Moving Forward

I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning and organizing my home office because, well, I needed to.  I needed to get myself completely on track which is why I wrote an itinerary.  Instead of working on a 4-burner stove, I’ve got 6-8 burners going, or it seems like that at times.  Keeping lists has improved my organization skills and switching to a 4-color Bic pen made a difference.  When I organize, I really organize!  Call me OCD.  I promise, it won’t hurt my feelings.  Plus, you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to merely ‘dress the part’ for your business because it’s made a big difference for me.  When I’m writing, or creating the month’s magazine, or even sitting through online Class Connect with my daughter as her Learning Coach, I may be doing all of these things at home, but I like ‘looking the part’; dressing for the office.  It’s a self-motivator; to take myself serious.

We went back to school this week.  It’s a blessing because I’m able to watch my daughter educationally grow in online school, but it also means summer is officially over.  This year is her last year in middle school, so it’ll be a little bittersweet, but like every year before, I’ll have fond memories to reminisce on and write about in my memoir series.

Speaking of going back to school, I’ve started using social media to converse with other parents and Learning Coaches affiliated with Georgia Cyber Academy through a closed Facebook group.  Maybe, as the year progresses on, I can introduce my magazine.  Maybe they’ll sponsor our magazine!  I don’t know how exactly it works, but I won’t know unless I inquire; and research.

I noticed, I’m growing as a writer.  I’m busting through that final brick wall of self-doubt, allowing myself to write with a creativity that scares me.  I was writing a nonfiction piece for the August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, about school cafeteria food.  I wound up titling it Smells Like School-Made Spaghetti.  The way I described some of the foods I wrote about, not only did I laugh at my own descriptive writing uncontrollably, but I also hesitated because I worried my descriptive writing would offend a reader, or readers.  My hubby is a big help in that area because he does all my proofreading.  We make the perfect team because of this.  He proofs my writing and I proof his.

As for my magazine; we’re still creating it, and it’s building per monthly issue.  I’m no longer printing them out because cost became entirely too much for our extremely limited budget, but I think I prefer going digital where this is concerned.  The cost comparison is definitely persuadable.  The August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine I created as I said before with ‘Back to School” in mind.  From my nonfiction piece about school food in the 90’s, my daughter’s essay about her love for GCA, to the cover art done entirely by me. I also included a very simple recipe for manipulatable no-bake cheesecake that makes for a nice slice of tasty, sweet after-school snack.  Yum!

Since creating a working itinerary, my manuscript is beginning to come along again.  Slowly build.  I just finished writing a story piece about my experience on September 11, 2001 for our upcoming issue of McKraft’s.  When I originally wrote the story, I was writing to submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul- Spirit of America.  No success.  I thought about it again while brainstorming a theme for September, so I grabbed it up and rewrote it.  It’s going in our September issue of McKraft’s, but I’m also including it in my manuscript.  I’m pretty proud of my rewrite.

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“Back To the Basics In School…Literally”

Everyday is a new reality.  Yesterday, I had so much trouble getting my daughter to take notes, or take pictures of the slides her teachers were using to teach class, and getting her to write down the questions as she took her tests was like pulling teeth; I was at the end of my nerve rope.  Today, she has been just the opposite.  She took notes, she was paying full attention to instruction, and she fully participated.  Why the change?

Yesterday, after struggling through her first two class connects, I took to sitting right next to her for third class connect.  Doing that alone made a huge difference, but I’m not yet convinced.  Today, I sat right next to her during all three class connects, and she reached the same results.  She participated, she took notes, she took class seriously, and she passed two tests without struggling.  It was awesome!

I remember, back when I was in middle and high school, we had a few students who needed that ‘extra help’, and the school had a few teachers for that ‘extra help’.  I consider them Special Education Helpers because that’s what their specialty is; working with the slower students who have a hard time.  Schools don’t seem to have them anymore.

Who knew that I would find myself taking middle and high school over again?  If someone had told me back then that this is what I would be doing now, I wouldn’t have believed them.  I didn’t think this was the path I would take in life, but I’m glad I am because I’m learning a lot–about myself, about my daughter, and about the school.  I’m getting a second chance in general education because the first time, I had a lot going on mentally.  There’s a good chance this experience will also influence my relationship with my daughter.  I’m beginning to know and understand where and why she’s struggling, and I’m the one helping her.

What bugs me though is that the entire time she was affiliated with ‘brick and mortar’ schools, she was nothing but problem for each and every member of the staff.  She was disruptive.  She was misbehaving.  She was hitting another student.  She was doing this.  She was doing that.  She was being disrespectful to the teacher.  She kicked another student.  She said a cuss word.  I think I’ve heard them all, but I think the reality is that the schools are being properly staffed anymore, kids are bullies, and there are so few of us that stand up for what is right anymore.  When I was in school, I was the kid who was judged for being quiet.  For dressing in hand-me-down clothing and Goodwill apparel.  I didn’t make fun of anyone, but I didn’t stand up for anyone I saw being teased for fear that I would then be teased openly.

I love Georgia Cyber Academy’s K12 online general education schooling program for that reason.  They gave me the ability to pull my daughter from the distractions of the students surrounding her, so I could put her into a quiet atmosphere where she knows she safe from all those who tormented her.  Any position in life is going to have its good days and bad days, it’s when the good days outnumber the bad days that the position is worth it.