6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



Put school first. That sounds pretty good huh? "Put school first." That motto will help our children build knowledge and become productive citizens. We all know that "education" is the key to success and happiness.

Put school first. I do hear that a lot. "Education is the key to success." Yes indeed, I hear that a lot too. I hear a lot of things...that are a crock of waste.


"Put SCHOOL first."

Quote: "Public school children receive almost 11,000 hours of secular indoctrination from kindergarten through their senior year compared with only 264 hours spent in meaningful conversation with their parents within the same 12-year period."

THAT sounds like a crock of waste too doesn't it? I don't care for some of the beliefs of the person I just quoted there, but I have to give credit where credit is due because that quote got me thinking.

When Kazz and Brisan went to school, I was the mom who bugged them to wake up in the morning and hurried them out the door to leave. Then when they got home I was the mom who bugged them to do their homework and do their chores. Then I was the mom who told them to get off the video games so they could go to bed early. I bugged them to shower, to brush their teeth and to go to bed.

I bugged them. I am their mother. I was bugging them all day long....well all the day that I saw them anyway. Why was I bugging them? To get them ready to go to school and cater the the schools schedule. Our ENTIRE lives were delegated by the schools calendar.

"Can Kazz come down to visit his grandparents Shelly, we have an unexpected vacation from work?"

" No mom and dad, he has school."

"Hey I got a long weekend off of work, let's go camping!"

"I'm sorry Brian, they have school and Kazz has a test that day. If he misses he'll be behind."

Our vacations, family time, camp outs, extended family gatherings, even funerals were somehow impacted by having to notify the school. After we notified the school, we had to worry about how much homework would pile up from the day(s) missed. The fun time was overshadowed by the knowing that homework would come home and cause stress, tears and anger! Even when we paid to send them to a private school, Brian and I were working many hours as volunteers and spending many hours fund raising.

Man, I Do Not Miss That!

It dawned on me today, after I read that quote, that I have a tight relationship with my children. We don't have the irritation we had back when they went to school. We don't cry over school work. Why? Because they don't have to know it by Friday when the test is scheduled. They can know it next week or next month or next year! Homeschooling is so freeing. We can have class in the evenings, in the car, on the weekends. Yes, we spend a lot of time together. Is that a bad thing?

I wonder about people who think parents should not be a big part of their children's lives. I wonder why they think that? I wonder if they are afraid that our children will grow up to be like us? Maybe they are afraid that our children will think differently than the rest of the world? Maybe they are afraid that our children will not be able to think for themselves?

All I know is that when my children were in school, I was building a relationship between them and the school. My days were spent thinking about how to get them there and keep the teacher satisfied. I had way less time to build a relationship between me and them because... School came first.

It came before our family. It came before our children's hearts, because we kept pushing them and pushing them to be "better." It came before our relationship with our children...period.

Somewhere along the line I realized that getting my children into Harvard was not my goal as their parent. Getting them into Heaven is my goal. Their character means more to me than any dog gone math exam or spelling test.

I'm happy to say that in our home...School does not come first.


Angie said...

School just let out yesterday and I've never felt so relieved! I feel as you did, that our entire lives are built around the schools schedule. We only have 2 months to squeeze any fun in, because then it starts again. And... I have to get up at 5:45 every morning for them! I am not a morning person! Who decided to start at 7:15? It sure wasn't a night owl such as myself!

I try to be balanced though. School is something that has to be done, so we do it, and my son is a very good student. But my goal has always been to raise a well-adjusted, emotionally stable, happy person, who loves Jesus. If that is accomplished, I will have done my job!


Amen on all counts Angie. My little niece has to get up that early too.

My goodness, I just don't know how anybody can think that early. Even the teachers have to be chugging the coffee. lol

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Aaargh...I should have put the BROWNIES first...tonight I am the Mom Without the Brownies! A couple weeks back, I committed to baking a tray of 24 brownies for my first grader's Incredible Kid Day is tomorrow, well today actually...less than 12 hours from now! No brownie mix in the house, though I did glance at your home-made recipe and consider trying to pull them together from scratch. And here I am ringsurfing and dropping EntreCards...Note to Self: Put Brownies First! Look for a full report on Friday...



LOL..Oh I do remember those cupcakes and brownies. That was the fun part of school you know...eating them!

If you use my brownie recipe you'll want to double it. You can also use a cupcake pan and put nuts or chocolate chips in them. They take less time to cook. :-)

Yum... I may have to make some too!

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Mom With Brownies,
I've sent your recipe to the printer...the only thing I don't know if we have is the cocoa, I guess I have to get out of bed, run downstairs and check the cupboards!
Thanks for the lifesaver!
Mom Without the Brownies

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

I found a whole can of Ghirardelli cocoa!

Huzzah...the Mom with Brownies saves the day!

Thanks, and have a great night.



Oh good! Glad to help! :-)

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

The Mom With Brownies Saves The Day!...thanks, Shelly! Now off to bed to prepare for the big day...


Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

The brownies are in the oven and the whole house smells amazing.
Thanks for saving the day!

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...


Now that I've Put Brownies First (and they're in the oven), I've had the time to think about your "Put School First" post. I agree with most of what you wrote, and I don't have time today to post a strong defense of the public school system...but, public school really works for me and my kids. My daughters (kindergarten and first grade) adore their teachers, and I deal with what I don't like by being a squeaky wheel with the administration, and breaking the rules for a good reason. For example, we have our own "personal half days" to get an early start on Father's Day Weekend, and "personal delayed openings" if we want to stay over at the beach on a Sunday night. I admire you for having the ability to homeschool your kids, but my girls get more out of a professional teacher (I often say, after some glaring faux pas with OPK -- other peoples' kids, "this is why I'm an investment banker, NOT an elementary school teacher!") and the classroom and peer/social environments. My girls count on me to teach them other how to get what you need in the middle of the night from a blogosphere buddy! And while it may change when they become surly teenagers, I'm certain we spend more than 264 hours PER YEAR (!!!) in meaningful conversation.

Thanks again for the yummy recipe, and have a terrific weekend as you get to it...I hope you'll have some new readers who pop by to visit from my post today.


Karen said...

I hated the school schedule. It controlled our lives. Kudos to you and your family. Home schooling is hard work and you are to be commended for it. Way to Go!

Stacy said...

I just want to say thank you! This is the post I just would love to make copies of and hand out to those who ask me why? I could not have said it better! Thank you!

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

someone was just telling me about the German schools and how they are basically- thru the outlawing of homeschooling- indotrinating the next generation... a generation away from waht the govt wants. I do laugh at the friday tests...and even the WHAT that kids learn. i mean do you HAVE to know the parts of the bug? is the necessary?? if it is of interest then super.. RELATIONSHIP is what it is all about. My DS (autisticish) kept trying to kiss a girl at a bday party because she had a shirt on that said Princess and he thought she might turn into one..he had seen it on TV. i kept trying to get him to stop- on the way home he seriously asked me if he was being rude. he did not know- because we do lots of hugs and kisses around here- why wouldn't it be ok for others??!! in school he'd already have been told about 'appropriate' touching. now i have to teach him some of this stuff-but ug...

and on the scheduling.. yea i love that about homeschooling!! not that we actually GO anywhere mind you... but we can get up when we want.


Hey there Queen Mum,

You guys Go places or I wouldn't have met you at park day! :-)

Come on back out. We meet at a different one now. Check our site! :-)

Hope to see you soon