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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall - A good time to get moving

Tristan taking a break over the bridge
Enjoying the view
It's fall and while summer and spring get the posts about being active outside, fall is a great time to get out and spend time incorporating activity in your curriculum. Recently, we bought bikes and have been exploring the small town we live in and some of the more nature and to work up before we put on some holiday pounds.

I think it is important to keep the kids active and it doesn't hurt for me either! Recently, we came up with an idea to take the camera with us and take some photos from the road while we are biking and I wanted to share some shots from a recent ride.

Sunset pic
 It's amazing how you can incorporate learning into everyday fun activities!

I have also found that taking the camera keeps him interested in going out and being active with mom.
 We worked in our photography lesson plan about taking reflective shots here. Tristan took the first one and of course I took the second.
Spending time with the kids is important and as homeschooling parents it is our responsibility to instill a good outlook for future health. What are some things that you do with your kids for physical education?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Argument AGAINST Homeschooling

Reposted from:

I came across this page and it is so great to read the other side of homeschooling as well. I mean, seriously... we all know that it ISN'T FOR EVERYONE and frankly, I think that it's quite alright. The whole case for homeschooling is that it is what works for our kids. My kids aren't yours though and I can't (nor can anyone else) tell you what is right. I like that the author provided real truths of why it may not be ideal and if there are going to be negtives... and there are... it's best to be truthful about them. She said them better than myself though so I figured I would just post back to her :) 


Don't forget to check out her blog as well. It doesn't look like it's been updated recently but there is a load of good information on it too! 


A Case Against Homeschooling, Really

The post that brings the most people to my blog site is called "The Case Against Homeschooling". 
Are these folks coming here looking for a case against homeschooling?
I'm happy to provide!

I'm not the slightest bit afraid to talk about those subjects that might expose the negatives of homeschooling.  Because, in spite of them, after all, it's always a choice.  Parents who send their children are choosing, alternative education options are choices, home schooling is a choice.  For goodness sake, parenting is rife with choices from morning until night!  Also, I have found, after nine years of homeschooling, that almost every single thing on the "con" list below, somehow becomes a "pro" of homeschooling!

I'm going to offer this little expose' in honor of all of those children and families who are about to begin and who want the total, unhidden, balanced truth.

This is my writing and I offer it as such, my story.
  • We live in a neighborhood with elderly neighbors, most of whom have lived in the same home since having it built forty years ago.  We have no children in our neighborhood except for the unkind kid who verbally attacks John every time they get together.  The other kid is the drinker, smoker down the street.  We care about this boy alot, but the kids don't want to hang out with him.  This means that we are ALONE.  We don't have a single neighborhood friend to play with.  While this isn't, specifically, a homeschool issue, it does effect our homeschooling experience.  Unless we leave the house and drive we don't get to hang out with kids daily.  I mention this one first because we've all been sick lately and are, quite honestly, needing to get out!
  • The kids don't see other kids every day.  We see them often, maybe 2-3 times per week, on average.  Much more some weeks, less others.  This is not "socialization", this is "socializing". 

  • Our house is a mess.  We are here far more than most families.  Messes multiply around here.  We have more books and games and stuff than we need.  Mostly books.  Activities are spread all over my house as I type.  Several people are involved in several different activities that require space and time.
  • Homeschooling takes time.  Your time.  As the mother and major homeschooling parent in the house, I spend a great deal of time on planning, researching, and more planning.  It takes organization and a great computer.  There is no way around the need for planning.   Being a homeschool parent requires constant footwork to find what’s available in the community. Knowing how to get information on your own, knowing how to access people who can answer your questions, and knowing how to communicate well are essentials skills of being a homeschooling parent. Being resourceful is essential.

  •  Can you support your child as they are?  They will be with you 24/7.  Can you honestly embrace the person that they truly are?  Homeschooling is like putting every problem into a pan and boiling it down.  Soon the problems are all that you can see...unless you find a way to commit yourself the the children that you have.  You have to accept them so that they can accept themselves and move successfully into life.
  • I don't know everything about every subject.  Again, planning, researching, planning.  Time well spent, but time, nonetheless.
  • Not everyone approves.  Can you remain dedicated to a lifestyle that often takes hits from family and friends and media?   People will disapprove without having the slightest understanding of it.  It is a lifestyle choice that people feel the need to give their two cents on.  Overall, people are very supportive and admire us.  But there are those folks who can't accept it.
  • Some learning objectives work best in group environments.  Homeschool groups and co ops are useful for many different types of these objectives, but there is still organization and planning involved.
  •  Did I mention cost?  Some homeschool families spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on materials and optional experiences.  This type of cash outlay is not necessary.  I know very frugal families who homeschool extremely successfully.  But, as we all know, some great activities cost money.
  • When the kids are unwilling to work, this shows itself in many different ways, little gets done.  Lessons require a certain amount of willingness on the part of the child.  If your child is less-than-motivated, it's not much fun.
  • Homeschooling parents have less free time or child-free time.  Privacy?  I get some, but I have to create it.  It's all about balance.  As a homeschooling parent, you will have to figure this one out.  Not just so you don't lose your mind, but so you can be a whole and healthy person!
  • Homeschooling through high school requires some more...YEP, research and organization and creativity.  People homeschool through high school every day, including my daughter!  It works.
  •  Homeschool families can be marginalized, demonized, and, generally, be treated oddly.  Living "outside of the box" is an honest expectation for families who choose this lifestyle.  Homeschooling parents learn to cheerlead whenever the need arises.  It's unfair, but there you are.
  • For some parents, the doubt comes and goes, but never really disappears.  It's the nature of the individual that matters.  I know of several parents who are constantly on edge about homeschooling while other parents I know are the freaking paragons of placidity!  Homeschooler's angst is like having the world's worst friend in your own head!
  • There are no overseeing bodies to reprimand, guide, or support you.  So, you are, truly, on your own.  This can freak some folks out.  For others, it is a comfort.  I love it, but as first I was frightened.  Having other homeschoolers to talk with made all of the difference.

  •  Accepting the fact that children learn at different levels and different speeds.  They actually do.  Even when they are in school.  But it's more obvious in homeschooling.
  •  And, it is up to YOU, to your family, what gets into their lives.  Talk about a panic sandwich with guilt on top.  Very often you are going where there are no roads.  Get ready to steam your way down a path of your own construction. homeschooling.

That's my honest list AGAINST.  Being a parent means being constantly on the look out for the best thing for your child.  I hope this list helps.  I hope you realize that this list is intended to let you know, up front, some of what you will have on your place if you homeschool.  I hope the list doesn't turn you off...just be more informed! 

What About Socialization?  
Nope, I don't think that's a problem.  
Honestly.  When we get with kids, we experience the exact same things every group of kids does.  
The kids learn sharing, what a bully looks like, conflict resolution, etc. and the kids are just...normal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hands on Learning: Plumbing

" Learning is always rebellion... Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before."  Margaret Lee Runbeck

Last week there was a sucking sound from the bathroom and the water kept flowing and flowing inside the toilet. Now, I'm not a plumber but I knew that wasn't right. Unfortunately, the husband isn't a plumber either... but I thought by some miracle he would be able to fix the thing or at least stop the water wasting until we could figure it out. That's when Tristan voiced an interest. It's always amazing to me what kids want to learn and so we figured, "Why not?"

He got on youtube and figured out what was needed, did a little research on parts, and then came to my husband with a plan.

Two days later the toilet was fixed between the both of them. Tristan learned how to fix a simple household item and that he didn't want to do it again. I told him that it was alright that he didn't like the project because it was more of an experience.

Then, I got to thinking. I mean, this education of his... it's explorative and unique. What more do we have to offer our children other than the opportunity to learn and find out more about the world that they live in. Sometimes it is about picking their own vegetables and how it's like to live on a farm. Other times it is about a hands on tour of the native American culture like visiting local dig sites or ruins. Other times it is the simple aspects of home living like helping with siblings, cooking, or (in this case) plumbing.

Remember, all of those hours add up! Learning through books can be fine and dandy but don't discount those true teachable moments... especially when the kids want to learn and jump in with both feet!