Friday, November 30, 2012

Just stuff to tell you.

So after all my comments you probably have come to think that I am a stick in the mud and just trying to teach just like every other school.  Well, I decided to post this picture.  It is not actually typical but yet it does show the spontaneous flexibility we can have in the midst of our lessons.  I had to laugh as I felt that Faith's doll at least gave her more fingers and toes to count with.
At this time we are still working at our kitchen table. BUT the good news is that the schoolhouse can now be completed. I have had it filled to the brim with housing items as we have done a huge redo of our flooring and a little paint job as well.  Since my children have left I have been without extra beds as well so now we have a room just for grandkids and a triple decker bunk bed (bunk w/ trundle).
Here are a few pics of what we have done.
Hardwood floors in dining room, living room, hall and one bedroom

                                             Ceramic in laundry room, bathrooms and kitchen

                                                     Gabe liked the cool floor
My dream fridge!
I cannot seem to find the picture of the kids room but we put new carpet in that room and my bedroom.  Those are the cold rooms of the house and I wanted a warm floor to step on.
Now that my computer issues are resolved I can catch up a bit too.  I will talk about our vacation we had next time.  I hope to get the one room schoolhouse painted and floor done in the next few weeks.  I have all the items needed as well as new work tables for each child.  Last item needed as a heater for the room and hubby got that yesterday.
As far as school goes, all is well in the world.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pet Peeves about HomeSchooling Families

This is a riot as I myself am a homeschool family.  I have met many people in my life and often they can be clumped into one or another subtitle. Such as, Generation Xers are a group of immediate gratification brats, or Baby Boomers are defiant to their hippie parents ideas and create corporate greed and of course the Hippie Generation full of ideas and no real follow through but cave into society demands eventually.  BUT you homeschool families run the gamut of ideas and lifestyles.

There are those who homeschool for their religious freedom. Great folks, I believe in that idea 100% but many focus so much on biblical memorization and studies that they do not approach the core subjects with enough vim and vigor. Their child cannot stand comfortable in a Spelling Bee .

There are those who homeschool because their child has specialized learning needs. This is by far one of the most important reasons to homeschool and you say what pet peeve could you possibly have about this group. Well, many that I have met (not all) never take the time to learn exactly what it is that delays their child's processing of information so they do not learn how deliver to them the tools they need to succeed as they are able to.  Speaking as a mother of a child with language skills deficit, related to an anoxic brain injury, I must applaud the teacher that taught me how to help my daughter and give her the tools to help herself.  The peeve in this group is the fact that I do not see progress in the children I have met, just parents that further delay development thinking that they will grow into it some day.

Homeschoolers are flexible.  You bet your bibby!  It is important to teach them to be to be flexible. Life will give you lots of unexpected surprises and knowing how to land on your feet comes with encouraging and supporting flexibility. BUT, once again I find many, actually very many, homeschool families so flexible that they drop everything rather than learning how to see a task through and have patience to tend to the  next task or situation at hand. An example of this is the "field trip" experience. OH yes, this is the most pet peeve issue I can think of.  No place in this life can you commit to something and then not follow through. I have seen seventeen families respond to a field trip that would be at a local small dairy. That would be 2-7 children in each family.  Only five families show up for the experience. This is not just the free opportunities, but those that would have a fee involved as well.  All of a sudden little Tommy got behind this week so we are not going to attend or we just did not sleep well so the rest of you can just forget we were going to come. UGH!!

Yes, that is my biggest homeschooler pet peeve.  I adore the flexibility but it seems to come at a cost to many.

Then the final one that just ticks me off in a big way would be those who find it acceptable to tell me what I am doing wrong or how I could do it better IF ONLY.... perhaps I am not their kind of Christian, or by taking on what God has asked me to do I am enabling my daughter and her husband, or instead of homeschooling I am schooling at home, or what ever they feel empowered to state.  You see, I would never say such a thing to you just to justify my views or homeschool style. But there are so many pompous, self-righteous, women that I come in contact with only to discover that generally, I do not like women much either. 

OK  I said it!
Now to focus on a review of lessons so that I am prepared for tomorrow.  That's right, tomorrow I am going into the day with a plan. Some days I fly by the seat of my pants and other days I am a different sort. I always have a goal and expected outcomes. Goals are something to reach for and an outcome is a way to measure the effectiveness of the goal. My nurse in me always has a way of showing up in my day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Recommittment Is a Daily Need

I recall the day I committed to teaching Grace.  I recall the day that Faith began wanting to come to school too. I recall why I wanted to do this.  I also recall the day I understood what Jesus had done for me and that I wanted Him in my life every day. 

I quickly realized how difficult it is to face the world each day without keeping the commitment to learn, follow and exemplify the Lord.  It seemed that that I had to recommit to Him on a daily basis to keep the evils of this earthly world away.  Teaching your grandchildren/children is very much like that.

Some refer to homeschooling as being flexible. Yes, that is right but if you are not careful and do not keep some kind of track about what you do, set goals with time frames and recommit daily then you will get lost.

I understand that a lot of things entered our lives and managed to distract us in the name of flexibility.  What if we were in public school when life happens?  Kids still have to go on and try the best they can to succeed. I do not think that would have happened for Grace.  I know she would have gotten lost. So, it seems we are back on track. Making daily progress and meeting goals.

Grace has made it to the third grade math book and doing very well. She continues to do fourth grade reading work, although she can read higher level. Still, she is nearly finished with her third grade language book, spelling is always a challenge to teach. I try to let her strong phonics skills guide her. 

Faith is making great progress in her first grade work. She is right on track with our goals and will likely finish things up in spring.

The house repairs are winding down and we will begin creating our new schoolhouse. It is way behind!  I hope to be in it in time from Christmas break.  Go figure!

Back to my original thought.  Commitment is a difficult thing.  I know I am not the "typical" homeschooler. I have some real pet peeves about the things fellow homeschoolers do. I am going to make a post about it next time, I think.  No offense intended but I am an older generation, the end of the baby boomers.  I have some very traditional thoughts in the midst of this nontraditional methodology.