Monday, November 4, 2013

I Shouldn't Teach Math

As a  homeschooling mom, I have to teach my children in all subjects. This includes Math. I detest Math. I know, I use it every day, couldn't live without it, blah blah blah. I am married to a Math teacher. When he tries to explain a problem to me, I get mad and walk away. Stop boring me! Nope, Math and I don't get along.

So, today when I was attempting to teach my son about place value and my daughter about greater than, less than, I sort of snapped. They were trying their hardest to understand what I was attempting to explain but just could not grasp the concepts. I was getting more and more frustrated. I got to the point of yelling a bit. And then, I looked inward, got up, walked away while telling them to give me a few minutes to regroup. I ended Math lessons for the day after that.

When I was in school, I hated Math as much as I hate it now. Sure, I had pretty awesome teachers that took the time to help me, but it was the one area I could not grasp the concepts. I also had some really bad teachers that berated me for my lack of knowledge. And now, I somehow have to pass on a love of Math to my kids. Ugh. I can teach Science! I can teach Language Arts! Just don't ask me to teach Math!

Because I couldn't do this on my own, I turned to You have to pay to use their website but if it gets my kids enjoying Math, then it is well worth it in my book! I don't want them to hate Math, I don't want them to hate me for getting angry when they don't understand something. Sure, my husband could help out but you have to remember that he is at school all day and only sees the kids for a few hours at night. He does sit down with them to explain hard concepts and he is so much better at it!

So if you find yourself frustrated while helping your child learn a new subject, step away. They aren't failing, and neither are you. You just need help. Don't be afraid to go looking for it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Craft Show Etiquette

Today, I spent half my day at a craft show an hour from home, promoting my small crochet business. My mom left her home early, very early to watch my children for me. My husband comes with me to help set up and provide bathroom backup. After a couple hours, I kept hearing the same phrase, "I could make that." There is nothing worse for a crafter to hear, after they have spent hours making sure every stitch or line is perfect, choosing the right materials, and arranging it all on a small table to be pleasant to the eye. So, since I don't have much time before this day passes, here are some rules for craft shows.

1. Don't say "I could make that" or my favorite, turn to your friend and ask if they can make that. If you could make it, you would have already. These are my ideas, my color choices, and my time. You wouldn't walk into a computer store, look at a laptop and immediately declare that you could make it, even if you could. I depend on sales to put my kids in good clothes, or in classes outside of the home to supplement their schooling. It isn't for fun, I am working, so please respect me enough to not say that in my presence. If you want to say it at home or in your car, not where I can hear you.

2. Don't ask for my pattern. I mean really? How would you feel if you ran a restaurant and served something everyone loved and I asked you for the recipe. If I am selling patterns, that is the only time it would be acceptable.

3. Don't try to bargain me down. We aren't at a flea market, I don't get my materials for free or extremely cheap. They cost money. Not to mention that my time is also calculated into the price. This isn't something made by machine, with little human intervention. It is made by my hands, it's Made in the USA, not by some poor soul in a sweatshop overseas. I hope that last part made you uncomfortable so you start questioning what you are buying. $30 dollars for a scarf, you bet. It takes me at least four hours to make one of them, and if I were to pay myself minimum wage, that is at least $28 in labor. So I'm not even making minimum wage over here.

The next few are for people who run craft shows. Now, I know not every person or organization that runs craft shows are guilty of the next two rules but I have seen it happen more than once.

4. Vendors are not crafters. They are people working for the pyramid schemes that are the cosmetic companies, cooking utensil companies and whatever other companies you can host at home parties for. If you have a craft show, and it is more than 10 percent vendor, you aren't having a craft show, you are having a giant home shopping party. Craft implies that skill is involved, vendors are hawking what is made overseas.

5. Promote  your show! Put up big signs on the road letting everyone know that people are selling really cool stuff at your venue! The signs I saw on the road today were pitiful. I happened to be at a church and know that the show is a fundraising event. However, if you don't bring people in and keep the crafters busy, they aren't going to come back. And there go your fundraising opportunities.

All I am trying to convey is that with all the time I put into my craft, please respect me for it. I am not making cheap junk to sell for $2 a pop. I care about what I sell to you, and I would like you to respect that.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pen to Paper, Finger to Keyboard

As a homeschooling mother of four, I find it hard to take the time to write on my blog. This is why I joined NaBloPoMo. To make myself take the time to do something I love. Where did that part of me go and when did I lose her? When I was younger, I enjoyed writing stories outside of those required for school. I was put into the honor society in college because of a paper I wrote in an English class. So why did  I stop taking time for something that was/is a big part of me?

I remember when my first child was born, my world did a 180. No more was I that selfish 20-something, I had a life to care for and that life was all that mattered. Then came three more. I have put a lot on the back burners for them. Not that I regret it, far from it. I would rather be playing with them than holed up in an office, pounding away at the keyboard. I wouldn't miss their crazy antics for anything. 

But, I find my mind writing stories as I do things like the dishes, or laundry. And by the time I am done with  my task and could conceivably write down my thoughts, they are gone, like smoke. And so I move on to the next task, wishing I could recall my thoughts. What is a busy mom to do? 

And then there is my doubt. I think everything I create is awful, all the time. No matter who tells me how beautiful it is. Or how good it is. I even thought the paper that got me into the honor society sucked. I have no faith in my own abilities. How do I stop that person from rearing her ugly head? Even now, I think what I am writing in this post sucks. That you will think I am whining, or dumb. See, she pops into my head all the time. Why?????

So, that is why I signed up, I needed to put myself out there. To shut up my doubting self. To prove to myself that I can still do this. 

I just hope you don't think it sucks........