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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Stuff

I just ordered these books for the kids and for my summer reading:
  1. Natural Speller
  2. What your kindergartner, 1st grader, 3rd grader, 4th grader should know.
  3. Homeschooling The First Year

The reason I purchased kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade is because I need to go back a year to make sure that they aren't missing anything. I have been working on dd's curriculum already and I am up to October. Now I have to talk to my ds's teacher. She sent a note that she needs to talk to us about his academics. What academics? His in kindergarten. The funny thing is that in NC children don't even have to go school until age 7. I was trying to let my ds make his own decision to stay home, but depending on what the teacher says he may just have to get over it.

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Okay, so dh just talked to her (the teacher). I am not happy. It is totally behavioral which has NEVER been an issue. There is another thing that I have noticed about them (dd & dh). They don't seem curious about anything. I don't know what to do. One thing we decided is no television during the week. I know it seems a little harsh to some. I mean I didn't even have to live by that standard when I was young, but things are different. When they get up in the morning they get dressed and come into the living room and turn on the television. Generally they aren't even really watching it, it's just background noise. Then they go to school for 6 hours. They get home about 4ish. This is where the division happens. My dd has about 2 hours of homework and my ds has about 15-30 worth (which we have agreed is not enough). That puts us at about 6pm for my dd. Now while my dd is doing homework, ds wants to turn on the television and in the midst of it all we have our niece and nephew making life a little more exciting. Anyway, they are supposed to be in bed by 8 which means that they have about 2 hours to eat, shower, get ready for bed, and try to squeeze some free time. School just isn't the same. They push facts rather than a love of learning. I don't want them to hate school the way I did.

I have already decided that all my extra money or whatever is going toward homeschool stuff ie family passes to Discovery Place, book, and other activities.

I know I can do this. How do I know? Because it is what's best for our children. I have to spark that curiosity in them. I want them to want to know everything there is to know about everything.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Secret's Out

Well it's out. The secret is out.

We'd all been together all day at church and my Mom's house. We were sitting looking at a Oriental Trader magazine planning a zoo party and tropical party for the summer. I saw an inflatable globe and told my Mom that I wanted it. Mari, my daughter, said, "Yea, that would be great for homeschool." I took a deep breath and simply said, "Um hmmm." I braced myself as I turned the page. I was looking at something else thinking, "okay she didn't notice" and Mari says, "Oh, look at that. We could use that for homeschool too!" At this point I am internally screaming " SHUT UUUUUUUUUP!!! Why must you continue to talk?!". Again I simply respond and keep going. Well, as we were leaving my Mom, in her true form, said," Oh, don't think that homeschool comment went over my head." I just responded by saying "okay" and went and got in the truck.

I couldn't be mad because I asked God to give me a way to tell my mom. I even had "the feeling" that week and knew that I was supposed to tell her and I just ignored it, so this is pretty much what I get. At first I planned to practice displacement and blame Mari and fuss at her because I wimped out on saying something to Mom. That didn't happen because I handle the whole thing like a kid from the beginning and this was simply the expected outcome. It was interesting to see the dynamic of 3 generations interacting.Mom still hasn't said anything. I don't know if I should say something first or just await my fate.

She is going to disagree--that much is sure.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Christian Homeschooling

Now let me preface this by saying that I know next to nothing about homeschool, because I haven't started yet. I have continued to think about how I want to "do" this. Of course because we are followers of Christ we want our children to continue on this same path. I read one blog where the lady didn't teach her children biblical lessons because she said that they learned enough such things in Sunday school. Then I have looked at other blogs where the people do bible lessons as a part of homeschool. That brings me to my thoughts on the matter.

First of all I don't even like church anymore. There is too much foolishness going on. I read my bible and I have a closer relationship with God now more than ever. Every time our children have gone to Sunday school they come back with some warped lesson that we have to reteach or unteach. Needless to say that I can't depend on Sunday school to teach them the Word. I think that I would like for them to learn about God through everyday lessons instead of waiting until Sunday comes and expect someone else to do the job. Because we believe that God is everything and is in everything that is how I would like it to be applied in our lessons. It is our job to train our children in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

This is also a part of why I know I can do this. I just don't that God would give us children that we are unable to teach. If there is a subject that I feel deficient in then I will ask for outside help, but they are our responsibility. We have to keep God at the center of our lives. We have to do His will. I know that this is His will for us.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting Prepared

I made an attendance sheet, because from what I've read you have to have one. I also did a sheet to help keep tract of lessons and such. I don't know how structured I will be, but I want to keep a record of what we do and what works. I am going to keep it all on the computer with a USB backup. I found the website that offer math and language for about $20 a month which I think is pretty good.

Part of getting prepared in telling my Mom what we are doing. You would probably ask what the big deal is. Well, I guess it's not that big of a deal, but I know that she is going to disagree. The funny thing is that Mari tells me everyday that another one of her friends is leaving the school that she attends. They are changing to other public schools or private, charter, or speciality. I was listening to NPR (national public radio) and they were talking about the teachers protesting because somebody seems to think that laying teachers off is a good idea. They are already short staffed. Mari's class has 24 children in it with 3 grade levels (1st, 2nd, 3rd). They will often pull the assistant from Mari's class and send her to another class to assist. There is no way in the world that her teacher can handle 24 children in 3 different grades alone.

The other day Mari came home crying about the way she had been falsely accused of misbehaving in class and the teacher believed the other students. She doesn't cry often so I felt that what she was saying was true. I hate to see her cry, especially because it doesn't happen often. Let's just say that my anger was kindled toward the other children. I know that we can't save our children from every instance of hurt feelings and false accusations, but in this case there are just too many children occupying one space.

On a lighter note we saw some lady bugs when we went for a walk. "We" being Mari, David, Simone, and myself. We stopped and picked them up and let them crawl on us. David's stayed on him for a long time. Mari was jealous because hers kept taking flight. We came home and found information on them as far as diet, anatomy, and variations. It was a good time on a beautiful day. I also found out that Ray's Splash Planet does homeschool Thursdays during school hours so I think that will be our physical education/science lesson (Why does fat float better than muscle?).

I am a part of two homeschool groups on http://www.ning.com/. I like it, but it is a bit much to keep up with. I participate more in the one that is in Ga. Perhaps I will start one here in Charlotte once I know a little more than nothing. I also joined a Yahoo! online group that doesn't seem to be too active, but I think it's because they must see each other a lot. That's all for now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pratice Run & Panic

I am going to do a practice run this summer to get an idea of how this is going to go. I also want to get some family passes to Discovery Place, The Nature Museum, and Carowinds. I will also send my letter of intent in July. I am going to start trying to make a curriculum as a backup plan once I get this book I ordered.

I am so scared. I feel so stupid about it, because how can I be scared to teach my own children. This speaks very much to our society's views of child rearing. We are taught to think that it is mostly the responsibility of "professionals", but it is what we purposed to do by God. Our society is not very family friendly. We say we are, but parents working long hours away from their children is not fair to the parents or child.

I can do this. I will do this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sizzle Sizzle Sizzle

That is the sound of my brain frying. I have learned so much over the last couple of days about myself and Mari. I have also learned a lot about my husband and David. Mr. Broom is balanced as far as being left or right brained. For the most part, however, he is a lefty when it comes to work or school. He wants it done and done right down to the last detail. He will also sit there and work until it's done. I, on the other hand am quite the opposite. I am a scattered, juggling, right brainer. I am always doing more than one thing at a time. Even when I appear to be doing one thing or nothing my mind is racing. I don't like to plan to the letter and I see the big picture. Mr. Broom is my balance in many MANY ways.

I know that my being scattered is what will make people think that I can't do this homeschool thing, but I think I can do it. I need to do it. I think that I and my husband are the best people to teach our children. I have heard many reasons that homeschooling is terrible, but so many more sing it's praises and make more sense.

My family doesn't know anything about our plans, because I haven't decided how to present it. 9 times out of 10 Mari will spill the beans. LOL I kept putting if off, but I have run out of excuses. I would like to start next year for her 4th grade year. David says that he is going to stay at his school. He doesn't want to homeschool, but he may change his mind. I don't know though, because he is pretty decisive.

I think as of right now I will use the computer for a lot of stuff, but I want to use a lot of field trips and hands on things from everyday life. We shall see. We shall see.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Here We Go!

This post is titled as such because hopefully this will be the beginning of the documentation of my journey toward homeschooling. I have no idea how this is going to work. All I can do is look at the path of other people and see what works for them and what I like and try to apply it as such.

I want to homeschool because I see our children developing into individuals more and more everyday and I hate the fact that in school they are unable to treat them as individuals. My daughter and son are so different from each other, but in school they are being taught the same things in the same way. Mari is in 3rd grade and David is in kindergarten. When David tells Mari about something that they are doing in school, she usually says, "Oh yea, I remember that. We did the same thing." Why does this bother me? This bothers me because these are two different children that had 4 different teachers and yet they have had only one experience. What's up with that? I am going to purchase books so that I can learn their individual learning styles and be able to teach or lead them accordingly. They both do pretty well in school, but I don't want them to become robotic. They have such huge personalities and I don't want them to be smothered by the need of the teachers to control 20+ other children. It kind of bothered me when someone that knows us personally remarked that when David was in school he was a totally different child than when he was at home. Why do they have to change who they are to learn and discover?

Here we go!