Saturday, January 29, 2011

Over one year already? - Blog Anniversary

I just noticed I've been blogging for over one year now! January 9, 2010 was my first post! Time flies!
A thanks to all who read  my blog, strangely enough it's an ego boost to some extent and we grown-ups need that too at times. Blogging is also a good way to keep me sane and so a big THANKS to all of you who so often provide me with words of wisdom.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Real Life vs. Other Families' Homeschool Blogs

I am not completely happy about where we are academically at the moment. Honestly I think we are behind. Behind whom? Well, us! We could have been much further along the course I so carefully charted in Summer. So, who or what is responsible for this delay.

There are some external factors. Due to work related issues I missed 2 learning weeks in November and a chunk of December. But as inconvenient as that was, it isn't the real issue here. The real issue, I realized after much thought, lies with me. My lack of confidence in myself. I'd constantly pore over blogs of other homeschooling families to see what they were doing, learning, teaching. I am a researcher by nature.  Give me a project and I happily spend hours immersed in research. I'd read those blogs and constantly think to myself: 'they've been doing this for x number of years, I must learn from them.'

or: 'what they are doing must be better than what I was planning, let's not teach this or that until I've seen what someone else has been doing.'

And so we slipped behind where I think we could have been. Not because my kids couldn't handle the work, but because I was too afraid to not do a good enough job. Hours were spent reading educational sites and blogs to the detriment of the NOW for US!

Once I realized that it was as though a veil had been lifted. The here and now and us is far more important than the added map, graph, or other learning tool from other sites. I also learned that, at times, other homeschooling parents are quite possibly as much unsure of what they are doing, as I am. Our first year of homeschooling was with the guidance of Missy's old school. After all, this was to be a temporary situation and we intended to rejoin the school.  I used their curriculum (with the exception of science which we supplemented). We asked the classmates all the time to see what they were doing to make sure we were if not ahead at least at par. The curriculum was finished way ahead of time and we spent the remaining months reviewing.  Until a few days ago I hadn't realized how unsure I was of what I was doing. Looking back now it is apparent that what I had set out to do is just fine. There will always be someone doing something much better than I could. There will always be someone far more creative. But that's like trying to follow the Joneses. There will always be someone....

Well, guess what, there is me and there is us and that's good enough for me.

So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to stop spending so much time reading about what everybody else is doing in their homeschool and just get seriously busy 'doing' ours.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Visit with Allergist!

We had a fabulous visit with Missy's allergist on Friday.  He was thrilled to see how well she is doing now. He's been taking care of her since June or July 2007 when she came into the hospital as a desperately ill little girl. I'll have to post some pictures to show you guys what I mean. She still has all her prescriptions (just in case) and per my request we added generic Flonase for when growing season starts. For anyone who knew my little girl when she was so very sick, her improvement is astounding. She went from a child who was too skinny and short from a lack of appetite to one who is now in the 50th percentile for growth. From a child who couldn't play outside in winter because of her asthma to one who doesn't want to come inside. From a child who was covered in raw, weeping, crusty, eczema from her scalp to her toes to smooth, soft, healthy skin. How grateful we are!
Her current amazing improvement has a lot of parents wondering why she is still being homeschooled. Aside from the fact that we like homeschooling we still see plenty of evidence that her allergies aren't gone. Both Missy and Bear horsed around yesterday with blanket which needed a wash and both were varying degrees rashy after that. Missy can go somewhere and get a reaction within minutes. The dragon is merely asleep it seems and we aim to keep it that way.  Now it would appear that her little brother is getting increasingly sensitive and breaks out in allergic rashes more and more often. But then he had a 25% chance of getting some allergies. He has keratosis pilaris. How that fares as he gets older we'll have to see.

Way lower in this post I have some pictures of some of Missy's limbs during her flare-ups. I must warn you though, these pictures are disturbing.  Thankfully she doesn't suffer through this anymore. Her skin is a silky as can be. These aren't the worst either. The worst was in 2007 and  2008 but the pictures taken then aren't digital. 

Covered in hives and Eczema

This is what her bed would look like in the morning before I had a chance to vacuum.

This is the inside of her favorite pair of black jeans. They look grey because her skin came off.

This was taken two days after she visited a pool. Many E sufferers find relief in chlorinated pools as it reduces infections and the overgrowth of staph found so often associated with this disorder. However, Missy, is one of those few unlucky people who are overly sensitive to chlorine.

This was taken two days after she visited a pool. Many E sufferers find relief in chlorinated pools as it reduces infections and the overgrowth of staph found so often associated with this disorder. However, Missy, is one of those few unlucky people who are overly sensitive to chlorine.