Homeschooling, On the Fence

home-school

I have started thinking about homeschooling 4 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies. I am already a stay-at-home-mom so why not keep her safe at home and teach her from here? We have battled so much, and I know it will be beneficial to her because she can go at her own pace. She will be able to do what she wants, and she can excel in the subjects or categories she wants to.

However, here is my dilemma.
Will they miss out on the social skills with friends? 
Right now Grayson really doesn’t understand so I am going with my daughter. She says she don’t talk at school, she is scared she will get in trouble. She said she is pretty much quiet throughout the day, and only talks when she is allowed. To me this sets off alarms.
My child’s voice is being held from learning.
How will she miss her friends? Will she miss that recess time of 20 minutes with her friends?

I just don’t know how homeschool moms go through the social thing. She loves the communication, the friendships, the knowledge that people are about her outside her home.

Another thing I am on the fence about is the Common Core.
I don’t want to teach my child about Common Core. It is boring, pointless and utterly ridiculous. I see no point in it, and I am sure a lot of you all agree. I just want her to know an easy way to do things. The onsite of eye-rolling at homework, and she barely has any but with homeschool, she will never have homework.

Gosh, do you see what I mean? I am just going in circles. I have no clue what is coming and going. All these mixed emotions are so weird for me, usually I don’t have mixed emotions. I just “do“.

How does one go about teaching a child at home if you don’t know how to teach them? Do they have teachers? Will there be others to call on for help? How does this work? Btw – if anyone knows any of the questions feel free to let me know, or maybe even where to look for the answers. I do know I don’t want to be in K12, or a Public Online School which is controlled by the state, because I do not want Common Core.

I want to be able to teach my child life experiences. Things they can look forward to as they grow. I love being with my kids, sure, some days I might want to pull my hair out, but we will have to find the happy medium in it all. Sure, I do love when they go to school and I have that extra time to take a power nap, but I think it will be beneficial to figure out what will help them grow into their own little grown humans.

At what age do you start with your kids homeschooling. There are so many things that are wanting me to go for it. Lockdown Drills, so many school shooting now a days, and it seems it will only get worse. Her anxiety with what everyone else is eating, and my anxiety on what others are doing around her as well.

#FoodAllergyWalk #FAREWalk #OurStory

food-allergies

At the end of October, we will walk for awareness for food allergies.
Here is our story:

At age 4 she was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to tree nuts.
Jade was staying with my mom while hubby and I went on a fishing date. We didn’t go far, less than 10 minutes away. My mom wanted to feed Jade some yogurt while we were away. No big deal. A kid has to eat and why not make it healthy. So, my mom fixed yogurt with crushed walnuts and mixed it and gave it to Jade. Jade immediately ran to the bathroom spitting out the grit of walnuts into the toilet. She was scrapping her tongue with her teeth, she was doing everything in her power to get rid of whatever was in her mouth. Jade then started telling her Nana she needed a hospital. Now, understand this is a 4-year-old. She was pointing out the front door saying, “I need a doctor. I need the hospital.” At this point my mom calls me to let me know something might be wrong. Hubby and I load up to head to my mom’s.
We walk in to my daughter still in a panic kind of state. She wasn’t swelling, no visual signs of anything wrong, so I told my mom to give her some Benadryl and I would take her home to watch her through the night. We load up, takes about 20 minutes to get back to our house. It is dark out, I carry Jade inside.
Once inside, I put Jade on the floor and tell her to go see her Dad, he was in the Kitchen seeing if we had more Benadryl for later. I noticed something not right with her legs and told him to look at her.
He raised her shirt, her short legs and noticed blanket hives, thick looking hives all over her skin where her clothes touched her body. He looked dead at me to say, “We need to go NOW. No waiting. Hives mean Now.”

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To Do Fall Things

Fall is here y’all!
I love this time of year. Cookouts, camp fires, smores, football, cool nights, turning of leaves… man, just about everything!

fall

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Depression and Anxiety

pain

I have depression and anxiety. Yup, I will admit it here. I have suffered with it for a long time, I just never talk about it. I don’t even take medicine for it, because I don’t want a pill helping me, I want to help myself. My anxiety comes from a number of places: my past, dealing with medical issues, just a lot of different things. I’m not one to say “I’m depressed today, leave me alone” or “I can’t do that due to my anxiety” or “Pray for me, my anxiety is bad“. I guess in a way, to me, if I said those things I would look at it as an excuse? Instead, I cover up with that excuse with something else.

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Dear Parent with an uncaring heart #FoodAllergies

Dear Parent with an uncaring heart,

Let me just say I am sorry my daughter’s food allergies is an inconvenience for you. I simply understand what it is like to deal with such an inconvenience. You know, because I have one child with an allergy, and one with out an allergy.

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Halloween 2014

This Halloween we was a little more exciting than other years.
I have grown into understanding food allergies a lot more clearly.
As a parent you want the best for your kids, and not everyone will understand the significance of that. I understand that now. Usually people don’t understand unless they been exactly in your shoes. Most people does not understand that a food allergen could potentially kill. Scary to think that, right?!

We went to the FARE Walk 2014 in Atlanta. The support there is simply overwhelming. People who understand you! People who get it. Agh, it is a life saver. That one day you feel like you have all these people to support you. Jade absolutely loves going.
This year we got to add the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is a bit about it:
A little message from the creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project:

The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.

2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.

It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.

We need to stop battling on social media –
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.

Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.

2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?

3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.

4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …

Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Blessings,
Becky Basalone
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee

I hope in the years to come we see more people who support such an amazing opportunity.

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2013 in review

Sorry I have been MIA on updating you guys with everything that is going on in my world. A lot of new things are happening, as well as a lot of bad, but we never give up praying. We have huge news coming in 2014, so just bare with us! I can’t wait to get back to updating you guys on our journey. Jade is still dealing with food allergies, and I am learning to adjust to the new way of living. I am even teaching myself how to cook (I know, don’t freak out). I have cooked Spinach Artichoke Dip, Banana Pudding (even if it was instant with real bananas Again, don’t judge me) hahahah!! 😉
I am also getting ready to pack again, but you will just have to wait to figure out why!
Since August 2013,  I have started a Food Allergy Support group for our area: West Georgia Food Allergy Support Group. Our first meeting is the 21st and I am so nervous! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. When Jade was diagnosed I didn’t realize how many people was so unaware of food allergies, even for myself. I am now pushing with all the other food allergy awareness that epipen training should be like CPR training, and should be mandatory. Did you know that bus drivers in our area are not properly trained? However, as of 2014 they will be! My voice is being heard, and I am so excited about making a difference.

Anyway, I will leave you with this note:
“Never give up hope, always trust in Him, and everything else will fall into place. If people walk out of your life, then hold your head high and smile, because you can show them you can make a difference rather they are with you or not.” — From Me!

I wish you all the best in 2014 and I will be back, so hold your horses! And for the ones who have been checking on us, thank you!

God Bless You in everything you do!
Jenna

 

Btw – I am active on my book blog: Werejumpinbooks.wordpress.com So come on over if you enjoy books!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Food Allergies vs Faith

FA

I am coming forward to shed a new light on some things.

I haven’t talked too much about food allergies since my daughter was fighting for her life May 2012. Just because I didn’t talk about it much or throw statistics at everyone doesn’t mean I wasn’t praying for miracles, not only for my child but for every child out there battling their food allergies. I didn’t know much about food allergies till that dreaded day.

I didn’t know it could mean life or death within minutes of eating something or that I would spend so much time and energy researching things you have to do to make sure any food you touch was safe. I am not talking about just reading labels here. I am talking about the every detail of everything you do.

Did you know that half of the time you have to either call companies, or send them an e-mail to see what is actually in their food? You spend most of your time helping, or protecting your child. It is not just about companies, it’s also restaurants. Those times where you just want to go sit down as a family and have someone cook for you. After doing some research in our  town, we found that we only have two options for sit down restaurants: Cracker Barrel & Olive Garden. Even though recently, Cracker Barrel changed their menu, so I will have to contact  them before our next visit to make sure they are still food allergy aware, and if anything has changed.

Half of the time, we (parents of food allergy kids) just want people to ‘get’ it. It is life or death. How hard is that for people to understand? When you have a child who is sick  you don’t take them to the hospital for them to run around and play. So, why would I take my food allergy child to your birthday party and let her run around free of everything, when I have no clue what is there. I have no clue what is in the cake, the ice cream, and those donuts you decided to pick up and bring. So sorry if I come off being “overly protected”, I am just being a mom.  

Food allergies just happen. It is not planned out. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. Just because one day my child eats nuts, then the next day she is in the ER, doesn’t mean I am just going to go back to our way of life before. That ONE day changed our life, and we changed our life-style. It is a way of living, it can be restrictive but at least this is something I can battle. This is something I can manage.

Your next question could be about my faith. “If your faith is strong enough you wouldn’t worry so much. Let Go, Let God” Really? So, I should just throw that common sense God gave me right out the window and say “Run along Jade! I will watch you from here! Even though I saw you battling for your life, I just want you free-spirited. In the meantime, I will sit over in my corner and pray while you run free”

So, let me inform you about my faith.

My faith is loading my daughter up on the bus every morning for school. I don’t know what Sally has brought on the bus that morning. I don’t know if Sally is going to give Jade her walnut ice cream, or did Sally just saved her Nutella sandwich to share with Jade on the bus. Don’t tell me this can’t happen, because when I was in school I brought snacks on the bus. My ride was an hour and half, so of course, I brought me something! Who is not to say some little kid does the same? Why would a kid bring something so dangerous on the bus? The reason why is because to that child it isn’t dangerous. That kid is living the Free-Spirited life.

My faith is letting my daughter into a public school. A public school where they have no clue, nor have they seen a child go through Anaphylactic shock. The teachers and staff don’t know what to even look for if something happens to my child. I have to tell them the warnings signs. My faith is, for them to remember exactly what I told them.

My faith knows God can change this. My everyday prayer is finding a cure, finding a way to ‘fix’ whatever is wrong. And now my faith is really showing and do you want to know why? Because just today we found out that Jade might have outgrown her allergies, but that’s not why I have faith now. I have faith now because I am going to put her life in her Doctors hand. The Doctor is going to do a food challenge and feed her Walnuts. The Doctor and Nurses will watch her closely. I will be facing the devil head on, but I will not bow my head. I will push through because I know who has this, and it is not me. So, next time you hear food allergies think about everything it takes for that parent to push through everyday life. Don’t judge them; don’t start pointing fingers at them, because in my eyes they have the best positive outlook on life. For they know what true Faith is.

 

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