Humor, Music, Nonsense, Tater Tots

Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 18- School is in Session


Children Multicolored Hand Paint

I believe many parents think they have to pick up where teachers left off. That is what I thought when I initially started homeschooling, and it was my first mistake. So here is my recommendation for all of you who are new to homeschooling. Make some cookies and call it math for the day by having them help measure. Make a craft and call it art class, or do a project of their choosing. I recommend listening to music all day in your home while they school (Spotify has amazing FREE playlists for learning environments if your child struggles to pay attention).

Or have a picnic at the park with some books and read, eat and enjoy the fresh air. I mean, there are days where all we do is just read or watch particular documentaries and call that school.

For younger kids, we don’t give play the emphasis it deserves in schooling. Sitting in front of a monitor for six hours a day is hard. Get them outside as much as you can and let them play. It is so good for their soul and yours.

Feeling completely overwhelmed with all of it?

Take some time off.

Shocking, Isn’t it?

It really isn’t. We’ve just been programmed to think it is.

And can we please stop with the socialization narrative? Have we seen the complete mess that is currently in our country? The way we talk to each other on social media and in public? The great majority of those people were all “socialized” in public or private schools.

You are doing just fine, your child will not fall behind, you don’t need a fancy room.

Person Using Silver Imac While Holding Pencil

Oh, and if I could recommend one website for out of the box learning, it would be John Green’s Crash Course.

I also mentioned a few weeks ago that we were going to try free college courses for fun through Coursera and we are taking two! One is through the Museum of Modern Art in New York City titled Modern Art and Ideas and the other is The Science of Well-Being being offered through Yale University.

If your kids want a morale boost, I recommend it completely. You can take your time, and it’s FREE.

Girl Wearing Pink, White, Teal, and Blue Crew-neck Cold-shoulder Standing Near Fence

You will be just fine and so will your children. In fact, you might find that your children will come out of this entire year happier and healthier. The outside world is telling you they won’t. Don’t listen to them. Listen to your gut as a parent. What is it telling you?

generation school

Do you know what generation you fall within? Do you know what generation your parents fall within? How about your grandparents? What about your children, if you have any?

The generations defined
Courtesy/Pew Research Center

The surprising part is that Ella’s generation had no name even just six years ago. It wasn’t until a few years ago that were given the name Generation Z.

Anna was born in 2000 and was originally considered a member of the Millennial generation, but with the introduction of Gen Z, she is now Gen Z like her younger sister.

Because the generation is based on your birth year, not the years you were alive, my grandmother, who lived during the time of The Greatest Generation, was not included in that generation because she was born before that generation was defined.

My parents, born in 1946, are Baby Boomers. I was born in 1970, so I am Generation X. My husband was born in 1969, so he is also Generation X.

So I gave Ella some homework this week. What would you rename your generation if you could? I will report back with her answer.

What generation do you fall into?

getting schooled

Graphic created by A Grace Full Life/ Quote by Author Unknown

Graphic created by A Grace Full Life

Graphic found on Pinterest/Quote by Author unknown

virus school

Image for post
Credit: Radoslav Zilinsky/ Getty Images

Since this isn’t the first year of homeschool for my child, we are working on some different things in our homeschool, one of which is this project.

I gave her this article as a research project and told her to find all the holes in this theory.

She has found none yet.

Essentially, we could’ve been free of COVID by October and back to normality.

No more homeschool.

No more travel bans.

Back to work.

What do you think was holding us back?

You can read the article here.

 news school

Let’s talk about media bias.

If you’ve never heard of it, you are most likely victim to it. Including me.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of media bias = is the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered.

The company Ad Fontes Media is a Colorado-based media watchdog group. They are transparent about their method (how they came up with their data), so click on the website here, if you aren’t comfortable with the infographic below.

Courtesy/Ad Fontes

I think it should be pretty straightforward and easy to read this graphic, and for most people, this shouldn’t be a shock. Pay attention to where you are getting your news and where it sits on this chart. This chart is not propaganda, it is not created by a political party, but a neutral company.

So this summer on Twitter, I retweeted an article from Buzzfeed News (I mean, it’s Buzzfeed, right?) about Instacart accounts being compromised. It scared me because I had been using Instacart since March for my grocery shopping, like twice a month, and I got worried, so I retweeted the article after scanning it for a few minutes.

The article was poorly written, didn’t give names, exact facts, or contacts at Instacart, for example, someone to contact if you felt you also had your account compromised. Essentially, it was hearsay, and in retrospect; I am ashamed that I even retweeted it.

A week later, I ended up getting my Instacart account compromised. A lesson from the Universe?

Granted, yes, there were accounts being compromised, but the article that was being shared by Buzzfeed News wasn’t at all accurate about how it was happening, and it wasn’t giving helpful information. It was stirring the pot, flaming the fire, and not being helpful.

Want to hear another Universe story? The said compromising happened at the exact time I was placing my Instacart order. If it hadn’t, it might have gone through and I would have been out a lot of money. Instacart, AND my bank handled it professionally and everything ended up being fine. I have since deleted my retweet and reached out to them in an email to apologize.

The morals of this story? Media bias can happen to anyone. Even people who write for a living and think they know what media bias is. I mean, Buzzfeed is great for fun quizzes but maybe not for news. Oh, and last, humility is a good thing.

Courtesy/ Memedina

The point is this, where are you regularly watching your news? Are you watching it from only one news source or channel? Where does it fall on this chart?

Courtesy/Ad Fontes


Losing a pet is devastating and it’s okay to not feel mentally well for awhile

*While doing research for my book, I found the following article: Wisdom of the menstrual cycle

How to manifest anything 

How to declutter your virtual space to become more productive

Why are we “overwhelmed” but not “whelmed” 

12 things to become famous for

Sharpies *it isn’t just about the markers



Last week, I shared our encounter with a derecho and Ye Olde Weather Channel’s weather on the 10s, and how it was oddly comforting. Well, guess what I found? An entire video of The Weather Channel music.

A few weeks ago, I had myself a little spirit funeral for Joy so I could have some closure. I shared it on my private Instagram account, and a few of you messaged me about the music that was playing in the background.

It is my new favorite find on Spotify, Mandolin Orange. I believe the song was this one, fittingly, Turtle Dove and The Crow, but all of their songs are lovely.

This was the song that hooked me, Wildfire. It was within another playlist that Spotify had.

Like the lyrics to the above song say:

“It should have been different, it could have been easy…….and it spread like wildfire….”

Take care of yourself and others.

28 thoughts on “Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 18- School is in Session”

  1. I am officially late for work, but wanted to drop a quick response to this. ALL THE YESSES for the media bias chart! I point people to it all the time. I would add that it’s great to go down a bit to the analysis section; the important thing is to realize that it IS analysis, meaning that it’s someone taking facts (from the top of the chart) and trying to figure out what they mean. You can see that there’s not a lot of complex analysis in the middle of the chart. That’s good to know. And it’s good to read analysis from both the left and right sides.

    Along the same lines, a resource you might like using for your homeschool is the Stanford History Education Group site: There’s so much good stuff here. Last year I modified some of their Civic Online Reasoning curriculum for some lessons. Their Reading Like a Historian stuff is also so good.

    Sending good wishes for you and Ella to have a good school year. I really really really wish more of official school could be the way you describe. What I remember from my own early education is that it was. I remember having time to go to the reading corner (some area rugs and big pillows bordered by walls of shelves filled with books) and just read. We had recess 3 times a day. We had art and music and PE, more than once a week. I know there were lessons and worksheets, but what I remember most are the projects we did. We studied NW Native Americans and then our teacher took us all to her house on the beach and we had a potlatch and fired our little clay pinch pots in the sand. We had a pioneer day where we square danced and did math problems on slates (like Laura Ingalls Wilder). This was not private school or rich kids’ school. We were not rich kids. My dad was a machinist and my mom was a bank teller. This was just public school, for everyone. Back from when before this country lost it’s f-ing mind. I am not surprised that so many of our kids struggle with anxiety and depression now. In our quest to be best (yeah, I did that on purpose), we’ve forgotten that they are children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish school could be for our kids the way it was for us and then sometimes I am glad it wasn’t but for different reasons.
      I love homeschooling Ella so much and when I hear parents describe e-learning, I love homeschooling that much more. She is getting a lot more out of it than the kids on Zoom are and I don’t mean that to sound arrogant. I mean that she is happier and learning better for her abilities. She would be completely tuned out on Zoom. She had mentioned wanting to go back to public school next year which is HUGE for her and I am so proud of her wanting to do that but I told her that if schools aren’t back next year because of the virus, she has to keep in mind that Zoom might be harder to concentrate on.

      I am learning too, which is the biggest takeaway from this whole homeschooling thing. I hear so many parents say they are annoyed by this year and that kind of irritates me. Listen, I didn’t sign up for this two years ago either but you have to suck it up and do it because sometimes life hands you things you don’t always want to do. But I have learned to love learning alongside her and I have learned so much that I never learned in school. Things from Martin Luther King to Native Americans to Gettysburg. Oh sure, I learned about them but not as in-depth as I have since homeschooling Ella. It’s been cool and I am in no hurry to stop learning. Maybe I was in need of being schooled. 😉


  2. 100% agree with all the homeschooling thoughts you have up there!! 100%!! 🙂 They’ll be just find as long as we’re fine and keep on loving them. So many adults are amazed at all the life skills my boys have and they have the school smarts to back them up too even though I feel like we really slacked off on everything BUT reading until at least middle school. I just set out to let them play, explore, read, and create.

    Honestly, I think even the top of the chart has a lot of media bias too. I learned in my statistics class how easy it to take facts and statistics and skew those results so I take everything I read through any media outlet with a grain of salt and try to play devil’s advocate as I’m reading. I figure the truth is somewhere in that middle ground too when I find completely opposing view points being reported. Heck, I remember last year we were watching the WEATHER channel reporting on a hurricane where my sister lives and the guy was getting all blown around… and then a woman walked right behind him like it was nothing and my sister said the media had totally overblown the coverage of the storm and it wasn’t nearly as bad in their area as they were making it out to be. You know it’s bad when you can’t even trust weather coverage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I REMEMBER THAT WEATHER COVERAGE! That was so funny! Exactly. And also? Can we vote for those idiots to stop covering hurricanes and tornadoes? If it is so dangerous in the first place, why not be a GOOD example?

      There is so much to be said about play and reading for homeschool! And life skills! We are working on those within homeschool too but these should be offered in high schools all over America too. Anna said they should have had this course before college even though we taught her things before she left home.


      1. Yes, I always questioned why they stood on a beach and talked about those people being evacuated and think.. then why are you there?! LOL Get inside, get away, come out and cover what happened after the storm passes by.

        Yes, I think more high schools should teach life skills too. I can remember when I was in high school our art room was the old home ec. classroom with stove and everything still in place but that was not an offered course anymore. Why not teach kids basic cooking, cleaning, etc? So many kids don’t get any of that at home and others just never seem to be home for their parents to teach them. I get dizzy listening to some of our family member’s after school schedules.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel bad that my kids are not in school but I am also glad that they are old enough to follow their teachers’ instructions in e-learning. I really don’t mind having them home. They are funny. And messy. They are getting together with friends – sometimes e-learning together.

    I do not take any news too seriously. Maybe that is ignorant, but then I say ignorance is bliss. I do not believe anything on FB and I really don’t have time for social media.

    I am going to check out some of these links, like the gyno. And info about menstrual cycle- seems a little late but might explain a few things.

    I think all college kids are going to get covid. Inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you have them at home. Enjoy the noise for me. Even having Ella and her noise here is so comforting. We have music blaring all day long, even while we school unless she has to concentrate. It has been so comforting for both of us while Anna has been at school.

      I don’t miss facebook at all. I won’t go back after this sabbatical. It has been eyeopening.

      The menopause things I am unearthing is pretty cool. I found out one the other day and it was eye-opening. This book is becoming so healing, I love that it is becoming my therapy.

      I think it didn’t need to be that way and that is all I will say.


  4. I’ll admit, lack of time to socialize with others has been my main concern. Not with my son, who talks to people on his phone and games, but with my daughter. Between autism and not having any other outlets, it worries me. Buuuut she saw her cousin of the same age for the first time the other day and did as well as she usually does, so maybe the anxiety over that was misplaced, at least somewhat! And now I’ve connected with another parent of a classmate on Facebook, and they chat on messenger, which is awesome. If we have to switch to virtual, then she’ll still have outlets, too.

    I like that media infographic. It amazes me how SO many people get their news from Facebook memes and headlines. As in not even clicking the headlines, but just reading them and deciding they’re informed. And you can fake a headline and make it look like it links to a legit website in a second.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think people who use the socialization argument are people who have no skin in the game to begin with if you get my drift. So I get your concern completely. But I also have to say I have seen plenty of public and private school children who have had plenty of socialization and you would never know it. But I have seen both sides because I had a daughter who went to public school all the way through senior year.

      Oh for sure! I used to see that all of the time too. Two weeks away from the big f and I don’t miss it one bit. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True that!

        An acquaintance of mine runs a homeschool group in our town and was telling me how they usually meet up and stuff (just not at this time) and plan group field trips. I thought that was so cool, because I don’t have any friends with kids close to my kids’ ages, so if we ever do make the switch, she’ll be good to go.

        I unfollowed almost every single person on my friend’s list on FB. Just kept the few who I knew wouldn’t raise my blood pressure. I like it for a few groups and school news stuff, so now it’s a much more peaceful place. It’s not that I want an echo chamber, but I am *over* after almost six months of seeing this dumbass crap.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We did that before all of Covid came to town. We had all this fun stuff we would used to do and now we just can’t. Co-ops and all of that. She was more social homeschooling that she ever was in public school 😂

        Same, friend. But it just was too much. I love the vibe on Instagram and Twitter even though they each have a totally different vibe. Completely different than facebook too. Better. Just enough of social media without wanting to pour bleach into my eye sockets.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You must be worried about Anna. I know how I would feel. Sending you a hug.

    I love these posts so much. Your blog aesthetic is really inviting and cool. Like? I can tell that I you want to inform but it’s this awesome way of letting us know how you feel and also getting shit done at the same time. I am not making myself clear but I just love how you say it all.

    Your words mean something. To me at least.
    To a lot more people too, I imagine. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She and a friend got tested yesterday to ease their minds even though they don’t have any symptoms. I didn’t sleep well last night bc that was the last thing we talked about. A mom is always going to be a mom.

      Thank you, that is a huge compliment. Really. I get what you’re saying. 😘

      I hope you’re right. Because you all mean a lot to me.


  6. I was JUST having a conversation with a friend that A LOT of people haven’t been taught to spot bias or understand the difference between NEWS and COMMENTARY and it SHOWS. And confirmation bias is totally a real thing.

    I’m excited to dig into Mandolin Orange. I love folk/country music. I listened to a bit of what you posted and yeah – that’s good stuff.

    I am absolutely Gen X and my kids are absolutely Gen Z. I’m grateful for the letter generations. I have great big feelings about Boomers and Millennials and most of them aren’t print to share.

    We’re virtual learning because Violet is on a specific track in math/science that outstrips my knowledge. Just got her stuff all set up. They’ve pushed back the start dates for fully virtual students a week but Abe’s school starts the 3rd. (He’s also doing virtual). I’m excited/nervous.

    Thank you for these posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s exhausting, the media bias, isn’t it? There needs to be an entire college course on this. Maybe there already is.

      I have a Spotify playlist dedicated to them and it is comfort food for the ears.

      I want to hear the feelings. ALL THE FEELINGS.

      I am doing online for math because I can’t. I just can’t. Math is too mathy for my unmath brain. My friend just sent me an online curriculum yesterday that used to be hella expensive but is now free because everyone is homeschooling THANK YOU PUBLIC SCHOOL so I may use some of that to fill in gaps to get her ready for high school down the road.

      I love writing these posts so much. They are as much for me as they are for all of you. ❤️


  7. I wish I had homeschooled my kids. Phil actually begged me to when he was like 6-7. 😦

    I saw a young mom’s post on FB today (a friend of mine) that said her kids are already having a hard time with remote learning and are having meltdowns. Makes me feel so bad for all of them. Homeschooling sounds so much better…so much more freedom and can tailor the needs to the particular child.

    I’m going to look into that Yale class. 😉

    All the yes for that media bias chart! I’m going to read the article, too. I know that I shouldn’t get all my news from CNN – which I don’t. I happen to like Reuters, too. Now if we could just get people away from Fox News…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, Phil. ❤️

      Yes homeschooling is so much different than e-learning. I do feel for the kids AND the teachers. It’s so hard. I’m hearing from my neighbors and friends and they are saying how noisy it is and how it is to concentrate. Homeschool is so much more laid back and personalized.

      You would love this class. Ella loves the professor ( I do too ). Some of the reading and videos are a bit long for her and can be boring so I shorten some of it where possible but for the most part, she is keeping up!

      I used to only watch CNN and since finding that chart, I’ve stopped! So see? I am learning too! 😘


  8. I love your ideas and how you homeschool Ella; relaxed, fun, learning, loving. And of course, music all.the.time.

    I’m digging the Mandolin Orange group. I DO like country music, but you’re right, they’re more folky, but I like their laidback vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Music all the time. I swear, I should have been a hippie. I am changing mid- life. I think it’s the loss of estrogen. Who knew?

      I love folk country. Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown and now Mandolin Orange. Funny story, years ago I wanted to name a dog Zac Brown. I mean, isn’t that an amazing dog name? My family still makes fun of me for that. I might buy a fish and name it Zac Brown just to show them. I think it’s whimsical. I also think Zac Brown would love it.


  9. I only recently discovered your lovely blog so I’m prob too much of a newbie to comment but just had to say: you are awesome & thank you for this rad post. You give me hope. Also, you reminded me that (eons ago) my HS had a special activities day devoted to teaching media bias, how to wisely consume media, etc. Waaaaah, right? Tx again for these posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, you are so sweet! You made my night. I love comments like this. You are never too new to comment, so thank you! 😘

      I’m glad I can share things like these. I enjoy writing them as much as people enjoy reading them. I hope you keep reading!


  10. In reference to feeling weird/wrong to taking some time off you said: “It really isn’t. We’ve just been programmed to think it is.” SO TRUE. I find that most people are scared to even contemplate taking time off, for fear of being no one, I guess. I recharge when I’m disconnected from my daily grind or social media, so I don’t get their insistence that it is a bad thing to do.

    I’ve always been interested in the generational definitions and names. I find that while they may describe the majority of people born in a certain timeframe, they don’t apply to all people born in the certain timeframe. It’s the outliers that fascinate me because you just know there’s an interesting story there about how they came to be who they are– despite the influence of their peers.

    I’ve never seen the graphic explaining media biases. It’s practical to know about it. I’ll be musing on it for quite a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY. I remember when I first began homeschooling and so many homeschool moms had kids who were going to college, who ended up being successful, who were thriving and I was shocked because I had heard differently when I was in public school. One of the homeschool moms said, “that’s what they want you to think because if everyone homeschools, no one will spend money in school systems”. NOW, I am not at all cutting down on teachers because I know there are so many good teachers and I love the good ones so very much but school systems are a business at the end of the day and we need to remember that. I sound like such a hippie when I say that. I have become anti-establishment in my fifties.

      I agree with that too about generations. I don’t agree with the term, “The Greatest Generation” either. I AM NOT MAKING FRIENDS WITH THIS POST.

      Muse away. I would love a course to be offered on this. A free online college course, perhaps?? 😉


  11. I am writing a post right now about the new normal for school, which is hybrid for us. Spoiler, it’s hell. Also regarding what we could have done differently regarding COVID? A different president, hands down. One who believes in science and trusts the epidemiologists. Also, I was generation X for the longest time, but now I’m technically a millennial. 1981. Though I think that is very fitting because being on the cusp, I don’t feel like I truly belong to either. Also, I’m a bit bitter about not being considered a part of generation x, because I feel like that whole thing was really big in the 90’s and we can’t just change it now! Who even decides these things?!

    My dad is an indoctrinated Fox-Newser, and other nutso right-wing media nonsense, and it’s downright horrifying. And the weird thing is that as someone with a high sense of empathy, I can see how the world that they see is really horrifying, but what I don’t understand is why they believe the bullshit. I mean, it’s like next level bullshit, and he just eats it right up. And he is certainly not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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