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Eclectic Thoughts from a Homeschool Mom » An ideal homeschooling moment

An ideal homeschooling moment

September 26th, 2008

We got up and had a warm, filling breakfast. After seeing off my husband to work, we did a bit of cleaning around the house (i.e. dishes, straightening, feeding the dog, etc.). The windows of the house were open to let in the cool, fall air.

We grabbed a few textbooks and sat out on the back porch. I brought out the compact disk player and let the soothing sounds of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue fill our ears. The birds were singing. Our dog was laying on the lawn soaking up the early morning sunshine.children playing

Our son switched off between reading from his science book and taking photos for his photography assignment. I switched off between raking leaves and listening to my son reading from his science book.

Later this morning, we will be meeting another homeschooling family for a field trip. We are going to the annual quilt show. Our friends have worked very hard on their quilts and we want to not only support them, but see the other talented entries. Just another form of art to appreciate.

Later today, we will come back home to work on guitar, drawing, spelling, and spanish. My husband should be home early today (which is a treat). If we get everything done on time, we plan on going out to the lake for dinner and some family time. If we don’t get everything done on time, it goes with us to the lake.

What a joy it is to be able homeschool. We can take “school” with us wherever we go. Homeschool is about living life and enjoying the little things. After all, learning is more than what is offered in a textbook.

10 Responses to “An ideal homeschooling moment”

  1. BayAreaDM Says:

    Are there ant downsides to homeschooling? Isn’t there some proof of stunting a child’s social growth?

  2. BayAreaDM Says:

    ant = any

    Sorry.

  3. Shan Says:

    Yes, I definitely feel sorry for public school students as they are denied social growth. How can you not feel sorry for them?

    *They have an average ratio of 1 adult teacher to 25-30 children in their class. They have to compete for attention when they are unclear on an assignment.

    *They are told to purchase specific school supplies before the new school year, only to “turn them in” on the first day of school so everyone can use them. (Socialism anyone?)

    *They are in an environment with children only their age. The only adult they interact with is their teacher, school nurse, or lunch lady.

    *They are not allowed to “socialize” with their classroom peers as talking isn’t allowed (unless they are raising their hand to ask a question).

    *Their free outdoor/exercise minutes shrink each year. Many school systems allow children 60 minutes of physical education PER WEEK.

    *They are taught only to pass specific national exam questions (to ensure more school funding) and not allowed to explore areas of interest such as art, music, or physical fitness.

    I definitely feel badly for them. I wish that everyone had the flexibility that homeschooling offers. If they did, they would know that education can be so much more than what is offered in a textbook.

    *They would be challenged with curriculum that was appropriate to their comprehension level. If they were advanced in a subject, they would be allowed to move up a grade level, etc.

    *They would have a tailored curriculum that complimented their intellect, not grade, level. Advanced students would not be “dumbed down”.

    *Students needing more assistance would receive one-on-one attention from either a parent, tutor, or cooperative group. Someone would take the time with them until they understood the academic hurdle. They would not be “lost in the shuffle”. They wouldn’t graduate high school and not be able to read an application or balance a checkbook.

    *They would be taught important subjects such as: mathematics, english, history, and the sciences along with exploring the arts.

    *They would be encouraged to take their interests and build on them. If they showed talent in an area, they would be allowed to build and nurture it.

    *Their future chosen careers would be taken into consideration, and their curriculum would excel them into that direction.

    *If they did not wish to further their education after high school, they would be assisted in finding an apprenticeship in their chosen field.

    *They would be encouraged to think for themselves and not be told what to think.

    *They would be encouraged to dress and act as they felt and not consider killing themselves because their parent’s can’t afford $100+ sneakers.

    *They would be encouraged to follow their religious and family beliefs.

    *They would be encouraged to question these beliefs and come to their own conclusions.

    *They would be taught how to function in society (i.e. getting a job, cooking meals, caring for a home/yard/car, finances, etiquette, computer skills, etc.)

    *They would not only read about professions, but be allowed to interact with them and learn with a “hands on” approach.

    I am so thankful that we have the option to homeschool. Our week is full of:

    *Three martial arts lessons with adults and children
    *Art and classical guitar lessons with adults and children
    *Scouts and enjoying the outdoors with adults and children
    *Charity work with adults and children
    *Caring for elderly, disabled relatives
    *Taking care of our home and spending time together as a family
    *Academics and reading to expand our minds
    *Errands and appointments that allow us to interact with adults
    *Homeschool events, play days, museums, workshops, and library visits, book fairs
    *Planning for future family trips during the “traditional school year” (like climbing a Mayan pyramid in March…tapping a maple tree with a maple syrup farmer in New Hampshire in February…visiting Mt. St. Helen’s and learning about volcanoes in October…hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and staying three nights in March…or enjoying a week in Walt Disney World in November & January…)

    Yes, I definitely feel sorry for those children that are unable to homeschool. My son is told quite often from public school kids at Scouts or Martial Arts: “You are so lucky! I wish I could do that!”

    The poor dears are missing out on so much.

    -Maybe one day the world will go back to the way things used to be – when education wasn’t limited to four walls.

    -Maybe one day people will realize that throwing money into the educational system isn’t working.

    -Maybe one day people will start taking part in the education of their children and stop depending on others to do it for them.

    -Maybe one day people will acknowledge that homeschooling minds tend to score higher on SAT and ACT tests and are more socially ready for college then their public school equivalents.

    -Maybe one day people will realize that kids don’t need to be given a diet of Ritalin – they need to be allowed to exercise and not be talked down to.

    Until then, millions of children in the U.S. will be afflicted with “social growth stunting”. In 2006, there were approximately 2 million homeschoolers in the U.S. Per the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 census, there were approximately 55.8 million students enrolled in the nation’s public elementary and high schools (grades K-12).

    I guess the word is getting out. That is 2 million that aren’t afflicted. That is only 53.8 million to go. “You are so lucky! I wish I could do that!” In the future, maybe they can.

    Enough feeding of the trolls now…

  4. BayAreaDM Says:

    Here we go again – someone asks a question that isn’t pandering and you think I’m trolling. I wasn’t expecting a lecture or a sermon. I just asked if there were repercussions with children hanging around their parents all day instead of children their age. I was especially referring to single child families. All that static yet you didn’t answer that simple question. I’m way down here, not on a high horse, so please don’t talk to me that way.

  5. jjabl Says:

    I think Shan answered the question quite well. Most folks ask about socialization. It is a laughing matter almost that most folks think it is a problem for home school kids. We feel just the opposite.

    I have a 16 year old only home schooled child. Not only do adults tell me he is one of the most polite teenagers they’ve ever meet, but that he is intelligent and converses easily with them. Know many teenagers who do that with adults? I have a nephew that you are lucky to get more than a grunt from when you ask him a question.

    My son volunteers his time to help others and does it cheerfully and willingly. He is always looking to do something thoughtful for his teachers. Yes, I do home school, but he takes guitar, martial arts, literature, and writing from others with other students. I know what my limitations are and therefore am looking out for the best for my child.

    We get along wonderfully well as a family unit with or without friends along. Most folks I know ask another kid along because they don’t know what to do with their own child after 20 minutes of being alone with them. We do many things together including cross country trips in the car. We spend time together doing many activities at home and away all year around. It is a wonderful experience that I would do again in a heart beat.
    Yes, we are lucky that we can and do home school.

  6. Tony Says:

    Well, I guess you missed the part of her reply that addressed your question quite succinctly. It was pretty plain if you ask me. Try reading it again. Hit Ctrl-F on your key board and search for “Our week is full of:”. Sounds like a lot of social interaction to me.

    At a lot of those activities we just leave him to do what he wants. He actually asks us to let him be. He likes the adventure of meeting new people. Yes, we spend time together but he also spends a good deal of time doing his own thing.

    Homeschooled children in general, even in ‘single child families’ get much more social interaction than most kids. And that interaction is with people of all ages, not just people within the same age as they. Think back to your school years, Danny. Were they really the great thing you want to remember them being?

    Our son is able to carry on a conversation with someone of any age. 4 years old to 104 without problems. In fact, the only thing that confuses him is why neighborhood kids insist on playing only with kids in their own grade. If everyone’s having fun, who the hell cares what age they are?

    If you doubt my claims, give me a phone number and I’ll put you on the phone with a ‘social stunted’ homeschooler. Ask him about science, math, the outdoors, anything. He can carry on a reasoned discussion with an adult until your ear falls off. Ask Adam.

    BTW, I’m not saying you called our kid ‘stunted’. But I will do whatever it takes to break that stupid stereotype. Yes, there are some messed up homeschoolers but I’d say there’s far more screwed up kids in gen-pop.

  7. BayAreaDM Says:

    Thanks for the instructions on how to search a web-page – very useful if I ever age backwards like Benjamin Button. Did I seem cynical about homeschooling? No, I did not. I just asked a simple question with a NEUTRAL undertone. No, it was not answered directly. It was answered very vaguely. The correct answer could have started out with: “That’s possible, I guess, but here’s what we do to adjust…”. How difficult would that have been, instead of cutting and pasting from a Homeschooling for Dummies book?

    Don’t worry, this will be the last time I make a comment or probably ever read your blog for that matter. I don’t want to shatter your perfect world with my “poisonous” questions that don’t include “how perfect is your life?” or “How can I live the perfect life?”. In conclusion, self-righteousness is ugly.

    Thanks, and good day.

  8. BayAreaDM Says:

    Sorry – I forgot to mention that maybe you haven’t heard that me and my wife are expecting. Like most responsible parents, we would like to have the luxury of contributing as much time as possible to our child’s education. Again, if you want to “preach to the choir”, then turn comments off, or better yet just create an email newsletter that you distribute to just your inner circle. However, if you really want to make a difference, you may want to try a different approach. NOW, that is all.

  9. Shan Says:

    Congratulations on becoming a father. That is wonderful. As for opinions in education, different is good. I completely understand that not everyone wants to homeschool. That is why there are public, private, and military schools available. There is something for everyone.

    I would like to ask a favor of you. I realize that what I believe and the life that I lead can be offensive to others. As it has become clear that my thoughts offend you, please do not bother wasting your time visiting this site. There are millions of webpages and blogs out there that feel the way that you do. My life is full of enough stress right now without you making me feel like an inadequate: mother, sister, daughter, wife, teacher, etc. Having to defend my educational decisions, conservative values, and life is a waste of energy that could be directed elsewhere.

    I wish you the best of luck with fatherhood. It is a joy beyond joys to raise a child. It is also one of the most difficult jobs you will ever have. May you have a healthy, happy child that knows how much he/she is loved by his/her parents. May the years ahead be kind to you and may they be filled with wonderful memories to cherish.

    With that said, I thank you for visiting my site. Please do not bother returning to this site again. -Shan

  10. Cynthia Says:

    We also enjoy the homeschool lifestyle.

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