homeschooling

All posts tagged homeschooling

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.

 

Homeschooling Moment

Published January 14, 2016 by lynn k scott

This “memory” popped up on my Facebook page and I laughed just like I did when this first happened.  Kids…lol

Homeschooling moment:

Finished history unit on George Washington becoming the first President. Unit questions in the back. As usual, my daughter keeps it interesting.

Me: Where does the current President live?

Lil Miss: *omitting the word “current”* She responds, “the grave”. (Thinking about GW)

Me: ummm….true….smh

It’s time for a change

Published October 23, 2015 by lynn k scott

Could be it be true?  I’m back to blogging?

Yes, yes….it’s true.  No need for excitement.  I apologize for my disappearing act.  So much going on and so little time to blog while dealing with life.  Rest assured, I am here and I shall provide an exit blog should the time arise when I am no longer able to continue my ever-changing writing adventure.

So, as you can see, it’s time for a change.  This particular reference is in regards to our homeschooling journey.  After discussions with my daughter about her schooling preferences and her day and evening routines, we have made a change; hopefully for the better.

Starting on Monday, my lil miss will return to a brick and mortar school.  I still maintain my beliefs on the public school system and the shambles it’s in regarding quality education.  That being said, a private, Christian school has been located and appears to suit my daughter’s educational needs.

One, it’s not a public school and they don’t deal with Common Core (bonus points there).  Two, they have an American flag in each classroom and say the Pledge daily.  That might seem trivial to some, but it’s extremely important to this Army mom. Every school should be doing this, imo.  Three, she will have religion in her class.  While I am not overly religious, I find it important to have a foundation in faith; whatever that may mean to an individual.  Lastly, it’s a very small school.  My daughter will be the 10th child in her class.  The school holds K-8, but each grade only has one classroom.

For me, there’s a personal level and mirrors homeschooling, as close as possible, in a school environment.  Their goal is to teach during the day with no more than an hour’s homework per night, if at all.  Responsibility and accountability and coupled with the educational pursuit.

I was impressed when I inquired about the school, how they immediately invited me to come and take a tour.  I observed my daughter’s potential new class for 20 minutes and how I was able to have a private conversation with her potential new teacher.  I was impressed her tuition costs the same as what I was paying a friend to watch her during the day while I worked.

Change is scary but also necessary.  I have enjoyed homeschooling my daughter for the last two and a half years.  We will continue her art pursuit on our own.  She is nervous and excited to rejoin a brick and mortar school.  If this works out well, she will stay there through eighth grade.  At that point, we will see what charter schools are available.  If none meet our standards, then we can revisit homeschooling again.

The lil miss will still get the opportunity to hang out with her homeschool group friends.  We may not make every week’s meetup, but they have been a blessing the short time we’ve been involved with them and we’re glad to know we are still welcome to hang out when our schedule allows.

I firmly believe you cannot grow if you are not willing to change.  My daughter said this morning, her new school is a new door opening in her life.  How cannot I not be pleased with her acceptance of change?

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!

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op?

Published July 22, 2015 by lynn k scott

August will begin our third full year of homeschooling.  Hello fourth grade!  While I admit, I was very overwhelmed when we began our homeschooling journey, I am blessed that we were guided down this educational journey.

A friend of mine has decided to homeschool her daughter.  She let me know of a local homeschool co-op and suggested I join.  I was wary.  I had done my research into local groups.  To be honest, most aren’t helpful; if I can even locate them.  The reason being, I am also a working mom and we do new lessons in the evening and weekends with homework during the day.

I was assured this group was different.  There wasn’t a membership fee.  They got together weekly, late afternoons and early evening.  Hmmmm?  I might be able to utilize that time-frame.  Ok, here goes a new adventure.  I joined the group.  Granted, I’ve only “met” them on Facebook; so far.  This Friday, we will meet for our first group get-together.

I’ve been asking questions of the group.  We are registered as a private school.  Anyone else?  Yes, yes there are others like us! They have also checked out local charter schools, as I did and they knew which ones I was referring to.  Ok, that’s nicer than just my other online groups.  Having them based locally helps a bit more; there’s a connection.

I am not sure I would have made it this far without online, homeschooling support.  I am very interested in seeing how local, in-person support is going to help us.  I think it will be a good experience for my daughter to make friends with other kids who learn similar to her educational structure.  Perhaps she will gain a different perspective?  Maybe we can find other homeschoolers who are also learning ASL (American Sign Language) and have practice buddies?

Regardless of how this turns out, it’s another experience we are utilizing in this educational pursuit.  I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming interactions.  I am impressed with the group, and it’s only been a week.  I look forward to thinking, “why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Question time:  If you homeschool, are you part of co-op?  Why or why not?

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.

Dance with me Cupid

Published May 21, 2015 by lynn k scott

One of the best things about homeschooling, is the ability to be flexible.  Yesterday we chose dancing for our physical education. My daughter’s latest dancing habit is to move like she’s having a “fit”.  I can’t help but shake my head is utter disbelief when she does this.

I couldn’t help but think some structure would do her good and actually provide a nice workout for both of us.  I Googled an instructional video for the Cupid Shuffle.  It’s quite possible you’ve seen this dance at weddings, Quinceaneras, Debuts, etc., even if you don’t recognize the name.

Youtube is great for instructional videos.  We found a video that showed us how to do the dance.  I’ll let you choose the actual instructional video of your preference.  The video I linked will show you the actual dance with the music, performed by Cupid.

The Cupid Shuffle is a really simple line dance, using a hip-hop beat.  It allows for a little personalization when moving right to left and when walking it out.

My daughter and I pushed the sofa back, sent my older pup to spend time with dad (he won’t let me dance) and we started dancing.  It was a great bonding time, a good workout and fun!  I highly recommend doing something like this.  We are definitely set for our next wedding.  Look out line dancers; here we come!

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