homeschool

All posts tagged homeschool

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.

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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.

Christian School

Published January 6, 2016 by lynn k scott

The end of October 2015 was a transition for our homeschooling family. Circumstances change and we change with it.  For our homeschool, it meant my daughter attending a brick and mortar school.  This time, it would be a very small, private, Christian school.

While I am not a devout Christian, I do have my faith.  I know religion can be a “hot topic” with a lot of people.  While I’m of the Protestant faith, the school we chose didn’t come off “preachy”.

My daughter has Bible classes, memorizes a verse every week and attends Chapel on Friday.  I was teaching her Bible in our homeschool and this new approach was fine by me.  She is surrounded by positive teachers and it’s definitely not like the Catholic schools of decades past, walking around with rulers, waiting to slap at a child’s hands.

The Christmas program included traditional Christmas songs; not “holiday” songs.  Merry Christmas was said without reservation.  My daughter still sings parts of those songs she recently learned, even though Christmas is over for this year.

The lil miss frequently hums, “Amazing Grace”, while setting the dinner table.  I find these new qualities comforting.  I like that she is comfortable enough to express herself.

On our drive to school, she recounted the story of Noah and the Flood, as she was observing all the standing water on the farms that we were passing.

One night, my daughter threw me for a bit of a curve ball on our commute home.  She watched a car cut me off.  I did utter some not-s0-nice words when it happened.  As we passed the offending car, she looked out her window at the driver (who couldn’t see her) and said, “even though you have sinned, God will still forgive you”.

WOW!  I felt a bit guilty at my response to the other driver when my daughter was showing her grace.

For me personally, I believe this was a sign for my daughter to be attending this school.  It’s brought a peace and calm to our lives; for which I am grateful.

I think homeschooling is a great option (one of the best) and wish I had the opportunity to do so again, this private school, really is the next-best thing.  I pray the public school system one day is overhauled, common-core is banished, being “PC” becomes a memory, saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning returns to the classroom and children are reunited with learning.

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.

Has it really been a year?

Published November 2, 2015 by lynn k scott

I was standing at the sink, cleaning up after tonight’s dinner and realized that it will be a year, this month, that I created the Pink Herald blog.  I never expected over 150 followers, to my somewhat sporadic writing.  I never expected to find such comfort and peace in sharing my random tid-bits.  Let’s not forget how much cheaper blogging is to therapy.  While, at times, I have sat at the kitchen table, tears streaming down my face as I told my stories, it’s been such a blessing.

Even though my life is still somewhat chaotic, I am more content and comforted by how this past year has played out. While my only surviving sister and I have cut ties, I am ok with it.  I have rejoined the local Blue Star Mothers chapter and even was elected back to the board as Vice President.  My lil miss and I found a local homeschool group that was so supportive and enlightening.  We’re still part of that group, even though we recently made the decision to send my daughter to a private, Christian school.  She’s LOVING it by the way.

I have found a church to call home.  I am now assisting them in the social media realm and have recently been asked to take over the bi-weekly newsletter, while a fellow church member is recovering from cancer.  I was honored to be asked.

We got new neighbors and they are a breath of fresh air.  They are outgoing, kind and we’re becoming good friends.  Our girls all get along and I feel safe with my daughter playing at their house.  I never worry when she’s there.  Folks just aren’t that neighborly in cities anymore.  I miss that and I’m glad we have the opportunity to get to know each other.

My proudest accomplishment this year is the birth of The Kathi Cares Program; in my sister’s honor.  If you missed what the program is about, you can read all about it here. Since coming up with idea and sharing it, a local massage therapist has offered to give gift certificates for the cancer patients.  My close and very inspirational friend, has already donated $25 and I can purchase my first gift card for this December’s recipient.  I even have a PayPal account established in order to help secure donations.  I will work to grow this program into an inspiring, community-based, non-profit.

I have read some truly wonderful, funny, tearful blogs in the last year.  I thank all those who take the time to put their thoughts into words.  I appreciate those who find my blog worthy of following.

Here’s to another adventures year, while tip-tapping on my laptop to put my my brain dictates what shall be in written form.

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!

Call Me Dr. Doolittle

Published August 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

Animal lovers; you either are or you aren’t.  I would throw myself in the “am” category.  I get it from my mom.  We had animals throughout my youth.  We took in strays, we took in retired working dogs, oh there’s a cat who needed home….sure, we’re a domesticated zoo (or it felt like one at times.

Recently, we joined a homeschool co-op.  So far, it’s been a wonderful experience.  My daughter is making all sorts of friends and the moms are truly a fantastic group of ladies.  We meet at two different homes, depending on who is hosting.  Last week, the home we met at had a variety of pets.

My daughter walks over holding a little ball of fur.  Her heart had been captured by none-other than “Hammy the Hamster” (as she called him).  Ut-oh…I see where all this cuddling, cooing and petting is going….Yup, to the dreaded, “Mom, can I have a hamster?”

Sure enough, we didn’t even make it home and the question slipped out of her mouth before I killed the ignition upon pulling into the driveway.  Oh boy!  Her dad was going to be “thrilled” at this latest animal prospect.  Her dad never had pets growing up. Our first rescue was almost cause for divorce.  Yup, I was getting the dog and he could stay if he chose to.  Sounds harsh, right? Nah!  Did you miss the title of this blog??  *smile*

Deterrent.  What could I use as a deterrent to the child who remembers everything?  Ah ha!  I research and presentation report. Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Ok, I foolishly thought she’d fall for that.  Oh no!  My ever-vigilant, hamster-wanting child welcomed the challenge.  Heck, she even bumped up the start of school by a week so she could start on her paper.

She insisted on visiting the library last weekend to check out books on hamsters.  She voluntarily took those books to daycare and wrote and entire page of facts and general information about hamsters for her presentation.  That caught me off guard.  She was please as punch at her progress.

Later that evening, I wrote out questions she needed to find answers to in order to present her paper.  She did all that before dinner so she could move her parental presentation to right after dinner instead of the following day.

Considering she has never stood in front of anyone, spoke about what she learned and was doing so on a subject of great interest, I’d say she did a fantastic job.  She closed her “argument” with if allowed to get a hamster, it would help teach her responsibility and help her grow as a person in pursuit of caring for animals.

Uggh!  She played the responsibility card and she sounded sincere.  Knowing her father had said he didn’t want a hamster in the house, he leaves the presentation saying, “it’s up to your mother”.  Well, shoot.  she knows I can’t turn away a pet opportunity.  In fact, I know she’s counting on it.

Final delay tactic; going to the pet store to price out supplies and the cost of adding a rodent to our home.  I should mention, she had asked her Godfather if he’d buy her the hamster, if I agreed.  What a kid, securing the financial part of her endeavor. She’s one smart cookie!

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