learning

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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.

I speak like a child

Published November 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

As I wrap up another year of Open Enrollment and all the chaos that has ensued, I have to seriously consider if I want to take on the challenge of a Spanish for business course.

While I have strong feelings about English in the work place (definitely another post), I can’t help but feel I’m not helping my employees enough because some of them have a definite language barrier.

I have tried to learn Spanish in the past.  I will say, when I worked in the restaurant industry when I arrived in CA, many moons ago, my Spanish was the best it ever was.  You can’t work in CA restaurants and not pick up some Spanish; it’s near impossible.

Alas, time is not my friend and has erased much of the Latin-based language that used to roll off my tongue as easily as a trilled “r”.  When I attempt to remember how to say certain Spanish phrases, I feel like I’m speaking like a child.  I know a four-year old has better grammar than I do.  I miss words, context, etc.  Heck, I’m lucky if they get the gist of what I’m trying to convey.

I know what’s holding me back, besides money, is my lack of ability to practice.  I know I’m a perfectionist and I don’t want to sound unintelligent when I’m speaking with employees.  I’m still considering a course or two.  It can’t hurt and if I can make my employees understand the importance of what is required of them, while accurately informing them of their options, so they can make an informed decisions about their health-care, then I should be willing to give it the old-college-try, right?

To learn or not to learn? That is the real question!

 

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.

Getting Ready

Published July 30, 2015 by lynn k scott

image

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”.

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.

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