Posted in Word Therapy

Outside the Box

I never wanted to be a teacher. Growing up I wasn’t a kid person. Whenever I found myself babysitting neighborhood children, I would lose all patience and put them in their rooms until mom and dad came home. When I was single and childless, kids would annoy me. I would make snide comments about kids in stores and how their parents should be able to control them. *Pause for all the laughter I can hear coming from those who know my son Red* Wanting kids didn’t even enter my head until I met my husband. 

These days I now find myself spending the majority of my day with just kids. Curls is in school two days a week and the rest of the time it is her, Red, and I, until that glorious moment when hubby walks in the door and whoever gets to him the fastest wins. I have talked endlessly about how I home school Curls and how it has its ups and downs. What I have not mentioned is that I do preschool stuff with Red four days a week. I did this with Curls and she was able to adjust to kindergarten, no problem. Hubby and I chose not to put either of them in preschool for two reasons. One, it costs money we don’t have. Two, I have several friends who are teachers and have concluded that I don’t need to send my kids somewhere to do stuff that I can do at home. Both kids are pretty socialized and get along with kids their own age. But that isn’t to say that I don’t think preschool has it’s benefits. If we weren’t on a tight budget, I would be perusing the internet looking for a place to send my babies to. But as it is, we don’t and I am home teaching Red how to read, write, and try not to act like a spaz when he leaves the house. 

With Curls, I have a lesson plan that is emailed to me each week. Every Sunday, I print out what needs to be done, I fill out the appropriate spaces, and organize everything in the order they need to be completed. It gives me a sense of order in the chaos that is our life (otherwise known as being a control freak). But with Red, I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. We focus on the letters one day, numbers the next. We do flashcards, worksheets, and color. He is antsy, temperamental, and gets frustrated easily. And this is where my problem lies. 

I may have my issues with Curls and her school work, but she picks up things easily. With Red, he loses focus quickly (he has the attention span of a 4 year old, what do you know?) When he doesn’t get something that I try to teach him, he pouts and doesn’t want to keep going. He doesn’t follow directions. I can only do stuff with him 30 minutes a day because that is all I can bear. Some days I don’t know if I have the energy to even do that much. When I talk to hubby about it, I complain that Red doesn’t get it like Curls does. I tell him it’s too hard. That Curls is the smart one. Red isn’t dumb, he just requires more attention. When I started letting myself think like this, the voices in my head screamed a resounding, “STOP!” I knew then that I was putting both of my kids in a box. 

Growing up I was the smart one. Reading was all I did and I got good grades. My sister was the pretty one. Her nicknames focused on her physical features. Mine I will not even make public. So I grew up thinking I wasn’t attractive. In turn, my sister probably didn’t think she was smart. I don’t think we were put in these roles intentionally. It just happened. But as a result, I have never thought of myself as good looking. It has shaped my behavior and my self esteem has never been what it should be. Because of this, I want to make the effort to not put my kids through the same thing. They are two separate people, with individual personalities. One characteristic doesn’t define them. Labeling them at a young age would be easy. But that would be detrimental to Curls and Red. I need to remind myself that Curls was not easy at the beginning of kindergarten. Her and I were both overwhelmed with the amount of schoolwork. I didn’t know what I was doing and would snap at her when she didn’t understand what I was trying to explain to her. Now it is much easier. I have had the time to know what motivates her and how to teach her. Red is smart, it just takes different methods for him to comprehend what is in front of him. And yes, some days it feels like I am being repeatedly burned with a hot poker when he is bouncing off the walls and doesn’t care what the word c-a-t spells. 

My kids will fall into roles as they progress through their school years. And it is my job to help them realize they are whole people with many different character traits. They are not a stereotype that will hinder them and their abilities. I won’t always succeed with this (I suspect I will fail A LOT) but I can only keep trying. I may have never been a kid person but with Curls and Red, I finally see what the fuss is about.

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Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Muppets Most Wanted

Happy Monday! Why is this such a good Monday?? Because Curls only has school two days this week, minimal homework, and hubby is off Thursday and Friday. Yes, I have much to be thankful for this week. This week’s trailer is definitely one of them. Muppets Most Wanted is the follow up to the successful comeback of the Muppets with 2011’s The Muppets. Everybody in the Wilson household loved The Muppets. It was funny, sweet, and the soundtrack is the BEST. 

With Muppets Most Wanted, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell (Modern Family), and Ricky Gervais are the human stand ins alongside the gang as an evil Kermit doppelganger is out to steal his identity and some jewels. 

The trailer shows that all the standards for the Muppets are present: A ton of celebrity cameos (Hello Danny Trejo!), crazy adventures, and a dastardly villain. There are few movies that both the kids and I are equally excited to see but Muppets Most Wanted is definitely one of them. 

Have a great holiday week!

Posted in Word Therapy

Saying When

After I whined and whined last week about trimming the fat, I came to two conclusions. One, I really shouldn’t whine about my first world problems. Two, I am the queen of doing everything except writing my book a priority. On Sundays I plan my whole week from schooling with Curls to writing my blog entries. And as much as I hate to admit it, talkstwomuch is getting in the way of my book.

I have attempted a number of blogs over the years and never stuck with it. With talkstwomuch I have hung in there and kept writing, even when I didn’t want to. It has been a great outlet for me to vent about my kiddos and my struggles as a writer. But as much as I would like for it to, it’s not a money maker. And when Red starts kindergarten next year, hubby will have all eyes on me to bring home a little bit of the bacon that he so heroically has been doing for six plus years. And since I feel I have a better chance of being a published author rather than a professional blogger, it’s time for me to focus on that.

I don’t have the thousands of even hundreds of readers that many other blogs do but I am so grateful to the ones that I do have. A lot of you are friends and family outside of the blogosphere and for you to support me by reading my ramblings is nothing short of wonderful.

I won’t be quitting talkstwomuch cold turkey. I still need it to deal with the voices in my head. But the posts along with Movie Trailer Monday will come AFTER I have exhausted myself on the shenanigans of my made up world.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: The Lego Movie

The first Lego Movie movie trailer was released over the summer and I can’t say I was impressed. I may have rolled my eyes at the thought of a greedy movie studio trying yet again to trade on a popular toy by making a terrible movie (ahem, Transformers). But with this most recent trailer I can safely say that actual thought and effort went into the plot and the jokes made me laugh out loud. There is a hero voiced by Chris Pratt, Wonder Woman (Colbie Smulders), Superman (Channing Tatum), and a hilarious Batman (Will Arnett) just to name a few of the characters who come together to save the world.

The film is brought to us moviegoers by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. This talented duo directed 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, proving that they can do adult humor and delight the kiddos.

Blu-ray or Theater: Curls and Red laughed so loud during this trailer so we will definitely be at the drive in opening weekend.

Have a productive week!