Love, Laugh, Learn, Teach–Homeschool Diaries

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Shakespeare Begins the School Year

Ah, Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, always have. Some of his plays I like better than others, but still, the Early Modern English language grips me every time. So we started with Hamlet. This is my all time favorite play of Shakespeare. I was even granted the opportunity to go and see it performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Theatre in Montgomery, AL when I was a junior in high school. It was the best field trip I had ever been on.

I would love to go back some time in the future. I may suggest it to our homeschool group. That would be something the kids would never forget.

We began Hamlet today. For them to not ever have read anything in Early Modern English, they actually did fairly well. After we finished the selected reading my son said, “Mom, my tongue is broken.” That made me laugh. At least now they know our English language has not always been what they have heard in their lives. Happy trails!

~Beth

We Must, We Must, We Must Improve . . . College Readiness? Really?

So, if any of you grew up during the 70’s. You know the real ending to that rhyme. HA HA!🙂 On to the important matter, well, the important matter to some. I do not know how many times I have been asked in my many years of homeschooling–“What about college? They have to go to college. Can you prepare them for college?”

Now, let’s take a step back. College is important for some and a must for what they want to do. But, homeschool is your-child-focused. If they want to go to college then we take college prep courses as early as ninth grade. If they would rather be in law enforcement we gear their subjects and electives towards law enforcement. If they wish to have their own art studio and teach independent art lessons we gear their subjects and electives towards art-based things–art history, architecture, sculpting, painting, drawing. It depends on what kind of media they wish to pursue. If they wish to be a teacher, then we guide them in all things to be taught, and YES we prepare them for college!

We can and do prepare them for whatever future they wish to pursue. Please, for the sake of all homeschooling parents, QUIT asking us if we are doing what we are supposed to do. We are because we have our children’s backs, and GOD has our backs. Happy Homeschooling! Until we meet again.

~Beth

High School Here We Come

And . . . Done. Our 2015-2016 school year has ended. Next year . . . High School. I am not as nervous as I was. I am actually excited about it. The only bad thing is it means my children are growing up. Sigh. That is the way of life.

I now have a son who can get behind the wheel. He got his learner’s permit yesterday. I am so proud of him! It was rather nerve-wracking. We walked into the DMV and there were several people there. Might have been five there to get their license or permit. The rest were trying to get their license reinstated, and I have honestly never heard so much foul language fly out of mouths of those who were waiting with those trying to get their license reinstated. At least until the State Trooper walked back in,  everything seemed to stay silent after that.

Whew! Glad that is over. I have two more years before I have to go back so my daughter can get hers. Needless to say, yesterday was adventurous.🙂

Now back to High School next year. I have their science we will be doing–Biology. We are going to continue with the Writer’s Choice English Grammar Program. Just have to find the ninth grade book. Working on our reading list for next year too–Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Edgar Alan Poe. A couple of books planned for next year are The Outsiders and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

We will start Algebra next year–did Pre-algebra this year. Oh, by the way, those of you, who are probably like me in thinking I can’t teach algebra. Think again. As you teach it, you will remember it. If you don’t understand it, you learn with your children. It was probably the best experience this year in our subject-areas! And yes, I really mean that!

Until we meet again!

~Beth

They Garden and Enjoy It

There is something to be said about reaping what you sow, but this time it is in a good way. My children are helping their grandfather with the garden this year. Surprisingly they LOVE it.

They started the little plants from seeds and my how they have grown–the plants and my children. The plus is they love helping their grandfather and getting to spend time with him. My dad ( their grandfather) is enjoying it too.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again!

~Beth

Who Is Wrong?

One of the hardest things to admit is when we are wrong, but knowing that is the right thing to do, we do it. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. I have a 15 and 13 year old and in order to create a good example for them I admit when I am wrong. They are learning that too. In recent confrontations with friends they realized of themselves, “I may not always be right.”

When dealing with things bigger than a tift between friends, though. When both think the other is wrong, where is the right? If neither will budge, what is the next step?

I have found that writing things down in a civil conversation, about what the other thinks, works rather well. Most of the time–I won’t say all of the time, because it doesn’t work all of the time–but most of the time in the lists we find commonality. When we find the commonality of the problem we can work from there. Most of the time an agreement can be reached and things can be resolved.

What about the times when there is no common ground? Then, to be civil about it, we must agree to disagree. I know that is a cliche, but it sometimes becomes what needs to be done. If no one will budge then that is the most civil way to end it. What if it ends a friendship? In my experience, although the friendship may go on hiatus for a while, if they are a true friend then it will resolve itself.

As parents, when we were in high school we had friendships end, some permanently, and some came back together. That will always be the way it is. It is a fact of life. Friendships also change, but again the true ones stick around. Your turn–What do you think? When you have had to step in and become mediator, what ways did you use to resolve conflicts?

Sleepless in the South

Oh the worries of a homeschool mom. It was one of those days when you feel judged by everyone. Will the email I just sent our cover school administrator be taken in the way I hope or will it be taken wrongly. I wish I knew. I’ll just have to wait and see in the morning. Tonight I will be sleepless in the south.

I know standardized testing is a huge thorn in the side of many homeschool moms. I do not believe in it, because it is based on what is taught in the public schools’–one curriculum fits all–education.

Homeschool education is completely different than public school education. Yes, homeschool teaches the basics, but some things are expanded upon more than others. Some may focus more on science or history, some may focus upon math or English language arts, still others may focus on something completely different.

I wish I knew what to do. Maybe that will be answered in the morning. Until then–Happy Trails.

~Beth

What most don’t understand about why I homeschool . . .

First of all, I am not a religious fanatic, believing that all public schools are evil incarnate. I am a product of  the public schools, and I feel I turned out pretty good. Could I have done better than I did? Probably.

I also taught public and/or private school for twelve years. However, I taught exceptional education. I had a Master’s Degree in exceptional education. My undergraduate degree was in early childhood education. I saw these learning disabilities in the beginning and was determined to help each child I taught.

YES!!! There are such things as learning disabilities. Dyslexia was the enemy of my children. It is not a cop-out for parents or students. When I was in public school, as a student, I saw the struggles many of my friends had because they couldn’t read as fast as others or couldn’t grasp a concept like others could. Learning disabilities are real and prevalent, more so now than ever before.

When my children started public school, I knew learning would be a problem for them. I saw it from when they were younger. However, knowing what I did to help the students I taught, I believed my children would be okay.

As they progressed in school the problems started presenting themselves. I requested they be tested for learning disabilities. They were, they were found. Homework became a nightmare, and I had to live at the school.

Head room mother has its perks. I was there constantly. I saw my children falling through the cracks. I became the mom some teachers hated, but some teachers loved. I would show up unannounced and that gave me quite a bit of insight.

It was too much for me to take in, though. I had failed my child. Then my other child started school and I saw the same things. I had now failed my second child. I knew what my children were capable of. I knew if they just had a little extra help they could  succeed. It was then that I knew what had to be done. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NO OTHER WAY!

Since I took them out of public school they have taken leaps and bounds in their education. I can give them what they need. I can help them reach their potential. I wish I had begun sooner.

Now for my disclaimer. Public education is NOT public enemy number one. Many children succeed and do well, but some don’t. That is why we have that choice. I am grateful to have that choice.

~Beth

 

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