Take a seat, class, September’s tater tot post (a day early) is here.
Let me tell all of you parents out there a little secret: your children will be just fine. Guess what? They need you. Not a laptop, not an iPad, not a curriculum, but YOU. Especially now with all that is going on all around us.
Maybe take time to go to the park or go on a long walk and talk about the climate of what is going on in our country, no matter the age but at an appropriate level that they can understand. Talk about having compassion for friends who are struggling with big things, deal with issues that we are going through, tackle the big thoughts they are having, answer the big questions about our country, why they aren’t in school, the virus, and race relations. Be compassionate, be patient, and be loving. We are dealing with massive things right now and we need to handle our children with loving hearts right now. But this is the thing we can’t do: NOT talk about things. Because a lot of what we are seeing on the news is a result of a lot of households never having those conversations, to begin with.
I think a lot of parents think they have to take over where the teachers left off, that is what I thought when I first began homeschooling and that was my first mistake. So here is my advice for all of you who are new to homeschooling. Bake 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 that they choose. 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), and make sure they are reading at least a half-hour a day or go to the library for the day if your local one is open currently. 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. I don’t think we give reading the emphasis it deserves in schooling. Reading is probably the best part of our homeschool day, quite honestly.
I also think, 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 ISNT 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 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 in your home, school your kids on the couch or at the kitchen table. You don’t need a $1,000 curriculum, you can piece together some books on Amazon or free printables you find on the web or from homeschool websites, just do the best you can.
Here are some of my homeschooling posts from the past if you are finding your selves struggling:
And here are some tips from someone other than me if you don’t trust me. (It’s okay, no hurt feelings)
Oh, and if I could recommend one website for outside 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. Ella is so excited to be able to tell her friends that she is taking a course at YALE. She told Anna the other day on Face Time and Anna was kind of downplaying it and Ella said to me, well that’s because she is just jealous. 🙂
If your kids want a morale boost, I recommend it completely. I am learning beside her and it IS fun, you can take your time and it’s FREE.
For those who are still e-learning, I know it is still hard because of the schedule but I also know the teachers had a lot more time to prepare for this year than they did last semester, so it should go much smoother this go around. But give yourselves and the teachers some grace. They are all just figuring it out as they go.
The takeaway? 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, healthier, and much more mentally stable. The outside world is telling you that they won’t.
Don’t listen to them, listen to your gut as a parent. What is it telling you?
Listen to it. I think we are finding out that we really need to listen to it more.
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 interesting thing is that even just six years ago, Ella’s generation had no name. It wasn’t until a few years ago that they got the name Generation Z and in fact, Anna was considered part of the Millennial generation back in 2014 as well. In this Atlantic article from March of 2014, you can see a graphic that shows just that but as of now, she is also a Gen Z’er with her little sister.
The generation is based on your BIRTH year, not on the years of which you lived, so my grandmother, although she lived in the time period of The Greatest Generation, was not part of it because she was born before it was defined, I learned.
My parents are indeed Baby Boomers though, and I am Generation X as is my husband.
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 in?
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 found this very interesting take on how we could’ve made the coronavirus disappear by October in the United States.
I gave her this article as a research project and told her to find all the holes in this theory.
She hasn’t found any as of 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.
So we need to talk about something called 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 methodology (how they came up with their data), so click on the website here, if you aren’t comfortable about the infographic below.
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 rather 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? You be the judge.
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 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 NOT news. Oh and lastly, humility is a good thing. Admit when you are wrong. We all need to do that a little more often.
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? If it doesn’t fall on the top of the chart, you need to rethink where you are getting your news. I said what I said.
TOP OF THE CHART ONLY. TOP OF THE CHART ONLY.
This chart should be life-changing for some of us.
Maybe switch it up a bit, maybe instead of only watching your regular program, watch another one this week.
At the top of the chart. JUST SAYING.
Or if you are used to reading, say the National Enquirer (please stop), maybe try reading something from say, the top of the chart?
Also, if you are seeing articles shared regularly from places that aren’t legitimate sources, this is damaging and needs to be stopped. Why? Because if it doesn’t come from a legitimate source, it is full of untrue information (also known as, lies).
Sometimes that information comes from sources who have a vested interest. Hint, hint.
So let’s say the publisher of the source runs an ad for a cellulite cream that the publisher owns. Well, he will then hire a writer to write about that cellulite cream in the same publication and pay that writer to say that cream is excellent. So that article? It’s a biased article.
I know this because as a writer, I can get sued for writing like that. This is why I used to have a disclaimer on any posts that I was paid for back when I was writing about shit you didn’t need. Because if I was making money on a post about cellulite cream (or anything) in which I was writing about, that was considered biased writing. Does that make sense?
At first, media bias didn’t seem like it was a big deal but I think now we see that this is becoming a much larger scale problem. A MUCH, MUCH larger scale problem.
fakebook (it’s spelled correctly) is becoming a joke because of things that are slipping through regularly.
Oh, and YouTube news stories aren’t news unless they come from LEGITIMATE NEWS SITES, like those at the top of the chart above.
And don’t even get me started on conspiracy theories.
Unless they are about Bigfoot.
Then I am all ears.
*While doing research for my book, I found the following article: Wisdom of the menstrual cycle
Sharpies *it isn’t just about the markers
In homeschool, I am teaching Ella how to spot misinformation online. Parents of teens, this is important because they are seeing a lot of things online now because of phones. But adults need this refresher too. As evidenced in the garbage I’ve seen shared when I did my stint on facebook (there isn’t an upper case f on purpose, we aren’t giving it that power. Also, it needs to be at the bottom right of that chart, just saying).
Mike and I love this show on Netflix and if you’re homeschooling, this is good to use for science as well (thanks to our friends Holli, Jack, and Mia for the tip):
We are also using the show, Connected in our homeschool as well. This is the beauty of homeschool, learning takes on many forms to stay interested and engaged.
*Oh and that is what YouTube is good for. Homeschooling, fun little videos, travel logs, etc. Not news and conspiracy theories.
And lastly, I have homework again. Watch the following video and do this every day for 30 days. Write a sticky note on your bathroom mirror because we ALL of us need to do this for ourselves. I think we are seeing a lot of people in our country who were never told, I love you, on a regular basis. So if you weren’t? Right that wrong today.
Watch the video and do it starting this morning. Immediately. See if it makes a difference. If you have the chance to change your life in 30 days, why wouldn’t you?
And if your parents didn’t say, I love you, I am telling it to you right now.
I love you. I really love you. You have worth, you really do.
And if you don’t tell your kids that you love them, FIX THAT SHIT NOW. Before it is too late.
Also, I absolutely love Dr. Christiane Northrup. She is the gynecologist that all of us women deserved to have.
I have loved India.Arie since the early 2000s and would play her music all of the time when Anna was a toddler.
I remember feeling a lot of shame for leaving my first husband and the lyrics would ring true to me. Even though I left him for me, it felt like a guilty pleasure that I left him for me while having a toddler. So I would put Anna into her car seat in the back of my car, get in the car and we would go for little drives just the two of us. I would put in a CD and we would sing songs and drive around our area looking at homes and singing songs. She had no idea what the songs meant but she would yell out words she knew occasionally and I would see her sweet little blonde head in the rearview mirror and get tears in my eyes wondering if I did the right thing by her.
This song would come on and when it came to the line, “filled up with shame from the top of my head to the soles of my shoes”, I would have tears streaming down my face and Anna would say, “Mommy cry? Mommy okay?”
And I would say, “Mommy very okay”.
I recently fell in love with this song all over again. It rings empowerment and starting over and forgiving yourself.
“I was always too concerned about what everybody would think, but I can’t live for everybody, I gotta live my life for me”.
I have been listening to the song this week as she is down at college and their COVID rate is nearing 1,000. I have been worrying about my little blonde headed girl and feeling like she is a science experiment and not a human being.
I am kind of in love with Taylor Swift’s new album but this song has been in mine and Ella’s head all month. Every time we get in the car, we turn this on and sing it. It is a nice memory of the August that our country was sick.
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. THIS IS WHAT YOUTUBE IS GOOD FOR. NOT NEWS. Enjoy,
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. I am not normally a country music girl but their songs are more folk than country.
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.