Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Not Working

  We ordered 3 new curriculums and a video series to help with teaching the children Self-Government.  The curriculum is here, but we are still waiting on the video series.  After a few years of trying to do things on my own, Pete and I have realized that due to the amount of special needs in our home, we needed something where a lot of the leg work had been done for us.  I had been planning my own "lessons" to teach the children and generally flying by the seat of my pants, and that isn't working anymore.  So...we have Latter Day Learning's The Family School.  We have Spalding's The Writing Road To Reading.  We have Math U See...and we have Nicholeen Peck's Teaching Self Government Implementation Vidoes on their way.  Sounds great, right?!  It's not working.  We haven't even begun, really...but already it's not working.  Our family is what Nicholeen Peck would call, "in crisis."  When I can't reasonably expect my children to wake up at a reasonable hour, do their morning basics (make bed, say prayers, brush teeth, wash face and/or bathe, get dressed and tidy their room) and come to breakfast on time...it throws our day into immediate chaos.  I have kids coming to breakfast saying that their basics are done, who throw temper tantrums when upon checking, I exclaim "No they're not!", and then send them off to complete their basics.  They don't complete them however...they play, lay on the floor, throw things around...do nothing.  ARGHHHHH!  It's driving me batty!

  So...I had planned to start all of our new curriculum in January.  Guess what?  That's not happening.  I am having to learn to be okay with doing things when it's right for our family, instead of when everyone else is doing them.  It's frustrating, but it has to be that way.  My kids desperately need job training.  They desperately need to learn to govern themselves.  They need a vision for why they would want to govern themselves appropriately.  I often wonder if most parents ever realize how many things kids need to know how to do, before education can take place.  Every movie we own, except for church movies, has been put away in a box in the garage.  This has been my "go to" kid sitter when an important phone call comes in, or when I have a meeting in my home, and I need kiddos to sit quietly.  No more!  Pete has been slowly getting our giant back yard ready for the kids to play in it safely.  (We just had our gorgeous Mesquite trees chopped to the ground and the wood taken away, because they were dropping terrible thorns that would do through shoes.)  He has planted fruit trees and mapped out our garden, which we hope to get going in the Spring. I would LOVE for the children to be able to learn from our garden...to be able to work in it and watch it grow and eat from it!  There are so many cool things I'd like for them to learn...but we can't get past getting out of bed on time.   

  I am discouraged!  I need order!  I need a routine!  I need a schedule!  I need one that WORKS!  I'm planning another prayer walk....you know, when I take a walk and pray out loud, basically looking like a crazy person, but talking to my Heavenly Father, telling Him what I think I need, and then listening while He tells me what I really need.  Yeah...I need one of those!  I know He can tell me the answers that I need.  I just need to ask Him.

  Have you ever felt like you have so much on your mind that your head might just explode?!  That's me right now!  Everyone says, "Just get rid of the extra's you are doing, that you don't need to do anymore."  I don't have any extra's.  Okay...Facebook is my only extra.  But that's phasing out by itself, because I just don't care about it as much as I used to.  Everything else that takes up my time, is stuff that I have no choice about.  What's a girl to do?!  I desperately need to re-read my TJEd books.  I haven't read them in so long, that I hardly feel right calling this blog Ramblings of a TJEd Mom...because I'm not really a TJEd mom anymore.  I need to re-fresh my Leadership Education batteries.  I desperately need to learn Teaching Self Government like the back of my hand, so I can properly teach my children.  I need to establish what priveleges are for them.  Does that sound like the dumbest thing you've ever heard?!  I need to understand the 4 Basic Skills frontwards and backwards, so that when I'm engaging with my kids, I follow the steps properly.  I need to take time for my own education!  HA!  That makes me laugh.  Why??? Because I don't have any extra time for anything! 

  I need to make freezer meals!  I need to follow the menu's and shopping lists that I worked so hard to create!  I need to make green smoothie's for lunch everyday!  I need to make bread on a regular basis!  I need to use my crockpot for supper more often!  I need to figure out how to get my kids doing their own laundry! (At least the oldest 3.)  I need to read my scriptures daily.  I need to write on this blog more!  I need be inspired about my family!  Stay Tuned!


  1. I totally agree with you about the basics coming before education. That's why I don't feel bad about my kids being a little "behind" because I can see that we've been making improvement in the basics. I have seven kids from 2 to 12 and let me tell you, it has been hard. I naively thought that women have lots of kids and it's no big deal (I don't come from a big family) so I can do it too! Oh man, God had a big surprise for me! I'm one of those that have been "compelled" to humility ;) Anyway, in the process routine and self-government in the basics have become kind of my specialty now, so if you're still interested, e-mail me some of your specific concerns. I LOVE to help people with these sort of things :) -Liz tetw@hotmail.com

  2. HI Ranee,

    You NEED to give yourself a break. I think about Jodie. It takes 3 hours of her day just to feed one of her children, Maggie. Parenting just can't look the same for her as it does for everyone else. That is one reason she happened upon the Family Chunk clock. How a family is feeling is more powerful that what they are doing. I am going to send you the audio.

    Getting up is an issue, even for me and I am 62. But after we get up there is a suggestion I have. My children were always telling me their chores were done too when they weren't. So I made an index card for each room which was taped to the wall above the light switch. It told them what each step to being done was. It was detailed!

    When they would come to me and tell me they were done I would smile and say lets go look at the card. At that point they would say just a minute mom and run and check it themselves.

    I also made sure that my expectations of what cleaning the sink really meant for a 4 year old vs a 15 year old. Everyone did the steps but how well it needed to be done depended on age and ability.

    I hear your desperation. Did you know Jodie just posted a plea to the TJED community because she can't get a handle on the messes that come with four children, one who is handicapped. Yup she did. She is getting tons of replies. I know her and I can see that some will be help ful and others won't.

    The point is that every mom struggles to manage a big household and your household is a bit more challenging because you have taken on some additional burden with handicaps. So give yourself a break. Be kind. The answers are going to come.

    Your friend ,
    Mary ann

  3. You already have some great advice here. All I can say is...I feel your pain.

    One of our kiddos had a brain injury and her ability to respond, think, follow-through is well....almost non-existent. Some days she can and some days she can't. It's a mixed bag of "who" she will be that day - sweet, happy, smiling, confident...or out-of-control, monster child, who can't do even one task alone.

    Even my "bigs" (ages 18 and 16) don't follow through like they used to. I've been wondering why and realized that it is just the way our life is right now. Too many outside people that I can't get rid of (CPS, counselors, therapists, doctors, parent aides, etc.--You know what I mean) that interfere with the flow of our days. When we didn't have so much going on, life went considerably smoother.

    I think that going back to the very basics of what you need to teach your children is all you should do until that becomes routine. Then, add the next level until that is routine. Then the next.

    That is what I'm doing too, going back to the basic ground floor family work. Even my "bigs" need to get back what they know again. It can slip away when you're not even looking!


  4. Thank you all! I keep having to remind myself to keep my vision in line with Heavenly Father's vision for our family. Sometimes I think that He doesn't expect nearly as much from me, as I do! ;)