Do They See You Learn?

 reading

I have been struggling to learn a new set of computer codes this week.  It is a struggle because I think that while my brain is very adept at memorizing recipes, translating French, and sewing tiny tucks in heirloom outfits html codes seem to get stuck somewhere between how to clean the toilet and how to faux grain wood in my inner filing system.  I am having to Learn. Ewww.

Amazingly I suddenly have more compassion for my son when he yells at his siblings to be quiet because he can’t get hte math problem he is working on.  ANd amazingly the kids seem to have a new understanding that learning goes on as long as life does..and even adults have to struggle with some concepts.

I think that it has been helpful for all of us. 🙂

Image:Morguefile 


And..THEY’RE IN!

 teen on computer

I read something today that bothered me.  Troubled me.

I live in Texas, a very easy place to homeschool.  Maybe too easy.  I don’t know.  It seems like more and more homeschooling parents are buying into the system, making choices that I think that they are ultimately going to regret.  Sort of like inviting a door to door salesman in for a cup of coffee or letting him use the bathroom.

Texas now has a program for what they call Public Education Online.  The article  read was entitled, Public Edication Comes Online to Texas Homeschoolers .  I was in military intelligence, I KNOW what an oxymoron is.  Public Education does not belong in the same sentence with Homeschooler.  You can’t just pick and choose, this is not Burger King.

The article describes how the homeschooler gets a complete bag of tricks:microscopes, rock kits, sand, dirt, all sorts of different test tubes, goggles, etc. and then goes on to say that the homeschool kids even get to take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, intended to ensure students meet minimum performance standards.

Oh Yay.

Even the teachers in the public shcools will tell you that those things actually interfere with the kids ability to learn because they are constantly studying to the test, rather than whole slabs of information. The article goes on to say that parents doing traditional homeschooling are free to design their child’s curriculum with minimal state oversight.

Sigh.  Have we missed the point, guys?  Homeschool was never meant to be doing school at home.  Never.

What are your thoughts?

Image:Morguefile 


The Ancient One Speaks on Homeschooling… ;)

rose

Doing a little blog surfing of my favorite homeschool sites this morning and I came across a link to Relaxed Homeskool that was humorous, but also poignant. I read what Principled Discovery had to say about it…and now I am sorting through my own feelings.

I have homeschooled continuously since 1989. That fact alone sort of scares me. I have a four year old so I don’t always notice the passing of time..there has always seemed to be kindergartners and new babies..Now, at 48 there don’t seem to be more new babies and with the “old baby” about to turn five at some point my life will slow enough for me to notice that there has indeed been a passage of time.

I grew up with patchwork midi skirts and pot, peace signs and white lipstick. Granted I was at the end of that being of the Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy teenibopper generation but it impacted me in a huge way. I remember thinking in my wild 1970s teens that my generation was ready to change the world. That individualism would be the key, and that we would spend our lives in a peaceful haze of art, music, philosophy, and marijuana smoke. Life was good.

Ten years later I found myself a conservative Christian, homeschooling, mom of two..and yet..and yet…

Because homeschooling was so OUTTHERE I was still not part of the establishment. I was still the hippy intellectual sans the marijuana, who lived the Bohemian life even amongst my new found conservative leanings.

But homeschool caught up to me and pretty soon it was pretty mainstream. So I joined the grind your own flour for bread, raise your own chickens and goats, sustainable living lifestyle…it was not mainstream, and I had wanted to homestead since I first opened a Mother Earth News back when it was not made with glossy paper and displaying blatant house porn on its covers.

But that has caught up to me too, and I am realizing that I am no longer the cool hippie-chick that I was. Nope. She has morphed into a hot-flash powered, hippy chick that finds herself saying (may God forgive me) “You know, when I started homeschooling back in the ’80’s….”

I think my generation had such high expectations of where we were going to take our children, we believed that they would be part of a different world..a kinder and gentler place.

Maybe we were looking for a Greek revival, but in intellect rather than architecture. If so, in some ways we got it. We saw society begin to worship their bodies, and their intellect in the 90’s.

In all my years in and around homeschooling I have realized that no matter what we do we will be superior. There are always groups, and each will be more superior than the other. In the homeschooling movement now we have secular and Christian, unschoolers, Classical learner…

We have the homesteading moms, the gracious living moms, the frugal moms…each is exceptional and better than the other, not by anything that is said but by an undefined something.

Now, when I say I homeschool I am not sure what is associated with it. Most often it means that I am trying very hard to survive my midlife crisis whilst surviving the second set of teens..I am cringing with the knowledge that it is a full ten years before I am finished with teenagers and I am not sure how it will be to deal with teenager rebellion at 58.

So, I don’t know if I am so over it, or not quite over it, or right in the middle of it. I know it is a life style that I am committed to and actually, I do try to stay away from other homeschoolers, if only to maintain my own individuality.

More and more I find that it is hard to write about homeschooling or even read about it because, like Relaxed Homeskool, I think there has been SO much information overload. It is a way for people to make money now.

I was on an email list of a group of five women nearly twelve years ago. One was Kym Wright, who is now a respected homeschooling author. She did not write to make money, she wrote because she loved what she was doing. Since that time there have become so many additions to the information out there that it is almost impossible to comprehend it.

As humans we have a tendency to take simple things and make them complex. Educating our children should be simple and joyous not complex and stressful. I wonder then,what will it take for us to make the conscious choices to move back to that place. What will encourage us to leave our computers and head for the garden with a magnifying glass and a sketchpad? Because I think we like the idea, and we like talking about it but we are afraid to leave the comfort of the computer screen because we may miss important information and thus our children will be scarred for evermore.


Homeschooling at the Speed of Life

AS you can probably tell from my posts things are almost out of control hectic around here. In the past five years I have gone from a very organized homeschool mom to a very disorganized one. I have added several hats to my head, and a much larger house, along with goats, chickens and horses…Then Marc got sick…Life is just crazy!

This book, Homeschooling at the Speed of Life, speaks to that chaos.  The author, Marilyn Rockett,  encourages us to take things one step at a time.  To start small and just keep moving forward…as I used to encourage women when I had a women’s ministry..BABY STEPS!

Simplify. Cut out those things that can be cut out.  If you are looking for encouragement to keep on going this may be it.  It comes with a cd as well.

🙂


Bloggy Giveaway on Home School Central!

 bloggy giveaway

This week is the big bloggy giveaway! I have several blogs so be sure to visit them all! For Home School Central I will be giving away something all homeschool moms can use…a $5 Starbucks card for when you need a little time to yourself!

All you have to do is leave a comment in the comments to be entered. This is only open to U.S. residents. 🙂

Once your name is picked you have 3 days to contact me.

Check out my other giveaways on

Kettle and Cup

Baking Delights 

and head over to Bloggy Giveaways for tons of them!


HomeSchool Highlights

 hoemschool highlights

What a great idea that Ellen has had! Pick a highlight from the past week and blog about it.

I have had a couple. And this goes right along with how I have been feeling..I need to move..PUSH past the stress of my life right now and concentrate on the positives.

The highlight of MY week homeschooling last week was when I sat down with Matthew to review for his algebra test and as we were going over it I noticed he got every thing right!   So without him knowing it I grabbed his test book and started reviewing out of that..and he got a 100 on his algebra! He has told me he doesn’t get it.well apparently he does!

I am not a great math teacher so when my kids are struggling it is harder than if they are struggling iwth English or history.. (ha! as if! My kids love those things!)  But you just have to love it when one of them finally gets a concept that they have been struggling with for weeks. 🙂

Head over to Fun Learning for more inspiration!


Teachable Moments are SO Easy to Overlook.

 GAbe

Sometimes it is so busy here that dinner just does not get eaten!  My grandson Gabe in a classic pose.

Well after all of that…Matt got a 100 on his algebra. I said, I thought you didn’t get it. He just shrugged.

Isn’t that the way though. Just when we are at the end of our ropes we find out that everything we have been dreading is just a hologram..not real at all.  And it does go to show you that no matter how long you have been homeschooling you still stress over dumb stuff.  LOL!

We are going to plant the majority of the rest of the garden today I htink.  Matt is finishing it up now, as far as the tilling, and we are to get rain in tonight, so hopefully this afternoon will be a good time.  It is so easy to overlook those chores as teachable moments and yet they are!

Homeschool Learning for Life has some awesomely encouraging and upbeat stuff ont he blog today. I loved seeing her girls doing thier phonics, and got some ideas for Nick and his struggles.


Running After Trains

 train

Image:Morguefile 

So, even though I got off to a great start this week, yesterday the VA took much longer than anticipated and so, I find myself back to feeling like i am on the hamster wheel again.

I don’t know, maybe you can’t identify, but I feel as if I would love the world to totally halt for a 24 hour period so that I can catch up. I feel like I am running after a train and slipping further and further behind!

Today I am going to focus on Matt and his algebra, Ethan and his multidigit multiplication, Shiloh and her facts, and Nick and his multidigit addition.

Once we get that done, school will be out for the day.

Matt is going ot till up the unplanted half of the garden…OH! Blessing! We had the first salad of the season totally from our garden yesterday, no easy feat since we feed 12 people here!

Head over to Teacups in the Garden and leave a hug for Laurie. 🙂

On my tea blog, Kettle & Cup, I asked who would you invite to a fantasy tea? Check it out and let me know..I am curious.

Carnival of Homeschooling is up at the Nerd Family   I need to head over there for some inspiration today. :/

I always enjoy Life Nurturing Education, but I had to smile at the quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder today.  I do aspire to that perfect house, though.


Math? I DON’T See.

 nick

So today things will be up in the air here.  I have to take Marc tot he VA for another appointment, actually two.  That means being gone all day.

Probably be able to juggle it though. Matt will be able to do everything but algebra without me, in fact, as I think about it, everyone will be ale to get all of their stuff done..except math.

What is it about math? Is it me? My kids just don;t get it..Math U See, Abeka, Saxon..no matter what we have done they just don;t get it.  They are reading Shakespeare by fourth grade, willingly mind you, and voraciously chomp through Henty, Dickins, and Bronte in huge bites..but math? A struggle. It is me, I am sure.  I can do math, I just don’t enjoy it..while I DO enjoy writing, reading, science, and history.

My kids seem to follow suit.  MAtt turns sixteen in July so next year he will be at the community college doing dual credits for algebra.  I am trying to prepare him for that as I can..and he does well.  But I have this vision of him on the Psychiatrists couch moaning about polynomials being out to get him.

I do like Math U See the best of anything..but still, even so, I seem to be hopeless at working with the kids with it.

You have to read the parody on Yes, They Are All Mine. I laughed..I love when I just go to a blog, and it isn’t heavy, noone is battling about who is more spiritual, and I don;t end up feeling like a failure in some way…This blog is like that…You just go there because it is nearly always a good read.


Why Do You Homeschool?

 school

I enjoy reading Principled Discovery because it helps me keep up with what is happening in the homeschooling world…That may sound odd, but I really am pulled in so many directions these days that I tend to take life one chore at a time, and use what is left over for sleep.  I suspect there are alot of us like that.

Well, I don’t keep up with alot of other homeschooling blogs so I don’t always know what the current news, or prevailing home education winds are…. and Dana keeps me informed.

As you have seen I have been away a few days due to family things…and I went back to catch up and read her post about Death to (Christian) Homeschooling.

I will not rewrite her words..she has done a lovely job of expressing herself..I will add though, that unless the Lord builds the house its builders build in vain.  You are  hopefully not homeschooling because your friends are, or because you were, or because it looks like fun…I hope you are not homeschooling just because the public school system stinks, or our society is becoming very Roman in their antics…In fact, I hope you are not homeschooling because the education is better.

I hope that you are homeschooling because God has called you to it, and you know that you know..that you know…that you are doing what God has called you to do, in the way he has called you to do it.  If He has said to homeschool your children then everything else is just add-ons.  It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be accepted by your friends.  Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Thanks Dana, for reminding me….

And if you need to be reminded that you are doing a good job..and you don’t have to be perfect, check out Homeschooling with Grace..I love this post..

So..why do YOU homeschool?


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