“A Sweet Greeting”

To be in middle school again.  Since I’ve been homeschooling my daughter, handling her  and her education has been a lot less stressful, but no less interesting.

She’s always had problems with other students picking on her or teasing her in school, but I don’t think they were doing so because they liked her.  Maybe they were, I don’t know, but since the beginning of this school year, she’s had a ‘follower’.  She’s not on social media because her dad and I don’t approve.  While social media has it’s many uses and benefits, it’s also very easily manipulative, and used for the wrong reasons.  When I say ‘follower’, I mean he’s tried chatting with her, he’s used the class blackboard tools to type and share that he has a crush on her pretty much announcing it to the class, he asked her to be his girlfriend within the first month of school, but he’s never met her in person.

When he first started, I didn’t think anything of it, but then he asked her out.  That’s when I put a stop to it, or thought I’d put a stop to it because I answered his chat telling him I was her mother and to leave her alone.  He did.  Then he didn’t.

He got a little pushy sending her private message after private message, forcing me to email her teacher about him, and then he backed off a little.  He’s not acting out so much anymore, but that’s the thing, he’s only acting out.  He’s acting like a typical 7th grade boy.

They have all their classes together, but their classes are in a virtual classroom, so it’s all online.  It wasn’t until third class connect today that he sent her a private chat wishing her a Happy Valentines Day.  To make himself look better, he used her real name instead of his nickname for her.  I thought it was actually sweet of him considering he’s been a real pain-in-the-butt this year.

I wonder….

Just kidding!

 

“Another Test of Patience”

Today has definitely been a doozy, a trying test on my patience.  My daughter’s attitude today, in school, proved that she’s not interested in what a general education has to offer.  I haven’t been able to get her to take school seriously, and I’m struggling to figure out what else I can do, to shine some light on the subject.

I’ve tried relating to her, but do you know where that gets me?  I get the ‘you’re so lame’ attitude.  I’ve tried telling her about my experiences, but she only rolls her eyes at me.  Why do kids have a hard time believing we were ever their age?  I say “When I was your age…” and she’s all *annoyed sigh/full eye-roll combo*.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  You get it to?  I’ve even tried using her role-models and favorite actors and actresses for examples, but on one hand she doesn’t want to or can’t see passed who they play as characters, and on the other hand, it’s like she believes they were handed that life.  Like their life is automatic or something.

Well, after sitting through two different classes with her where I was in the room, but not necessarily right next to her, she didn’t do so well on a couple of tests.  I told her to write down the questions and the answers on paper, but as usual she didn’t because she hates doing it.  It takes too much time, or more often “I forgot” is always her go to excuse.  I sat next to her during her third class connect.  The funny thing is she took notes and she wrote down the questions to her test and the answers, and she passed on the first try.  (Hmm.  Imagine that, mom was right.)

It’s amazing how much mothers sacrifice for their children, but that’s part of parenthood.  It’s also knowing when to be your child’s friend and when to be their parent.  For the most part, I’m Special Education provider/mother, and her friend, ONLY when she’s acting like a normal, fun-loving teenager I want her to be.  I love watching her dance around her room to music by Dove Cameron, China Anne McClain, Sofia Carson, and Sabrina Carpenter.  I love when I check in on her and she’s making something out of scrap fabric, or when she’s making jewelry like ‘Dizzy’ does in “Descendants 2”.  I also love when she’s really trying in school–writing notes and taking screenshots using her tablet, writing down her test questions as told, and of course, when she’s getting decent to good grades.  I’m not choosy.  I’ll accept ‘C’s’ because ‘C’s’ are showing an effort.

The funny thing about motherhood is that we wouldn’t trade it for the world!

“Talking to Teenagers”

The attitude of a teenager can be so trying.  I like to think that I maintain a decently high level of patience, but when my daughter starts running her mouth, I feel like Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” when he can’t finish tasks, or songs, or anything he starts doing.  It’s like an itch in the back of my brain.

Most of the time, I allow half of what she says go in one ear, and out the other.  I don’t take a lot of what she says too personally because children talk regardless of their age.  Sometimes I can’t do that.  Sometimes she needs a reminder that she’s only thirteen.  Not sixteen.  Not eighteen.  Thirteen.  Plus, I don’t just remind her how old she is, I relate it to the situation.

This afternoon, after third class connect dismissed, we went down to the kitchen for lunch and her afternoon medication.  The other night for supper, I cooked up her favorite meal, chicken nuggets and broccoli-fettuccine Alfredo.  She had eaten some of the leftovers a couple of times, for lunch yesterday, and then again for dinner when she tried but didn’t like the Stouffer’s Chicken Enchilada meal we were eating.  I can understand that she’s tired of the dish by now, and that’s why I suggested a sandwich instead of pasta when she told me she wanted chicken flavored Ramen Noodles for lunch.

When I suggested she make herself a sandwich, she looked at me like I had lost my mind or didn’t hear her or something because she asked me what was wrong with eating Ramen Noodles for lunch.  I told her nothing was wrong with it, but pasta was pasta.  She could have a sandwich.  Before eating on the fettuccine Alfredo, she was eating Ramen, so again, I suggested the sandwich.

Well, she didn’t want the sandwich because I asked her what she was going to eat, and instead of answering my question, she walked around me to the refrigerator, opened it, and looked at three different Tupperware containers with food in them.  She pulled the container from the bottom of the pile out, and put it on the counter.  When I pointed out that she pulled out the buttered noodles from dinner a few days back, she replied with a smile and a ‘snickery’ tone saying, “I know”.

If it hadn’t been for the tone she used, I might have let it go, but I don’t take kindly to a teenager, or any child, talking to me like she did.  When I ask a direct question, I expect an answer.  It’s fine if you’ve made a decision, but answer my question instead of trying to be smart about it.

“An Educational Importance”

I found myself in a conversation yesterday with my daughter, while she was in class, on the importance of a general education; on the importance of finishing high school.  I’m present during her class connects so I’m there to help her, or answer questions, but I’m often bending her focus back to her teacher during instruction.  She sort of got aggravated with me when I told her to pay attention, and to take notes.

I allow her to use her tablet to snap photos of the slides per class, rather than manually writing down all the notes on paper.  She came up with the idea and I didn’t see any harm in it, so I don’t understand why she gave me an attitude when I asked her if she was taking photos of the slides, but she did.  I asked her, “would you rather hand-write the notes, or take a snap-shot of them?”  Breathing an overly dramatic sigh, she said “I guess this way.”  Teenagers.

The reason she didn’t want to take picture of the notes is because she doesn’t want those pictures taking up space in the memory.  While pictures are awesome to save and look at, when I let you use your tablet for school stuff, that includes pictures of your teachers slides to reference later for homework.  It’s either that or write them out by hand.

She asked me why I’m so hard on her when it comes to taking notes.  I told her, I wish I had paid more attention to instruction instead of what others were talking about around me.  If I had had online schooling available when I was in middle school, my grades would have been so much better.  I’m more of a self-teach person.  I consider myself self-taught through trial and error.  I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve also conquered.

My daughter loves to draw, she likes to write, and she likes to sing and listen to music.  It took a while to get her to see that ‘jamming out’, or listening to music was fun.  When trying to prove how fun it can be to sing and dance around like no one is watching, all she could see was me acting ‘lame’.  Yeah.  Well, because she sings, and dances, and writes, and draws fashion designs; school can’t possibly teach her anything else, or that’s what she says.  I pointed out that not only does she need a general education just to make it into the real world, her dad and I furthered our education so we could specialize in our specialized interest.  I graduated from high school with a guy who now has his Doctorate in Chemistry.  He’s now a doctor, in Chemistry.  My husband and I both have Bachelor’s degrees in Arts for English.

I explained this to her, but like any teenager, she already ‘knows it all’, or she doesn’t care.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve all been that age.