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Posts posted by Cerina

  1. Halloween - my little kid was Siren Head. Feel free to Google it and then question my parenting. My oldest didn't really want to dress up, so he went with his 3 younger cousins and brother (3, 4, 6, and 6) in plain clothes and told everyone that he was an "underpaid babysitter begging for sympathy candy". Apparently that was a big hit. 

    My mom, sister, and I stayed behind to give out candy and such. This year we had 3 bowls set out - chocolate candies (Reese's, Milky Way, Snickers, etc.), fruity candies (Baby Bottle Pops, Laffy Taffy rope, Nerds rope, and something else I don't remember), and Rice Krispie Treats. We also had small individual things of scented Play-doh. Kids of all ages went nuts for the Play-doh. The Rice Krispie Treats were the first to empty. The chocolate didn't even get halfway empty. Next year I told my sister I want to have a potato as an option. Kids are wild. 

    Thanksgiving - we're going to my sister's house, and I'm going to help with the cooking so I don't have to be on the clean-up crew. We were all going to see my grandparents in Houston since my grandpa had open heart surgery 2 months ago, but instead, my dad decided to import them to Austin so he can take them out house shopping over the weekend because they need to move up here to be closer to the rest of us. We moved my mom's parents last year, and I swear it added 3-5 years to their lives, so now it's my dad's parents' turn. 

  2. Dude, eff that! Boys need to be beaten by girls more often. My kid gets smoked by girls on the regular, and it's fine. Now granted, he's not super competitive by nature (whose kid is this...seriously?!) and he's also like the complete opposite of athletic. But this is one reason I love having him in the linked troop in scouts. He sees the girls achieve at a high level all the time, and he sees them blow the boys out of the water constantly. Our girls troop has won the overall competition at camporee (a scouting skills competition) 3 years in a row beating out boys troops that have been around for DECADES. 

    Also, Luke has turned out to be quite a cusser, but he doesn't like it when we say "bad" words. We're not allowed to say "dammit", "what the hell", or "crap", but he has no issue calling his dad, AND I QUOTE, "a fuck". Parenting fail. 

  3. 38 minutes ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

    Thanks. It is a big deal. When I was a new hire, I was straight up told that I would probably never achieve the level I was at currently, let alone the one I just got promoted to. So big middle finger to those old guys.

    That's fucking rude! 

    And congrats for sticking it to them! 

  4. Despite the overall success of this election nationwide, the mood in Texas is grim, y'all. 

    So many people in my FB groups are overly worried that Trump is about to announce that's he's running again in 2024. Honestly, I think that's awesome. After this election, I think that it's obvious he won't win and the right knows this now. Best case scenario, they run DeSantis instead and Trump's ego forces him to start his own party to run anyway. 

  5. On 10/22/2022 at 11:32 PM, Hobbes said:

    I agree individual students have various learning and developmental timelines...just like they do with their bodies.  All students have different developmental needs and strengths--whether that be emotional, cognitive, social, or whatever that factor into the students achievement level.  But as far as saying that a student is "behind" does not correspond to real learning, I very much disagree. 

    I completed my doctoral dissertation in educational equity within elementary stem education so a lot of this will be through that lens.  When we talk about educational equity and social justice--whether that be racial, economic status, gender, etc--a key component is  students having the skills necessary to access in demand and higher paying jobs.  STEM careers are the fastest growing and highest paying careers.  There are two foundational benchmarks of whether or not a student will be able to graduate from college with a degree in a STEM field: being at grade level in third grade for literacy and 7th grade in math.  If students are NOT at grade level at those two markers, although possible, it is highly unlikely that students will catch up.  The qualitative SAT score is the biggest predictor of success in STEM college degrees.  In order to obtain a strong quantitative score, the student should be hitting those state/national benchmarks.  The converse of this--the farther students are from peers at these grade levels  are more likely to drop-out, be incarcerated, etc.  I know it was often misquoted in some political debates that prisons predict future bed numbers based on third grade scores--but there is strong correlation between low literacy and incarceration rates

    Let's say I have two schools.  School A has 90% of students reading at grade level and school B has 10% of students reading at grade level.  School A is in a white, affluent neighborhood and school B is in a black, poor neighborhood.  If I were to say, "students in school A are just on their own learning timeline than students at school B".  That is straight up racist and many people hold that worldview to justify why white students out perform black students without looking at the structural racism built into our system.  There are multiple educational organizations that are going into low performing schools and turning them around resulting in strong longitudinal impacts in higher earnings, lower incarceration rates, etc for their students.  Their primary focus--getting students to grade level.  If a student is at grade level at these benchmarks, the odd of them falling behind is significantly less.

    I love reading your insights on education from an institutional perspective. I generally speak from a more personal level on these things, both from my experience and because homeschooling lends itself to being able to teach and learn on a personal and individual level. With homeschooling, we're not typically dealing with the same level of inequity as school systems as a whole, as most homeschooling families also tend to be fairly affluent and white, so my sample pool of anecdotes are similarly fairly homogenous. There aren't too many statistics available surrounding homeschooling (because of our general avoidance of things like benchmark testing, I'm sure), so I unfortunately only really have anecdotal evidence to offer. But it's anecdotal evidence collected over 8ish years and many different online groups, so I feel mostly justified in making the assertions that I do. 

    That said, it's not uncommon for kids to fall into homeschooling after being considered "behind" in public schools only to have them "catch up" either fairly quickly or eventually. Most of the parents I see worried about their students being behind are still imbued with a public school mindset where, unfortunately, being behind can compound rather quickly without intervention because of teachers' limited ability to differentiate. That's simply not how things work in our homeschooling world. We have the luxury of a super-tight student to teacher ratio, the ability to slow down or speed up at will, and also the ability to switch gears at the drop of a hat if need be. So we as a group spend a lot of time assuaging these fears. 

    But I have some uhh...thoughts...about this sentence:

    "When we talk about educational equity and social justice--whether that be racial, economic status, gender, etc--a key component is  students having the skills necessary to access in demand and higher paying jobs."

    What other key components are there in assessing educational equity? How is it determined that students have these skills should they choose not to pursue in demand and higher paying jobs? Does encouraging natural aptitudes and interests play any part in assessing this equity? 

    I know several homeschooling parents who've been reamed by family members because their kiddos chose not to go to college or bother with the SAT or ACT. Most of these kids discovered a passion and were allowed the latitude to dive right in. Now many of them are in blue collar careers that suit their personalities and passions. To me, I'd consider an informed and happily productive young adult a greater educational success than one who's been forced into a more "desirable" or "high-achieving" path. But this kind of thing is hard to get qualitative data on, so I'm just wondering what other criteria there might be to assessing educational quality or equity. 

    Also, I really hope your district does a better job with phonics than either of my nephews' districts. (And I'm sure it does. Texas education sucks balls in general.) Other than learning a few letter sounds and some CVC word families, their phonics instruction is well...limited at best. And I never would have known this or noticed this had I not researched and implemented phonics instruction for my own kiddos - phonics and history have been the two most eye-opening subjects that I've taught my kids so far. There was SO MUCH left out of my own learning in each of those, and so much I don't see being taught to students now still.

    Just think, most students are only taught one phonogram for ch. /Ch/ - chair, cheese, chicken, chocolate. But rarely are also taught that ch also says /k/ and /sh/. Many times these are taught as exceptions, but there are so many words that utilitize these sounds! Christmas, school, schedule, chef, machine, crochet. English doesn't have nearly as many exceptions to phonics rules as people think. We're just not taught all of the rules properly. 


  6. Being "behind" is a concept that only exists in schools and has little to do with learning in general. All educational benchmarks are essentially made up by people and some of those are even arbitrary. Whenever someone pulls their kiddos to homeschool and starts panicking on the FB groups, the first thing we have to make them understand is that homeschool doesn't have to (and shouldn't) look like public school. The second thing we have to make them understand is that there is no such thing as being "behind". Kiddos always learn best on their own timeline, and regardless of the intention and effort of individual teachers, public school simply cannot accommodate each student on their own timeline. Inevitably, this leaves some students "behind". It also leaves gifted and advanced learners "behind" in their potential because they too cannot learn on their own (accelerated) timeline. This is possibly my least favorite thing about our educational system as a whole, and one of the main reasons we homeschool. 

    If we judge solely by state or national standards, both of my kids are "behind" in various subjects. My kiddos are both very smart (though only one has been officially labeled gifted, I'm pretty sure they both are), but they still have a natural learning timeline that doesn't match up with state or national standards. At this point, and I'm not even joking here, Luke's handwriting is better than Noah's. I'm not sure Noah's ever going to have "good" handwriting. Both kiddos use the same math program (very conceptual for exceptionally gifted math-y people) - Luke is flying through Level 1 and will likely be starting Level 2 well before summer, and Noah is FINALLY (OMG FINALLY) on the last section of Level 5. Age-wise, these kids are in 1st and 9th grade. There's a very real possibility that they'll be working on the same math in the next 3-4 years. But the only real advantage Luke has over Noah is that Noah has very low processing speed and working memory. 

    And also, from what I've seen and read, many public schools barely even teach phonics anymore. They rely on other reading methods. Check this out, you might find it enlightening. 

  7. 19 hours ago, Hobbes said:

    At what age should two same sex siblings stop bathing together?

    I saw, when they don't want to anymore.  Family member chastised us for letting them still bathe together.  I am sure this is a no real right/ all cultural philosophy answer.   Just wondering what everyone here thinks.

    No clue. We still bathe Luke (6) with his little cousins (boys 4 & 5 and girl 3). Nobody seems to care. Noah went through a weird "don't see me naked!" thing when he was 8/9 and then got over it until he was 12ish, and now he's solidly in teenage privacy zone (and he takes 30 minute showers but doesn't seem to come out completely clean...somebody help me here!!). 


    22 hours ago, Tank said:

    Literally the first time he’s ever gotten in trouble. We’re secretly proud that he’s at least getting out and being something of a teenager.

    Looking forward to this with Noah. I get it. 

  8. I signed up for Stitch Fix a couple of months ago. And so far, I kinda love it. The clothes are high quality, reasonably priced, and it's simple. Most of the brands have been things I've never heard of, but that's fine with me. About 80% of my wardrobe was from Lane Bryant because they're the only brand I know that stays consistent in their sizes so I can shop online more than in store. I like it so much, I signed my husband up as well. So if you want a referral (with a discount I believe) let me know. 

    But I recently decided that I need to just dump all the crap in my closet and basically start over with only clothing that looks good on me. So I had my judgy bitch of a sister come watch me try on my entire wardrobe and tell me honestly what looked good and what didn't. Then I started filling in holes, but first I did a LOT of research (it's what I do) about my body type and coloring and what would look good on me. Turns out, 99% of what I'd kept actually followed exactly what all these stylists online recommended for someone my shape and coloring, so go me for accidentally buying the right things sometimes. 

  9. Psychologically speaking, what makes kids "tough" is security. The confidence that grows from a secure home with healthy attachments to caring adults is what develops into mentally healthy adults. 

  10. I don't think any amount of exposure to toxic environments is good when they're that young. If it's something that definitely isn't improving, don't hesitate. Just do it. You might just find that you're kicking yourself for not doing it sooner. 

  11. He'd likely be supportive but confused. Trevor still talks about Jason as Jason was 15ish years ago (which wasn't much different than Trevor himself was 15ish years ago tbh), so in his mind, Jason is still a single dufus who spends all of his time and money on video games and movies and works a dead end job.  

    We just don't get jealous or police each other's relationships with other people. We don't really keep secrets from each other either. And not in a high and mighty, self-righteous sorta way - it's just that neither one of us has the bandwidth to bother. We have each other's emails on our phones, all of our social media stays logged in on the computer, we know the passcode to each other's phone, and we share our location with each other on Google maps, not because of any trust issues, just because it makes our lives easier to navigate. At this point, our lives are so intertwined because of our chosen lifestyle (work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschool, scouting, etc.) that it would be nearly impossible to keep a secret anyway. We're just always together or with the kids. 

  12. 27 minutes ago, Hobbes said:

    Not crazy.

    If you struck up the friendship, would you tell Trevor or keep it on the DL?  When, not if, the topic of sex comes up--what is your plan? 

    You either have to keep that shit bottled up or be willing to engage in a side fling (no judgement) and accept the risks. 



    If I ever decided to reconnect, Trevor would absolutely 100% know about it first. 

  13. Trevor actually knows about my and Jason's entire history, and he also knows how much I miss him. Trevor doesn't know how often I dream about Jason or the depth of the feelings that they cause. 

    Their falling out came apart when their other best friend was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. Jason straight up told Trevor that he just couldn't handle it, and Trevor's response was "well how do you think Craig feels?" I was sorta caught in the middle there. Jason is a much more emotional person that Trevor, and they're quite unmatched in the ability to "power through" something like the slow death of a loved one. I spent years defending Jason there because I know that his initial reaction was a cry for support, and eventually he could have been supported enough to be as strong as Trevor was through the entire thing. But actually, Trevor did eventually reach a point where he couldn't handle it anymore either. Craig deteriorated rapidly for someone with HD, and it took a HUGE toll on Trevor every time we saw Craig. Trevor actually didn't see Craig the last year of his life, mostly because our own lives didn't provide much opportunity but also because it took such a toll. This also all happened about a year or so after we moved from Austin to Houston, so the physical distance also helped them along. 

    All that to say, my friendship with Jason sorta fell by the wayside during all of this as well. We had no fights. Trevor never asked (and especially did not demand) that I stop being friends with Jason as well. We just drifted apart. And Trevor did apologize to him a few years ago, so they sorta made amends, but they'll never be as close again.

    The last time I saw and spoke to Jason was at Craig's funeral. I'm the one who called Jason to tell him Craig had died. We actually spent nearly 2 hours on the phone that night just chatting and whatnot. And we all spent a lot of time reminiscing and catching up at the wake. This was back in September 2020. 

    Back during the year or so after Trevor divorced and returned from the Navy, I was definitely deeply in love with both of them and sleeping with them both. I now know that they each felt the same, but at the time, neither one was ready to admit it to anyone (especially me) (or each other for that matter). I had a lot of resentment for each of them back then because neither relationship felt casual until they were pressed (usually not by me) then they would flip out and insist that they each were "definitely NOT dating" me. I still don't know if that was because of their relationship with each other or Trevor's recent bad marriage or Jason's twenty-something ideal of his "perfect woman" (which I was not...physically) (also...that might just be my own insecurities there because I don't recall that ever coming up...ever...). (Scratch that! The fourth member of their little boy group, Ramon, once told me that the 4 of them had all agreed that if I "lost a little weight, you'd be SUPER HOT". We don't talk to Ramon either, but in hindsight, I definitely think he had some delays and is likely on the spectrum because he would word-vomit shit like that all the time.)

    Anyway, these relationships have been consuming half of my 40 year-old life, but I rarely get to talk about them in depth because I've grown apart from everyone in my life who knows the whole histories. And most of our family friends would be appalled if they knew I was sleeping with 2 guys during the same time period (though, it was more than that because those 2 stressed me out so much with their "do they or don't they" bullshit that I kept dating around...which might have also caused some of their issues since I wasn't so secretive about it...)

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