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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's not a sprint, it's a marathon*

*this is not a post about running, although those close to me know it's all I want to talk about lately. . .

It's May which means school is about to end and I will start fielding questions from people who are thinking about homeschooling next year.

Maybe their child got assigned to the "crappy" teacher for next year (isn't there one in every grade?). Maybe they are sick of the growing burden of homework and know it's only going to get worse? Maybe their child is being bullied or ignored or has needs that aren't being met in the school system?

Or, maybe they've gotten to know my awesome kids and want to be more like us. (heh)

For all the things I say to people about homeschooling, I usually talk about the mechanics of it: what resources I like, the curriculum we've tried, local classes/groups/activities to check out.

But I often forget the best piece of advice I've been given from other veteran homeschoolers. It's the the title of this post: It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Unless you are planning to homeschool for just one year (and if you want a good reason why I don't suggest it, read this book), you have a long, long time to make sure your kids are prepared for college.

That doesn't mean I advocate doing nothing until 9th grade and then trying to cram everything into a few years. Anyone whose done a marathon will probably tell you that they are working hard from the very start. But, like in a marathon, if you start out going too fast or push too hard, you'll burn out.

I did this. I bought loads and loads of books and workbooks and manipulatives and daily planners and CD-ROM's. And I started with an enthusiastic daughter who loved doing work for me.

But then one day she started to resist my efforts to keep on a schedule. Maybe she could smell my fear that "Ohmygodwe'regoingtofailatthis!!!!" (I swear I smell french fries when things go bad, as if my brain is telling me I'm going to produce a McDonald's fry cook unless I finish this lesson, dammit.)

When she resists though, maybe it is because she just didn't understand the lesson and is trying to tell me this in her own way, by refusing to move on. Or, maybe the lesson is so deadly dull, any kid in their right mind would tune out, something a teacher in front of 30 kids can ignore but a mother with her one beloved offspring sees loud and clear.

So, I'm trying to learn.

I tell that voice in my head to shut up and slow down if we need to. Take a break. Play outside. Talk. Read. Put down the pencils. Change our tact. If we don't finish third grade grammar until late this summer, or even halfway through fourth grade, the Earth will not spin off its axis. My daughter will not be stuck making fast-food french fries as an adult.

The fear that I need to push, to do more, to move forward at lightening speed never really goes away. Yesterday, I heard of a mom who homeschools her children from 7am to 2pm. I have friends whose kids are doing work far ahead of their grade level. I have friends who seem so confident, while I feel like I need to pick myself up off the ground daily and say you're doing ok.

We're doing ok. And we're not even halfway there. So I'm going to keep us chugging along, stopping when we need to catch our breaths, and hope that we've got enough in us to make it to the end, wherever that may be.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Getting my double D's

Something is definitely wrong with me.

Every morning, for the past weeks, I wake up tired. Halfway through the day, I need to lie on a couch while I beg the kids to give me just a couple of minutes to rest. Coffee does nothing, even in the middle of the afternoon or late at night.

I can't think, I can't write, I can't run. It takes me hours to craft a single review and then I'm done for the day. One weekend in NYC (with my child! no partying!), and I need a week to recover. I look at the house and sigh at all the projects that I want to do, but just. can't. do.

And so after checking in with Dr. Google and freaking myself the hell out, I called my doctor's office and asked them to check my blood. They took five vials, presumably to check for everything from thyroid disease, to Lyme, to much, much worse.

I called for my results on Tuesday, nervous that I'd hear a kind-but-serious voice telling me to please come in ASAP. Instead, the nurse told me that all looked well, but my Vitamin D levels were very low.

My what?

Yes, Vitamin D.

Turns out that while I've been busy slathering on the SPF 30 on my face every morning this winter (thank you Dr. Dermatologist), I've been shielding my body from absorbing those sun rays our bodies need. Add that to the cloudy-all-the-time summer we had in '09, and I can see how I might have become deficient in that area (and I know I'm not alone).

So every Tuesday, for the next eight weeks, I take prescription doses of Vitamin D that are so high, I'm not posting them here for fear that the FDA will confiscate them. And then I'll be on a maintenance plan of calcium/Vitamin D.

Oh, and, I've scrapped the face creams with sunscreen in them, at least for the time being.

I'd rather have wrinkles as I run around town, than a smooth face that doesn't feel like doing anything.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010


She was attractive, I'll give him that. A little too old for him, but blond, friendly and talkative.

As she showed me around the showroom, picking up kitchen cabinet doors for me to examine, he eyed her from afar, biding his time.

And then, we rounded a corner, and he came face to face with her.

I love you, he breathed and then turned to retreat.

Do you mean me? I asked him before he ran, confused at his sudden outburst of affection for someone he had just met a minute ago.

No. Her. He made it clear to us both.

And with that, my five-year-old became a ladies' man. He'll need to work on his delivery a bit, I think.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

I look cute in purple


I love you because. . . .YOU ROCK!

(and you do too! Happy Mother's Day!!)


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: I love Brooklyn edition

Just one photo today, and a few words:

Jilly and I spent three days in Brooklyn both for work and fun. I attended the most awesome kids' music conference, Kindiefest, and spent loads of time with a very dear friend (I almost said "old friend", but I'm getting of the age when I prefer not to call anything "old" but my kitchen).

Oh, and I cut all my hair off the day before we left.


'Twas a lot of fun. More stories to come.

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