Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YES!!!!

Earlier I was writing about how I felt deflated after reading Elizabeth's Re-evaluation.  That is no longer the case because I discovered today that the little turkeys who made her life miserable when we first moved here have moved out of our complex. 

These children were the ring leaders behind the other kids seeking out Elizabeth and Rebekah, the oldest daughter encouraged a boy to molest two girls in our complex, they wrote terrible things in graffiti on the playground about the girls - things I can't repeat because a lady doesn't say those kinds of things.  Not to mention some of them were very graphic.   So now we just have to pray that God sends a nice family with nice children in to the unit they were occupying. 

On a more upbeat note, the Union at Boeing has been working quietly to extend the current contract the workers have already in place.  This would include a sign on bonus as well as a small raise in health insurance, but we'd keep what we have, which really is good insurance and we are all covered not just a few of us.  Also Chris is being looked at as a choice for a manager position.  He is working hard to finish up his Bachelor's degree and then plans to go on to graduate school.  He wants a Master's in Divinity and to become a Reservist Chaplain.  The nice part of this is two fold.  First, he no longer carries a weapon and second, because he's already seen combat, he won't be leaving the post if he were to ever deploy again.  Thankfully, it appears that another deployment is not in our future because we are withdrawing our troops out of Iraq and plan to begin removing them from Afghanistan soon.   This means that deployments may not be an occurrence for our family again, but that is not the case for our Active Duty servicemen and women - so please continue to pray for them. 

Also after paying off our minivan in 2009 we should have received the title, should have, but didn't.  We didn't discover this until after we moved from Kansas to Washington - so after months and months of back and forth, we finally received our title for the minivan.  And on Wednesday I was able to get the minivan it's Washington tags!!!  This is huge for us, we've been relying on Mom's old Plymouth Acclaim (thank you Mom for selling it to us by the way) and it's gotten Chris to and from work and taken me to do grocery shopping, etc. . . but it is on it's last legs, so having the minivan is wonderful.  It will still get Chris to drill weekend and to and from work on the weekends or Wednesday evening so I can attend Praise and Worship team practice.  It's nice to know that when Chris drives to work now he is in a car with good brakes, and that I don't have to worry will die on him on his way to or from work most days. 

So those are our little blessings.  We did receive Elizabeth's official copy of her re-evaluation.  Yes, it did kind of deflate me a little bit, but we are working and making progress and she is learning AND I found the Home school Association today so we'll be looking into that this next week.  It even offers enrichment classes.  So I look forward to seeing Elizabeth and Rebekah do some of those classes with other children. 

I hope you all have a good week. 
In Christ,
Maureen

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Importance of Magnet School

In Wichita, they have a program for schools called Magnet Schools.  Some places have these as well, and call them Charter Schools.  The premise behind these schools is that they are designed to have a smaller student to teacher ratio to give students more hands on education.

Elizabeth had the privelege and joy of attending Samuel S. Spaght  Elementary School.  When she began attending it was a Gifted Magnet and their motto was "All children are gifted."   A year or so later it became a Mutlimedia Magnet which taught children how to use computers, cameras, and various forms of media to improve their education experience.  The kids thrived at this school.  Elizabeth thrived at this school.

Our neighborhood school was Irving Elementary and while the traffic might not have seemed bad to some people I found it horrifying.  We lived between two one way streets and more often than not, there were drag races and police chases all in the vicinity of that school and the residents who lived around it.  It also had a high sexual predator/offender ratio as well, and most of them lived within the unacceptable radius of Irving.  But probably the biggest concern I had about the school is that Sarah, our oldest daughter attend it and was bullied and excluded a lot.  She was one of a few white students in a school that was mostly Hispanic.  The students found reasons to make her feel like crap, they left her out during recess and often switched to speaking Spanish when she was around in an effort to exclude her.  This went on until she finally admitted it to me and told me about some of the things going on.  She talked to the teacher, she did all of the things I asked her to try first and it wasn't until I went to the school and threaten legal action that the problem was resolved.   Worse, the student to teacher ratio at Irving and most neighborhood schools in any area is over 30 students to 1 teacher and possibly a teacher's aide if they are lucky.

Our children need smaller classrooms, they need a lot of things and I know that our country is in an economic downward spiral, but that is our fault.  We are the ones who chose to live well outside what we earned, we made the choices that are affecting our country and world economy and not our children.  Why is their education suffering because of our mistakes?

Why is it education is always the first thing to go on the chopping block when the money gets tight?  That's a disgrace to us, to our country, to our government leaders.

Now a school in Wichita, Woodland Elementary School is on the chopping block.  The school has been a part of the community for ages and without it, students wouldn't learn about ways to stay healthy, have good physical fitness and learn new and exciting things while getting their formal education as well.   Please help fight this and keep this school from closing.  Our children need it and without it most of them will be forced back into a school their parents didn't want for them in the first place.  Please sign this petition to help keep this school open.

https://www.change.org/petitions/usd-259-wichita-public-school-district-stop-the-proposed-closing-of-woodland-health-and-wellness-elementary-school

Thank you, even if you don't live in the area, let the school board know that education is still important to all of us.


Sincerely,
Maureen Koeppel a former Wichita, KS resident

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Will You Do This Christmas to Help?

As a child growing up without a dad I spent a lot of Christmas' wondering if we'd have presents.  Not because my Grandma and Grandpa's Taylor and Schultz didn't make sure we had something but because my mom was pretty broke.  After divorcing a mentally ill and abusive man to save us children and herself, money was extremely tight.  I'm sure my mom spent many years working for her friend Ginny so we could have something under the Christmas tree.  I've often wondered if there were years when Ginny just bought the stuff and gave it to Mom to make sure we had something. My aunts and uncle in Missouri always sent something and so did Grandma Schultz and Olen so we didn't go without and so they'd know they were thinking of us.  Even if we didn't get to see them as often as we all would have liked.  

My mom loves us very much and she worked hard to make sure she made us stuff or had something for us under the tree, but there were also several Christmas' where she just couldn't make ends meet right. One year a couple who lived across the street from us must have known somehow that it was going to be slim pickings for Christmas because Mom was in college working on her Master's Degree in Chapter One Reading and they came over with arm loads of presents.  My aunts and uncle in Missouri always sent something and so did Grandma Schultz and Olen so we didn't go without and so they'd know they were thinking of us. 

One year a church group showed up with a month's supply of food.  Interestingly enough we had just gone shopping with our food stamps and yet we still had room for the food they brought over.  My mom did a great job making sure we didn't feel like we were going without.  At least I never felt like we were going without.  I knew we didn't have enough cash to do the things the kids at school did, and while it probably should have bothered me, it didn't.  It wasn't until I was older that it bothered me when people would open loads of presents and we usually had one gift and that was it.  While I tried not to let it get to me, it dd bother me a little bit.  I didn't understand how it was that some people got so many presents while others went without. 

This season there are a lot of children living with very little, much like my family when I was young and our family last year while Chris was unemployed.  Many families are becoming homeless or the children are in foster care because the parents can no longer provide for them and give them food, clothing and shelter, much less a Christmas.  A great foundation that helps these families and these children is Bethel Foundation in Oklahoma City, OK.   This year they have over 2,000 families struggling and in need and they need us to help them.  I know some of you are reading this and wondering what you can do, but trust me when I tell you that even the little bit you can donate or offer to do for Bethel will help.  You have a chance to make a difference and to make a child's Christmas.  So please dig deep in your heart and listen for God's voice.  Make a difference, help change a child's Christmas.

In Christ,
Maureen Myers Koeppel

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Counting Blessings


Thanksgiving. . . it's the time of year when we all cook our turkeys, eat copious amounts of stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, and whatever assorted goodies our families make for us all to enjoy.  It is also a time when we all begin to talk about what we are grateful for in our lives.

This year the Koeppel house has more to be grateful for than usual.  At this time last year we had just gone on food stamps to help us make ends meet and had asked for medical assistance for Sarah, Elizabeth, and Rebekah and had begun filing for disability for Elizabeth.  It was a year of humiliation, worry, stress and swallowing our pride.  Even when things had been tight before we'd always managed on our own or with a little help from Mom.  This time we needed lots of help, we needed more help than our parents could give us and we had stopped making our mortgage payments because we couldn't afford the $600 a month we needed to pay AND pay for our other bills too.  We even applied for LEAP that year.  Filling out all of those forms, walking into the Government Assistance Building was humiliating, heart breaking, and pride buckling.  Christmas that year was rather sparse and small and even though our girls never complained, Chris and I felt it.  There were no aces up our sleeves, no magical miracle to get the girls some amazing gift.  We couldn't even afford the normal Christmas pajamas that are a tradition in our house. 

Thankfully, my mom and Bud bought the pajamas and loads of books for the girls, they made sure that Christmas was a good one for the girls and Sarah's mom made sure her Christmas wasn't bleak, but it was tough.  I understand now how my mom must have felt all of those years when she didn't have the money to give us a big Christmas at all and our neighbors across the street realized it and went a little crazy.  That year they bought all three of us some amazing presents, and I got jewelry from them too.  It was wonderful for us, but I'm sure on some level it must have been very hard on Mom to see others doing for us what she couldn't afford to do. 

But this year Chris has a job, we have a roof over our head, we live in Washington and have been able to make friends with a lot of wonderful people in our church and in the area, we were able to send Sarah to visit her mom for her birthday and Christmas., we have our turkey, potatoes, yams, stuffing, and friends coming over to join us.  It's been a good year this year.  God knew we needed the time in the desert to remember the lessons we had both learned growing up in poor homes that it's not about money, it's about family, being grateful for what blessings God gives you and knowing that His grace really is sufficient to carry you through all of the hard times.  This year I am so glad that Chris found a job in a company that recognizes in him all of the wonderful leadership abilities I've known he's had for year and that the Army Reserves has seen and cultivated in him. 

When Chris was unemployed and we were praying that God help him find a job, my biggest prayer was that God would not only provide him a job that would help him provide for our family but that he find a job that would allow him to grow and move up the ladder as well are recognize his talents and that Chris would really enjoy.  He found that.  So as 2010 ended we were feeling a little hopeless, but as 2011 came in we suddenly felt that God has something planned for us.  By early February Chris was hired by Boeing, which meant he didn't have to deploy with a unit who would have been as terrible as the unit he had been deployed with in 2009  (they were terrible and treated their soldiers terribly).  True, we had to leave all of our friends and family behind in Wichita, but God has opened a lot of doors for us here in Everett and introduced us to different people, places and things. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you thankful for?  What do you feel has been your biggest blessing this year from God?  I hope you all have a good weekend.

In Christ,
Maureen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who is Your Hero

  I have a hero. . . she may not seem like one when you pass her on the street, but she is amazing.  My hero is my mom.  She raised three children by herself after Dad died while she was pregnant with my sister Meg and Matt was just a toddler.  She could have collapsed and drown in her own sorrow, but instead she opted to work hard and make sure that we grew up relatively happy and emotionally healthy.

Yeah, she made some mistakes along the way, but being a parent isn't about being perfect, it's about doing the best you can to raise your children and pray that you've done a good job and they'll make good choices as they grow up.   She fought for us when we needed her.  Let me tell you I am glad I wasn't the jerk doctor who tried to write Matt off while Mom was ripping into him in front of his colleagues, or the counselors at my high school when she let them know that my being sexually harassed was unacceptable and she wasn't going to go away until they fixed it.

She did her best to make sure that we knew she loved us.  She snuggled us, she left an abusive second husband to save us, she even faced Christmas for us.  It may not seem like a big deal, but after Dad was gone, Christmas wasn't the same for her, but until we were older, we didn't know it.  She always made sure we had a good Christmas, even if it was small.  She went without often - she had holey socks for years (she even developed a sock obsession after funding wasn't so tight) and went without so we could have what we needed.

I don't think she realizes how awesome she is sometimes, but she should because we wouldn't be here today if not for Mom and her unfailing love and desire to want only what was in God's will for our lives and what He wanted for us.

I love you and I am so glad you are my Mom.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Great Cootie War!!!

This unhappy looking Elizabeth is the latest casualty in what I am declaring to be "The Great Cootie War!"  This is the second time in four months we've been infested.  And I'll be honest, right now I'm thinking lice might be too high a price to pay to serve God.  Of course, that is how I feel so far today.  How I'll feel tomorrow may be a different matter entirely.  

We became drawn into The Great Cootie War because I work with the youth in our church and it's an ongoing problem. At this point Chris is about ready to ask me to quit.  In his defense, Chris is the one who had to console Elizabeth and Beka when he shaved their hair off.  Beka was much less distressed, but Elizabeth was distraught over it and he had to console her.  Adding insult to injury, the kids on our complex made fun of her A LOT!!!   They made and are still working on making her life miserable and call her a boy.  

So you can imagine everyone  else's  displeasure when I found lice crawling in Beka's head.   Everyone and I do mean everyone got up and let me treat them for lice.  Chris even underwent a head treatment.  Here is the biggest and most aggravating part of all of this.

Sarah leaves on Thursday to visit her mom, Kate.  Kate's mom hasn't been doing well for a while and it is highly possible that Sarah may have to attend a funeral while spending seven weeks visiting for her favorite Grandma Alice (she's her only Grandma Alice of course, hence she's the favorite) and Kate is already stressed out beyond belief.  She is running her mom to appointments, taking care of her own two children and working a full time job.  The last thing Kate needs is to worry about lice.  So now I make Sarah sit down and I go through her hair every single morning no matter how much she protests.  It already took me several months to get through all of Sarah's hair and remove EVERY SINGLE NIT!  It took months of treating her hair and making her sit through me picking through her hair to finally get it all gone.  By the time we got it all gone, it comes back into the house.  As you can tell by this blog, I am less than thrilled by this newest infestation! 

I think what makes me the maddest though is the mom of  the kids refuses to do anything about it.  The dad has gotten rid of it several times, but she tells the kids they are on their own (at least this is the story I've been told).  And in Washington, they no longer check a child for head lice AND send them home!  They send them back into the school room to continue infecting other children?!  Heaven only knows why they came up with this plan but it is a less than stellar one.  As a parent I would be irate to discover that the school knew a child had head lice and didn't send them home and not allow them back until it is gone.  Lice is a parasite and if left untreated can make a person very ill, but as long as we don't hurt some one's feeling, then by all means, what's a little head lice! 

Okay enough kvetching.  I hope you all have a good week.  I am going to bake a few batches of cookies and start supper and we are treating Sarah's head tomorrow with the may treatment, or maybe I'll do it tonight to get it done and over with. 

In Christ,
Maureen

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One Year!


Time flies quickly.   One year ago in November 2010, we were broke, Chris was unemployed and I was worried that Elizabeth would never make the progress we needed her to make in reading. 
It was a valid concern, she was in 3rd grade and could barely recognize the 1st grade sight words.  I had a million concerns.

What if Elizabeth never picked up reading?  Would we spend the rest of our lives reading for her?  How would we be able to help her fill out job applications?  How would she make a living if she couldn't read?  A thousand  concerns and a million questions and no answers. 

We were working on her sight words, working and working and Thanksgiving vacation came.  We were spending some quality time as a family at home when Elizabeth announced she needed to work on her sight words.  She went and grabbed them out of the box I kept them in and started going through them with no problems.  She only messed up on TWO WORDS!!! 

Chris and I sat there speechless for a few minutes and I suddenly began to cry.  She came to me and I hugged her and had to tell her, "Elizabeth you are reading!  Mommy is so proud of you!"  I cried off and on all day because I was so overjoyed.  Oh and she brought me a note right after from her teacher, Mrs. Silveous.  The note said she thought that Elizabeth wasn't going to wait until 6 months after her birthday she thought it was going to start making the connection soon.  Boy was she right.  I called her and had to tell her. 

It has been almost one year since I went on Facebook and happily typed in bold upper case letter,  ELIZABETH IS READING, ELIZABETH IS READING!  Even now I still get teary just thinking about it.   As a mom I am proud of all three of my daughters, they have each brought me so much joy.  Sarah has grown and matured into an amazing young woman.  She is smart, kind and compassionate and very thoughtful.  Beka is cute, smart, and quick as a whip.  She will learn very fast and do well in school.  Elizabeth has brought me joy by growing and making so much progress.   I couldn't be prouder of her.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. 
In Christ,
Maureen

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything.

Finally, it has arrived!   I finally have all of the pieces for Saxon Math 3rd grade.  While Elizabeth is very strong in Math, she struggles with the language Saxon uses so I felt that it was a good idea to take a step back and ensure she has a good solid base.  

I also like that Saxon Math reinforces the numbered days in a week, months in a year and how to write a number sentence.  What is a number sentence?  Yeah, I had to google it myself to figure it out.  Growing up in school, they said, write a problem that uses this number as an answer or other various ways, so I wasn't quite familiar with a number sentence.  I hear the word sentence and I think use words, not numbers to create a sentence, so it's going to be a little interesting as we both learn how to navigate these new waters in Math.

So this is what I know for certain, Lizzie is very good with clocks.  However, she is not familiar with terms such as half past, quarter til, quarter past.  These are areas we are going to work on, language is a delayed area for her and the beauty of home school is I can accelerate or slow down as needed to fit Elizabeth's needs.  If she is thoroughly confident and doing well with telling time, I can skip over that portion and work on learning how to count change.  I can take time to help her learn the language of learning about word problems.  I have to be honest, word problems are the bane of my existence, I really really hate them.  Which you wouldn't think would be the case since I love the written word.

Math has always been a weaker area for me.  It changes too often and it isn't as simple are reading a book and figuring it out.  It usually involves things that are like learning a foreign language to me.  So it's going to be interesting to see how this works.  Thank goodness I am not being graded on it, and I can work with Elizabeth. 

The rest of school is going well, there are little tricks I learned or taught myself to help me growing up and now I get to pass them on and hopefully use them to help Elizabeth. 

I also had a nice chat with the former school psychologist from Madison.  She's moving on and dropped of the last paper work.  It wasn't anything she said out right, it's the little things she didn't say that let me know that the school is concerned about how is Elizabeth going to get the socialization she needs now that we home school.  Apparently they have concerns, great, I have concerns about their school district meeting the needs of my daughter.   I would love to sit down with the school board and discuss raising the standard of education for the students in Everett and starting a magnet school program so that the children whose parents are more involved can have alternatives to what is being offered.  Plus I don't think it's good for Elizabeth to always be the one that the kids see as the weakest link. 

At Sam S. Spaght Elementary, Elizabeth had friends who would stand up for her when some children would pick on her.  Here she is adrift and lost in a sea of children in a school that has too many students per classroom.  While the teachers are all very nice (at least the ones I've met), my heart and gut both told me by the end of summer that the time had come to start home school.  I know Elizabeth, I know how she works, thinks, functions and responds to different stimulus.  So it makes sense that I should be the one to help her.  We have church, she is in Camp Fire Girls, and we are looking into an ROTC program for her.  The ROTC program is like military for children, so it's not as rigid as the Army, but it would provide a structured setting for her and an environment for her to meet other children.  It's $10 a month and I believe they meet once a week. so I'll schedule our commissary visits around her drill time.  So it isn't as if I haven't contemplated all of those things.  How does it benefit her to attend a school with the same children who bully her here at the apartment complex?  It really has become like a pack of wild animals.  They find the weakest link and go after it.  It's terrible and I can't wait for next October so we can move.

I hope you all have a good week. Sorry it's a negative blog, I'm frustrated with the poor education system here, I'm frustrated that other people don't bother to teach their children to be kind to others.  More importantly, I'm frustrated that it came to this.

In Christ,
Maureen

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NAKED!!!!!

NAKED!!!  Yes you read correctly.  A parent on MyAutismTeam.com asked the question if their child was the only public nudist?  The answer is no.  Elizabeth has finally found modesty, but not before years of striping anywhere and everywhere.

At first, it was cute.  She was small, so what was the harm.  Until the day she embarrassed me to the point of mortification at McDonald's.  Chris was deployed and Elizabeth was 3 years old at the time.  We were attempting (rather unsuccessfully I might add) to potty train her, so she wore pull ups.   It was a normal day, I didn't expect anything to happen.  Elizabeth was playing and running some of the ants out of her pants.  I was chatting with a friend when I heard chuckling.  I looked over and it took a few moments for my brain to realize that there was something coming down the slide.  Suddenly it began to register!  It was Elizabeth NAKED running down the slide.  And I mean naked, not pull up, no dress, nothing!!!  And to make it worse, she has yellow undertones in her skin and so she blended in to the slide a little bit.  I was horrified and thankfully prepared for a pull up change.  My friend sent one of her kids up to find the missing clothing (A sundress that was weather appropriate since it was summer) and the missing pull-up.  Everyone, but myself was laughing.  I was mortified.   I didn't go back there for a while.

While it may not seem embarrassing for you,  it was embarrassing for me, and my friend was laughing until she almost cried, until her own daughter did it later.  As time went on, I did return to McDonald's but Elizabeth also stripped still, just not there.  There were certain things we knew would mean stripping.  Bedtime - she'd strip.  It rained outside, she stripped.  Bath water running, yup you guessed it, she stripped.  She surprised more than one unsuspecting person during a shower (sorry Grandpa Ted!) or a bath (Sorry, Daddy).  If water was running, clothing was optional for her.   But probably the most humorous event was after she discovered the joys of Disney's Tarzan.  Elizabeth would strip down to her panties (or sometimes less) and would give her best imitation of Tarzan.  It was cute, at home, I didn't think a lot of it, until she started school.

One day as I went into the school office to say, "hello" to the awesome Ms. Frieda another parent was there keeping Frieda company and she started chuckling.

"Elizabeth cracks me up."  I instantly wondered what on Earth she could have done now, since conversations tended to start this way for me, during those days.

"Oh?  What did she do now?"  I tried to keep the panic from my voice, but I"m pretty sure I didn't succeed.

"She was in the library today and stood on the table and did a Tarzan yell."  I stopped cold, and asked. . .

"But she kept her clothing on, right?"

You have never seen two women look so confused in your life.  So I stupidly explained AND jinxed myself.

"She never does the Tarzan yell unless she strips to her underwear."  I wasn't about to tell them that sometimes for Lizzie underwear was optional.

They both started laughing but assured me that no, she had kept her clothing on.  I should never have asked, the next day she went to the library again and this time she stripped, without the Tarzan yell!!!  

You would think by then I wouldn't be surprised at anything Elizabeth did.  But even now, I find I am pleasantly surprised by the humorous things she does - and thankfully none of them involve the removal of clothing!

Have a good week.
In Christ,
Maureen

On the Home School Front

So this week has been fairly productive.  We are getting into the groove and my goal is to finish each subject.  Some days are a little more successful than others.  My main goal is to get Elizabeth into a good routine.

My other challenge?  Getting me back into a good morning schedule with the girls.   Right now I've been struggling with going to be early and getting up early.  Sometimes there is simply not enough caffeine in Twinings Tea to wake me up.  It's sad, but I may contemplate drinking coffee soon to achieve this feat.  The fact that I am contemplating the idea of even making coffee much less making it should speak volumes.  I am a staunch tea drinker.  My Grandma Taylor would be so proud.  But I need to move into an early morning routine. 

The nice thing about home school is I have flexibility.  The bad thing about home school?  I have flexibly.  It's kind of a double edged sword.  So I think I am going to move my grocery shopping day to. . . (GASP!) Saturdays or something.  Maybe I'll make Thursday a free day and Saturday can be a school day.  At this point, I'm torn between my hatred of large overcrowded stores and wanting the girls to have a good solid education.  I actually HATE, LOATH, DESPISE, DEPLORE, DETEST and ABHOR shopping on the weekends.  I hate how crowded and grouchy everyone is, I hate not being able to find what I need.  There is a reason I shop on Thursday or Fridays.  The last time I deviated from my normal routine was during my pregnancy with Chris, when I could no longer lift things myself or drive myself w/o having contractions.  Of course, he wouldn't get up on Fridays so I could do what I needed to do, so I had to grocery shop on Saturday.  It was horrible and we both hated every single moment of it.  So you see my dilemma and how I'm torn. 

So I finally, finally got the last things I needed for Saxon Math to discover it was not what I thought it was going to be at all.  Oh well, I'm diving into Saxon Math, because honestly at this point, we just need to do more than a workbook for Math.  So come rain or shine, starting tomorrow I'll be doing Saxon Math.  On the bright side, at least I can utilize my dry erase board a little more now.  Because I never use that enough (yes, I'm being sarcastic, it's been a long day, sarcasm is necessary). 

On the Science front, we are using the science workbooks to reinforce what scientists do and that they don't always stay in a lab and wear white coats.    I want her to realize what scientists do.

TESTS:

This is an area that is proving more difficult than others.  First, Elizabeth does much better with multiple choice, memory is an obstacle for her, it has been for years now.  Even memorizing Bible verses is a challenge, rote memory is not a good idea for her because it will only serve to frustrate her and me both.  So for some of our classes tests are oral or multiple choice.  But now I need to figure out a way to teach her how to take regular tests so when she goes out in the world or attempts to go to college (assuming she does this) then she will be able to take tests like other students. 

Maybe I'm crazy for attempting this, but I know this much.  Home school is a good choice for Elizabeth, but it's also a safe environment for me to broaden her horizons more and give her some one on one.  I know part of what she loves is sitting next to me in our overstuffed chair and doing school together.  We read, we answer questions, we watch History.   Yes, we are currently watching History - The Revolution about the Revolutionary War.  It's a little more detailed than I would like, but that's okay, we discuss the highlights.  She can tell you about the basics of the Boston Tea Party now -she loves that they dressed up as Indians and tossed the tea into the sea.  We are slowly realizing that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and George Washington was the General over the entire Continental Army.

So here is where we are. . . I'm still figuring it all out, but I think we're making some progress.  It's slow and a sometimes frustrating, but I think we're making progress.  It's slow and painstaking, but I knew that going in with Elizabeth.

Have a good week.
In Christ,
Maureen