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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Carnival of homeschooling: Homeschool Freedoms Edition

Welcome to the 457the Edition of the Carnival of homeschooling!  The theme this week is homeschool freedoms.  For me, homeschooling was all about freedom, but probably not in the way you think.  I will let the HSLDA to their job as they see it, and I will let the lobbyers lobby.  I am most concerned about freedoms on a much smaller and individual scale, to raise and educate my kids in the way I thought best. 

This is important to me because as a homeschooler, I still see a lot of group thinking.  I don't really see a point in having the legal right to homeschool, only to check with everyone and their mother before deciding on a curriculum, event, or even a political stance.  Homeschooling is an individual endeavor, and I believe that while input and opinions are nice, they are just that.  We have to remember that as parents, WE ARE IN CHARGE.  So during my homeschool years I was very careful to make sure I never answered to  state guidelines, the school board, the principal, the teacher, homeschool organizations, homeschool groups, my parents, relatives, or even friends. I was able to give my children the attention they need
as they needed it, and to educate them according to their learning styles and gifting.  It has truly been a freeing experience.  

As usual, I will add some great homeschool reading links to this carnival.  

Here are some of the different freedoms that homeschooling families experience:

  •  Homeschooling freedom allows you as a family to study and learn from subjects that are near and dear to your heart.  If you know anything about unit studies, you will know that reading, writing, science, and often even math and social studies can be learned through the lens of any subject the child/family is enthusiastic about. The Harvest Moon by Hand Blog offers Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies Nature Study saying: We have been raising and releasing monarch butterflies for many years now. We decided to do a nature study about monarchs and milkweed because they have become an integral part of our science curriculum each year; and it seems like there is always new information to learn about milkweed and monarchs - and how milkweed biology greatly affects monarch biology  We hope to create a monarch waystation this spring/summer.

  •  There is also freedom to not be perfect. We don't always get it right, but we learn from our mistakes as well.  This post shows that there is value is admitting missteps so you can make adjustments and fix the problem, and perhaps learn together.  Often the journey is more important than the initial lesson. presents Homeschool Consumer Math Often Misses the Mark.  

  • Field trips were never like this!  There are no parent forms.  There are no lines. There are no schedules to keep.  The freedom of homeschooling makes field trips more freeing and relaxing, and in doing this, so much is earned. Please enjoy Field Trip to Blue Bell at The Smallest Acre blog

  • All of these homeschool freedoms are more easily enjoyed if you follow just a few simple rules.  These guidelines are often set by the state.  In this post, Henry at Why Homeschool reminds California homeschoolers to use the private school option to file their R4 form, which gives them freedom to operate as a private school. Read more at California homeschoolers - remember to file your R4 form.

  • As a veteran homeschooler, I continue to exercise my homeschool freedoms by continuing to share and and continuing to encourage new homeschoolers and homeschoolers still in the trenches.  I am free to continue to be vocal about homeschooling journey, in my blog and on YouTube in spite of anyone who would prefer I keep my opinion to myself and in spite of anyone who might  not like the looks of me.  For this reason, I am sharing Why am I still homeschool blogging, at Notes from a homeschooled mom.

If you enjoy reading this Carnival of Homeschooling please participate!  We are so close to #500 I can taste it!  Let's keep it going!  Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.  As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Give this blog some love by commenting.  What freedoms does Homeschooling give you?  Please chime in - in the comment section. 

Why am I still homeschool blogging?

My youngest is a college sophomore.  I am really, truly, done homeschooling, so why I am still homeschool blogging.  Well, it is not for the reason some former homeschoolers are still doing it.  I have noticed some veteran homeschoolers still blogging about all things political, things that they think could impede on homeschooling in the future.  I also see veteran homeschoolers blog about all things conservative.  Neither of these are my concern.  I am still homeschool blogging to let people know that there is someone out there they can relate to who did it and so they can too.

No.  I don't think I can relate to every single new homeschooler out there.  The types of bloggers mentioned above will surely appeal to a great deal of them.  But for me, there was on, single, solitary writer, who captured my heart and gave me the confidence it took carry on and get it done. Had I not read her book.  Had I not gone to a conference where she was speaking, I may very well thrown in the towel.  ... and there are other people ... odd balls like me, who need to see people like themselves doing it to know it is going to be OK.

And with that said, I know I am failing my public.  At one time, vlogging, video blogs, were a huge part of my communication with new homeschoolers.  I kind of let that go because... of online racism.... disagree with me, but don't call me a "black-monkey", know what I mean?  So I stopped putting my face online... but by backing off, those idiots kinda won, didn't they, so I will try harder to keep video blogging, thanks to the many new homeschoolers who have contacted me asking for more, and I will keep homeschool blogging too... because I did it, and so can you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giving away my homeschool books

I picked up the phone today and told a friend to come over with some file boxes this weekend and pick up any homeschool books she wanted.  I'd been giving her all my books one at a time anyway, and since I won't be living here full time,  I decided to turn my home office back into a guest room.

It's kind of bitter-sweet parting with the homeschool books I have accumulated over the years... a few I even purchased after I stopped homeschooling... (hard habit to break). It is bitter because I am done homeschooling my kids.  It is also sweet because I am done homeschooling my kids!

And what books exactly am I giving away?  Mostly standard high school textbooks.  In the end, they are what I enjoyed the most.  They tend to get to the point quickly and they don't cost much second-hand on  We mostly used them as a spine or resource anyway as most of the kids education centered around research and educational websites.
I really preferred teacher
wraparound editions!

I will also be going through all the saved homeschool paperwork and tossing 99% of it away.  I have made portfolios for both of them, and that is plenty of documentation to prove that they did in fact homeschool through high school... plus they are both well into their college careers so aside from a  few nostalgic essays and drawings al the rest is garbage!

It feels really good to do this...  and to be talking about homeschooling in the past-tense... but I can't help but shed a proverbial tear.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I don't GET designer purses, and I don't GET boxed curriculum either

In shifting my mindset for living (even if only part time) in NYC, I have inventoried my belongings and am considering what I am bringing with me and what I am leaving here.  I looked at my purses, and then I threw some away... maybe I should just get a money clip and skip the purses, I thought, but perhaps, just for special occasions, maybe my old Coach purses will do.

Burberry bags $500-$3000 +
So I took them out, and polished them, and ordered new hang tags, and wrapped them lovingly.  But then I asked, what is the big deal with designer purses? Sure hubby purchased them for me as a gift because women he worked with insisted his wife should have these purses... and I used them for a couple of years, and then put them in the closet, because they cost too much to throw away even though I was tired of them, and because they were still in excellent condition.

I started researching designer purses, and if my old Coach bags still even qualify as such.  I found that they are lower cost designer, and vintage at that (since I've had them over 10 years), so ... cool.  But while these purses probably cost a couple hundred dollars each, other purses that classify as designer start at 400 and go up to thousands of dollars.