Our Story: About My Little Poppies
Welcome to My Little Poppies. I’m so glad you’re here.
My name is Cait. I live in New Hampshire with my husband and our three children (8, 7, and 5-years-old). On this site, I refer to these three amazing little people as my little poppies.*
I am a school psychologist with a passion for helping underdogs. I loved working in inner city Boston, both in a regular and special education capacity. I had planned to stay home with my little poppies until they were enrolled in school full-time and then return to urban education.
Sometimes, life likes to throw us a curve ball. That’s exactly what happened in the spring of 2014, during our oldest son’s kindergarten year. It’s a rather long story, but an assessment in May of that year proved our long-held suspicions that we only whispered about at home. Testing indicated that our son is a profoundly gifted and twice-exceptional child. Unfortunately, gifted education is not mandated in the state of New Hampshire, nor is funding available. Our son’s unique needs are far too asynchronous to be met in a K-3 building and after much research and guidance, we found ourselves suddenly and unexpectedly homeschooling.
I never imagined myself here.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be homeschooling and blogging about it, I would have burst out laughing. As a school psychologist and a product of public schools, homeschooling was never on my radar. However, through my research, I learned that many, if not most, profoundly gifted children are homeschooled for at least part of their education. It is an unexpected path for sure, but one that we fully embraced in order to help our child. And, do you know what? I’m loving this homeschooling thing for so many reasons.
Our oldest son was actually the first blogger in our family- his blog predates mine by many months. Many of my educator friends urged me to follow his lead and blog about our unexpected journey. I’ve always enjoyed writing and so I decided to go for it. I started My Little Poppies the very same week that we decided to homeschool. I am a planner by nature but the decision to blog about our journey was an impulsive one. I did this because I sincerely wish I had stumbled across such a blog when I first started this PG, 2E, full of OE journey.
And that’s just it: more people need to talk about this gifted and 2E stuff. Regardless of how you feel about the gifted label, gifted and twice-exceptional children have unique educational and social-emotional needs. These children are asynchronous by nature and they can be challenging to parent. People often ask me how I “keep up with” our little guy and my answer is this: I need a decent night of sleep, a couple strong cups of coffee, my sense of humor, abundant patience, and a prayer. These kids are underdogs, too. If you are the parent of one of these children, or if you work with this population, I get it. And, not only do I get it, but I’m also going to talk about it. I hope that, by sharing our journey, we will help you with yours.
Since starting My Little Poppies, we have added two more homeschoolers to our fold. Our 7-year-old daughter wrote an amazing homeschool manifesto and she joined us that very day. When it came time to register our youngest for kindergarten, we decided that we didn’t need a third strike.
So that’s the story of how this whole thing started. What else will you find here? Topics include homeschooling, education (regular ed, gifted ed, and special ed), motherhood and family, nature, games, and literacy… and, sometimes, a little Kenny Chesney. Our littlest blogger contributes to the site. You can find his posts in “Leo’s Lounge!” We also share resources that we have found to be helpful and recommend products that we love. Please know that we only recommend products that we love.
If you like what you see here, please follow us elsewhere. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. There you will find random snippets of our day, from games, to funny quotes, to inventions, to kid art, in addition to what I read daily on topics of interest to me as a mother, educator, homeschooler, gifted advocate, nature-lover, and health-nut.
Meet The Poppies
I’d like you to meet the poppies* behind My Little Poppies. But, first, a word about privacy. I’ve mentioned that I am a planner by nature but that I spontaneously started this blog the very same week that we decided to homeschool our oldest son. Parenting and attempting to educate gifted and twice-exceptional children can be extremely stressful and lonely because no one talks about this stuff. I want to share our story because I know there are others out there, like us, who are reading and researching and looking for answers. By sharing our story, I know we will help others. That said, it’s tough to put your family out there. The internet is permanent, nothing is truly private, and you never know who you can trust. So I’m asking my readers to respect our privacy. Bottom line: be kind.
Meet our 8-year-old…
Eight years young with huge brown eyes and to-die-for lashes. He’s funny. He’s energetic. He’s spirited. He’s insanely creative. He can drive you crazy with questions. He never, ever stops moving until sleep somehow sneaks up on him and grabs hold of his insatiable little mind. But, be forewarned…he’ll wake up talking about something interesting and he’ll have big plans for the day, so you’d better get a good night’s sleep yourself. He’s absolutely, exhaustingly, brilliant. Leo is a My Little Poppies contributor. Please be sure to check out his blog within our blog, Leo’s Lounge! He has oodles of cool stuff going on over there
Meet our 7-year-old…
Seven years old with blonde hair and big blue eyes. My daughter is, without a doubt, the kindest little soul that I’ve ever met– and she lives in our home! How lucky are we? The amazing thing about her is… she was born that way. She has, from the beginning, put others before herself. Even at two! Who willingly shares at two?? When I brought our youngest home from the hospital, she adopted him as her own. He would cry out and she’d beat me to his side, often presenting something she just somehow knew that he needed (like his monkey lovey). She cares deeply for others. She is an amazing little human and I’m proud to know her. My husband and I often find ourselves wishing we could be as kind, as sensitive, and as generous as our daughter. She can be so quiet but she uses those big blue eyes to absorb it all. I often tell friends that she may not say much but, once we are alone together, she will explode with information: what people were wearing, how people were feeling, subtle social interactions, etc. She could be an FBI witness or a psychic… nothing escapes her. She’s also funny and smart and beautiful. And she wrote an unbelievable homeschool manifesto that I will treasure forever.
Meet our 5-year-old…
What can I say about this four-year-old little fella? He arrived on the scene and our family was instantly complete. My husband and I frequently refer to him as the “Ambassador of Joy” and it’s really true. The kid spreads happiness. People LOVE him. He exudes joy, he is funny, he is charismatic. Everywhere I go, strangers ask, “Can I keep him?” No, no you cannot…he is ours. He is by nature laid-back and flexible- he doesn’t care where he is, he’s just happy to be along for the ride. He has the same big brown eyes with to-die-for lashes as his older brother. And he’s smart. You can usually find him grinning, with deeply dimpled cheeks, engaged in some complicated imaginative play…totally immersed in his own little world. I often wish I could sneak inside his mind for a minute or two because I’m certain it would be an absolute blast. At any given moment, our little guy can morph into a bear, battle a dragon, dance like a princess, ride a ‘tumble slide’ of his own invention, or change into Batman. No wonder people want to keep him!
Wondering what the poppies are up to?
If you like what you see, please follow us elsewhere. My Little Poppies can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. We try our best to share the good, the bad, and the ugly in the name of #keepingitreal!Thank you so much for stopping by! My Little Poppies has evolved into a great little community of parents, educators, and child advocates. Feel free to stay awhile and, when you’re comfortable, join in the conversation. If you know of a parent or educator who could in any way relate to this journey, please send them over. The more, the merrier!
*If you are wondering why this site is called My Little Poppies, I encourage you to read about poppies in this article by Miraca Gross.
My Little Poppies can also be found…
If you like what you see here, please check us out elsewhere including:
- The Huffington Post
- The Mighty
- Scary Mommy
- Cait & Kara: The Homeschool Sisters Podcast
- Simple Homeschool
- iHomeschool Network
- Year Round Homeschooling
If you are just starting out on this gifted journey, please check out Raising Poppies, an online community for gifted and 2e children. My friend Colleen and I co-founded this group together and it is filled with kindred spirits.
Finally, if you just love reading books to your children, check out our Family Book Club. We read heaps and heaps of fantastic books over there!
Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, MA/CAGS
Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. She writes about the journey at My Little Poppies. Cait is co-host of The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. Cait is a contributing writer at Simple Homeschool and GeekMom, and her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. She is the founder of Granite State Gifted, a support group for families of gifted children in the NH and MA area, and co-founder of Raising Poppies, an online Facebook community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and G+.