Mental Health Day

Here’s a tip that ought to be a law – if you don’t have children of your own, don’t ever think or speak about how other people should raise their kids. Case in point, a few years ago a friend told me that when her son was in 5th grade, he was so stressed over school that he needed counseling. I just remember thinking how SAD that would be. And maybe a little bit about how I would never be one of THOSE parents.

Yeah, about that. Imagine my surprise this morning when my daughter began to wail about how she didn’t want to go to school and how her whole life was nothing but studying, school, tutoring, school, CRCT, Study-Island, and tutoring. Even JD, whose normally quite the cynic, came home saying perhaps we should lay off the kid for a day or two.

I don’t blame her for hating school. I HATE school. All the tests and papers and MATH. I’m firmly convinced that unless your job involves bringing a broken down rocket from the moon, you can get by in life with a 5th grade knowledge of mathematics. I haven’t multiplied fractions since my own 5th grade tests, and somehow I’ve managed to make a fairly good living creating ads that are 7.5 x 4.68 inches. The fact that I have to GOOGLE “decimal converter” on a regular basis is beside the point, that’s why God created Internet search engines.

Because I’m really NOT one of those mom’s, I picked up my daughter from school early. I made her put on her pj’s, get a bowl full of snacks, burrow under a fluffy blanket on the couch and watch TV all evening. No homework allowed!

It was a big success. So much so that I’ve instituted it as official Team Tyre policy. For me, I mean. She’s got a big test coming up and we’ve already lost a day. What?  3 out of 2 people have trouble with fractions and if I have anything to do with it, she’s not going to be one of them!

Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.

That’s a Hee Haw reference, by the way, for those of you who didn’t grow up in Zolicoffer. I’m sick. Cracked, runny nose, throbbing head, aggravated sneezing sick. I blame public school. The MoonPie isn’t actually sick herself, but I’m sure some germ-riddled munchkin licked her lunchbox, which I then HANDLED. Stranger things have happened.

I’m reserving my final thoughts on Public School vs. Home School until the year is out, but today we had a Parent/Teacher conference. It was only my second. The first one was when MP was in Kindergarten and I had to listen to the teacher complain how poor my daughter’s handwriting was. She was in KINDERGARTEN. Personally, I thought if she could hold the pencil without poking herself in the eye, she was good to go.

AnyWAY. The conference went well. MP is doing great, making friends, learning a lot. At least I think so. I took a bunch of drugs before I went in and barely remember. I wish I’d thought of that when she was in kindergarten. It would have saved MP a lot of handwriting exercises.

Hanging with the Homeys

I went out tonight with some other homeschool moms. I know what you’re thinking, “WHOO HOO, Wild Night! I hope no one was arrested!”

That was sarcasm in case you’re not related to me. When people hear “Homeschool Mom” they usually think something like this:

But the HS Mom’s I met for dinner were lots of fun.

Not one of them showed up in scarves or wearing knee highs.

A few of them even drank ALCOHOLIC beverages. This may or may not have been her glass of wine. She might have been holding it for someone busy with a camera. I can’t remember. For some reason it’s all a blur.

These women homeschool and they are COOL. I homeschool, ergo I am cool. Just thought I’d point that out.

Now, if I only knew how to turn off the “comment” section.

I steal ideas

Hey, when it comes to Homeschooling – all’s fair in love and war! I found this on another blog, thought I’d try it, and since it seems to be working, am passing it along.

One of the things we struggle with, is getting the MoonPie to finish her work on a timely basis. Sometimes she whips through her worksheets like her pencil’s on fire, other times she can spend a hour doodling in the margins.

Enter the Bingo Card.


Now, I hand her a worksheet, and we negotiate how long it should take. She says 2 hours, I say 10 minutes and we meet somewhere in the middle. Then I go to an Online Stopwatch site and start the countdown. If she finishes in time, she gets to put a sticker on a square. Once it’s covered, we’re heading to Build-a-Bear, or Sparkles, whatever floats her boat.

She’s been getting her schoolwork done quickly, and it’s shown me how fast she can go when properly motivated.

It doesn’t, however, seem to work on husbands. But then again, what does?

Don’t answer that.

She’s got issues

MoonPie’s school sets the curriculum for her grammar, reading, math, spelling, Spanish and PE, while we do history and science on our own. Her dad does science and I get to teach her history. Lucky for me, she LOVES it. Last time we were at the library, she tried to get me to check out a huge, non-fiction book on The War of 1812.

We read a chapter or two every night before bed. This week, she had several options to choose from:


Wow, I had no idea that The Civil War was a time to dance. Sounds like fun. No?


It’s the Titanic, are you sure?


How about the Romans? They did some cool stuff. No? Okay, what do YOU want to read?


Jamestown, again? Didn’t we already read Blood on the River? That was all about Captain Smith and the first settlement. Oh, this is what happens AFTER he leaves? Okay.


Umm, that doesn’t sound so good. You’re sure you want to read THIS? Sigh. Oh well, I guess it could have been worse.


Reason to homeschool #42

From the New York Times:


NEWARK, Del. — Finding character witnesses when you are 6 years old is not easy. But there was Zachary Christie last week at a school disciplinary committee hearing with his karate instructor and his mother’s fiancé by his side to vouch for him. Zachary’s offense? Taking a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary was suspended and now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.

Do they really expect us to send our precious Moonpie to school with all of those CHILDREN, and not be armed? They’ll take away her spork when they pry it from  her cold, little hand!

We MAY actually homeschool because we’re not allowed within 50 yards of school property, but still. It is a stupid story.

History is not for sissies

The Moonpie and I just finished reading a book about James Town.


Catchy title, huh? Every night, she’d BEG me to read just one more chapter. So we read about the Indians, and Pocahontas, Captain John Smith, and how 500 settlers became 60 through severe starvation where they were reduced to digging up dead bodies to eat. It’s not my fault, it’s what HAPPENED.

Tonight we were without a book, so she asked me to sing a bedtime song.

Moon: Will you sing that song about the great ship?

Me: The Titanic?

Moon: Yeah, that’s the one.

Me: Just one verse: They were not far from England, They were not far from shore, when the rich refused to associate with the poor, so they put them down below, where they were the first to go. Oh, it was sad when that great ship went down.


It’s not my fault, it’s what HAPPENED.

Reason # 212 to marry an art major

Our assignment this week – to make a model of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Guess which one I did?

_mg_71581The Santa Maria, the largest of the fleet and the one Christopher Columbus sailed?


The Pinta or “painted one”, the fastest of the three ships?

_mg_7156Or the Nina, the smallest, stainless steel ship that was a forerunner of our modern-day submarine?

I’ll give you a hint. Mine took 2 minutes and required a walk to the kitchen by way of my desk. JD’s took THREE HOURS and required a trip to the Dollar Tree and Walmart.

When Rachel and JD began to pack them for show-and-tell, I had to break it to them – it wasn’t actually for  “real” school – it was just for US, you know, to LEARN.

I’m not sure who was more disappointed.