#NationalTeachersDay

Today is National Teacher’s Day and I wanted to publicly thank all you wonderful teachers out there. Today is a day where you should be honored. Honored for all the hard work that you do. The countless hours spent on lesson planning and making sure that you are providing both knowledge and life skills to the little minds you teach. I thank you.

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I thank you as a former student of some wonderful teachers. Teachers that encouraged me to go after my dreams. Teachers that stayed late after school to tutor me or came in early to make sure I understood the lesson. Teachers that made me believe that I could learn anything. You are truly appreciated.

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I thank you as a mother to a wonderful little boy that has learned the value of who he is by your continued support and encouragement in the classroom. Having no prior foreign language experience, you create an environment where he is learning French. Your wishes for him have come true and he is learning by leaps and bounds. He is both confident and fluent in French and I thank you.

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I thank you as the daughter of an educator. It is sometimes a thankless job to teach children that seem disconnected, but if you continue to encourage them and create a spark of interest you will realize that their flame of knowledge is burning. They listen. They know that the future will be brighter because you took the time to invest in them.

May your day be as wonderful and encouraging as you!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Summer Camp Struggles

Okay, the struggle is real. When you are a parent with a child too young to stay home alone during the summer, you really try to find quality child care that combines both fun times and educational learning opportunities. It’s hard. Because many of those programs are pricey. Overnight camp is so darn expensive that you would have to scrap any vacation plans for the summer to pay for one week at overnight camp. But, ya’ll know that I’m too protective and I probably wouldn’t let Munch attend anything prior to age 12. I’m just not feeling it.

That being said, I actually applied to a FREE STEM camp for the summer. Ugh, Munch didn’t get in. Why? We’re not poor enough. Economics. Munch’s grades and achievements would qualify, but because of my income he gets kicked out of FREE programs. Apparently, I have to be poor in order to send him to a FREE Camp.  Is it fair? Nope. Does it suck? Yep. But, I don’t want to lie. So, I don’t.

This year Munch asked to go to an art camp. See, Munch is this talented artist that can draw absolutely anything. He’s brilliant. I know it. I love it. I want to make it happen. He still needs to continue with swim as he needs to work on his endurance and rotary breathing. I’m hoping to let him go everyday for a week straight during the day for a couple of months. Hoping that his dad can take him during that time because he said he wants to join the swim team this fall. So, we need to help him get there by hook or by crook.

The school year ends June 9th and some summer camps aren’t starting until 2 weeks later, yep June 26th. I’m like WTH? Can I please catch a break? I’m hoping that Munch’s cousins are free to stay a week with me and keep him that week. I need childcare for 1 week. Oh, and the fact that most summer camps are starting at 9 am and ending at 3 pm blows. How am I supposed to work during those limited times?

I have all these color coded calendars printed out whereby I’m trying to figure this thing out. Ugh! How am I expected to get it all done? I have no idea.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it all, but I did book his art camp for the last two weeks before school starts. He’s going to love that.  We’re going to work on math all summer long, read a few books and take day trips to the beach and amusement park. I want him to have fun, but not forget what he’s learned this school year. He’s brilliant, but summer camp ain’t cheap. These are the real deal summer camp struggles of a single parent.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Parenting: Third Grade Blues

Munch is in the third grade and sometimes I feel like I’m struggling to make sure that my son is successful. Not just now but in the future. I’m trying to build a strong foundation with everything, especially math. Munch is a boy. Munch is lazy. Munch decides that he will answer what he feels like when he feels like it. Especially during assessments, quizzes or tests. If he’s not interested, he could care less.

Yep, this year has proven to be a difficult one. Multiple meetings with the teachers, emails and phone calls have all made me have to manage not just my employees but my son’s education and my son’s learning. Some days I think that I can’t do this. That I’m not cut out for this. That something has to give.

I experience the entire gamut of emotions from frustration to depression to joy at him doing something. It’s heartbreaking and hilarious. I just keep telling myself that I can’t give up. That I can’t stop pushing him, encouraging him and creating opportunities for growth. It’s exhausting.

Add to that Spring soccer, his birthday party and swim classes and you will see that I’m trying to keep him well rounded. The only saving grace is that I allow Munch to lead his scheduled activities. We do what he wants to do. He only wants to do soccer in the spring, guitar lessons and swim class. No more he says.

Okay.

However, third grade is tough. Although he’s made honor roll for the last two quarters and is on track to make honor roll this third quarter, it’s a continuous battle to make sure that he stays focused. Focus on school work. Focus on math. I’m constantly reminding him that every concept will build on the next. Reminding him that he knows it. His math grades have been adjusted because our district doesn’t allow children in grades 2-5 to fail math so he gets at least a 60.

Umm, I’m not sure how I feel about that. So, I spend extra time on math homework. Going over the multiplication table, giving extra work to build on what he’s learning in school. “Everything has a purpose Munch” is what I tell him. Sometimes he gets it. Other times he looks at me like I’m wasting his time.

Boys are hard is what I’m told. It doesn’t reassure me. I feel like I’m failing him. I asked him “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He said “A scientist.” I smiled. “Science and math go hand in hand Munch. You need to understand math and its concepts to fully understand and grasp math.”

It’s the third quarter – third grade blues I’m sure, but I can’t give up on him. I’m invested in his future. I’m investing in him. I signed him up for a STEM camp with NSBE this summer. It’s a 3 week camp. Not sure how we’ll get him to and from during the 8:30 am to 3:30 pm hours, but he likes STEM. It’s FREE so it needs to happen.

Sometimes it feels like we’ll never get through it. That my life until he graduates from high school and maybe when he goes to college is all about making sure he’s focused and doing what he’s supposed to do. When will he take the bulls by the horn and want to do it on his own?

He’s been asking to go to a regular school (non French Immersion school). He doesn’t want to continue in French. His grades are great. He just doesn’t want to learn French anymore. He wants to learn in English. Should I listen to him?

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing

Great tips from KE! Please read and share.

#1 Outsource your cover design; however, be mindful about how much you pay. The same person who designed the Kwoted cover also created The Unhappy Wife cover. This time around, she charged $265. Th…

Source: 4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing

Parenting Truth: Kids are Mean

Here’s a parenting truth…kids are mean.

I’ve shared my struggles with his school, teachers and his adjustment to being in a new environment and I have to tell you that I am so tired. I now see why many people may choose to home school their children. Heck, I’ve thought about. But, I’m just not there yet.

I know that it will only get worse as he progresses through school. Kids will continue to be mean and he has to learn how to navigate it. I have to give him the skills to in essence be mean in order to survive. I struggle with doing that.

Last night we were talking about his Heart for Hoops program and I asked him how did it go? He said, “Fine, I made two baskets.” I told him how wonderful that was. He then said, “Mommy, the kids are so mean to me. They don’t ever pick me in gym class and they never want to be my partner.” He then tells me that the gym teacher will pair him with other students regardless of whether or not they pick him and then the kids are mean to him.

I sighed and tried to not let my anxiety take control. I told him “Munch, please tell your gym teacher. She only sees you for a limited time throughout the week and may not know.” He said “Okay.” I didn’t know what to tell him. I was mad. Seething actually.

Damn kids.

Why the heck are kids so dang mean? Munch told me a couple of months ago that the kids are calling him fat. He said that they told him that his dad and I are fat too. I told him to ignore them. I told him that one of the hardest learned lessons in life is to stop caring what others think about you.

I’ve told him to tell the kids “My mommy says that opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has one, but waste comes out of my butt so that’s what I think of your opinion.” Not sure how effective that advice was. But, I was determined to not take it to the streets. He’s only 8.

My sister says to tell him to say “Your momma.” To any and every mean comment. Respond to any mean comment with ‘your momma’. Ugh!

I started to try and practice mindfulness with raising my son. I ask him frequently is he a nice young man. He will say yes. I will probe further. What makes you nice? What nice things have you done for others. When did you show God’s love to someone at school.

Sometimes there is an answer. Other times not. I want to instill in him to be a good person. Always.

But, hell kids are so dang mean.

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Kid Chronicles – Reading

Many of you know my struggles with getting Munch to read. This soon to be 9 year old tries me when it comes to parenting. Some days he is the most lovable kid in the world. Other days he wants to act like he just got dropped in my house by his alien family and he wants to go home.

One main struggle we have is reading. Munch has to read in both French and in English. He hates it. Sometimes he’s compliant. Other times he is outright dismissive to what he needs to do. It bothers me because I love to read. I read to him when he was in my womb. I read to him when he was young. He knows how to read, but chooses to not do it.

I’ve tried everything. Buying chapter books and baby books. Going to the local library and having him pick out books that he likes. At his last school he always wanted to order from the book fair. No problem. Get what you want.

When they would arrive I would be excited. I would say “Which one do you want to read first?” He would pick a book and then we would lay in my bed and he would read it out loud. Now, he doesn’t want to read it out loud and will tell me that he’s reading it in his head. Okay, no problem. What is the book about?

Crickets.

Ugh! I’m struggling. I read his books before him to make sure that what he’s reading and writing for reports is both accurate and true. But, it’s nerve wracking.

The irony is that when he watches videos on Netflix or Hulu he watches them in closed caption so that he can read the words on the bottom of the screens. When I asked him why? He said “I like it”. Then you can read a book.

Any suggestions on how we can improve his desire to read?

What Can I Say?

I know it’s been a while since I wrote a post. Please forgive me. Life got in the way. I went to sleep the night of Tuesday, November 8th praying that God’s will be done in the presidential election. I awoke the next day realizing that Donald Trump had won the election. Wow! I sighed. I cried. I felt defeated.

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I said “God, you are Sovereign. Your will be done.” It was. I’ve come to terms with it. Accepted it. Released all pain and fear to the one who leads my life. He knows what’s going on. I choose to trust in Him.

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That being said, I am like many of you. I will not tolerate any form of discrimination, fear or hate. I will not go quietly in the night and allow bullies to rule the land where my ancestors died. Can’t you hear it?

Freedom.

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Freedom from tyranny and oppression. Freedom from racism and misogyny. Freedom from bullies. I will and I can live in the country where I was born. I will pray. I will trust in the almighty.

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I am but one of many. I have a voice. I have witnessed the hate crimes being shown in the media. It’s heartbreaking. It’s scary. But, I will survive. You will survive. We will survive. If we unite together. We are one.

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