Our Math This Year: Math-U-See

OurmaththisyearI am on my 8th year of teaching with Math-U-See. And so far this year has been my easiest! Last year was my hardest. But that is true for just about everything.

I have three in Math-U-See. Beta, Gamma, and Pre-Alegbra. And so far they all say their math is easy this year. Last year they complained the whole year how hard it was. I don’t know what changed?

How we Math-U-See.

On Monday everyone watches our favorite teacher. That would not be me! It works best for them to watch the video. They are visual learners. And having the online lesson instead of relying on keeping the DVD in the same spot has been WONDERFUL!! I can have them all watching their lessons at the same time -two on the iPads and one of the computer! Although my oldest doesn’t do his math at the same time as the younger ones. The only thing I hope Math-U-See will work on is an app for these digital online lessons, so the kids can get to them instead me having to log into my account on the iPad. They also do two of the lesson sheets on Monday.11862958_10204610974770546_424085121_o
Robby, my 8th grader this year, does one sheet- if he gets 100% he may take the test. If he gets a 100% he moves to the next lesson.
Tuesday-Thursday my two other kids do two sheets. Unless I see the sheets are stressing Isaiah out, then he does one. AnnieQ finished one lesson-all sheets in 2 days. It was easy for her (besides getting stuck on a word problem that went something like this: there are 10 oranges in each bag. How many bags do you need for 50 oranges? She finally did get it- I had her draw it. She just didn’t know why some one would want so many oranges!!)

Friday is to be test day. I typically don’t do test because my style of grading is they have to keep correcting their mistakes. By Thursday the sheets they do are correct the first time. If they are not, then I pull more practice sheets from their Worksheet generator on line. I also use the test sheets too.  But by then they know how to do the lesson.

11259771_10204691216416537_1498742017_oOne area that my kids do not do well with is memorizing facts. AnnieQ is in 4th grade, but doing 3rd grade level math. I did that on purpose cause 1st grade she screamed with every lesson. Every one.  So I stopped math. All together. And restarted the next year. Last year she was still counting on her hands. We still struggled. But still had concepts down.  I used online drills both from Math-U-See and MathBoard. And something happened this year. She knows them. She is not counting on her fingers. I have to remind myself that my kids have early childhood trauma. Their brains are still growing and connecting differently than other children. This has made learning a little harder for them. And homeschooling challenging for me. While AnnieQ may be 4th grade her brain is functioning at a 2nd-3rd grader level. But you met her and she will wow you with her personality!! 

But I am seeing them move faster now. So as we head toward multiplication I feel that this was the year for her to learn them unlike if she was in public school and she would have had to learn them in 3rd grade. She has a much stronger base going forward now. We have conquered 0,1,2’s so far!! 

Isaiah is doing much better this year too! Last year he had a hard time with just addition of 0’s and 1’s. Imagine my frustration!! But he is memorizing the facts, even listening to AnnieQ’s lesson’s and understanding them!!

What’s New this Year?

Last year I bought the Math-U-See App. It was a great addition to our program. AnnieQ has sensory issues and the feel of the blocks got to her. I got the wooden organizer which helped her. But now she doesn’t even have to feel them! Isaiah likes the blocks, but also like the app. Robby has not needed them yet this year, he does a lot in his brain. But it is coming. I have three sets of the Algebra blocks…. I am not sure how that happened. But he has used them before and when I taught Algebra 5 years ago we used them then.11884208_10204610827006852_926965581_o

I love the digital packs they have now!! We always lost the DVD’s. No matter how much I had it organized-that DVD disappeared. I am thinking sometimes, the kids made them disappear!! LOL But now- no excuses!! And I love all the extra sheets that are there to download, and the fun songs are there to listen too! Worth checking it out!

I had a friends 9 years ago say if you are going to homeschool you have to look at Math-U-See. I watched the intro DVD and then ordered for my first year homeschooling our son. I have taught since then I think 18 math classes over the years. Some years I have not taught or we have taken a break. But we love Math-U-See.  

And having to do 3rd grade public school math homework now with one of our foster loves I appreciate Math-U-See more!! 

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When Notice Comes Due: Grief and Loss with Foster Care

baby_FotorOctober 1st of last year, we took in a 4lb 2oz foster baby girl. She was the tiniest little thing. She was a preemie -about 6 weeks early. She grabbed our hearts and off we went to be her foster parents. Length of time unknown. Or as my daughter would say: till further notice.

For months we grew this baby girl. Night time we got up and feed her every 2 hours-then 3. Slowly she grew. Her plan for her future went in many different ways. That’s her story. But if nothing worked out in the end: we were prepared to adopted her-giving her the continued stability she already had with us. This sat in the back of our minds as everyone fell more in love with her.

Foster to adopt. The children we foster-if they come up for adoption we have the first choice of adopting if we we feel this is what is best for all in our family. This concept helps keep children in stable loving homes longer if possible. We have our three beautiful children through this way. While we don’t set out looking to adopt-God places them in our lives.

We have had foster children come into our home that didn’t stay. We have said goodbye to many. It doesn’t get easier.

This one was the hardest goodbye. The abruptness of it threw us. Yet we know in foster care, children can be moved just like that. We had little time to prepare ourselves. We found out at 2pm in court that the next morning our sweet foster baby was moving home, just about a year after moving in with us.

And just like that our family was broken. The kids cried. We cried. We held her, loved her, spoiled her, kissed her. We treasured every moment with her.

‘Till she was no longer ours.

My heart ached.

I was just sad.

I became numb.

It was like our world stopped.

Then I saw the words “God is Good all the time” and thought -yes. He is. Even in my sorrow I have to find goodness. I have to my strength in Him.

So we stayed busy. I read scripture and sang. I prayed-even when I had no words. God has a plan- I just have to wait and see. I called on trusted friends to help in my sadness.

Soon there was laughter. My kids were looking at pictures -smiling. We found that we had to trust that God was looking out for our sweet Squeakers, and that there were other children who needed us to help them along their way.

Foster Care comes with sorrow not only for the foster children, but for the foster families also.  When I teach perspective families, we teach them to treat the foster child like their own.  So many of us do.  And when they leave it is almost like a death.  We grieve.  Yet knowing these children are still out there.  Sometimes some foster families have the benefit to build relationship with the birth families-we did not have that benefit in terms of reunification. Grief and loss with foster care comes in many different forms and knowing that they are there will help foster families understand what it going on after the loss of a foster child.

God is Good all the time.  Two weeks later we had a vacation planned.   A Disney Cruise.  We as a family needed that time to be away to heal, to relax, to unwind.  It was just the timing.  And as a family we would every now and then bring up our Squeakers, and a tear would flow.  It is part of the healing process.

Do I wish she would just come back.  Of course.  Do I pray that her family situation will be stable and healthy for her.  Yes.  Do we continue on the road with foster care? Absolutely.  Our journey is already continuing.

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How I Teach Upside Down Children Math


Oh the screaming!  I am sure if you were on the other side of our door on any given morning there would be some sort of screaming going on in my house.  And while I am working hard to curb my end of the screaming-most of it comes from my children.  For many reasons. (Remember I said my house is never quiet-one of the many reasons) But a lot has to do with not wanting to do math lately.  Expect AnnieQ.  Last year she was the one screaming and the boys were all good.

Last year I started math with AnnieQ and made it through 12 weeks of horrible screaming.  I requested help.  I got suggestions from other Math U See mom’s.  Finally at my wit’s end I put the book away and let her “unschool” herself in math the rest of the year.  I never mentioned a math lesson with her at all.  More for my sanity.

Any guess what?  We started the whole book again this year and she is flying through it with little screaming.  Only on math drills on the computer- when I add new numbers does she have issues.  It was worth stopping.



So how do I do math?  I don’t Steve does!  That’s really what I tell people!  See we use Math U See.  I love it. My kids mostly love it.  Here is how a week looks like for us.  Normally.

Monday:  We watch the lesson on the DVD-two or three times.  And do one work sheet to make sure we understand the lesson.

Tuesday-Friday: kids do the 1-3 worksheets a day.  Isaiah only barely gets through 1 a day.  AnnieQ can fly through 2-3 now that she understands it!  Robby various.  Plus they do math drills on the computer or iPad.  Isaiah does 50 a day and the two older ones do a 100.  We use Math Boards.  LOVE that program!

I don’t do test.  I know I should BUT the test are the same at the worksheets, and by Friday I know if they know it or not.  Plus I do use the “test” as a worksheet.  The math drills are helping them learn how to do math problems for any standardize test for the future.

Now these are not the only things-I also do these things.

  • Isaiah has a hard time looking at the math problems from horizontal to vertical.  So I am have to teach him to read and say  each problem to show him it is the same.  Isaiah does not do well with transition and quick change.  I guess the change in the problems throws him.
  • If the problem says 4+5-Isaiah doesn’t get it.  If I say you have 4 dollars and I gave you 5 how much do you have. He says 9 right a way!  I don’t get this, and have to figure out how to merge this thinking to the blocks and number with him.
  • I would stop with Isaiah-like AnnieQ-but he wants to do as AnnieQ.  So that is why we only do one sheet-and next year may be repeating again.  I don’t know.
  • Counting-my kids count everything.  We encourage counting things.  Like how many cars are there.  How many books on the selves.  How many eggs are left.  They  are always counting.
  • AnnieQ writes her numbers backwards.  I correct her as fast as I can.  Signs of Dyslexia.  Isaiah just doesn’t want to write them unless perfect, and he can’t do perfect yet.  So I try to get them to write numbers when ever I can.  Isaiah I find sheets that have traceable number, which also I encourage AnnieQ to use.  But she things that too baby for her.
  • We do use some flash card- not many
  • There are some great Math Apps for our iPads. From younger to older ones.  One of Isaiah’s favorite from the last two years was Monkey Math.  Math Blaster HyperBlast is fun to play
  • We estimate how we spend when we goto the store.  It is a great way for them to know how much groceries cost plus other items.
  • We give them some money to spend.  And budget money with them.  I don’t do allowances.  It is too hard.  But they earn money different ways plus they get money as gifts.  At Christmas this year I gave them budgets for each one.  So when I took out Isaiah he had a $5 per person.  I did not include tax for him cause that was too much.  The item had to be under $5.  That was a challenge as he has an expensive taste and will need a well paying job in the future.
  • Tell time.  Ok I never taught my children how to tell time.  They taught them selves.  Our biggest problem is our clock is a roman numeral clock-so I have just bought a number clock too.  But they understand the concept.  All by them selves.  But Steve will teach them too!
  • Showing your work.  In upper math showing your work becomes important.  I have a child who loves mental math.  But my husband says he needs to show his work- it does make it easier for us to know where he went wrong.  So that has been a big change this year.
  • No counting on fingers.  I know-but I am trying to teach them to use the Math U See blocks and not count on their fingers.  I have noticed that my public school foster kids count of their fingers on the time.  I tell them good-what happens at 21?
  • Skip Counting.  I even encouraged my high schooler last year to learn skip counting.  He missed the first 6 years of math-so he missed many building blocks.  Learning skip counting helped.
  • LOVE Legos.
  • Beginning to love Mind Craft
  • Check out my Pinterest board on Homeshcooling for Math ideas and the iHomeschool Networks for some great ideas!

If you are new to my blog, three of my four are adopted.  I will not tell you who:) But I have learned that my kids in some areas are not at their right age levels among other things.  This showed up in math.  Holding AnnieQ back has helped in many ways, and like a preemie, my hope is she will catch up when she is ready.

I am starting to read a book call the “Whole Brain Child” recommended from a conference I went to this last summer.  It is on my list of books I am reading.  12 steps to nurture the brain.  I am looking forward to learning about step 7 remember to remember.  My kids-especially AnnieQ has a hard time remember things she has learned.


I am in day 2 of a 5 day series. Yesterday I blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts.

Check out these other homeschooling families and how they teach Language Arts.

Hopscotch with us January 13-17 as we share a round of posts detailing how exactly we teach within our specific niches.

Day 1: how I teach language arts
Day 2: how I teach math
Day 3: how I teach science
Day 4: how I teach history
Day 5: how I teach fine arts


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A Quick Adoption Resources for your Community

I have been blessed with 3 beautiful adopted children.  I am not going to tell you which ones.  But three of my four kids are adopted from foster care and we continue to be involved with post adoption resources when ever and where we can find them.

One of my favorite online resources I have found is the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption.  Don’t recognize the name?  You may recognized Dave Thomas as the founder of the restaurant of Wendy’s.

Take time to cruise around the foundation’s web page.  Make sure you check out all their free resources.  They have lots to offer.

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Adopting a Teenager: I Want Him.

Note: I wrote this shortly after the story came out in October.

A simple plea by a foster child.  I want a forever home.

A home that will let me be their child till the day I die.  Where I can call them mom and dad.

A home where I can make mistakes and spread my wings.

A home where I come on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Grandparents for my kids to call grandma and grandpa.

A forever home.

Last week that plea was make by a young man who has knocked at the hearts of many families.  Over 10,000 families stepped forward to say, we will take you.  Be your forever family.

I know what it is like to fall in love with a teenager needed a home.  We had that happen.  Oldest of the 9 siblings, he just wanted to be with 1 of them.  We had the baby of the 9.   After praying about it, know what the history was-we opened our family.  I remember the first day he walked into our house.  He is our forever child. We are his forever family.

10,000 families.  WOW  I pray that there families don’t stop.  That Davion knocking on their hearts opens it to fostering and adopting other older children waiting for forever homes.  Most age out of the system and spend the rest of the lives alone.

Adoption isn’t about just getting kids.  Kids grow up.  Move out.  Get jobs.  Make their own mistakes.  Have families. Build their traditions.  Adoption is about family.  Forever.  Adoption an older child isn’t easy.  We all know that that teenagers are just a hard stage of life.  Young adult hood even more so.  There are no guarantees that they will make all the good choices in life or not end back up where they started.  But if 10,000 people are willing to take the risk on this one kid-then why not take a risk on 10,000 other kids needing homes.

I pray that Davion finds the home he is looking for.  A forever family.  I pray that these other families

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Homeschooling with a Preemie Baby and Grand Baby

As some have pointed out-I have not blogged much lately.  It is not cause I don’t want to-or don’t have any grand ideas or cleaver post titles.  Those are coming to me at 1 or 2 am in the morning while I am feeding our now 10 week old sweet foster baby girl.

Life in our house changes all the time.  With one call we can have a little 4lb 3oz baby girl enter into our lives like that.  We can go from having 6 kids living here to 3 in one day cause my oldest son and his new little family are having major life changing issues.  God has shown us to be flexible and trust Him-He will take care of us.

For the past 10 weeks it has been 4 kids in the house with our new littlest sweet preemie baby.   She turned everything upside down, and her case continues to surprise us.  She is ours for now-all her cuteness and squeaks.  And we are learning to adjust and homeschool with a baby in the house.  The first two weeks she came we did not do a full homeschooling schedule.  Robby our oldest, he continued with what I assigned him, but the younger ones, they did various things but not a full schedule.  Thankful for computers, iPads and movies.  I had to get adjusted to having the new baby, and she was eating about every 2-3 hours.


We just went through adjusting to homeschooling when my daughter in law moved in and we had a new baby in the house last spring when my sweet perfect grand-daughter Haddie was born!  She now spends at least 2-3 days with us and is just one of my kids when here.  But since she holds the title of grand baby she gets spoiled.  Yep- started the grand ma lollipop of the month club!  (note lollipop did not last long in her mouth-she didn’t know what to do with it)


Little Squeakers (our baby’s nickname) is on about a 4 hour schedule.  So we can get most of our school work done in the morning now.  By the time we are done Autumn  will show up with Haddie for the day.  My kids are very much baby kids and want to hold and play with the babies!

Little Squeakers we did not let them hold her till about 4 weeks ago.  She was 6 weeks or so early and we wanted her to get a little bigger first.  She really spent the first 3-4 weeks in our room. We are blessed that Robby who is 12 now, took the Red Cross Babysitting training class this last summer and is a trained babysitter now.  He does well with all the kids!

So as we get ready for Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, our homeschooling book learning will come to a rest for a while.  But life learning continues and that is the greatest learning of all.


Robby said to me the other day, holding Haddie- “Mom, I am going to be a great dad cause I have a great dad and I know how to take care of babies from him.”  And that melted my heart because no book learning is going to teach my boys how to be a great dad but the example of a great dad.  And learning how to change diapers.


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10 Creative Toys that Every Foster Home Needs

We have had children in and out of our house.  Through these children I have notice that there have been some toys that have with stood the test of children who need an outlet for creative play.  Plus these toys have also been my sons favorite toys and continue to be my children’s favorite toys.

I feel that toys should be an outlet for children to be creative with.  To do build, create, destroy, imagine, in ways that some kids don’t ever get to.   Many times foster children don’t know how to play.  It takes them time to feel safe or that they are even allowed to play.  Some may just want to throw.  Foster Mom’s gain a sense what each child needs.

Many times foster homes are given hand me downs, broken toys, toys that don’t have all the pieces.  But if you ever wanted to do something nice, buy one of these toys (and a plastic bin to store them in) and donate them to a foster family.  A child will thank you!  Here are 10 toys that every foster home needs.

  • Little People– They are good for toddlers to hold on too, and older ones to create little worlds with.  Watching the foster children while playing with the different people can sometimes help you understand what is going on in their head.  We have everything from Princess to the airport.  
  • Wooden Blocks-These are just great for everything.  Kids will use them alone or with other toys.  BUT be warned-if you have an angry child, use foam blocks.
  • Baby Dolls-Kids love to play house-especially with baby dolls.  We use to have all the extra’s but my little ones are hard on them.  But the dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls, have with stood it all.
  • Trains – Kids love trains!  Especially little boys! Moving them, building them, the sound of them.  We have wooden trains, plastic trains, and Geo Track set.
  • Legos– (I Put this at 5 -think of the song 12 days of Christmas… now “5000 pieces of Legooooos”!! )  Ok Duplo, Legos- are these not the best toys in the world???  I had a little 4 year old high need foster girl-but she would sit and build with legos for hours!
  • Mr. Potato Head-Kids need permission sometimes to be silly.  And Mr.  Potato Head gives them permission to do that!
  • Lincoln Logs – Something about building your own house.  Fitting pieces together.  Creating something different.
  • Tupperware Shape O Ball Toy – This is the best toy ever!  Good for babies to hold and shake.  Toddlers figure out where the shapes go.  They roll it and have fun emptying it.  Even kids enjoy this toy.  Some foster children miss out of these basic learning skills, so this toy is good without seeming to “baby.”
  • Tinker Toys – Again-it allow children permission to create and be silly.  No rules, just have fun!
  • Art Easel – ours has a chalk board on one side and a white board on the other.  Kids can draw with chalk or water with paint brushes.  White board is good for drawing with markers. (maker sure they are dry ease ones!:)) tape up paper to make an art creation!  The Art Easel is great for the counselors that come to our house, they have kids draw pictures on it.






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10 Things I Wish People Understood About Our Adoptions

10. These are our children, regardless of skin color or hair.  We have two biracial children.  They are ours.  No I did not give birth to them, I adopted them to give them a loving home.

9. We did not steal them from their parents. We worked with DHR and their mom to make every effort to get them back home.  Doing that time we took care of them.  When the situation changed is when we started looking at adopting.  We did not steal or kidnap them, neither not DHR.  (I have had some people accuse me of this)

8.They are US grown.  My favorite line when Isaiah was 2, “Did you get him from Columbia?” No he is US grown.  All my kids are born in US, 3 in Alabama.  We worked with foster care in our county.

7.We do not look to be Super Heroes because we adopted. We did not start fostering to be super heroes or super parents.  Nor did we want people to go-look at them, how wonderful are the, we could NEVER do that.  We did it because we could, because we wanted to make a difference and we had extra space.

6.We did foster them first with the goal to reunite them with their family. Our first goal in fostering is always to reunite families.  This is not always the case.  Sometimes it is.  With our kids it was not-but we worked hard to keep the sibling family together.  We got the baby of the group and I worked with his mom every week to let him know how he was doing.

5. Our kids have many siblings, and the know and love them all in special ways. Sometimes our kids don’t know how many siblings they have.  They will tell people, I have a baby brother-people look at me and I smile “adopted into another family.”  We work hard so they have communication with those siblings.  Some easier than others.

4. There is no difference in our birth child and our adopted children-other than their birth stories.  Seems that some people think that when our adopted children turn 18, then we are done with them.  Wrong, they are our children.  Their birth mom gave up her rights to be their mom-and so we are their parents.  Forever.  That is what adoption is-forever.  Yes, we do use the word adoption-we have two biracial children-we celebrate adoption.

3. We do not do this for money. Our goal is not to get as many kids adopted to make money off of them. Some people seem to collect children for money, giving other adopted parents a bad rep-that we are in it for the money.  There is a some money in adopting special needs children.

2. We are one family-our family.  We are the Gehring’s-one family serving and loving God.  Some people still separate us-our adopted kids and Robby.  We are one family and I have paper work to prove this.

1. We love our kids with all our heart.  My kids are amazing and we love them with all our heart.  Some ask can you love an adopted kid as much as your birth child?  Well, mess with my kids and lets find out.


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Living with Explosive Children-20 Tips to Help

Living with Explosive Children

I love my children.  I would not trade a moment with them in for the world!  BUT our daily lives are not quiet and at any moment of any day my children can explode!

Now I don’t mean like in a cartoon, where you will see “BOOM” all around.  And I am not talking about every day tempers or melt downs.  I am talking from 0 to 10 in seconds.  I am talking one thing can set them off.  I am talking about having to parent with another voice inside guiding me when these out burst occur.  Even this does not fully describe them.

When I read about other homeschooler families-I see order and every now and then I see things go crazy.  In my school day, ever day my children have explosive behavior.  Screaming comes with our territory, and objects being thrown are not uncommon. Now before I go on, let me make this clear.  This does not make my kids bad!  My kids are amazing kids, sweet, servant like, love God, willing to help, gentle hearted. But there are moments-I hold on for the ride.

For example:  AnnieQ (7) was playing with Play dough.  Her plastic knife broke and I told her to just keep using the broken side because we would be cleaning up soon.  That was a trigger-just like that she threw the knife, threw the play dough, her attitude change, she started screaming.  I could have given in-Yes.  But even then she had hit a point of no return.   So at this point I put her in time-out, on the way to time out she destroyed stuff as she went along-not to mention the  high pitch scream.  Mind you this is all from a broken knife.

She started screaming louder now she was horribly  hungry and has not eaten anything all day.  Now she has, they got Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, as been snacking all day-even had fresh pineapple.  The screaming is beyond what I can handle right now.  So I make a PBJ sandwich and warn her that she will also be going to bed early.  When she saw the sandwich she started crying I want real dinner.  Not this.  And other note: my husband was at a church meeting and I wasn’t planning on making dinner-sandwiches worked well.  She screamed for about 20 minutes how she wanted real dinner.  I finally walked away.

She finally ate the sandwich, apologized and got dressed for bed.  And just like that she was fine again.  I deal with about 2-3 explosions like this daily from her.  Triggers can be simply asking her to find her shoes, cleaning, doing school work, to many unknown things.

Another example is Isaiah (5-almost 6).  Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah.  (Yeah many days are like that!)  I know little boys are active and active and well active.  But there is something else about him!  One day we can get math done, no big deal, but if my breath smells to much like coffee-it will be a struggle. (And he likes my coffee-even drinks it!) Like today, they were outside playing and Robby got some mud on him.  Isaiah came in all mad.  I told him to shake it off and go back outside till he was done playing.  He then went, and got undressed, had other clothes and was getting ready to take a shower.  I stopped him cause I told him if he took a shower he wasn’t going to go back outside, that he was done for the day.  And there it was-the ugly explosion -screaming and words.

The other day I had to carry   drag him out of Home Depot, because he wanted to show me something and could not wait till I was done.  This turned into a whole scene, which now everyone knows we were in the store.  I just calmly go pay for my items I had already picked out, respond fine when the cashier still ask “how are you today?” As I am dealing with a screaming child.  How do you think I am? “Fine.”

These explosion are daily in our lives.  Mostly from the two younger ones.  I have worked with a lot of kids.  I have learned to deal with it, and I am working HARD not to respond with screaming.  But that is hard.  Frustrating.  Some days I feel like all I do is scream-other days I bite my tongue to be better.

So our days with our children-are not always perfect but precious.  Our plans get changed and one thing shifts everything.  Many people see my kids as active and bad.   I see small children being raised to be adults who love and serve the Lord.  That that they do, love and serve the Lord.

A Note: None of my younger children are diagnosed with Explosive Disorder.  While there are things we are watching, my younger adopted children are still young-and many different issues could be causes this.  I am not in anyway a Dr. qualified to give out medical help-but more of a parent giving out ways to live with this help.  If you find you have a child that displays this-get help.  I have been told about a great book to read-it is on my list.


Here are 20 tips to help deal with explosive children.  Maybe you use another term.  Some are basic parenting.  If you have more, share them in the comments below!

Tips to Help

  • Keep track of Triggers
  • Use the same discipline where ever you go
  • Have a schedule, but be flexible
  • Remember it is not you
  • Love them
  • Tickle them.  (I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes attacking the screaming with tickles work-you just need to know when)
  • You take a breather when they get to much
  • Just know people will not understand you kids
  • Do not get mad at the people who don’t understand-educate them
  • Reward your kids every time you can!
  • Know what battles to pick
  • Teach breathing exercises
  • Train children it is ok to be mad, but not ok to hurt people or things.
  • Give them ways to be mad and express it
  • Know people will stare.  Smile back
  • Starbucks-for you.
  • Make sure your husband and you are working as a team.
  • Get outside help when you need it.
  • Allow children to be children-they need lots of outside time
  • It is OK to use iPhones or iPads to get peace-but use it wisely.


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Our Family Rules

This summer while our oldest had run away my husband and I finally nailed down some family rules on paper.  We felt that they worked for all ages and that they were simple enough to understand.  It was some of the good that came from a hard time in our family.  Though we now have the rules, we all still struggle with the  consequences of those rules, especially the kids!

Family Rules

I have had many people ask me for a copy so I am sharing our list with you.  I do not remember where we got these from.  I researched a few different web sites, tweaked and simplified for us. (So if you know of any of those websites let me know cause when I did this I did it for our family at the time)

Our Family Rules are:

  1. Treat yourself and others with respect: the Golden Rule applied first and foremost in our family.  No put downs, hitting, kicking, pinching,  or name-calling.  This applies to what you say to others and what you say to yourself in the mirror.  Use manners and say please, thank you, sorry, you’re welcome, and excuse me.
  2. Be honest and trustworthy: integrity is valued in our family.  Tell the truth, don’t omit details to attempt to avoid consequences, mean what you say and say what you mean, and follow through with promises.
  3. Be responsible and accountable: When you make a mistake, own up, apologize and ask how you can make it better.  Then take action to correct your mistake and improve upon the situation, ask a parent.
  4. Clean up your own mess: If you take it out, put it back.
  5. Show respect for people’s property: Knock before entering, ask permission before you use something, put it back better than you found it.  If you break it, rip it, or mess it up, replace it or fix it.
  6. Do not argue or talk back to your parents in a disrespectful way:Voice your opinion but respect the final decision made by your parents who make decisions based on what is best for the family, you and your well-being.
  7. Ask permission before you go out somewhere: First, ask your parents if your can go.  Be sure to tell parents or whoever is in charge who you will be with, where you are going, how you can be contacted, and when you will be home.  Then do what you said you should do.  If plans changed, call and let someone know.
  8. Do what Mom and Dad ask you to do first time they request it.  Stalling, ignoring, tantruming, complaining, rolling eyes and grunting are unacceptable responses. (this shows respect when you do it the first time.)
  9. Show gratitude: We are a blessed family.  Take time each day to say thank you for what you have, the people in your life, and the opportunities provided to you.
  10. Actively seek out ways to be kind and helpful to others: You do not need to wait for be invited to help.  We live in a home together, therefore we all need to pitch in!  We are all encouraged to provided unprompted, sincere praise for someone else or a show of affection to ensure that every family member feels valued and loved.

We of course have other house rules such as no eating other than on the tile….while verbal house rules are good-we find that some of our kids are black and white and need things written down.  And even written down, they still can’t understand them.  My younger ones are learning.  The biggest rules we deal with is 2, 7, and 8.  From the oldest to the youngest they struggle with these, and many times they don’t see them as important.  Some of my kids can look at you and lie right at your eyes like it is an every day event.  How do you punish for that?  And is their background (remember 3 are adopted) an issue in some of following the rules?

We struggle with the consequences, oh we have punishments, like time out, spankings or something is taken away.  They get mad…but instead of just sitting quietly for their time out or time away, they make noise or scheme….making their punishment longer.  Sometimes my little kids will sit in a time out 5 times their normal length.  I am finding that doing other things, such as extra cleaning is working better for some.  Still a learning process.

These family rules at least give us guide lines to help us along the way.  They are not perfect, like any family is not perfect, but parents we all need some place to start or our kids will think they are in charge.

I would love to hear your family rules and any list of consequences you may have!


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