education

All posts tagged education

A Return to Homeschool

Published April 24, 2017 by lynn k scott

Discussions, research, contemplation and prayer, it’s been decided my daughter will return to homeschool for next year.  While I LOVE the small, private, Christian school she is in, we financially can no longer afford to send her.  The money spent on the school could be allocated to other bills that won’t take a backseat.

Sixth grade, junior high, here we come!  I refuse to jump on the “Middle School” bandwagon.  It was good enough to be called junior high for me, that’s what her current school calls it and that’s what we’ll continue to call it.

I briefly contemplated using a charter school because I could have received a stipend for educational-related expenditures from the district.  While charters are supposed to allow more flexibility, for a public school, the down side is, they are still a public school.  I became very upset just filling out the application.  That seems silly, right?  Perhaps.

The last two years, we have had this wonderful school.  There’s no PC-ness in play.  They ask for the mother’s and father’s signature on the application.  While, I know there are many, many types of families, I admire they still acknowledge parents.

While filling out the charter application, it asked for the parents’ name.  Then it asked who the child resides with.  Why was “parents”, “mother” or “father” not even options? The option available:  “Guardian 1”, “Guardian 2” and “Guardian 3” as the primary choices.  What?!  The nuclear family, while it has taken on some changes, still does exist.

When I brought this up to the charter, I received the approved response, “the options are within state guidelines”.  Ah yes, good ole’ California and the front-runner of “don’t offend anyone”.  I’m sorry but if the state of California is overseeing my daughter’s education, they should at the very least know that a “parent” and “guardian” are actually different words.

I was a guardian to my nieces for a year.  I didn’t give birth or adopt them.  I was their aunt.  They lived with me.  I made their important decisions.  I fed and clothed them.  I was their guardian.

Over the course of several evenings, unable to sleep, I kept researching charter schools and their requirements.  In addition to their inability to accept parents as a legitimate term, they follow Common Core.  Not to get into this educational nightmare, but let’s just say I’m not a fan and I won’t play nice with the district if they were insistent on how an answer was obtained vs if it was the correct answer.  That’s not how the adult world works and that’s what I’m raising; a child to an adult.

That being said, I reached peace when I realized, we will return to a Christian-based curriculum.  Where it’s acceptable to have my daughter’s homework include Biblical lessons, morality, and ethical responses in it.  Once that decision was made, the decision to return to homeschool became so much simpler.

I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone.  I know the state has to have some boundaries. Yet, they have overstepped and are reaching for what they aren’t entitled to.  My daughter can learn to think critically without being tested excessively just to “prove a point” or “be another score for the district”.

I am grateful for the ability to be able to register as a private school.  To teach my child in a modern way, yet have a Christian foundation.  I am excited to see what the next school year will bring us.  I’m sure my daughter will continue her spiritual and emotional growth, while on her educational journey.

And the Oscar goes to….

Published March 27, 2017 by lynn k scott

If you’re a parent of a preteen or a teenager, esp. if she’s a girl, then you are probably used to theatrics on some level.  I swear to you, my 11-year old has a movie career just waiting for her to embrace.

It turns out, a friend and mom, of a preteen boy, found this app, called, “Teen Safe”.  I actually chose to go with MMGuardian Parental Control.  In essence, it turns the cell phone into a paper weight; for whatever hours you choose.  I admit it, I should be better about app searching, because I LOVE this idea.

When my daughter and husband returned home last night, I told them about this wonderful app.  Ok, I thought it was wonderful.  The look of horror on my daughter’s face summed up how great this app truly is going to be.  I suppose I took a bit too much pleasure in her thought of not being able to access her phone for a set number of hours.  To be fair, she should be sleeping when the hours are in effect anyway.

After the look of shock, she sank to her knees, called me a demon and began to contemplate the impending “lock down” of her precious phone.  Now if you recall, she currently attends a small, private, Christian school. Suddenly, she jumps up, runs out the door, but not before uttering, “May the power of Christ repel you!”

I almost busted out laughing.  I’m a demon in need of an exorcism apparently.  All for making sure she gets a good night’s sleep without cellular distraction.  After the amusement wore off, I thought to myself, “well, at least I’m getting my money’s worth (for her school)”.

All in all, I was quite proud of myself.

Yet, the Oscar goes to…

There are other options

Published February 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

I’ve had several conversations, some good and some that make me cringe, on the topic of Betsy DeVos being confirmed as Education Secretary.  While, I don’t typically write controversial posts, the education realm is something I have strong feelings on.  They definitely differ from the “norm”.

“She’s not qualified” seems to be the chant of the hour.  DeVos actually supports private schools and homeschools.  Oh the proverbial horror!!!  If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I have homeschooled and I currently have my daughter in a very small, private, Christian school.  I am not upset by DeVos not being an educator or a school administrator.

WHY?  (I’m sure someone is asking that question.)

As a homeschool mom, one of the biggest “digs” we hear is ‘you don’t have a teaching degree’.  Nope, you’re right…I don’t.  However, my state simply states I have to capable of teaching…and I am!  Most people don’t realize, homeschooled children typically surpass their public school counterparts in the testing realm.  There’s a simple reason for this. The teacher/student ratio is smaller and the parents are more committed to their child.  It’s that simple.

I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone.  I’ve heard, “well I have to work and don’t have the luxury of staying home with my child”.  Gee….welcome to the club.  I work full-time too; thank you very much.  The nice part of homeschooling is…you can do it whenever you want.  So we did lessons after dinner and homework during the day.  It can be done.

I’m not super mom.  I’m exhausted mom.  I’m broke mom.  I struggle to keep my child in a private school.  A school where her emotional and spiritual well-being is as important as her academic well-being is.  A place they say the Pledge every morning and are free to celebrate Christmas and not have to be PC and say “Happy Holidays”.

Currently, my property taxes pay for a school, that I find unsafe, inept, protects bullies and embraces the educational nightmare known as Common Core.  I received no compensation for homeschooling.  I can’t write off the tuition for private school, yet I pay for public school.

I pay for a school, in a district that wastes money.  A school I had to send in a lot of supplies for because of mismanaged funds.  A school where several teachers homeschool their children because they know how horrible public school can be.

While public school is a must for many children and families, something needs to be changed.  Perhaps embracing school choice is the answer.  Perhaps leaving my property tax dollars to fund a public school remains unchanged.  I can live with that.  However, to be fair, I am not opposed to receiving a discount for homeschooling and/or a tax write-off for choosing the educational model that works best for MY child.

We live inn a time where personal accountability is at an all-time low; where entitlement reigns supreme. Schools are unsafe because the parents of kid-bullies threaten to sue or say, “not my child” or refuse to acknowledge their hellion attacked a teacher.  Teachers unions that protect abusive teachers who bully kids, humiliate them because they don’t understand a perceived simple concept.  PTAs meet right after school to omit working parents from attending, simply because it’s convenient for the teachers…THESE are the reasons why someone who is not tied to the public school system needs to be in this position.

Not everyone can or will choose to homeschool or use a private or charter school, but those options are out there.  Those of us who have researched and know these to be the best educational options for our children shouldn’t lose out because the public school system failed us.  We deserve to be heard and to receive the same incentives.

As parents, we follow the law of mandatory education.  However, our children are our primary concern and the district, the state and the government need to know, we have the final say when it comes to our children.

I am hoping this change will bring about positive and necessary changes for the sake of our children.  The current system has been broken for far too long.

 

Going Into Business With Your Child

Published January 7, 2016 by lynn k scott

When it comes to parenting, there are more ways to approach to raising children than I could shake a stick at.  There are just as many parenting topics that could be addressed too.

I’m going to leap into the educational realm of parenting.  Whether your child attends a public, private or home school, parents and children have a relationship based on that environment.

I just realized, my youngest has been in public school, then we homeschooled and now she’s attending a private school.  I always tell my daughter, “We are in this together.  We are a team for your educational success.”

Sometimes my daughter agrees with me and she’s ready to tackle the world.  Other times, my “team” approach is met with a heavy sigh and rolling of her eyes.

I was preparing her backpack this morning; making sure all her books, homework and whatever else is needed for the day was included.  I love when my daughter shows me the graded work she’s received from her teacher.  Yet, I have to remember, I’m still dealing with a child, who isn’t always forthcoming with all her returned work; especially when the grade isn’t all that magnificent.

That was the case this morning.  I pulled out all these additional sheets of a paper.  Some were satisfactory grades, one was barely passing and one had ???? over it.  Me being me, I planned on speaking with my daughter after she was ready for the day.  It would seem the ???? paper wasn’t properly completed because she simply didn’t feel like doing it.

I can relate to that!  However, we’re not homeschooling any more and it’s not possible just to table an assignment for another day.  I had to reiterate she needs to complete the work as assigned, on time.

There was English work that I was concerned with.  Tenses and parts of speech getting mixed up.  I decided I was going to have the lil miss practice with some online educational games.

Her teacher is great, but I can see my daughter is struggling with a few things.  By being involved, treating her education like a business model, investing my time, we will grow her knowledge together.  School doesn’t have to be all boring.  We can play word games, have conversations and utilize the technology that’s out there.

Her success depends on my involvement.  I firmly believe in working with her teacher, keeping open discussions going, finding out where there are issues and addressing them.  If no official homework is assigned, then I give her something to do each night.  That could include reading her library book to me, playing Scrabble, catching up on some math concepts that could use reinforcement, etc.

Parents know their children best.  That is one reason I firmly believe in homeschooling.  When that isn’t an option, you don’t have to simply sit by and do only what the school says.  You can supplement or raise questions when you see areas that are causing stress.  I see that as my job as her parent, as her partner, for her education.

It’s my business to know where she stands.  It’s her business to be the best student she can be.  It’s our business to accomplish this together.

Feeling Like a Failure

Published November 3, 2015 by lynn k scott

I just got off a conference call with my daughter’s 4th grade teacher, the 3rd grade teacher and the principal. Her teacher spoke with me last week regarding catching her up to where they are in math. Now they want to include reading.

I know switching schools can be challenging in regards to curriculum. We took our time, wasn’t heavy into testing, did some child-led learning, etc. However, we did follow each subject’s book and felt good about her progress.

You always have to wonder what’s going on when the principal becomes involved. Basically, they want to put her back in 3rd grade. I vetoed that option immediately. My daughter can do the work; I just need to know where to catch her up.

It’s challenging enough starting a new school. I don’t want her to feel punished because we worked at her pace vs a standards pace. We agreed she would do extra phonics work for reading and attend 3rd grade math.

I’ve read about this happening to homeschoolers who return to school. It’s been one of my worst educational nightmares and it’s coming true. I plan to work with her on math and catch her up to 4th grade and her 3rd grade math can reinforce it. It will probably take the rest of the year, but we’ll get it done.

Right now I feel like such a homeschool failure, even thought, rationally, I know that’s not true. My daughter’s never been a strong reader and she’s stubborn as the day is long when she’s corrected. Now I’m wondering if I made the right choice putting her back in school. I really hate having to work when I want to be home and this never would have been an issue.

Just feeling judged, even though that’s not how they came across.

Adventures in Homeschooling: the 4th grade year

Published September 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, I stopped by to pick up my daughter from a friend’s house.  I had given her some words to look up in the dictionary. Her assignment was to find the word in the dictionary, write its page number she found it on and a quick definition.  That’s sounds fairly easy, right?  WRONG!  To a reluctant fourth grader, I just assigned her to climb Mt. Rushmore, free-hand!

Back to that in a moment.

I walk in the door and I see my daughter gathering her things.  It was then I noticed her hair.  My daughter’s hair goes down her back and is just about to touch her buttocks if it grows much more.  She often pulls it up.  Let me tell you…she got creative!

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Every item she had in her pencil box was in her hair!  I couldn’t stop laughing.  I’ve never seen anyone do this.  My friend hadn’t seen her do it and the expression on his face was priceless.  I told her, “don’t get in the car.  I NEED a picture of this”; knowing I just found my next blog post.

We begin home and that’s when I find out she didn’t do her dictionary terms.  Well, that became her first order of business upon arrival at the house.  I should have gotten out the climbing gear for that mole-hill that she made into a mountain.  “It’s too hard!  Who needs to learn how to use a dictionary anyway?”  SLAM!  That would be the dictionary.

*EXASPERATED MOTHERLY SIGH*

“Ok, put it down, for now.  I’ll have you work on something else”.

“Mom, we need to talk.”  That’s really code for….I’m not happy and I’m about to tell you why.

“Ok, let’s talk.  What’s on your mind?”

“Mom.  You should just accept the fact I’m going to be a failure.  I’m ok with it.  I’ll live a life of crime.  I’ll go to prison, get released, steal something and go back to prison.  That will be my life.”

Ah, my over-dramatic daughter.  Have I expressed how fun nine year-olds can be?

I assured her that wouldn’t be the case.  She wasn’t cut out for prison.  I then offered to switch her to a language program to work on reading and comprehension.  Oh, that went over like a lead balloon.  But guess what, she did it anyway.

My princess settled in and started the computer work.  She didn’t do half bad.  I sat with her while she read aloud.  She stopped during her reading, looked at me and said, “I’m sorry for my behavior.  You know, girls and puberty, right?”

Heaven help me!  I bit my lip to stifle a laugh, as she was dead serious.  I agreed she was hormonal or something and the rest of the evening went off without a hitch.

My husband wanted a little girl.  I warned him that boys were A LOT easier.  He really didn’t know what he was asking for, as this is his first child.  There’s a reason they say to be careful what you wish for.  This child is going to give both of us a run for our money.  I only hope she gets a well-paying acting job because she’s got talent for drama!

Getting Ready

Published July 30, 2015 by lynn k scott

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I printed off some writing steps that I found on a homeschool blog.  I wish I remembered which one.

I love these steps,  so I decided to laminate them. Once they were protected, I taped them to the dining room window.

Since we don’t have a dedicated school room,  we do some work at the kitchen table.   Since my daughter will have writing assignments this year,  I wanted to have the steps available for her to use when she is completing assignments.

It’s little things like this,  that individualizes our school.  We get to choose how we decorate our “class”.

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