Saturday, April 23, 2016

Grandma = Game Changer

At least in my own mind, I'm young and hip (my teenagers will tell you I am NOT hip, they would use words like "embarrassing" or "mortifying"). Far too young to be a grandma....but 12 days ago, I became one.

It's amazing how being a mom changes you (or a dad but I wouldn't know since I'm not a man). Being a grandparent though? 

Total. Game. Changer.

It's quite remarkable how much this has changed me. It isn't a secret to anyone that I plan to open my own school in the very near future. It will be independent (not affiliated with any specific district) because I want to do things a certain way that I think most districts would be leery of. Totally understandable which is why I don't plan to pitch my idea to my own district or any others nearby. I'll do it on my own.

But since having this new person enter my life, my purpose and mission for it has shifted. Now, instead of thinking "what kind of school would I want my kids to attend?" the question has shifted to "what kind of school do I want for my grandchild(ren)?"

It's a relatively subtle shift in the question...but it's powerful. This young boy is not even two weeks old and everything I thought I knew has now been put through my "grandma" lens...and some things are being tweaked. Does that mean I don't care about my own kids anymore? Of course not....

But my kids are all beyond the elementary stage. My younger two are going to be in 8th and 9th grade next year. My school will be K-5 (possibly K-8 but I doubt it...I really want to stick to what I know best). Therefore, the experiences my own kids have had in elementary school will certainly shape some of the things I'd like to change, but my focus is on what kind of school would I want my grandson to be attending.

While it's tempting to jump on the edu-jargon bandwagon and proclaim that a new school would be innovative, creative, project-based, implement STEM projects (and every other current trend), what I want to do is create a safe, caring environment where all kids are met at their level. Their learning is personalized based upon the standards, not some arbitrary sequence in a text book. Play and creativity is encouraged and fostered. Kids are held accountable. Their parents are partners and treated as such. 

My vision for my school has been relatively consistent for the last two years, but now it has shifted. What kind of learning environment do I want for my grandson to grow up in? What kind of learning experiences will be necessary to foster his imagination? How can the curriculum support curiosity and inquiry while instilling "soft skills" and rigor in our kids?

I always tell people it's not enough to sit around and complain about the current state of education. We have to go out and DO something about what we don't like. The closer I get to my dissertation, the more I realize that this is true. We have to push back, we have to stand up and we have to think about the next generation: what, ultimately, kind of school system do we want when our legacy (grandchildren) get to kindergarten? 

For me, it would look nothing like how school looks today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Monday morning at 5:38 am, I became a grandma. Friends of mine have told me that this baby would make parenting seem like a joke because being a grandparent is so much better. I didn't really understand it until I snuggled this sweet baby for the first time. It's such a bigger deal than being a mom...the legacy lives on through the grandchildren. So precious.

I am so very grateful to be able to spend two weeks at home helping The Oldest as she adjusts to being a new mom. This baby boy really is everything. 

First selfie with his fabulous, hip (and young!) grandma :)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Currently {April 2016} + Giveaway Winner!

Happy April! Can you believe how fast this year is flying by?!

Thank you to those who entered my Kwik Stix giveaway! Christina is the winner :) You will receive an email from Kendal at Pencil Grips, Inc to claim your prize. Congratulations! Please do let me know how you like them :) 

And now onto Currently...the reason many of us maintain our blogs once a month bahahaha

Listening: I do not listen to the radio because I can't stand the chit-chat (which is really ironic for someone who gets paid to talk all day). I get most of my mainstream music from word-of-mouth recommendations. When I was in DC, they were playing Something in the way you move before one of the plenaries and can't help but just want to dance to it. And let's be real, we've all had a boyfriend/girlfriend in our life at some point who was just not good for us but we couldn't stay away from them. I am totally obsessed with this song and sometimes listen to it the entire 20 minute commute to work--it just pumps me up because of the peppy pop beat.

Loving: Our spring break started at 3:34 on Thursday. I love my little guys but they are SO draining sometimes! And since my grandson will be arriving any day now, I am off for three weeks instead of one because I am taking FMLA for two weeks to help The Oldest transition into her role as a new momma. Love!

Thinking: Speaking of that grandson....I can't wait for him to arrive! We thought he was on his way last week as his momma was having lots of contractions but he is a stubborn little one and has not arrived yet. He is due on Monday and we're hoping to meet him sooner rather than later.

Wanting: My house needs a major spring cleaning but I HATE cleaning. Ugh. It is necessary but it is also very tedious and boring. I'd much rather pay someone to do it...but The Husband won't let me. :(

Needing: This current grad class is winding down and I'm SO ready for a break from that too. My brain is overloaded (in a good way) but I need a mental break. I love to learn and could seriously be an academic nerd forever (if someone wanted to pay me lots of money to read books and research stuff, I'd be all over it), but sometimes you just gotta think about nothing.

Whatever:  I am not impressed at all that we're supposed to have a winter storm today....unfortunately it is not an April Fool's joke. *sigh* It seems to always snow at least once over spring break. So I guess as long as it does it over the weekend and then decides to be nice and sunny, I can deal with that. This winter was VERY mild compared to the last two years but I am still more than ready for sun and warmth.