I am behind on blogging. A couple of weeks or so ago..?? some friends came over to help us make space alien robots out of boxes. And here is the result of all that. Hannah, Maddie, I’m SO GLAD that you came over to help us make such awesome space aliens!!! We couldn’t have done it without you!
Why homeschool? October 7, 2010
Sometimes I feel the need to defend why we homeschool. I don’t know why exactly, just insecure I guess. I don’t really think it needs defending, but I guess I think that maybe most people feel the way I felt before I was a mom. I didn’t understand why anybody would homeschool. I thought it was absolutely crazy. I still think it’s a little crazy. The public school system wants to take my kids FOR FREE Monday-Friday for 8 hours, 9 months out of the year. FOR FREE!!! And I have decided to keep my kid home and teach him myself and give up hours of free time every day. Why? Why would I do that?
There are so many positive reasons to homeschool, but I guess if I could narrow it down to just one reason, I would say it is to protect my child’s worth. Or rather to protect my child’s feeling of worth. So much of school is worrying about how others feel about you.
“What do other kids see when they look at me? Am I cool enough? Do I have the right clothes? Do I listen to the right music? Is my house big enough? Am I worthy? Am I worthy of your approval? Like me. Please just like me. What can I do to make you like me?”
I think all of us can identify with this stuff. Some of us are scarred well into adulthood because of these questions. We carry them into adulthood and they continue to permeate every aspect of our lives. We carry insecurities. We carry shame from things we did to be accepted and loved. And I understand that some feel this is just a necessary rite of passage to adulthood. Many people argue that children who are homeschooled aren’t being “socialized” whatever that means. Any public school teacher can tell you that kids aren’t really allowed to socialize all that much in school anyway and much of the socialization isn’t even positive. Some feel that if we don’t sort through this as a child we won’t know our place in society or something along those lines.
But is it really necessary? Is it really beneficial? Can you honestly look back at some of your worst memories of elementary school, middle, or high school and say that those experiences made you a better person? Did feeling inadequate because of your weight or your Pro-Wings or your acne really prepare you for college? Did having to look perfect everyday help you become a better mom? Did going to all those parties really make you a more committed employee? Did dating her really make you a better husband?
I think that right now my child needs to find his self worth from people who adore him. He needs to be built up. He needs the foundation of knowing that he is good. He needs to know that God created him and that God doesn’t make mistakes. He needs a firm grasp of these things so that he doesn’t believe the lies that the world will tell him. He doesn’t need his education clouded by wondering what the kid in the next desk over thinks about him.
Do I think homeshooling is best for every kid or every family? No, I definitely don’t. Every kid is different and every parent is different. Some kids take everything that others say to heart, while other kids are able to take it with a grain of salt. Some parents are able to provide a safe at home learning environment, while others aren’t. Some parents are very involved with their child’s education even if they are in public school, while other parents turn a blind eye and trust that the school system is doing a fine job without their help.
I know myself well enough to know that if I truly want to be involved in Jackson’s education, then I need to teach him myself. I also know my own tendencies toward anger, and I know that I have to keep that in check to be able to provide a safe environment for my kids at home. I know Jackson well enough to know that at this time in his life his spirit can be crushed by what others might say or think about him. I’m trusting my instincts and God’s guidance to show me when the time comes that homeschooling may not be what Jackson needs. As far as Mikey, I’m not sure at this time if we’ll homeschool him or not. My guess is that we probably will at some point. Mikey and Jackson are as different as night and day. And the way I’m able to relate to them both is different too.
Many children have wonderful public/private school experiences. They thrive in ways that they simply wouldn’t have at home. Parents of kids in school should remember though that their kids are getting 40 plus hours a week of influence that they know very little about. They need to recognize when these influences are harming their kids, and they need to be willing to step in if it’s too much for their kid to handle on their own.
this past week… September 24, 2010
paint popsicles, ladybugs, puppets, haircuts, park, boggle jr., “C” chameleon, sweat, and a whole lot of cute.
Oh yeah…and we got a cat. We lost his collar the day after we got him. I keep hoping it will turn up so I haven’t bought another one.
a homeschool picture post September 15, 2010
We made buy eyes and “b” butterflies. The boys made labyrinths after school hours but I decided to include those photos in this post too because it looks educational. Mikey tried to write his name all by himself on his butterfly page! He made the M I E and part of the Y without any help or guidance from me. I was shocked! I almost peed my pants. TMI. Jack also learned about linking verbs and made sentences using index cards linking nouns and adjectives.
Starting week four September 14, 2010
So this is our fourth week of homeschool this year. Here is a rundown of some of the things we’ve been doing and Jackson has been learning.
– Reading the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. We finished this book today. Jackson LOVES this book and just can’t get enough of it. I’m planning on reading the whole series with him.
– Jackson has read to himself almost two Edgar and Ellen books and I’ve got him reading a Magic School Bus book about insects. He’s also been reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid books like crazy.
– We’re pretty much on track for Math. We’ll probably pull ahead at some point. We got a few days behind on math because I couldn’t get the program to work. We’re using Teaching Textbooks and Jack really likes it.
– We’ve read Genesis 37-50, the story of Joseph and his brothers selling him into slavery and Joseph eventually becoming the main guy in Egypt under Pharaoh. There were a few things in this story we had to skip or gloss over because it had to do with sexual stuff. We’re not ready for that yet!
– We started Exodus this week. We’re reading the story of Moses. Pretty crazy stuff! In particular, Exodus 4:24-26. What the what?!
– For Language Arts we are using First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise. This book is technically for 1st and 2nd grade. I had it last year and I wish now that I had used it instead of the Language Arts provided by Sonlight. It’s really great. I highly recommend it.
– We’ve been working hard on correcting some of Jackson’s many handwriting mistakes. He didn’t learn how to write many of his letters correctly in first grade and then I let that slide for second grade. This year we’re going back and relearning how to make the letters correctly. It’s not that his letters have looked terribly wrong all this time. He just goes about making many of them wrong, like from the bottom instead of the top and that kind of thing. The first few days were painful for both of us, but he has already improved so much. It’s amazing how much his handwriting has improved just in three weeks. I think after the Christmas break we’ll start on cursive. He’s just not ready right now.
– I printed the year’s worth of spelling words from this online resource. He’s flying through this stuff and making straight 100’s on every quiz. This stuff is probably too easy for him.
– For science so far we’ve just been learning about bugs, bugs, bugs. We’ve got the rest of this week devoted to bugs. Jack has learned about metamorphosis, ant colonies, scorpions, butterflies, and just lots of other insect info. that I can’t recall at the moment. Next week we’re going to start learning all about solar systems and we’ll camp out there for about four weeks. If you’ve got good solar system projects, please let me know!
– In Social Studies we’ve been focusing on early American history right now. I’m kind of winging it with History/Social Studies. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to cover after we’re done with the American History book we’re working through right now.
– We’re doing at least a couple of preschool type art projects with Mikey every week. I thought Jack would think this stuff is beneath him but he really enjoys these little projects and he takes a lot of pride in working hard on them and helping Mikey. I came across this great blog that has lots of toddler art projects. There are projects for every letter of the alphabet.
– I’ve also got Jack doing at least one writing prompt a week. I probably should be doing more but the actually writing part is so hard for him right now, because of the handwriting work we’re doing, that I’m trying not to bombard him too much with writing right now.
So I guess that about covers it. I’ve got a bunch of pictures that I’m in the process of working on but I’m not quite done with them yet. Maybe tomorrow.
3rd grade eve; preschool eve. August 22, 2010
So tonight is the eve of Jackson’s first day of 3rd grade. We didn’t go back to school shopping. He doesn’t have his new snazzy clothes all laid out for tomorrow. His backpack is not sitting by the door waiting for him. He didn’t meet his teacher last week. He didn’t have a hard time going to sleep tonight because he’s so anxious about tomorrow. Homeschooling is just a “whole ‘nuther animal.” And I am really looking forward to this school year.
Mikey will be starting back to his “preschool” tomorrow. He’ll go every afternoon for three hours. I hope he doesn’t freak out. This is the same school, same classroom, same teachers as he had last school year so he’ll probably adjust fine. Phillip got him a new Jimi Hendrix t-shirt to wear on his first day. I’ll take a picture if he’ll let me but don’t count on it. He will surely look awesome.
75% off!! January 18, 2010
So I made our decision about next school year today because of a sale. Yep, that’s right. I went in our local school supply store because I heard everything was 75% off. I thought maybe I’d just grab a couple of things. Well, I ended up buying the bulk of our third grade supplies and stuff that we’ll use for fourth grade too. So I guess that seals the deal. We’ll be homeschooling for third grade. I would love to tell you that I spent hours in prayer and sought counsel from many wise and trusted friends, weighed the pros and cons and prayed some more. But I didn’t. A great sale made up my mind. Over $500 worth of stuff for $160. I did get some advise from friends too.
But I feel really great about next school year. This curriculum this year has kind of bogged us both down. Today we were able to really find some fun stuff. And Jack helped me pick a lot of it out. This is just some of the stuff we got:
– Science stuff including a magnet kit, big experiment kit, solar system kit, lots of books that Jack helped pick out.
– Geography and American history stuff that might actually interest us, including stuff about the president, mayor, and governor (Dedee!!)
– Handwriting without tears and handwriting without tears special paper
– Language arts, thinking skills, character building stuff
– Intro. Spanish stuff
– LOTS of math stuff!!
– Art books and some supplies
– A game about making wise purchases (such as buying everything you need @ 75% off!!)
– Some puzzles for Mikey
So I guess the main challenge I’ll have next year is that I’ll be sort of deciding what we learn and when. And I think I can handle that. We still need to buy some readers for next year but other than that, we’re pretty much set. Now…where in the world am I going to put all this stuff? I think I’ll put it in Phillip’s office. He won’t mind.