Shoo those Humbugs Away!!

So if you’re reading this on the day it posts, it’s 2 days before Christmas and I am furiously baking, wrapping and (some embarrassment here) decorating.  Truth be told, I may not even be done shopping.  We have two parties and church tomorrow, church and relatives on Sunday, a trip to visit relatives next week, not to mention work and a house in short sell.  It would be very easy for me to give up and go back to bed (believe me, I thought about it).

I can blame a lot of my stress on poor planning and a lack of funds until the last minute.  It’s possible that better planning and (hopefully) more stable finances might help next year, but how do I keep my sanity and not lose my cool in the here and now?  The following is a list of tips I have gleaned over the years to make things a little easier at the last minute.  If you are stressed and overwhelmed this holiday season, I hope some of these will work for you too.

  1. Make a list of everything you need to get done.  Be general – buy presents, wrap presents, decorate living room, bake cookies, etc.
  2. Next, on a separate sheet of paper, Word doc, Task List or whatever you use, break down the individual jobs.  For buying and wrapping presents, I use the Master Gift List at Organized Christmas:
  3.  If  you are decorating, list the rooms you need to decorate and what boxes you need to take out of storage.  For baking, list which goodies you’re going to make, then break them down by ingredients.
  4. Next make a shopping list based on your ingredients list and gifts list.  Be realistic – you’re probably not going to be able to spend as much money as if you had spaced the buying out throughout the year, but you can still get everyone something they will appreciate.  And if they like goodies – even easier since you are already baking. (Sorry, family and friends – now most of you know what you’re getting from me).
  5. Make a timeline.  With two days left I am spending today baking, wrapping and decorating and tomorrow I will be buying any presents that are left and finishing wrapping.  I like to really break down the timeline on my baking so nothing gets missed.  Here’s an example of my baking timeline:
  6. Enlist the help of your loved ones.  Delegate what you can.  Art is a much better wrapper than me, so I will let him do most of that.  The boys like to decorate, so I will let them put up some garland and lights.
  7. Lastly, make sure to take some time to relax and take care of yourself.  In the morning, I will do my devotions, pray, and exercise before I start my baking timeline.  In the evening I will hang out with Art and the boys and watch some TV while we wrap presents.  Later on I will go to bed early and read a good book by myself.

Hopefully I can follow my plan and enjoy the holidays this year, even with the extra stress.


An Open Letter to My Mother-in-Law

As with many of us, my in-laws are coming to visit for the holidays.  Over the years, I had my fair share of clashes with my mother-in-law.  Now that both of my sons have girlfriends, I am starting to appreciate the position of mother-in-law much more.  To that end, I decided to write an open letter to mine. It’s part apology, part thanks, part knowledge sharing.  I hope you can relate 🙂

Dear Bobbie –

First I would like to apologize:

  • For all the times I acted like I knew everything about parenting or marriage – even though you had more than 20 years experience on me.
  • For not appreciating your generosity – in fact, for resenting it.  I saw your gifts to us as your attempt to control our family – and I see now that coercion is not part of your makeup.
  • For not being sympathetic to your frustrations with life, your family, and me.

I would also like to thank you:

  • For the previously mentioned generosity – generosity of time, of spirit, and of love, as well as money and material items.
  • For accepting me as part of your family from day one.
  • For always trying to understand – even when situations and people were outside of your comfort zone.

We didn’t choose each other – but we DO love each other.

And for the rest of you – some things I have learned from being a daughter-in-law for 20+years and a not quite mother-in-law for over a year (all of these suggestions work both ways):

  • Bite your tongue.  Seriously.  Unless she is doing something dangerous, don’t say anything.  She won’t be grateful for your advice.  She’ll resent you.  Let her come to you.  The flip side of this one is: It’s okay to ask her for advice.  She might be able to teach you something new or give you a fresh perspective on life.
  • When you’re in her house, try to abide by her rules.
  • When you talk to your son (or husband), don’t tell him the things you don’t like about her.  It will only drive a wedge between you.

Following these rules won’t guarantee you a good relationship with your in-laws, but it might give you some peace of mind.

Enjoy your holiday!!

Who Dat?

There’s a very old saying that originated in New Orleans back in the late 1800’s.  I don’t know how I first heard it, but I used to say it to my boys when they were little.  It goes something like this:

“Who dat?”

“Who dat who say who dat?”

“Who dat who say who dat who say who dat? …

I thought of this little saying the other day when I was having some problems with discernment.  Sunday was not a great day.  I woke up not breathing very well, so decided not to go to church.  I did some chores, surfed the computer, did my devotions, wrote my blog, balanced the checkbook, and it all went downhill from there.  We were about out of money with 2 1/2 weeks until the next paycheck.  I was worried, but I didn’t want to worry anyone else, so I stuffed it down (always a bad idea).

Art & I went to the grocery store with the rest of a gift card his parents had given us.  The register rang up a loaf of bread for 20 cents more than the price I had been told online.  Art wanted to ask the cashier about it, but I begged him not to.  Is that the point we’re at now?  Arguing over 2o extra cents for a loaf of bread?  I’m pretty sure the cashier gave us the 20 cents back just so we would stop arguing with each other and leave.  I felt like I was going to cry, but I didn’t want to, so I stuffed it down (another bad idea).

Later that night we were making dinner and discussing the future.  Art and Boo are both starting at our local community college in January.  In September, Bud will be joining them.  How exciting to have all 3 of my men furthering their educations together!!  But that wasn’t on my mind Sunday night.  I asked Art if he was going to get a job while he was in school (you may recall that Art has been unemployed since June 2009, not for lack of trying).  I don’t even remember his reply – I’m sure it was something like, “Of course I’m going to do the best I can to find something.”  All I remember is I freaked out.  Let all the fear and sadness that had been building up inside me all day out in one spew of anger at someone who didn’t deserve it at all.  And he talked back a little, but mostly he took it.  And then we ate dinner and walked the dog and I went to bed.

Well, once I got to bed and had time to reflect on my day I realized what I had done and I felt absolutely horrible.  I started beating myself up, telling myself I was a bad wife, bad mother, etc.  I cried and cried.  Art came to bed and I couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t even mad at me.  He said we are all in a difficult situation and he understands that sometimes it’s just too much to handle.  I think I actually felt worse – that he could be so understanding.

Then I remembered something Renee Swope said in her book A Confident Heart:

“Condemnation sweeps across our thoughts with generalized statements (bad wife, bad mother). That is the accuser.  His tone is condemning, questioning and confusing.  His accusations lead to guilt and shame.

The Holy Spirit’s conviction will be specific.  He will reveal a sinful action or attitude and instruct us on what we need to do to right the wrong.”

So I took a deep breath and realized I was listening to the wrong voice in my head.  I switched my thinking from I’m a horrible person  to  what can I do differently next time?  If I had expressed some of my fear and sadness earlier in the day, allowed myself some grieving time, I wouldn’t have felt the need to lash out at Art.

Next time I screw up (and I know I will),  and the voices in my head start speaking, I’m going to ask them “Who dat?”

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  – Romans 8:1

“I Couldn’t Sleep at All Last Night”

Looking back, I feel guilty for not believing him.  So many times over the years Bud would tell us that he hadn’t slept at all the night before.  “Of course you did,” we would reply.  “You just don’t remember.  You probably woke up a lot and that’s why you think you weren’t asleep at all.”

He was such an easy baby.  No fuss and always such a sweet smile on his face that I called him my angel baby.  But it seemed like the terrible twos lasted three years.  After that, things got easier, but Bud was always  a little crabby and anxious.

Then in 2009 his attitude took a turn for the worse.  Our business was failing,  and Art and I were gone from the house for 10 or more hours a day.  Bud was in his first year of high school and struggling to keep up in some of his classes.  In addition, he and his girlfriend were not getting along.  All I knew was that it was nearly impossible to get him up for school in the morning.  He had a headache, or he didn’t feel good.  Could he just miss a class or two and go in late?  I remember adding it up and he had missed over 15 days of school his freshman year!

Finally, in June of 2009, right after we closed the business, I tried to get Bud up one morning.  He refused.  It was the week before finals and I was worried he wouldn’t pass his classes and end up having to repeat his freshman year.  I told him there were no more excuses and gave him 5 minutes to get out of bed.  Then I personally drove him to school (the boys usually walked, but I wasn’t taking any chances on that day).  On my way back home I got a text.  Pulling to a stop in our driveway I read the message from Bud which read, “well if you’re not even going to listen to me then I might as well just kill myself.  You don’t even know what’s going on.”

Needless to say, I freaked out.  I woke up Art and read him the message.  He agreed we had to take the threat seriously and called the school.  By the time we got there, they had already pulled Bud out of class and he was in the vice principal’s office waiting for us.  It turned out that Bud and his girlfriend had broken up the night before and he just couldn’t deal with going to school.   It was obvious he was done for the day, so we brought him home.  He wouldn’t talk to us and we were scared.  We finally got him to agree to go to therapy through the local Community Mental Health.

It took a month for us to get an appointment for Bud.  In the meantime, he did manage to attend class every day for the next two weeks and to pass all his classes.  His first day with the therapist she managed to get out of him that he had not had a full night’s sleep in years (we think probably since the age of 5 – maybe even earlier).  She also suggested that Bud was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and depression.  We wrangled a doctor’s appointment the very next day and after two weeks on heavy duty sleep meds we could already see the difference in Bud.

The past 2 1/2 years have been a two steps forward one step back world of medication changes and adjustments, psychiatric appointments and family discussions.  Bud is still not the best sleeper and one of the main reasons he is homeschooling is so that he can “do school” when he is most awake  – usually around 10 p.m.!  He is fun to have a conversation with and, if he’s really well rested, even volunteers to do some chores!!

I’m happy to say – I got my angel baby back!!

The Unexpected Corgle*

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in bed, playing a game on my Kindle, trying to relax enough to fall asleep when Art walked into the room.

“You’re never going to believe this,” he said.

Great, there goes any chance of falling asleep at a decent time.  I set down the Kindle and look at Art.  “What happened?” I asked as politely as  possible.

“You have to come out and see,” he said.  So I put on some sweats and followed him out into the dining room.  Lying on the table was a blue blanket wrapped around some kind of bundle.  I peeked inside and this is what I saw:

At fist, I thought it might be some kind of rabbit, but then I realized it was a puppy.  The puppy we had specifically told Bud he could NOT have for his birthday because we are losing our house and trying to find a place for one of our other dogs.

“How is it that we have a puppy?” I asked, as politely as possible (I swear I never even raised my voice).

“Don’t be mad, Mom,” Bud pleaded.  “Aspen’s mom bought him for me for my birthday.”

Seriously?  She bought him a dog without asking us?  What do we do, send it back?

Well, I took one look at the sweet little face, almost raccoon-like, and my mama instinct kicked in.  It turned out the puppy was a rescue.  His mama and her litter had been found on someone’s front lawn and fostered for six weeks by a very nice lady in Stockton.

“What kind of dog is he?” I asked.

“He’s part corgi, part beagle (*corgle),” Bud replied.

“And part raccoon,” inserted Art.

“Or part Mogwai,” I laughed (we have no idea what breed his father was).

It turned out that Aspen and her mom were more than willing to co-parent the puppy.  We took him overnight, since his other grandma (Aspen’s mom) works early mornings and Aspen goes to public school.  Then Bud would take him over to their house once Aspen got out of school.  Art and I wanted to name him Gizmo, after the movie Gremlins, but Bud named him Kiff (an alien in the TV show Futurama).

I went into this new venture assuming that I would be the main caregiver for Kiff, and I am the one who gets up with him in the morning and entertains him/snuggles him/feeds him/cleans up after him until everyone else wakes up.  But we have held Bud to his promises.  He takes Kiff with him when he goes out (as much as possible).  He and Aspen have paid for all of Kiff’s vet bills and most of his food, pee pads and toys.

In addition, after having to give up one of our other dogs due to the imminent move and some behavioral issues, Kiff has been such a blessing to our family.  Our older dog, Katie, is adjusting to the new puppy, and enjoying her new princess status (since Kiff is an indoor dog, Bud got Katie a nice bath and she is now indoors as much as possible – which she absolutely loves!) For the rest of us, focusing on this tiny one who NEEDS us so much, has definitely helped distract us from some of our other problems, and also to bring us closer together as a family as we negotiate responsibilities and decisions.  Bud is Kiff’s “dad” and he makes most of the decisions regarding the puppy’s care.  Art and I try to only step in where we are needed – I guess it is good practice for the (hopefully distant) future when we have grandchidren.

Head Sense vs. Heart Sense

As you may recall from previous blogs (A Business Lost, A Business Lost;Skills and Relationships Gained), our family is in the midst of some pretty hefty financial difficulties.
Well, Friday was the big day.  The notice was posted on our front door that our house is due to be auctioned off at the end of the month.  Fortunately, we had already contacted a realtor regarding a short sell and had already begun showing the house.  A short sell will buy us a few months more in the house while the bank is negotiating the sale with the buyer.  Hopefully by the end of that time we will have found a new place to live.
So here’s my dilemma. Intellectually I know that we need people to look at the house if we want to sell it.  And most people aren’t even home when buyers tromp through their doors.  My problem is I work from home 75% of the time and Bud is homeschooled.  So we pretty much have to be here when the house is being shown.  And emotionally that is very difficult (head sense vs. heart sense).
The first day we had 4 showings scheduled, back to back, right after I got off work.  Then 3 the next day, and so on.  By Wednesday I was ready to break.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone was very nice, and even though they felt “judgy” to me, they probably weren’t.  The problem was I couldn’t get anything done.  I felt like my whole life was consumed with making sure the house stayed clean for the showings.  I started questioning whether we’d even made the right decision.  After all, if we didn’t get an offer in time, we were going to lose the house at auction anyway and if things continued the way they were I wouldn’t even have time to pack the house! (You can see how my brain tends to jump to extremes).
Well, it just so happened that right about the time I started bawling, telling Art I just couldn’t do it anymore, our realtor called and asked if he could come over for a few minutes.  I really didn’t want to see him in the state I was in, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice.  He lives just down the block from us, so he walked up in about 5 minutes, just long enough for me to pull myself together a little.
Ray (our realtor) told us that our house was progressing at a rate he hadn’t seen in a long time and had not anticipated.  We already had promises of two offers and he thought we would be submitting the best one to our bank by the end of the week.  Once the house status changed to “sale pending” the showings would slow to a near stop.  We could get our lives back again and we would buy the time we needed.  I took a deep breath for the first time in a long time.
Then Ray did something marvelous.  He asked if he could pray with us. We all huddled together and as he prayed I could feel myself tearing up again, but this time with tears of relief and peace. God sent us just the right help at just the right time so we would know we were doing just the right thing.

The Hard Way: Teachable Moments

So if you read my blog from Monday: The Hard Way, you know that last Sunday night my youngest son had a teachable moment.  Sometimes we, as parents, need to let our children take the path they choose, even though we have (strongly) recommended otherwise.  The consequences of these bad choices can often result in such teachable moments.
I like to think that now that I have been an adult for some 26 years, I don’t run into problems like these anymore.  But doesn’t God give us teachable moments as well?
Art and I don’t call them teachable moments.  We call them those times when God hits you over the head with a hammer and says “Wake up!” because you really weren’t listening to begin with.  I guess teachable moment is easier to say, LOL.
Moses had a teachable moment when he encountered the burning bush that didn’t burn up.  Now if I heard a voice talking to me out of a burning bush I would probably think I was going crazy, wouldn’t you? But Moses listened to what God had to say.
God told Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)
This is about the time that Moses started doubting. “What if they ask me who sent me?” he inquired.
God said, “Tell them I AM WHO I AM sent you.”
“But what if they don’t believe me?” Moses asked.
So God gave Moses two signs to show the Israelites to prove his divine calling.
Then Moses said, “But I’m not a very good speaker.”
You can tell God is getting frustrated with Moses at this point. “Who gave you your mouth and the ability to speak?  Wasn’t it me?  Then don’t you think I will give you the words to say?”
Moses answered, “Look God, just send someone else.”
Exodus 4:14 says Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses.  Can you blame him?  Moses just wasn’t listening.  God agreed to let Moses’ brother Aaron be the speaker, but he told Moses he would still have to perform the signs and tell Aaron what to say.
Moses finally saw that God’s way was best and went on to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
One of my teachable moments happened about 7 years ago when Art decided to start his own business.  After months of research we decided to open a retail golf shop, found the franchise we liked, got approved as franchisees and even found a funding source, but try as we might we just could not find the right location.  Everything we looked at was too expensive or the wrong size.  Meanwhile, I was  not very enthusiastic about the idea.  I just wanted to continue to homeschool my kids and live the life we had.
In April 2004 we had one more location to look at and I  didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I told Art I was done. He was going to have to start his business without me.  He begged me to come along with him just to look at the place.  “If this site doesn’t work out, we’ll call it quits.  I’ll even take you out to lunch.”  That did the trick.
Well, we got to the location and it was way too big and way too expensive and was going to require way too much work to fix up.  I tried not to get that gloaty look on my place as we drove away to look for a lunch spot.  I could tell Art was really upset.  We ate our lunch mostly in silence.  Then Art suggested we drive the back way out to the freeway.  It was a road we had never taken before.
As we were going around a bend, I saw a building with a For Rent banner on it.  “What would it hurt?” I thought, so I encouraged Art to pull over.We looked at the floor plans taped to the front door.  The building was the right size and the right price.  Still, I was skeptical. Hadn’t we already decided we were done?  I peeked in the window to try to get a better view.  And there I saw it.  A tile entry.  Almost the exact tile entry we had seen in a friend’s golf shop and decided would be perfect for our own.  I just couldn’t argue with God anymore.  That teachable moment had come.
What are some of your teachable moments?

Image credit: Copyright © 1980 – 2011 All Rights Reserved Deborah A. Reeder

The Hard Way, Part 1

Sunday was rough for our family.  Bud had been sick with a sinus infection for about a month; on antibiotics since the previous Tuesday.  He hadn’t been sleeping well and had gone to bed early (for him) Saturday night after getting in trouble for coming home an hour past his curfew.  Sunday morning I woke up having some difficulty breathing (we call them Mom’s “bad breathing days”). Around 2 p.m. I was worn out from the effort, so I laid down (propped  up) to take a nap.

I woke up about an hour later, took some meds and laid back down to rest and watch TV.  Bud knocked on the bedroom door and stated he needed a ride.  I told him to ask Art, who was out putting up Christmas lights.  Bud said, “He can’t. He’s busy.”  So I drug myself out of bed, put on some clothes and got ready to go.

I got the feeling Bud was trying to get out of the house without talking, so I asked him what had happened the night before and why he was so late home.  He said, “All I’m going to say is that as soon as I get a job and save up enough money I’m getting emancipated and I’m out of here.”

I said, “You’re getting emancipated because you got a punishment for breaking a rule?”

He said, “No, because you guys have too many expectations of me but you don’t treat me with the respect I deserve.” Now due to Bud’s health problems, we are actually easier on him than we were on his brother at the same age, so this was out of left field for me.  I countered some of his issues, but he was not in the mood for a discussion.

Finally I said, “At least you can say please when you ask me to give you a ride since I had to get out of bed to do it.”

Bud replied, “Well I have a bad headache.  If you can’t take it I can just walk.”

“Fine, then, ” I said.  “Go ahead and walk.  I’m going back to bed.”

A few hours later, Bud called and told Art he needed a ride to the ER since his headache was much worse and he wasn’t able to eat.  I stayed home while all this was happening as I didn’t think it was a good idea to expose myself on a bad breathing day to all the possible germs in an ER.  I was very nervous.  The doctors were trying to rule out meningitis.  I was beating myself up for being a bad mother and texted a good friend so I could vent.

After a few hours and some tests it turned out that Bud was dehydrated, which combined with not eating had exacerbated the pain of his sinus infection.  He stayed in the ER on an IV drip for another hour and also had two shots of painkillers.  By Monday he was back to his old self.

Here’s what my friend told me when she heard the good news: “When he’s feeling better, you use this moment as a teachable moment, that as wonderful as it seems to have all the advantages of being an adult, it’s not always as fab as you might think.”  In other words, sometimes parents really do know best.

Tune in on Friday, December 2nd to read The Hard Way Part 2: Teachable Moments.

Why Did You Homeschool? Part 2

So, if you read my blog from Tuesday, you know why we homeschooled our oldest son, Boo.  Bud is 3 years younger, and the reasons why we homeschooled him are as different as Bud is different from Boo.  After all, I can’t preach the benefits of an individualized education and then force Bud to follow the exact same educational path as his brother, right?

Well, Bud just sort of segued into kindergarten.  He was only 3 when Boo started homeschooling, and so it was just natural for him to start learning along with his brother.  Over the years we discovered many differences in their learning styles.  Boo is a natural mimic.  He memorizes easily – has a near photographic memory.  Bud has more common sense.  He gets concepts intuitively, if he can apply them to a relevant situation.  Boo is more of an abstract thinker.

One of the biggest questions we have been asked ever since we began homeschooling is “Aren’t you worried about socialization?” defines socialization as “a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social  skills appropriate to his or her social  position.”  How is that learned in a classroom full of children your own age who don’t know anymore about social skills and behavior than you do?  What people really mean when they ask about “socialization” is “do they have any friends?”  Well, in Bud’s case that has never been a problem.  Kids are drawn to him like a magnet.  He was always the kingpin of our neighborhood and none of his friends ever cared what school he attended.

Bud has always been a very busy child.  Some have called him our “wild child.”  I have been asked why he wasn’t in a classroom  where a teacher could keep him  “under control.” We preferred to raise him ourselves and channel his energy into taekwondo and flag football and dodgeball and basketball and tennis shoe hockey and swim lessons and whatever else we could think of that he might enjoy.

Bud homeschooled through the 6th grade, completing 5th and 6th grade in one year so he could attend middle school in the same grade as the majority of his friends.  Bud really enjoyed middle school, but some health problems, along with bullying issues (see When Older Kids are Bullied) made him decide he wanted to come back home for school after 9th grade.  We did more research, as I doubted my abilities to teach high school science, and a friend pointed us in the direction of and California Virtual Academy.  In this program, Bud attends all his classes online, sometimes in real time; sometimes by listening to a recorded lesson.  He has excelled in this environment, never earning less than a 3.5 GPA, and is set to graduate high school this June.  He is planning on attending community college in the fall, studying horticulture and business.

We are so proud of both our sons and the fine young people they are becoming.  The experiences we all gained through homeschool have been invaluable.  My hope is that every parent can discover and have access to the educational program that is the best fit for their child.

Why Did You Homeschool? Part I

I could just as easily have named this post “what about socialization?” as these are the two biggest questions I have been asked over the past 13 years of homeschooling my two sons.  I don’t think every child should be homeschooled – I absolutely believe that public school serves a purpose.  But I also believe that every child deserves an individualized education and it is up to us as parents to decide what that means for our children.

Our oldest son, Boo started kindergarten at the public school down the street from our house.  I had already started thinking about homeschooling, but my husband, Art, was not convinced, so we agreed to see how Boo did in his first year of school.  The biggest problem was that Boo was more advanced intellectually than the average kindergartner.  He had already memorized most of the flags of world countries and had begun memorizing the periodic table of elements (for fun??) There was just no way that a teacher dealing with 20 other kids could keep up with him.  I also wanted him to be able to stay a child as long as possible.  That year, on the playground, Boo had been teased by other kids in his class for wearing a Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt.  There had also been an incident where a 1st grader found a gun in the field during recess (thankfully she brought it to a teacher – it was not loaded – and no one was hurt).

My cousin was homeschooling her children through a program which is now called Pathways Charter School.  In this program, the parent and child meet with an IST (independent study teacher) once a month to set up learning goals, review progress, and do some standardized testing.  We decided to meet with the IST for our area to discuss our expectations and see if the program would meet Boo’s needs.  The IST, Glenda, was very personable and got along well with Boo.  She explained that the school allocated a certain amount of money for each student and the parents could choose the curriculum which was best suited to their child (within the state’s standards and from the school’s approved list of vendors).  Boo’s first grade year would be our trial year. In fact ever year we homeschooled we said it was “just for this year” and we would re-evaluate at the end of the year to decide if we wanted to continue.

That first year was definitely our most awkward as we figured out what Boo’s strengths and weaknesses were and developed our schedule.  Pathways is a state charter school, so nothing religious could be included in the graded curriculum,  but we had devotions every morning and read a chapter from William Bennett’s Book of Virtues or others.  The boys took taekwondo and participated in AWANA (a children’s Bible club) every Wednesday night.  Boo had an evaluation by a specialist and was able to get an IEP (individualized education program) for speech therapy.  We took field trips on our own and with other kids from the school.  We were learning and growing and it was fun!!

Boo continued to homeschool through the 6th grade.  At that time he chose to transfer into public school for middle and high school.  He competed in the state geography bee in the 8th grade, sang in the elite choir in high school, and graduated with 3.5 GPA and 3 advanced placement classes under his belt.  I guess you could say our homeschool experiment was a success!!

Bud & Boo on field trip to Apple Hill

Tune in on Black Friday to find out why we homeschooled Bud and how his journey has progressed thus far.