changes

All posts tagged changes

There are other options

Published February 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

I’ve had several conversations, some good and some that make me cringe, on the topic of Betsy DeVos being confirmed as Education Secretary.  While, I don’t typically write controversial posts, the education realm is something I have strong feelings on.  They definitely differ from the “norm”.

“She’s not qualified” seems to be the chant of the hour.  DeVos actually supports private schools and homeschools.  Oh the proverbial horror!!!  If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I have homeschooled and I currently have my daughter in a very small, private, Christian school.  I am not upset by DeVos not being an educator or a school administrator.

WHY?  (I’m sure someone is asking that question.)

As a homeschool mom, one of the biggest “digs” we hear is ‘you don’t have a teaching degree’.  Nope, you’re right…I don’t.  However, my state simply states I have to capable of teaching…and I am!  Most people don’t realize, homeschooled children typically surpass their public school counterparts in the testing realm.  There’s a simple reason for this. The teacher/student ratio is smaller and the parents are more committed to their child.  It’s that simple.

I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone.  I’ve heard, “well I have to work and don’t have the luxury of staying home with my child”.  Gee….welcome to the club.  I work full-time too; thank you very much.  The nice part of homeschooling is…you can do it whenever you want.  So we did lessons after dinner and homework during the day.  It can be done.

I’m not super mom.  I’m exhausted mom.  I’m broke mom.  I struggle to keep my child in a private school.  A school where her emotional and spiritual well-being is as important as her academic well-being is.  A place they say the Pledge every morning and are free to celebrate Christmas and not have to be PC and say “Happy Holidays”.

Currently, my property taxes pay for a school, that I find unsafe, inept, protects bullies and embraces the educational nightmare known as Common Core.  I received no compensation for homeschooling.  I can’t write off the tuition for private school, yet I pay for public school.

I pay for a school, in a district that wastes money.  A school I had to send in a lot of supplies for because of mismanaged funds.  A school where several teachers homeschool their children because they know how horrible public school can be.

While public school is a must for many children and families, something needs to be changed.  Perhaps embracing school choice is the answer.  Perhaps leaving my property tax dollars to fund a public school remains unchanged.  I can live with that.  However, to be fair, I am not opposed to receiving a discount for homeschooling and/or a tax write-off for choosing the educational model that works best for MY child.

We live inn a time where personal accountability is at an all-time low; where entitlement reigns supreme. Schools are unsafe because the parents of kid-bullies threaten to sue or say, “not my child” or refuse to acknowledge their hellion attacked a teacher.  Teachers unions that protect abusive teachers who bully kids, humiliate them because they don’t understand a perceived simple concept.  PTAs meet right after school to omit working parents from attending, simply because it’s convenient for the teachers…THESE are the reasons why someone who is not tied to the public school system needs to be in this position.

Not everyone can or will choose to homeschool or use a private or charter school, but those options are out there.  Those of us who have researched and know these to be the best educational options for our children shouldn’t lose out because the public school system failed us.  We deserve to be heard and to receive the same incentives.

As parents, we follow the law of mandatory education.  However, our children are our primary concern and the district, the state and the government need to know, we have the final say when it comes to our children.

I am hoping this change will bring about positive and necessary changes for the sake of our children.  The current system has been broken for far too long.

 

In just 3 years….

Published July 17, 2016 by lynn k scott

If you have a Facebook account, you might be familiar with a semi-new feature called, “On this day”.  It allows you to look back on your posts that you made that day, from years ago. Some days, the memories are ones I don’t care to remember.  Others are one that I can’t believe I had forgotten or immediately bring a smile to my face.

Since 2012-2013, when I discovered I had Celiac’s Disease, during one of the hardest times in my life, losing my sister and mother within a year of each other, I started undergoing a body transformation.

Can I pinpoint exactly what has caused the weight-loss I experienced?  No.  There’s been a combination and I to say which one has done more is virtually impossible.  Obviously, having to change my diet to a gluten-free one was a factor.  Having a stress-level, that probably reach an unhealthy level was another.  Then there were the days and weeks that I was accidentally “glutened” or just didn’t care and ate food that would hurt me.  My body responded appropriately and emptied my system (rather violently at times) and/or caused great pain to remind me that I can’t do that.  Eating healthier, giving up soda, becoming addicted, and competitive, on with my basic FitBit, drinking more water has all played a factor in my weight loss.

So what does this have to do with Facebook?  On July 6, 2016, I had “memories” to look back on and there was one from 2013.  I couldn’t believe looking at the picture how much I had changed.  Ironically, that morning, I had my daughter take a full body pic of me (almost never do this).  I had her do it because I liked the comfy outfit I was wearing and the jeans now another size smaller.

I decided to put the two pictures side by side.  I was blown away.  So much so, I shared it with my Facebook friends.  Those who know me, know I don’t share many pictures of myself, esp. full body ones.  Even my eldest child, who loves to give me grief and isn’t known for compliments, gave me credit for my dramatic change.  I didn’t spend money I didn’t have on a gym, diet pills, or even increase my exercise level dramatically.  I walked a bit more and watched what I was eating.  Ok, I had to watch what I was eating because of the Celiacs, but it was still an opportunity to evaluate my food and beverage choices.  I occasionally will have a soda from time to time or on a bad day, eat half a tub of ice cream, but I still am dropping the weight because I choose to make a conscious effort.

I never thought I would lose as much weight as I have; over 40 pounds.  It’s staying off because it’s been gradual.  Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race.

 

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Mom on the Bus – By Amanda Witow

Published January 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

Originally posted on Kindnessblog.com.  I’ve been there and learning to accept help from strangers is humbling, to say the least.  A little kindness goes a long way.

Comments are disabled here.  Please visit the original post to leave a comment.  Thank you.

Kindness Blog

This is something I witnessed years ago, but I like to remember it whenever I feel like people are too judgmental or what not.

So I was taking the bus home from university and it passes right by the social services building where I live. This woman with a tiny baby in one of those carry seats gets on. She doesn’t look great. Thin. Possibly hasn’t showered or changed her clothes recently. And she’s alternating between angry and upset.

 An older woman asked if she was okay and the woman shared how she had left her home town to come to the city to get help because her ex was abusive and a drug abuser. She’d gone to social services to try and get help because she had nothing and no one, and had just run out of formula for her baby. (Hence the upset) But whomever she spoke with…

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Feeling Like a Failure

Published November 3, 2015 by lynn k scott

I just got off a conference call with my daughter’s 4th grade teacher, the 3rd grade teacher and the principal. Her teacher spoke with me last week regarding catching her up to where they are in math. Now they want to include reading.

I know switching schools can be challenging in regards to curriculum. We took our time, wasn’t heavy into testing, did some child-led learning, etc. However, we did follow each subject’s book and felt good about her progress.

You always have to wonder what’s going on when the principal becomes involved. Basically, they want to put her back in 3rd grade. I vetoed that option immediately. My daughter can do the work; I just need to know where to catch her up.

It’s challenging enough starting a new school. I don’t want her to feel punished because we worked at her pace vs a standards pace. We agreed she would do extra phonics work for reading and attend 3rd grade math.

I’ve read about this happening to homeschoolers who return to school. It’s been one of my worst educational nightmares and it’s coming true. I plan to work with her on math and catch her up to 4th grade and her 3rd grade math can reinforce it. It will probably take the rest of the year, but we’ll get it done.

Right now I feel like such a homeschool failure, even thought, rationally, I know that’s not true. My daughter’s never been a strong reader and she’s stubborn as the day is long when she’s corrected. Now I’m wondering if I made the right choice putting her back in school. I really hate having to work when I want to be home and this never would have been an issue.

Just feeling judged, even though that’s not how they came across.

June 16th

Published June 16, 2015 by lynn k scott

Today is a day of remembrance (for me anyway)

1) 3 years ago today was Father’s Day. It was the day we had Kathi’s funeral.

2) 22 years ago today, my neighbor (he was my age) was killed because a truck didn’t see his motorcycle. It happened to be my 3rd wedding anniversary. He was the closest person I had to a brother.  As he died at 21 years old, he would become one of my sons namesakes.  R.I.P. Brian.

3) 25 years ago, I didn’t realize I was marrying Satan’s spawn (1st marriage). I wish hell would reclaim its heir and leave me the hell alone!  (If you knew my story, you’d understand this one better).

A New Yorker in Northern California

Published March 7, 2015 by lynn k scott

I spent the first 25 years of my life living in rural Upstate New York (NY).  Contrary to popular belief, there is a world outside of New York City; as in 2/3 of the rest of the state of New York.  There are smaller cities and lots of farming communities.  I come from a small town, yes town, not city.  It’s a semi-famous town.  I was at the base of the mountain that Rip Van Winkle supposedly went to sleep on, there’s a famous boxer that left our town and made it big.  If you can figure the location out from there, you get a bonus point.

My adult life has been complicated with a capital C.  Without going into details, I accepted a sales job in CA.  The company paid my bus ticket and my mother saw me off at the Greyhound station one brisk April morning.  No one knew I was leaving except her (see the complicated sentence).  So with a new jean jacket and one suitcase, I started my journey to California.

I had never traveled by bus before.  It’s a long journey, to be sure.  Greyhound stops in the most remote locations where you’d never imagine a commercial bus would stop.  I met a couple of guys along the way.  We stayed together for most of our journey.  There was even a moment when I considered an offer not to continue to CA, but to continue on with one of the guys I had met.  That didn’t happen because you’re reading I did end up in CA.

We finally pull into Sacramento, CA.  This was not my destination, but just seeing all the palm trees lining the street made me feel as if I was in Beverly Hills.  Yes, I know those two locations are worlds apart.  Can I help it if my exposure to California had only been via the movies?  We continue on and I had about another two hours to go.  I was headed for Hayward, CA; the armpit of the East Bay.  No offense to Hayward, but it’s not the nicest of cities and compared to surrounding cities, via a 30 minute drive, it’s sort of a dump.

Needless to say, I safely arrived.  Now, to find my ride.  It seems the person sent to pick me up was also picking up someone else.  We managed to connect.  I had made a comment that I didn’t know what I’d do if we didn’t make our connection.  He told me, “well you could have taken B.A.R.T. to the motel”.  Now, being an out-of-towner, Bart is a kid on the Simpsons.  What the heck was he talking about.  As it turns out, B.A.R.T. is short for Bay Area Rapid Transit system. In East Coast terms, this is a cross between the subway and El Train.  I wouldn’t learn that for a few more days.  Then I asked, “why didn’t you say it was the subway”?  That just got a laugh.  As I would learn years later, having to commute via B.A.R.T., it’s anything but rapid and it does service (most of) the Bay Area.

Fast-forward a month or so.  That sales job did not work out.  All sorts of reasons why not.  I end up in a homeless shelter in Newark for a couple of weeks.  I was able to find a job as a live in maid.  Yup, this white girl was a maid.  Working for rich people has its own challenges.  One thing I did learn, many Californians eat dinner late.  Back home, dinner was at 5:00 or 6:00 o’clock max.  Here, eating at 6:30 or 7:30 is normal.  I attribute part of that to commuting.  Commuting here can be a nightmare.  Six lane freeways are often multi-colored (car) parking lots.  Nothing like having an hour commute, going 65 mph and it taking you 90 minutes because of slow traffic.

Being new to CA and desperately needing coffee, someone took me to Starbucks.  This began my dislike of the company I now refer to as the “Evil Empire”.  If you don’t know, people from NY typically have a low tolerance for nonsense.  We are very straight-forward and many of us swear and think nothing of it.  I am one of those people.

At the cash register, where you place your order, there there stacked coffee cups; small, medium and large.  Where I grew up, we didn’t have coffee houses – so this was new for me.  I ordered a simple, “medium” coffee.  The young employee (20ish), responded, “Grande?”.  I said, “no, medium”.  He again replied, “Grande?”.  This was quickly turning into a bad Abbott and Costello routine.  I needed my caffeine fix and this kid was asking if I wanted a large coffee when I was clearly asking for a medium coffee.  I took Spanish, “grande” means large.  Little did I know how backwards the Evil Empire was with its terminology.  I leaned in close, pointed to the medium cup and said, “I don’t care what the f*ck you call this size cup, fill it with coffee and take my money for it so I can leave”.  He suddenly got the picture that this name-game was over. I received my coffee and got my fix.  I wouldn’t return to the Evil Empire for many years.  I actually boycotted them before it became fashionable to do so.

Later, I went to the grocery store.  Now back East, you can go into any grocery store or convenient store, such as Stewart’s, and grab a “hard roll with butter”.  I ordered that at the deli and the person with me and the deli clerk looked at me as if I had sprouted three heads.  Oooooookay….that obviously wasn’t right.  I explained to my friend what I was looking for.  A “hard roll” is sort of like a kaiser roll, with butter on both sides, put together.  In retrospect, it’s like a round butter sandwich.  Either way, it’s the breakfast of half up the town I grew up in.  Ok, back to my job….

The maid job only lasted so long.  I was actually let go by the office receptionist.  My boss told her to call and fire me.  It’s ok, the kids in that house drove me nuts.  No accountability for anything.  I then lived in a motel for a few weeks.  Found a waitressing job in a pizza restaurant that paid the bills.  I was actually hired because of my experience and because I was a NYer.  Yes, my boss told me that.  He said, NYers have a good work ethic and they do their jobs well.  I was like “sweet!”. Shortly after, I was able to rent a room and had met someone; we began dating.  He started showing me California.

Now, going over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco was interesting.  I got to see Alcatraz from the bridge.  The place I’d read about, the place where Capone was sent; I was giddy.  I’m a history buff and I thought that was absolutely fascinating. Years later I would work a catering gig on Alcatraz.  I would see areas that are not on the general tour. Fascinating!

My boyfriend showed me San Francisco and did the touristy stuff with me.  He grew up in San Francisco and hated the tourists.  Coming from a tourist town, I understood that.  We visited Ghirardelli Square (must for chocolate lovers),  Pier 39 (home of the dock seals), Coit Tower and even road a trolley car.  I was impressed that I could see some rooftops.  In NY City, that’s not really an option.  The buildings are ridiculously tall.  I don’t know if my boyfriend had ever seen San Francisco through the eyes of a tourist before.  He got a kick out of all the comparisons.

As for the food, I miss NY for that.  Luckily, I am a good cook and can replicate my favorite dishes.  I don’t make a “like NY cheesecake”, I make NY cheesecake.  There is a difference.  Bagels I have found a couple places that do them justice.  However, trying to find a salt bagel out here can be challenging.  Pizza, I’ve found a local joint that knows how to make real NY pizza.  CA pizza just sucks.  There is no comparison.  One food I have discovered out here, that I absolutely adore is ube ice cream.  For those of you unfamiliar with ube, it’s a purple yam from the Philippines.  The ice cream is a beautiful shade of purple, my favorite color, so that’s just a bonus for me.  I will order ube ice cream at every opportunity.  I don’t get it often and buying a small container of it isn’t cheap.

I’m going to fast-forward a lot of years.  I married my boyfriend who I first met shortly after arriving in CA.  We have been married 10.5 years and have a 9 year old daughter, a house, two dogs and two fish (dang carnivals).  Life still is not easy but I’m working on making it manageable.

Thank you for walking with me down memory lane.

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