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Showing posts with label homeschool musings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homeschool musings. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is fear preventing homeschooling and will certification help?

 I've been getting calls from a person who I suspect wants me to homeschool their kid. Since we are of close relation, that wouldn't be a problem except that since they live far away, so homeschooling their kid would involve moving their kid into my home. Don't get me wrong, I want to help, but I don't want to raise any more kids. I am looking forward to my last year as an active homeschooling parent and don't really want to tack on a few more years as mommy to a teenager.  

I get the sense that they feel homeschooling would be impossible for them without proper training, special permission and guidance from the school district, but that is not going to happen... and it doesn't have to.  If homeschoolers can teach their own ADHD, developmentally delayed, and Autistic children successfully without a special education degree, you can certainly homeschool a child - your perfectly normal child

Monday, May 14, 2012

I love being weird

As long as I can remember I have been strange.  My family told me so.  The only problem is that they made it seem like a bad thing.

First I was the quiet one in my family.... always thinking.  (yes, that was said negatively)

Then I was the bookworm. (also an insult)

Then I was the home-girl (which was a good thing in the 1980s' if you were hip and cool, but in my case, they meant it quite literal.  Everyone else was a homegirl, and I was a home....girl. get it?  Not funny.)
  Then I was just strange (my mother's own words.... expressed after I brought home a creative writing assignment with A+ written on it.  It was a take on Tale of Two Cities where we were required to write from the viewpoints of either a Surf or Nobility.... I chose Nobility.)

At this point, I'd have enough of my family of 11 pointing out how much I stood out from the pack.  I decided to embrace it.  Soon after, my mother was calling me strange based on something I'd said or did, and I stood up in the middle of the living room and exclaimed:

MAYBE I'M NOT THE STRANGE ONE HERE.  (as I pointed to each family member I continued) MAYBE YOU ARE ALL THE STRANGE ONES (I then pointed to myself and said) PERHAPS, I AM THE NORMAL ONE.  .... and they all decided it wasn't worth arguing and changed the conversation.

Some 30-odd years later and I am still the strange one.  Eight years ago, when I finally told my older brother (who I thought would try to get custody of my kids for homeschooling) that I was homeschooling, his answer was "well, you've always been weird, but you seem to make it work, go for it".  At least they now appreciate my weirdness.

And now I do too:

Over at the Education Explorers blog, I just read the post, Dear God, Please Don't Let my children be "normal" where the writer clearly lays out the differences between the words "Normal" and "Quirky".  You have to read it.  It's delightful.

ps.  I have weird kids too... and they embrace it.  I'm so glad they don't have to wait until they are in their 40's to love that they are wired differently.


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.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sacrificing socialization for intelligence?

Typical Group of Homeschoolers
I just read another one of those TIRESOME articles about how homeschooling is great and all, but we are sacrificing socialization and well-roundedness for intelligence.


Call me an education snob, but I think that's a fair trade.

 While the student dubbed "most friendly" in high school may do a great job in sales... a very good job with commissions in the six figures even, the kid ignored from the list altogether because he is too nerdy to make the popularity contest will start companies like Apple and Facebook and make millions.

While I am not necessarily expecting this kind of genius from my kids, I am expecting them to be the best at what they are passionate about because they have been given the time and resources to concentrate on those things rather than worry about being popular.

With that said, I feel like I need to address another aspect of this socialization question that I have been seeing as of late.  I keep noticing people saying that homeschooling keeps kids from learning about other cultures. i.e. blacks won't get to learn more about white people, and white people won't know about blacks, and never mind anyone knowing Hispanics and Asians to have yet to have invaded the ranks of the homeschoolers en masse.

But here's a question:  Will you know a person better by sitting next to them in a classroom, or by inviting them to your home for a meal and going to theirs?  I dare say the latter. Homeschooled kids may not get a great quantity of time with people of other cultures, but if they are like my family, they will get quality, one-on-ine time in each others' homes and spaces.

So once again, another homeschooling argument is proven false.


Image:  By Kingdom Baptist Some rights reserved

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Would ANYTHING make you put your kids back in public school?

 For me the short answer to that question is no, but I know many former homeschoolers whose kids are now happily in school.

Happy Elf mom asks, if the school system was trying to sell you on returning to public schools like ( the Custer School District in South Dakota), what would your answer be.

Based on the reasons we all homeschool, I know our answers would be vastly different.  Because we homeschool based on personal experiences in school, our list would look something like this:

1. You know my son is gifted... stop holding him back. (Because he had regular migraines, they made excuses to keep him out of gifted classes).
2. I'm not giving my daughter Ritalin, so get over it. (By the way she will be graduating homeschool at 16, so being a little hyperactive has served her well.)
3. Make the kid behind my son stop smacking him in the head. (The teacher never saw him get smacked, but always saw him turn around and say something to the child who had smacked him.)
4. Don't lose my kid on the school bus again.  (It took a lot of Grace to not kill the teacher who blamed my kid for missing the bus home.)
5. Stop saying stupid things to me based on racial assumptions. My kids' father lives with us.  (You don't even want to know.)

Put aside the fact that public school was a nightmare for my kids that I would not wish on anyone, I have in my mind an idea for an ideal school that if it existed, my kids would have attended... maybe.

1. Kids need to be able to work independently using computer based programs so they can progress at their own speed... especially for math.
2.  School should be more relaxed, more like a study center than a jail.
3. Kids (with parent's permission) should be able to come and go as they please... the hours spent in school should matter much less than progress through curriculum.

This will never exist, and so once again, my kids don't belong in public school.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Homeschooler Bursts Socialization Myth

 Here's a great read on homeschool socialization

Home-schooled students like me are occasionally subject to one awkward question: Do you ever socialize?
There's a misconception about home-schooled students: They can't socialize normally because they're cooped up in their houses every day.
This is only true if you assume home schooling is exactly what it sounds like: studying at home, only at home and never interacting with others in the "outside world." This is a false assumption.  read more here


Friday, January 13, 2012

Tim Hawkins, and homeschooling

I've always done my best to not even suggest to my kids that they need to homeschool the next generation, but I do know my daughter has no intention of sending her own kids to school.  Will she be at traditional homeschooling mom?  Probably not.  She intends to work in theater and drag her kids along... whatever that means.  I wonder if her future will look anything like Tim Hawkins....  She's definitely a younger, darker, female version of him.

I just came across a video by Tim Hawkins, who was homeschooled and is now homeschooling his own.   

I really like the fact that homeschooling kids turned adults manage to find their passion in life and are able to chart their own paths.  I feel like he has done that.

Tim Hawkins per Wikipedia: Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian, songwriter, and singer, best known for parodying popular songs, such as Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take The Wheel" and "The Candy Man" stand-up material based on marriage, homeschooling and parenting. Hawkins has released three CDs and five DVDs of his material since 2006. In 2007, Hawkins began to release his comedy on the Internet, with his videos gaining more than 50 million views on YouTube and Facebook since.

More Time Hawkins Videos Here.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Homeschoolers and the GED

Transcript (summarized)

I just want to do a quick video about homeschoolers and the GED.

I hear a lot of people ask me how I prove that homeschooling is complete, that it is done, that the child has learned enough.  And when I answer that we look at what others are doing and what the colleges have done

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homeschool update Nov, 2011

Video Transcript

I have so many things to talk about that I am going to go ahead and make an update compilation video.  So here goes:

It is November 21st.  So, my son graduates in April so we've done 4 months of the homeschool year with five months to go. We are almost to the halfway point and I find myself correcting some miss-steps that we took this year.

Major Miss-step: Using online schooling through the public school system for the first time in my son's senior

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Kids are what you feed them.

I'm not talking about food.


So, crime is running rampant in Atlanta Schools lately, but it's not the kids.  A former bookkeeper, at Jefferson High School, Stone Mountain, agreed to a 10 year sentence after being convicted of using a school card to buy more than $10,000 in products for her personal use. ...And this money was meant for school activities.  And before that Chyrokessia Rucks was sentenced to 15 years probation after

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Each in his own time

Today is my daughters 15th birthday.  At exactly 8:10 this morning, she had her learners permit in hand.  She kind of lives that way... accomplish as much as possible as soon as possible.  This is why she'd already driven by noon.
This is why she will be graduating before her 17th birthday.

Her brother lives at a more deliberate speed.  He likes things slow, easy, and careful.  This is why he does not have a drivers licence yet when he will be 17 soon.  This is also why he opted to take another year of homeschooling instead of taking one more class last year to graduate at 16 like his sister.

Now that she is driving, he demanded that we pay for lessons for him.  He says we make him nervous and he wants a real instructor... so be it.  He is finally ready to drive, partly because it is time, and partly because his sister is putting a little pressure on him.

So what does this have to do with homeschooling?  Lots.

There are some kids who will read at 4 years old, some at 7, and some as late as 11. (the same with certain math skills) There is no shame in that, and pressure should be minimal to prevent the child from feeling inadequate by his lack of readiness.  This is not to say that you shouldn't work on pre-reading skills like reading to the child from and early age and teaching the alphabet and basic phonics rules.  Still, we shouldn't become panicked and distraught that the hard work has not paid off just yet.  Each child matures at his own pace.  They will learn in their own time.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Areas of weakness should be allowed

When I was in highschool I used to get pretty bent out of shape about studying and grades.  I had to understand every single concept in my math or science book (the areas I struggled in) or I would become distraught.  I remember my mother asking me, if I thought I might not pass a test, as I always passed my tests.  I would reply "Of course, I am going to pass the test, but by how much". I had to have A's.  That is how I was wired.  Yeah, I was high strung.

I am wired differently now.  Somewhere along the way, I learned that there would be areas where I would absolutely excel, and there are some areas, that I struggle in and I am OK with that.  As the parent of homeschoolers, I know that there are some areas where my kids deserve A's, some areas where they deserve B's, and some areas where they deserve C's.  Sometimes this is due to a lack of enthusiasm and effort.  Mostly, it is due to a weakness in a subject matter.

Sure I want my kids to always do their best, but I would rather them to really, really excel in one area than to do have them do satisfactorily in every area.  This is what makes us individuals.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

People Don't Want Teachers (part 2)

My last post on People Don't Want Teachers, I mentioned how in my area, there aren't a lot of parent run homeschool co-ops but instead hybrid schools so parents can essentially check out for a few hours or even for a full day.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, (especially since I live my child-free Mondays) it is just an observation that parents like to take advantage of the time the kids are with teachers, meaning these teachers also become babysitters.

In public schools, this is multiplied exponentially. I remember standing at the school bus stop back when my kids went to public school.  Mom's started debating year round schooling.  One mom insisted that it was necessary because parent's didn't get summers off and had to PAY for childcare during that time of the year.  She felt that if school was year round, then parents would be able to save money and not need childcare.  I was kinda floored. When I replied that childcare was not the purpose of school, learning was, she got annoyed.

I think of parents, we must learn to differentiate between education and childcare for our kids.  While the two things can and do overlap, we musn't fool ourselves that when our kids are not in our care, that someone else isn't parenting them.  We also musn't fool ourselves that all the time spent in school or in classrooms are spent actively learning.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

People don't want teachers

 People don't want teachers... they want babysitters.

My husband and I were just having a conversation about SKYPE.  He was telling me about someone he knows who got an online certificate to marry people and now he is not only marrying people, but he is doing it without ever leaving his home!... He just fires up his iPad, and he marries them virtually!

I know Skype is awesome I say, while the virtual officiant thing is stupid (IMOP). Too bad that would never work for homeschool teachers, is the next thing I realize.  Too many parents want to be able to leave and go take a break when their children are taking classes and tutoring.  They don't just want to person to impart knowledge to their kids... they want them to take full charge of babysit them as well.

I think this is why homeschool co-ops aren't working in my area.  We had a great co-op once, but none of the parents wanted to teach or supervise.  Now, instead we are all paying private school prices for our kids to be in a homeschool-school one or two days a week, and taking a spa day for ourselves.

I can't condemn it is a horrible thing if I am doing it myself...  but it is an interesting realization.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Homeschooling does not have to be expensive.

Note:  The inexpensive curriculum I purchased for my nephew were "Teacher Wraparound" editions of public school textbooks.  These books have the same page the student's edition would have, but it is a bigger page with notes written on the sides and bottom to give the "teacher" information on presenting the material to the students.  A highly involved parent with average intelligence can easily teach from these books. 

Just search for "teacher wraparound" on with the subject you need.  Here's an example:

ps.  Older editions, USED, cost just a few dollars plus shipping. 

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homeschool study hall?

I spent the bulk of last week in a coffee shop.  Since my daughter had to be in Atlanta this week for her internship, I found a nice place to work and play on my computer while I waited for her.

I also took the time to observe the people in the coffee shop, which by the way was jam-packed with people... young people... and older people too.  It kind-of reminded me of homeschooling.  All of these people co-existed together, all in each other's space, without anyone getting bent out of shape.

Well, actually, I got bent out of shape a little when someone put their dirty-used cup on a table I was using to eat a salad... That was annoying, but I merely lifted an eyebrow, and had the cup taken away.  As the week moved on, I found myself playing twister with people as we plugged in and unplugged computers, sometimes each-other's accidentally.  I found myself watching laptops for people as they went to the bathroom, and asking the same for myself. 

One time I looked up from the computer and observed everyone working shoulder to shoulder from front door to back door of the space.  It reminded me of the idea I once had to provide such a space for homeschooled teens... a place where they could get out of the house, and still get their school work done.  It would be kind of like a homeschool study hall. 

I wonder if something like this would work?

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Non traditional education, Tradtional graduation?

This New York Times article  almost suggests that homeschoolers are caving by having a traditional graduation after bucking the system and having a non-traditional education. 

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to my son's graduation next May and trying to figure out how to make a great big honking deal out of it.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Changes to the HOPE Scholarship

 I wrote this article on the proposed changes to the HOPE scholarship here in GA.

Governor's Proposals Would Dim HOPE Scholarships

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed changes to the HOPE scholarship would significantly alter the pledge that Georgia made to students back in 1992

Read more

 Basically, the HOPE scholarship is taking a 10% cut plus fees will no longer be paid.  This may cost the average student $1500 a year. If students are superior with a 3.5 GPA and 1200 SAT, they get the full ride, minus fees.

But what about homeschoolers?

As of right now, homeschoolers need a 85th percentile score to get HOPE as a Freshman.  They can get it retroactively if they maintain a B average. 

So, why do homeschoolers need a higher SAT/ACT score than the Top public school students who will get a full ride.  And, if they do get that higher score, do they get the full HOPE or HOPE lite.  And if there are two tiers now, do they set a higher tier for homeschoolers to get a full ride, or do they set a lower threshold for them to get the 90% grant?

Has anyone heard?  I'm very curious.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

homeschooling is growing

I didn't need a study to tell me that homeschooling has grown exponentially.  The number of homeschoolers I encounter has grown. The attitude of the general public toward homeschooling has changed.  The opportunities for homeschooling in my are are endless.  Nevertheless, here is the study to back up what I have noticed about changes in homeschooling.

The National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) has released a study that estimates that there were 2.040 million K to 12 homeschooled students – or 4percent of all school-aged children – in the United States in the spring of 2010.

Read more:

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who is your favorite homeschool blogger?

Help me populate my Homeschooling blogroll

I just went through my blogroll and deleted more than half as the blogs were defunct.

Please send my your favorite homeschool blogs to check out so I can repopulate.


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