Sunday, April 25, 2010

Financial Breakdown of Raising a Child

(A repost from A MUST READ FOR ALL PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS! :) Blessings upon everyone!)

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month,
* $171.08 a week.
* A mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is; don't have children if you want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs,
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:

* First step,
* First word,
* First bra,
* First date,
* First time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!! It's the best investment you'll ever make!!!!!!!!!

(Our family enjoying one another ^_^)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things My Homepreschooler Has Taught Me

During a recent trip to the mountains of Baucau (which you can read about here), I discovered a few things that I usually take for granted, and was pleasantly reminded about them by my 3 and a half precious, more than a handsful, moody yet adorable little boy.

1. Always see the fun in the seemingly dull, boring, down moments of life.

We had arrived at Laga Parish and were waiting for our hosts to tell us where to put our bags etc (we ended up waiting for over an hour! Woohoo!). At first, Tim was grouchy and insisted that he didn't want to stay there, etc etc. But a few minutes later, he saw the open area inside the compound and the Uma Tradisional (Traditional House) and declared to us "I like it here! Yey!" and proceeded to run around, play and laugh to his heart's content.

Reminder for me: SEEK OUT THE FUN IN ALL SITUATIONS. Be like a little kid and laugh and play to your heart's content even when you're exhausted or down. It can do wonders for your soul.

2. Don't complain. ADAPT. God will see you through every situation.

It always amazes me how resilient children can be. Many times I underestimate how Kuya Tim will adapt to certain situations, especially when we're on mission trips. God's grace really shines through him when he feels at home in strange places, and while we adults are moaning and groaning over the heat and tiring roadtrip, he has no complaints whatsoever. He can even sleep soundly in the stifling heat.

Reminder for me: I HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN. I am truly rich, greatly blessed, deeply loved. Despite what I may think, there are many others less fortunate than me, yet are happy and content with their lives. Praise God at all times and in all things!

3. Every day gives us opportunities to LEARN. The best lessons are those learned from LIVING.

During the road trips of our mission, we would sing songs, ask and answer questions, play games, pray. We'd have pit-stops to stretch our legs and take pictures. These simple but meaningful activities are learning opportunities for everyone, not just the kids. Though Tim had the most fun of all!

Reminder for me: NOT ALL LESSONS ARE LEARNED FROM A TEXTBOOK OR CURRICULUM. Let your homepreschooler learn through play. It's the most effective and fun way!

4. PRAY at ALL times. LIVE out your FAITH.

Whenever the road would get too bumpy and we'd all be bouncing up and down in the pick-up truck, Tim would make the sign of the Cross and say "Please God, don't make the road bumpy. Amen." Whenever we would pass by a Church (or what Tim would perceive to be a Church/Chapel) he'd make the sign of the Cross and remind us to the same.

Reminder for me: PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL. It keeps us rooted in LOVE.

Don't get me wrong, though. There were of course times when Tim had his tantrums and meltdowns and stubborn, difficult moments. But praise God as always for our homepreschooler, who despite all his faults (which are miniscule compared to his parents'!!!), is really a little angel sent from above!

We love you Kuya Tim!

Tips for YOU, the homepreschooling Mama, when you're on the go with your child:

1. Try to insert fun facts (about anything you can think of!) during your conversations on the road. You can point out things or objects that you pass by and talk about them.

For example: trees (that they are living things, they need sunlight and water to grow, etc), paddy fields (that's where rice comes from), animals (make a game out of it and ask your kid to name each animal and their young).

2. Make sure that you've packed enough snacks and drinks to keep your child satisfied and hydrated. Especially when you're in hot, hot places like Timor Leste (or the Philippines!) or elsewhere.

3. Let your homepreschooler choose two to three each of his/her favorite books and toys for the trip. Explain to him/her that he/she should not look for a book or toy that you've left behind at home. Letting your child choose gives him/her a sense of power and independence and helps boost his/her self-esteem. Don't forget to bring along a notebook and his/her crayons too!

4. Explain to your kid(s) beforehand where you'll be going and why. Although this is often met with protests and pleas to stay home, at least you'll be giving them the benefit of knowledge and will be preparing them to adapt to the new place/s you'll be going to.

5. Try to know beforehand where you'll be staying and what facilities are lacking (e.g. no running water, as in our case in Laga), what kind of food is usually served, etc etc. If your child is the picky eater type, bring along some food or snacks that are familiar to him/her.

6. Try to make every place where you stay "home" for your kid. If needed, bring along his security blanket or lovey or whatever else is familiar to him/her.

7. ARMED WITH YOUR FAITH, HAVE FUN and let him/her LEARN THROUGH PLAY at every place you go to!

A Tribute To The Single Parent

Although this blog is mostly about marriage and parenting from the married couple's point of view, I do not want to exclude the extraordinary individuals out there who are raising their child/children by themselves, either forced to do so due to their circumstances, or by choice. This is not to say that I promote nor support women to go ahead and conceive children outside the Sacred Blessing of Matrimony, and neither do I promote divorce or separation among married couples, but of course, when the situation is already there, single parents still need all the support and prayers they can get!

So, to all the single parents out there, especially to the single MOTHERS that I personally know of, this one's FOR YOU!

How to be the Best Single Parent You Can
Taken from

"Broken home." This is a derogatory label that causes much pain and misunderstanding. Too often, children living in single parent households have to contend with negative stereotypes and hurtful remarks made by Insensitive adults. Regardless of whether the single parent family exists as a result of divorce or death of the other parent, the child is clearly not responsible for the circumstances. However, it is the child who often pays the price: the child who has to write an essay because a parent cannot afford Back to School night, the child who has to sit on the bench because he/she misses practices while visiting the other parent, the child who comes home crying from school, sad when he doesn't know who to make a Father's Day card for because his father died. As adults - teachers, coaches, neighbors, family, and friends, we can change our attitude, be more sensitive and compassionate, and recognize that SINGLE PARENTS RAISE GOOD KIDS TOO!

It is difficult and challenging to be a parent today, and it is even more difficult to raise children alone. We as parents are often overwhelmed and lacking the parenting skills necessary to do a good job. But good solid parenting has less to do with the number of parents in the home and more to do with the quality of parenting. Whether the single parent household is headed by a mother, father, or a grandparent, raising children alone is an enormous task. Why should we care? Because the statistics tell us that most of us will live in, know of or be involved with a single parent family at some point.

Since 1970, the number of children living in a single parent family has doubled. In fact, statistics from 1992 indicate that single parent families represent 30% of U.S. households, while 25% represent two parent households. Based on current trends, there are predictions that upwards of 70% of children born since 1980 will spend some time living in a single parent home before their 18th birthday. These children are not doomed to failure. The following strategies are offered to the single parent who is determined to raise a good kid despite the myths of doom and gloom.


Adults and children do better when single parenthood is perceived as a viable option and not as a pathological situation. Start with a positive attitude and focus on the benefits of single parenting, such as less conflict and tension in the home. Many single parents treasure their newfound autonomy and independence and feel hopeful about the future.


Establish firm, clear boundaries that leave no doubt that you are the boss In the home. Single parents (and two parent households) often make the mistake of allowing children to become equal partners or peers, and too many children are running the show. This loads to serious individual and family problems. Children need limits. Use consistent discipline that provides clear expectations and guidelines for behavior and rely on natural and logical consequences. Learn to say, "I love you enough to say NO to you.1' (My kids hate that one).


The single parent frequently feels overwhelmed by the responsibility, tasks, and emotional overload associated with raising children alone. It is extremely important to manage time wisely and to ask for help when necessary. Assign children appropriate chores and tasks. Arrange car pools when possible, and ask other parents for help when needed. My children would not have been able to continue in club soccer were it not for the kindness of other parents providing rides to practices and games.


No matter how loving and competent you are, you are still only one person and you are doing a job most agree Is meant for two people. Do not allow your children to manipulate you by making you feel guilty about the situation. Remind children that you are a team and have to work together. Give yourself credit for a job well done. You may have to wait until your kids are grown before you get any credit from them. This is where a sense of humor comes in handy!


Nurturing is a high priority, but children also crave stability and security. While this Is important for all children, it Is especially crucial for children who have suffered 8 loss of stability due to divorce or death of a parent. Children need to feel secure and protected, and it Is our Job as parents to create a nurturing environment where they can thrive. Your children need to hear how much you love them and how proud you are. Some children may require more affection and attention than others, so know your child, and take your cue from him/her.


Part of creating stability and security in the home involves establishing predictable schedules and routines for your children. Of course, we must not be rigid and inflexible, because children need to learn that life is not always predictable. Find a healthy balance.


It is critical for your children's well being for you to take care of yourself. There are times when you feel like you need a break. Ask other single parents to trade babysitting or hire a mother's helper. Pay special attention to diet, exercise, stress management, and getting a good night's sleep. Learn relaxation, yoga, meditation, visualization, or whatever healthy coping skill allows you to relieve stress and tension. Take a walk, read a book, call a friend, take a nap (my personal favorite). A stressed out parent results in stressed out kids.


Develop a wide network of people who can provide you with emotional support, companionship, help in emergencies, child- care, reality checks, etc. Be selective and choose caring, reliable, trustworthy people who will be there for you In times of need. Single parents with healthy support systems usually feel better mentally and physically and demonstrate to their children that it is OK to ask for help. Support groups for single parents offer an excellent opportunity to socialize and share with others in similar circumstances.


Do not confide in your child as though he/she is your peer, regardless of how mature the child appears to be. This is a common mistake made unintentionally by many single parents who turn to their child for emotional support and don't realize they are hurting the child until after the tact. Allow children to be children, and find other adults for companionship and support.


Focus on success and not on failure. Set realistic goals as a family and work together to accomplish these goals. Decide what is important and prioritize accordingly. Have family meetings on a regular basis and allow children to have In put. Learn to effectively communicate and solve family problems together while still demonstrating that you are the boss. Give your kids credit and give yourself credit.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious or stressed, get professional help. A competent therapist can help you find the light at the end of the tunnel. I know how difficult it is to be a single parent, because I raised my children alone for eight years. A great support system contributed to my ability to be a good parent and raise two good kids! You can too!!


Shellee Darnell, M.F.C.C.
20 Corporate Park, Suite 215
Irvine, California 92606
(949) 261 - 8299

REFRESH YOUR SPIRIT! Prayers for the Single Parent

by Fran Hopkins | More from this Blogger

06 Jan 2006 12:04 AM

Tonight I decided to surf the Web in search of something a little inspirational and spiritual for us single parents

. I found a number of comforting prayers that I thought I'd pass along to you.


A Single Parent's Prayer

Lord, grant me

Time enough

to do all the chores, join in the games, help with the lessons, and say the night prayers, and still have a few moments left over for me.

Energy enough

to be bread-baker and breadwinner, knee-patcher and peacemaker, ballplayer and bill juggler.

Hands enough

to wipe away the tears, to reach out when I'm needed, to hug and to hold, to tickle and touch.

Heart enough

to share and to care, to listen and to understand, and to make a loving home for my family.

Author Unknown


A Single Parent's Prayer


Help me to be both Mother and Father to my children. Keep me healthy and strong on those days when I am weak. Remind me to love them in the same way that you have shown that special love for me.



Prayer of a Single Parent

Lord Jesus Christ my God, who carried Your own Holy Cross to Golgotha, grant me the strength, patience and wisdom to bear the burdens of parenthood.

Fulfill in me anything I may be lacking and grant that through our prayers and those of Your Holy Mother, our family may grow closer to You and a Life in Christ. Amen


Prayer for Single Parents


We pray that you will give strength, patience and wisdom to single parents trying to be both mother and father to their children, while at the same time facing up to their own needs.

Put into the hearts and minds of loving family, friends and neighbors the need to give support and help, to provide the benefits that are lacking.


A prayer for a single parent

Lord, the Bible tells me that you are a "God of the fatherless and of the widow." While I am not a widow, I am a single parent. It comforts me that you take special note of my station in life and the challenges I face. You know the limitations I have and the difficulties I am faced with. Be my guardian and protector. Provide me with my daily bread. Open doors for me so I will be able to find meaningful and gainful employment. Watch over my child when I am not able to be with him/her. Soothe me when I am troubled. Take the burdens of my heart and make them your own. Give me rest from my fears. Help me to take time to read your word a few minutes every day. Help me also to find a good church home where your word is taught in its truth and purity. Support me and let your holy angels watch over us. I take refuge in your cross where you purchased the forgiveness of all of my sins. I trust in your unfailing love. Amen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tips for all parents :)


Taken from:

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

Raising a child can bring parents to the height of joy and the depths of despair. How can such an innocent, cuddly baby have the power to change our lives and provoke such emotional extremes? Because you love. You love your children and want the best for them. Their accomplishments bring you pride. Their hurts make your heart ache. Their mistakes bring you frustration and the temptation to rescue them.

Once you’ve met the basic family needs, often your child will benefit from your presence at home even if it means cutting back on work hours or taking a less stressful job.

So what prompts a couple to be willing to undertake the daunting and risky job of becoming a parent? For some it is just what they always expected to do. Isn’t that what life is about? You grow up, get married, and have children. For others, they just love babies (and hopefully young people in general). For many, it’s a gradual awareness that pulls you to expand this wonderful love you have for each other to create new human beings. You are mystified by the miracle of a new human sharing your DNA, your home, and your future. What will this new creation look like? What traits of each of you will he or she possess?

As momentous and all consuming as parenting a child can be, it may sound counterintuitive to suggest that the child does not come first in a married couple’s life- the marriage does.

Yes, a child usually takes more time out of your life for direct care. Yes, a child’s needs are often urgent and immediate and parents must sacrifice comfort, sleep, or plans to respond to the child first. But, the bottom line is that if the marriage is not working, it has a profound impact on any children born to it. If you can stay attentive to your marriage, the children will reap the benefits in time. As Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame University, used to say, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

So what happens when children become a source of difficulty in a marriage? It could be a sick child that requires extra care borrowed from couple time and energy. It could be worries over your child’s path in life. It could be disagreements about ways to discipline your child. It could be many things and usually is. Following are some rules of thumb for the most common issues that parents face in raising children:

Balancing children’s needs vs spouse’s needs

It’s normal and necessary for parents to respond to their children’s urgent physical, emotional, and educational needs. This usually takes more hours of the day than time devoted to relating to your spouse. To keep your spouse a priority, however, family life educators recommend:

  • daily affirmations (words, hugs, kisses)
  • a weekly date
  • an annual get-away (without the children)

Some of these require getting a baby sitter (or having family or generous friends) but think of the cost as marriage insurance.

Dealing with worries about children

Worrying and fretting about your children come with the job and can prompt needed action. Some parents, however, “over worry” and become “helicopter parents,” hovering over their children. Remember, you are responsible for the process you use in raising your children- not the outcome. When all else fails (and hopefully before) turn it over to God.

Disciplining children

Even parents who have read all the books about childrearing, attend lectures, and love their children with all their hearts will at times differ on how to discipline their children in a specific instance. Ideally, parents will agree beforehand on standard consequences for misbehavior, but when one parent gives a discipline that the other thinks is inappropriate (too harsh or too lenient) it’s best for the second parent not to contradict the first. Mother and father should then discuss their differences privately. If the first parent agrees to change, that parent then goes back to the child and informs him or her of the change.

All reputable family life professionals agree that corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, etc.) is no longer acceptable as a way to discipline children. Society has learned better, safer, and more effective ways to discipline. Take a parenting class if you need help.

How much money does it take to raise a child?

More than you thought but less than stores would have you believe. Children can thrive without the latest fads, technology, and baby paraphernalia. Go for sturdy, safe, creative child purchases. Children need your presence more than your presents.

Balancing work and family

Although responsible parents obviously need an income, how much is enough? Once you’ve met the basic family needs, often your child will benefit from your presence at home even if it means cutting back on work hours or taking a less stressful job. If you’re missing more family dinners than you make in a week, that can be a warning sign to readjust your schedule and priorities.

For more information:

Family Matters – An online resource for married couples, parents, and leaders to support marriage and family life. Includes articles, resources, and activities on marriage, parenting, and spirituality plus over 200 archived Marriage Moments and Parenting Pointers. Couples and parents can subscribe to these free weekly e-mails or leaders can use them in newsletters, bulletins, and on websites.

Susan Vogt, Director
523 E. Southern Ave.
Covington, KY 41015
Phone: (859) 291-6197

At Home With Our Faith – A monthly newsletter and website for parents that provides ideas and resources to help pass on a living faith. Sponsored by the Claretians, publishers of “U.S. Catholic.”

Mary Lynn Hendrickson, Editor
205 W. Monroe St., Chicago, IL 60606-5033
Phone: 312-236-7782 Fax: 312-236-8207

Christian Family Movement – A national network of families, working at the grassroots level of daily, ordinary family life to support each other and reach out to others.

Jane and Paul Leingang, Executive Directors
P.O. Box 925, Evansville, IN 47706-0925
Phone: 812-962-5508 Fax: 812-962-5509

Family First – Aims to establish the family as a top priority in people’s lives by promoting principles for building marriages and raising children. Includes articles and resources on marriage, parenting and family life.

609 W. De Leon Street, Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-222-8300

Parenting for Peace and Justice – A network of families and leaders working to make their own families more caring and to make our world a better place. Initiators of FAVAN (Families Against Violence Advocacy Network). Provides workshops, resources, and support.

Jim & Kathy McGinnis, Directors
475 East Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119
Phone: 314-918-2630 Fax: 314-918-2643

Specialized websites:

Rainbows – Provides a bridge to emotional healing for children, adolescents and adults confronting death, divorce or other painful family transition.

Suzy Yehl Marta
2100 Golf Rd. #370, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-4231
Phone: 800-266-3206, 847-952-1770 Fax: 847-952-1774

Monday, April 19, 2010

How Marriage Helps The Economy

Looking for Long-Term Dividends? Try Marriage

Original source from:

"People who are married tend to save more and are more cautious in their spending."

One of the oldest axioms of married life is that two can live more cheaply than one. That may sound like stretching a point, but the facts at least support the notion that, for a variety of reasons, a married couple can stretch a dollar bill a lot farther than two people living on their own. Perhaps the axiom should be: two can live more cheaply as one.

The fact that two can live more cheaply as one is not only a good reason for so many mergers at the altar, but for so many mergers in the business world. Hard-nosed business people know that there are a lot of cost savings to be had in merging with similar businesses.

The same is true of marriage. And living in one residence rather than two is just one of the reasons. People who are married tend to save more, and they are more cautious in their spending (a young husband is a lot less likely to blow the family income on a fancy sports car if he has a budget-minded wife looking over his shoulder).

Married couples enjoy another economic benefit: specialization. When you’re married, you don’t have to “do it all.” People in marriage can specialize in doing what they do best, and let their spouses do the rest – assuming, of course, that the chores are divided fairly. And when one gets sick, the other is there to pick up the slack.

The term “economy” derives from the Greek word for household management. The toil and drudgery of managing the home itself has been relieved somewhat by modern machinery, but the need for skill in raising children, educating them, and preparing them for the challenge of having families of their own is just as compelling as it has been at any time in history. In fact, with the temptations facing children outside the home today, the need for skill in household management is perhaps greater than ever.

Family life helps the economy

Family life is good for the economy, not to mention for society. Despite the growth of big business firms, the family is still a great training ground for the kind of virtues that lead to successful careers. Family life teaches perseverance, cooperation, the ability to get along with others, and respect for authority – all virtues that are valued highly in any workplace.

Business people are gradually learning the importance of good family backgrounds. Graduate business schools try to teach ethics to their students, but have found that unless their students have developed a deep, internalized sense of ethics while growing up, they are unlikely to profit from an academic presentation of the subject.

In other words, ethical leaders are home-grown, and the values they take with them into the institutions of life are learned mostly by the advice and example of their parents and brothers and sisters.

Married men earn more

Married men are not only more ethical businessmen, they also earn more. According to The Case for Marriage, a book published in 2000, “husbands earn at least 10 percent more than single men do and perhaps as high as 40 percent more.” The authors, Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, cite another study which found that married men, age 55 to 64, earned 20 to 32 percent more than their non-married counterparts.

The earnings gap certainly seems understandable. Married men, even those whose wives work, have dependents to support, so they are more apt to search for jobs that pay well. The pay differential works both ways. Not only do men who need to make more search for jobs that pay more, but companies search for men whose need to earn more makes them more likely to stick to their jobs.

Single men have more freedom to jump from job to job in a search for the perfect career that will satisfy their need for greater meaning in their work. Married men, often the main breadwinners, find that supporting their families lends meaning to their work, and for that reason, are the more stable employees.

David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, sees the same factors at work for men and women. As he put it in an interview with USAToday, married people “work harder, they advance further in their job, they save more money, and maybe invest more wisely. That’s because, one can speculate, they are now working for something larger than themselves. They are working for a family.”

The value of a durable marriage is seen even more clearly by those who split apart. Jay Zagorsky, a Ohio State University researcher, found that couples who divorce give up more than what one might expect to be half of everything they own: they actually lose roughly 75 percent of their personal net worth. The same results were found in a 2006 report by the Rutgers project: a 73 percent drop in wealth for those who divorced and didn’t remarry – and a 75 percent drop in wealth for those who never married.

Marriage is a long-term commitment. For those who are willing to make the commitment, and stick with it, marriage is an institution that will yield long-term dividends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preschool at Home: You Can Do It! (Susan Lemons)

(Tim and KC, our neighbor having fun with puzzles :) and at the same time improving their problem-solving skills and fine motor skills :)

I had never heard of Susan Lemons and homepreschooling until she made a comment on one of my blogs
, and believe me, I was surprised and honored that she actually took the time to make a comment! Reading her blogs has inspired me (and our whole family) to really pursue our dream of homeschooling our children, and has made me realize that during the past 3 and a half years of Tim's life, we have actually been "homepreschooling" him without our realizing it! What an amazing God we have, who unites us with those who are of one mind, one heart and one Spirit! :) Here I'd like to share with you one of Susan's posts in the hope that you too will be inspired and encouraged! :)

Preschool at Home: You Can do it!

Posted by homeschoolmentormom on February 26, 2010 (You can read the original post here.)

I often receive phone calls and emails from parents who are excited about homepreschooling. Many ask me how they should get started, or what curriculum they should use. The truth is, homepreschooling is not something parents suddenly “start”…every parent who has preschool-aged children is already homepreschooling! After all, you taught your children to talk, didn’t you? And who held your baby’s hands while he was learning to walk? You did, of course. You are already a teacher, and already the facilitator of your children’s natural growth and development.

Parents nowadays have been programmed to think that they cannot possibly teach their own children. The so called “experts” have encouraged them to think that they are not “qualified” or smart enough to homeschool—even at the preschool level! But parents needn’t worry that they are not “qualified” to teach their own preschoolers at home. But the truth is, you are the expert when it comes to your own children. No one knows and loves your children as you do. As a homepreschooling parent, you can assess your child’s interests and readiness, and then carefully move them ahead–without pushing them. No “preschool” can provide the amount of attention you can…and no “preschool” can individualize your child’s curriculum to fit your child’s own learning styles and interests as you can.

After all, it is God’s design that children be loved and raised by families, not institutions. Within a family, children grow strong, secure emotional attachments, which are vital to healthy personality development. Within a family, children are able to grow close relationships with people of all ages, including their own siblings. Within a family, children receive individualized attention, and children’s speech and vocabulary is enhanced by 50-100 times more individualized responses than they would receive in an institutional preschool (source: Moore’s Home Grown Kids.) Within a family, children’s character is molded, and their hearts are gently drawn to God.

Homepreschool doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. The best thing you can provide for your preschooler is your time and attention. Your children will never need anything or anyone as much as they need you! Most of what your children need to learn can be taught simply though good parenting.

Here are some simple, developmentally appropriate things that all parents can do to help their children learn. Good parents do these things instinctively, but it is always good to be reminded about them:

1. Provide your child with a stimulating home environment, rich in books, music, and open-ended play activities that grow with your child as he does: Play dough, blocks, cars, dolls, puzzles and so on. As your child gets older, have art materials available for your child to use anytime: Paper, crayons, felt-tipped pens, scissors and glue.

(Picture below shows Tim doing some tabletop art activities :)

2. Give your children lots of free time for creative play. Play is greatly under-valued in our society. Through play children release stress, get exercise, get a handle on their emotions, and learn skills vital to their academic growth. Give your children time to play outside every day, weather permitting. If you can, provide a swing set, tricycle, balls and other outside toys; pets to love and care for, gardens to tend, and so on. Inside play should play should be “creative” or “dramatic” play.

(Picture shows Tim and "Teacher Papa" having fun during outside playtime i.e. P.E. lessons! :)

3. Have your children work alongside you. Children need to learn to work with cheerful attitudes. Working is almost like play to the young child; they are practicing/pretending about their future adult roles. Teach them how to work while they are young and willing. Working together should be a bonding experience for you and your child, and an important learning experience for your preschooler.

(Below, Tim and "Teacher Kaka," our dear friend, sister, co-missionary and housemate, have fun baking up a storm, and at the same time practice some basic preschool Science skills such as measuring, mixing, etc.)

4. Try to make all “learning” fun at first. As much as possible, let all “academic” learning take the form of games and play. If your child resists, back off for a while. It is much easier on both of you to wait for readiness and teach something in ten minutes than it is to spend ten hours (or days!) trying to teach the same skill before your child is developmentally ready.

(9 month old Rysse has fun "learning" to be a doctor. :) Thank you to Kuya Tim who loves sharing his toys with his little sister!)

5. Read, sing and talk, then read, sing and talk some more!! Help your child grow his vocabulary and base of knowledge about the world through conversation, lots of reading aloud, and singing together. This is the true heart of homepreschooling.

(One of our favorite book storage tools: a hanging book organizer c/o ever-loving Lola Alice :) Tim is old enough and big enough to choose his own books and get them himself :)

6. Provide your child with the opportunity to succeed by giving plenty of practice with new skills and concepts learned–through repetition. We may become tired of hearing favorite books or songs over and over, or practicing jumping off the steps over and over–but preschoolers don’t! Repetition strengthens and reinforces learning.

7. Limit passive entertainment. Even “educational” television or computer games can’t match interaction with real people or real objects when it comes to learning. Most children spend more time watching television or playing computer games than they spend sleeping—much less playing! Too much passive entertainment can be harmful to young children’s development. Commonly observed effects of too much television or computer time include over-stimulation, shortened attention span, and a reduction in active playtime. Don’t let the television replace real life experiences, play, reading aloud and conversations in the life of your family.

(Tim playing with his toy tools and pretending to be "Handy Manny," [complete with matching cap!] one of his current favorite educational TV shows found on Playhouse Disney. He's only allowed to watch 2 hours of TV - purely educational DVDs - a day, but there are times when he goes overboard! :( Trying my best to limit him consistently.)

8. Introduce your child to the best in art, literature and music. Art and music are more than just “extras” your child can do without; they are vital to healthy, normal, early childhood development. Enjoying literature of all kinds with your children lays the foundation for literacy. (Several chapters of Homepreschooling and Beyond, are devoted to these topics.)

9. Explore the real world together. Visit the grocery store: Purchase new foods to try, and talk about where they are grown/how they are made. Visit your local state and National Parks; explore the streams, mountains and beaches, taking time to wade in the streams, toss rocks in the water, and look for wildlife. Visit your local fire station, police station, train station, and airport. Plant a garden in your own backyard. Work, play and experiment together, and talk about everything you do.

10. Remember that your children are learning all the time, whether you are aware of it or not. Homepreschooling parents simply take advantage of this fact, and choose to embrace a lifestyle of learning–consciously deciding to take advantage of those “teachable” moments. Life itself is the very best curriculum for preschoolers.

You can provide everything your children need for early learning. Your children will never need anyone or anything more than they need you. Let them have the love, time, and attention of their own parents. That’s all they really need.

*This is a compilation of excerpts from: Homepreschooling and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education, by Susan Lemons. (Used with permission.) Much of the material in this book was originally printed in Home School Enrichment Magazine, and is re-used with permission. To read the complete article, What Your Preschooler Really Needs, click on the tab, “my articles.”

© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.

The Best Teacher is Forever

Why homeschool preschool? Part 1

The Best Teacher is Forever
By Contributing Mama Writer: Barbara Curtis

Barbara is a seasoned homeschooling mommy of 12 (yes, twelve blessings), now a grandmother of ten, and a happily married wife. Barbara is a "revert", she was baptized Catholic then Evangelical for many years and has come back to our beautiful Faith! Barbara and her family are a " Family-First kind of family."

It's that time of year when some of you may be wondering about preschool. There's so much cultural hype and social pressure - with many states actually considering mandatory preschool - that even moms who love having their kids at home wonder if they're doing the right thing.

Mothers who could be encouraged to find fulfillment in a very fulfilling calling - after all, isn't that why people go into teaching?- are instead made to feel inadequate and second-best. It's disappointing to see a nation denigrate the role of motherhood and to see individual mothers lose confidence in themselves.

Helping to restore that confidence is what my writing is all about. I believe in the power of mothers to launch their children into a lifetime love of learning - as well as good character and strong values. By translating practices from my Montessori teacher training into a philosophy along with specific strategies and activities for the home, I hope to encourage, equip and empower moms so you never feel that you "have" to send your children to preschool for them to have the best.

Believe me, the best is you - especially when you understand a few basic principles that will revolutionize your motherhood and help you find the joy in each day with your children.

Over the next four days, I'm going to run four parts from my book Mommy, Teach Me!: Preparing Your Preschool Child for a Lifetime of Learning. Taken from an introductory chapter "Why Your Preschooler Can Thrive at Home," these show why learning at home in the preschool years is the best choice of all:

The Best Teacher is Forever

For several years, we've enjoyed the special gift of a family of sparrows each spring. In spite of the hustle and bustle and comings and goings of our larger-than-life family, two birds have prepared to welcome the next generation by building a nest right over a lamppost hanging from our garage.

The cycle is fascinating as the eggs are laid and hatched and then Mama and Papa Bird feed their babies until they're strong enough to fly. The process almost seems over before it's begun.

And that's true throughout the animal kingdom, as relatively little time is required for babies to reach adulthood. Animals are born with drives which compel them toward the behavior appropriate to their species: how to hide from enemies, build nests, protect, feed, and care for their young, finally to teach them to run or to fly.

Compare human infants, who take almost a year to walk independently to horses that walk and run within minutes of birth. In the world of animals, the young are helpless for only the briefest period and their own development is governed by instinct. All their instinctual behaviors would be released even if they were kept in a solitary condition.

Not so with humans. We don't have many instincts. We have potentials which can only be released if certain requirements are met within our environment. Unlike animals, human infants are completely dependent on their parents for many, many years.

Could it be that God had a plan in mind?

I believe so. Throughout centuries and over a wide range of cultures, parents have been their children's primary teachers in the early years and sometimes longer. Which leads me to believe that since every child has the potential to learn, every parent has the potential to teach.

If this sounds like a radical idea today, it's only because we've established a very compartmentalized model of education which includes the idea that only professionals truly know how to teach.

On the contrary, I believe that any parent with a desire to teach can learn to do it and do it well. So while the not-so-new "news" that the first six years hold the greatest learning potential may cause some parents to send their kids to preschool, there is another, far better alternative - and that is to learn how to be a good teacher yourself.

Just as we moms learned how to care for and feed our babies, we can learn how to care for and feed the developmental needs of our young children. Once you know these "secrets" you will be confident that you are the best teacher your child will ever have.

Because you are, you know. You are the one God created to be fully tuned into your children, to understand their strengths and weaknesses, to love them unconditionally and to be there forever.

No preschool teacher can lay claim to that. A preschool teacher will have numerous other kids to concern herself with. Her time with your child is limited to a certain number of hours per day - how deeply can she understand each individual then? And when the preschool years are over, your child will have to say goodbye and move on. All that part of your child's life invested in relationship with another temporary stand-in for you.

Many readers of my blog have asked me about preschool. The bottom line for me - as a former teacher who enjoyed the adoration of numerous preschoolers year after year - is this: Why send your child off to fall in love with his teacher when he can learn at home and continue focusing his love and building his trust in you?

The longer the time you share and the greater your investment in these years, the stronger the bond will be when your children are grown. Take it from a 36-year veteran mother who's launched half her children into adulthood: In a world where teens are facing such great challenges , this bond can make a world of difference in your child's future.

Notes on the pictures: As I was writing Mommy, Teach Me! and Mommy, Teach Me to Read! I asked readers who'd used my ideas to submit pictures for the books. The picture below is from Aggie, who'd read my very first book Small Beginnings when it was published in 1997 and had incorporated many of my ideas into her three daughters' preschool years. Here she is, showing her daughter an exercise I described in both Small Beginnings and Mommy, Teach Me! which encourages order, eye-hand coordination, pincer grasp, and concentration.

And here is her daughter, showing the results of her mom's efforts:


For more information, see my website Mommy, Teach Me! or click on Categories, then Montessori, Preschoolers or Homeschool above. Come back tomorrow for Part Two.


I've been following Barbara's blog for the past couple of weeks and she has brought some perspective to my homeschooling journey. It has been a breath of fresh air for me in moments when I felt so overwhelmed with decisions for my children. To quote her, "that's what readers can look for from me - something simple, something real, and something with hope in it." For more neat ideas by this Blogging Mama, please visit her Homeschooling journey: Mommy Life.

You can read the original blog/article here:

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Birth of Teacher Mama

A lot of people used to ask us where our now 3 and a half year old son, Tim, goes to school. I remember he was still just 2 years old when friends and acquaintances, upon observing him or hearing him speak, would inquire "Saan siya nagaaral? Ilan taon na ba siya? 4?" (Where does he go to school? How old is he? 4?)

To which hubby and I would reply, "Hindi pa siya nagiskul. 2 years old pa lang siya eh." ("He doesn't go to school yet. He's only 2 years old.")

People would be surprised and say how they thought that Tim was already in school, because he could speak English fluently (for a 2 year old) and was usually the precocious, well-behaved kid at social gatherings. (Well, nowadays, he's not THAT behaved anymore. Oh Terrible Threes?!! When shalt this period end? Hahaha)

Little did we realize that we were already homepreschooling Tim, long before we even knew that there is such a term as homepreschooling (Thanks to Susan Lemons, who helped me learn about the term and so much more when she commented on my blog).

Last year, when Tim was about 2 and a half, hubby and I started talking about whether to enroll him in a playgroup or preschool of sorts, to expose him to a "formal" learning setting and improve his socialization skills, in preparation for actual school. Many of the kids of our fellow Filipinos here in Dili who were Tim's age were already attending playgroup at Dili International School or elsewhere, and at times I personally felt that Tim was "left behind" in terms of schooling.

That all changed when last year, we tried to get Tim to sit in one of the nursery classes at the Dili Education and Development Center, a newly established Filipino International School, right in our very own compound (just a stone's throw away from our house/office). I had previously inquired about enrolling Tim since he seemed to start showing interest in going to school and learning, and the director had given me permission to let him sit in for a week before making a final decision. At that time Tim was still below the minimum age requirement (3 years old) for their nursery class. Below is a brief narrative of how that sit-in class went. (Mama and little sister Rysse, at that time about 2 months old, sat in as well.)

Teacher B. greets the whole class and invites everyone to stand up and sing along with her before the lesson proper. Tim, a bit shy, observes from the side of the classroom.

Teacher B. invites him to move nearer to the front of the classroom and stand beside her. Tim stands but does not seem interested in singing along while Teacher B. starts to sing "I'm A Little Teapot." (Neither do most of the other kids, who are busy either playing their own little games or doing their own thing - SO CUTE!)

To my surprise (and I guess Teacher B. and the other bantays (caregivers) there were surprised too) in the middle of Teacher B.'s singing, Tim raises his hand and says "My turn!" And proceeds to sing "Old McDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O.."

Laughingly I tell him "Tim, please wait your turn. It's Teacher B's turn now."

Tim stops singing and Teacher B. proceeds until she's finished with the Teapot song. She then turns to Tim and says, "Ok Tim, it's your turn now."

I am so proud and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving when Tim starts singing "Old McDonald." After a few lines, he says to Teacher B. "Ok, it's your turn now."

"Thank you, Tim." And she starts to sing "Sit Down, Sit Down.. You're rocking the boat.."

Tim interrupts, "No, no, no. You sing Old McDonald."

At this, I crack up. And then tell Tim, "Let Teacher B. sing what she wants to sing."

Tim does so. And then the "real" lesson starts. It is about the different people in the family and the roles they play.

While Teacher B. asks the children questions, and tries to coax answers out of them, I observe Tim. He doesn't seem to be listening and is busy lining up his crayons on the table (something he just LOVES to do, he's been doing this ever since toddlerhood!). He tries to answer every now and then but seems to be having difficulty.

I tell him I have to go and nurse Baby Rysse and that I'll come back for him in a little while. He lets me go, probably secure in the knowledge that the house is just nearby.

I go home and nurse Rysse and put her to sleep. It takes me about 10-15 minutes. I am about to go back to the school when I see Tim walking to the house with one of the nannies from the school.

"I'm finished with school po Mama," he says. And proceeds inside and starts playing with his toy trains.

After that day, I tried again several times to get Tim to sit in and stay inside the nursery classroom. Then I would try going home to see if he could stay on his own. But every time he would go home before the time he was supposed to.

Until it came to the point where I just stopped trying. This is about the same time when Tim, upon being asked where he goes to school, would usually gesture around him (at home) and say "This is our school, this is my school po." (Usually, he'd do this in our room, which has this hanging book"pouch" on the wall, courtesy of Lola Alice).

After which, the next question would be: "Then who's your teacher?"

"You, Mama." Then he would continue, "Come on, Teacher Mama. Let's learn."

At the beginning I would respond by asking him "Don't you want to go to school in front? With Teacher B. and all your new friends..?" (Then I'd enumerate their names one by one.)

To which he'd usually reply, "No po. THIS is our school. Here, our home."

After about 2 weeks of this, I came to realize a few things.

1. Tim wasn't actually "not ready" to learn or go to school, but in fact was already learning so much at home from us and the other members of our mission team. (As lay missionaries for our Catholic community, we are so blessed to have been able to be mostly work at home parents, since our mission office is also the mission house/residence).

2. Just because he was not enrolled in a "formal" school, it didn't mean that he was "lagging behind" his peers who were enrolled in playgroup or nursery. When it comes to the preschool years, there should be no pressure on both parents AND children about learning. Instead, kids should be encouraged to have fun, be exposed to reading books a lot (and read aloud to a lot), explore their motor skills and imagination, and most of all, BE ASSURED THAT THEY ARE LOVED AND SPECIAL. They each have their unique gifts, talents, and capabilities. After all, there are different kinds of intelligences and therefore different learning styles.

Therefore, just because Tim didn't seem to catch on to learning at the DEDC (though I must say, their teaching methods are quite okay, compared to a lot of other schools here in Timor Leste.), I didn't and still don't have any reason to worry. Learning can take place anytime, anywhere. As long as we are open and creative and spontaneous, we can make anytime "learning time."

3. Homeschooling, or to be more specific, homepreschooling, need not be so formal after all. However, it does need a lot of patience, planning, perseverance and FAITH. :) Some things that I am still working on.

Up to the time of this writing, Tim still says that our home is his school, and that I am his "Teacher Mama." He's also added "Teacher Papa" and "Teacher Kaka" to his list of teachers. So far, he's able to do the following (I've only listed the top 15 things that I can recall right now):

1. Identify the numbers 1 to 20. He can also count aloud 1 to 20.

2. Identify all the letters of the alphabet, capital and lower case. He also knows some of the beginning letter sounds (like B as in ball, F for fish, etc)

3. Identify all the primary and secondary colors, plus black, white, grey. He can also say if a color is "light" or "dark." He learned this from "My Big Bear Book".

4. Say what the opposite of some basic concepts/words are. He learned this through a simple game we play, and by playing with "opposite puzzles" - more on this in another post. :) So he knows words like: hot/cold, young/old, tall/short, thin/fat, etc, and what they mean.

5. Complete puzzles of 10 pieces with minimum (if any at all) supervision :)

6. Sing lots and lots of songs (a wide selection of nursery rhymes and children's songs, kids' Bible songs and our community's worship songs *in English and Tetun, and a few secular pop songs [NOT taught by me *sighs*] Not to mention some songs he recently learned by watching TV at his grandparents' house during our vacation in the Philippines, including our Presidential candidates' jingles! I think my Kuya Tim is a gifted auditory learner, he can remember lines of a song that he's heard only once or twice!) He can also make up his own lyrics and sing them with a tune that he's already familiar with!!! (Future singer/songwriter in the making??!!!)

7. Pretend to "read" and can remember the storyline of each of his 30 or so books (!!!) PRAISE GOD for generous family and friends and secondhand books!

8. Pack away his things when prompted (though sometimes has to be "pushed") to do so :)

9. Help out with some chores like fold his blanket, sweep the floor, put away the dishes, wash the dishes (though he ends up playing with the water lots of times!), mop the floor. He is often pleased to help out when asked to do so.

10. Follow simple directions - helps Mama "deliver" documents to Papa when needed (Papa's office is located near the living room, while Mama works in the bedroom), etc etc.

11. Tell the difference between living and non living things

12. Understand the concept of "metamorphosis" i.e. tadpole-frog, caterpillar-butterfly

13. Share and take turns (and often reminds other kids to do the same) - though this is still a skill he needs to work on :)

14. Help take care of his baby sister (watches her for Mama when asked to do so, plays with her, gives Mama her diaper and other things when asked, etc)

15. PRAY. :) On his own and with the family. He can say the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God prayer already. :) (Though some parts may be unintelligible to people unfamiliar with his speaking manner :)

(Right now, I'm still wracking my brain for other "skills" Tim's acquired, teehee. More on this later. However, I am thankful to God and proud to say that Tim is capable of the Three S's: Self-Care, Sitting Still, and Sharing. These were wonderfully described in a good article I believe every parent of any preschooler should read - click here to read it :) I continue to thank GOD for all that Tim is able to do, and we as parents shouldn't be pressured nor pressure our kids at this age to know lots of things. A gentle reminder below:

"You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762"

Let your kids be kids. :) Fill up their days with praytime and playtime, laughter and learning! Click here for suggested activities for 3 year olds :) The homepage also has activities for babies and toddlers up to 2 years :)

Anyway, the point of this long-winded (and THANK YOU for reading up to this part!) post is:

Any parent can teach their kids. You DON'T need an Education degree. All you need is COMMITMENT, TIME and LOVE. Everything else will follow. This does not strictly apply to stay at home or work at home parents. Even if you're working fulltime outside the home, YOU CAN DO IT. :)

Watch out for my next post so you can get a few tips on how YOU can actually be TEACHER MAMA (or PAPA ;)) to your kid.

Here's to parents everywhere, the original homepreschoolers! :)

Learning moments outside the classroom -, Philippine News for Filipinos

For all Catholic Filipino parents everywhere :)

Catholic homeschooling is becoming THE trend to watch out for! And it's not just because it saves families money. Read the article below to know more about how YOU can jump on the bandwagon! (Don't be afraid to JUMP, just do so in FAITH! :)

Learning moments outside the classroom -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Blessings, blessings and more blessings for us all, especially those who are in dire need of it! ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Catholic Homeschooling - Strengthening The Future of The Catholic Church

Catholic Home Schooling Teaches Children the Core Values of the Catholic Faith
(Mike Jerry)


Catholic home schooling provides children with a strong basis of Catholic values. Catholic homeschooled children are taught the Ten Commandments, a history of the church, the seven sacraments, and about the life of Christ. The homeschooling curriculum allows for flexibility in that the student can have one-on-one discussions with the teacher instead of competing with other students for help. The Catholic schooling advantage is that the children are safe to learn about their religion, without fearing for their safety. The values the children learn will serve to make them productive adults, firmly grounded in their faith.

Although Catholic home schooling is a relatively new trend, it is warmly welcomed by strict Catholic families. A Catholic home schooling will provide children a firm educational foundation anchored in the Catholic faith and doctrines.

With Catholic home schooling, parents are assured the child will learn the basic tenets of the Catholic faith, so they can live a balanced spiritual life; this is because Catholic home schooled students are taught the history of the 2,000-year-old Roman Catholic faith and the culture, 10 Commandments, the life of Jesus, the saints, and the seven sacraments.

The Six Benefits That Catholic Home Schooling Provides Students

A Catholic home schooling program frees children from the problems present in the public school system: an overcrowded educational system, which is known for producing graduates who are bored with their subjects, apathetic and tired of learning from outdated textbooks.

A Catholic home schooling program minimizes the chances for children to be in danger. These dangers such as drug use, bullying and student violence, are a real menace in traditional schools.

Catholic home schooling provides Catholic children of different learning abilities from fast learners to those with special needs, an education that is at a pace consistent with their learning capabilities.

A Catholic home schooling program provides home schooled students a healthy learning environment; one where they can freely express their opinions, exchange views with the teacher, without worrying that their grades will suffer. They will enjoy the learning process because they do not need to worry about punishment.

A Catholic home schooling program by necessity and structure has a limit on the number of students allowed in each class. The ratio of one teacher to one student provides the optimum learning environment for the child to get the needed attention.

A Catholic home schooling curriculum can be easily customized to teach the children non-academic subjects, which students in the traditional classroom setting have limited access to. For this reason, many home schooling parents have created complementary activities like assignments, board work, field trips or on the job training stints, to impart knowledge in innovative ways.

In short, when parents opt to provide their children with a Catholic home schooling, they offer their children the ability to learn as they grow in their Catholic faith. These values and knowledge, when nurtured, will strengthen the Catholic home schooled child; giving the child resolve should adversity, disaster, or misfortune strike.

You can read the original article here:

Top 20 Advantages to Homeschooling

20. Your kids never tell you that you’re a lot dumber than their teacher.

19. If you can’t find matching socks for your child first thing in the morning, who cares?

18. Cleaning out the refrigerator can double as chemistry lab.

17. Your kids have good reason to think they might get spanked in school, but no reason to think they’ll get beat up by a gang.

16. If the principal gives the teacher a bad evaluation, she can stick her icy feet against his legs at night.

15. You can post the Ten Commandments on your school room wall and won’t get sued.

14. You never have to drive your child’s forgotten lunch to school.

13.Your child will never go to their 20th high school reunion, meet an old flame, and recklessly abandon their marriage.

12. You get to change more than diapers, you get to change their minds.

11. If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you’re having a PTA meeting.

10. It’s better to be slightly concerned about socialization than very concerned about socialism.

9. Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.

8. The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.

7. You never have to face the dilemma of whether to take your child’s side or the teacher’s side in a dispute at school.

6. If your child gets drugs at school, it’s probably Tylenol.

5. The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

4. Your kids recognize that this list is numerically in reverse order.

3. Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you have on your car.

2. If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.

1. Some day your children will consider you to be a miracle working expert and will turn to you for advice.

(taken from

Teachermama Tina writes about

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Why WE Homeschool Wordless Wednesday Work with the Poor Workshops for Homeschoolers World Breastfeeding Week Writing Yaya