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Everything posted by Entropymama

  1. Lisa, I'm so very sorry. I will be adding my prayers for you and your family.
  2. Yes. We homeschooled for nine years and then put them all in school (I have 5 school age). It was very, very difficult and I felt strongly that I had failed by having to send them. The local homeschooling community did not help with that. I spent most of the first month in bed during school hours watching movies and drinking lots of coffee. Then I cleaned out all my kitchen cabinets and started volunteering at the school and took up writing again and you know what? They did great. It turned into a really good thing. And then it all went south and we're homeschooling again now and while there are really good things about that, too, we all kind of miss school. So you never know. Just remember that for all the benefits of homeschooling, there are benefits to a good public school, too. My kids found their voices when they got to be away from me for most of the day. And I found mine.
  3. We pulled our kids from PS last month and I'm looking for some kind of fun science to take us through the end of the year. The science class at their school was pure textbook with no labs or anything, and they'd really like to do some hands on stuff. Any thoughts?
  4. Entropymama


    :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
  5. We've tried to move BACK to Seattle to be near family for years, so I absolutely get that. It's tough to be away. OTOH, we got a job offer in San Fran for $200,000/year (more than 100% more than what we make now) and it still didn't make sense to move because we'd end up in some crappy condo and with 6 kids that's not happening.
  6. Way to go! That's fantastic. I would love to read it, and my 42 blog readers will be regaled with tales of it. :laugh: I'll PM you.
  7. Well, if you ever feel like moving out East, we bought a 6 bedroom split level for 280,000. Good schools, too! The flyover states are the best. So back to the original conversation ... I don't understand this idea of holding kids back and keeping them children, either. We attended a meeting about PSEO (our state's program for high school students to take college credits during high school and get dual credit - and it's paid for.) The administration of the high school was basically like, "Yeah, it saves money and all that, but why make kids grow up faster than they need to? Let them be kids and enjoy high school! Why would you want them to be around adults all day, anyway?" I don't understand that attitude. Like prom and spirit week are more important than getting a jump on a successful life. IDK.
  8. Lucy - I think I remember you're in Seattle? I grew up there, was born in Skyway, actually. Yes, things have changed drastically there. My dad worked for Boeing in the 80's and my mom stayed at home. We lived in Kent and Covington in good neighborhoods and reasonably nice homes on his one income (he was in management but didn't have a degree). Five years ago, my cousin and his wife bought a small but nice home in Bothell and paid almost half a million dollars for it. It's gone up quite a bit since then. He's a PR consultant and she's a PA and there's no way they could live there if one of them quit their job to stay home with the kids. So your experience may be a bit colored because Seattle is somewhat on the extreme end of inflation. But it's true everywhere. When DH and I got married in 2000, I worked as a receptionist and he worked as a pastoral assistant and we were able to rent a one bedroom apartment for $600/month which included all utilities - even cable! We bought new furniture, took on a car payment, went on a Disneyland vacation for our first anniversary. Not really great financial choices, but all doable even though together we made less than $20/hour. Now I have a 16 yo DD and I have no idea how she'll make it on her own. A one bedroom apartment here starts around $1200, no utilities included, and everything from groceries to gas has gone up, not to mention insurance. Without a degree I can't fathom where she'd get a job paying more than $15/hour, and to live on her own she'll need a roommate. And I now live in Minnesota, so not exactly HCOL. Things really have changed a great deal.
  9. Thank goodness, and I'm reading this to my teens. Thanks for sharing.
  10. I think my original example was poorly executed based on the responses. A lot of you have picked up on my saying 'smart', among other things, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do given the information I gave! I don't normally use that adjective, I was trying to briefly sketch out my responses, but my main purpose of the example was to show his behavior. The thing is, I don't think his purpose is to delay school work. As noted, this isn't a school related issue per se. It's an ongoing issue with his not being able to react in a reasonable manner to disappointments and frustrations. This could be anything - his brother's cookie is slightly larger, it's too cold to play outside, he colored outside the lines, he has to read when he'd rather not, it isn't his favorite food at dinner, etc, etc. I'm sorry for being unclear in my original post - all your responses have been very helpful in answering it. The real issue is his often exposive emotional reaction to rather mundane daily issues.
  11. First, hugs to you because this must be so very difficult. You are a brave and glorious mama. Second, if you haven't already, which you probably have, be sure to join online communities with other parents dealing with this type of issue. It may take some time to find your group, or rather the group that has children with your child's symptoms, but those communities are invaluable both in helping you find connections for a medical diagnosis (they are often incredibly well educated on whatever their children are dealing with) and for support and encouragement. And finding good doctors and good restaurants near the good doctors.
  12. Thanks for sharing your blog! (Is that what a Tumblr is called? IDK) Still thinking of and praying for you.
  13. Lori, you're an angel. Thanks for taking so much time to respond and encourage me! This has been very helpful and insightful.
  14. I had no idea this was a thing, but I feel like life is happier now. :lol: I have no idea about brand. Good luck!
  15. Also, thanks for the book rec! I'm going to pick it up at my library this afternoon. Reading the description was actually a little comforting. At least we don't have swearing, spitting and hitting!
  16. Side note, but I had no idea this was true. It seems like when I was in high school all the boys signed up. We lived in a military town. To the OP, hugs and prayers. What a tough situation.
  17. This is really good advice, even if I'm maybe not taking it the way you meant, exactly. I used to reward my kids by letting them set the schedule or pick what we did next. I think for him that's a terrible idea and increases his anxiety and melt downs. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I think he needs a schedule on the board that doesn't change.
  18. First, thanks to everyone for the replies. They have given me some good stuff to think on. To clarify, though my example was about school today, this really isn't a school issue. He is well able to complete the work when his emotions are under control and actually enjoys much of it. It's a difficulty with processing emotions issue. For example, 15 minutes ago I was on the phone and he tried to come talk to me. I said, "Please wait until I'm off the phone to talk to me." This resulted in his pounding his fists on the table and running off crying. Just a note - we don't normally allow computer time during school. And after today it clearly won't happen again. Also, my kids are 16, 14, 12, 9, 7, and 3 and we've been homeschooling for 10 years. Which is not to say that I don't value ideas on how to make the day run! But to say that 'first steps' kinds of ideas have probably already been tried. I'm looking for insight into how to help him process these emotions and whether or not this kind of behavior is normal or I should consult a pediatrician or counselor. None of my older kids dealt with this type of thing, so it's thrown me a bit.
  19. Sorry for the length! My son, who is 7, has a great deal of trouble with impulse control and emotional regulation. Part of this may be because he was born 5 weeks early. At the time we were told that preemies often struggle this way, but of course there's no way of knowing for sure. He is a very sensitive, sweet child who loves to play with his little sister and is incredibly kind and generous. On the flip side, he feels very deeply when he has perceived he's done something wrong. He struggles mightily with his attitude and negativity. We recently pulled him out of school, in large part because, unlike last year, when he loved school and his teacher, he had started coming home last fall saying things like, "I'm stupid", "I'm the worst", etc. This became part of his everyday language about himself. Any small mistake on his part was the catalyst for running out of the room, falling on the floor and declaring that he was a horrible person. I have no way of knowing if this was precipitated by something in the classroom as we were not permitted to volunteer in the room, but I wanted him home so we could have more time and space to deal with these issues. To be clear: We already have a good sleep schedule. We limit his sugar intake. We try to get him to have physical exercise every day. We limit screen time to an hour per day. Here's an excerpt of this morning's school: Me: It's time to do school. Why don't you sit here and do this math worksheet while I work with your brother? When you're done you an play on the computer until it's your turn. Him: It's too hard, I'm stupid, I can't do this, I never had to do this in school. Me: Yes you can, you can do this! You are smart. If you sit down and work hard at it, it'll only take you ten minutes. Repeat for half an hour until he finally gets his work done. Imagine lots of rolling on the floor and putting his head on the table and dropping his pencil, etc. I finally get to work with his brother (who also has attitude issues, so that's also a struggle. Yay.) Me: Okay, it's time to come work with me. Him: No! I didn't even get to do my game! I only had a minute! (Tears and yelling and running out of the room and a giant fit follow) As I work mightily to hold on to my patience, I finally coax him into coming to the couch and we start FLL. This goes reasonably well since it's a read aloud story and questions. Fine. We start WWE. Him: This is stupid. I hate this story. Why do I have to do this? etc., etc, also involving rolling on the floor. Me: You cannot behave this way. This is inappropriate. You must sit here on the couch and finish your school work. You are smart and big and you know how to act. Him: I'm the worst! Now I can't get ice cream with dad today! (This was their reward for the end of the week) Me: Who says you can't go? Him: Because I'm bad! I'll never get to go now! I'm the worst! And on and on. This is just a snippet. It took us 2.5 hours today to do math, FLL and WWE and then I gave up and gave them the rest of the day off. I sent him upstairs while I tidied up and because I needed a break. A few minutes later he came back down, and when I told him to go back upstairs he burst into tears and said I was mean and never listened to him and ran off. I am exhausted. I am trying hard to be patient and encouraging. I know this is a transition and is going to take time, but I need some guidance on how best to handle this so we can move past it. He does not do well with discipline. Any time out, anything taken away and he melts into violent tears over what a bad kid he is. I have three other kids to homeschool and a toddler and we're not getting much done because of his behavior. It's constant and escalating and nothing I try seems to help.
  20. I hear you. I had a recent experience in which I joined a FB forum for people wanting to start blogging. They give lots of great advice, but also push you to buy your hosting through their partner (I'm sure they get a kickback). At one point a woman had asked a question about whether she really needed to buy a website or could she just start with a free site. I responded to her encouraging her to start with a free site, write to find her voice and grow her community, etc. I've been blogging on a free site for years and it's been great even though I've never made a dime. The moderator shut the comments off and deleted my response, replacing it with her reasons why you just 'have' to buy a website. Sleazy. OTOH, people do need to make money, and recording podcasts and webinars and setting up a website aren't cheap, so I see it from both points of view.
  21. I'm not sure anxious is the right word, but as I get older I feel more responsible for things, and that gives me pause. Take homeschooling: when my dc were small, I had no concerns whatever about it. I was absolutely sure that I was the best person to teach them and that if I followed my instincts everything would work out for the best. I do a lot more second guessing now, and relying on experts, than I used to. Whether that means I'm more nervous or more wise, I'm not sure.
  22. I can't like this for some reason. I'll look into them, thanks!
  23. Does anyone know of a curriculum or book for emotional intelligence? I have two big emotion boys, and this thread is very timely. They tend to feel everything big - sadness and anger being two that are tough to deal with. I love the level idea - thank you!
  24. I had a friend years ago who married a man at least 15 years her senior. They were a biracial couple, and she was often asked if there were challenges because of that. Her answer was no - every person comes from a different family culture and you learn to deal with that, the difficulties were in the age difference because he'd had so much more life experience. She felt like she wasn't allowed to grow up, in a sense, because he just took care of things based on his own previous experience. Just her story, of course. We know another couple who married, he's 18 years her senior. They seem to get on famously, but it was weird because she'd been the babysitter for his kids from his first marriage and they'd known each other in that kind of context for something like ten years before they dated. They insist there was nothing going on before his divorce, and I tend to believe them because they're my friends, but it was weird when they got together.
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