“Those People?”

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Well-written blog about one woman’s experience upon hearing a reference to, “Those People,” who are basically the needy in our society.

I thoroughly agree with her opinion on what seems to be almost an epidemic to condemn FIRST before learning the individual stories of everyday people (basically).

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http://www.scarymommy.com/those-people/

Kid’s Choice?

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Do children have a choice in the decision to home-school?

Should they?

In my opinion, yes, a child should be allowed to have a say-so in the decision to home-school (or not) and especially an older child. Why? It is THEIR education, after all and I honestly believe and have been witness to home-schooling parents who are stunned by this notion or actually laugh at the thought of it.

I was actually accused of being on some sort of government “Watch” program when I made this very suggestion and posed the very same question on a social media forum earlier this summer.

Very strange. VERY bizarre.

If the child is happy in a brick and mortar public school and is actually learning and growing, why not let them stay there? Who is living their life? If that school is safe and your child is actually getting an education, what would be the point behind pulling the child out to home-school?

I have actually been very surprised to find that there are some home-schooling parents who’ve made the decision to educate at home because “THEY want to,” and “It has nothing to do with my child.” Really? The child’s education has nothing to do with him or her?

Since when?

I stand behind every home-schooling parent who has made the choice to home-school (or in some instances, have HAD to do so, for the sake of their child) because they didn’t care for the b&m school their child attended: teacher-to-student ratio too high and detrimentally affecting the educational process overall, instances of bullying, the educational standards did not meet expectations, safety issues, child was not happy, fulfilled, and content.

And those are only a few understandable reasons to decide to home-school.

What I cannot wrap my mind around are those who do so not for the SAKE of the child, but because it’s the new/old thing to do and they want to join the bandwagon. Or perhaps they’re simply ignoring their child’s pleas to stay at their b&m school.

Whatever the case may be, they are definitely NOT in this for the sake of their child.

A child that is older should be respected enough by his or her parent’s to be allowed to have a voice in their education–WHAT it will contain and HOW it will be obtained.

To ignore that child’s desire to not home-school, who has legitimate reasons for staying put at their b&m public school, is wrong as far as I am concerned.

Til the next time…
Ciao! 😉

“What About Socialization?”

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(Cartoon courtesy of Greg Evans and “The Homeschooling Diva’s” Pinterest board and blog)

“What about socialization?”

Probably the most commonly asked question of any home-schooling family, traditional or virtual, is regarding socialization when being quizzed on *why* their child is not in a brick and mortar public school.

Let’s first begin with those b&m public schools, shall we? Yes, there are some good ones out there but the majority are severely lacking in not only academics but overall provision of adequate social outlets for their students.

Then again, is school REALLY about socializing to begin with?

Their teachers are overworked, overwhelmed, and often they’re too inexperienced to deal with a classroom of 30+ children AND the student’s parents, who are not always the friendliest toward the teacher and the school in general from what I used to encounter when our children were in a b&m public school.

And socializing? With no disrespect meant, I strongly urge any parent of a b&m public school student to take a day away from home or work and spend time at your child’s school and in their classroom.

In other words, view and experience the type of “socializing” your child does Monday through Friday and then get back to me on what you feel is exceptional and what you feel is severely lacking.

Too often, b&m public schools will house children who emotionally break down and mentally challenge a child who does not know how to defend themselves or perhaps might be a little different from the rest and these other kids continue doing so because it’s….what? Fun?

And teachers are either limited in what they can do (suspension and expulsion anyone?) to stop the bullying and/or are not willing to do…at all. “Kids will be kids,” seems to be a common motto and that leaves me personally scratching my head.

Kids learn by example and by what they’re capable of getting away with. A ps teacher and/or administrator turns their back and ignores blatant bullying, they’re sending the message to the bullies and the child being harassed that it’s OK to do this. After all, this is what kids do, right? “Kids” being “kids.” :/

The very people that are paid to teach our children are far too often perpetuating a social disease known as bullying by doing diddly squat about it.

Lovely. :::rolling eyes:::

So tell me again, oh inquisitive ones, about “socialization?” Just exactly WHAT do you feel my child is missing out on exactly by being educated here at home? Do you honestly feel she should be subjected to potential bullying by ignored, enabled children who may very well have their own problems and THIS is WHY they do what they do to their classmates?

No thanks! You can’t pay me to send my child back to that type of hostile, toxic environment.

For the record, we left the public school debacle NOT because of bullying but because of lack of a school district to give a royal toot about educating our children effectively and paying those teachers who DO care enough to want to continue to try harder with their students.

So back to socialization. Is it really a belief that home-schooled children are little morons locked in a cage and fed the three R’s through the bars? “I know a lot of home-schooled kids who are afraid of their own shadows.” <~~I’ve heard that one before by those who felt compelled to ask myself and my child the famous “what about socialization” question.

I’m sure there are children out there like that who are home-schooled and I’ve sadly been witness to them a time or two. However, I’ve seen children like that who attend a b&m public school, too.

So what say you to that, nosy bodies?

Could it be–and stay with me here–that the child who is afraid of their own shadow IS SO due to something else? Perhaps home environment in general? Perhaps an emotional issue or learning disability? Or hey…maybe they don’t really care for people…period and it’s not about fear but about simply wanting to be left alone and be allowed to pick and choose whom they allow into their world?

I often want to tell these overly opinionated souls that perhaps wearing a ceramic copy of their foot on a chain as a necklace would serve them well for those moments of “foot in mouth” disease due to not THINKING prior to questioning the private lives of home-schooled children and the decision-making of their parents.

Socialization. When these Duddley Do Wrongs can define to me the advantage of socializing in a public school setting while at the same time, doing so with an open mind that perhaps they really don’t know what they’re talking about when they question an individual home-schooling family, then perhaps I will be equally as open-minded to their concerns.

As of right now, I’ve yet to meet someone who fits that criteria.

Have you?

Till the next time…. 😉

Allowing the Devil to Undress You: The Slut-Shaming of a Former Homeschooler

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I will be reblogging from particular home-schooling blogs–current and former–to gain a (hopefully) fresh perspective from others who just might actually be reading my blogs. Feel free to reblog this yourself.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

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A disgrace.

A destructive force against families.

Homeschool dropout.

A rat turd.

These are but a number of phrases used on HSLDA’s Facebook page in reference to Teresa Scanlan, a former homeschooler attending Patrick Henry College. These are not phrases used by HSLDA; in fact, HSLDA has championed Teresa as a homeschool success story. But these phrases are also not coming from anti-homeschoolers or liberal secularists.

They are coming from fans (or at least previous fans) of HSLDA.

Yesterday, HSLDA shared about Teresa’s life and homeschooling experience in light of her being crowned Miss America in 2011. It was obviously about marketing to some extent — “the secret behind the crown was homeschooling!,” HSLDA says. But it also was about celebrating a young woman with passion and drive.

But things got ugly.

Some of HSLDA’s fans were livid. In fact, if…

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Quizzing the Home-schooled Kids

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(photo courtesy of http://www.clker.com)

Why do people feel compelled to actually quiz a home-schooled child and especially upon finding out that the child IS being educated at home to begin with?

It makes zero sense to me.

What are they attempting to prove? That the child must now demonstrate to them that they’re actually learning at home? To ensure that the home-schooling parent is doing a good job? To “show up” the home-schooled child?

It’s as if the home-schooled child is now required to give verbal examples that they are indeed provided with a well-rounded education from the comfort of home and I have to ask–why is this necessary for this child to prove this to others?

If it’s a requirement of an individual state and/or school district, that is one thing. But to corner a child that is home-schooled without any mandates to do so, verbally listing questions as if the child is now on some random quiz game show, is wrong in my opinion. There is no point to it and it only seems to be an attempt to humiliate the child and downplay what the child does in home-school.

One key thing I want to point out for the next time a person feels it is necessary to quiz that home-schooled child–make sure that YOU know the answers to your questions, too. Otherwise, you’re doing nothing more than making yourself look bad to undeserving children and families who’ve chosen an alternative method of schooling.

In short, the quizzers look like bullies. I’ve seen these folks who wish to test the home-schooled child actually have a look on their face of amusement, judgment, and condescension. Speaks volumes!

Grow-up, I say. A large majority of these children you feel so righteously moved to test orally will be able to MORE than show you up when it comes to the questions and subjects you ask them about.

So bring your game face the next time you decide to embark on the “Let’s Quiz The Kid Who Home-schools.” Be ready for their answers and the questions they may have for you in return. No, they’re not being a smart aleck when they pose questions back to you to answer.

They’re simply being smart.

Til the next time….
Ciao! 😉

A Quick and Dirty Primer on HSLDA

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While I am again, very open to hearing more viewpoints from supporters of the HSLDA, I am becoming more and more convinced that this organization is not everything it says it is and may actually do more harm than good. Thus, this is why you’ll be reading more reblogs like THIS one in the future here on my own blog and including my own thoughts on the HSLDA.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

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A Quick and Dirty Primer on HSLDA, By Kathryn Brightbill

Kathryn Brightbill blogs at The Life and Opinions of Kathryn Elizabeth, Person.

Did you find your way to Homeschoolers Anonymous because of the press coverage of the Wunderlich and Twelve Tribes cases in Germany? Or did the Romeike case in the United States send you hunting for more info on this HSLDA group that keeps showing up in news stories?

Then this story is for you.

It is in no way meant to be exhaustive, just to provide basic information for people who did not grow up in the homeschooling world and are unfamiliar with HSLDA’s activism.

Early Days

HSLDA was founded by Michael Farris in 1983. At that time, homeschooling as a movement was in its infancy, and because parents were concerned about the legality, the idea of a legal defense and advocacy organization dedicated to homeschooling was…

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How American Homeschoolers Enabled and Funded German Child Abuse: The Real Story Behind the Religious Right and the Twelve Tribes

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For those who are strong supporters of the HSLDA, please read this. While I am not particularly fond of the HSLDA, I would love to hear back from any supporter/member in connection to THIS story. Thanks!

Homeschoolers Anonymous

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

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“Without the assistance of American homeschoolers, these advancements would not have been possible.”

~ Homeschool Legal Defense Association, concerning German legal association Schulunterricht zu Hause

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Last week, German police raided a monastery and farm belonging to a religious sect in Bavaria. They removed 40 children on allegations of child abuse. While the event was originally portrayed by the sect as well as American right-wing news sources as religious persecution, that portrayal was quickly proven wrong. Video evidence of cruel and systematic abuse of children surfaced.

Some homeschool advocates originally attempted to chalk this up as another example of “German intolerance” of homeschooling. German homeschool advocate Jörg Großelümern, who leads the HSLDA-allied Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit (or Network for Freedom in Education), had brought the situation to the attention of Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA, the U.S.-based homeschool lobbying organization. Großelümern alleged that “the authorities want to create…

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Should Every Child Be Homeschooled?

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Should every child be home-schooled? Honestly? I don’t believe so and for the simple fact that not every child will benefit. Going even further, not every parent is cut out to teach their children at home.

 Traditional homeschooling takes a lot of work not only in instruction hours spent, but in putting together a solid curriculum as well as preparing daily and weekly lessons.

 For the homeschooling parent who is providing a well-balanced school day for their child filled with a variety of different subjects and ventures, my hat is off to them. But it’s no small feat and it’s a challenge that, let’s face it, just some of us are simply not capable of doing for one reason or another.

 A well-balanced curriculum should be age appropriate and with the constant thought in the back of each homeschooling parent’s mind that not only are they preparing their child for the next grade level but they’re also preparing them for beyond school—life and perhaps even college.

We are raising our children to one day set them free into the world to make lives of their own that are separate from us. It’s a harsh reality for some parents and I can completely understand and even relate to a degree. But it’s a fact.

 Homeschooling at its core is chosen for a variety of reasons but at the foundation, countless traditional homeschooling parents and those who’ve chosen a less traditional route such as myself need to provide an education that our children can benefit from as well as learn and grow with.

 Not every child will benefit from being at home for school. It’s just a simple, basic reality. Too, each individual child should have a say-so in where he or she is educated at and from whom. Ultimately the parents are the final decision makers but my hope is that they do so because they see that their child is benefiting and enjoying a fulfilling education within the security and comfort of home and NOT because it’s “their way or the highway.”

 Homeschooling, no matter the method used, can be a wonderful, rewarding, and beneficial experience for both parent and child.

 However, it is my strong sentiments that before any parent decides to jump in and take this educational adventure, that they are sure this is the RIGHT THING for their child. That their reasons are sound on why they’re choosing this for their child and that their child is in agreement. Too, that they’re certain they can handle everything that will be expected of them from following the laws of their state on attesting to their intent to home-school (and not believing certain organizations that insist they’re there to “help homeschooling parents” when they basically tell a parent to break the law when it comes to filing an intent to home-school…or not), to planning a well-rounded curriculum, to devoting a healthy portion of their day to educating their child to checking in routinely and making sure that he or she is progressing, happy, content, and learning.

 It’s not for everyone. And you know? That is perfectly fine. No one should ever believe that this type of education venue is the right fit for each child. If you’re being led to believe it is, stop and think. Realize that it really isn’t and choose through the needs of YOUR child and not the voices of others telling you otherwise.

 Til the next time…

Ciao! 😉

First Day of a New School Year

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(pic is courtesy of http://www.treasureboxdesigns.com)

Today was our first day back to the grind, so to speak. 😉 First day of school and first day of 10th grade for our home educated child.

After spending time on Sunday (yesterday) getting every syllabus, portfolio, lab, teacher study guides, important information that each teacher felt the students should have, and other miscellaneous things printed up, I also prepared all the lessons for the week for every class (six for now, including three “core” classes. Two more will be added to the mix once a week/month), including my own homemade study guides per lesson per day.

Am I bragging? Kind of. But who cares? It was exhausting yet very rewarding work, especially when this morning she realized how readily accessible and organized everything was for her. THAT, along with her thank you, made this very special day even more special for her and I.

Sounds silly but to a home-schooling parent, it’s important that we provide all the tools for our children to have an easier school day and year. We know that there will be flubs along the way and glitches we won’t discover until they rear their ugly heads. But it’s how it benefits our children that is the most important thing to us.

My hat goes off to traditional public school teachers who have to do this type of preparation for 30 to 40+ children at the start of the school year but also throughout the entire nine months. I may not think too highly of the school system you work for, but you folks deserve a round of applause for sure.

First days can be excited yet nerve-wracking at the same time. First day of school. First day of a marriage. First day at a new job. And there are so many other “first days” that we and our children will encounter as we go through this journey that life is.

It’s nice to know that THIS first day for my daughter and I went very well. We both know that it won’t always be pink skies and purple unicorns every day. But at least for today, we started off on the right foot.

I hope your first day can be equally as calm, pulled together and both you and children are feeling content, happy, and fulfilled.

Ciao for now!

Lisa~ 🙂