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Monday, April 18, 2011

You Must Be Homeschooled If...

I have been relaxed homeschooling/unschooling my children for two and a half years now.  I remember how so many people thought I was NUTS, (some still do but I've learned to overlook them), and all the Homeschooling  and Unschooling links and pages and blogs I looked up.   
I needed, with every ounce of my being, to reach out, and have hands of other moms like me reaching back.  Because we did NOT choose the "secular" route, things have been harder still.  But we're here.. Catholics who homeschool // unschool.   Sometimes it seems like there aren't too many of us, but we're here, and we're growing! :)

I consider us "relaxed" homeschoolers a little more than I do "unschoolers".   No, I don't have a designated classroom in my home for my kids.  And yes, we use workbooks, (Seton curriculum) and Math-U-See for math.. and of course we also use lots of other books too... but we also learn through play and through doing things and living life!   Going to church, the zoo, the museum, the park, shows, playing, making crafts, singing, swimming, star gazing, and do all we can to make the world our classroom. 

As I was finding my feet as a newly homeschooling mother, I collected bits and pieces of things I'd found, and put them together in a file in an old email account.  I just found them!  
Now, I cannot give credit to whomever wrote them, I can only say that I *didn't* write them, but I agree with them 100%!!   And a few things I've *tweaked* to fit our own family.

Oh, and I *do* have my *own* quote. :)  

"My one regret about homeschooling my children, is that I didn't do it from the very beginning." ~ Me

"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. ~ Mark Twain

* * *

You Must Be unschooled If...
Someone asks what grade you're in and you're not sure. You sleep till 9:00 am during the week, but get up early on Sundays. Your birthday is an official holiday. Your favorite activity is reading. You exchange e-mail Valentines with your homeschool pen pals. You go to the park for P.E. (my kids do that and also go to Karate) You check out at least ten books every time you visit the library. You get books and science kits for your birthday. Your home library is arranged in order. Your favorite place to read is outside, under a tree. The only bully you ever run into is your big sister. You don't have to remember a locker combination, just your computer password. Your school bus is the family car.

You Must Be a Home Educator If...
You know what manipulatives are. You have mold growing in your fridge…on purpose. Your preschooler can name all the planets. You've mastered the fine art of vacuuming a floor without sucking up a Lego. You know the recipes for homemade versions of Play-doh, finger paint, and paste. Your house is messy, but your kids are happy. You buy books and science kits for birthday presents. All you want for Christmas is a Barnes & Noble gift certificate. You'd rather buy books than clothes. You turn a trip to the grocery store into a learning experience. You have a standard one-minute speech to give to store clerks, mother-in-laws, and school officials about why you homeschool. You are sick and tired of answering the question, "But what about socialization?" Talking out loud to yourself is the same as having a parent/teacher conference. When you see a parking lot full of mini vans, you wonder if there's a homeschooling conference. You take your family vacation in September, when the beaches and theme parks are empty. You take a suitcase full of books along on your family vacation. Your kitchen doubles as a science lab. You are on a first name basis with your local librarian and bookstore owner. The UPS driver delivers a box of books to your doorstep once a month. You know the scientific names of dinosaurs from A to Z. You're willing to drop what you're doing at a moment's notice to go look something up in a dictionary or encyclopedia. You don't get fired for teaching your students about God.Some days you learn as much as your students. The more your kids learn, the less you seem to know.
* * *
Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb? 
A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light. ~Author Unknown
* * *
"Lord, grant me patience, but hurry."
(saying seen on a plaque)
* * *
Why Public Schooling Is "Better" Than Homeschooling
Most parents were educated in the underfunded public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children. Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic. How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight off bullies on a daily basis? Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process. Children in public schools can get more practice "Just Saying No" to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits. Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society. The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public schools can generate. Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills, like how to sit still for six hours straight. ~Author Unknown
* * *

Top 10 Things NOT to say when asked "What?! No school today?"
10. Well normally yes, but this time of year I need help with the planting and plowing.
9. Goodness, no!!! I graduated 18 years ago, but thanks for the compliment!
8. No, we homeschool. We're just out to pick up a bag of pork rinds and some Mountain Dew, then we gotta hurry home to catch our soaps.
7. What?! Where did you guys come from?! Oh my gosh! I thought I told you kids to stay at school! I'm sorry. This happens all the time. (sigh)
6. There isn't? Why, you'd think we would have seen more kids out then, don't you?
5. We're on a field trip studying human nature's intrusive and assumptive tactics of displaying ignorance and implied superiority. Thanks for the peek!
4. On our planet we have different methods of education. (Shhh! No, I didn't give it away... keep your antennae down!)
3. Oh my goodness! I thought that today was Saturday...come on kids, hurry!
2. Noooooope.Me 'n Bubba jes' learns 'em at home. Werks reel good!
And the number one answer we should NEVER give to the question: "What? No school today?"
1. "What? No Bingo today?"
* * *
A Homeschool Mom's NON-Resolutions
I resolve to NOT try and make my children "perfect" examples.
I resolve to NOT try and prove that I am a "perfect" parent.
I resolve to NOT try and compare myself to every other homeschooling parent.
I resolve to NOT give up on expecting the best from myself!)


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