education

All posts tagged education

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”.

QOTD: Topic – Homeschool Education

Published July 22, 2015 by lynn k scott

“[Children] need more work with you (the parents), fewer toys, more service for others, less sports and amusements (which tend to put self before others), more self control, patriotism, productiveness and responsibility. In short, they need guidance along the path to self-worth as children of God. Parents and home, undiluted, usually do these things best.”  (Dorothy and Raymond Moore)

Homeschool is no place for games

Published July 2, 2015 by lynn k scott

That was me when I embarked on my homeschooling journey.  I pulled my daughter out of her first grade class in January of 2011.  I was overwhelmed.  I had planned on starting her with homeschooling for second grade.  Life being what it is, through another curve ball my way and we jumped in the deep end of the homeschooling pool.

Ya know what?  I can swim and we’re staying afloat!

While I admit, it’s definitely a transition from a brick and mortar school to educating at home, it’s not as scary as I thought it would.  We made adjustments.  I’ve done research, I’ve taken “tests” to judge how I teach and it’s a combination; less traditional, some unschooling, a bit of chapter learning and a very hands on approach.

The one thing I love about homeschooling, is it is definitely a place for games.  No need to break the bank, consignment shops, yard sales, thrift stores all have reasonably priced games.  I picked up a Kids’ Monopoly and a children’s Scrabble. Ok, so Elsa is on our Scrabble game.  That game was $5.00 on clearance after Christmas.  I’ll let it go that Elsa’s picture is on the Scrabble board.

When my 9-year old says, “Mom?  Will play Monopoly with me?”  I find myself saying yes more than no.  Here are some things you might now have considered the benefits of playing Monopoly (at least the kids’ version):

  • Uses fine and gross motor skills (stretching across the board, moving pieces…)
  • Teaches math (adding or multiplying fines, counting how much money is left…)
  • Teaches budgeting (can they afford that ticket booth (kids version of a hotel)
  • Teaches strategy
  • Development of reading skills (Chance cards)
  • Teaches how to make change
  • Teaches responsibility (set-up, clean-up)
  • Teaches good sportsmanship (they will lose at some point)
  • Use skip counting to move pieces around the board
  • Bonding time with their mother, father, sibling, etc.

This is just one example of what a game can do.  This would be considered “unschooling”.  Yet, it’s a great way to help kids with math memory if they are struggling.  It’s a challenge in a fun way.

I will also utilize games when my daughter is feeling distracted.  She’s still learning but she refocusing her energy.  Instead of letting her leave her studies we change her learning directive, even for 10-15 minutes.  It lets her get out some energy and when we need to finish up a book lesson, she cooperates a lot more.

That is the freedom I love about homeschooling.  I tailor my daughter’s education to suit her needs.  She is still learning, still absorbing, only this way, she is more apt to remember because she associates the knowledge with something she enjoys.

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