Teaching My Kids to Work Through the Hard Stuff… A Project that I’m Starting!

Since my counselor has told me that the EMDR treatment will help with my anxiety, I started thinking that maybe I really can homeschool Karis next year!  Woohoo!  Yay!

Then I emailed Karis’ teacher to ask her opinion of the junior high in Rocksprings.  When she found out I was thinking about homeschooling her again, she sent this (and just know that I realize many homeschooling mamas won’t agree… it’s okay… I do agree with this!):

“I really do not believe that homeschooling is the best option for Karis. She is very quiet and I believe being in a school environment challenges her social skills. It is easy and comfortable for someone to be in the same environment day in and day out, but in my opinion it is not the healthiest situation for Karis. Her exposure to other students is necessary and healthy. She has come a long way since she first came, and the longer she is around these kids the more comfortable she will become. If her school keeps changing, she’s going to have a really hard time making and maintaining friendships.

Junior high will be a very different time and she’s going to experience a lot of change….but change is good and even if it is hard for her, the answer isn’t always to remove a child from a difficult situation. Karis will learn at every new phase she goes through. I believe that public schools help kids emotionally and mentally  prepare for “real world” situations. I would love to talk to you more about this any time. Feel free to call me and I will gladly give you my opinion. I really am honored that you are asking my opinion on this, and I think the more you allow her to sort of ‘fight her own battles’- per say- she will be stronger in the long run. We can’t always protect kids from the world, so we have to prepare them and teach them how to be strong.”

As soon as I read this, I knew what we needed to do.

I want our kids to learn how to be strong, to fight through the difficult moments, to have courage, to be bold, to learn to stand up for themselves, and to learn to be leaders.  They can’t do that if they don’t go through difficulty.  Homeschooling is safe for the kids and for me.  But safe isn’t necessarily best.

Robert and I have decided to leave the kids in public school.  Maybe for good, maybe not.  But for now it’s best.

When Karis gets into junior high, she will have kids older than her around.  She’s the oldest girl here, and I have noticed her regress with playing with younger girls.  She’s almost 11 and often acts like an 8 year old.  It’s not at all the other girls’ fault… they are acting their age!  Totally normal.  She has matured a lot just being around kids her age.  I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when she gets into junior high!  I’m excited now to see how she grows.

I bought some new books for her to help her to learn to love and accept herself.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself- Even on the Bad Days.

likingherself

Real Beauty: 101 Ways to Feel Great About YOU

realbeauty

Now about the boys.  I hadn’t even considered pulling them out to homeschool.  Both of them are thriving in school.  They are learning so much.

Ethan is growing every day.  He is reading on level now (he was really behind).  He is learning hard math and doing it.  He is learning cursive, hard words in spelling, and difficult phonics.

Levi is on a late second-third grade reading level (in first grade).  He is reading chapter books in an hour!  He is making all A’s and a B (math).

They’re all behind in math!

But B’s aren’t bad at all!!  I’m totally okay with it as long as I know they are doing their best, and I believe all of my kids are doing their best!

I know that all three kids are struggling with making friends and feeling left out, but it just takes time.  They will make friends and feel included eventually.

Overall, I’m just learning to trust God.  He loves them more than I do.  He has a plan for their lives.  He knows what is going to happen in the future.  He will guide them through difficult decisions, He will teach them how to be a light to their classmates and friends, and He will use Robert and I to teach them each day.  Our job is to share Christ with them, pray with them, worship with them, take them to church, and just be the example of Christ.  We are not perfect, and I’m thankful that they will see that. I want them to know that it’s okay to not be perfect.

 

So now what.  What will I do with all my time?  I’m only driving to town on Wednesdays now (and Sundays for church) so I have so much free time.

I started think through this.

What do I like to do?

Crafting?  That’s a BIG NO.

Reading?  Some, but it’s not my favorite thing.

Cleaning?  Yes, but there’s only so much cleaning that can be done.

Cooking?  Yes, but that can only be done in the evenings, really.

Baking?  Yes, but there’s only so much baking that I can do.

Writing?  YES.  I love to write!  I can’t say that I’m an amazing writer, but it’s something I enjoy.  So.  I’ve decided that it’s finally time to start writing the book that I’ve wanted to write for years.

I’ve decided to move my discussion of mental illness and addiction over to a blog specifically for these things (and discussion of my insecurities, things I’m working on, etc).  This blog is just titled: Courtney Crosland’s Writing.  I have a lot of work to do on it, but I’m excited to move to having a blog for my family/household stuff and one for my personal journey.  It makes more sense to have the one titled Home of the Croslands to focus more on my family.

The book that I’m going to work on will be an autobiography.

To get started, I’m going to do two things.

1) Read a great autobiography of someone that I have a lot in common with.  It’s called Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy.

autobiography-of-a-face

A brief description from Amazon:

“At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasure of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.”

Cruelty from classmates, suffering and gaining strength through that, peer rejection and wanting to feel special, wanting to be loved for who I am, but struggling to want to be perfect.  These are a description of me… along with mental illness and other trauma.

I’ve also read that she struggled with addiction (heroin).  She eventually died from a  heroin overdose.  While I don’t struggle with illegal drugs, I have an addiction to alcohol.  It’s all the same, really.  If I were to ever have a drug, I would be addicted right away.  Addiction is addiction.

2) I will just sit down and start writing.  Pieces of my writing will be on my new blog as I go.  I have no idea where to even start.  I asked a friend of mine who is a counselor and an author.  She said, “Anne Lamott says you put your butt in the chair. You sit down and write, consistently.
You write lots of shitty drafts, she says.”

Used to, I would have apologized for the language, but I don’t care so much anymore.  Having been in rehab, I heard cursing all day every day!  Ha!

Please check out my new blog over time as I will stop posting about mental health, addiction, self care, body image, etc on this blog.  It will be all about household stuff and family!

See you around!

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