No Wordless Wednesday!

Yesterday was perfect for Wordless Wednesday, but I didn’t post because I have a lot to say!

My new filly, Cherokee Lady, usually plays in the corral during the day.  With the gate to the big pasture closed.  My friend, Charlotte, lives right there and is kind enough to let me board two horses with her.  She generally keeps an eye on everything.  I arrived yesterday to find that Cherokee’s stall was empty…and the gate to the big pasture was open.  We are still not completely sure how that happened.  Charlotte and I were also unsure of how to get Cherokee back where she belongs.  I was relying on Oreo, my daughter’s horse, and oats to get the baby to come visit with us.

Oreo did not let me down!  I yelled for her, she stopped eating hay and starting sashaying in my direction.  We looked closer, and Cherokee was in Oreo’s pocket!  They both got oats, Charlotte and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and the world was right again.

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New Baby!

I have a super big announcement to make!  Yes, there’s a new baby in the family!  She’s a darling who never cries; she does, however, whinny.

I saw a post on Facebook about a filly, Abby, who needed a home.  Abby and her mother were rescued from a kill pen in Oklahoma, and her picture caught my eye.  I took a closer look.  And then another look.  I was very interested, but I wasn’t sure how to make things happen. Horses can be quite expensive, so I hesitated, but I kept going back to Abby.

I already own one horse, Oreo, who lives across town.  After chatting with the property owner, it turns out that there was room for one more with Oreo.  That’s when I made a decision to go ahead and buy that filly.  Then things miraculously started falling into place.  The first step was to contact the people at the hub and make arrangements to pay her adoption fee.  That was accomplished fairly quickly.  Other details had to be arranged like a vet certificate, board until I could get her off the lot and hauling.  That’s when things got really interesting.

The vet check was handled easily, but I got a bad case of sticker shock when I called horse haulers!  The range was between $500 and $850!  Abby was paid for, my mind was made up, so it was crunch time.  I was already in love with Abby, and she was coming home.

I messaged friends in my area who have horses and “know people.”  It didn’t take long for a friend to message back.  Jeannette was a true hero!  She offered to make the nine-hour trip (for gas expenses) on her days off from work.  I was gobsmacked at this point.  Her days off exactly coincided with when Abby needed to be off the lot—-one week’s board was free, and Tuesday was the deadline.  Abby was about to take her freedom ride!

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Jeannette set off early Monday morning, but the weather was threatening to slow things down.  I worried (as usual), but I knew my friend (and hero) would get Abby home safely.  The original plan was to spend the night before coming home, but snowy conditions changed the plan.  Jeannette got Abby to her place in the wee hours of the morning, unloaded, fed and watered.  I’m sure Jeannette crashed hard after that!

I took a personal day off from work (Tuesday) to welcome my horse home.  I was so glad to meet her.  I was sad for her because she came on one of the coldest days of the year!  We are still getting snow with super cold temperatures.

Abby is safe and out of the elements.  She also has a new name—Cherokee Lady.

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Rap

We (parents and teachers) know how special our students are. We know their personalities and can appreciate them as they are while we do our best to teach and nurture them.

I had way too much free time this weekend. I ended up writing a rap song for my seventh graders.  Yes, a rap. I decided my kids needed a little bit of comedy, so I actually performed the song and allowed them to video me—something I never do! I worked in every kid’s name, so it was specific to them.

They seemed quite happy, and I even heard from some of the parents about the rap. I’m glad I made my kids smile. For now, though, it’s back to work!

If you’d like to see my version of crazy, a student put it on Youtube with the title “Crazy teacher went Eminem.”

Something from Sealand

Have you ever wanted something others might consider frivolous? Did you do/buy/get it anyway? I can happily answer affirmatively for both questions.

If you know me at all, you know I enjoy learning and reading all of the time. Months (years?) ago, my daughter showed me information about a country I ‘d never heard of—Sealand. Since it’s a tiny “island,” I’m not sure I would want to actually visit, but I’m willing to be part of the community in my own small way. I did quite a bit of research to find out more, and, from that moment, I dreamed of having a title from Sealand.

I did it!  Did I laugh at myself? A bit.  Am I sorry? Nope. I was so happy the day the mail came from Sealand.

 

Gaps in Education

No matter where or when a student attends school, there will always be something that student doesn’t learn about that will be relevant in the future.  It happens with public schools, private schools, homeschools, you name it.  One kind of education hasn’t cornered the market on educational gaps.  They simply happen.  Nobody can know everything.  Keep in mind that each child is unique and different learning styles apply.  Teachers are also unique individuals.  Considering all of those variables, how can we be surprised that there are gaps in the first place?

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Our homeschooling journey has felt like one struggle after another this year.  My daughter has turned 18, and she’s a senior.  If she’s not interested in something, she just won’t put forth an effort.  Kids are kids, right?  She has refused to try the ACT test again after her first (and only) attempt.  I understand that she feels discouraged.  I wish colleges would move toward other ways to gauge college readiness instead of relying on high-stakes tests that cannot possibly predict potential or anything else.  It seems to me that test makers are raking in millions at the expense of our children.  Big bucks are paid (not to students or teachers) for testing that serves only to exclude students from higher education.  How about changing our system to invite all students to participate?  How about finding what ignites a student’s passion and work from there?  How about making college an affordable option for everyone?

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The things that interest my child are different from what interests other students.  I will tell you, however, that she is an expert when it comes to anime, cosplay and costume design among other things.  Maybe she should make a portfolio of her passions so she can show college admission staff what she has done and can do.  She amazes me when she casually mentions things she has learned from videos she watched while I was at work.  I have learned from her.  She’s resourceful, too.  She will get interested in something and dig until she has the information she wanted.  My girl is also a talented mimic, able to sing in several languages, and she learned online.  On her own.  Without my input.  I had virtually nothing to do with her research, and she did a fine job of learning something daily about various topics.

Maybe when she decides to try college, she will find the perfect fit.  I sure hope so!  She’ll need a place as amazing and unique as she is so she can fill the gaps and move on to a fabulous future.  I should keep reminding myself that she won’t be the only student filling gaps.