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Showing posts with label Rants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rants. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Things that make me really mad...

People who don't give themselves enough time to get where they are going, so they speed and harass people like me who drive speed limit.

Guys who sag their pants... especially to the degree where their entire behinds are above their belt line.  I'm not talking about 2, 3, 4, or even 6 inches below the natural waist.  I'm talking 12-18 inches.  STOP IT.

People who exxagerate the truth for political or social gain.  People who believe these exaggerations.

People who re-victimize victims.

It's been quite a week.  Taking my darling girl on vacation to see some NY shows.  Will miss hubby, but fun's got to be had.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Remember when travel was fun?

I spent two hours today trying to find an inexpensive but quality hotel for Sunday night so I could take my daughter on her preview weekend and theater audition for one of her college choices.  It was exhausting.  The college is in a bit of a rural area and it was difficult to find a local hotel.  Then the ones I found had sketchy reviews, and that made me nervous.  I finally found one recommended by the college and payed a little more than I wanted in hopes that I could avoid spiders and bedbugs.

Do you remember when travel was secure?  You'd call a travel agent, or go through the phonebook and call a few hotels for quotes, then  you would book your trip on nothing more than a verbal handshake. I don't remember every having a bad experience, I think it was because the travel agent knew you were coming back to visit them if anything bad happened on your trip.

Do you remember when travel was affordable? Even 15 years ago, in the early days of internet travel websites, I could book flights to Las Vegas or LA for a decent price, and still have money left over for your rental car and hotel.  Now, I can barely afford the gas to drive two hours and have one overnight

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Triple A (AAA) and Textbooks

My body clock is completely wacked out because I rose before the sun a couple days ago to work elections.  So here I am, in the wee hours of the morning awake... again.  To fill my time, I am going over my son's book list and printing a buying guide for him.  This will help him to know where the best deals are for the books he needs.  (some books of course... the ones well over $100 are college specific and need to be purchased at the school bookstore-or so they say.  Others are available for less at Amazon for way less, and

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dont Call My House (an unrelated rant)

I realize this sounds anti-social, but I don't like getting calls to my home phone.  There are several reasons:

1. Telemarketers.  If I am working, homeschooling, or just relaxing, and the phone rings, and I pry myself out of the chair to answer the phone, I don't want to answer a survey, deal with salespeople, give a donation, or hear elections propaganda.  You are more likely to get a positive response from me if you sent an

Friday, June 08, 2012

Homeschooling certification?

 If homeschool accreditation isn't a sticky wicket, then homeschool certification is a problem.  In fact, I see it as a slap across the face of homeschooling moms everywhere. 

I had noticed in the last couple of years that online homeschool classes to train moms how to homeschool were cropping up, but I ignored them.  I figured they would make more homeschooling moms secure enough to homeschool, so while It made my stomach churn a bit, I ignored it.  Today, however, after seeing this site offering homeschooling certification so mom would be "certified homeschool professionals", I nearly threw up.

Now I am a little confused as to what they are offering, so I must give the benefit of the doubt.  On one hand the site says, "ExpertRating Online Homeschool Teaching Course leading to Homeschooling Certification ExpertRating Online Homeschooling Course leading to Homeschooling Certification offers a unique opportunity to get yourself certified as a Homeschooling professional from one of the leaders in online skill testing and certification. Homeschooling Certification holders earn much more than their non-certified counterparts." So, this gives the impression that this class if for people who want to teach other people's children.  I'm Ok with that. When you are not teaching your kid yourself, you want to make sure you have someone who has put effort into learning the ins and outs  of the process.

On the other hand, the site also appears to be geared towards homeschooling moms.  This is where I find the insult. The site says, "Learn how to take your children out of school and make their transition to homeschooling both fun and effective."  That's all well and good, but to package it up in a certification program is downright insulting.  It is especially insulting to mom and dads who have been homeschooling for the past 4 decades without this certification, paving the way so my generation can now homeschool out own. 


We don't need certification any more than homeschoolers in the last few decades did.  All of this nonsense about certification for homeschool teachers is only going to hurt us in the longrun as Education Departments latch onto it, therefore making it difficult to homeschool without "training".

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Can you homeschool my kid?

 I can't tell you how many times I have been asked that question.

Then answer is NO.

I will however, help you to homeschool your kid.  Here are my reasons.

1.  It's called HOMEschooling for a reason.....  your home, not mine. Once you send your child to someone else's home for instruction, it ceases to be homeschooling and becomes a small private school.  This is LAW in many states.  Now that may be fine for someone seeking to find a qualified homeschooler to work with their child, but if that person is still homeschooling their own children, as I am, it changes the dynamic in the home and can take away (and in some cases add to) the education of my own child. This is the main reason I say NO.

2.  Homeschooling is more about family relationship than academics.  I spent my first year of homeschooling strictly relationship building with my kids (after taking them out of public school).  Once I felt our relationship was re-claimed, I was then able to teach, and mold, and challenge them academically.  This is hard to do with someone else's child.  I am not exactly easy on my kids, and without the close parental relationship, I don't know that I would get the same results, in fact, they would very likely feel frustrated. No one knows a child like their own parent.  No one can push a child in the same way as their own parent, and no one knows when to pull back and give a breather like their own parent.  This is why I feel homeschooling should be done strictly by parents.

3.  If you can't control your own kid, what makes you think I can?  In most of the circumstances where I am asked to homeschool someone else's kid, the parent is at their wits end. They don't know what to do with the kid, and they are hoping that I can create a miracle.  I''m just not that good.  As the parent, you need to regroup, maybe see a family counselor, and get on proper footing with your child before you can start homeschooling them, or asking for someone else's help.

With all that said, I will now tell you that I WILL assist people in the homeschooling of their child. I will TUTOR them in subject where I am capable.  I will refer them to tutors in subjects where I am not strong.  I will also act as a parental guide and guidance counselor for the child.  In my past experiences of working with homeschooling families, I have been most successful where supported the child 30% and the parent 70% allowing the parent child teacher-relationship to remain in tact.

So while I won't homeschool your kid, if you need help or guidance, I am here to help.



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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Family Time Allowed?

I just read and email from the Seattle Public Schools (it got passed around) regarding absences due to family trips.  It took me 5 minutes to find a word that did was family friendly enough to write on my blog.  The letter is in my opinion, WHACKTACULAR.

Here is an excerpt:

Just going to another city, country or out of state, if to visit family or friends and nothing else, would not be excused. Families sometimes arrange their vacations after school starts because airfare is usually cheaper. However, this does not meet criteria for an excused absence.

Interestingly, enough, it is the wealthier and more families that take trips such as these. I doubt the kids are going to fall behind.  Why can't the the kids get a package of work to do while away?

 and

If the trip is to be considered educational, there has to be a plan in place for what the student will learn, what educational activities are to be accomplished, and how the student will report on his/her learning when he comes back. The plan could include language immersion (although this wouldn't be excused by itself), visits to historic or cultural sites, taking photographs and creating a report based on all of this that the student makes to the class or turns in to the teacher, or some other planned educational activity that the teacher and principal approve.


Are you kidding me?  The school want's to hijack a family's vacation time?  I'd rather never go anywhere.

Plus

At least five days of a trip for a funeral can be excused, but any part that would be added beyond this simply for a desire to visit family for a longer period of time may not be excused.

What if the child is still inconsolable?  What if mom needs more time to get her mother's affairs in order?  What if Dad needs to handle his parents estate?  Crazy.

Things like this make homeschooling so attractive.

Here's the school system website, so you can view their overall truancy rules.  I wouldn't want to go to schools like this either.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

What are they really learning when you do their homework?

Happy Elf Mom turned me on to this Joanne Jacobs blog about a mom justifying doing her kids' homework

 The actual blog post in interesting enough, as all of Joanne Jacobs posts are, but the comment section really blew me away.

It all starts with a blog post called Don't hate me because I do my daughter's homework.  As I read the post in entirely, I absentmindedly mumbled some words that I won't repeat.  In short, I felt like mom was full if it and trying to justify what she knew was wrong. The post ends with "But, when it comes to math, I leave that to her. I hate math. I will look at her math homework to see if she’s done it, but that’s all. So maybe, yes, I do her homework for her (or at least really, really chip in) – but I only do the fun homework. And you?"  Give me a break.

Anyway, like I said, the comments on regarding this post were far more interesting than anything this mom or Ms Jacobs had to say.

There were parents who justified doing homework because the assignments were stupid or because extracurricular and  family time were more important.

There were others who blasted the mommy in question for her "help" which surely went over and above.  Most felt she was bordering criminal behavior.

I felt that the problem was more about honesty and modeling for the child than anything else.  First, I think it is passive aggressive (and easier) to do a child's homework rather than to speak to the teacher about the homework assignment, and maybe ask for something more valuable.I also think that the parent may be underestimating the value of the homework given. A lot of the things she is complaining about, cutting, pasting, drawing, and puzzles are actual valuable activities for visual and kinesthetic learners.  If the child is clearly a different type of learner, then the parent should help the child negotiate a different type of assignment with the teacher.

Furthermore, and most of all, I feel like this is one of those gray areas that many parents participate in, and then when their kids are adults, the wonder why they kids are participating in questionable behavior.  Now these are my personal pet-peeves, but here's how I see it.

You can't buy bootleg and fake merchandise such as movies, and purses, and be surprised when your kid outright steals.  You have set the example of supporting theft.

You can't accepts a "discount" from a friend who works at a store, and be surprised when your kid is arrested for shoplifting.

You can't lose your temper in the mall parking lot at Christmas time over a parking space and be surprised when your kid is arrested for an act of road rage.

Our kids not only do what we do, but they tend to amplify our behavior.  It might be nothing now, but wait until your grown up kid copies your behavior at a much higher level.  It won't be pretty.  In other words, if mom does Jr's homework now, she should not be surprised when he gets busted for paying someone else to take his college entrance exam... which by the way, could be a punishable offense.


I just want to add a bit of a personal afterthought.  I was interrupted while writing this post by my 15 year old who wanted me to grade her practice PSAT exam.  Had it been a real PSAT exam she would have scored a 206.  This is crazy good...  National Merit good.  (provided she doesn't choke).  I point this out, not to brag, but to explain that any score she gets on the PSAT has NOTHING to do with me, even as a homeschooler.  This is a kid who has always learned independently.  Sometimes she did all of the work assigned to her.  Sometimes she blew it off.  And she always, always rushed through the process.  But in her entire education from public preschool and Kindergarten, through homeschool co-ops, online learning, academic classes, and self led textbooks, she never wanted, or accepted help from me.  She could be stuck on a math problem for a week, and would still shoo me away.  Yet she learned.  This may not always translate to great grades on paper, but in the end, if you let your child do more independent learning, you will end up with one smart kid.



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Friday, October 07, 2011

Homeschooling kids are AWESOME but...

 OK... I love my homeschooling peeps, but I think sometimes we go a little overboard.  Here's why:

I am an elections official, and precinct manager.  I was assigned to a precinct late and had to find a staff quick. After going through everyone who previously worked the district, I put out a call to homeschoolers.  Seemed like a good idea.

I realize it was 'my bad' that I neglected to say what ages I needed election workers to be, but I just kind of assumed that anyone who had ever voted would know that young adults, adults, and elderly would describe the mix of people running the polls.

So the return emails I got were like:  "My freshman and sophomore high schoolers want to work."  or "My 8 and 10 year olds would love to work, are there shifts?"

(Actually, shifts would be an excellent idea, but there are laws with reasons behind them that prevents that.)  But... are you thinking that your 8 year old can walk up to a voter who is using his cell phone when he knows it is not allowed but doesn't care because rules apply to everyone but him and tell him in no uncertain terns to turn off their cell phone?  Or, can your 10 year old smile at a 60 year old who doesn't want to fill out the same form he has filled out for the last 40 year because it is a stupid form, and say, "sorry, you can't vote without it".  Or can your 12 year old stop a car that is circling in the parking lot bearing campaign signs and chase them off?  I doubt it.


In all fairness, these parents just get a little excited when they see such an awesome opportunity for exposure, because that's what we do, expose our kids to learning opportunities. But voting is serious government business and while homeschooling kids are awesome, they are still kids.  Having anyone under 16 work an election would equate to child abuse for them, and babysitting for me.

No thank you.

By the way, I will have 3 homeschoolers working for the election.  My 17 year old son and nephew, and a 16 year old girl. 


Read: 

Oh yeah, that's why I homeschool

Things You Should Know Before You Vote

How to Create a Homeschool Portfolio 

Creating a Homeschool Portfolio when No Records Have Been Kept 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teenage Rants from a Homeschooling Mom

 I just got home from driving my kids to the other side of the county in Metro Atlanta traffic for their homeschool elective classes.  Their day starts at 8am and ends between 5 and 7 pm depending on Drama Club calls.

On the way home I called my husband who was also driving and we spent about 40 minutes complaining about our kids.  (Sorry Oprah, but the talking while driving conversation was much needed.)

Anyway, I called him to complain that while our daughter knew that our washing machine needs repair and leaves the clothes too wet, she still didn't wash her required