An Open Letter to the New Homeschooler I Met Today

ID-100350423
Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear Homeschool Parent,

I ran into you today as I was dropping off our homeschool evaluations at the school district. As I walked in, the secretary looked at me with relief and said, “She homeschools!” Remember me?

First off, I want to say congratulations on making the decision to take the reins on your child’s education. Honestly, there’s no better time to pull your kids out of school than in this day and age we are in right now.

Before the secretary saw me come in, I heard her telling you to hire an out-of-district teacher to help you find curriculum. I wanted to jump in front of you and scream, “No! Don’t!” but I had to compose myself because, after all, we were in the school administration building. Frankly, I was relieved when she turned your attention to me and tried to enlist me to help you. While I did give you some very basic information, the name of my evaluator, and some helpful websites (including mine!), I was dying inside because I couldn’t help you the way I wanted to. Not there. Not while the school employee was standing there listening to us.

I can only hope that you’ll soon type in my web address and find this post here just for you because here is where I will have the freedom to say what needs to be said. It’s not that I don’t trust the school district. I do, but they are school employees and probably don’t understand what homeschooling is all about. So here is what I wanted to say to you then and there:

-Don’t ask people at the school district for help with homeschooling. They likely don’t know any more than you do, and in fact, may well know even less. As school employees, they have been trained in the methods used in the public school setting, which is fine, but homeschooling is nothing like school– at least, it shouldn’t be. It is for this reason that I would strongly recommend that you would not ask a school teacher for help with your curriculum. Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of teachers who homeschool, but the vast majority do not and don’t understand what it’s all about. If you need help, there are so many great homeschooling books and websites out there. Google is your friend. 🙂

Don’t ask people at the school district about homeschool laws. Speaking from experience, they do not fully understand them, which is why it is so important that we as homeschooling parents do. Do your research. Visit the website I gave you that explains the law. Ask other homeschoolers. The problem is that if you don’t know the law and rely on the school district for information, they are likely to require more information than they legally should which will, in turn, cause problems for other homeschoolers. Our state laws were recently changed so that the only thing now required to give to the school district is our homeschool evaluation letter. That’s it. Yet, last year the district tried to get our standardized test scores, as well. Thankfully, I knew they were not entitled to them and told them so. Interestingly, I noticed that the paper they hand out still asks for test scores. I’m assuming that’s for homeschoolers who don’t know better. I truly think this is just another way for them to have control over us. If you know the law, this won’t happen.

The first thing you asked me about was where to find curriculum. I’m here to tell you that that’s the last thing you should worry about. I wasn’t comfortable saying that in the school building because sometimes people fear what they don’t understand, and I didn’t want the employee jumping to conclusions. But honestly, just spend time with your kids. Watch how they do things. Look for what interests them. This is how you can choose your curriculum. You just may discover that your child will do better with library books than with textbooks. Remember, textbooks are not mandatory. They are simply a tool for learning that often aren’t a great fit for most kids.

As the homeschool facilitator, it is up to you what your children will learn. Homeschoolers do not have to follow the school itinerary, although some choose to. You had expressed concern about knowing whether or not you were on track with what you would be teaching. If you are teaching something that you and your children find valuable, then you are on track. There are very few things specified about what we must cover (PA history, US history, fire safety, etc.) I don’t even go out of my way to address these issues because these are topics that come up in day to day living and don’t need any additional materials other than a newspaper, a discussion with you, or reminders about the dangers of fire. You certainly don’t need to waste your money on a curriculum for them, unless your child is so interested that it would be worth it. And even if they are, there are many free printables online on so many different things. You’d be amazed.

In closing, I just want to wish you the best on what can potentially be an awesome journey. Just keep reminding yourself that homeschooling is not school at home, and you’ll be on your way. Maybe someday we’ll run into each other again. Until then, enjoy the ride!

Shelly

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

Advertisements

Tailoring a Homeschool Curriculum to Fit Your Child (And Not the Other Way Around)

ID-100108489
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is having the freedom to tailor your child’s education to meet their needs, and, indeed, it is often talked about in homeschooling circles. Yet the idea of doing this may seem a bit abstract to those new to, or thinking about, homeschooling, so today I’m going to discuss how we implement this into our family.

By now most parents have heard about learning styles, such as audio, visual, and kinesthetic learning, and while knowing these styles is certainly useful in planning your homeschool path, I find it’s much easier and less intimidating just to get to know your children, observe how they like to do things, and, most importantly, get their input.

My three teenagers are largely independent in their school activities now, so I take their opinions on how they would like to approach things very seriously. All three of them like to learn in very different ways, so my hope is that these illustrations will paint a clear picture for you on what “tailoring education” actually means in practice.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

My oldest daughter is 17 and undertakes life in a very straightforward, no-nonsense way. She likes to do what has to be done quickly and efficiently and doesn’t like to mess around with what she considers to be non-essentials. Because of this, the main framework of her curriculum is textbook-driven. She will be using textbooks/workbooks for grammar, consumer math, psychology, chemistry, and a combination of workbooks and Rosetta Stone for Japanese. Since she will finish the psychology book early because she started it this past year, and since we couldn’t find textbooks she liked for her remaining subjects, she will use a combination of library books and living books that we purchased for the rest. (writing, physics, and quantum physics)

My son is 16, and he is active and very fidgety. Because of this, we’ve come up with a combination of to-the-point textbooks, hands-on activities, visual media, and outdoor exploration for his educational path. He will be using the same grammar book as his older sister because the lessons only take 5-10 minutes a day, which is perfect for a kid like him. For his algebra, we found a no-frills algebra program that is accompanied by online tutorials for every single lesson. Since he is also very visual, the mixture of the videos and the cut-to-the-chase lessons is a great fit for him. He will focus on military history by way of videos/documentaries and historical fiction, and will combine his love of nature and photography by honing his skills in wildlife photography in frequent trips to local creeks and fields. He will supplement this with a science textbook three times a week and hands-on experiments twice a week.

My second oldest daughter is 14. She loves to read, so practically her entire curriculum will be living book-related. She has opted out of using the grammar book that her older siblings have chosen and has instead decided upon a language arts series with a storyline (Please note: The link refers to this series as middle school when it is, in fact, for high school.). Her pre-algebra and algebra books are by the same author and are also literature-based. Although she will be utilizing the library for the brunt of her history and science requirements, the nice thing about her pre-algebra books is that one of them incorporates biology (she’s almost finished with this one) and the other ties in economics, so even if she can’t find anything she likes, these subjects are covered.

As you can see, even without bringing my other children into the equation, my three teens represent vastly different learning preferences from one another. While some people may assume this would be stress-inducing, I actually find so much enjoyment in collaborating with my kids and working out what our new year is going to look like. It is this freedom and flexibility that allows our children to get the learning experience they need and deserve.

So remember, there’s no need to give your kids the Myers-Briggs test to see how you should approach their education. 🙂 All you need to do is get to know them, observe how they do things, and, most importantly, ask them for their opinion. With this simple formula, there’s no telling where your homeschool year may take you!

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

 

Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 7- Focusing on True Education Instead of Mass Instruction

ID-100416806
Image courtesy of PANPOTE at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My kids love to help me make beef chips. They each line up at their own station prepared to do their part in creating the finished product. Our little assembly line looks something like this:

1st Station- Take a sirloin beef tip off the plate and bread it

2nd Station- Dip the breaded beef tip into the egg/milk mixture

3rd Station- Rebread the moistened, breaded beef tip

4th Station- Deliver the prepared beef tips to the cook

5th Station- Fry the beef tips until golden brown

In case you’re wondering, today’s post is not about cooking despite how things may look at first glance. This post is about the education, or should I say mass education, that is being provided in traditional schools.

You see, I’ve come to see this method of education as an assembly line, similar to our beef chip assembly line. From kindergarten on up, each grade has the goal of providing exactly the same thing to a very large and often very different group of students. As the years progress, the steps taken may look different, but they are all working toward achieving the outcome hoped for by the school system. What is that outcome? Well, the outcome we hoped for in our beef chip assembly line was to repeat the same steps over and over again so that each beef chip would turn out exactly the same.

All of American education has come to resemble Henry Ford’s assembly line. Students receive a standardized education. Teachers work as quickly as possible as the product moves by to put in those parts deemed necessary by the administration. Quality-control inspectors watch the workers to make sure they are doing everything as dictated by the owner’s manual. In the past decade, the line has been sped up, the workers are asked to add more bells and whistles, and the raw material at the beginning of the line has decreased in quality.– Washington Post

The problem with this idea is that our children are not beef chips. They are not automobiles, and they are not pairs of sneakers being assembled. They are individuals with different interests, different strengths, and different dreams.

Wouldn’t it make much more sense if we parents took the initiative to give our children the education suited for them? And, unlike the assembly line, this doesn’t look the same for every child, nor should it.

A true education is not about textbooks and worksheets and standardized tests. A true education will provide preparation for the real world- the actual real world, not the simulated version designed to fit within the walls of the school building.

The elementary school by our house

It will be molded to best fit each child’s potential calling in the world they will one day be a part of are already a part of. A true education will approach life itself as the classroom- a classroom without boundaries or bells or timed tests.

Government education has two ultimate goals it aims to instill in every student- conformity and following orders.

If you ask me, that’s not much of an education at all.

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

 

Lazy Day Links- 5/27/16

lazy day links
Image courtesy of porbital at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All of our kids are now finished with “school” and had their homeschool evaluations this morning, so our spring/summer break has now officially begun! My younger kids have been finished for about two weeks now, and I’m honestly missing our unit studies already. 😦

Anyway, on to this week’s links:

Favorite Blog Posts:

Please Don’t Tell Your Kids to Believe in God Just in Case He Exists– Natasha Crain

Why I Chose to Be Pro-Choice (Read it! It’s not what you think!!)- Me, Coffee & Jesus

The Time to Take a Closer Look at Our Public Schools Is Now– Children Are a Blessing

It’s Normal to Have Babies. (That’s Why I Look at You Weird When You Ask Me If I’m “Done.”)– Generation Cedar

Dear Drake– Beauty Beyond Bones

 

My Older Posts:

Homeschooling IS Learning in the Real World

Going on a Road Trip? Ditch the Textbooks and Live Life!

Why Should We Homeschool?

An Obliteration of Childhood

Sometimes the Best Teachers Don’t Need a Degree

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Books Worth Reading:

Fossil Hunter– John B. Olson

The Nephilim Trilogy– L.A. Marzulli

Wars of the Realm Book 3- Light of the Last– Chuck Black

The Mothman Prophecies- A True Story (Note: I haven’t lost my mind…I don’t believe this story is true, but it makes for a great science fiction read!)

What Do I Do Monday?– John Holt

 

That’s it for this week. Starting next week, I plan on using a theme for all of my book recommendations. Until then, Happy Memorial Day!

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Evaluation Week!

ID-100294499
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our last week of “school” has finally arrived- for real! And a new-to-us car (okay, SUV) has also finally arrived today! This past couple of weeks have been the longest days of our lives. Imagine living in a 12-person household without going grocery shopping for 10 days. 😦 Trust me, it wasn’t pretty.

Although we’ve been without transportation for most of the week, we’ve been very busy. Tomorrow morning our homeschool evaluator will be calling us for our evaluation interview, so this week has been much about the kids and I working together to choose which work samples to send to her. While it’s a lot of work, especially since I have 6 kids needing evaluations this year, it really was fun to take a look back at our year.

The Littles:

I’ve been continuing math practice with Luke (7) since his new workbook is pretty advanced for the coming year. Ireland (6) does not, technically, need the practice since she just finished Kindergarten, but this child is highly motivated and has astonished me in so many ways this week.

The other morning I drew a number line for Luke because he still needs to practice some of the more difficult addition facts. During his math time, Ireland asked me to make her a number line. I explained to her that I couldn’t help her right then because I was working with Luke, but she asked for it anyway. Then she asked me to write down some “hard” addition problems. Since I don’t like pushing kids too early, up until this point I had only worked with her on addition problems that add up to 0-5.

She sat on the floor diligently working on these problems, and I didn’t expect much because I had never shown her how a number line works. At one point I asked Luke what 7+8 was, and while he was calculating in his head, Ireland called out “15!” I asked her how she knew that. She casually replied, “The number line.” I walked over and checked her paper, and out of 20 problems, she only got 2 wrong! I was astonished.

The next day, she taught herself how to ride a bike. Again, we’ve never helped her with this. She hadn’t really been interested in it until this week when she simply got on a bike and started practicing over and over again until she could do it. Ireland is honestly the perfect example of how well children learn if they are left to figure things out for themselves. John Holt would’ve been proud. 🙂

 

The Big Kids:

Caollin, London, and Bailey have all also been continuing math. With everything going on, we haven’t done it everyday, but we get to it when we can.

Caollin’s been spending a lot of time at the creek with Dillon. This week they found a snapping turtle and a huge bullfrog. Thankfully, they did not bring them home and left them there. 🙂

London spent most of the week at my mother’s house and just came home today for her evaluation tomorrow. She had such a good time with her grandma and my uncle when she went out to eat with them and Jack Sparrow and Tinkerbell showed up. Afterwards, they went outside of the restaurant and saw a bunch of geese. London approached a goose to pet it, and it immediately fluffed up its wings and started chasing her. London was terrified, but I wish I’d have seen it. I would have been a bad mom and cracked up laughing! Later they did see why the goose was so belligerent- her babies were right up on the hill. She was just protecting them.

Tonight Bailey went to an event at the elementary school with a neighbor. He was so excited because he got two free books there.

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

The Teens:

The teens are so happy to be finishing up their week. Devin has been busy preparing for three trips back-to-back-to-back. On Sunday, she’ll be leaving to go with a friend to the Special Olympics at Penn State. Her friend’s brother participates in the track event. They’ll be camping at a nearby campground for a few days there, after which she’ll be coming home for a day, and then setting off for an anime convention in Atlantic City. After being there for the weekend, she’ll come home for a few weeks and then head back to New Jersey for a Japanese Christian event with another friend whose mother is from Japan. Devin is a busy, busy girl!

Dillon has been another busy one! On Saturday he went to the roller rink with some friends, and practically every other day this week he’s been at the creek, which has meant no book work for him. I truly feel he’s learning more there because he’s actually interested in it. He’s still taking photographs of the wildlife and surrounding habitat. I think he may finally have found his niche!

 

Arianna has still been in homebody mode, although she did help our oldest son clean up my mom’s backyard this week. She found her Apples to Apples game this week, and we’ve played it several nights now. If you’ve never played this game, I highly encourage you to try it. It can be so hilarious if you’re playing with goofy kids like mine. 😉

0526162135

Compared to last week, this week started out just as difficult but has ended on a high note. God is good all the time, isn’t He? Here’s to hoping you have a blessed and fun weekend!

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

Why We Use a Homeschool Routine Instead of a Schedule

ID-10035760
Image courtesy of TCJ2020 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last year, as I was paging through the teacher’s guide for one of our math curriculums, I came across a sample schedule for a typical homeschool day:

8:15-8:25- Pledges, prayer, songs, devotions, etc.
8:25-9:10- Bible
9:10-9:55- Language Arts
9:55-10:15- Recess (juice break)
10:15-11:00- Mathematics
11:00-11:45- Social Studies
11:45-12:30- Lunch, recess, quiet time
12:30-1:15- Science
1:15- ? – Drill, remedial work, enrichment

I gazed at it for several minutes, astonished that someone might actually conduct their homeschool day like an actual school day. After looking into it, much to my surprise, I found that there are, indeed, families who use- and enjoy- this method.

I realize that every homeschooling household does things differently, but I really felt that I should write about why our family uses a routine instead of a schedule like the one above.

I’d like to start by explaining the difference between a schedule and a routine. A schedule is exactly what you see above. Besides the structured time, a schedule also usually involves a pre-planned agenda determining exactly which pages or assignments are to be completed on which day. A routine is somewhat different in that it incorporates a rhythm throughout the day rather than instituting specific times and activities for each day.

While a formal schedule can certainly be helpful for those families who thrive on this sort of structure, the limitations on time can inhibit learning if a child is interrupted prematurely to move on to the next subject. If your daughter has only five minutes left to complete her math assignment and is just starting to get the hang of it, is it a good thing to end that subject simply to move on to the next one?

I know this often occurs because a parent may worry that if one subject runs late, the whole schedule may be thrown off, or- worst-case scenario- another subject may be missed entirely. And if that happens, then the entire lesson plan for the week will be thrown off. What to do?

I would suggest that you apply the same reasoning to schedules that you (hopefully) do to curriculums: Schedules are a tool. Do not allow yourself to become a slave to them.

In our homeschool routine, we do have very general times that we try to do certain things. Most importantly, we always try to start our “school day” by 10am. We’re usually pretty good with that because I do have a lot of kids to facilitate, so it’s essential that we are diligent about getting started. After that, though, our lessons have no time limitations. Sometimes I may work with the littles until 11am. Other times, we may still be going strong at 11:30, in which case the older kids will only get about thirty minutes in before lunch. Sometimes, though not often, I may have the littles and the older kids finished by lunchtime. Other times we may need to continue on for an hour or two after lunch. And still other times, we may need to wrap things up prematurely for a trip to the library, the grocery store, or a doctor’s appointment.

No matter what, it’s all good, because I realize that there is learning in everything they do.

One thing that largely helps me with this mindset is that although I do write a quick plan of what I hope to accomplish during the week, it’s not set in stone. If we miss an assignment, it’s no big deal. If I feel that it’s important or will be fun for us, I’ll fit it in another day. If not, I’ll toss it completely. This is one of the beauties of homeschooling- flexibility. I am not going to freak out if we miss something and start scheduling make-up days. I’m pretty sure we’ll survive if one grammar worksheet is left undone. 🙂

No matter the method you prefer to use when it comes to coordinating your day, keep in mind that homeschooling is not school at home. Why should we try to imitate something that isn’t working? Learning can be an awesome experience, especially when it happens together as a family. This should be the essence of home education- not frantically trying to recreate a system that has proven itself to be almost utterly futile.

So as you continue in your homeschool journey, remember that this is a journey that will quickly come to an end. What do you want your children to remember? The schedules? Or the time you spent together each day?

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

 

Drop Your Schoolish Mindset So Your Kids Can Get a Real Education

It’s a well-known fact that schools are failing, so why on Earth do we keep trying to imitate them?

ID-10063803
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

America’s schools are failing. There’s no doubt that our educational system has entered a period of extreme crisis. Violence is on the rise, teaching to the test has become the predominant method, and children simply aren’t learning as well as they should be.

Why is this? Most people are unaware that the US educational model has remained almost unchanged in the last 150 years, when it was first instituted to train future factory workers. The current method of dry textbook learning, separation of subjects, and changing classes upon the ringing of a bell looks quite the same since the beginning of compulsory education.

For most of us, this means that we were conditioned for 13 years, at the very least, to accept that this is the best way- the only way- to get a proper education:

  • textbooks– often dry, monotonous resources which are almost impossible to pay attention to
  • subjects taught like an assembly line– a generic assortment provided to each and every student regardless of their need for, or interest in it
  • a pre-ordained allotment of time given for each subject– more time for the “important” subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies; less time for those pesky “less important” ones like art, music, drama

Chances are, if you have made the decision to homeschool your children, you are well aware of the problems within the established educational system. You have taken it upon yourself to give to your children what no school can- an individualized, quality education.

Which leads me to the question at the heart of this topic- why do so many of us try so hard to imitate a school system which isn’t working? We take our kids out of school- or never send them in the first place and then proceed to purchase boxed curriculum, write timed schedules affording 45 minutes for math, 45 minutes for language arts, 30 minutes for social studies, etc., and we, in essence, try to replicate the very atmosphere we removed our children from in the first place!

Why??? Why do we do this? The most likely answer to that is what was mentioned earlier- we have been conditioned this way.

Homeschooling is our chance at allowing our kids to learn in freedom. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…textbooks are not the only way to learn. In fact, for many children- if not most- they are the least effective way possible.

What I want from you today is for you to take every notion you have about what education is supposed  to look like, toss it out the window, and start from scratch. I’ll tell you what I’ve realized that learning is supposed to look like:

  • A baby figuring out how to take his very first steps- without one single lesson!
  • A toddler learning his native language simply by being immersed in it.
  • A little boy who is so in love with reptiles that he can identify every single obscure snake he sees, merely by poring over book after book about them in his free time.
  • A teenage girl who is so enamored by cosplay that she teaches herself how to sew.

That is what true learning looks like. It’s more than having the ability to spout off facts on command, only to forget them later. It’s taking the knowledge that you’ve acquired and being able to apply it to real life situations- something that most people will never do with geometry proofs (which is why my daughter who is taking geometry does not have to do them).

I do strongly believe, however, that textbooks can serve a greater purpose. Some things, like math, can be easier to learn this way, but we need to remember that they are a tool. Textbook learning holds no more value than hands-on learning, or reading for pleasure, or crafting, or dancing, or wading through the creek, or grocery shopping.

Each of these examples are rife with learning opportunities. I’d even wager that the learning in these types of activities is learning that will be absorbed- something not too common with memorizing facts out of a textbook.

Some homeschooling families would probably be horrified at the fact that my 16-yr-old son only completed book work twice last week and none at all so far this week. But it’s so important to recognize that he accomplished so much more than vocabulary assignments during this time. He spent a lot of time at the creek, finding different critters, bringing them home as specimens to watch for a few days, and researching what they ate. He attended a choral concert and a volleyball game at the local middle school. He went to the roller skating rink and realized how much he enjoys it, so he’s been skating around the neighborhood, not even caring what people may think. He’s been taking pictures outside, trying to hone his skills as a wildlife photographer.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that textbooks would have been almost useless for what he achieved in the last week.

It’s time to take off your “school goggles” and replace them with your “life lenses.” The reason school doesn’t work is because it’s taken the life out of learning. It was doomed from the start.

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

 

Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 6- Centrality of the Family

Children spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. Why do we let it continue?

ID-100169648
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you ever wonder why most parents of public school kids don’t question the fact that their kids are in school more than they are with their own families? The average school student will spend about 30 hours a week minimum in the school building. This does not include the endless after-school programs designed for test-prep, art enrichment, chess club, organized sports, and so on. Nor does this include the before-school breakfast programs or the hours many children spend at a child care center until their parents are done working, which- to me- is simply another type of school. Until everything is said and done, a good portion of children will not see the inside of their homes until after 6 pm, after which there will be a rushed dinner, an hour or two of homework, and quite possibly some unwinding in front of the TV before bed. The next morning, the cycle will begin again.

I’m not pointing the finger. I did the same thing when my kids were in school. I signed them up for every after-school program known to man, for fear they might miss out on something otherwise. I sent them to school early for breakfast because, hey, it was a lot easier and my house got quieter a lot quicker. I told myself that I was doing the right thing because…well…school is good, right?

But then once my children finally came home for the day, I’d be shaking my head, thinking, Why can’t my kids just get along? Why are they so wound up? Why won’t my middle schooler come out of her room?

When I began homeschooling, this problem was certainly not one of my reasons to pull them out of school. I still hadn’t seen the connection. In fact, I anticipated that things might get worse having the kids together all the time.

But I was wrong.

Things started getting better. My kids started playing together and soon became the best of friends. My daughter who never left her room initiated movie nights and marathons of TV shows and animes with me almost every day of the week. She’d follow me around the kitchen after she awoke every morning, telling me about her dreams and wondering what they meant. The chaos that I expected simply didn’t happen.

I eventually asked my daughter what had changed that made her actually come out of her room. Had she been going through a phase? What she told me was very straightforward. She said that after being in school all day, she was drained, but she couldn’t rest because she usually had at least two hours of homework. By the time she was finished, she was so tired, she would just lay in her room, vegging out.

Is this the kind of life we want for our kids?

I slowly began to realize that the root of the behavioral problems at home was school.

  • My kids weren’t getting along because they weren’t together enough.
  • They were hyper because they had been forced to sit all day long.
  • They were stressed, exhausted, and cranky, but it wasn’t because of being home. It was because of school.

Additionally, since my children weren’t with my husband and me very much, we were not as influential on them as we would have liked. If your kids spend 6-8 hours a day with their teachers and peers and only a few with you, who do you think they are going to emulate? If your kids have teachers and friends with the same values as you, it may not be so bad, but, how often will that be true in this day and age?

What will happen, inevitably, is your children will likely begin to look up to their friends and their teachers, instead of you, their parents. Where do you think the ‘My parents don’t know anything’ idea originated?

Family will soon become a mere nuisance to those who have learned through experience that there will always be other people who are around them more. Siblings will be brushed aside, parents will be ignored, and family harmony will be a thing of the past.

But none of this has to happen…

I learned the effect that schooling can have on children the hard way, but it was so worth it, because when my 14-yr-old rests her head on my shoulder during church, or my 16-yr-old says, “Bye, Mom! I love you. Love you, Dad,” in front of his friends, or I see my younger children happily playing together, I know I made the right decision.

Like I said before, I may not have started this journey because of our family relationships, but the Lord knows that, in this case, homeschooling was just what the doctor ordered.

 

There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest!

Lazy Day Links- 5/20/16

lazy day links
Image courtesy of porbital at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome back for another list of my favorite books and links I’ve come across. Have a great weekend!

Favorite Blog Posts:

5 Reasons You Think You Can’t Homeschool, And Why I Think You Can (Read at Your Own Risk)– Generation Cedar

On the Quest for Homeschool Mindfulness– Simple Homeschool

Reason 252: This Is my Number One Reason– 365 Reasons to Homeschool

My Top Tips on How to Homeschool Young Children– A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Is Spiritual Truth a Matter of Opinion? An Open Letter to a Relativist– Natash Crain

 

My Older Posts:

Sorting Things Out: My Rant Against PA Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in PA- It’s a Piece of Cake!

Maybe It’s Easier Than I Thought

The Unschool Experiment

Why Should We Homeschool?

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Books Worth Reading:

Instead of Education– John Holt

Weapons of Mass Instruction- A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling– John Taylor Gatto

The Book Thief– Markus Zusak

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism– Timothy Keller

This Present Darkness: A Novel– Frank Peretti

 

That’s it for this week. Enjoy!

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- The Week Everything Came Crashing Down

ID-100230711
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You know how whenever things seem to be going great, something awful usually happens and your world comes crashing down around you? Well, that’s where we’re at right now. So, while I could write about trips to the creek, math practice, and crafts completed, this is not going to be that post.

On Sunday after church, I took a slight detour to return a library book and was in a car accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but our van- our only vehicle- was totaled. What this means for a family of twelve living on one income is that we have no transportation for my husband to get to and from work. So, this has been the bulk of our education this week- survival.

To top things off, our homeschool evaluations should be scheduled soon, and I haven’t even gotten around to starting our portfolios yet. Thankfully, our evaluator is very relaxed about that sort of thing. Come to think of it, I have to rewrite all of our resource lists again because I lost all of those files when my MacBook crashed. Fabulous.

This is probably going to be my shortest post ever because I’m honestly so stressed out right now that I can’t even think straight. If you happen to think of it, please pray for our family. We could sure use it right now.