learning

All posts tagged learning

Homeschooling: Life Skills

Published October 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

This year, our homeschooling journey has landed in the 6th grade.  In addition to my daughter learning how to take detailed notes, beginning to independent research, math, grammar, science, etc., she participates in Life Skills.

If we were in a brick and mortar school, the skills she is learning might be classified as home economics.  However, it’s more than just that.  She is learning to make grocery shopping lists, assisting with pet care, cooking for herself as well as her family, doing laundry, etc.

In our home, my husband doesn’t cook.  It’s a fact; he doesn’t know how.  I, on the other hand, have a catering and hospitality background, so I am passing my cooking and baking knowledge to her.chicken adobo

Since school began in August, she has learned to and can make grilled cheese, fried hot dogs, fried eggs, chicken adobo with rice and ramen.  She has been exposed to making pot roast, pan-seared pork chops (finished in the oven) and baked chicken and chicken wings.

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Now, to be be fair, the chicken adobo and rice shown are actually for a church event, but it’s the same food she proudly makes for her family ever week now.  She won’t even let me make it any more and gives ME tips on what I should be doing in the kitchen.  If she only knew, I’ve been at this about 30+ years longer than her.  It’s a cute sentiment though.

In addition on learning important cooking skills, when she has to follow a recipe and using measuring cups and/or spoons, she is reinforcing her fractions.

Lastly, spending time in the kitchen will create memories that one day, she will remember as she stands in her kitchen, showing her children, what I taught her.  Life skills….so important….not just in a technical sense.

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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.

Revisiting the Crocker Museum

Published March 5, 2017 by lynn k scott

I first brought you the Crocker Museum a couple years ago when I had to go to a museum for a class project.  I decided to return yesterday to see what was new.  The Crocker Museum is located in Sacramento, CA.  We did discover that on the first weekend of every month, if you are a Bank of America member, showing your card will get you a free entry!

My daughter wanted to start at the third floor and work her way down.  The pictures I took aren’t in any specific order and I can’t really tell you what floors they are on.  My favorite piece was still on the third floor and it made me smile to see her there.

I discovered, “Nydia, the blind flower girl of Pompeii” right where I had first met her several years ago.  She stands in the middle of two wooden staircases that lead from the second to the third floor.  She is listening for her escort that she had been separated from.20170304_145637.jpg

I am not sure what about this particular marble statue that draws my attention.  I have been fascinated with Pompeii since I first learned of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption in junior high school.

The museum reminds me of several buildings stitched together to create one enormous building.  You enter in a very modern building, work your way to the second floor, where modern meets dark, oiled,  hardwood that houses of yesteryear were comprised of.  In this section of the museum, you will find an amazing collection of porcelain pieces.  It fits the room.  One can imagine themselves in fancy clothing attending a prestigious event in this wing of the museum.

Continuing on, you will find my favorite pieces; those on Asian culture.  There is just so much to see and hard to capture it all.

Another “old friend” I was happy to see again was the Suit of Armor.  It is just so impressive to look at.  I love the ability to step back in time and visit places, through their sculptures and art work.  I guess this is why I was once a history major.

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There is also a whimsical side to some of the pieces.  My daughter is standing next to a piece called, “Turquoise Curves” (featured pic).  She was immediately drawn to it, so naturally, I had to make it a photo opp!

There was a HUGE multicolored teardrop, a ceramic VW bug and an unexplained pile of dish rags/towel in an enclosed case.

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On the second floor, just above the entrance, you can journey to Africa.  From ceremonial masks, to weapons, to tools, to instruments to various carvings to spirit pieces, it’s truly a wonder to behold.

All in all, we had a fun time.  I would have liked to have spent a bit more time there, yet when there is an 11-year old leading the tour, you tend to move a bit faster.  I will admit, I followed her into a room, where I found her sitting and just looking at the paintings in front of her.  It just melted my heart.  I want her to be moved, to be inspired, to see renditions of people and places through someone else’s eyes.

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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.

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