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Monday, February 14, 2022

Illinois Homeschool High School Graduation Requirements


It's that time of year when people are either thinking ahead for the next school year or start to question if they have done everything they need to do to meet Graduation Requirements.

Over and over again I see nervous parents start looking for requirements, standards, and it never fails someone pulls up the requirements on ISBE site and thinks it applies to them.

Illinois laws, believe it or not, when it comes to homeschooling are very relaxed and low-key. It can be summed up this way.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Homeschool Benefit: I actually know who are around my kids

My own kids are nearly 20 and 21 now, adulting and doing their own thing and like many parents of young adults, I don't know everyone that my kids interact with. They hold jobs, have co-workers, developing friendships outside of mom's social circle. 

However, when my kids were young all the way up to high school I knew who they were hanging out with, the adults they interacted with, etc. Even if I took them to soccer, swimming, dance, I was there. I saw who they were interacting with even if I didn't know them well. Same with scouts. 

With the kids being adults I have been working. I have my own business doing virtual administrative tasks, Assistance by Nichole. I have been selling responsibly grown coffee and teas, Nikki's Coffee Klatch.  I'm doing okay with those things, it's slow and steady, but I also have taken to working part-time outside the home. I'm working at the local boys and girls club as part of the program staff for the after-school program. 

I have been working there for the last 3 months and today's events brought me to today's thoughts. Hubby and I went out to eat at a local restaurant. I went to the bathroom and on my way back to my table I was being stared down by a little girl. I could see she was trying to figure out where she knew me from or why I was familiar. I said hi to her. This alarmed the parents! They had no clue who I was, I could sense that so I just told them I work at the club. This put the parents at ease and also gave the little girl more time to figure out who I was and she shouted my name with glee because she realized who I was. 

The little girl is 6 maybe 7. I would be rightly concerned if a stranger saw my daughter at a restaurant at that age and knew my child. It's amazing how stating I worked at the club put the parents at ease, but also goes to show how I have interacted with their child for the last 3 months and they have no idea who I am.  This honestly while the cultural norm is very scary. You should know or at least recognize every adult your child has regular, daily, contact with. 

With homeschooling, you know who is interacting with your children!

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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Social Distancing, Church, and all the rest


With 2021 coming to a close it's hard for me to believe that I truly haven't been to Church since March 2020. This is hard for me to swallow and realize this has been the case. 

When March 2020 hit my home church first decide to cancel Mass. Then it decided to only allow those that registered and submit to contact tracing. The church decided to share the attendance list with the State. Every bone in my being screamed "NO!" I just couldn't do it. 

Luckily for us, we live on the state border and our neighboring state and churches were not that strict. Yes, wear a mask, but we did not have to register or submit to contact tracing. I went a couple of times, but I still struggled with the mask, only one family to a pew, every other pew, and other social distancing rules.

So I quit going and here we are 18 months later. It's been hard on my marriage, my husband called me an unbeliever, and feels like he's failing as head of the household. It's not just me not going, but our young adult children have fallen away. 

I wish I can say their fallen away was covid related too, but in truth, they had fallen away way before that. We didn't see it, because there were legitimate reasons for missing church, mostly their work schedules, only having one car, etc. For example, they worked Sunday morning, when hubby and I would go, but hubby and I would be out Saturday night -- preventing them from being able to go Sunday evening.  Times were they were not working, they would go with us, were respectful, etc. Looking back I saw it, -- lack of prayer before meals, like of truly participating in Mass, etc -- but I just didn't really want to acknowledge it.

So here we are approaching the end of 2021 and things are not better, in terms of how covid is being handled. In fact, I feel in many ways it's worst now than it was in March 2020 -- when this call started. I'm still struggling and have come to realize I just may have to "suck it up buttercup". 

I know my husband is being even more upset with me seeing I took on a job 3 hours a day, Mon-Fri, where I have to wear a mask, but yet still have not stepped foot into Church. Taking on the job wasn't fully by my choice; it was my husband's needs from me. He's feeling overwhelmed and burnt out with being the sole breadwinner in the family.

I have been doing virtual assistant work. I will continue to do that and hope to continue to go grow my client list. In the meantime working the 3 hours a day is helping my husband feel better. While what I do does not match his income, he doesn't feel the pressure as he's the only one supporting his family; between the virtual assistant work, selling coffee and tea, and being employed outside the home he feels better!

Now to just get to Church -- 

photo credit: dbgg1979

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Chemtool Fire part 2

I ended with the first part of the tale sharing how a modified one-mile evacuation map was released. 

This is a significant part of the tale here because you see every year on Father's Day weekend a large music festival takes place. This festival includes carnival rides and food,  beer tents, and big-name country music stars. Well, most years it's country music stars, some years they have done other genres of music.

The original evacuation map that went out included the park on the north shore of the river; the new maps that park, known as Settlers Park, was excluded. Basically, the park is 0.2 miles outside that mandatory evacuation zone -- a zone that was still in place!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Chemtool Fire

Monday, June 14th about 7 am Rockton Police were called on scene to Chemtool on Prarie Hill Rd in Rockton IL.  By 730 am my Facebook newsfeed was full of people asking what's going on, what's on fire, what are the explosions they are hearing. 

I step out and see this:

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Federal Plus Loans

Chef is finishing up culinary school; like many, he does have student loans. His loan totals are small and modest compare to others. He has $5500 total in student loans, which is just under half of the total cost of schooling.  The other half was paid with scholarships, grants, and out of pocket by us. 

This morning I was reading a news article about Federal Parent PLUS loans. The couple featured owes nearly $500,000 in loans. This happened because of deferments, forbearances, and high-interest rates. The couple has even filed for bankruptcy and lost their home. It's mind-boggling how quickly that can happen. -- however, even with bankruptcy they still owe on the parent plus loans. (Not all debt goes away with bankruptcy.)