Friday, April 20, 2012

Top 10 Birthday Wishes!

Certain birthdays have special significance to some people.  I tell you honestly I am not a birthday person...just don't care but I do know there is a whole line of greeting cards devoted to certain years of your life 16, 21, 30, 40, etc. This week, I might receive those insulting cards in black...or better yet, talking about the "Big 5-0".  My dad has been trying to torture me with the significance for a while but it's just not meaning a lot to me. I'm thinking I'm still of reasonably sound mind and body, so I have "little old right hand" up today to vow on my Top ten wishes for my 50th birthday.

10. I'm going to try to eat right and exercise more so I can hang around with my wonderful husband, kid, grandkids, friends, and family.
9.   I'm not going to ever buy into our government, Wall Street's, or even the neighbor's definition of "success." I love this Jennifer James quote about success:  "It is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey.'
8. I refuse to disregard the younger generation. My generation hasn't done an awful lot to "save the world" so I've got to think someone is coming up who just might be able to get something  done!  
7. I swear I won't play my version of the "oldies" all the time.  I would like to be that cool old lady that still knows who the more relevant artists are out there even if I don't necessarily like them...or maybe I will!  Who really knows :)
6.  I'm not going to obsess about my cholesterol level! Yes, yes I know it's important...I know half of you will take the medication willingly, but I'm just not going to worry about it right now...sorry
5. I will make up my own political mind yep, I refuse to say that any political party speaks for me.  I speak for me.  I will hold on to my strength of conviction but I promise I'll listen to all points of may even change my mind on a few things!
4. I'm going to use technology and become comfortable with new things as they come along. I'm not wanting to become that little old lady that is afraid of her new TV or computer because it has all those new gadgets :)  I will try to keep learning always!
3. I will not forget where I came from. I want to remain that mid-western girl that believes in people and believes that good can happen even in a bad place.  I want to remember my parents lessons to fight for what I believe in and who I believe in even when it's not convenient!
2. I want to love and be loved. It's sad to meet people that don't have someone there with them at the end of their life.  I would love to be that little old lady holding hands with her little old man in her final hours surrounded by those who have meant the most in life. 
1. Most of all, I want to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." I pray I do well by all my family, friends, people I've met along the way and that I can be the person I have been called to be.
So, if I get lost along the way I hope you will keep me accountable! Thanks to all who cared this week to wish me a good birthday.  It is a blessing

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Homeschool Journey to the Honors Society

Sarah's always seemed like a pretty bright, fairly ditsy kid.  I'm honest.  She's spontaneous, kind, fun to be around, verbal (can't even begin to explain how verbal), quick witted, and according to teachers, distracted.  Private school was a great option for the early grades, although to be honest I knew she could do more.  In first grade we were told she might have dysgraphia because she didn't write clearly (she had just turned 5 and the motor skills weren't there but you couldn't convince the teacher).  In fourth grade her teacher decided she might be ADD/ADHD because she would find her drawing on her notebook, couldn't stay organized, and was looking out the window all the time.  (Don't even ask me how messy her desk and binder was!)  The teacher insisted she get tested by the public school system...we complied but advised that we needed the teacher to find a way to engage her because we were sure that she was able to do well when interested.  Bottom line....the analysis provided not only said she was not ADD/ADHD but that she was testing very high but had a very distracted behavior that suggested we should file forms to have her always put in the front of the class and teacher might need to pay special attention to keep her engaged.  Fast forward to two years of a parental mistake...public school for 6th & 7th grade.  Her grades went from really good to average.  This is not an average kid.  When I tried to address this with the teachers I was basically told that I didn't know my kid's weaknesses...and she had a lot according to her advisor.  Now, because the teachers had decided there were "issues" we were starting to see C's on the report card.  If you know me...C's are not acceptable if you are capable of better...and I know she was.  She started coming home basically telling me that she wasn't smart.  I was crushed.  This kid is so much more than this and no one was seeing it! By the end of 7th grade I was done.  My job was ending after 11 years and Sarah's school experience was disastrous (with the exception of socially since she's a bit of a butterfly :)  K12 here we come!  We decided now was the time to try and focus on what was working and what was not working with her education and try to move things in a better direction. 

The curriculum we were faced with was much more advanced than what we were previously faced with in middle school.  Sarah not only took it on, she excelled in it!  She started cruising through the work faster than expected, and getting A's on everything.  She made it through a year of language arts curriculum in 1 semester and started a 2nd year of curriculum at the beginning of the 2nd semester.  She was able to start taking a high school class in personal finance and continues to get straight A's now that she's being challenged.  Does she love homeschool...not exactly.  She wants to go back to "real school" next year now that she's been accepted into the communications program at a local magnet school.  We have agreed to give her a semester there to find out if it's what will work.  What she has had reinforced today by being inducted into the National Junior Honors Society is that she knows she's not dumb anymore and she can have her dreams.