Learning and Teaching

10246614_510334319067570_7811031388482900585_nAfter a ton of thinking about the subject and weighing the pros & cons on the matter, I’ve decided to homeschool my son next year. Alexander will be in 4th grade (and Juliana will be in pre-school) and I think it will be the absolutely BEST thing for us all. It will be our last year in Hawaii and the schools here seem to be a bit “lacking” (honestly) and I’m worried that the both of them – mostly Xander – will be behind once we get back to the mainland.

I’ve been “pinning” a ton of resources onto my Pinterest “Learning & Teaching” board and I have some homeschool and teacher friends sharing ideas and curriculum information with me! Lots of support (for which I am very grateful.)

I’m planning on more of an “unschool” sort of direction in homeschool. I was never really “into” school even though I adore learning – and it seems as though my son is similar to me in that sense. I plan on using a “curriculum” for math (Saxon) but the rest of the schooling will be based very loosely on what he “should” be learning. I get to teach not for TESTING but for LEARNING! 4th and 5th grades were my absolutely favorite in school – so I am super stoked to be his teacher for at least 4th grade.

I don’t really mind lesson planning. There are so many friends of mine who homeschool and there are so many FREE resources available online! I’m not stressed about this, I’m excited! (Perhaps a little TOO excited!) My husband is even totally on board! He’s excited about working in lots of science lessons when we do a little family vacation to the Big Island soon!

So, be prepared for the onslaught of homeschooling information. I find it easier to re-locate information via my own blog sometimes (much like the meatloaf recipe I had lost, then found on here!)

Anyway, you’ve been warned. I even added a new Category 😉


Step One – Primary Care Provider Visit

Today I took my 9 year old to his “Primary Care Provider” to speak with her about getting his ADHD diagnosed and getting him on meds. I told her what we had been doing thus far to keep him on-task and focused and what wasn’t working and what was working. The last time we saw a doctor about Xander’s ADHD, the Doc looked at me like I was a crazy mom who just wanted to drug her kid into submission – sooooo not true. I just see a lot of ME in him and want him to be able to function like a normal(ish) person.

But I digress. This doctor seemed to be listening but would interrupt me every so often and not let me finish my thought. I have ADD – I can be long winded, I know, but let me finish a damn sentence! She made some notes and then told me that he had to be seen by the ADHD Clinic at the local big military hospital. Okay, fine, works for me since I’d love to speak with someone who knows what they are doing (hopefully). She told me that they would call within 10-12 days so I asked her “what if they don’t call?” and she looked surprised. Yes lady, I know how you military docs work ….

She garbled something about them maybe not calling if they don’t think he needs to be seen – if the doctor doesn’t think he needs to be seen. I said “but you’re the Doctor” and she responded with, a confused “I guess you can call them in two weeks if they don’t call you.”

I might be reading into things wrong, but, that sounds to ME as if she (the doctor) doesn’t think he needs to be seen by the ADHD Clinic and will put that in her notes? Every time I mentioned having done the research on some of the medications available she told me that “we don’t want to jump to medicine” and that “there are classes he can take” … Okay? Classes that he won’t be able to focus on because his mind is elsewhere? I live with this child every day and I see how he ticks. I’ve spoken with his teacher on a number of occasions and she sees how he ticks. So, I am a little unnerved and irritated by the idea of not being able to speak to an ADHD/ADD person because the doctor had a 10 minute visit with Xander and I and deemed him “just a normal 9 year old boy.”

I will wait out the two weeks, then I’m going to be up their asses finding out what my next step is.

Life, Love and This Blog

My ADD is in effect right now so this will be a completely scattered post – but I have to write.

I called to make an appointment with our family Primary Care Provider to get my son onto some medication for his ADHD – I know he has it because he acts … just … like … me. Like, it’s sorta scary. He’s been getting worse and having a hard time dealing with things lately and I think the trigger was our next door neighbors moving away. It’s a military-kid thing. It sucks, but it’s life in the military.

But yeah – one helluva trigger …. He’s extra emotional and downright ANGRY about everything lately. His (wonderful) teacher and I are working to help him and she hooked him up with the school counselor yesterday. He (my son) has been getting angry at the smallest things lately and then turning around and bursting into tears. He is stressed out and doesn’t have a clue how to channel it. Honestly, neither do I.

I berate myself often with the fact that I can’t keep the house clean – I blame that and my unorganization. I know it is affecting the family dynamic – no one is very happy (well, except Princess Jules but she’s a Disney Princess). But, then again, she can be an ANGRY little elf at times too.

I need some help I think. I need someone to come over and show me how to organize – give me a daily schedule – something. I understand that I’m in charge of “keeping house” because that’s just how it’s going to be. But I don’t know HOW to do this. You’d think by age 33 (?) I would have some damn clue how to do this, but I don’t. I’m a hot mess and I understand and am sorta ok with this fact – but it’s affecting the kids and they are going to grow up to be hot messes too and I don’t WANT THAT! Blah!

See, told you … allllllll over the place ….. 😉

Even the darn blog is a hot mess.

Why and When You Should Eat Breakfast

Bowl of hot oatmeal breakfast cereal with fresh berries

[ via eMeals ]

Breakfast can often be the forgotten meal.  About 10 to 30 percent of Americans skip breakfast, and those of us that do eat breakfast often rely on grabbing a granola bar, doughnut, or the typical sugar based cereal. It is no wonder that we lack the energy to get through our busy days or our kids struggle to perform in the classroom.

4 Reasons to Eat a Healthy Breakfast

  1. Be More Alert – Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast are more alert and kid’s have shown to perform better on tests compared to those who skip breakfast.
  2. Weight Gain Prevention – Supplying your body with loads of sugar in the morning can cause your blood sugar to drop a few hours later. This puts us in the cycle of needing a pick me up every few hours.
  3. Stay Motivated – When was the last time you ate a doughnut then went for a workout? Exactly. Fueling your body with a healthy breakfast can give you the right motivation to stick to your healthy, weight loss goals.
  4. Healthy Habits – Getting your day started with the right mix of hearty and healthy sets you up to make healthy decisions throughout the day.

The Perfect Time to Eat Breakfast
The general rule of thumb is to eat within one hour of waking up. The earlier you eat breakfast the better it can be for kick-starting your metabolism. Just for reference, breakfast is defined as a meal eaten before 10 am.

For the Fitness Goers
Ideally, you should try to eat breakfast before your early morning workout. Without fueling your body, your body can struggle to perform at it’s best. If you can’t eat one to two hours before working out, try eating a light carbohydrate.

Looking for a little breakfast inspiration? Take a look at the Breakfast Plan from eMeals!

JRR Tolkien Translation of Beowulf Being Published

One of the oldest, longest and most influential works in the history of Old English will soon be experienced through the eyes of one of the world’s most beloved fantasy authors.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a prominent Beowulf scholar; his Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics was a turning point in the modern study of the poem, moving the focus from its historical to its literary significance. Tolkien also left two substantial unpublished manuscripts concerning Beowulf. The first, a more substantial version of the previously mentioned critical essay, was edited byMichael D.C. Drout and published as Beowulf and the Critics. The second is a partial poetic and full prose translation of the epic, including commentary. The latter was a minor media sensation on its ‘discovery’ in 2003 and was also to be prepared for publication by Drout. [ source ]

Tolkien’s version of the epic story is to finally be published for the first time in an edition which his son Christopher Tolkien says sees his father “enter[ing] into the imagined past” of the heroes.

Although the author completed his own translation in 1926, he “seems never to have considered its publication”, said Christopher Tolkien today, announcing the Tolkien estate’s new deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary on 22 May. The book, edited by Christopher Tolkien, will also include the series of lectures Tolkien gave at Oxford about the poem in the 1930s, as well as the author’s “marvellous tale”, Sellic Spell.

Tolkien’s “creative attention to detail” in his lectures gives rise to a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision”, said his son. “It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.”

Tolkien also closely considers the dragon which would slay Beowulf, writing of how the beast was “snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup” – an image reminiscent of his own thief Bilbo Baggins, sneaking into the lair of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit – but, said his son, the author “rebuts the notion that this is ‘a mere treasure story … just another dragon tale'”.

“Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary,” including the translations, a series of lectures given about the poem, and a “marvelous tale” written by Tolkien, will be released on May 22 through HarperCollins.


My Favorite Disney Villain … Maleficent!


Am I alone in my EXCITEMENT about the upcoming movie “Maleficent”? “Sleeping Beauty” was my favorite Disney movie until The Little Mermaid came out (it’s still one of my top favorites!) and Maleficent is my all-time favorite Disney villain!

The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. “Maleficent” hits theater’s on May 30, 2014!

“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

Check out the trailer!!