Friday, February 22, 2013

I Got Your Back

Now I will take on a topic that has been on my mind lately.  

I am sure all of you homeschooling moms are aware of all the diverse educational philosophies out there.

Traditional schooling at home.
Project based learning.
Classical education.
Hebrew education.
Unit Study based curriculum.
Child led learning.
Boxed curriculum.
Online charter schools.
Eclectic curriculum.
Christian curriculum.
Secular curriculum.

Anyone dizzy yet?

There is a model of education for every kind of kid out there. That's the beauty of homeschooling...finding out what works for your children and what propels you toward your educational goals and using it.

Sounds perfect, right?  I mean, everyone doing their own thing and not worrying about anyone else and what they are doing.


I understand passion. When you are excited about something that you believe to be the best thing ever and want to share. Nothing at all wrong with that.

What I don't understand are the homeschool moms who drag down the philosophies of other homeschool moms...who openly ridicule methods of teaching that do not align with what they are passionate about.  Which leaves me it truly passion? Or are they that insecure with themselves their own choices that they feel the need to lash out at others who are content with what they have chosen?

It's hard enough being a mom. Add to that the stresses of being a homeschooling mom.  We all know how it feels living in a society that constantly questions our motives for homeschooling. 

Shouldn't we all kind of 'have each others back'?  I think we should.

So I am here to tell you...I don't care if you use secular curriculum, if you use unit studies, if you let your kid play video games all day and call it Technology 101...if it aligns with your families goals and your child is working toward becoming a happy and well rounded adult...

I got your back.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cemetery Field Trip

I know right? What says 'field trip' like a cemetery?

I'm morbid I suppose, but I love old cemeteries. I wonder about all the lives of all the people we encounter. I love the epitaphs and tombstone carvings and peace and quiet.

We went on a field trip yesterday with some fellow homeschoolers to a local cemetery to learn about the different symbols on head stones and mausoleums.  We saw some graves of historic figures and learned about our areas history as well. I truly learned so much more than I was bargaining for.

A century ago people had such a solid understanding of Christianity, indicated by the symbolism everywhere.  Maybe that's what is so nice about those old cemeteries...people were certain their loved ones were with Christ when they passed from this world.

I wish I would have remembered to bring a camera.

Anyway, after we left our field trip, we decided to drive to Milledgeville, Georgia and make a stop by the old cemetery over there. Here's the back-story:

A month or so ago we attended a field trip at the Atlanta History Center. It was an interactive field trip about the Civil War, and at one point each child was assigned a real Civil War soldier to portray during the field trip.  My daughter was assigned Edwin Jemison, whose picture is shown above. He was only 16 when he went off to fight..and only 17 when he was decapitated by a cannonball. 

Like good little homeschoolers we came home and did a little research on our soldiers...and found out that Edwin Jemison was from Milledgeville and buried there.

So, yesterday we made the trip to pay homage to him.

After the excitement of actually finding his grave, a somber mood hit us all. 

It suddenly became very 'real' for us.  Nothing is more sobering than words and dates carved in marble on a tombstone.

I silently thanked him for his patriotism.  He wasn't much older than my son. He even looks a little like my son.

We left his grave with a better sense of the reality of war.  That the Civil War really happened.  Young boys really died.  Here, in our 'backyard'.  Thousands of them.

I think we all learned a lot more than we even thought we would.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Change is a Good Thing!

I have heard it said that 'The only person who likes change is a wet baby."

False! I LOVE change. I thrive on it. When something is the same, day in and day out...after a while I just want to scream.

So, since this is the time of year when all homeschool moms contemplate what their course of action will be for next school year, we have some changes in store.

Next year we will be enrolling in an online charter school.

The reasons I have are varied, but the biggest ones are:

1.  My daughter thrives on schedules. She even 'schedules' when she drinks water during the day.  She likes neat and orderly and predictable. When she's done with her work, often times she wants more.  Mommy doesn't always have more planned for the day.  (Can I just say she is her father's child? :) )  Most of all she is a very independent learner and driven. When I presented the idea of  her being responsible for logging in each morning to view her assignments and then tackling them, a gleam came into her eye. 

Not to mention, art class. She can take art classes.

And grades. The kid loves getting grades.

2.  My son NEEDS schedules. He is his Momma's child...floating through the day and oh look! Shiny thing! Lets do math! He needs structure to his day.

3.  My son is a huge techie and there are several technology courses that I could never afford to pay for in the real world.

4.  I want them to diverge and try out things that are 'just for them'. Because they are so close in age, much of our schooling is done together, except math and language arts.  But art, foreign language, electives in general...I want them to be able to customize their educations to suit themselves.

5.  Accountability.  Huge reason.  In order to prepare them for college and the working world, I want them to learn accountability.  And deadlines. Sure, I could impose deadlines in our homeschool...but I don't.  It's just not something that ever happens.

And lets be honest here...I find myself losing steam. I think it's because I am craving change.  I can tell my kids aren't as invested in their school time as they used to be.  And in my opinion, homeschooling works best when EVERYONE is engaged, especially mom.

In years past I have contemplated going this route, but my heart would always say 'no'.  This time, my heart is saying 'yes'!