homeschool

2010 – The schoolyear we all learn something new

Today is the first day of homeschool – no time to post much, as we’re too busy getting back in the swing of things again. With an 8th grader, a 3rd grader and one in kindergarten, I’m pretty sure we’ll all be learning something new and exciting. I’m going to be in Photography school while the kids are homeschooling. I’ve found some terrific online resources and will be reading and studying through them as I have time between lessons.

Last night, I took my eldest and her friend to a local business park and we took some photos with my new Nikon. I’ve been wanting to do this since I got it, but the timing or the weather just hasn’t been cooperative.

When we got there, a “profeshunal” photographer was there doing a shoot with some high school kids. I tried really hard not to be embarrassed about my lack of flash attachments or zoom lenses. But I did watch him for a few minutes before we decided to explored the back alleys so we wouldn’t interfere with his shoot. We managed to find some really neat doors and painted steps – the girls were very cooperative and let me take a gazillion photos. We had a great time and I think we came away with some really cute shots and then the girls noticed the group leaving, so we scooted over to the park before we lost all our light.

Here’s a few shots from last night:










Make it a great day! I’ll be back soon with an update on how our first day of school went!

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This is what I get for being transparent

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about my frustrations of late. Some of it had to do with homeschooling, but mostly? It was about heart and character issues – mainly mine.

Here is a response I received from a family member (who I’ll not name, because I love this person dearly and appreciate the honesty which was displayed).

I have a solution for your dilemma, it’s called PUBLIC SCHOOL. That’s where children learn to cope with the stresses of everyday activities, such as getting up early, having a structured environment with other children of all socioeconomic levels, learning respect for themselves, their peers and their parents, and all the other ups and downs of going to school and being in a daily routine of the realities of life. Parents need to stop protecting their children and let them be faced with the real world. What happens when they are ready to go out in the world and they are afraid to cope? Or, what happens if their parents should befall a horrific early death? Who will homeschool them then? Don’t get mad, just give a good long thought to what I am conveying…

This is the reason I typically do not discuss publicly or talk about homeschooling. Instead of finding ways to be supportive, my family looks for every possible way to get me to place my kids in PUBLIC SCHOOL where they are going to magically be transformed into children who “learn to cope with the everyday stresses” of life.

To this I say: I am protecting my children because I love them. I’m not keeping anything of the reality of the world from them, but I am measuring it out in small doses instead of letting them be overwhelmed. The world should not be defining life for my kids. Psalm 127 says that we are to prepare our children – they are like arrows in a quiver – I am preparing them to speak with the enemy at the gates and not be ashamed. They will be equipped to face reality without letting men overrun them or tell them what they should be thinking.

I do not believe that public school is a magic pill that a child can take in order to be better able to cope with the everyday stresses of life. This is a fallacy long purported by those who tout public school and I’d like to formally call it out right now.

If public school is so wonderful, why are more more children than ever taking prescription drugs? Surely it’s not because they aren’t capable of dealing with the everyday stresses of life that come with getting up early, interacting with children from every socioeconomic level, or being in the daily routines of life?

I have waited almost 4 weeks to post this because I didn’t want to come across as “the angry homeschooler”. I’m not angry at this person any longer, honestly. But I am passionate about my children and my choice to homeschool. I love my children and want only what I believe is the best for them.

And I’m even crazy enough to believe that most parents want the same for their own children, whether home-schooled or schooled publicly. In parenting, I think the end result we all desire for our kids is that they grow up to be happy, healthy and productive adults.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Other than to leave y’all with a list of famous people who homeschooled — many of you homeschoolers may have seen this, but for any of you that haven’t, it’s quite an eye-opener.

Famous People Who Homeschooled

Educators

Frank Vandiver (President – Texas A&M)
Fred Terman (President – Stanford)
William Samuel Johnson (President Columbia)
John Witherspoon (President of Princeton)

Generals

Stonewall Jackson
Robert E. Lee
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton

Inventors

Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Edison
Cyrus McCormick
Orville Wright & Wilbur Wright

Artists

Claude Monet
Leonardo da Vinci
Jamie Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth
John Singleton Copley

President
s

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
John Quincy Adams
James Madison
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Abraham Lincoln
Theordore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Scientists

George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie
Albert Einstein
Booker T. Washington
Blaise Pascal

Statesmen

Konrad Adenauer
Winston Churchill
Benjamin Franklin
Patrick Henry
William Penn
Henry Clay

United States Supreme Court Judges

John Jay
John Marshall
John Rutledge

Composers

Irving Berlin
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Anton Bruckner
Felix Mendelssohn
Francis Poulenc

Writers

Hans Christian Anderson
Charles Dickens
Brett Harte
Mark Twain
Sean O’Casey
Phillis Wheatley
Mercy Warren
Pearl S. Buck
Agatha Christie
C.S. Lewis
George Bernard Shaw

Religious leaders

Joan of Arc
Brigham Young
John & Charles Wesley
Jonathan Edwards
John Owen
William Cary
Dwight L. Moody
John Newton

I wonder what my children will grow up to be?

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Homeschool Humor

I could not resist posting this. I found it on one of my favorite Christian Homeschooling sites while reading a post aptly entitled “Homeschool Burnout – Rising from the Ashes”.

If you don’t read “Heart of the Matter” online, you might want to check her out. I have come to know and love Robin Sampson through her many coaching sessions with me on twitter(the funny thing is that she doesn’t even know she’s coaching me! 🙂

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Turning 12 and losing her head!

My eldest on a recent Homeschool field trip to a Science Discovery Museum – so much fun was had! Here is is losing her head…or is that her body? I don’t know – but I thought this was the neatest thing!

 

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Intervention

This may just be the year that homeschooling does me in. I’ve had to call in reinforcements (my husband) to help me with not only our eldest, but our two youngest.

Let me preface my rant by saying that I have three beautiful and creative children and I love them dearly. But sometimes, love isn’t enough – grace is required. I am very thankful to be swimming in God’s grace today, because I would probably have drowned a long time ago in the vast ocean that is called homeschooling.

I live in a house full of emotional children who raise their voices in frustration and resort to crying instead of digging their heels in and trying to learn. I am not very tolerant of those tears, either. Lord help me, I don’t want to raise a bunch of whiny quitters. But I’m seriously at my wits end. Every time I make the attempt to throw out a lifeline or an aid, one of my children rejects the help and continues to flail and flounder.

Of course, I do take full responsibility for this. I am quite sure they are simply modeling what they have seen me do (as far as raising my voice – I don’t typically resort to crying). And I hate it. I really do, because I know that they are all capable of so much more, as am I.

I think a homeschool intervention is needed. Or a summer break. Something…before I lose my everlivin’ mind.

These are things many homeschoolers don’t talk about, because it makes us look bad. Well, it’s no lie that every day is not a picnic when you homeschool…your kids don’t always love it, and you certainly don’t always get everything done that you set out to accomplish.

However, I do not believe this is a homeschooling issue so much as a heart issue. I’m not sure how to get our family back on track and get our attitudes right about homeschooling and loving one another.

/rant

I’m feeling some frustration and in dire need of a new point of view. Anyone out there with any ideas?

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Taking away our liberty?

Remember just two days ago I said that some of you might think I was a conspiracy theorist because I stated that I really feel like the government is trying to take away our rights as parents?

I received this in my inbox this morning – from our HSLDA President regarding a UN Treaty that Hillary Clinton supports and will most likely introduce. Please read it and be informed.

Personally, I find this frightening. Here is the article in full, from Michael Smith:

Washington Times Op-ed—U.N. Treaty Might Weaken Families

by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

One of the issues American families could face this year is the ramifications from a treaty called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

You may ask, “How could a treaty directly affect internal decision-making by American families?” We generally think of treaties as agreements affecting international relations between countries. The U.N., however, has initiated treaties that not only affect international relations, but also the domestic relations of member nations as well. These treaties, sometimes called “conventions,” require member nations that ratify the treaty to implement the requirements as binding law or rules.

On Nov. 20, 1989, the U.N. adopted the CRC and submitted it for ratification to the member nations. It has been ratified by 193 nations—the United States is one of the few countries that has not ratified it.

The ratification process requires a two-thirds vote by the U.S. Senate. On Feb. 16, 1995, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., signed the CRC on behalf of the United States. The CRC, however, has never been sent to the Senate for ratification because there is insufficient support to pass it.

Due to the recent election, however, there are rumblings from Capitol Hill that there will be an effort to seek ratification of the CRC during the next congressional cycle. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a strong supporter of the treaty, and as secretary of state, would have direct control over the submission of treaties to the Senate.

Why should passage of the CRC be of concern? It likely would have a negative impact on domestic law and practice in the United States. Article VI of our Constitution makes treaties—and remember, conventions are viewed as treaties—“the supreme law of the land.” The CRC would be treated as superior to laws in every state regarding the parent-child relationship. This would include issues regarding education, health care, family discipline, the child’s role in family decision-making, and a host of other subjects.

Article 43 of the CRC establishes an international committee on the rights of the child to examine compliance by member nations. This committee, which sits in Geneva, has final authority concerning interpretation of the language contained in the CRC.

Two central principles of the CRC clearly are contrary to current U.S. laws related to parent-child relationships. The CRC provides that in all matters relating to children, whether private or public, or in courts, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. Additionally, nations should ensure that children are capable of expressing their views freely in all matters affecting them, giving due weight to the age and maturity of the child.

This is contrary to traditional American law, which provides that absent proof of harm, courts and social workers simply do not have the authority to intervene in parent-child relationships and decision-making. The importance of this tradition and practice is that the government may not substitute its judgment for that of the parent until there is proof of harm to the child sufficient to justify governmental intervention. It is clear that in two very important areas of the parent-child relationship, religion and education, there will be potential for tremendous conflict.

The international committee in Geneva, in reviewing the laws of practice of countries that have ratified the CRC, has expressed its concern that parents could homeschool without the view of the child being considered; that parents could remove their children from sex-education classes without the view of the child being considered; that parents were legally permitted to use corporal punishment; and that children didn’t have access to reproductive health information without parental knowledge.

The bottom line is the CRC would drastically weaken the United States’ sovereignty over family life, which would have a substantial impact on every American family. For more information on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, visit http://www.parentalrights.org/learn.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at (540)338-5600; or send email to media@hslda.org.

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