Homeschool Evals and Miscellaneous Things

I have been so busy the last two months that blogging is hard to keep up with. The last two weeks has seen us getting ready to see the teacher who evaluates the children. We love her! She is very supportive of my children’s learning issues and always has great suggestions for us to continue succeeding at homeschooling. 

The littles saw her last week and did very well, the Peanut wants to be a Math professor currently and I’m not overly thrilled about that career for him, although if he would teach Latin and/or History I would be right on board 🙂 She said you know you don’t have to teach him precalculus! He can learn that in college! So I now will work very hard to be supportive of his possible career! One thing that my younger kids do is pick a career and stick with that idea for a long time or they end up circling back to it. 

The only change she suggested is to switch totally to Life of Fred for math for Ace and the two younger ones. Although I’m sure the Peanut can do MUS easily the other two struggle with it and learn much better by stories. Ace did Life of Fred Fractions in addition to MUS and that was a bit much for him, that is what I have been doing with the Princess this year as well and it is again too much. So at least for those two Life of Fred is just better. They learn more and seem to retain more! Ace read The Journey of Al and Gebra to the land of Algebra this year and it was much better for him to understand concepts without stressing him or me out. Let’s face it, that is important in life and not every child is supposed to be a mathematical wizard, although most parents expect that out of their kids. With this in mind I have already ordered Life of Fred Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition and Life of Fred Percents and Decimals for them for next year and we still have the MUS DVD’s so if they need extra help we have it available. The Princess has stated many times lately that MUS Fractions does not make sense to her at all when she watches the video causing her and me much angst. 

The Ark is now officially a Senior!!! She is so impressed with him and where he is going with his life. He shared that after college he wants to join the Peace Corps for two years, so he can travel and learn more about real life. He is planning on being a youth director as a career and that is so exciting for both of us. We are planning on having him take the ACT soon as I have time to schedule it. Also, we will probably have him take a couple of classes at our community college to get in the swing of college life with a safety net of having mom to give support. We have had him take a class on HighSchool to College transitioning and he is taking the second class soon. He really enjoyed the first class even though I could have taught him most of that material! That is a bit frustrating for me as a counselor to be who has worked with undergraduates teaching them academic success skills!!!

We are doing summer swim team per our usual which is keeping us busy. The littles are doing swim lessons, the Peanut just passed onto level 6 while the Princess is stuck at level 5 due to her scoliosis * a big disappointment for her. But we are looking into swim lessons at a new place opening up soon that will have small classes and maybe better ways of teaching her to succeed in spite of her disability. 

That is all for the time being, as I am studying to take my comprehensive exams and now have to do some work on the kids school planning! Look for an update after July 11! 

*edit: I guess i might have said that I now have a Senior, Freshman, two middle schoolers: 7th grader and 5 grader

Advertisements

Bittersweet and Gratitude

I need to process out my emotions about this semester of grad school ending. Last semester, I struggled because I took 4 classes at the graduate level, looked for an internship,became the Beta Chi secretary  and facilitated an academic success group for undergraduates. To say that it challenged my growth academically is an understatement. My Doctoral Prep class really pushed me, I worked with a fellow student on a research project and there was just so much I had to do for that class. We ended up doing a poster presentation on our literature review at a leadership workshop at Youngstown State University this semester, I made some great contacts and it made all of the stress from last semester so worth it.

This semester found me struggling to find my counseling identity since I was now in practicum interacting with clients, participating in Group class, where I embraced the thought of working on my issues with my fellow students every week for 12 weeks. I wrote in one of my reflections that “Sharing is hard work” and it is. Sharing with a group of people you do not know intimately means being vulnerable, open and hopefully honest. I cried the first session and today the last. Crying is something I hate to do, it make me feel more vulnerable as if that were possible. 

I have learned so much about me as a person this semester! Every group session taught me something new about who I am, who I want to be and who I was. I learned that my past as traumatic as it was is a good thing as long as I put it into perspective and learn from it. I have taken so many classes where I had to reflect on who I am in the last two years of this program that I have started healing  and integrating my past into my present and my future. I cannot explain how exciting or scary that is for me. No longer do I feel like I need to hide my trauma but that I can use it to show others that one can heal and have a future. 

I am so very thankful for making the right decision two years ago when I worried over what grad program to go to. I remember praying about it and one day, I realized that I would make the right decision and that God knew I would. I have had an amazing group of professors in my academic career over the last 8.5 years. I just need a moment to say thank you to all of them: Emily: you told me that I was smart enough to succeed and get my doctorate if I decided to do so, and you know what? I plan on pursuing just that in Counseling Education and Supervision. Robyn: you have always been there to listen to my stories and that has saved my mind so many times. Rachel: I know that we don’t get much time together but you were wonderful with me and I learned so much. Kate: You have always been so supportive of me and what I want to be regardless of where my decisions lead me. Toni: Gosh, I love you, your perspective, your willingness to help me when I am sure I drove you crazy (Although, most of my profs can relate to that). Jan: you validated me for my experiences so many times and where would I be without you? Scott: I loved Latin class with you, you never freaked out when I gave you hell or when I was to sick to be in school or struggled with Latin. Dr. Shang: I have always admired your knowledge and your sense of humor, seeing you the other day, reminded me how much you gave me as a student, Dr. Gehlert: you drive me crazy sometimes but you also push me to be my best and I admire that. Dr. Shermann: Thank you for the opportunity to work with undergrads, that experience made me realize that I love teaching and mentoring students. Dr. Finucane: for giving me an opportunity to work with you on a publication and gain experience, so hoping that we get published next year. Martina: You are my biggest fan, and I am so thankful for you and all that you have given me over the last two semesters. 

I am truly blessed by all of my professors, they are my rock, they have taught me so much, written wonderful letters of recommendation for me and just supported me throughout my academic career.Thank you for being the people I needed to push, support and care about me. I love each and every one of you! 

FMF~Good

When I first saw the fmf prompt of good the only thing that came to mind is “It is well with my soul” a bit of a surprise since that really has nothing to do with the word “good”. Here it is the next morning and that is still the only thing that comes to mind. Possibly it is because, last night we celebrated my youngest child’s First Communion, complete with a foot washing by the Pastor and Assisting Minister. It may be just as simple as today is Good Friday…..a day of sadness as Christians around the world ponder on how much the Lord loved us to send his son to die on the cross for our sins. I woke up at 5:30am this morning and unable to go back to sleep lay there thinking about how lonely Jesus must have been to have his disciples whom he loved fall asleep while he prayed. We humans are so weak, I know that I would have eventually slept as well, I have never been one to stay awake all night. Yet, in spite of our weakness and sinful nature Jesus loves us. What a wonderful gift to all of us whether we acknowledge his gift or not. So for today and this weekend, my refrain will be “It is well with my soul”. 

FMF~ When

When Lord Jesus will you come back? This is a constant refrain in my heart lately. I ant truly struggling with all the hatred going on in our world. Every one has an opinion about what is right and wrong and then wants everyone to do what they do! This ranges from the vaccine debate to the war against terrorism to how to educate your children. Personally I’m sick of it all! The Lord gave us the freedom to choose our own paths but yet we would take away the rights of others just because we are afraid! But yet we listen to people who may not have our best interests at heart.
So again, I wonder when? I personally hate this world lately, it is not a safe place for people! Last night my 12 yr old daughter saw a picture of a woman, who is partially naked with the slogan “Still not asking for it” I had to explain how men use the excuse of how a woman is dressed as an excuse for rape to her. She was stunned that men could be so cruel and was shaking her head at the insanity of it all. Again, when will the Lord come back and end this rape culture?
While i do believe that many people are loving and caring, I have seen so much hate on FaceBook and Twitter and the news that I am beyond disgusted and wishing we were not a global society, so I could gather up my children and go someplace where no one would force their beliefs on me and my family!
Maybe when, I have my degree, I will find a measure of peace, or perhaps I should cut ties to FB and Twitter to gain a measure of peace but then I would miss my friends, even if some of them do not respect my rights, I still care about them and theirs…………..

More Waiting


So yesterday was spent in wondering what path to follow and today I get an email about a possible graduate assistantship at my top pick doctoral program! They will have 5 GA positions opening up but what I’m not sure of is are they open for fall of 2015 or fall 2016? Fall of 2015 will see me not done yet whereas fall of 2016 I will be ready and able to start!
Plus this program is forging a relationship with my current university, giving our students preference!
This would be a dream come true for me and I so badly desire/need this! I am trying not to get my hopes up because if they have 5 opening for fall of 2015 they may not have any fall of 2016! Ugh I hate waiting and not knowing! I probably hate not knowing what decision to make even more!
Ok, I guess this one has to left in God’s hands for the moment, as I need to go study some more!
Pray for me as I try to follow God’s plan!

FMF~Wait

I could write for hours on this one word! Right now this word means Wait upon the Lord to me. I am not a patient person and this is becoming a very difficult lesson for me at this time in my life. I want to know where the Lord is leading me and He just gives me minute bits and pieces in the form of preparation for the future.
Can I admit to being beyond frustrated? I want to know what God’s plan is for me so I can just do it and not have to think about it or even make decisions!
When trying to decide what master’s program to accept, (I was accepted to all 3 programs I applied for) I was stressed until the Lord said to me ” you will make the right choice” and I did. The Lord has blessed my time at JCU in the most magnificent ways. However, I feel Him pushing me towards other places and to be truthful, I am terrified! He uses others to plant seeds in my brain so very effectively and then I panic wondering how to process everything and worry about making the right choices yet again.
Life would be so much easier if God would just tell me what to do since I am tired of making choices and at this time really would like to just be obedient and not think about it.
Ahhhh, yes I am bracing for the uproar I suspect may come from that statement! Yes, I know that we were given free will but sometimes, it would just be nice to not have to utilize it all the time. Having made serious mistakes in the past, I desire to not do so in my future.
So I will wait upon the Lord and continue to pray for guidance even if it is rather grudgingly at times, because of my impatience.

FMF~ Share

Ha how funny that this word was already on my mind when Kate picked it! The reason was because I am taking a course called Group Counseling this semester. it is supposed to help you learn how to lead counseling groups. Which is fine in theory. What i didn’t realize when I registered for it is that we would be required to actually participate in said group! Share~ changes to Sharing when in a therapeutic group.

It is hard work, one you have to trust the other members to not judge you or think you are crazy or worse yet not fit to be a counselor. You cry if you are me, because that is how you express your emotions even when personally you hate crying. 

It was our first group session and the things we all shared were so deep and raw, not something that happens very often according to the professor. I am not sure how I feel about that yet. Good? Excited? Sad? Definitely overwhelmed by the thought that we still have 10 more of these group sessions to live through and now realize just what I am in for. More rawness, more crying, more sharing. And the timer I set just went off……….

Finishing off my thoughts on this is that sharing is hard and even when you know the person you are sharing with. My dear friend shared something with me after months of keeping it to herself in Dec. and I know it was difficult for her. Imagine being in a counselor’s office and having to share deep personal thoughts or worse yet in a group setting and having to do the same! I share this not to scare anyone but to remind all of us that sharing is hard work and it is a privilege to be the person who gets to listen to another’s pain, joy and life struggles.