Friday, November 26, 2010

Plum Wore Out

Today my son decided he wanted to be a scientist. He decided this because he wanted to "make dinosaurs come back to life". I guess I need to work on his *theology*.

I have actually found myself plum wore out homeschooling my son. This is not to be misunderstood about homeschooling in general - I love homeschooling and still believe in the merits of it 110 percent. I have every intention of continuing.

But pardon me if I'm just having a bit of a whine.

Truthfully, I've been spoiled by my daughter. From the beginning she has been such an independent learner. She read early, so was able to read her own instructions early and only come to me for assistance. Although Seth *reads*, he is only very average at best (whatever average is) and needs my help with everything.

Totally everything.

One hundred percent EVERYTHING. And that's what I am plum wore out about.

I've decided lately to give him his assignment and leave him - ALONE - to do it. I try to occupy myself, sometimes in another room altogether, but sometimes in the same room. This has been a total trial. Even though I have explained to him that he is to work alone and NOT to call me unless he has a question, he cannot seem to grasp this. He will work quietly for two minutes maximum before he calls me to "come see how good I made my 'S' mom!"

My son needs continual affirmation.

Other times he just dawdles when I'm not watching him like a hawk. And school drags on for much longer because he is not getting his work done.

Lest it appears that I think my son is "stupid" in comparison to my daughter, let me clarify. For some reason I have been able to tap into my daughter's learning mode. She is very, very bright but I understand her areas of strength. I get what makes her tick and have figured out how she will catch on to things. My son, however, is beyond brilliant at things I just don't get. There have been times I have told people of some things he's said or done and they have responded with by expressing their opinion of his sheer brilliance. Such incidences give me a wake-up call to my own struggle to understand his areas of genius. At times I feel totally inadequate to teach him. I know if I *only had this gift or that understanding* that he would be even further ahead.

Right now the only gift I have is of impatience.

On a positive note, one of the things I have clued into is how to teach my kids proper study habits. That is simply because I have adopted their dad's mode of studying (all the credit goes to him, really). He has taken a half dozen correspondence courses and has proven his ability to study by continually acing his exams. When I was first giving Seth spelling tests, he flunked them. All of them. Then I adopted their dad's study habits and he has been doing brilliant. Today he got 100 percent.

Now if I could only figure out other ways to help him, I'd be set. Or he'd be set. Or we'd both be set.

And I would be less grey.

I'm done my whining now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proud Of My Girl

I'm so proud of my girl.

She will be starting her Royal Conservatory of Music (the Canadian version, which I'm told by her piano teacher has better songs....) next week. She has worked so hard and thrived at playing the piano. I very rarely have to remind her to practice. Typically in a day she flitters around the house from task to task, stopping every hour or so at the piano to play for about 15 minutes. She repeats this until all together she has likely practiced a couple of hours. This method of practice so suits her personality. If she actually had to sit for longer than 15 minutes I think that she would go stark, raving mad.

I'm so proud of my girl.

After her piano lesson today we went to her favourite store in the planet, Michaels. She works hard and is learning to save her money. This is her once-a-month treat (which I prefer more than candy) where she usually spends just a few dollars on little items.

I discovered I was rather foolhardy to go to Michaels during the Christmas season. They have such cool things at this time of the year for a *crafty* girl such as Hannah, and I had no idea how she was going to make up her mind. My heart melted when she finally settled on a kit that constructed a bird house AND an airplane/car. She decided on this because she knew her brother would be delighted to construct and paint the airplane/car, while she enjoyed working on the birdhouse. I decided to let her spend a little bit more money than usual because of her sweet motive and as a reward for doing so well in her piano.

She then spent the entire drive home anticipating her brother's reaction to his gift.

I smiled all the way home. And I told her how much I loved this trait of hers.

Have I mentioned yet how proud I am of my girl?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spotted On The Balcony

I have been working on my son's children's behaviour. I am fully aware that I have written several posts confessing my lapses into inconsistency, but I suspect that until I'm in Glory it will be a constant battle for me in that regard.

To continue with my story.....

He is improving (which means that I am improving, obviously) but it was apparent on Sunday morning that we still had some work to do. I am always on the platform on Sunday mornings as part of the praise singers. Dave operates the sound. Usually I have him sit with someone, but I decided that since he has shown improvement I would give him a chance to prove himself. Thus, I let his sister and him sit in the back because it is right beside the sound. And their dad. I gave him a stern warning:

1) Participate in the song service (that meant no sitting down or doodling in his notebook - the only thing he is allowed to bring to church at this point);
2) Do NOT torment his sister;
3) Do NOT make funny faces;
4) Do NOT jump around and perform doing funny dances;
5) Do NOT do ANYTHING to draw attention to himself;
6) He COULD breathe like normal. I did give in on that.

I informed him that I was on the platform and would be watching his behaviour.

After sufficiently warning him, I ran the plan by their dad. Their dad, bless his heart, takes mixing sound seriously. He is a typical male who zones in on the task at hand. Earthquakes could happen, people could be screaming.....but bless God, that sound would be PERFECT. However, he did tell me he would *watch out for him*.

I will admit that he did a better job than usual in watching out for him. However, the entire time I was on the platform I watched my son do EVERYTHING I told him not to do. I watched him make his goofy, cross-eyed, tongue-sticking-out-of-his-mouth face. I saw him poke and bump and tickle his sister. I saw him dance all kinds of goofy dances. I saw him leave the area and move to a different row altogether (thinking....."stink, I DIDN'T tell him he couldn't leave the row....but what good would it have done anyway since he hasn't obeyed even ONE of my commands"....??). I saw his dad motion to him TWICE to smarten up. I saw him straighten up for all of twenty seconds, only to go back to his stand up routine.

It is very difficult as a mother to be in a situation such as this. I had to school my facial features. I planned all kinds of *sweet retribution* when we got home. One part of me wanted to hide my head in the sand and ignore it altogether - I couldn't do anything about it at the time, after all. Another part of me wanted to laugh hysterically at his antics.

Just try to sing with all of your heart and worship God while your son is out of your reach giving the performance of his life.

It does remind me of that old Mark Lowry story where he begged his mama for permission to sit with his friends on the balcony while his mama played the "piana" and sang. She gave him permission, so he used his time to practice his comedy routines. Only, he ended up being caught because she saw him and he knew it. And then he sings:

Oh victory in Jesus, my Saviour forever
And then she spots me on the balcony........

That story has forever ruined the true significance of that song for me. And, although my son never did clue in that I "spotted him on the balcony" while he was in church, he did clue in that I "spotted him on the balcony" when we got home.

And met his just reward.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Definition: (from my son)

"Mom, do you know what car-league means? It means a professor."


The story:

The professor from his computer game was getting into a car and was called by another person in the game "his esteemed car-league (a.k.a. colleague)". Thus, car-league means professor.


I loved this interpretation so much that I just had to record it.