When Public School No Longer Works For Your Family

There are many different reasons why public school may no longer be working for your family. Some of these reasons may have to do with the school, and some may have to do with your family. Do any of these situations sound familiar to you?

  • You work nights or shift work and don’t get to spend much time with the family?
  • You feel as though sending your child(ren)  to school each day is the wrong thing to do.
  • Your child is learning offensive behaviours at school.
  • Your child has been put into a special program at school that you feel he/she does not need.
  • There is too much violence at the school and on the school bus, and nothing is really being done about it.
  • Your child is bored at school, likely because they are ahead of their peers.
  • Any number of other issues…

If so, then you may be entertaining the idea of education your child(ren) at home. I went through this process about nine years ago.

Here are some ways in which home education can help with each of the issues above:

  • If you work evenings, it may be beneficial to homeschool because you can have a more flexible schedule. You and your children can sleep a little later in the morning, and spend time on school work, running errands and doing household tasks together during the day. This provides you with a lot more quality time together, and builds stronger bonds.
  • I never wanted to send my daughters to school in the first place, but did because it was “the right thing to do.” I felt guilty, especially when the school was messing up my older daughters education. It was a great relief to pull them out of school.
  • I don’t like offensive behaviours. In my experience they get worse over time. Not that children aren’t going to do things that we don’t like. This is the socialization aspect. Do we really want the socialization of our children to take place at school if it means that they are going to be out of control behaviourally. Many students do fine in school, not taking on these behavioural aspects. Some students need better guidance. This is a choice that only a parent can make. Public school works for some students, but not for others.
  • I feel really bad about allowing a public school to put my daughter into a special reading group. It was a big mistake on my part. She came out of it with the lowest self-esteem of any child that I knew and, as it turned out, she never needed the program in the first place. At home, she was able to flourish socially. What a joy it was to watch her do that. Even if she had never learned anything, I would have been happy with these results. If had known her then, and knew her now, you would understand what I am talking about.
  • The same daughter was also plagued with a boy who continually hit her. The bus driver “never saw anything.” The school would simply put the boy against the wall at recess, and tell her that if she defended herself she would be suspended. She didn’t want this, so she wouldn’t defend herself. I do not want my children attending a school that teaches girls to allow boys to beat up on them. What message is that sending them.
  • It is a sad thing when you send an exceptionally bright child into a school system that does not challenge them. They get bored so quickly, and lose interest in their studies. Then, they are not doing their best work.
  • There are other reasons why a parent may choose to homeschool their child.

There are many things to consider, if you have the time, before deciding to homeschool your child(ren). I will be covering many of these considerations in future post to this category.


Are Schools not Taking Mother’s Seriously

This is a topic idea that my sister came up with. She, like myself, is a single mother. She does not feel that the school that her older son attends takes her seriously. Her younger son is homeschooled, possibly partly due to this issue.

My daughters attended public school when they were younger. I did notice that some of the single mothers’ children were sometimes treated differently. I felt that the school believed that single mothers did not necessarily know what was best for their children, and took advantage of that situation.

My older daughter was put into a special reading group unnecessarily. After I took her out of public school to homeschool, I was told by a the certified teacher who reviewed her portfolio that she should not have been in the special reading group to begin with. I knew this, which was one of the reasons that I took her out of school. I had the portfolio reviewer look at all of her public school report cards before giving me her opinion on the matter.

I am not saying that all schools do this. The daughter of a divorced mother that I knew was put into the same group as my daughter. She switched school districts and was tested in reading. As it turns out, this woman’s daughter also should not have been placed in the reading group.

Is this because I was a single mother, and she was a divorced mother? Not entirely, I don’t think. The problem is that, when a school has special programs, they rely on federal funding. They must have so many students in that program, or they will lose their funding and have to stop the program. I was told this by a certified teacher.

Could it be that single mothers are considered easy targets in some public schools? I have been wondering about this for some time.

Maybe I am way off base on this one.


Concerns, Issues, and Links of Interest to Single Mothers

I hope you are all having a nice day. I have provided many links for your enjoyment under the Mom section of the links, as well as my homeschool site link under the Home Education links. These will be helpful to you.

I intend to discuss more in depth many issues concerning single motherhood in this blog. I want to touch upon such subject as discipline, male role models, and dating, to name just a few of the topics.

Many of the links that I have added in the links section, Moms, will also be of help to you.  Feel free to browse the sites at your leisure, and to bring up topics here as well. If you know of any helpful sites, please list those as well. I will then add them to the links on the right.

***

I also wanted to mention that, if you have any concerns, you can feel free to post them on this blog. I am here to guide you and answer any questions that you have.

Stay tuned for more posts…


A Yard Saling We Will Go

What could be better than getting together with friends? Getting together to save money!

My best friend and I try to go yard saling once a year. We sometimes pack a lunch and snacks and drinks to bring with us, so we don’t have to spend money on food. Other times, we may opt to go out for lunch, dessert or both. It depends on how much money we each have on hand.

We are usually looking for things that we need for our homes, or for items to give as gifts for the holidays and other special occasions. This is a great way to save quite a bit of money. This year, I was also looking for things for my older daughters’ first apartment. I found a lot of great deals on things she can use.

We also go the Farmer’s Market on this day. Though it can be a bit pricey to do this, we can sometimes find great deals. We like the fact that the fresh produce tastes better, so we don’t mind splurging here.

We enjoy yard saling very much, and our time together can be very therapeutic. We talk about so many things. Whatever is on our minds at the time.


Downtime Between Work and Home

When I worked outside the home, it didn’t take me long to see that I needed some downtime. As a single mother, I was not getting this at home. I needed time between work and home to unwind.

This was not easy, because I rode home from work with my sister and we had to pick my nephews up along the way. That meant that I did not have very long for downtime.

I tried, during the few minutes that I did have before being around children again each day, to forget about what needed to be done and any stresses that may have presented themselves. This allowed me more patience when I got home. I enjoyed getting my daughters from the babysitter and spending time with them when I was less stressed.

Here are some suggestions for downtime on your way home:

* Turn off the cell phone.

* Listen to your favorite music.

* Listen to a book on tape.

* Bring along a tape recorder so you can record any things that you need to get off your mind before arriving home.

In all honesty, I would likely forget about the tape recorder and just talk to myself. I have a tendency to do that already.


Scheduling Time for Yourself

Stay-at-home mothers need to have at least a small break every day, especially if they are also single. Taking care of our children is the most important job that we will ever have, but to do this well, we should be able to take a break each day so that we may relax and get our thoughts together.

If you are lucky, you can do this while your children are napping or at school. But this is not always going to be the case.

Taking five minutes to yourself a few times a day will not hurt anyone, especially not children. If you teach your children to play quietly in their rooms for a bit each day, this will be a huge help to you. Children can usually be taught this fairly early on.

So, if you only have five minutes a few times a day to relax, how should you go about doing this?

Try these ideas:

* Sit outside with a glass of iced tea and enjoy nature.

* Sip coffee while reading a short article.

* Watch a couple of music videos.

* Do your nails.

* Talk on the phone with a friend.

* Check your email.

There are many other ideas that you can incorporate into your alone time. I especially enjoy writing in my journal while I am outside. What you will do will depend solely on what your interests are.


We All Need Some Down Time

When children are old enough, work-at-home mothers will do good to schedule themselves some down time every day. Older children can be counted on to either watch a movie quietly, or do some reading or writing in their rooms.

In all honesty, even young children can be taught to play quietly in their rooms for twenty minutes or so. During this time, mom can have a cup of coffee or tea as she reads a chapter in a book.

When should this be done?

A great time to do this is when you are transitioning from work mode to full time mom mode.

Why is this important?

Creating a daily down time schedule is important because it will help to make the transition easier. It also lets your children know that your time is valuable, and that everyone needs to have a little bit of time to wind down each day.

This will also allow you a few minutes of rest, without taking up a lot of time from your very busy schedule.

What should you do during your down time?

Try these ideas:

* Grab a cup of tea and sit outside. Enjoy nature for 20 minutes or so.

* Read a little from a book.

* Write in your journal.

* Talk to a friend on the phone.

How long should down time last?

For down time to be effective, you should really give yourself about fifteen to thirty minutes alone.

Here are some guidelines:

* Do not think about work during this time.

* Do not think about household responsibilities at this time.

* Relaxation is key.


Foam Butterfly Magnets

I hope to soon be able to post photographs of the crafts that we are doing here. Right now I am drawing on past projects that we had made as gifts for people, and I regret that I do not have photographs.

Foam butterfly magnets are easy to make if your child can draw butterflies, or if you can. These are good to make on a rainy afternoon.

Materials:

foam sheets: pinks, purples, blues and whatever other color your child likes.

magnet dots or strips (for strips, you will have to cut them to size.)

hot glue gun, glue

markers

scissors

1. Draw, or have your child draw, butterflies on foam sheets.

2. Have them color their butterflies.

3. Cut, or have your child cut, out the butterflies.

4. Parents, or older children, then glue the magnets to the backs of the butterflies.

5. Allow to dry.

*

Once the butterflies are dry, your child can hang them on the refrigerator, or they can be used as gifts.


The Teen Years

Welcome to the teen section of the Single Mom blog. Teenagers are special, wonderful people who still need guidance from mom. It is very important that we continue to be there for our children throughout their teen years. It is also important to try very hard to stay close with them at this period in their lives.

That is what this section will help you to do even though, at times, these tasks may seem impossible. Have faith in the fact that your teenagers do still need you, and that they do love you, even though it may not seem so at times.

In this category, I plan to cover several topics, a few are listed here:

  • Teen Dating
  • Date Violence
  • Time with Friends
  • Earning & Keeping Privileges
  • Life Skills
  • Job Opportunities
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • And More

Stay tuned, and please feel free to post comments to entries that you have experienced with your own teens. Together, we can all get through the teen years.

Shannon

P.S. If there are other teen topics that you would like to read about, please post them in the comments section and I will see what I can do. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

When Should a Teenager Lose His/Her Privileges?

How Can Teenagers Acquire Privileges?

Are You Really Listening to Your Teenager?

Resources for Single Mothers: Raising Teenagers


Trail Mixes

Trail mixes are very easy for even young children to make. That is because there is no measuring, and they can mix them up with their hands. Very young children may need help opening ingredients and placing the mixes into snack size baggies, but my ten year old nephew can do all of the steps below by himself.

The Basic Ingredients:

cereals and/or crackers

seeds and/or nuts

1 treat per bag

raisins or dried fruits

small pretzels (optional)

The basic ideas is very simple, and it allows you to make many combinations of mixes. It also makes it easy to cater to picky eaters!

Here is a sample recipe to get you started:

1/2 box Toasted Oat cereal

1/2 box Chex Cereal

1 jar peanuts

1 pouch sunflower kernels

1 pouch dried fruit

3 M&M’s per baggie

snack size Ziploc baggies

1 large bowls

1. Have your child dump all of the ingredients, except for the M&M’s, into a large bowl.

2. Your child can now mix it all up.

3. The mix should be put into the baggies.

4. Put three M&M’s into each bag and close.

5. Wipe out the large bowl and use it to store the baggies of trail mix.

I purchase all store brand ingredients whenever I can. This saves me quite a bit of money. You could also grow your own sunflowers, which would save you money as well.