Any negative sides of HS? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 06-26-2008, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I plan on HS one day (even though my partner is adamant that private school is best since that is what he did), and I devour this part of the forum, but I hear only great and positive and wonderful things about HSing, are there any negative sides? Any thing to watch out for?
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#2 of 54 Old 06-26-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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The only downside I've found so far to hsing is that I don't have the built in daycare that school provides. So if I need a few hours to get something done without the kids (7 and 3.9), I need to line up help.
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#3 of 54 Old 06-26-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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The only downside I've found so far to hsing is that I don't have the built in daycare that school provides. So if I need a few hours to get something done without the kids (7 and 3.9), I need to line up help.
ditto

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#4 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:28 AM
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are there any other downsides, even minute ones...some of us newbies need realistic views of this situation. i plan to homeschool until college.
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#5 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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For our family, meeting people for the kids to socialize with has been a big deal. I have a 16 yr old who is semi shy, and I tend to be a loner and am not a great example. My middle child is starting "kindergarten," and he loves people, so it may be a challenge for us to appropriate some good social situations for him.

The kids get almost too attached to having the parent around, for us.

Space and time are always issues. I daydream about sending my kid to private school, just so I can have a few hours alone every day.

It's starting to eat at the pocketbook, if we want to use field trips as a big part of our hands-on curriculum.
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#6 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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I plan on HS one day (even though my partner is adamant that private school is best since that is what he did), and I devour this part of the forum, but I hear only great and positive and wonderful things about HSing, are there any negative sides? Any thing to watch out for?

I have to say personally, some may disagree based on their support system and individual experience, but for me the most negative thing was the unexpected strong negative reaction that it elicited in some people. I knew that there would be blow back and reactions however I am not blessed with a thick skin and so knowing my family was glaring and talking behind my back about my 'horrible choice' to HS: really made me mad.

People who only saw my son once a year were convinced that I would ruin him and just had no idea about how our HSing even worked to form a logical opinion based on fact. It was just that strong reaction that the word/s Homeschooling will bring out in certain individuals that got to me.

Now I can shrug it off, say they are entitled to their opinion etc, but in the beginning it really just hurt my feelings, and made me upset. People DO get over it though and learn to chill out once they realize that your mind is made up and that HS doesn't ruin a kid

My son wanted these smilies here
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#7 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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My son will be 4 in November and we just made the decision to home school and just started this week so we're very new to the situation. There are a few downsides that I have thought of. Maybe some of them will be proven wrong as I gain more experience.

First you will need to make more effort to find friends for your child and foster those relationships. What that means for you at the younger ages is that you will need to make the effort and find other moms to make friends with. At school, our kids make friends that have nothing to do with us. With young home schoolers, a friendship for your child also involves new relationships and socializing for you. If you're a social butterfly type, that might be a positive for you. For me, it's a little harder because I find it difficult to find other moms who I enjoy hanging out with because we're not "mainstream".

Next, you will probably always question yourself and wonder if you are doing the right thing. I think most parents send their kids to school without a thought. Since education will now be our responsibility, the feeling of "am I doing this right? am I doing enough? am I doing the right thing?" will probably creep in from time to time.

Another thing will be the negative reactions that others will have to your decision. People may be silent or give you that, "oh" response when you tell them. They may question if you are making the right decision. You will probably find yourself defending your decision from time to time, and that can leave you with some negative feelings. Going along with this, your child may come up against negative reactions to being home schooled from other adults, other children, etc who do not understand. Eventually, they will need to be prepared with some responses to common reactions.

For us, all of the positives FAR FAR outweigh any negatives.
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#8 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:37 AM
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The only downside I've found so far to hsing is that I don't have the built in daycare that school provides. So if I need a few hours to get something done without the kids (7 and 3.9), I need to line up help.
ITA.... down time without kids or time to do things I can't do with them around is the only down side. It was so greatfrom the time DS was able to watch DD until he was working full time and eventually moved out. I could actually make Dr appointments etc without having to find someone to watch DD.
Luckily there are a couple of homeschool moms that I can trade off with.
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#9 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Channelle View Post
I plan on HS one day (even though my partner is adamant that private school is best since that is what he did), and I devour this part of the forum, but I hear only great and positive and wonderful things about HSing, are there any negative sides? Any thing to watch out for?
Well remind your partner that HS is a private school in a sense. :

I have no complaints.
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#10 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:57 AM
 
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Having people assume that homeschoolers are some kind of homogenous Group fitting whatever preconceived image of hsers they have. For instance, isolated conservative Christians in the woods who use the Bible as curriculum. Or pagan, or Type A, or laissez-faire... and it doesn't matter that the stereotypes people cling to are contradictory - they still believe what they believe. Also people making assumptions about your children - that they want to go to school and aren't "allowed"... that they should have memorized the dictionary and encyclopedia and speak four languages by the time they're 10 -since after all, they're homeschooled... etc etc.

Anything about your children can be attributed to homeschooling, and often in a negative way. "Oh, he's so shy. Must be the homeschooling." "Oh, he's rowdy with other kids. Must be the homeschooling." Perfectly normal child behaviors that many a conventionally schooled child exhibits daily are scrutinized and filed away as proof that hsing doesn't "socialize" children right. And on the flip side, feeling paranoid that this is happening when you don't really have any reason to assume that anyone is judging!

Being afraid that your MIL is going to take your 5 yo Dd aside and fill her head with "school is great" propaganda in the hopes that this Dd will demand to go to school, making you the bad guy if you say no. Family resistance can feel a lot like total disrespect and disregard. Not fun.

Depending on the state you live in, and the type of homeschooling you are doing, meeting the state requirements each year. The stress of doing so. And in states with an end of the year evaluation of some kind, being worried that even though YOU know your child learned and grew in leaps and bounds, that that might not translate for The Powers That Be.

For me personally, it's the total lack of downtime. I've been in and around this for long enough to not sweat the other stuff (although the MIL thing bugs me!) but when what you want for Mother's Day is "two hours to clean the house without interruption" ... you know you need to change something!

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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#11 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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For us, it's childcare. I wohm, dh is a college student who was taking night courses, but most courses now offered are during the day. We are currently deciding how we want to tackle this as we use to just trade off on school nights.

However, it does present a problem for us in the long term. What kind of care will we be able to line up for the kids while we work? Despite working outside of our home, I would still like to homeschool them. It would probably take a while for me to transition from full to part time work.
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#12 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 05:38 AM
 
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We have no support group here. None. The only other homeschoolers just moved, so we're alone.

That is sort of a downer, but there's plenty of afterschool activities to do and summer programs - and school gets out at 2:30 so the kids have lots of unstructured time, too.
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#13 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 08:13 AM
 
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Whenever this thread comes up, I honestly struggle to find negatives about our hsing.

If we weren't hsing, I would have continued in my career and had more $$ (except--I hated that career and really, really, really wanted to be home with my kids, so that's not much of a negative.)

If we weren't hsing, I wouldn't be driving so much. (Totally variable, depending on where you live and what's available to you in the way of public transportation, of course.) But the positives of hsing are so great that even when I get tired of driving, I don't for a second wish we weren't hsing.

I don't think there are intrinsic negatives to hsing--I think it's just a matter of deciding how well hsing fits your family, yk?

There are people out there who can't wait for school breaks to be over so that they can send their kids back to school. For them, being with their kids for extended periods would be a negative. For me, that's the biggest positive of all. So, it all depends on what you want.

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#14 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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Taking three kids into the OB/GYN with you



I try to focus on the positives or the negatives would weigh me down. I might just be tempted to send them off to PS.

We actually love the HS lifestyle. We take the bad with the good because the good outweights the bad by a long shot.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#15 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Probably the main downside to homeschooling is having to worry about negative reactions, and having people assume whatever quirks my kids may have would disappear if I would put them in school.

And, while socializing isn't a problem, it does take more effort on my part. I have to seek out activities, and arrange playdates. As an introvert, it's the toughest part of homeschooling-- academics are easy.

I'm not at all tempted to put my kids in school.

ZM
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#16 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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In all honesty...

Homeschooling is wonderful. I love it, but there are days. My oldest is in school. My youngest is at home. My oldest was at home for 4 years.

I got to a point with oldest ds where I was unable to meet his needs socially and educationally. He wanted to go to school, so he started in Dec.

We interviewed a bunch of schools until we found the perfect one for him. He acclimated easily to his new learning environment. He enjoys school for the social aspects. He misses hs sometimes, and so do I.

I have had days where I panic about my decision. I have had days where I cry, overwhelmed and want to take dc to the nearest school. My two boys would fight horribly at times. We have periods of complete burnout, and periods of total bliss.

Since then I have found a great hs group in my area and ds2 is homeschooling. We have always been involved in hs communities no matter where we lived. It took us a while to find the right one where we live now. Had we found this group earlier I do not think ds1 would have entered school.

I do not have any more time on my hands with ds1 at school. I take him to and from school, plus he has extracurricular activities after school, during school, and homework. Our time tables are just different. I do not feel like I have childcare. Sometimes I feel like the school runs my life. I can't go do what I want, when I want because of the homework and activities.

Homeschooling is not this pink, puffy cloud. Neither is school. There are good days and bad with both. It's a lot of work either way. Homeschooling is a beautiful and rewarding experience for the whole family.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. I have known lots of families that did not homeschool for long because it didn't work for them. I've known hs families that were dead set against school and have now put their children in school for one reason or another.

Stick around and read. You'll see threads with names like "Ready to give up on homeschooling...HELP!"
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#17 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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For us, it's the lack of friends. My kids need more interaction with other kids. Our church doesn't have many little ones, there isn't a homeschool group anywhere in my county, we both WOH full-time and can't do typical playdates, no kids in the neighborhood. For us, that socialization argument is a reality. We're trying to change that, but it hasn't been easy.

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#18 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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The only downside I've found so far to hsing is that I don't have the built in daycare that school provides. So if I need a few hours to get something done without the kids (7 and 3.9), I need to line up help.
ditto. And I like to have some ME time every now and then as well. I get tired of having to ask for it and asking DH to watch them for a couple of hours just so I can go to the library or shopping alone. If the kids were in school I'd simply just go do it and not have to tell anyone. I feel pinned down at times.

Socializing is the same as the others have mentioned. I have to work hard to find places to take the kids so they meet other kids around their age. If they were in school they'd automatically be around kids their age all day, five days a week. While I don't want them around kids that much during the week it is challenging at times to get them around other kids "enough" so they can form bonds and friendships. We just don't get out much.

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#19 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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The loss of a second full time income and retirement earnings is the big one for us. It is something we we will feel for years after we stop homeschooling.

Another thing to be mindful of is just the intensity of the relationships of being together so much. There are positives to this but also negatives. You don't get the break from the kids during the harder developmental phases like you would with a kid going to school.
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#20 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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We love homeschooling, but since you asked, here are some negatives:

no time to myself and it's a big ordeal to find childcare (no family here to help us). this is a big one for me right now - sometimes I'd like to take a nice long shower without having someone stick their lego creation in for me to look at.

sometimes the homeschooling community isn't very welcoming of a secular (and lesbian) family. We live in a very large city and I don't know of another gay/lesbian homeschooling family.

the time on the internet researching curriculums, styles, etc. can get a bit overwhelming.

for me, it takes a lot of time to plan and organize even though I would say we are very relaxed homeschoolers.

my house looks like an educational toy store - maps in our hallway, solar systems on my dining room table, etc.

loss of income, though I'm glad to not be working.

my son is gifted and I often worry if I am meeting his needs (even though that is one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool).

I'm homeschooling my 6 yo and I worry about what it will be like in 3 years when I am also homeschooling (officially, that is) his sister. Because of their age range and their differences in abilities, there isn't much they could do together.

that's all I can think of. my list of positives would be really, really long. :
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#21 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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the time on the internet researching curriculums, styles, etc. can get a bit overwhelming.
Although, keep in mind that a lot of us were quite happily homeschooling before people had access to an Internet. After we'd been homeschooling for a while, I got onto AOL - they had a small homeschooling forum where people compared notes. AOL eventually added a www feature where you could get out into a broader connection to Internet sites, but there wasn't really much out there anyway - the best resource at the time was AOL, and it cost over $4 and hour beyond the basic fee, so it added up lickety split.

At one point, we got a software program called "Internet In a Box," and it had a browser called Mosaic - but there wasn't much to browse! And the dial up speeds were much slower than anyone today can even begin to imagine - so it was all pretty useless.

I'm not sure things have improved all that much with the Internet. People are faced with a lot more overwhelm these days over something that really isn't that complicated. People don't need styles and methods - they just need a few resources for helping their children learn some basics, and lots of shared enthusiasm and curiosity for learning more and more about all sorts of other things. As someone wrote in a post I read somewhere around here today, a child who learns how to learn is on his way - things don't need to be spoon fed or led. What's really a thrill is to get out of the way and watch a child become her own best teacher - it's mind boggling.

And I've got to get back to cleaning - I move out Sunday. I'm really looking forward to seeing my son shortly after that and hearing about all his learning adventures since I've seen him last. Lillian
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#22 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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There are some things that it is harder to find. My teenagers are very interested in theatre, so not having a school play makes finding opportunities for them harder.

Really, there haven't been many major problems. I have two in college right now, and neither of them has had any bad things to say about homeschooling.
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#23 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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Everything is going to have a downside, homeschooling has some *cons*, but for us school has many more. That being said there are a few things I'd change if I could.

Time/money/gas spent on extracurriculars/classes. My kids could do sports for free (yes free) if they were in school. Now, even if they were to make the teams, I would have to get them to practice and we are on the total other end of town. DD likes cheerleading and that involves an all-star squad, the closest one is 1/2 hour away plus fees. As it stands both are now dancing, which is not terribly expensive but also pretty far away. I know that DD would never have had time to do all the things she's done if she was in school so it wouldn't be an issue. Also, things like art and PE would be covered in school and since my kids took the bus to school I wouldn't have to pay to get them there or pay for the services themselves (which again aren't hugely expensive but...).

Finding support for me and the kids. Not really socialization, but kinda. It easy to find things for them to do with other kids, it's not so easy to find them a *tribe*. Poor DD is really struggling since a lot of the kids in our homeschool group are going back to school . She did just meet up with a girl from dance that we know previously from a Spanish class so hopefully that will click. I have found the easiest way to handle this is to not limit ourselves to hsers, but all of these contacts cost $$. I am also finding it hard to find people I click with, but then again I never did with the parents of the other kids in school either LOL! Again, possible, it just takes more effort and $$


Scheduling those appointments you need to be alone for. Like pap smears My kids are old enough now to wait in the waiting area for me but when they were little it was a problem. Long appointments are still an issue because DS has trouble sitting still for hours in a waiting room and I don't like sending them (he and DD) outside without an adult.

That's really all I can think of. My kids are older (9,12,14) so I don't have the *me* time issues. They all have their own things they do so I get plenty of time to do mine. I actually enjoy the planning and picking of curriculum and all that so that's not a con for me either.

Really, despite the *cons* there are many more pros. I really love hsing and it's a joy for me :
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#24 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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I honestly don't see a downside. I do have some very stretching challenges. My 8yo is very extraverted, and likes frequent get-togethers with friends. As others have mentioned, this means I need to keep making calls and planning stuff.

And networking, and getting to know new families we meet at the park, church, and other places. I need to keep doing it even on the rare occasions when dd's friend-tank seems full, because we live in such a mobile society.

While this is stretching for me, it's also fun.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#25 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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Same as a few other posters:

-I don't get a break daily/not much time to myself
-Finding childcare for appts, outings etc.
-No other homeschoolers around

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#26 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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I had to really search to find something “negative” about hs’g – and came up basically with one: my own self-doubts about whether I’m doing “enough”, doing it “right”, which does happen with me from time to time. But I feel that’s only because I have had to work on shedding the ps mentality of what “schooling” “should” be – as defined by our public schools.

The second “negative” would be finances. I’m a single mom, so for me it’s really hard to make enough money from home to cover my son’s activities (travel, basically).

Other than those, I could make a rather lengthy list of all the reasons FOR hs’g! LOL!
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#27 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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The downside to the ps here (poorly funded,overcrowded,dangerous,14 identified gangs) far out weighed any typical hs negatives.

Yes I'd like to have more me time.What mom wouldn't?I'd also like to win the lottery.:

I have found it's what you make it.If you think it's gonna be hard it will.If you think your kids should "do" school from 9-3 their probably gonna hate it.If you can wrap your brain around the idea of everything being an opportunity to learn something,provide the tools and environment,then stand back and let your kids have at it with minmal adult direction you'll find your life and theirs filled with great joy.

The socialization issue?It's pretty much an artificial construct to begin with.Where else do you find people spending eight hours a day sitting next to people all with the same birth year?IMHO it's nuts to begin with,creates negative peer dependancy and a host of other less than desireable human traits like bullying.

I'm obviously biased,but honestly I really don't think any child should have to leave home every day until they're somewhere around 15-16,and even then someplace like the local cc where they can take college level or vocational courses.At least on that level the material is more intresting and not dumbed down.
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#28 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 02:49 PM
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I plan on HS one day (even though my partner is adamant that private school is best since that is what he did), and I devour this part of the forum, but I hear only great and positive and wonderful things about HSing, are there any negative sides? Any thing to watch out for?

We withdrew our children from private school to home school.
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#29 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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When my dd inevitably drops the "F" bomb I can no longer blame it on "those darn kids on the bus and the playground".
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#30 of 54 Old 06-27-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LovemyBoo View Post
When my dd inevitably drops the "F" bomb I can no longer blame it on "those darn kids on the bus and the playground".
Yah...that...LOL!
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