Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

Today officially marked the first day of our third year of homeschooling. After breakfast and chores we headed outside to take a few pictures to mark this momentous day. It was, afterall, Carter's first day of Kindergarten! What kind of mother would I be if I didn't have a camera full of pictures as he embarked on his educational journey? The only thing missing was the gut wrenching tears and extreme seperation anxiety I experienced on Ben's first day of Kindergarten. Today was much more enjoyable!

*My New Kindergartener*

*Smile boys, Mom wants a good picture for the scrapbooks!*

*No seriously, I need you to smile. Mom had a very clear idea of how this morning was going to go and you are RUINING IT!* (hubby was pretty sure I was going to lose it at this point!)

*Ahhhh, thank you. Mom's blood pressure just went back down*

*You can always count on Dad for a good startle to start the day!*

This morning's photo shoot did not go exactly as I had envisioned. I have an entire folder full of goofy, fuzzy pictures to show that my boys were simply out of control this morning. They got their wiggles out, at the expense of Mom's nice relaxing morning. Such is life.

We made a lot of curriculum changes this year and I'm very excited to dig into everything. The curriculum I've been using in the past was causing so much frustration and anxiety and I was under the assumption that I was failing as a teacher. I know enough now, to know that a child and a curriculum will just click. It will fit like a glove and what works for one child will not automatically work with the next.

Carter is starting off well over half way through K and is doing almost all 1st grade work. Ben and I had to take a small step back as we adjusted to some new ways of doing things and some new philosophies we're working under. This year, after just a few hours, already feels so much better than the last two years combined.

We only worked for about two hours this morning, and I'm going to have to tweak our schedule a bit here and there to accomodate both boys, but as one of my friends stated this morning "If they learn more than where their seats are and how to stand in line today, you are ahead of the public schools!" Now THAT's putting my first day jitters into perspective!

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's been a looooong time

It's been a long time since I've been around here. This place could use some dusting! To catch you all up (because I can't remember where we left off and I'm too lazy busy to go check), I'll rehash some of what I've been going through concerning my TBI:

I spent about 9 hours back in June at the University of Washington Medical Center with a neuropsychologist and his technichian going over my initial injury, my life (in a nutshell) since the injury, the symptoms I exhibit, etc. They tested my intelligence level, they logged my education history, they tested my attention span, my memory, my grip strength, my cognition levels and they may have even tested which direction my pee flowed out when I wasn't looking. I'm not sure... (I jest).

My husband and I went back two weeks later eager to hear my results and to work with my doctor on forming a game plan. Guess what: I'm highly functional. Not only do I not exhibit any residual effects from my injury, but based on my age, gender & education level I tested in the 90th-98th percentile in every. fucking. test (except math ~ he never did tell me that score).

I broke down in tears right there in his office. My doctor was speechless. He kept repeating that this is good news. I get that. In his line of work, he doesn't see these kinds of test scores very often. In fact, he said when my scores landed on his desk, all he could say was "Really???"

It is good news. I'm grateful that my brain is highly functional. I'm grateful that I have above average intelligence and I'm grateful that my problem solving skills can leave the rest of my demographic in the dust. But why is my life so hard? Why do I get caught up in the details? Why do I start projects incessantly without finishing them? He didn't have these answers. He acknowledged that the tests were taken in a sterile environment with little to no distractions, but he said they typically account for that in the test scores. He basically said the doctor equivalent of "I got nuthin'"

He suggested I see a speech therapist (???), but of course, I haven't called yet. He wants me to see a shrink, but again, I haven't researched and found one in my area...why? Because this is WHAT I DO!!!

My husband and I did a lot of soul searching and I spent a lot evenings in tears, but this is what we've come up with: My entire life everything came easy to me. Everything. Growing up I never had to work hard for anything. I never had to learn how to apply myself.

Well, when you're a grown up, easy street doesn't exist. The issue is that basically I don't know what to do when things get hard. I don't know how to dig deep and find that self motivation & self discipline inside myself. Essentially, I have to regrow up. I never learned this life skill as an adolescent, so I'm learning it now.

I invite you to learn it with me. I've never been a main stream, status quo kind of girl. I've always danced to the beat of my own drum and I've been obscenely unapologetic for it. I live my life out side of the box and well, sometimes that makes things a little harder than normal.

This blog will become my journal of my life outside the box.