up the checks I received for troop registrations. She learned what the information meant on the check and how to use the 10-key to add a stack of them. If I can just get my act together and have more of those teachable moments happen we'd be a-ok.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gobbling Cobbler

Violet's Blueberry Cobbler turned out oh so good. I meant to take a picture of her with it but I forgot and the next thing I knew we were wiping blueberries off our chins. That was one delicious lesson.

Today we turned in the first of the Girl Scout registration forms for next year. I should be getting a lot more in over the next two weeks, but I wanted to go ahead and get the ones I had turned in. The lady at Council who processes them all from the tri-county area seemed happy to get a start, even if it was small.

Violet spent some of her J-Bucks (the equivalent of gift certificates she earns by selling fall products and cookies) on a stuffed Groovy Girl unicorn (Girl Scouts and Groovy Girls are doing some cross licensing of names and products) and Junior Girl Scout socks. We're having her spend some of her earnings on her dues, camp fees, uniform parts, but she gets to have some for fun purchases too.

I got the last of the big project done today! Woo hoo! There are just a few small things to finish up before my vacation next week.

So since I have extra free time I'm going to go enjoy it. There's a Sudoku with my name on it in the newspaper. Good night Blogland!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The garden is (mostly) in

Violet and I finished the garden yesterday. We got the beds cleared out and she planted tons of seeds. If everything sprouts we've overplanted. But since most of the seeds are a few years old, I doubt that will be a problem. She put in beans, peas, corn, carrots, brussel sprouts, dill, peppers, lettuce, watermelon, spaghetti squash, gourds and onions. There's no way it is all going to actually grow.

We still need to go out and buy tomato plants and pepper plants. At the very least we should have those. And she has a bunch of flower seeds she'd like to plant. So we need to clear out a bed or find some containers for that. I didn't feel up to that today.

We hit the books today and she did some math, a little history and started the Alaska study. We made pretty good progress, I'm pleased. We've decided to do Alaska and Hawaii then possibly hang up geography for the summer. And do just another chapter or two in history. But she wants to do more artists and art projects. Today we chose Matisse as the next artist, and I put a few books on interlibrary loan.

After dinner I ran out to our little in town grocery to buy blueberries for the Alaskan blueberry cobbler we're going to make tomorrow (the recipe was in one of our Alaska books). And vanilla ice cream to have with it. While I was there I bought stamps because I still have no 42c ones and I'm running out of ways to make 42c with what I have. I got to the car and found out they were Forever Stamps. So I feel like I can't use them and have to hoard them until the next price change, and that I'm not better off than I was before. I know it is all in my head.

I hate going to our town's post office. It was built when our town was a fraction of the size it is today (our town has grown from 3,000 to 20,000 in the 10 years we've lived here). There's no parking. You usually have to park two blocks away on the street and walk - really fun in the winter when the sidewalks aren't shoveled. There is always a line out the door at the window and the workers there are mean. No ifs, ands or buts about it they are mean as can be. It isn't surprising, after people have stood in line 20 or more minutes they are testy when they get up to the window. After being yelled at by customers all day every day there's no surprise they are mean. Needless to say, I avoid the place like the plague. I save packages to ship until I can stop by the post office in another town. So, first chance I get I'll stop by a different post office and buy a roll of 42 centers and save my Forever stamps.

Tomorrow we have a few errands to run, but mostly we'll be in. We'll keep puttering away at school and chores around the house. But tomorrow night we'll get to have blueberry cobbler for dessert and call it school.

I love homeschool!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Stiff and sore

It doesn't work well to be in your 40s, spend weeks at your computer barely moving, then go and spend an afternoon working in the garden. The next morning you hurt all over.

Today's agenda: go to the grocery store, figure out where we were in school and what to do next week, order birthday presents for next Saturday's party (thank goodness for prime shipping from Amazon), and drag myself back to the garden.

p.s. I really don't like gardening, but I love harvesting fresh veggies.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm back

Wow, this project is finally (almost) over. I have about another 2 hours worth of work to do on it next week. And that's it. I've been putting in about 20 hours a week for the last 8 weeks, on top of my regular assignments, so the remainder is next to nothing. I did have a breakdown on Thursday at work. A colleague was driving me absolutely insane. She kept offering to help us, which was great. But when we'd give her parts to do she was filled with questions (she's a high ranking colleague, it wasn't the least bit over her head) and more changes and ideas. And instead of just completing the work and making it go away, she would want to run everything by us. We couldn't get it across to her that we didn't need to oversee anything at that point,we just needed it finished. The lead manager on the project asked me to try to explain to her that she (the manager) was in hell and couldn't take it any more. I took that as permission to flip out. So I did. Our boss was in downstate Illinois and read some of our e-mails from her Blackberry and canceled her Friday meeting so she could help us complete everything and not kill each other.

But it is done. I can collect my paychecks, take my vacation (which was whole-heartedly approved by said boss), and relax a while. I'm not actually off until Memorial Day weekend, but this upcoming week should be a lot less hectic.

In other news, Violet, Mr. Incredible and I worked in the yard and garden today. Haven't planted anything yet, we're still working on clearing out the beds. Maybe tomorrow or during the week we can get some stuff in.

We've barely done anything schoolish, but we still have 3 weeks to go before the public schools are out, so I'm hopeful we'll get to good stopping points on all our subjects. I had Violet take the third grade standardized math test from Texas (I got it from this website: TAKS Tests) she passed with flying colors.

We had our last Girl Scout service unit meeting of the school year last week. I got a really nice travel mug for my work with the service unit. I've been wanting a reusable water bottle, so I'm going to use it for that. It is spring registration season, so I'll be getting in troop registrations for fall. At least that is fun work. They have to turn everything in to me by June 1, then I have ten more days to turn it in to Council. Plenty of time actually.

Violet got signed up for 3 Kids and College classes this summer. Each last four days, Monday through Thursday, from 1 to 4 in the afternoon. She chose 2 science classes and one on the ancient world. All with her all time favorite teacher, Miss C. Lots of free time for me!

We are in the process of choosing our theater performances for next year too. There are quite a few good ones, so it looks like we'll be heading off the the theater quite a bit. Once we decide for sure I'll post more. I got a nasty letter from the theater on Friday, claiming my account was $12 due. It wasn't. I had the paperwork to prove we'd paid for all our tickets. I called the business manager and was able to straighten it out over the phone (she blamed it on a former employee who they had let go, placing blame on others doesn't sit well with me, it was a mistake, own up to it whether you caused it or not and fix it). Had she not cleared it up I was preparing my own letter with supporting documentation to send in and was going to copy a few higher ups.

Gosh, I've been taking nothing from nobody, haven't I? Don't mess with Freakmom! She's a loose cannon waiting to go off.

Well, I'm just happy to be back her in blog-land where I belong. I hope to be posting regularly again now. I've been reading all your blogs, I just usually didn't take time to comment (mostly because I was sitting eating my breakfast or lunch while I was reading and didn't want to set it down to comment).

Off to enjoy my freedom!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I tried to sleep in

I really did. But I woke up when the cat walked across me looking for morning treats. (Why Mr. Incredible started this habit with them of giving them treats at 5:30 in the morning when he gets up to go in to the office is beyond me!) I didn't get up. Then Mr. Incredible's alarm went off. (He's still sleeping.) Then I had to go to the bathroom. Still went back to bed. Couldn't sleep. Got up.

Did I tell you Violet was sick on Friday? Thursday night as she was going to bed she said her throat hurt. I should have recognized that as early warning for a stomach thing. That's how hers always start. I got her up about an hour early on Friday to go to our last theater performance, a musical about King Tut. I asked about her throat. She said it was fine. But she didn't want to eat. I thought it was because she was up early and she's not a morning person. Driving to the theater she said she thought she was going to throw up. We were about 5 minutes from the theater so I handed her a stack of napkins just in case and told her we'd sit in the car once we got there until she felt better. She turned up her vent and when we got there she said she was feeling better. We went in and watched the show.

She was really quiet afterwards, which isn't particularly unusual. We stopped at the ladies' room on the way out. Then got in the car and headed to the community college. We'd planned to sign her up for summer Kids in College classes and get treats from the cafeteria. She said she wasn't feeling good. Then asked if we could go straight home instead. Then threw up. Poor kiddo. When we got home I sent her upstairs to find fresh clothes and clean up. I went up a few minutes later to find her cleaning up the bathroom floor where she'd gotten sick again. Got her changed, finished the bathroom floor myself (why did she think she had to do it herself, crazy kid!) and got her settled on the couch with a book, some 7-Up and crackers.

She felt better after a few hours and had a lot of toast. Took it easy all day. We read some books about Picasso and she felt up to doing some art work herself. I'll have to take some pictures later today. By Saturday she was her old self. Not sure where the little stomach bug came from. But I felt bad for dragging her out of bed and to the theater. Next year we're definitely doing all afternoon performances! Maybe Tuesday we'll make it to the college.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Almost there!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only a few pieces left to go in the project. And a little final review. Then it gets shipped off to the client and someone else gets to go there and lead 3 days of training! And I get my life back!!

I am far enough along that I am comfortable taking tomorrow off. Yippee! No working on Mother's Day. Well, if I get up before either Mr. Incredible or Violet I might do a little. But I don't feel like I have to do anything to keep my head above water, so I'm happy.

I hope all my mom friends have a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow filled with presents, flowers, hugs, kisses and everything else on your wish lists!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vacation Request

I put in a vacation request this morning. I'm taking the week of Memorial Day off. I don't get paid vacation days since I'm part-time, but I need the break. The only way I'll get them to leave me alone is to say I'm on vacation. I could ask for a reduction in work. But they'll only actually reduce it if they don't need anything. Plus, there is always the risk that they won't give me more work later. A vacation was the perfect solution.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Sorry I haven't been around much this week. Look for me to become more active again mid-next week. This week and weekend should be the last big push with this huge project at work. I'm spending all my free time working on it. And the rest of my time exhausted. Violet has been unschooling I guess.

I'll be back. I read all of your blogs when I get a few minutes. I apologize if I don't always comment.

See you soon.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Violet had a Girl Scout milestone this evening. She bridged to Juniors, the next program level. She's been working since the first of the year to meet the requirements and tonight she held her ceremony. She's attended a Junior badge workshop, participated in a service unit service project, did an online activity, and a few other things. She planned tonights festivities too.

Her plan was to light candles to signify her advancement. She had one blue candle (for one year in Daisy Girl Scouts), three maroon candles (for three years as a Brownie, we couldn't find brown tapers), and one dark green candle (to signify becoming a Junior). She lit them in order, then I presented her with her membership star, and a new Girl Scout pin. Plus her wings and bridge (both are patches for you non-Scouts in the audience). We made her wear her uniform and vest and Mr. Incredible took lots of pictures. When I can get them from him I'll post them.

Afterwards we ate dinner with the candles still lit. Violet choose bowtie pasta and garlic bread. For dessert: ice cream and fresh strawberries. She did a great job planning and holding her ceremony. Best of all, she did it her way on her terms. She really is one of best Girl Scouts I know. She takes it very seriously.

In other news, we had a busy weekend. I worked all day yesterday while Violet and Mr. Incredible went to the zoo. She was owed a "Violet-Papa" day since their last planned one got canceled. Today we worked outside. Mr. Incredible mowed and cleaned up. Violet and Red (the best friend from across the street) picked dandelions and did a few odd jobs between playing. And I cleaned out one of the flower beds. Violet and Red scattered flower seeds in the bed for me. I told them they could pick as many of the flowers as they want provided any actually grow. They liked that deal. I'm glad we have a slow week ahead. I'm tired.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What I learned in homeschool this year

As we wrap up the school year, I've been thinking about the things I've learned and what I am taking away from third grade. I think I learned more in Violet's third grade year than I did my own. I am leaving myself open to think of more things and make a Part 2. If anyone else writes a "what I've learned in homeschool" blog entry, let me know and I'll post a link to it.

Without further ado (although I love good ado), here's what I've thought of so far:
  1. There is no curriculum police. I can alter curriculum to work for us. I bought it (or downloaded it for free), I own it, it should work how we need it to. If I don’t think we need to do every project or discussion question, then we don’t need to. If I want to combine more than one curriculum, so be it. No one is going to knock on the door and take me away in handcuffs because I let her read the Junior Great Books and never asked her a single thought provoking question afterwards.
  2. We are not morning people. I have fought this one for years. Everyone else does school in the morning and has the afternoon free for fun activities. But if everyone else jumped off a bridge would I do that either? Of course not! And the very nature of choosing to homeschool suggests that I don’t give a rat’s behind what “everyone” else does. Why should I try to conform to their daily schedule either? And when I do they up and change their own schedule anyway! Last year against my inner voice, I signed us up for all morning tickets for school theater productions. That was when our friends were likely to go. Well, guess what. They didn’t go to most of the productions. We dragged ourselves up and out of bed and through the unplowed roads way earlier than we wanted to. Next year, we’re signing up for all afternoon productions.
  3. I hate science. I admit it. I’m no good at science. I try but I stink at it. I am on the lookout for more science classes and workshops for Violet. And I will try harder to get Mr. Incredible involved in the teaching of science. Super Grandpa too, can’t forget him! Last year I tried to start a Girls Science Club, but I now admit that was only to prove something to the ex-troop leader. I have nothing to prove to anyone. Violet loves science. I will get her science. But I won’t pretend to like it anymore.
  4. You don’t have to prove anything to real friends. Real friends love you warts and all. They don’t tell you that you parent “wrong” or homeschool “wrong” or volunteer “wrong”. If they do, then they “friend” wrong.
  5. We don’t have to be involved in every activity there is out there. Heck, we don’t have to be involved in ANY activities. Real friends don’t pressure you to join in every activity. Invite you to join them, yes. But pressure, no. And guilt-trip you when you say you can’t, hell no.
  6. Dandelions smell great. I just learned that yesterday when I was presented with my first big bouquet of them of the season. Take time to stop and smell the dandelions. And the roses. And the mud. And the trees. And anything else you encounter. Then jot it down on your school list as “nature study.”
  7. I love eggplant and spaghetti squash. I’d never tried either before Violet got bitten by the cooking bug. Now I know I love them! (She wasn’t as impressed.)
  8. Violet is a really good artist. I think she gets it from Mr. Incredible’s late mom. She was an artist too. I must make art a priority while keeping it fun.
  9. I am a freak and proud of it! (Couldn't leave that off any list of accomplishments!)
I think I have made really big strides this year towards my quest for self-confidence and self-acceptance. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Freakmom as she grows up and stops taking crap from everyone else and has fun along the way.