Categories
Inspirational

Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on Three Independent School Districts in North Central Texas


As Covid-19 continues to plague our nation and 179 other nations of the world. I present to you the following paper.

Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on Three Independent School Districts in North Central Texas

Kathy A. Challis

The University of Texas of Permian Basin

Abstract

The Covid-19 Pandemic Virus had a significant impact on education and communities. On April 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year”. In response, K-12 schools and Universities went to on-line distance learning. We will look at three Independent Schools in the following districts, Burleson, Fort Worth, and Richardson to see how they have handled the pandemic of 2019-2020, With President Donald Trump’s edict to safely reopen the schools in Fall of 2020, we explore the tentative plans tor these three districts to open for the 2020-2021 school terms…

Keywords:  COVID-19, Coronavirus, Abbott,  K-12 School

Current Effects

Why the effects of  CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) is important to school districts.

“On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is Coronavirus Disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for the disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.”

On March 31, 2020, “Governor Greg Abbott ordered Texas schools closed and to not be reopened until May 4 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 Then, on  April 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  

Are there any suggestions on “How To” operate in virtual learning?

Fort Worth ISD offers the following suggestions for virtual learning:

“Stay in touch with your child’s school.

Create a schedule and routine for learning at home, but remain flexible.

Consider the needs and adjustments required for your child’s age group.

The transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, K-5, middle school students, and high school students. Talk to your child about expectations and how they are adjusting to being at home versus at school.

Look for ways to make learning fun”.

Is distance learning available to all students in the least restrictive environment?

“Helping children understand and follow recommendations, like social distancing and wearing cloth face coverings, can be challenging if your child has intellectual disabilities, sensory issues, or other special healthcare needs.

 Many schools are offering lessons online (virtual learning).

What accommodations will be made for teachers who are high-risk, or who live with a high-risk person?

.

Will regular campus in-person learning be available during the initial pandemic of 2019-2020 school terms?

2019-20 No! Only essential staff will be allowed on campus during the school closure.

The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:

Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.

More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).

Highest Risk: Full-sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities. (CDC)

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of 2019-2020?

 Yes!

How will the following issues be addressed? 

Each school district will be responsible for educating parents and providing loaner equipment. Certain internet providers are providing limited service to school districts

Each school district will be responsible to educating parents on the usage of equipment BISD uses Palm Beach County Library Mousercise. Fort Worth ISD foundational skills can be found at the following: GCF Learn Free, Chrome Music Lab, Jungle Junior Typing for Kids!, Dance Mat Typing, and Typing Club Curriculum. When one goes to http://www.fwisd.edu they can choose links to explain how to access programs.  Under Google, the applications your child is likely using at home including News 2 You, Let’s go Learn, Lexia, Google Meet/(Hangout), and Learning Ally can be accessed via their personalized Class Link page. This is the page that opens when your child logs in to their FWISD account. Students can now simply click on the icons for these programs and login to their account. (fwisd)

Student lessons and instructions should be at their level and capabilities as instructed by their classroom/distance learning teacher. Parents, should not “Do” their child’s assignments. If there are concerns that the instructions are too difficult or easy we ask that the teachers be contacted first in order to resolve the issue.  Students on IEP’s should have adaption or modification as needed by their teacher team.Keeping children at home can lower stress created by social distancing and cloth face-covering recommendations. Reach out to others for help in running essential errands. Behavioral techniques can be used to address behavioral challenges and to develop new routines. These include social stories, video modeling, picture schedules, and visual cues. Try rewarding your child in small ways with his or her favorite non-food treat or activities to help switch routines and to follow recommendations. Many of the organizations you turn to for information and support around your child’s complex, a chronic medical condition may have information on their websites to help families address issues related to COVID-19.

Will home-bound teachers be provided during the initial pandemic school term 2019-2020?

2019-2020 Students who are currently receiving special homebound services prior to COVID-19 will continue to receive services during the pandemic until the school term is exhausted. While learning at home, continue special education services, accommodations, or services received in school through your child’s 504 plan or Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), as much as possible. Many schools are continuing interventions like speech therapy, small group classes, extended time, and more. Learn more about supporting children with distance learning.”

Your child’s therapist(s) and teachers may also have resources to help successfully introduce new routines to your child.

The Teacher Education Agency also has links for Special Learners Education

What extra responsibilities will teachers be tasked with to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the classroom?

For the 2019-2020 school term, the custodial staff has implemented a sanitation practice in line with CDC and OSHA requirements. Teachers have bagged student belongings and delivered them to student parents through a drive-thru method at their school.

 How does social distancing affect student instruction?

All three school districts, 2019-2020 decided it is impossible to host all students and staff at your average brick and mortar school while maintaining a radius distance of  (6’)  six feet apart. In compliance with Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to close Texas schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. For the remaining staff that is deemed necessary, wearing masks and/or gloves and maintaining the six feet distancing has been in effect since school closure. Staff would include, janitorial, kitchen, security, and office personnel. The principal and teachers are not deemed necessary for personal contact situations, therefore they are required to perform virtual distance-teaching- instruction.

How has Covid-19 changed the way that students are taught in the 2019-2020 school term?

Students will sign in and access their assignments through Google Classroom. Within the assignments posted to their classes, there may be instructions to use additional online resources. At FTWISD, BISD, and RISD many resources are embedded within students’ accounts where students can sign in to their accounts inside the resource by using their sign-in credentials. Some assignments, however, will have direct links to the online resources needed to complete the assignments.

Burleson, Ft. Worth, and Richardson all plan to offer in-person teaching with an on-line option for students at enrollment. It is the consensus that students will be taught in the least restrictive environment with safety as the primary concern.

Future Plans for the School term 2020-2021.

Remarks by President Trump on Safely Reopening America’s Schools  EDUCATION  Issued on: July 7, 2020

“So what we want to do is we want to get our schools open.  We want to get them open quickly, beautifully, in the fall.  And the — as you know, this is a disease that’s a horrible disease, but young people do extraordinarily well.  I was with the governor of New Jersey.  We were talking, and he said, out of — and he mentioned a number which is a very high number, but it’s a — it’s a number nevertheless — thousands of people, there was only one person that died that was under 18 years old in the state of New Jersey, and that was somebody, I guess, had a problem with perhaps diabetes or something else.  But one person out of thousands of people — one person died, who was under 18 years old.  So that’s a pretty amazing stat, when you think of it.”

“THE VICE PRESIDENT leader [of]  the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It’s important that we reopen our schools, as you’ve directed, for the academic and the intellectual development of our children, but it’s also vitally important that we remember, as Dr. McCance-Katz told the governors today, that 7 million American children suffer from either mental illness or emotional disturbance, and they principally receive the care from health and mental services at their school.  And so making sure that we’re — we’re meeting the mental and emotional needs of our children, as well as making advances academically, is what brings us here today.” 

The First Lady: The first pillar of my BE BEST initiative is children’s wellbeing.  And taking care of children’s social, emotional, and physical health has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The administration has worked around the clock to protect Americans from the coronavirus, but many challenges for children and families can be just as invisible as the virus and just as dangerous.

When children are out of school, they are missing more than just time in the classroom.  They’re missing the laughter of their friends, learning from their teachers, and the joy of recess and play.

For children with disabilities, without access to technology or whose homes are not a safe place, the situation can be even worse.

As the start of the school year gets closer, I encourage parents, teachers, and school to teach children about the importance of CDC guidelines and to implement them when appropriate.

Children’s mental health and social development must be as much of a priority as physical health.  The same is true for parents.  Many will be forced to make stressful choices between caring for their children and going back to work.  And we must address those needs as well, as their own mental health and wellbeing.

“Today, Mr. President, as you know, we spoke to the nation’s governors on the topic of this summit.  And we reflected on the fact, as now 47 governors and the governors of 2 territories have announced plans to reopen schools across America, that — that it’s important to do so for a variety of reasons.  The First Lady just spoke of this.  We ought to well be concerned about children falling behind academically, and there’s no substitute for in-classroom learning, for in-person learning — and that’s been much discussed at the summit today.”

Dr. Jimerson Burleson Independent School District (BISD) Superintendent states in his July 03, 2020 video to parents that the goal of BISD is to provide clean, safe, classrooms, and structured routines when the student arrives in school for the 2020-2021 school term, and there will be an element of on-line instruction.

Will home-bound teachers be provided during the initial pandemic school term in the 2020-2021 school term?

2020-2021 Students who are currently receiving special homebound services prior to COVID-19 will continue to receive services during the pandemic until the school term is exhausted. Parents will be able to decide for their child whether in-person instruction or virtual instruction will take place upon enrollment in the 2020-21 school terms.

Is distance learning available to all students in the least restrictive environment?

Yes, the same methods employed in 2019-2020 virtual learning will take place during the 2020-2021 school term, with the added benefit of students a choice to attend in-person instruction or remain on virtual instruction.  Fort Worth ISD (FWISD), Richardson (RISD), and Burleson (BISD) will continue to offer this practice in 2020-2021.

Will regular campus in-person learning be available during the initial pandemic of the 2020-2021 school term? Yes.

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of 2020-2021 school terms?

Yes!

How will the following issues be addressed? 

  1. Lack of internet service or computer system

Each school district will be responsible for educating parents and providing loaner equipment. Certain internet providers are providing limited service to school districts

  • Lack of parental knowledge of using computer/internet

Each school district will be responsible to educating parents on the usage of equipment.

  • Lack of parental ability to help teach/coach assignments, for Regular and SPED students.

Student lessons and instructions will be like the 2019-2020 post-COVID-19 initiative  

As Schools Plan for Reopening, Worried Teachers Say They Have More Questions Than Answers By Madeline Will on June 30, 2020, Teacher Education Week publication.

If a teacher is exposed to someone with COVID-19, will they have to use their sick days of self-quarantine for two weeks? The CDC answers this question as follows.

When a teacher or student is suspected of having CORVID-19, they ought to seek medical attention to confirm or deny the diagnosis of Covid-19.

Follow the CDC’s guidelines for managing COVID-19 at home. Actively encourage employees and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home.  According to the CDC one should develop policies that encourage sick employees and students to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees, students, and students’ families are aware of these policies.

Staff and students should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.

What accommodations will be made for teachers who are high-risk, or who live with a high-risk person during the 2020-2021 school term? The same accommodations suggested by the CDC, TEA, and WHO are implemented.

What extra responsibilities will teachers be tasked with to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the classroom during the 2020-2021 school term?

For the 2020-21 term an excerpt from Fort Worth ISD website follows:

As the Fort Worth ISD continues to prepare for the option of “in-person instruction” this fall strict new protocols are being put into place for every campus. New rules for the 2020-21 academic year will mean schools are cleaned multiple times during the daytime hours rather than in the evening as has been the practice for many years.  The Independent School Districts are also making a significant investment in both PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) –for both adults and children—as well as cleaning supplies for campuses and other FWISD facilities.  That includes the purchase of cloth and disposable masks, face shields, and gloves.  The see-through face shields will be utilized in situations where facial recognition and cues are essential, especially for younger children and those students who may have special needs. Additionally: Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be a staple in every classroom.

Custodial staff will use EPA-approved disinfectants to regularly and rigorously clean “high-touch areas” during the school day. Each school will be cleaned again when classes conclude. 

Will distance learning be available to students during the pandemic of  2020-2021 school terms?

Yes! The USA wasn’t affected until the Winter of 2020.  In June 2020, the Fort Worth Board of Directors has decided to allow both in-person at school and distance/virtual learning to be available to parents to select for their child for the 2020-2021 school term.  Fort Worth has the Learning at Home Resources for the Parents login page for Distance Learning instructions. (LHRP)

How has Covid-19 changed the way that students are taught in the 2020-2021 school term?

Students will sign in and access their assignments through the school’s main webpage.. At FTWISD, BISD, and RISD many resources are embedded within students’ accounts where students can sign in to their accounts inside the resource by using their sign-in credentials. Some assignments, however, will have direct links to the online resources needed to complete the assignments.  Burleson, Ft. Worth, and Richardson all plan to offer in-person teaching with an on-line option for students at enrollment. It is the consensus that students will be taught in the least restrictive environment with safety as the primary concern.

In conclusion, the CORVID-19 has forever changed the way we view primary education, no longer will K-12th grades be strictly in a brick and mortar building. With Virtual Distance Learning, a child can learn from any location where internet service is provided. One interesting fact about COVID-19 is “ Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it. Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover thanks to supportive care. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first. If you have a fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medical care immediately.” (CDC)

References

BISD- Burleson Independent School District

Chrome Music Lab  https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments

CDC1-  Center for Disease Control (2020) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

CDC2- The Centers for Disease Control  (2019)  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

Dance Mat Typing @ https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr

Education Service Center for Region XI. https://www.esc11.net/Page/8808 reviewed 07/03/2020. https://www.esc11.net/Domain/1365

Foundational Computer Skills  GCF LearnFree.Org @ https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/

FTWISD1- Fort Worth Independent School District (2020)  www.fwisd.edu

FWISD2- FWISD Plans for New Cleaning Protocols in 2020-21 School Year Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 7/6/2020 9:00:00 AM

GCF LearnFree.Org @ https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CREATIVE RESEARCH THOUGHTS – IJCRT

Jungle Junior: Typing for Kids! (Multilingual) @ https://www.typingclub.com/kids-typing

Learning at Home Resources for Parents https://sites.google.com/teachers.fwisd.org/learnathomefamilyresources/home

Palm Beach County Library Mousercise!@ http://www.pbclibrary.org/mousing/mousercise.htm

Paxton, Kent,  Attorney Generals Office March 25, 2020. https://www.esc11.net/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=14989&dataid=24255&FileName=AG%20Opinion%20March%2025%202020.pdf

Richarson Independent School District (2020)  http://www.richardson.k12.tx.us/

Scholastic Classroom Magazine https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/coronavirus.html

SASS- Special Academic Support Services, go to https://www.smore.com/b9e2z

TEA- Texas Education Agency  www.tea.gov

Will, Madeline  As Schools Plan for Reopening, Worried Teachers Say They Have More Questions Than Answers By  on June 30, 2020, Teacher Education Week publication

Typing Club Curriculum (Multilingual) @ https://www.typingclub.com/ (IJCRT.ORG)

WHO1- The World Health Organization (WHO):  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

WHO2: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public: Myth busters”: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters  

   Remarks by President Trump on Safely Reopening America’s Schools

 EDUCATION  Issued on: July 7, 2020

Categories
Inspirational

Covid-19, too close for comfort


Tonight, a lady from my bible study group was careflighted to the hospital. She was placed on a ventilator and tested for coronavirus causing COVID-19, we are waiting on the test results. Her family is not allowed at the hospital to be with her, even though she is elderly- it’s too great a risk with the hospital staff not knowing her diagnosis. My heart ands prayers are with her all evening and night long. May God be gracious in his mercy and tend to her needs.

Robert and I were trying to remember if we had any contact with mutual friends in the past three weeks. It was mind-boggling because a visit from a mutual friend could expose us if they were exposed, according to the last news update. (A friend of a friend is your enemy.)

Social distancing, hand washing, masks, gloves and staying sheltered is the best preventative measure one can take against a flu virus. (Cleanliness is next to Godliness.) There is a shortage on cleaning solutions, hand sanitizers, and masks in the stores, as people try to protect their families. Wiping carts down or and wearing gloves in the grocery store is the best preventative and the mask , and six feet separation of course.

I am enjoying my time with my families during their haitatisis from school and work. I am helping Nate with his lessons and Kassi is helping Zack with his lessons. It’s more hand-holding as they gain self-efficacy in their assignments. The President Trump said schools are to remain closed through May 4th, 2020. They most likely will not resume school afterwards, but continue the distance learning. They will probably have one or two days at the end to return their books and gather their personal effects from their cubbies or lockers at school.

Kat

Categories
Inspirational poetry

The Power of Woman


The Power of Woman

From out of her mother’s womb

This sweet little girl does come

To capture the hearts of many

 

Exploring with her feet

She kicks wildly at her crib

And feels the bed shake

 

Hanging on mommy and daddy

Not just anyone will she go to

Just try and she will cry

 

Teddy bear so cuddly; a welcome night friend

Tea sets filled with rock to serve her imaginary friends

Big girl preschool, lots of playing while learning too

 

Shopping for sleeping bags and cool jammies

Sleepover’s we’ll plan with the greatest of ease

But come nightfall, she’ll want to go home, please

 

Little white tights, Mary Jane leather shoes,

Hair neatly braided, lunch safely tucked

In a carefully chosen backpack

 

On the first day of Kindergarten, she’ll say

“Please Mommy, let Daddy take me.”

A single tear rolls down my cheek after she leaves

 

The years speed by too quickly

Many third-grade romances

And broken hearts in Jr. High

 

Dad, I found the perfect Mustang

It needs a little work, but its so-oo cool!

Mom will you teach me how to drive

 

Graduation robed, and motors tossed in the air

The future is full of promises and dreams

A white flowing dress and love in her eyes

She says’ forever, “I do!”

 

From out of her mother’s womb

This sweet little girl does come

To capture the hearts of many

 

Kat Challis ©2010 The Dreamer’s Soul – Circle of Love

 

Categories
rants & opinions

Online, Private & Local School- What’s the Difference?


This year my sister Gabby decided to place her two granddaughters in a public online school. They said it was free to attend; what they didn’t tell you is it’s expensive if you don’t have scientific equipment (microscope, slides), art supplies (special paper, name brand paint, chalk, crayons, canvas), math tools (calculator, compass, rulers) just to name a few. It cost $300.00 the first week’s assignments to get started.

One has to be self-motivated, self-disciplined, and have the desire to accomplish goals. There are seven 45 minutes lessons due every day with a 30 hours minimum workload. If you get behind in your lessons; the teachers will work with you- but it becomes like a snowball trying to outrun an avalanche. This is not for the faint of heart.

If you skip a practice, quiz, or exercise you are marked as incomplete and you can’t move beyond to the next lesson. It doesn’t matter how many tantrums you throw- you’re not moving forward. You can blame the computer, you can call the help desk and they will research the issue, bottom line_ you are still responsible to get the assignments done.

One has to make a commitment to succeed. There aren’t any alarm clocks to go off and wake you up in the morning and tell you to get to school. If you procrastinate, it only adds to your stress of getting things accomplished that day. There aren’t any school dress codes or uniforms to wear- but it’s important for your self-esteem to dress as if there were (sorry, pj’s all day long don’t count).  And most important you have to show up ready to work. That means having materials ready, pencils and paper available if you don’t use the online note tracker feature, and computer logged in.

One has to put forth an effort. You have an online classroom teacher that connects with you for online live sessions and small class size online groups if you avail yourselves of them. Your teacher will provide feedback on your assignments- you have to be handle being critiqued. No one else is to blame if you fail a portion or all of your assignment.  You will get kudos for passing an assignment in the teacher’s feedback.  In public school, you can make excuses and get away with a lot until test time catches up with you. You also get peer praises to bolster your confidence. On the downside, your peers can reinforce a negative behavior or cause you to think less of yourself.

One doesn’t have social pressure in an online school. The pressure is self-driven and internal. There aren’t any clicks to navigate through. You aren’t bullied by anyone except maybe the computer (lol) and parental force (sigh). You don’t have any prestige or team sports and clubs spirit to attend, despite the school offering them to you via the internet, think chess club, debate, art shows, etc.

Parents have to make a commitment to have you up and dressed and ready to go to work for public, private, or online school. In my sister’s case, she has to drive 38 miles each way to the library, since, they can’t get internet service on the mountain where they live. It can be inconvenient, time-consuming (152 miles daily) and gas/maint expenses add up quickly.  Local public school is only 7 miles away.  In public school you can have an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meeting on short notice, you have quick access to the teacher’s time.  You can form working relationships; party time, volunteering events and tutoring yours and other children.   You can carpool to local school and field trips. Your child can share experiences with other peer children at field trips in a public or private school. Online students meet a group of strangers at a given date and time frame and write their report or portfolio by themselves- no group work.

Children have to be educated- they are our future workforce replenishing the worn out senior citizens.  Minimal paying jobs are a dime a dozen, which means you’re often treated like you are dispensable, and it’s hard to make lasting working relationships with your boss or peers. Minimal paying jobs keep you in or at the poverty level living style.  College is not for everyone, but trade schools are. From being a mechanic, realtor, skilled laborer, trade schools teach one on a fast track towards success, that doesn’t require a lot of formal education like college does. College is a constant building block from Kindergarten onwards for a 16-17 year commitment to just learning and practice at work while you get a Bachelor’s Degree. Certifications are short, quick classes that tell potential employers that you have a specific skill set. I highly recommend certifications to pre & post trade or college level students. It may make a difference in getting chosen for a promotion or salary increase.

Finally, whether you choose public, private, or online school go at it with gusto. I tell my children to see it, believe it, and achieve it. Meaning if you can conceive an idea in your brain, believe in it with your heart, then you can achieve success. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Categories
Inspirational

Proactive Prophecy


Academia:
Robert is the hardest worker that I have ever known. He was always studying for certifications (30+) that would help him move up the ladder or make lateral changes in his employment. He keeps his certificates up to date. He earned an Associates in Computer Science and Bachelor degree in Engineering, all while working 12 hour shifts at work for over ten years span during schooling. And many long days and nights over the 40-year span. He is the Central Region (Corporate) Facility Service Manager for Americold, he has 36 plants that he oversees. He stays on the go daily.
I was fortunate, Robert supported my efforts to go to a private university; Southern Nazarene, and attend for four years so that I could earn a Bachelor in Elementary Education and become a Teacher. Looking back at my employment record, I can see the gaps when I was too ill to work. Areas where I filled in as babysitter for Kassidey for five years. And times where I turned left when I should’ve turned right. Although I still have my license until 2020. I am woefully outdated. I need to volunteer for a year. And see if I can re-establish myself. I am seriously considering Master’s level college studies.
My girls earned their Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Education. They both have a solid career in front of themselves; they work hard and produce positive results with their Special Education students. Rose’s husband also has a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering.
My mentor and spiritual mom Dr. Edythe Leupp of Portland Oregon has been encouraging me to write this book for decades. She believes that young love, can mean everlasting love. She and Tom were married as teenagers also, albeit older than Robert and me. They had five children and numerous grand and great grandchildren many with advanced academic degrees.
Her biggest influence upon me was unconditional love. No matter what the story was or the excuse she loved me totally. Only Jesus had loved me totally and he died for my sins and entrance into salvations heaven.
Perhaps because she didn’t raise me she could love me totally. Sometimes the enormity of having three children can be a bit much for parents to deal with. The cooking and cleaning and discipling gets wrapped up so that it outweighs the fun times of just bonding and being together as a family. I can certainly understand it- I don’t happen to agree with it, but I understand parents who do.
Childhood can seem like it takes forever, so many milestones to meet and mark off time with, it’s been five years that Kass and the boys moved in with Robert and me. Time has flat flown by with the boys being 6 & 8 yr.’s old respectively. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it away. Roses’ Bella is almost two years old and thriving as a happy little girl with her parents and older half-siblings.
No matter how convoluted or congested things get and you think the drama queen or king is in the house permanently – unconditional love conquers all. Then in a blink of an eye it’s over, the children have grown up and gone their own ways.
Tell your children and grandchildren often that you love them, that they are a good person, that you like them, and you enjoy being with them. They hear enough negative talk at school and in the media so your sunny disposition will be the rainbow at the end of their storm.
I can’t stress the importance of getting an education. It doesn’t matter if it is a trade school or college; anything posts high school counts. My 16 years old niece said she is getting married when she turns 17. The age barrier is not my concern, lack of education and employability is. Her fiancé’ is ignorant as they come. He makes light of their housing, food, and other necessities. A HS drop out, unemployed, he says he’s a good hunter and they can eat wild game, and use the hides for clothes and shelter as they live off the land. Even, my brother a serious sportsman would not be so cavalier about such a thing. The fiancé sincerely has the Alaskan survival show in his brain where a family survives by working together out of nothing and bartering. The hardships are of no consequence to him in his romantic notions. I can’t believe my sister is going to permit this union to occur. I am praying for common sense to jump into their pea sized brains before she gets pregnant.
It’s all about character. What is it that makes one stand out from the crowd. What ideology to you scribe to? What are your work ethics, moral values, and ability to reason? Do you have common sense? I could get on board with a Survivalist Mentality if I didn’t know my niece so well. She has two cells phones going 24/7, she owns 4 and changes them out while the others charge up. She talks to friends, watches entertainment videos, and listens to music. She does not work at housekeeping, cooking, or any domestic chores like sewing, knitting, or crochet. Gardening and yard work are also out. She does what she wants when she wants and has an attitude if you try to correct her behavior or thought processes. My husband says it’s the “Me generation,” whereas, kids distance themselves from authority, disrespect our nation and its symbols, yet expects to get free food, shelter, and medical care. They don’t want an education and could care less about holding a meaningful job with any longevity.
She does buy, or accept donated pregnant dogs and sells the pups for a profit. She doesn’t have any license to do this. She uses the money she gets to pay for the upkeep of future puppy sales and her cell phones. At least she is halfway smart in that area. She is a beautiful young woman, with so much potential that is slipping through the cracks. I hope for her that she stays on the education path and graduates high school. I hope that her dreams of being a veterinarian technician work out when she turns 17. I hope for allot of good things to come her way- but she must put forth effort and time and want to succeed in life.
My axiom in life has been, “If you can think of a goal, believe in the goal with your heart, and mind, then, you can achieve the goal.” It’s call proactive prophecy; see, believe, achieve. Parents should model this behavior for their children or grandchildren.

 

 

Categories
Inspirational

The old meets the new learning styles


Teaching my great nieces (9y & 16y) remotely with the cell phone and laptop can be quite a challenge for anyone. Have you read the USA President’s Handbook for Health, Fitness, and Nutrition lately? (not exact title but should be)  Talk about a mind blower. It is lengthy and has many links to it for further research. My niece Makayla was telling me about how much she could walk at a time, which was wildly exaggerated or she is a gifted athlete but balked at the idea that she had to do a timed run of one mile, for her pre-test.

Well, she lives in the mountains up a steep grade 1/4 miles from the main road. I was doing the calculations of a mile equivalency based on endurance and how steep the road is.  She threw a fit at my numbers and I finally caved in and ended the call- she still hasn’t done her pre-physical test that the President says she must do. So, We go into YOGA – I don’t know the first thing about yoga except you try to bend like a pretzel.  My sister bought 4 video series starting with the basic concepts to expert yoginis. That has worked better as a 1 hour of physical activity requirement for children and 30 minutes for adults per day. She is up to 20 minutes of trial and error but confident that she will eventually master it.

I chose a digital microscope/endoscope for my nieces to use in Science classes. I had to walk sight unseen my 9 yr old through computer installation and calibration of said microscope over the telephone. She was blown away at the 1000x strength imaging of an ordinary leaf. She could see the membranes and cellular structure within on her computer screen.  Her grandma was really excited as they tried different materials, onions, paper, pebbles, etc.  It made the headache of choosing new and modern vs traditional microscopes worthwhile and hoping I didn’t get too much overkill.

When you live on a mountain you have to take technology with a grain of salt. I ordered a cell phone through T-Mobile to use the hotspot feature for the internet- wouldn’t work. Then we went to Verizon, wouldn’t work despite the fact that the local tower is from Verizon. They can’t get a landline service either. So my sister went to Walmart (28 miles away) and bought a Straight Talk 5 Gbyte prepaid card and it worked with the Verizon tower but ran out of time after three 8 hours days of being online. So that can get expensive at $50.00 per card real quick. So our next option is the public library over 35 miles away.  My sister had to convince the librarian to allow them to bring in their laptops and remotely connect to their (hotspot) internet so they could do their assignments. They are attending Alabama Connections Academy for their online education. We’ll see how that works out as I have to interact with them over the phone; I live in Texas, they live in Alabama, to teach the assignments so they can join the weekly online webinars and stay up with the classroom teacher.