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Summer to Remember

summer-learningWe are coming the end of another school year. This time of year is bittersweet to me. I look forward to the summer, the less hectic pace and the opportunity to spend more uninterrupted time with my children. At the same time I am also a bit melancholy over the passing of another school year and the ever present march forward.

My daughter is entering 5th grade next year. In public school down south that means the last year of elementary school. With middle school looming I (as well as other mothers facing the same circumstance) am filled with fear and trepidation. My fear is founded in what my little girl will be facing. How “advanced” are these middle schooners? Will my innocent child fall prey to some all knowing 8th grader?

I remember middle school for myself. It was a really troubling, emotional time. Leaving childhood behind and embracing hormones, teens, boys and the need for popularity and acceptance. I know that very soon I will be left behind for friends at school. And I get it that is just the way of things, I did it to my parents who did it to their parents and so on. It is a right of passage. But even with I am still emotional about her growing up.

All those people who said how fast the time goes when you have children weren’t kidding. It flew by and as I sit here typing this I watch as another year come to a close. Even though I am saddened at the idea of my cuddly funny, sweet babies moving closer to adulthood. What ultimately gets me is that I know they are only mine for a short time. The time feels much shorter now then it did when they were in diapers.

In the end it is about watching them grew. Seeing them have new experiences and transform into the people they are meant to become. As I have mentioned before part of that scares me but that is the leap we take when having children. We know at some point while holding that baby in our arms we will have to release them into the world.

Part of why we hold on the past is because we know what has already happened but we do not know what will be. I think as fearful as I am about the future I am also hopeful. For some of us, like my sister-in-laws and their children, they come back to you. Not as the child that left you but as the friend you never knew you needed or that they would become.

The future hold so much possibility for my children. I will just have to sit back and enjoy the journey. As for now I plan on making this summer and each one to follow as fun, funny and memorable as we can make it.



You spent how much on school supplies?????

school suppliesRemember when back to school meant getting some new clothes, maybe a new pair of sneakers, and socks. Remember when the only school supplies asked for were a few pencils and pens, notebooks and a compass (what did we even use that for except to stab our seat neighbor with the pointy end.) My kids attend public school and this year I was floored by the laundry list of school supplies needed for my daughter entering 4th grade. There are personal items, classroom items and community items. These together stretched down the page.

My sons list was not as long being that he is only going into first grade, but still it is a lot of supplies. Let me preface this all by adding that on the list it is stated that these are voluntary donation. However, if parents don’t bring these supplies who is paying for them? Apparently not the school board any longer.

Don’t get me wrong I am not blaming teachers in any way. I know that if parents don’t provide these supplies most good hearted teachers will dip into there personal paycheck to get needed items for the classroom. Which I also don’t feel is right thing either. After tallying up the cost of school supplies for each kids my total came to over…$150. and I used BOGO’s people!!!

I am sorry, I just don’t get it what has changed so dramatically in the 20 or so years since I have been out of school? Why can the school system, funded by the lottery, taxes and government programs, no longer provide pens, and paper? I mean that is kind of a schools life blood. Reading, writing and arithmetic. For the writing you can’t really go without pens and paper. And I only have 2 kids. I can’t imagine the cost for supplies in larger families. It must be like a mortgage payment for school supplies.

It’s not like clothes, you can’t hand me down supplies. Plus after asking for an absurd amount of supplies (like 144 pencils for 1 student) they have the nerve to be brand specific! You need to get the premium crayons. Only Crayola will do, as specified in bold on the school supplied sheet. No low class Rose Art or sub-par Target brand, no cutting corners here.

There are many school districts that are hurting and need the additional parental support and this is not about them. This is about the schools who clearly can cover the cost of copy paper and are being excessive in the (donation??) request of supplies. These schools now have to use what was school supply funds to pay for something dumb, unnecessary or redundant.

In my high school there was an entire wing of the school that no student ever went to because it was for administrators only. What? If you are not interacting with the students what exactly are you administrating over? Look, I really don’t know what goes on in the hallow halls of the administration wing but clearly it is not as much a benefit to students or teachers if they are sequestered away, given tenure and no parent has a clue what they do. I sure don’t.

What I do know is I am not only paying for them to “administer,” I am also paying for the paper they do it on. If my rant is ill placed and I am totally off base with this feel free to educate me. I have never been a teacher,  or in the education field so I welcome anyone in the field to explain to me how things have gotten this way. Thank you all for listening to my rant. Now to load the massive amount of crayons, pencils and notebooks (and my paycheck) in a suitcase (Yes a suitcase!) and hand them over to the people in charge of educating my children.

Parents of Recent Grads. YOU Don’t Have To Pay For College

Parents don't have to pay for college

If you do nothing else pleases watch the Dave Ramsey Video at the end of this post.

He nails it!!!!!!

It’s graduation time again. It is the time of year to consider your child’s next stage of education. For some they are moving to high school, graduating kindergarten or moving out of elementary. For those graduating from high school, moving into higher education comes with an increasingly high price tag.

Today a collage education has become such an expectation that some people mistakenly believe it to be a right. Sorry.. but no… a collage education is wonderful to have, a great experience but a right? No not exactly. It is a gift, but is not something afforded, needed or right for everyone.

There is a mistake belief circulating in America, that a collage education is expected regardless of the ability to pay for it. This has resulted in enormous college loan debt ballooning out of control and silly statements that collage should be “free” for everyone. (Sorry someone is ultimately paying for this free education.)graduation time

The question become who is too pay for this education?  I want to present a different side of this question. Does a parent have an obligation to pay for their children’s education past high school? Over the past decade this high education obligation has been pushed as yet another responsibility of parents. It has become a obligatory parental guilt that if you don’t pay for collage your setting your kid up for failure.

I’m here to let you guilt riddled parents of new graduates off the hook. If your son or daughter seems directionless entering collage and wants to major in underwater basket weaving with no viable job prospects you are now expected to flit the bill. Matter of fact, paying for higher education is your choice, not your obligation.

A some parents are forgoing their own retirement planning to pay for the enormous cost of collage education with no guaranteed return of this investment. Whatever the parents can’t cover, the student is being asked to pay for in the form of student loans that never go away.

There begs the second question. Is a college education even really necessary? This is something we have told is necessary for success in the workplace but is that really true? I am sure if you took a poll of college grads very few of them actually have had employment in the field they majored in. You can answer both of these to questions with a resounding  No. No, parents are not obligated to pay for collage and no collage is not necessary for success.

I was listening to a periscope from Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine the other day where she freely admitted she did not go to collage. She is wildly successful with a great blog, speaking appearances and popular books. There are several entrepreneurs and business leaders who never when to collage or attended later in life, but have had success.

do you have enough money for college?So you are not handicapping your children if you don’t put yourself into financial ruin putting them thru college.  On the flip side their are several cases of people who were extremely bright, went to collage and have become complete and utter failures by societies standards. So what is the difference a… self knowledge and a plan.

Where collage education seems to work the best is when students have a direction. They are not there to party and spend mom and dads money. they are ther for an education. They understand the gift higher education is and make best use of that gift. This takes maturity that to average high school grad usually doesn’t have. So before you rush to sign the loan paperwork consider a new perspective on funding and experiencing higher education.

  1. Parents are not obligated to pay for college ( According to financial expert, Dave Ramsey you should be funding your own retirement before shelling out for your kids collage education. See the video below.)
  2. Help you offspring formulate a plan to pay for it themselves -Cash flow college. It is not as quick and it is not as easy as signing your life away with an unending loan, but they (and you) will not pay for something with money you don’t have. The students will take their education much more seriously if they are paying for it themselves and you will not be put in the poor house.
  3. Look into trade schools, Learn a skill – I don’t know why trade schools have gotten a bad rap? Most successful entrepreneurs start off learning a trade they love then developing a business based on that skill. Most do not attend business school first.
  4. Let them take a year off – There is the belief that if a high school student takes a year off they will lose the momentum. However if they enter into college without a plan or a want to even be there then you are wasting time and money to have them drop out, change majors or become discussed with the process in general. Give them sometime to figure out who they are and what they want before forcing another year of education on them. (No this doesn’t mean they can spend 5 years living in your basement, but give them a change to figure out what they want to do.)
  5. Do a apprenticeship or internship instead of college – This is real world experience that isn’t taught in business school. Sometime just plain hard work will teach more than a 4-year university ever could.
  6. Go to a Community College for the first 2 years – Not only does this cost much less cost then select a larger program but it also gives the student to have the experience of the college atmosphere, with a more flexible timeline to decide what they want to pursue as a career.

I know this is a big issue many parents are facing right now. Please leave me your comments I would love to know what you think of these ideas and of Dave’s video.

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