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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Category Archives: Slacker Mom

It is hard to get the girls to school every morning. on time. It always seems like we can’t find the matching shoe, there are no clean socks, or maybe I can’t seem to get myself or the girls out of bed. This is a great thing about homeschooling the other two. They usually don’t have a time they have to be up and going. And if they need to get to work (because of something later in the day) we can get started in our pajamas.

I found out yesterday that the girls have been late to school everyday for a month. I knew that the schools were going to be making up days lost because of snow. Their plan was to add time to each school day (twenty minutes). What I didn’t know was that they were going to have to be at school 10 minutes earlier and stay 10 minutes later. I was wondering why Sweet T. kept reminding me that they were late every day. This is where you insert “Slacker Mom” for not reading the note in said daughter’s school folder.

I realize that writing this will not change how our school system has decided to make up school days, but I feel the need to rant.

What are you people thinking?

The idea is that student needs a certain number of days (or in our case, hours) of school time each year in order to learn the set objectives for each grade. By extending the school days, the students will have the opportunity to make up for those lost school days of study. Apparently there is some standard to how much time is required to learn. Not more. Not less.

I find this idiotic. Let’s start with the smalls. (pre-k-1st.) Most of the school days is a waste of time. It’s a holding tank for kids that age while their parents work. I don’t mean to say the teachers are not doing a good job. I love teaching this age myself, but do you really need 6.5 hours a day for 180 days to teach kids this size? No- that’s why many brick and mortar schools have so much recess, rest time, and free play. (Again- not saying these things are bad, but adding 20 minutes to every school day to make up for lost days will not help any of those kids learn what they might have missed.)

I would say that even for the upper grades of elementary this argument would hold true, even though they are learning more information as a whole.

Now when you get into the middle and high schools the kids are working much harder in the classes offered. You would think that adding more school time would help kids at these levels, but 20 minutes a day is not going to help anybody learn more. Let’s say a child in any of these grades takes 7 classes a day. That is less than three extra minutes in each class to learn. We don’t teach kids 3 minute lesson plans. We mark out the skills taught in number of days not minutes.

The other options for making up school days is not ideal for parents either. Our choices were to 1. give up Spring Break days, or 2. add the missed days to the end of the year. None of these are real convenient for parents, but if we are trying to make the best decisions for our kids, why in the world would we choose adding wasted time to a school day. Not only that, but it also makes it more difficult to get to all those extra-curricular activities after school.

I do have another solution. (BTW- my choice was to make up the school days during Spring Break.) Forgive the missed days of school for this year (after taking away the one holiday, the two snow days, and half day they had.) It was only a couple of days they would miss in the end. It’s not like going those two extra days would help the kids solve all the world’s problems. Then, when the school board is deciding next year’s calendar, drop the fall break that is offered (because we also get a break for Thanksgiving) and add an extra Spring break. Then if there are snow days, we lose those days without having to make up days (or minutes) later on. If it doesn’t snow then we get two spring breaks.

Am I alone in this? What do you think?

Thank you for taking time to read this silly rant. Now I must get back to work with my homeschoolers, who BTW did have some school during those snow days, but also did a little work over Spring Break.

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It’s spring break!

Before this weekend I made myself a little list of things to do this week with the kids. The hubby is away, and the wife and kiddies must play. Unfortunately the week is beginning with chores (laundry and grocery shopping.) We will all be better off if we have food to eat and clean clothes to wear.

I have already heard “I’m bored” in the way the kids have been bickering with each other. They dare not admit it out loud. I did what any rational mom would do and threatened them with work and chores if they can’t find something to occupy their time today. It goes without saying that the afternoon has been relatively quiet.

This is the project I would like to be working on. This Christmas I received a sewing machine. I thought it would be a fun and easy project to make pillows and cushions for our outdoor patio space. My “great” idea slowly evolved into teaching myself  how to sew a more complicated seat cushion complete with piping on the edges. I could have taken the time to learn the right way, but this slacker mom invented her own way to sew and attach those piped edges. I think it’s turned out pretty well, considering. Never mind the fact that I made the cover too thick for the cushion I bought (that’s what the stuffing is for) and that you can’t really see it because the quality of the picture. (My camera is presently traveling around Turkey with the hubby.) This one still needs the bottom of the cushion to be attached. I have one more cushion to make. I can’t wait. More pictures to come to walk you through my crazy ways.

 

 

 

This is the project I have to finish first. As mentioned above, I must do the laundry. I could go on and on about how much I despise the laundry especially socks which is why I love flip-flop season, and I could try to make you understand that even though I hate it, I have to finish it all in one day so I don’t have to think about it again for a whole week, but I wouldn’t want to bore you with all that. Oh. oops. sorry.

Anyway, this is spring break. I made a list of things to do around the house (including my sewing project). I know the kids would be crazy by the end of the week if we spent everyday at home so I also planned several outings. I typed them out on a post-it on the computer. The Oldest, who has a clever sense of humor that she got from yours truly, saw the list and added a couple of her own ideas. One was a reminder that her BFF is staying the night. The other was to buy the kids candy. This started a little game between the two of us. I erased what she wrote and added “spank the kids” or something like that. She came back and wrote “trade the girls rooms with The Oldest’s”. I wrote, “Move the Oldest into the girls’ room and set up and office/craft room.”  I love little unexpected games like that.

One of my other goals this week is to try to post on the blog once everyday. It’s good to have an idea of what you want to do. Before I know it spring break will be over and the sprint to the end of the school year will begin. All I need now to make this a perfect week is some sunshine.

I have another confession to make. A confession of a slacker mom.

The other day our baby (who is four) was outside playing with a small frog. Apparently there is a whole family of them living near our house, poor things. When she came inside she boasted proudly, “I kissed my frog on his tummy!”

My response: “Did he turn into a prince?”

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Today we were walking around the mall, and we had rented a double for the girls to ride in. It was one of those fun, red firetrucks found in many malls. The elevator was full, and as we were going down a lovely older lady was making nice comments.

She said, “that looks like fun.”

“Yes,” I replied. “It’s much easier than carrying them around the mall.”

“I had a leash for mine,” she said back to me.

I smiled, trying to think what that meant. After a couple seconds my brain recalled the doggy one I have at home. It looks like a cute backpack for the child, but with a handle for the parent to not lose track of their stray child. These are a wonderful upgrade from the one my older sister had with her oldest daughter. That one had two Velcro wrist bracelets on each end. I remember one time I was to be watching my niece. She wrapped it around the inside of a clothes rack and took it off. It is much harder to escape the new upgraded backpack version.

“If I had a leash for them I would end up dragging them across the mall,” I replied. I meant it to be funny, but I don’t think she appreciated my humor. She looked shocked a mother would even say such a thing.

Moments later the doors opened we all exited the elevator and went our separate ways. If you ever see a poor child being dragged by her parent down the hall, lend a hand and rent the poor woman a mall stroller.

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A few years ago I remember seeing on the Today Show a piece about Type-A moms. The kind of moms that have their kids in all kinds of activities, serve on the PTA, and work full-time jobs. I think they called them Successful Moms (or something like that.) A few weeks later they did a piece about the Slacker Mom. She was the mom with the messy house, messy kids, and was late to everything. At first I was offended. They used a positive name for the first style of parenting and such a negative name for the second. I knew immediately that I was a slacker mom.

I have since embraced this title with full pride. I am a slacker mom.

That is not to say that slacker moms are lazy moms. I am definitely not lazy or bored. To be a slacker mom means that you are not driven by goals. Don’t get me wrong. I love to accomplish my daily chores. A clean house is a happy house. I think the difference is that if “it” doesn’t get done (whatever the it is) there is always tomorrow to try again. There is always room for slack.

I was thinking about this today, because it was the day of Valentines Party for my little Sweet T. It wasn’t until this morning that I had really thought about bringing any thing to the class for treats. She did have her Valentines, at least. Once we went to the party I was glad I didn’t feel compelled to bring anything. (I did ask her teacher if she needed anything.) They had plenty to eat.

I have tried to be more like a perfectionist. I just don’t have the push to do it. I guess I am to relaxed to be driven. Sometimes I wonder if my kids are suffering from my slack. Then I got to thinking about what the opposite of slacker mom is.

I was thing about a rope. When you want slack in a rope, you don’t want it to be tight. Is that what the opposite of a slacker mom is, a tight mom? If you put it that way, then slacker mom doesn’t sound so bad.

What does it mean for me to be a slacker mom? It means not making my bed everyday, leaving dishes in the sink overnight, taking a couple extra days to put laundry away, not bathing my kids every night, feeding them popcorn and other snack foods occasionally for dinner (like tonight), not matching socks when we are leaving and we are late, forgetting to brush their hair before we left late, and so on. That made me think. If doing or not doing those things means I am a success or a failure, then there are a lot of moms that fail.

We can’t do it all- all the time. There has to be a time that we enjoy the gift of time with our kids. I don’t want them to look back on their childhood and say, “our house was always clean.” I want them to remember all the fun time we had together whether the house was clean or not.

I have learned to embrace my slacking ways. To find the balance between a tight rope and slack is a fine line. The most important detail is to find a parenting style that works for you.

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