Today marks the first day I have worked since sometime in April. If you don’t already know, I work PRN coding medical charts. But since COVID-19 caused clinics/hospitals to limit elective surgeries and stop some outpatient care, the facility I work for decided to save $$ by cutting its’ PRN hours back to nothing. That’s fine and dandy when you don’t NEED the money…
Thankfully my financial situation along with my husband’s employment is pretty stable. I don’t mind the income though… so when my boss finally emailed out to the PRNs that they had some hours approved and to email her our availability, I immediately offered up my normal hours (I honestly don’t work much every week). I am not going to add too many hours to my schedule since I homeschool my 12 year old (as you know), and I have a 2 1/2 year old toddler to take care of as well.
But I am thankful for a paycheck. I am hoping they will continue to allow PRN employees to work and that I don’t forget how to do my job.
Whats PRN? That means- AS NEEDED.
I pretty much just give my manager the hours I WANT to work – and she either approves them or tells me she doesn’t need me to work. Pre-COVID, I was hardly ever cancelled. But when COVID came around, I began receiving weekly “hours cancelled for the week of” emails… sad but at least I was not fired.
No I did not get unemployment. I don’t know if I would qualify with how few hours I actually work and my family did not “need” the extra income. Why take something that other people need? We aren’t greedy people.
But now I get to juggle a few more things… I am still making face masks, only a few days of the week though since homeschooling and my toddler take a up a lot of time. And I will work – along with all my other duties, such as cleaning and cooking for my family.
I feel for the parents who HAVE to work full time and are being tossed into homeschooling…that is hard… I tried …it was VERY hard for me. But I was able to adjust my income and how we did things. I was lucky. I am going to be posting more homeschool related items here on my blog though for anyone who is looking for resources. I know some of you all didn’t “choose” to homeschool, rather you were tossed in with everyone else. I hope you can find what you need – or maybe I can point you in the right direction.
Starting a new curriculum can be a bit intimidating at first but once you realize how the programs work, the order in which they teach and you set up a schedule to follow for your kids (or free-style, what ever your preference be), then it gets a whole lot easier.
My son is in the 7th grade level of his education and we have been homeschooling for roughly a year and a half now. We went through quite a few curriculums the first half year just trying to find something that would work with us. My son has ADHD and various other behavioral issues that we needed to modify learning for him. He possibly has dysgraphia as well, which makes writing a difficult task, so much so, that the school he used to go to said he should just type on a computer instead.
Well this year he is writing paragraphs. They may not be neat but we have come a long way from, “he can only type.” We are working on specific items that my son struggles with, mostly writing and spelling. He is above his grade level at reading, but the dysgraphia hurts his writing skills.
We chose to switch to Sonlight a few months ago because he wanted to try a literature based curriculum. He is old enough to make some decisions about his education and he did a great job with telling me what he wanted. What he wanted was to read… yes you heard that right…less videos and more reading. This actually seems to be working well for us 10 days in so far… I am shocked that he really wanted to move away from the highly popular online education settings that a lot of homeschoolers use now a days.
We previously struggled with his attention span and just feeling like we were missing chunks of materials. Sonlight is a Christian curriculum, but there are others similar that are secular to choose from. I chose a Christian based curriculum because my son is a Christian and was interested in reading the bible. So far we are enjoying the books that were sent with Sonlight…which were a lot!
I am also impressed with the MathUSee books / videos. We are currently on Pre-Algebra for his 7th grade class, which has been easy to explain to him so far. The full curriculum we went with is HERE. It came with a really helpful science kit, so that when we are doing experiments from his science book most items are bought already instead of me having to run to the store every week. The language arts we a little bit lacking, so I also bought a book to help him with his writings and spelling. But that was also something that I could buy on the sonlight website.
The notebook for parents to follow along and give assignments was very helpful. I personally hate planning out the school year and this book tells me what to do on different days, which books to read, and gives me additional information to help me teach my son. My son’s favorite book is the 12,000 years of world history so far. You can find that book HERE.
People ask me if homeschooling takes a long time… yes and no. It depends on your child, the day and the subject. Sometimes we dive in deeper to a subject. Sometimes we flow through and will be done in a few hours. Most days I spend 2-3 hours teaching. My son spends 3-4 hours doing work, and has breaks in between certain subjects. So we start between 8-9 am and take a few breaks, plus our lunch break… we get done by 2-3 pm. So with the hour and half of breaks, we usually get done around 4 hours.
We still follow the 180 days of school that is required by our state and if I have additional subjects I want my son to work on, I add them in. We decided to do spanish this year again, but we got a book on Amazon instead of using any curriculum online. So what curriculum does your child use and why? We all pick for different reasons. I have heard some amazing things about other curriculums, I wish I had the money to buy multiple ones to try them all out.
Other curriculum I have found myself interested in are:
You can also find a ton of free resources by joining facebook groups such as “crossing over to homeschooling” , I have found such support in those groups when I first started my journey with my son. I am going to provide a list soon of all the facebook groups that I find helpful, there are so many resources out there. Keep your eyes open for my next post. I have to get the toddler up! But things are going well with this new curriculum and I am very happy with it!
Sonlight Curriculum – Awarded Best Overall Homeschool Company in 2012 by Old Schoolhouse Magazine <– Before I start, if you are still looking for a curriculum that is literature based for your child, click that link to check out sonlight curriculum. If you use my code –
DH20479937 to receive $5 your first order of $50 or more!
The above image is the curriculum my son is using this year. He is using the Grade 7 – W pack. He is really excited to read some of the books shown, and I am really enjoying how everything is laid out for me, so I don’t have to worry about making my own schedule. I have a teacher’s guide which tells me when to teach things and what pages, obviously we can deviate but it has the required 180 days of school that we must do and it’s a FULL curriculum. Yes this is a faith based curriculum, but there are other sites that sell secular as well. We decided this year to move away from the secular learning and go with sonlight.
I want to keep you all updated on how this goes for us since we have done some online homeschooling in the past AND book…but this one is literature based. I think for my son, this will be better and less distracting. He loves to read and when our “box day” came and he saw all his new books, he was very excited. He struggled with online learning and when I asked him what he wanted for this next year, he said “BOOKS”. The cost of this vs the online homeschooling is pretty similar as well, and I can always resell the curriculum when I am done with it instead.
Why aren’t we doing online public school?
Honestly I don’t like our options. K12.com is not available in my state and the ones that are available don’t seem like they give you enough support and you can’t change your schedule around as much as I would like. I miss having a teacher to go to, but then again I don’t. I didn’t always get the proper amount of support from my son’s previous school and honestly if the teacher was burned out or too new, they just ignored him. I only had 2 really good teachers the 5 1/2 years my son was in public education.
Why not online homeschooling again?
Well my son has ADHD and he complained that the videos were too distracting and that he would prefer to read more. He wanted books to review information easier. The online stuff didn’t allow us to have PHYSICAL text… so bringing his tablet or computer somewhere got annoying. Plus he really is very bad at taking notes, (again ADHD) . But having something physical may help us and our situation.
Why religious and not secular?
Well my son is being raised christian, even if I am not on the same path as him and I feel that this type of structure would benefit him. I personally wouldn’t mind if it was more secular based but I couldn’t find a secular homeschool curriculum with all the things I liked that sonlight offered.
Why am I starting in the middle of July?
My son is bored. So why not?
We are going to ease into this school year, so hopefully it goes smoothly. I am waiting for the back to school sales start so I can get some more notebooks and other fun items. I went early since we will be starting tomorrow, and I only got what I will need for now. The rest can wait until the sales hit.
I don’t really know how the public schools will handle this coming year but I wanted to show you all that homeschooling can be done. And you don’t have to be weird.
There are TONS of curriculums, free, paid and religious/secular to choose from. My 2 year old uses ABC Mouse to learn currently and that is working for her. But once she gets older, we may homeschool her, we aren’t sure yet because her learning situation is different than my son’s.
According to SONLIGHT – the time spent per day doing the curriculum I chose for my child (yes there are multiple options for different ages) is Child: 4 – 6 hrs; Parent: 2 – 3.5 hrs. And honestly I believe that is pretty darn good. I can set a side a few hours a day to make sure my son is educated properly instead of being ignored.
The pubic school system just didn’t work for us. They let my son down. And I was struggling with them daily. I missed work constantly and his grades were going down. Eventually some of his educators and I talked and they even mentioned online school or homeschool as being a better option and when I pulled him from public school the principal and I talked…she eventually told me I was probably doing the right thing. So far…I feel I have not made a mistake by doing this.
So even if you plan to homeschool for a little while due to COVID-19 OR if you choose to do it for the rest of your kid’s education, the choice is up to you. I personally believe that public school does have a place…just not for my son.
I was secretly dreading getting my new hard drive reader today. I have an old hard drive with photos I care about – and when I hooked it up to my new computer (it was in an external hard drive reader) it just wouldn’t work. Nothing…. but it was an old thing so I was hopeful… and ordered a new reader…
Today the UNITEK device I bought came in the mail –
That is what I bought – I also had a mystery hard drive I wanted to view – and since this gives the option to look at that one as well, I got it. It was well worth the money. My hard drive was THANKFULLY not broken, and I am currently backing up all my files. My new computer has a ton of space and I was ready to do this last week but that’s when my computer just wouldn’t recognize my old drive.
I am telling you – It took a lot to not cry. I told myself I would get those files off one way or another. I am working on a project to print all my photos for the last 12 years… well not ALL the photos but at least photos for my kids.
Oh and that other drive? That was my husbands old computer. He and I have a habit of keeping our unlabeled drives in the closet in my office together apparently…
Has it really been that long since I graduated? Yes.. yes it has…
I grew up in various states but I did graduate in New Jersey. I have since moved from NJ but I miss it greatly. I love the people and the ocean. I do hope to live near the ocean again someday. I have had the opportunity to live on both coasts, so I have gotten to experience the differences. Being landlocked right now isn’t too much fun.
I still cannot believe that I am now in my 30s. I don’t FEEL 35 years old but here I am. I am older than my mother was when she had me. I never planned on living in New Mexico, but life likes to throw things at you. And sometimes you have to roll with the punches. I was living in Indiana, with my son’s father when he told me he didn’t ever love me. So I told him I was moving in with family (my mother) who happened to move to New Mexico the year before. And I followed through…
I met my husband a little over 10 years ago after moving here to New Mexico. And honestly he is the only reason I stay here. I don’t mind the weather…but I miss green…. I miss forests… I miss the ocean. I just can’t be land locked forever. My husband knows this too. And eventually we will move closer to a coastal town, just not any time soon, especially with COVID running rampant.
Ugh but still….where did those 17 years go? I swear that 12 years ago wasn’t even that long ago…
In less than a month, my son will be 12. He will be experiencing his LAST year before becoming a teenager. I remember when I was 12, it’s crazy to think that was 23 years ago. I am still friends with some of those people who I met back in middle school. I remember the struggles I was going through as a preteen, trying to fit in, like always.
It’s sometimes sad to think that he won’t experience everything an average kid does because of our homeschool situation, but then I think about the positive things he can experience as well. He loves to read and swim, and he can do those any day at any time. We can join an activity once things open back up again, eventually. He can take a break from things, if he needs it. Unlike at public school, where you have to go by their schedule.
Today I requested information from his past two occupational therapists. I received ALL the records from one, while I am still waiting to hear back from the other one. The one I am waiting on is from the public school, and of course they are “out” for a while. So I may not hear from her for a while. But the Autism testing place was requesting these “type” of records for review, before scheduling him, so I am trying to get records that will reflect his over all mental, behavioral and general wellness so they can properly evaluate him.
#1 Dysgraphia – I need to ask his pcp to send us to someone to help us with this. I have tried to help him but I am utterly just not prepared. Nothing I do helps.
#2 Possible Austim Spectrum – this is something that we have suspected for a while – but his old PCP and his psychiatrist disagree with one another on the DX.
#3 Behavioral Therapy – I really want to get him into a behavioral therapist again. We stopped when our old therapist moved away and we did not like the new one. He just won’t talk to her. But then the clinic we saw won’t move us to another therapist because they wanted us to stick with the “new lady”. Nope… so we are struggling finding a new office that will accept our insurance…and we also have a few clinics that we DON’T like already…just in general. I had one place really yell at us bc my son’s ADHD caused issues in school and this Dr. wanted to dope him up A LOT. No… he is medicated but …he will not be DOPED up.
#4 Find a new Psychiatrist – so his psych dr is getting old. And is becoming less and less helpful to our situation as things change. That’s it. We would like someone who is more…aware of new treatments and will work with us.
Today I texted my ex (my son’s dad) and kind of let him know more about what is going on with our son. We don’t always see eye to eye and its hard to co-parent when you live 1,000 miles away. He usually visits his father during the summers but COVID-19 had us on alert and we have suspended his visit until further notice. His father can take him later in the year if things lift a little. I just cannot fathom putting my son on an airplane alone during these months.
I love my son. No matter the things we go through. I may get stressed. But what parent doesn’t get stressed? We all get stressed.
My son’s relationship with his step dad and HIS family is getting better. I think people didn’t realize the struggles we went through. People are more supportive as of lately. Minus the people who cut us out of their lives in the past. Okay okay the toddler is going to get up, so I have to go. But I’ll be back later.
Thank you all for the support you have given me. Especially my twitter followers. You guys rock. You all are my friends and family.
I really hate food trials. Emotionally I get worn out when we do them. I start a mental stopwatch and keep an eye on my daughter every time we start a new food…or retry a food she has had a reaction to in the past.
This week we re-tried rice. I decided to use a food product that had rice as a secondary ingredient, instead of going with straight rice. I don’t want to have to make a trip to the hospital during COVID-19 if I don’t HAVE to. I have medicine at home to control any vomiting and I know how to handle an FPIES reaction at home as long as it doesn’t lead to SHOCK. Which we have had happen before. We didn’t know anything about FPIES back them.
Anyways, for 2 days we increased her exposure to a cookie that has rice as an ingredient. The first day she seemed to be doing well. She was going poop a few more times than usual, but that could be ANYTHING.
So on day 2, I gave her 2 cookies. And she really enjoyed them, A LOT. But through the day she seemed a bit cranky. She would hide when she pooped. (She is still in diapers). Anyways the last 2 stools were gritty and acidic. She ended up with a horrible diaper rash. That is one sign of her stomach not liking SOMETHING she ate and the only NEW item introduced to her was the rice cookie. So I will be giving her some gut rest for a few days until we return to our normal output.
Once she is back to normal I will discuss starting the trial again to rule out a fluke reaction. If we get the same reaction we will consider it an acute fail, and we will retrial in another 6 months. Thankfully most kids outgrow FPIES but some don’t. The fact that she did not vomit everywhere …is comforting to me. It makes me think, maybe she will outgrow this eventually.
My kids never cease to amaze me. I officially let my son go from grade 6 to grade 7 in homeschool. My daughter is working on pre-school stuff at home. I am not buying her a curriculum yet, but we are following some online guides for free. She does use ABC Mouse to learn basic songs and letters in the meantime but we don’t really follow it fully right now.
If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen that I did organize my son’s new homeschool materials. Yes, new… we are switching our curriculum. I didn’t HATE the other one but I let my son have a say in how he wants to continue his education. We went over the benefits of online classes vs. books or literature based education and since he enjoys reading we chose a literature based learning system, Sonlight.
I am going to start off by mentioning that I am not “Christian”, and sometimes people point that out when they see the curriculum that I chose for my child. Yes, it is a Christian curriculum. I believe that raising a child with a religious background is important. Now personally I have nothing against Christians. I was raised Christian. But I switched LONG AGO – and my son’s father and I agreed he would be raised Christian. So HERE we are!
Anyways, SONLIGHT, is a curriculum of many books…. just take a look…
HERE IS OUR “BOX DAY” PHOTO
Anyways here are the books put away in his room – sort of organized by WEEK.
I labeled all of those books by which week he has to start reading them based on the curriculum notes. He also received a math kit with DVD and a science kit! I am waiting for his spelling books to come in the mail, since I ordered those a little late. But I am getting used to this new curriculum style. We did online learning last year since we were jumping into this as new homeschoolers and I worked a lot at that point still.
My son is entering his pre-teen age. So I took the liberty to go through his room with him and get rid of all of his “baby toys”. He kept the items he actually still plays with, he passed some toys down to his sister, and we are donating what ever is not broken. His room looks NICE for once. It was very cluttered for a while there. I had him crawl under his bed and get out EVERYTHING. It was so dusty even though I do vacuum under it weekly.
Next will be my daughter’s room. I will be placing things she has grown out of into boxes for our next child (if that ever happens).
But today I am just enjoying being a mom. Watching my kids swim in the pool. I am enjoying having a wonderful family who is supportive of me. I am thankful for my health. And even though my hours keep getting cancelled at work because we do not have enough work for PRNs to be on the schedule during COVID-19, I am thankful my husband’s job is still stable and that we are financially secure right now.
I miss working, but it has given me time to make over 1000 masks and mail them out to friends, family, strangers, online friends and medical professionals. I have had time to spend more time with my son. To help my daughter learn new things and grow. I have been able to relax. Oh and we bought a truck last week. That was pretty cool.
It’s raining right now. I think this is one of the things I miss. I moved to New Mexico 10 1/2 years ago after my son’s father and I split up, after he cheated on me. I moved to Indiana to be with him, dumb idea, but I wanted to make things work. We had a child very early on in our relationship. My son was NOT planned. But most things in life are not planned.
Anyways, I am not from New Mexico. It’s dry here. And I still haven’t figured out how to act like a local. That seems to be how life goes for me everywhere I move. I don’t really fit in but oh well. Anyways it’s raining tonight and the smell is intoxicating. I love to hear the rain hitting the pavement. I miss living in an area with trees. And NO I am not talking about the ones in people’s yards… I miss living in places with MORE trees. I have asked others who have moved here what they thought of how brown the landscape is and they also agree that they miss the green trees as well.
I don’t want to grow old here. But I don’t hate it. I can’t explain it. I just don’t feel like my life will be complete here. I told my husband that I want to try to plan our next trip. We tend to go to national parks, so keeping up with that theme… I have never been to the grand canyon. So maybe when things start to get better…eventually…we will go. Not now. But eventually.
I have other places on my list as well but I have to plan out places that I can see in a row.
In other news, today I got so much done. I cleaned my entire house. I have to organize rooms a bit but the cleaning is done. I was able to wake up on time and make gluten free paleo waffles for my youngest child and regular Belgium waffles for the rest of my family. I have finally found a good egg replacement for my daughter’s foods.
I have slowed down on making masks for right now. I make them a few days of the week now. I have been trying to plan my son’s homeschool curriculum out and spending more time with them. My back pain is getting better little by little ever since my doctor put me on Cymbalta for the Neuropathic pain. I still have the other pains that I am kind of stuck with until my other doctor schedules surgery. Still nothing from them though.
I have had over 2 years of pain in my back that severely limited what I would do, because I would suffer later. So to feel less pain and some days I am lucky enough to feel no pain. It’s amazing. My new pcp is amazing, where my older one ignored my medical concerns.
My MRI for my back pains is coming up next month. My doctor warned me that we may not find anything new, and to be prepared for that. But he also wants to take a look. So I mean, that’s better then the last doctor who didn’t even look, she didn’t bother at all. God I am so glad she retired.
I think when people hear that I have back pain, they try to associate it with pains they have felt…like when you pull a muscle. This is incorrect by the way… the pain is in my SPINE. INSIDE of it. The pain feels like someone is trying to go through my spine. Laying down is the only way to not get pain some days. But with these medications I can sit, I can stand, I can play with my kids. I don’t think people realize how much that much pain can take away from a person. The things I couldn’t do because I didn’t feel well, not because I was lazy.
I don’t know if I can call it chronic pain at this point. But it changed the quality of my life drastically. And to not be taken seriously by my doctor really hurt me.
At least we know that we have something for now to help.
I am not lying when I’m telling you that I love my new glasses. I decided this year that I just wanted new frames. My prescription was the same, so technically I didn’t HAVE to but I didn’t really like the frames I got 2 years ago.
When I was looking online at different online sellers, my husband suggested Zenni, based off of a coworker. So I took a look into it and found the prices to be very affordable. I was a bit worried that the quality would be terrible, but I took a leap of faith and bought myself a pair of glasses AND a pair of prescription sunglasses.
The total cost was about $117. I did get a discount code the weekend I ordered, I believe I got 30% off of the lens stuff, like tint and scratch resistance. Anyways it only took them 2 weeks to deliver them to my door. I anxiously opened the package and tried on my glasses and they fit PERFECTLY. I love the colors. They are good quality!
AND NO THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT….THEY DID NOT SPONSOR ME – but I mean if they wanted to – hit me up Zenni!
So which lenses did I choose?
I took a poll and these were some of the top voted….
The top pair were my sunglasses and yes they are tinted. And the bottom pair are my regular day to day glasses. I went with a bright color after my husband insisted that I could pull them off. I was worried I would look too childish and was almost going to go with black or a darker color like I always do.
I am very happy that I went with a brighter pair, they just brighten up my day. Anyways my favorite part of picking out glasses is trying them on. Since this was an online purchase I had to do their virtual try on mode, which was actually pretty neat! I am glad they gave me that option because it really helped me narrow down my choices!
So here I am with my new glasses on: (no make up so sorry about my face) LOL
And here are my sunglasses!
I really like the fit. I may even buy a few more pairs in the next few months just so I have a few options of glasses to wear. Glasses used to be so expensive that I could only own ONE pair, but with these prices, I don’t feel too bad about buying a few pairs.
Anyways, if you are tired of paying HUNDREDS of dollars for your glasses, check out ZenniOptical.com . Again they are NOT sponsoring me or paying me. I paid for my products. I just really enjoy them and want to share this site. I know I am not the ONLY one who hates paying $300-400 for glasses.
Now in the next few months I am going to get my KIDS’ eyes checked out – if any of them need glasses…. I think you all know where I am shopping. So far their eyes are not bad though.
Tomorrow is probably going to be pretty rough for my son. You all know he has sensory processing disorder as well as ADHD, a mood disorder and adjustment disorder. Anyways tomorrow he will be going to a maxiofacial surgeon. My son has problems with his teeth like I had as a teen, yes he is following footsteps of required extensive dental work.
This is my son (photo above) pointing at some of his oddly placed teeth. This is an old photo from about a year ago.
So his teeth are WAYYY up near his sinuses, he might actually never get those down, we are still undecided…if they CAN be brought down. I had the SAME issue but with ONE tooth, and it was not THAT high… they brought it down with surgery in my late 20’s . Anyways his might be too high up, per the orthodontist (and yes he is using the SAME Orthodontist I used a few years ago). He is also missing some of his front adult teeth, so that can be tricky. And at age 11 (almost 12) he has only lost about 4 teeth….which is about where I was at and I ended up having 4 baby teeth pulled when I was ALMOST 30 years old… my teeth only look nice now because I had an amazing set of dentists, who are now working on my son.
He is really upset about his gap in his teeth, which I also had. Anyways tomorrow marks the first set of teeth we are getting pulled. We were supposed to get them pulled in March but our state locked down the day before! Anyways its going to be rough, he has had dental surgery for a “spot” on his gums in the past, and that was fine, but he is TERRIFIED of needles and pain is just 10x worse for him because of his SPD. So I will be there alone with him and I may have to hold him down for the shots he will be getting in his mouth. He really doesn’t do well with shots.
Anyways, about that… about a year ago his old dr suggested I get him tested for Autism. A lot of his behavior may be explained better. Anyways I contacted the facility that said they didn’t take our insurance last year that does testing in our area and surprise surprise…they STILL don’t take our insurance for testing…..BUT they would for treatment? I don’t even understand. But it would be $1,500 to have him tested out of pocket….. which is not doable right now. Anyways I am going to see if there are any other resources in my area because my insurance is not changing any time soon and I really would like him to get back into Occupational Therapy again soon. We are having some difficulties and I would like support.
Has anyone had autism testing done on your child recently? At what age? Was it a service YOU paid for or your insurance? Did you do it through your school? We homeschool so thats not a great option for us at this time. BUT we have been holding back and I am tired of holding back. I want to get some answers and I want support to help him out in ways he needs.
Life is not terrible but if I could understand why he did certain things and how to handle them better.