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So it’s now August…

3 Aug

It seems to me that August ought to be heralded as the New Year, because when you have school-aged children, it sure feels like it! I got off track with the blog during the holidays last year, but I am determined to pick it up again as we begin this new school year.
We are trying a few new things this year:
Alpha is utilizing a local co-op for his science (Physics) and math (Pre-Calc) as I did not take either in high school or college and am a little leery of tackling both of those without some outside help. He may also take a class in the spring at a community college if all works out well.
Bravo is continuing on in pretty much the same way as last year.
Charlie, however, asked if she could go to a local Christian school this year and had several good reasons why she would like to try it. We told her that certain doors would have to open for her to be able to do that, and they all have so she will be “going to school” this year. (Which also has an impact on the whole family as we will now be tied to an outside schedule/calendar…more on that in another post.)
Delta is starting fourth grade and may be doing more on the computer as he really enjoys that medium for school work.
Echo is quite proud to be a pre-schooler (he will turn four this month) so I need to start putting together some activities for him. I am hoping to utilize some montessori methods with him this year.

For some reason this year, I am needing to find extra inspiration. Usually I am raring to go by now, but I feel drained already. Perhaps it was the extraordinarily weird summer we have had here in Joplin. While our family was not directly affected by the tornado, our whole town has gone through some sort of collective Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I hope to get some free time to peruse some other homeschooling blogs over the next week or two to find some fresh ideas and garner some sort of inspiration. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

You Know You’re A Homeschool Parent When…

2 Nov

There are days when you may doubt yourself or your kids on your homeschool adventure.  There are days when you may wonder if the stress and having to be “on” 24/7 is really worth all those lofty ideals you had when you started homeschooling. There are days when you daydream about what it would be like if all your kids actually went to school.  Those are the days when you need to connect with other homeschoolers, laugh a little, and maybe declare a school holiday. Because you know in your heart of hearts that homeschooling your kids IS a good thing.

The following is copied from A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling.  (It is a website with a ton of articles and resources and links to great stuff.) How many of these apply to you?


You get to change more than diapers, you get to change their minds.

When a child busts a lip, and after seeing she’s okay, you round up some scotch tape to capture some blood and look at it under the microscope!

You find dead animals and actually consider saving them to dissect later.

Your children never ever leave the “why?” stage.

When your teenager decides to take one community college course, and comes home and asks you why the teacher wrote “At” on his paper. (A+)

You ask for, and get, a copier instead of a diamond tennis bracelet for your wedding anniversary.

Your kids think reading history is best accomplished while lying on the floor with their head resting on the side of their patient dog.

Your husband can walk in at the end of a long day and tell how the science experiment went just by looking at the house.

You never have to drive your child’s forgotten lunch to school.

Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.

The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.

You never have to face the dilemna of whether to take your child’s side or the teacher’s side in a dispute at school.

If your child get’s drugs at school, it’s probably Tylenol.

Your neighbors think you are insane.

Your kids learn new vocabulary from their extensive collection of “Calvin & Hobbes” books.

Your formal dining room now has a computer, copy machine, and many book shelves and there are educational posters and maps all over the walls.

You have meal worms growing in a container….on purpose.

If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you’re having a PTA meeting.

Talking out loud to yourself is a parent/teacher conference.

You take off for a teacher in-service day because the principal needs clean underwear.

You can’t make it through a movie without pointing out the historical inaccuracies.

You step on math manipulatives on your pre-dawn stumble to the bathroom.

The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you have put on your car.

If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.

Some day your children will consider you to be a miracle-working expert and will turn to you for advice.

Your kids refer to the neighbor kids as “government school inmates.”

You can’t make it through the grocery produce department without asking your preschooler the name and color of every vegetable.

You can’t put your produce in your cart without asking your older student to estimate it’s weight and verify accuracy.

You live in a one-house schoolroom.

You try to (quickly) capture the huge bee that was knocked unconscious as it accidentally flew into your car window, so the kids can classify and inspect it.

Your bank statement reflects the fact that you spend more at Books-A-Million than at fancy clothing stores.

You’ve got more books and bookcases than anyone you know.

You DREAM of a room (or even a whole house!) with wall to wall, ceiling to floor bookshelves.

The walls of your dining room are decorated with posters of the US Presidents, Periodic Table of Elements, Map of the Moon, Spanish Conjugation Chart and a copy of the Declaration of Independence, not to mention a poster of the Ten Commandments since no one can tell you not to!

You have children draped all over the furniture….and they’re reading…for the FUN of it!

Your children actually enjoy spending time with their family, even their siblings!

Your children aren’t embarrassed to be seen playing with someone younger than they are!

You are on a first name basis with the majority of local librarians.

You’ve laughed out loud when someone asked you “What about socialization?”

Homeschool Stereotypes

10 Aug

Here’s an amusing tongue-in-cheek video by Tim Hawkins!

The Homeschool Family

It is surprising the stereotypes that exist about homeschoolers:

  • the girls always wear denim jumpers, have long hair, and don’t wear make-up
  • they are socially backward
  • they raise some kind of livestock or poultry or both
  • they are uber-religious
  • they have a minimum of eight children
  • they eat only organic food, make their own clothes, and entertain themselves by having family sing-alongs around the piano
  • either spend their school days reading books published before 1900 OR playing “educational” video games

Some of these stereotypes are grounded in the truth and there is nothing wrong if any of these fit.  In my homeschooling experience, I have met all kinds from atheists to conservative Christians; from those who set up a school room with traditional school desks and a blackboard to those who let their kids lay on the couch or floor or wherever to do school; from those who actually do wear long denim skirts and have never cut their hair to tattoo-toting, short skirt-wearing, chain-smoking women who have a heart to teach their own kids; from those who have their children do their school work completely via computer or out of a box  to those who follow “unschooling” principles and trust in their child’s natural curiosity to teach them what they need to know.

According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the number of homeschooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from 1999, and up 36% since 2003.   (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-01-04-homeschooling_N.htm)  Certainly the number is approaching 2 million, if not more, as the number of homeschooling families has continued to increase.  With that many kids involved in homeschooling, it is ludicrous to think that they would all fit some mold.

What’s your favorite stereotype and how do you respond to them?