School Uniforms….the answer to what?

warning…Parental Venting session in progress….

It’s that time of year again….My kids have 11 days of summer Vacation left. and This means the annual ritual of shopping for school supplies…Paper, Pens, Pencils, Crayons, Back-Packs, new shoes…you get the idea. To add to the madness, Our school district in all its knowledge has decided that ALL schools will be going to Uniforms This year…..I would Only be buying school clothes for One, not THREE if it were not for Uniforms…but nooo I get to add pants, and shirts, and belts, and in three different codes for three different schools no less.

What really bothers me though, is that I disagree with the Uniform concept. Not for any religious reasons……but because I work Hard to encourage my kids to be INDIVIDUALS…to maintain their creativity, use their imaginations….to not follow the crowd….I dont want three followers….the whole just because everyone else is wearing that doesnt mean you should be wont work anymore…..the schools have turned our kids into clones….and why? because Parents dont care enough to watch what their kids are wearing? because little suzy is getting picked on for not having designer jeans? because Teachers are tired of enforcing dress codes? probably all of the above……Parents as a whole have stopped caring what thier kids are doing….when I was in school the biggest problem was kids skipping school….now our kids have to worry about getting stabbed or shot AT SCHOOL! what changed? well….we took prayer out of school….we took the Pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem out……we took away art, and Band, and other creative outlets….( ok not in EVERY school) but as a general rule….what matters most to school boards is test scores…..not what the kids actually learn….it doesnt matter that kids are all INDIVIDUALS….and not EVERY kid is a good test taker…some are visual thinkers….all we care about anymore is keeping up with other countries…and that means better test scores….

we have become so fast paced….most homes…both parents work…or single parent families…well yeah of course the parent has to work…..nobody has time to raise their kids….so we let the schools do it…and they are turning our kids into non thinking test taking clones in matching clothes so that nobody gets picked on……guess what….newsflash…uniforms are NOT the answer to bullying…kids are going to establish a pecking order one way or another…used to be Jr. High….a few slams into lockers…fights in the hall….then we were friends…the pecking order was established…end of story…yeah, I was one of the ones getting pushed into the lockers..I was the new girl in school in 7th grade…Jr. High was not easy…but I survived…I learned problem solving…..and I didnt take a gun and shoot anyone.

when a 2nd grader doesn’t know why Veteran’s day is a Holiday….or a kindergartner doesn’t know the pledge of Allegiance…or the National Anthem…it makes me wonder…what are we really teaching our kids…..This summer, I took my kids home to Upstate NY to visit my parents….and while up there….we did a Revolutionary war History tour with my oldest daughter who is going into 8th grade…what shocked me was how little she knew about how our country was founded…things I remember learning in like 5th grade!!! Thankfully, as My mom said, My kids are fortunate to have parents who take the time to fill in what the schools DON’T teach…to enforce work ethic, Manners, and to encourage them to STILL be kids once in a while…your only a kid ONCE…you CANT go Back…EVER….why do we rush todays kids to grow up so fast? Can’t we let them enjoy their childhood and stop stressing them out over test scores and make learning FUN again?

some kids learn math by doing art…some through Music….some by following a recipe or a sewing Pattern…not all learn by boring repetition of addition Tables…you tell me Math is important…and I agree whole heartily….but there is more than one way to skin a cat…..which brings me back to uniforms….what will they really solve?  are we creating a new generation of people who can think for themselves? or a generation of people who will do whatever they are told, without question….without thinking? do we want our future leaders to be drones…..or leaders?

If you read this far….yeah I know…my thoughts are all over and random….this was more of a rant than anything…..but the fact is our education system is broken…..it has been for some time…we took a wrong turn when we shut God out…and things have been going downhill ever since……Our schools are where the foundation is laid for the future….and if the foundation is broken…..then God help us all…

Home…Priceless memories…

So, It’s been 2 weeks since I wrote anything….I Just got home from a trip up to Upstate NY with my children to Visit my family and friends. It was a Bittersweet trip for me. It was the first time I had been home for a Visit in 3 years. My Grandfather died a year ago….so It was my first time home without either grandpa there….that was hard in and of itself.  I arrived in NY the Monday after my church family up there said goodbye to a precious young man who has gone to be with our heavenly Father….my loved ones, family and friends are grieving. Then there was the knowledge and realization that this may very well be the last time I see one or both of my grandmothers on this earth.

My Husband was unable to get the time off work to come with me….so I had to face all this on my own. I struggled before I left with the timing of it all…I did not understand why I was flying into the middle of a storm….or why when The storm began I was so far from them all.

As I began to make my rounds, spending time with people I love, Things became clearer…..when the storm began, I was physically miles away….yet God used me and my prayers and worship to hold up the arms of so many…I WAS there with them in the Spirit.  it was a whirlwind 2 weeks….went by way too fast, and yet so many precious moments…..priceless memories.

What was the most amazing to me in it all….was my children. The things they connected with….the people they reached out to. My 8 year old Daughter trying to read everything she possibly could at the baseball hall of fame while her two older siblings moved through at a rapid pace….thankfully my mom was with us, so she took the older two so I could allow for the learning experience to take place….

Visiting my grandmother in the nursing home, on two occasions, my Autistic son reached out to her…once when he gave her two pictures he had drawn, and again, when they played the piano in the visiting room together. My grandmother is a retired music teacher…..she is who inspired my deep love for music many many years ago, and for me, this moment brought tears to my eyes…..

My Oldest Daughter “Claimed” a Calf…My Dad asked ” what? you don’t want to take her home on the plane with you?”…If you know my Dad, you can probably see the twinkle in His eye as he asked me that…knowing full well that taking a calf…on a plane….to the city….would most likely be highly frowned upon….

As I went through each day, everywhere I looked, I saw God’s Love…..the day we arrived….on the drive from the airport to my mom’s…we saw a rainbow…God’s Promise….

and another Rainbow as we entered the next week at my parents farm….named “The Promise Farm”

I saw God’s Love as my children reached out and made new friends…..

and as I watched a connection blossom between the Past and the present…as My Dad helped nurture the “History bug”  in my oldest Daughter, much as His father had done with me year ago….My Daddy took me and my oldest Daughter, Sara to Ft. Stanwix ….to see the smiles on both their faces as she ran from one area to the next…pointing things out “Grandpa look at this!” or “Ohh this is cool!” was Priceless! I am sure my Grandpa Settle was smiling down on His History buffs …what a priceless amazing Memory filled day!

As we boarded the plane to return to Alabama, I did so with a heavy heart. I could not wait to see my husband again after being away for two weeks, and yet I longed to stay on the farm…..My heart is at home there, my worries fade there….I ache for a simpler time….a life where I can watch my kids run and laugh and play as they help feed the cows…..or help hang clothes on the clothes line….wide open space and a work ethic that raised me….the values of country living instilled in and passed down to my children. while on the plane…I opened my Bible to soak in God’s word….and the Photo from David Camp’s Celebration of His Life service that my mom gave me….I had told my mom to put it in My Bible….Opened right to it…here is the verse 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the Good fight of the faith. Take hold of the Eternal life to which you …were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses”…

even as I struggled with once again leaving behind the farm and family I love so dear….God met me. My heart is hurting, and yet I know that I am not alone….even back in Alabama…God is with me. I miss the Farm…I miss my Family and friends….yet I will press on and go deeper, placing my faith in God…knowing that HE has a plan for my life…and HE is in control.