A Homeschooler’s Wardrobe: The Solution

Decided to add a postscript to yesterday’s post when I discovered an ingenious website that might just solve most of my problems with weather-inappropriate wardrobe choices.

This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” kind of websites, because it is so simple, but so brilliant.

It is called: “Sleeves”, and even the most technically challenged youngster (or mom) can figure this one out.  You simply type in your zip code into the home page, and you get your result of what to wear that day…long sleeves, short sleeves, go sleeveless, or Two Layers. 


sleeves 2

Now how can my kids possibly go wrong now?  

Please don’t answer that.



A Homeschoolers’ Wardrobe

Homeschooling has an interesting side-effect for my boys, that I’m not sure I started to pay attention to until fairly recently.  My children have no clue about clothing.  What’s in…what’s out.  It’s all Greek togas to them. 

Case in point…if I happen to leave both summer and winter clothing accessible to them, it is not unusual to see someone sitting around in shorts and a turtleneck.  Their idea of picking out something to wear is reaching into the closest drawer (hopefully one that is still j0283903 drooping open from yesterday so they don’t actually have to open it) and pulling out enough clothing to cover the parts they don’t want seen in pictures. 

Now this is fine and good while you are sitting in your bedroom, hidden away on your computer.  But what about if mom wants to take you out into the real world?  Now it get’s complicated – – not for them, but for mom.  Because at that point, we begin the repeating ritual that happens on a weekly, if not daily, basis at the Topsy household that I fondly like to call “the who-cares argument.”

It always begins with my suggestion that they look in the mirror.  I lead with this because having seen the ridiculousness that is their current wardrobe choice, I have this hope that someday they will “see it” for themselves.  Never happens.

So on to part two. 

Me: “We’re going out in just a little while, and I was hoping you might put on something a little more appropriate for the weather.  While the fuzzy vest was probably pretty cozy back during January, it probably just isn’t the best clothing choice for mid-June.”

Them: “Mom…it’s just clothes.  Who cares?”

Me: “I know it is just clothes, but besides being wrong for this climate, that outfit is also not really in style right now.  I think tube socks and sandals might have gone out a few years back.”

Them: “Mom, if we are running errands, we will probably never see those people again in our lives.  Who cares whether I am in style?”

Me: “You never know who we might bump into out there.  A neighbor, a church member, or God-forbid a future employer.”

Them: “Why would THEY care what we are wearing?  Do they own a clothing store?”

At this point my voice always starts getting an edge to it, and I am wearing down, and they sense it.  Time to pull out the big guns.

Me:”For all I know, some hot teenage girl will have started working at the pharmacy, and she will be the one to ring up our purchase, and you will have a chance to tell her that you like her nose ring, and she will giggle, and you will say something clever back, and then she will flash you her best smile, and you will brush your hair back over your ear, and she will lean forward over the counter to commence flirting and suddenly see that you are wearing a fuzzy vest, green shorts, and tube socks with sandals, and in horrified amazement, she will not only ignore your existence, but short change me, which will make me ill, and I will probably give you extra chores.” 

Works every time.  Off goes the fuzzy vest and the tube socks.  On goes the purple t-shirt which just happens to create some sort of 3-D effect with the green shorts.  But hey, I’m happy.  If you think I’m going to argue color schemes too, you’ve got another thing coming.  I’m going to let their wives worry with that one.

Tickle Me Tuesday

I just needed an excuse to share this joke, which someone told me recently, so here goes…

A local news broadcaster in the Appalachian Mountains was interviewing farmers in the area prior to the election, and asking them what they thought the chances of Barak Obama being electedpig farmer were.  Most of them thought he had a fair shot, a few of them were certain of his victory, but one particular farmer was adamant in his belief that it would never happen.  "I’m telling you that if Barak Obama gets elected then pigs will fly."

A few months after the election, that reporter decided to follow up on the earlier story, and go back and interview that farmer again.  He looked down and away from the camera and shuffled his feet when the reporter asked him if he’d like to say anything about the turn of events.  "Well, there’s not much I CAN say, is there? There’s no denying it now.  Swine flu."

We Remember

Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints – Summer Brain Boosters

summerToday is our last official day of homeschool for the year, and we are  ready to celebrate by vegging out for three months.  Only problem?  Our brains turn to mush when we aren’t exercising them. Mine is probably much worse than the boys – – I can practically watch my brain cells slough off and fall out my ears if I don’t keep myself mentally stimulated.

If your family is similar to ours, then you might appreciate some of the following ideas for keeping the ole educational nerve endings greased up – – the techie way, of course.

Time4Learning offers a way for kids to keep their minds sharp AND entertained with their summer learning program.  And Time4Writing continues to offer writing classes throughout the summer as well, with courses in sentence writing, paragraph writing, essay writing, and basic mechanics. 

The Wii offers some excellent opportunities for educational fun over the dog days of summer.  Two games coming out this summer that look like winners are: Science Papa, a virtual science lab featuring 30 different experiments and Space Camp, where you are an aspiring astronaut in training.  Amazon.com has a good list of additional Wii games that can be considered educational, as well.

But you don’t have to pay the big bucks to get some educational fun out of Wii this summer.  All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and your Wii remote.  Arcademics Skills Builders has taken some of their best online games and made them optimized for the Wii.  So if you can navigate to their website using your Wii Browser, you can play games like Meteor Multiplication and Verb Viper for free! (http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/wiilist.htm)

If you have a rising tech-geek in your family, you might be interested in iD Tech computer camps.  Based in over 60 universities around the country, these camps specialize in video game design, 3D modeling, robotics, web design and digital graphics.  There is probably one near you!  But they fill up fast, so register as soon as possible.

What’s that you say? You actually want your children to go OUTSIDE this summer??  Well, if you’re that type of parent, then I guess it can’t be helped.  But you might be interested in stopping by the Kid’s Valley Garden first, to brush up on all the ins and outs of those veggies, herbs, and flowering things that you’ll be (*gasp*) interacting with out there in the real world. 

As for me, I’ll be taking a break from Friday’s HHH for a couple months myself…   But not to worry.  I’ll keep my brain from turning to mincemeat SOMEHOW. 


A Thousand Words Thursday


H-T was skipping rocks at the river yesterday, and R-T caught him in deep concentration and preparation.  (Unfortunately, not long after this pic, the concentration was shot all to heck and his new Nike sandals went floating down the river)



All The Crap That’s Fit To Print

My printer and I have a love/hate relationship.  The thing knows I love and need it.  It sits there, all confident-like, shooting out pieces of paper with perfect color and texture.  It mocks me with its reliability.  I can count on it…and it is fully aware of my affection.

But I also hate it.  It costs a small fortune to keep it inked up.  It makes printing so easy that I print out things I don’t need to, just because they come out flawless.  I can actually hear the trees outside my window weeping each time it chews up and spits out another one of their family members.

I’ve wanted to get a handle on this co-dependent relationship for some time now, but it was so hard to get past the first three steps in the Printers Anonymous 12-step Program.  I needed help.  Couldn’t do it on my own.

But now, I have found a sponsor.  Someone who has been through my pain, and has come out on the other side.  I’d like to introduce that sponsor to you today…

Meet: printfriendly

Prientfriendly lets you take whatever webpage you feel the urge to print, pop it into their preview page, and makes it immediately print optimized.  Takes out all the unnecessary “gunk” and lets you customize it down to exactly the part you want to print – – nothing more, nothing less. 

Because of printfriendly, I can now raise my head up high again.  I can look those trees outside square in the bark. 

My printer and I are now on a level playing field, and we have some respect and equity back in our relationship now. 

The damn microwave, however, is as cocky as ever…


Go ahead, register at the site and take it for a spin!  Print