Friday, September 2, 2011

What do you think? I know that not everyone believes in the same God or has the same faith but most people believe in SOMETHING (not everyone, I know). What do you think of the idea of gathering together at the flagpole at school and together asking, whoever you feel is in charge, in a united voice for help. They don't allow this IN the schools but will they tolerate it outside the schools? It probably depends on where you live too. Here, in the Bible Belt, I think most of the teachers would just ignore it but in other places it may cause problems. It will be interesting to see what will happen.

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Everytime I watch this trailer I cry. When I watched the movie, I cried. It is such an amazing video (yes, it is biased but so is everything else). It follows several children as they work with their parents to find a better education and it's all based on luck. You also get a better look into the American schools and what the gov't is doing to try and improve the education system but the stupid politics that prevent them from doing anything. I definitely recommend watching it.

Stress while at home

Those of us who homeschool know what I am talking about. Being at home with my kids is amazing and I absolutely LOVE learning from them and watching them learn as well. I love knowing what they're doing in school and being so involved in their lives. However, that also means that I get no break! I know, it sounds horrible that I would like a break from my children but occasionally, I think it would be nice. Some days my children just don't want to listen to me.
I grew up thinking I was patient. It was one of my talents and everyone praised me and my patience. Even my mom when I was a teenager. That's saying something, right? Well, then I became a mom and I realized that I really have very little patience. My kids, especially my 3 year old, do not like to obey. They say don't count so I try not to count but often I find myself counting anyways b/c I get an immediate response from them. Professionals tell you not to bribe. I offer fake money for good behavior. Professionals tell us not to yell. Well, occasionally I do yell. I really don't yell often but sometimes the kids are just pushing the right buttons and there is nothing left but anger. It has all been held out for so long that I turn into this evil monster who scares my children. They don't understand why I'm yelling but they fear the anger and immediately obey but then I feel terrible and cry and apologize and feel like an idiot and a failure at motherhood. The professionals also always remind us to follow through. I will admit, this is one thing I am good at. I always follow through on my discipline and make sure my hubby does too. If I tell them that if they don't clean up then I'm trashing their toys then I trash their toys when they don't clean up. Well, sometimes I send it to Goodwill but either way my kids don't get it anymore.
So, how do I make my kids obey so I don't have to respond this way? How do I get a break so that there is nothing left in me to give? Not homeschooling is not an option. I don't want to hand over my children's bad habits to someone else. I want to fix them myself but how? How do I get my 3 yo to just obey me b/c she wants to? I wish there was a manual or something but unfortunately, all children all different -- of course, this is fortunate as well. I sure wouldn't want my kids to be like everyone else.
So, homeschooling moms... in your experience, what is a good way to give yourself a break so you can be a better mom?