Private or Public Schools – My story

I love my boys. They are bright, inquisitive and quite the handful. I knew they were smart, they did take after me a little bit. But, I am a HUGE supporter of education. In my opinion education is the great equalizer. It offers people so many opportunities to become great. Education doesn’t always mean reading books, education for me is learning anything. Learning can be done in a classroom or through the school of hard knocks too.

Boys are more likely to be identified as ‘troubled’ or ADHD, when they may not actually have that challenge. In a prior post, I wrote how I thought the typical education system pendulum has swung so far to favor girls, the system is leaving out boys. In our mad dash effort to equalize education across the sexes, we have left boys behind. This is one of the main reasons we chose to put my twins in private school.

ArchieClassMy boys are active, no doubt about it. They drive me nuts half the time with the level of energy I just WISH I had. They are smart and have such a unique way of looking at things. I want to treasure that uniqueness, people who come up with ground breaking ideas are rarely the crowd followers are they? Personally, as someone who has had personal experiences with understanding and learning things a bit differently from my peers, I knew they would thrive in a smaller environment. I also knew I couldn’t quit my job to stay at home and home school. Bless you parents who are able to, but I lose my patience with adults too easily to have the patience to teach my kids. It was better for all involved if I sought out the professionals.

It is a sacrifice to put the kids in a private school. Don’t think it’s all roses and butterflies my friends. There is payment for one thing. Good gracious, what I could do with that money! Retire in comfort most likely. But again, I have said and firmly believe education is best way to give my kids a leg up. Finding a school and program that inspires them to learn, apply what they learn and question what they see is invaluable. There is also a bit of a social inequality I feel. I have never seen so many medical professionals in one room outside a hospital than when attending a school function. When a kid in my sons classroom says “See mom, I wrote about our dinner at the country club.” and I think, “Well, I showered before I showed up after running 2 miles.” just shows a different social background. This is good for my kids too, gives them experience in all sorts of things and teaches them people can come from different places and still get together.

Ultimately the reason we chose the private school option was the curriculum. The public schools just couldn’t keep up. When I saw what was required for Kindergartners to begin school, I was shocked. My kids knew this stuff at 3 years old. Know your primary colors, count to 10, know the letters of the alphabet, I could go on. Makes me wonder why public schools don’t start teaching highly capable kids from kindergarten on.

Bored boys with lots of energy are not good classmates. My bored boys who are not challenged will cease to push forward, preferring instead to float along with whatever happens. Know your child and know your options. There may be scholarships available and other ways the school lets you fundraise. Don’t put your child somewhere just because you have no other option. Make sure the fit is right, give them the best start!

Open Letter to a Teacher – Sean

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In a prior post, I wrote a letter to Archie’s teacher. This is the letter to Sean’s teacher. In an effort to increase the appearance of their individuality, I am writing two letters, not just one letter for both children.

Dear Teacher

Sean Patterson is in your classroom this year. He is a bright boy and so kind. He is generous in spirit and loves to please. His desire to please will lead him to frustration. If he thinks a project isn’t going well, or if he thinks he is disappointing you, he will not do his work. Please remind him that his work doesn’t need to be perfect.

He is a good big brother to the youngest in the family and a great helper when asked. But he tends to take too much on himself. He helps others, including Archie, so much that others depend on him. Please keep an eye on this. Others, including his brothers, can take advantage of his peacekeeping tendencies and take too much upon himself.

To encourage Sean, he loves words of encouragement, atta boys. When he is tired or hungry, as with most growing boys, he can get a little over the top and fussy. Quiet time for him is the best option. He simply can’t process anything while in this state. After he quiets down, he is ready to have a conversation. If he can understand the ‘Why’, you’ve got him, hook, line and sinker.

Also, when a big event is coming up, like the fall or spring recital, it’s important to keep calm and limit the sweets. He tends to build up in his head and go slightly spastic, in a little-boy-misbehaving kind of way. He gets nervous and will take it out on whoever is handy, most likely his brother. Once the stress or excitement is gone, he is back to his old self. He actually had to miss last years spring recital because of this.

Sean is a good boy and his first reaction is ‘Why’. You might have to connect some of the dots, or explain what things are functionally good for, but once he has that concept, he is raring to go. Sean gives the best hugs because likes to show his affection for those he cares about.

Singletons vs Twins

sunnyKids are a hoot, unless they are doing something you don’t want them to. Even then sometimes they crack you up. I have all boys. Each was born with a distinct personality. My first pregnancy was a set of twins and the next, a singleton. This weekend, a stark difference between the way my twins relate to other people and the way my singleton behaves. I am wondering if these differences are due to the differences in personality, or the differences between Singletons and Twins.

My twins have always had each other, in fact, they wouldn’t sleep if we didn’t sleep them in the same crib. While they can be apart and have been due to one child in school if another is sick, they are still really close. Only since they have started school full-time in Kindergarten, Archie and Sean have started playing primarily with other people outside of each other. Neither boy likes to be alone, and sending them to their room, alone, is even worse for them than a time-out! Even when they were really young, and most other 2 year-olds are playing side-by-side, not with each other, Archie and Sean played with each other.

Oliver, the baby and the singleton, is very much a loner. He will run after his brothers, and try to mimic everything they do. But, when his brothers are away at school, he is very much okay with being alone. In fact, there are times when his brothers are doing something and he really enjoys playing quietly by himself, not even really wanting me or my husband involved. This is such a change from the way my older children are. I’ll admit I kind of like it when the olders are out of the house, I am actually home with just the baby. Yesterday, I had the day off work, but the older kids had school. So, I spent the day mostly with the baby. It doesn’t happen often that I have a day off when the kids go to school, but Oliver was sooooo easy! A great way to end the long-ish holiday weekend.

Its a Party!

ImageAnother helpful hint Tuesday, and its for a party too! As you may or may not know, I am the mother of twin, 6 year old boys. These not-so-little bundles of joy definitely keep me on my toes! Between their antics, work and regular chore type things that have to be done, we are a very busy family. I am also a contributor to the 30 Second Mom group. This is a great group of women who have tips and ideas to help simplify your life. There is an iPhone and Droid app, so you can get your feed of helpful ideas and hints wherever you are in your day. These little nuggets of wisdom have been helpful to me and I am sure they will be to you too. 

Here is your helpful hint:

  1. Wednesdays at 6pm Pacific Time, follow the twitter hashtag #30SecondMom and follow along with this great group of women as I lead a discussion of all things TWINS!
  2. Register here: http://ow.ly/i3YYd to win prizes during the chat
  3. Download the app! Continue the great discovery of all the useful ideas these wonderful women come up with! You won’t be sorry. 
  4. Enjoy. Sit back, relax and enjoy the extra 10 minutes a day you might gain from all the useful knowledge. 

They say it takes a village. Well, sometimes that village is virtual, but nonetheless it is a great village to be a part of. Join me! (#30SecondMom) (@TacomaLynette)

What I Didn’t Expect

I loved being pregnant. I have 3 kids and have been pregnant 2 times. Doing the math, that means I had a set of twins. Yep, it was still an amazing experience. I, for once, didn’t devour books or plan much. I saw my Doctor, but mostly I did the pregnancy thing by the seat of my newly expandable pants. Probably because I was so freaked out about the twins themselves (I didn’t know WHAT to do with ONE baby much less TWO!)

My pregnancy was pretty easy, considering. But there were a few things that took me by surprise, other than the a) Hey, you’re pregnant and b) Its TWINS. God had a good laugh that day.

  1. I didn’t realize my skin could stretch so far – Carrying twins who are 7lbs each made my body do amazing things.
  2. I didn’t realize my skin wouldn’t just ‘bounce back’ like a rubber band. It bounced back like an OLD rubber band, which meant it didn’t.
  3. I didn’t realize I didn’t need to see my toes. What IS it with toes anyway – they can’t be that important!
  4. I didn’t expect it would be hard to find pregnancy clothes for a twin carrying body
  5. Babies inside the body eat when you eat, sleep when you sleep  – keep it that way as looong as possible.
  6. I didn’t expect to fall in love with my babies before they were born – I did

 

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The reason I tell you these things is because there are somethings you need to know if you are expecting. If you are pregnant, find support. Having twins? Join a twin group. Its a great local resource for all things twin related, you make friends and can score some pretty cool equipment and clothes at their rummage sales! Having a singleton? Join a parents group, online or in person. They can help you prepare for what lies ahead, the things you will need. If you think pregnancy is a trip, wait till the bundle(s) of joy slide out. 

Those of you who follow me on twitter (@tacomalynette) know I participate in the #30SecondMom chat. This is a great group of women who support and offer advice and tips to help make your life easier. I recommend joining twitter just for this chat alone.  All the tips from the chat and more are listed on their website or via an iPhone or Droid app.

http://www.30SecondMom.com is partnering with a new website called Wish! Wish is an online baby registry experience. Since it is launching Jan 3rd, they are hosting a flurry of events leading up to the big day. You can win prizes if you go to the website to register for their Pre-Registry Registry event and like their facebook page and post your own “What I Didn’t Expect” story.  When you meet registration requirements, you win 1 years worth of diapers. HUGE deal! Go, check it out!