Apology to the Masses

I thought I would post some of our activities over the past couple of weeks in an attempt to assuage the guilt I feel that comes from knowing that my children lead such isolated; uneducated lives. I have listened to the naysayers out there that believe homeschoolers are not only thinking outside of the box…a dangerous perspective, to be sure…but that we are also dooming our children to a life of isolation, keeping them from those valuable experiences that school brings.

Oh, I hear you great mob of society.  I type this here, now, in a fit of anxiety, with a fair dose of hand-wringing, knowing that you must be correct. How in the world can I teach my children anything of value if I am not a certified teacher? I only went through the entire educational system myself, but that clearly can’t account for any learning or knowledge to pass on, though I completely understand how it is an adequate, nay…superior educational foundation for my children over anything I could possibly teach them.  Naturally a sterile environment that shows a picture of, say, the life cycle of a butterfly is by far a better method to reach understanding of the process than actually watching a butterfly go from egg, to larva, to pupa and ultimately bursting out in all it’s glory into full-grown flight.

How will my children ever LEARN?!

And lets not forget about the socialization!  Oh…the socialization. I hang my head in shame. My children are terribly alone, with no way to learn how to interact in an environment with children of their own age all doing the same thing at the same time. Alas, I have only been able to provide them with a strong family bond, friends of all ages that they must learn to cooperate with, and a gamut of real-life instructors that not only do, but teach, as well.

Sigh.

I truly lament how sheltered they have become and it is high time I take some responsibility for this fact.  I now admit to you all that my children have learned to take life into their own hands and mold it and shape it to be what works best for them, rarely resembling anything mainstream. I plead forgiveness and understanding from the mainstream not to judge too harshly that my children have not learned to blindly follow the pack like so many other automatons have done.

How could I raise free-thinkers like these? Have I no shame?!! Surely, we must be doing it all wrong. After all, the masses usually know what’s best, right?  It can’t possibly be education if kids are, gasp…enjoying it, right?  Right?

Hmmm….maybe the proverbial “they” are correct, after all.  Oh, how could I have let this happen?

 

IMG_8487Apple picking at the orchard.  I’m sure there is no educational value in this whatsoever.  What a waste of our time!

IMG_8485Just look at those poor, sad, unsocialized faces.

IMG_8529All in at Devil’s Lake.  No suits needed, apparently.  I now see how “weird” my kids are.  That is totally unacceptable and I’m sure this sort of free-spirited attitude will have long-standing repercussions well into adulthood.

IMG_8513Learning how to row…not as easy as it looks, but I’m sure they could have figured that out from watching someone else do it instead…in a picture…in a textbook.

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IMG_8490Apple orchard bounty.  This can only lead to no good.

 

IMG_8541Better start making some apple things!  Sigh…see what I mean about “no good”?  Just more time-consuming stuff getting in the way of “education”.

 

IMG_8556Putting the final touches on the card they made together (to give to a non-existent friend for his birthday party, since, you know, homeschoolers don’t have friends.)

 

IMG_8596Trip to a llama farm where we received instruction from a veterinarian on all manner of farm life and llama care.  (It’s certainly too bad we only had the experience of the veterinarian; farm owner to teach the kids at the site, rather than a textbook.  That would have been so much better.)

 

IMG_8595Oops.  Missing those opportunities to make friends again.  My poor awkward children.

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IMG_8707Field trip to Norskadelen, a Norwegian settlement site, as part of our hands-on learning of pioneer life.  I know.  I know.  What could they possibly gain from this?  Is she frolicking?!!

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IMG_8690Look closely.  We’ll see this again later…in miniature.

 

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IMG_8708Oh, and one mustn’t forget about all that free time my kids get to do things that are fun, creative and just plain interesting to them.  Goodness knows there isn’t a lick of research to show that kids need that!  Ugh.  Those should be workbooks.

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Avatar 4 elementsAnd because my kids got into a spurt watching Avatar: The Last Airbender…terrible parent that I am…I took the opportunity to impart a little fantasy-to-reality by letting them draw, talk about elements, write, spell and read…all while skipping that stuffy indoor classroom.  What will become of these kids?  I think the damage I’ve done must surely be irreparable.

 

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IMG_8722Ah, and here we go with that creativity run amok again!  Oh, and violence.  I’ve allowed the promotion of violence as my daughter studiously gathered “ingredients” and wrapped them up in homemade leaf-bombs to prepare for a war with those imaginary friends of hers that were visiting later.

 

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IMG_8737And another sad attempt at haphazard “learning”:  making nature inspired owls, after we tried our hand at baking up some yummy cinnamon-sugar owls that morning.  We even read a few books on owls and had some writing practice…”O is for owl”.  Alas, this didn’t come as part of a full unit of directed study, so I’m sure it doesn’t count.

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IMG_8756In a timely fashion, going along with our pioneer theme, we were lucky enough to get genuine buggy rides from a friend’s family.  The kids got to run on the farm with a variety of animals and even saddle up and ride a horse, but I’m sure none of that compares with riding on a school bus every day.

 

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Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding (1)

Horseback Riding (2)

Horseback Riding (3)

 

And with all that pesky free-time I allow them…

IMG_8422A pioneer covered wagon,

 

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IMG_8807some lovely llama pictures,

 

Homemade ice cream (1)

Homemade ice creamenjoying pioneer-style homemade ice-cream that they vigorously made (shook) themselves,

 

Lincoln Log Pioneer Homestead (11)

Lincoln Log Pioneer Homestead (10)Look familiar?

 

Lincoln Log Pioneer Homestead (8)

Lincoln Log Pioneer Homestead (7)and creation of a pioneer village.

How dull and uneducational.  There must be better ways to gauge whether or not my girls have gleaned anything from all these trips and things they’ve been taking.  I know…standardized testing!

Yes, my poor, unsocialized, uneducated, friendless kids taught by their ignorant, free-spirited mother and an even more layman group of educators in their fields.  I can clearly see now that I must really be doing them severe harm by choosing this homeschooling lifestyle.   😉

Confession. I get high. A lot.

stressed tired momma

I have to confess something.  For so long now, I have been suffering the side effects from a substance that I willingly injected into my body.  I knew full well the long list of these potential, and even probable, side effects before I did it and I did it anyway.  I don’t even feel guilty about it.  I mean, my goodness…I should, shouldn’t I?  After all, I have a family to consider!  I allowed this deterioration of my body and all to get another fix!  Why would I subject myself to this:

  • abdominal discomfort/ pressure/ tenderness
  • acne
  • allergies
  • anemia
  • backache
  • bleeding gums
  • blood clots
  • blurry vision
  • breast leakage/ enlargement/ tenderness
  • buttock and leg pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • clumsiness
  • constipation
  • cramping
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • dizziness/ faintness
  • strange/ scary/ vivid dreams
  • enlarged/ varicose veins
  • excessive bleeding
  • excessive salivation
  • excessive vomiting/ nausea
  • extreme pain
  • eye changes
  • fatigue
  • fluctuating body temperature
  • fluctuating emotions
  • fluid leakage
  • food aversions/ cravings/ hunger
  • forgetfulness
  • gas/ bloating
  • gum disease
  • headaches
  • heartburn
  • hemorrhoids
  • hip pain
  • increased heart rate
  • increased susceptibility to infection/ sickness
  • insomnia/ increased restlessness
  • irrational fears
  • itchiness
  • loss of bodily functions
  • loss of desire
  • mood swings
  • mucous discharge
  • muscle cramps
  • navel soreness
  • nosebleeds
  • pelvic pressure
  • perineal aching
  • perspiration
  • pubic bone pain
  • rashes
  • rectal bleeding
  • red palms/ soles
  • rib tenderness
  • round ligament pain
  • sensitivity to smells
  • shortness of breath
  • skin tags/ skin changes/ skin darkening
  • snoring
  • stuffy nose
  • swelling
  • thirst
  • urinary tract infections
  • urinating frequently
  • urine leakage
  • vaginal bleeding

This list isn’t even exhaustive!  And, to make matters worse, that’s not only while the foreign substance remains in the body.  Eventually, the body expels it, which is a painful process where the body goes through the worst type of withdrawal.  Then….THEN…as if that weren’t enough, comes the post-trauma, long-term side effects, which range from mild to severe and can last YEARS!  These can vary so broadly from person to person, that you can’t even predict what will specifically happen to you!  Here are just a few that have been documented (not in alphabetical order):

  • irrational fears
  • sleeplessness
  • forgetfulness
  • depression
  • feelings of self-doubt
  • constant worry about the future
  • comprehension issues
  • inability to sustain one continuous thought at random points in time
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • feeling incompetent
  • more nightmares
  • anxiety
  • difficulty functioning at previous level of ability
  • stress
  • AND completely unknown potential future side effects!

And on and on it goes!  You must be judging me now.  I know you are.  Who could blame you?  Why would I, a relatively sane person with obligations and responsibilities, choose to subject myself to such a long list of side effects and truly life-changing repercussions?  And to make matters worse, this isn’t my first time.

But, before you judge me too harshly, please let me explain what I get from this.

It is the best high ever.

I’m talking a truly mind-altering, full-on euphoria.  I can feel the most love I’ve ever felt and want to dole it out it in equal kind.  I feel a new sense of pride, selflessness, hope and wonder.  I get the best physical sensations and have a new-found appreciation of the senses and what they are exposed to.  I feel like the luckiest person on the planet at any given, random moment…and I can feel like this for the rest of my life!  Can you really blame me for wanting to bring this kind of happiness, wonderment and fulfillment into my life?  Is it really so hard to believe that I would take all those terrible side effects for these ultimate feelings…not once, not twice, but FIVE times now?  Some might call me an addict and I suppose I am, in a way.  I will never be able to take back or change any of the health issues I have put upon myself, but I would never want to.  It’s completely worth it!  And maybe you think I’m in denial.  You may even be plotting an intervention.  But, I don’t care.  I might even do it again.  And believe me.  I’ve talked to others.  I’m not alone.  I know lots of people that believe the high is worth it all.  You know who you are.  Don’t deny it.

After all, motherhood may be wrought with “side effects”, but those little foreign bodies are all worth it in the end and you and I both know it.  😉

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