Socialization; What About it?

I get asked about socialization because I home-school. Usually, it’s asked by a well-meaning person who does not realize the real question should be:

Is it providing POSITIVE socialization?

Yes, you can get socialized in public schools (And private etc), but is it positive? Anyone who has been around my boys tell me how well behaved they are when out and about. They have great conversations and are well engaged.

It’s true they have their *moments* and bicker and complain about one another during the course of the day, but the comments about their general behavior and interactions with others have been consistent. To the point, it is not uncommon for someone to provide a thoughtful gift for them, etc. Some adults, yes adults, come over just to say hi…to my boys. Yes, they engage with me as well and we all have a great time, but my boys are not an after thought to others as a result of the fact I have included them in normal, everyday social situations in the real world.

Let’s face it, the “real world” is not found in the public classrooms. How things are set up in one are not how a job is set up. It is not how a night at the movies as a family is set up. it’s not the church picnic. I can go on and on, but imagine the class room and then imagine all the different ways you can interact with others. Which do you think would be a more realistic opportunity to teach your child about positive socialization?

I am not saying that public schools can not provide any positive socialization. There are terrific teachers, wonderful students, myriads of aides and substitutes. Most trying their best to provide education on all levels for your child. My contention is not the PEOPLE in the public schools. It’s how it is all being implemented. I feel none of those involved can truly shine to their best potential, which naturally limits the potential of the students they interact with.

A teacher (And there is one I had wished could come to my house every day!) could be THE best teacher you’ve ever known. You could be convinced that if they had all the tools and/or the full opportunity to work with a child to help bring out their best, they might do a better job than you. In the end, it does not matter who is better at their *job* if one does not have what is necessary to make it happen. I know if a particular teacher could take my place in my home my boys would benefit greatly. I also know my boys have benefited so much more from being home schooled with me than sitting in her classroom.

So, what about socialization?

It’s good ūüôā

Until next time.

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The 5 Paragraph Blog: Yet Again

It’s been a struggle. So many years; trying to be positive. Upbeat. To just drive through and overcome. Living with health issues while caring for my¬†family. ¬†Home Schooling even while I grapple with chronic pain. I’ve done it for so long, I many times doubt most even realize what I suffer with. I don’t want to be the whiner. I don’t like being a failure. But, that is what I feel right now.

You see, last year I was declared “Able to work” even though my brain tumor did not cure itself. I still have nerve pain. I still grapple with¬†migraines. I had overcome quite a bit and I was quite proud of this fact. I think I did well, considering. But, I always chafed at my limits. I always wanted to overcome them and soar above where I’ve found myself frequently stuck. It did not help that over the past year things got tighter and tighter financially, adding stress to the situation. Where once I felt I had found a sort of balance, I was starting to feel off-kilter.

I tried various ways to supplement our income and it just never seemed enough to accomplish our goals, such as buying the house we are in. I feel like I am capable of so much, but many times I simply can not see how to apply it. Yet again, I stepped up to try and do something. Thinking I could figure it out and make it through. Yet again, I feel as if I failed to succeed. I spent the last 3 weeks sick (I have a weak immune system) and trying to work a new job. I tell myself (and others) that if I was not sick I might have handled it better. Or maybe if the proper procedures were followed, I could have gotten through even while sick. But, it sure would have been nice to not be sick while having procedures followed properly in the workplace. I felt I was destined to fail. Was it me? Was it them? Was it both? Probably a bit of both if I try to be frank.

You see, I don’t write this blog to tell others “what to do”. I write it because, I can’t be the only one out there struggling to find their place in this world while trying to be not only a good mom or a good wife, but to reach my full potential. So, maybe there are others out there having this same struggle. Trying to make ends meet while struggling with a chronic condition as they home school their children. At the very least, maybe my posts help them not feel alone?

This is my story, though. Some will judge me harshly for my failures and short comings. Others will think I am great for doing all I have done even with my limitations. But, in the end, I so despise feeling like I failed yet again. And I know, I’ll keep looking for where I fit. Where I can succeed. Where I can shine my light to the world as Jesus asks of us.

 

Until next time.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: The Gamer in Me

I know some of you have only come across my blog for the home-schooling. Maybe you were a friend or family member that came to check it out to be supportive. And then there are those who followed because you are a member of CrossGuard and we game together. I’ve always loved people, so I think it is natural I would have gotten into gaming¬†with people. And because I’ve faced challenges that made gaming difficult for me, it was natural I would eventually make a guild that would be welcoming to all those who struggled, but wanted a place where they could be treated with love and kindness…and still get their gaming goals accomplished.

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Being a guild leader has it’s pros and cons, of course. How does one meet the needs and wants of their people while maintaining the initial vision of the guild that prompted me to create it in the first place? You get differing personalities, conflicts of interest, and the occasional¬†jerk whose sole enjoyment is to ruin other’s enjoyment. But, the biggest challenge of all is maintaining a healthy balance in my own life while struggling with a chronic health condition. This is further complicated by the fact: I must now work an outside job.

Running a guild with more than 5-10 people means¬†I need help to keep it running. Especially during times in my life where I need to take a step back and tend to my personal and family needs. In fact, that is the entire precept of CrossGuard: “CrossGuard was created to encourage reasonable, but well organized, game-play that should not infringe upon one’s ability to live, work, and take care of family and/or other life’s obligations.” However, when a time comes where I must step back, I don’t always have others available who are willing and/or able to take up the responsibilities¬†such a group entails. Those left in the dust can be quite unforgiving of this and seem to forget I am a real person. With a real body that gets sick and a real family that needs me.

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There is one thing I’ve learned after running this guild for several years. You learn which ones really appreciate your efforts. Who uphold the same vision. who are here for the¬†people and not just themselves. And when their time comes when¬†they need to step away to tend to their own personal and family needs, they know I will support them and that CrossGuard will accept their return with open arms. It is for them I keep doing it even after suffering through hatefulness during some of the hardest times of my life.

Perhaps you are a gamer. You might even like the thought of a gaming community that puts real life first. That attempts to play and communicate together no matter what game one of the individuals happens to be playing at the time. CrossGuard is that community. Sure, we tend to have a main game (Such as EQ currently), but we also look to the future into other games such as Ashes of Creation¬†and Pantheon¬†and fully support our community playing different games together. To achieve that, we use Discord for our main communication hub, though we still maintain the website. So, come say hello to a fellow gamer ūüôā

 

Until next time.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: The New Job

It happened. I got a job! It’s a job I have done before, being a teacher for Early Childhood. I’ve always loved kids, but after more than a decade being a stay at home disabled mom that Home-Schools, I had forgotten just how much I¬†loved it. So many little things, namely the children themselves, bring me such joy. Seeing their cute little faces already light up when they see me, learning about each one’s talents and challenges, and the reward of knowing:¬†I can help them in a¬†myriad of ways brings me such satisfaction that I don’t care if my¬†body hates me for this right now.

It seems the little kiddos I am working with in the 2-year old class like new people just fine. They were instantly wondering who I was and why I was there. Many hugged me right off the bat! It did not take me long to realize the other teacher I would be working with would be just as sweet and wonderful as these loving children, as well. I suppose it only proves that her effect on them led to a positive first meeting between they and I. Now when I come in each morning they are waving and saying with enthusiasm¬†“Hi Mrs. Tina!” (Most can’t pronounce my full proper name lol).

Each child is so unique and beautiful. I already adore each one of them and I honestly could not tell you which, if any, would be a favorite. Even the ones that keep me on my toes can not make my heart think less of them. They are still at the beginning of their lives and¬†everything is still interesting and fun to them. Even sweeping the room takes on a whole new¬†dimension of exploration. Try it one day with 14-17 toddlers and you will see exactly what I mean! As I learn about each individual child, I learn how best I, as their new teacher, can help them grow and explore the world around them. It’s a job I look forward to each morning.

Each day I am there, I remember the skills I utilized so many years ago to help those children in my past, including those I still home-school as older teens. Each day I learn more of the new techniques the center I work in has implemented. I have so many tools at my disposal to help these children, it is amazing. I am a curriculum junky, and guess who has curriculum to play with at work? Me!! And I get to do it with some of my most favorite people in this world; Children. Because of both my experience and the tools available to me, I can help these children in so many ways. Not just those who fit within common parameters, but those who fall outside the so-called norm. I love that this is something I am being equipped to do.

It’s true, my body is having it out with me right now. Last night was really tough on this older hips of mine. I know I will adjust, but I find it somewhat ironic that I need a bigger lap to hold all the children that want to sit on it, but it will be those same children that make it¬†smaller. I love this job for the children because I can learn more about them, help them out, and even come in with the feeling: These kids adore me.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: Welcome to December!

Are you listening? Do you see the decorations gaily twinkling from windows all around you? How about the streets of the town or city you live in? There is just¬†something fantastic about this time of year! no matter what you believe, it can be hard to resist the lure and promise to spread a little joy. Sure, we have a lot of commercialism, but I won’t let that get me down! It’s a great excuse to try new and old recipes, find out more about those who are around you (Can we say gift giving?!), and being inspired to give a helping hand.

One of the things I just love this time of year is that even people who do not normally bake are suddenly breaking out these¬†amazing recipes! Everything from cookies and pies to more complex recipes that can go beyond your oven. This is a time of year where the gift of a plateful of goodies is really appreciated. Heck, I’ll take them any time of the year! Not only that, the opportunity to do something¬†fun and tasty with your family can bring such joy to my heart.

Now, we all know the stores want you to buy, buy, buy from them! Maybe the commercialism really bugs you to no end. However, this should not stop us from reaching out to old and new friends and just find out what they like. What are their passions? Do they have a huge need for new socks? One does not need to spend a lot of money in order to spend the time to get to know others better and find ways to show them loving kindness. The biggest gifts don’t always hit your pocket books. it hits the heart.

Now getting to know others and finding out what they like and need easily transitions into giving them a helping hand. Give your time to others. But, don’t put an end to it once Christmas day has passed and you are gearing up to rock the upcoming New Year. Make a point to help one another. There is so much you can do, so get out there and do it!

You know, I did not expect the Season to hit me so strongly so early. it usually takes until the middle of December. But, I came home from Church and my amazing hubby had put up the tree. He knew I really wanted to get it done and with a new job starting the next day, I would probably have difficulty getting such things done during the week. It was his thoughtful act of service that just brought me such joy I wanted to dance and sing carols right away. Not to mention bake some cookies, reach out to others, and help out in any way I could. Tis the season to be Merry!