Supermoms Anonymous

Can I really have it all and why would I want to?

My dog ate my homework…

Well, not homework per se, but at least the last 9 months of my blog posts!

Okay, I admit, the dog only eats paper (and cardboard,  upholstery foam,  & innocent tomato plants – but that is beside the point) so it is unlikely that she ate 9 months of my would-have-been amazing additions to the blogosphere.   But some days, she makes me mad enough to blame her for all this blogging silence.

Life has been more than the average crazy level. Time to kick “busy” crazy out the door and just have “fun” crazy instead. Home school is on pause for the summer… at least my kids think so. As any teacher can tell you, learning never really needs to stop; we just put away the textbooks for the summer.

In the meantime, we still attend co-op classes, try new gymnastic programs, and visit with friends. What, don’t you learn when you hang out with your friends?  A good friend will tell you that your new awesome outfit is not wonderfully eccentric but more of a Clash of the Titans meets the Titanic mash up. See what I mean? Learning all the the time…

Don’t forget that summer is an amazing time to get those P.E. credits finished: swimming at Key Biscayne, walking down Duval Street in Key West, weight lifting on the Fourth of July (try lugging 50 pounds of beach gear, food, drinks, and a camera),  bicycling around the neighborhood (to find the aforementioned dog who has gone missing after you refused to walk her),  and conditioning (try not to pass out from heat exhaustion on the hottest day of the year which just happens to be the same day as the OUTDOOR Renaissance Festival).

On top of all that, I get plenty of exercise in trying to juggle the calendar. My daughter has stopped denying her closet extrovert and is indulging in a veritable  marathon of social activities this summer.  Between the cheap seat movies, photography class, teen crafts at the library, gymnastics, 2 youth groups, and just hanging out with her new friends – did I mention that she suddenly developed a fondness for the mall, shopping and TCBY? – my calendar is filled with red marker notes, telling me where my minivan will be parked each day.

Since I am going to be in such great physical shape by the end of summer, maybe it’s time to plan for a little R&R this fall.

red calendar

Photo credit Amanda Rose at

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Homeschooling: Act 11

I cannot believe we have been homeschooling for a decade already. We are about to embark on our eleventh homeschool year.

My favorite websites…

Legal Crap, Red tape, and other inanities:


  • Need to check your kid’s algebraic factoring? Check out some of the amazing calculators available online.
  • For video lessons and self-checking practice questions, check out Khan Academy – AND it’s FREE!
  • Logic puzzles are wonderful for stretching the mind. My current fave site is

English (including the dreaded analogies, reading comprehension passages, etc.):

This school year we are going to try the following:

What are your favorite websites?

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Back to School

Here in Alabama, the neighborhood kids are getting ready to go back to school already. Monday, AUGUST 9th is the first day in fact. My kids are looking at me like I have lost my mind. The oldest asks, “What happened to Labor Day? Did I miss it?”

We sort of saunter into the school year. In June, we hit the local thrift stores to pick up practically new items at thrift stores, such as backpacks and lunch boxes that mom and dad had to replace most of the way through the school year.

In July, we cruise the Wal-mart school supply aisles, stocking up enough glue, pencils and paper to get us through the year (or sponsor a third-world school if we ever invent the truly paperless workplace).  In late August or early September, we go to “NOT Back To School” pool parties and picnics. Finally, by mid-September our home school co-op classes have started and we are already looking at ways to slow down the hectic go-go-go pace of activities, meetings and field trips.

At least, I like to pretend to be so casual about all this back-to-school funny business.  While the surface of the pond is calm and smooth, millions of things are happening below.  Plants are attempting to grow faster than they are eaten, micro organisms are planning their next conquest of the earth and aquatic animals are doing what they do best: eat, sleep and make babies.

So while my family is sorta, maybe, kinda toying with the idea of getting back into the routine of math books and home school co-ops, I am swimming around trying to get all my ducks in a row.  Scoping out interesting books, locating local groups for our interests, and – EEK – getting my paperwork done.  This year the stress of the official paperwork looms over my head slightly heavier than usual.  New state, new laws and regulations to learn, new cover school to choose.

Cover school…brings a new level of red tape to home schooling.  I will comply because I have not the time nor the quixotic strength to fight every instance of ignorance and inefficiency I confront in life.

Cover school: def – a middle man between the state and the homeschooling parent to act as buffer in case of public uproar, possible blame and idiocy.

The basic premise is that the homeschooling parent (yep, that’s me ) will enroll the students (my kids) in a cover school. The cover school acts as a church school (even though the kids will be with me, not in the church school). I report their attendance to the school (three or more forms per school year). The school reports to the state. The school also reports truancy or withdrawal from the school if the parent does not file said forms.

The minimum state legal requirement is the attendance report.  Attendance is compulsory, education is not (a.k.a. you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, at least not without risk of a horseshoe upside the head). The fact that someone has finally acknowledged this is a major triumph in the grand institution of education.

p.s. The word of the day is “red tape” (technically 2 words I know, but you get the point). In the 18th century, British government documents were bound in red ribbon (also called tapes) and we all know how much paperwork any government office produces. So I can only imagine how much red tape a single office worker had to deal with on a daily basis.  Maybe I should tie little red bows around my attendance reports. (Grosgrain or curly ribbon?)

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