So far I can't find it. I'm not sure why. I've googled every key word possible.
I get this way. Maybe I'm the only one. Maybe not. I do know that perhaps this time I do need to make some changes in my curriculum. But a curriculum does not make the home school. Mom's attitude makes the home school.
If I stay focused on God and his leading I'll find the way.
God, not google.
This Fall was not a stellar semester of school. In fact I would give myself low scores as a mom in general, much less as a home school mom. I spent too much time feeling overwhelmed and under motivated.
The culprit? I allowed too many activities to overwhelm our routine. So what if everything we do is worth-while? If it is too much to do, then none of it ends up being done in a worth-while manner. Not to mention that when life gets too hectic, toddler-training takes the back seat to expediency.
I'm back in the saddle again and thinking about next semester. I've already cut out some time (and money) sucking commitments.
- We are taking a semester break from band. The kids will continue their music lessons, just not the home school band organization.
- My senior is not taking a dual enrollment class next semester.
- I'm dropping my Thursday night church church group.
- I'm only buying from the whole-foods coop every other month.
My oldest child is a senior this year and takes his first college final exam on Monday. He's learned a lot of college level math and I've learned a lot about home schooling high school students. Everything he's learned is way above my head but I thought I'd share what I've learned:
1. Colleges usually require an SAT or ACT score to apply to take dual enrollment courses- so plan ahead.
4. Your umbrella school may require you to fax copies of your grandmother to set up the dual enrollment, so plan ahead to leave time for registering for actual classes.
5. Your umbrella school may rather arbitrarily decide not to allow dual credit for the class your child wants to take, but that does not mean your child cannot get college credit. Once again, plan ahead.
6. When figuring the cost of the class don't forget to figure in expensive college texts and possibly required computer software.
7. When figuring cost of the class don't forget to budget commuting costs. Oops, my bad.
8. When scheduling classes don't forget that parking on most college classes requires a lot of walking- which greatly adds to time spent commuting.
9. Keep in mind that some college scholarships will not be available to students with too many dual enrollment hours. The reasoning behind this escapes me. Our reasearch indicated that you only start running into problems if your child has upward of 9-12 credit hours of dual enrollment.
10. Letting my son figure out how to not study well, helped him to learn a lot about how to study.
I’ve always found it a curiosity that the term “veteran home schooler” has become a title signifying required respect. “So and So, a veteran home schooler, is giving a lecture on how to teach Klingon to fulfill high school language requirements,” or, “so and so, a veteran home schooler talks about how to make algebra your child’s newest hobby.” The term “veteran homeschooler” alone is supposed to denote authority, competence and success, and cause you to buy their seminar/product/philosophy/tutorial.
To my twisted mind it always brings up an image of a 37 year old woman wearing a denim jumper and flak jacket. In my imagination the "veteran" is talking into a microphone to a bevy female spectators as she shoots a barrage of flashcards out of a cannon into an opposing ditch filled with her offspring. The offspring are warding off the flashcards with an assortment of shields made of pots, pans, Harry Potter hardbacks and Bionicle warriors. The bevy of spectators file up to buy the flashcard system as soon as the children are led off for a snack.
Am I perhaps a tad cynical? Am I experiencing a wee bit of home schooling burn out? Perhaps. However, ponder a moment. How does one cross the line from home schooler to “veteran” home schooler? What are the requirements?
Is veteran status earned merely after a certain set number of years in the trenches? If so when do you start counting? At birth, at age 5? Are years home schooling with greater challenges weighted like A.P. classes are? For instance, every year you home school while pregnant or nursing could count as 2 regular years. Every year spent teaching beginning reading counts as 2 1/2 years, etc.
Does veteran status require a certain number of children in your home school? If so, are you disqualified from ever achieving veteran status if not all of your children are home schooled or if you only have 1? Are you given faster promotion to veteran if your children are unusually close in age. What about extra credit for an especially aggravating child?
Does graduating your oldest from high school instantly qualify you as a veteran? Does it count if you didn’t home school the entire 12 years? Relatedly, does veteran status require having your child/children accepted to college? Or does it require having children accepted to Ivy League Universities? What if they drop-out of college to move to a remote missionary post? Can your veteran status be revoked?
Who is the accrediting body anyway?
I prefer another term, "Mother." Hopefully "Mother" connotes love rather than war, as well as implying warmth and dedication. I want to be a mother, a good mother. One that just happens to also organize my children's education at home. One that doesn’t claim to know everything but is willing and ready to learn with my kids. One that doesn’t’ have to run in circles following the latest guru; one that can fall down and get back up.
However, if I ever have twins that are still nursing while I'm concurrently teaching reading and high school chemistry all while traveling in an R.V. on a history tour of America- I want the appellation of "veteran" instantly granted.
Some Mondays seem maliciously and anthropomorphically bent on proving what a small person I am. Today was such a Monday. True suffering, and momentous calamities, are different from mere aggravations, yet there is something peculiarly difficult about quantity of small troubles regardless of their quality.
Aggravations on top of aggravations can lead one to entertain thoughts representing smallness of mind:
1. Recalcitrant math student? One might be tempted to respond, "Fine, double-digit addition with carrying is stupid, don't learn it!"
2. 8 yo with flu symptoms? One might picture a backyard quarantine-yurt.
3. More month than money? One might idly wonder how much is in the 3 yo's piggy bank.
Monday, in anthropomorphic glory, saved it's coup de grace for the afternoon mail. A letter bomb arrived- well, actually a post card from a dear friend. The picture was of a beautiful vacation spot on the Adriatic. As soon as I saw the picture I was there, sitting at a cafe in loose white clothing while a waiter poured my drink. Greg inexplicably had a dark moustache. I could feel the heat of the sun on my skin, hear the water and sounds of the children playing at a distance while their nanny carefully looked after them.
Zap. Then I remembered I was in my dining room setting out bowls of cauliflower soup (yuck, but the kids like it) on a tablecloth that hadn't been properly cleared since breakfast.
I love the sender of the post card. She is one of my oldest friends, and the most beautiful of people. I'm so happy that she's on vacation as a celebration of finishing her Master's thesis. However, my first reaction was of utter jealousy instead of joy for my friend. That's the definition of smallness.
Smallness, meet me. Me, meet Smallness.
Did God know today would knock me flat? Is that why during my morning shower the hymn, "Be Still and Know That I am God," kept coming to my mind? God, the antithesis of smallness.
I'm glad tomorrow is Tuesday...
The blue of the sky,
was as blue of the sea.
The clouds were as ships sails,
waving o'er to me.
The green of the grass,
was as green as sea-weed,
Those greeny masses
that came and then flee'd.
The brown of the tree-trunks,
was as brown as the mast,
from which a sailor,
was crying, "Avast!"
The red of the flower,
was as red as the face
Of the red coated Marine
yelling, "About face!"
The black of the cannon ball
was as black as the earth.
To which they would go,
not long after their birth.
Fall is shoe buying time. With 7 kids obviously we try to squeak by with the cheapest footwear we can. When I happen along on a sneaker sale it's a happy day. All my boys are fast now. They'll tell you that repeatedly, if you can catch up with them. The 7 year old wanted a non-sale sneaker, until my husband remarked that if he got the same kind as his brothers they would look like a kind of team, or even a group of super heros. Spin-it Baby. Parenting at it's best.
Misunderstanding song lyrics and movie dialogue has a long tradition in our family. Recently a misunderstanding merged the two genres. Grace is a huge musicphile. She likes to set up different classical music for Jack to listen to during his nap time and is fairly systematic about it. Though Jack doesn't listen to music during every nap, Grace will introduce a new piece to him and then play only that piece for several weeks before starting a new piece. Yes I know, she's a better home school mom than I am. This summer it was Tchiakovsky's 1812 Overture. Evidently Grace peaked Jack's interest in it by explaining about Napoleon's siege of Moscow in very dramatic terms. Jack fell in love with it immediately.
I have unusual teens in that none of them really like to talk on the phone. Our family policy is that you get a (cheap) cell phone when you can drive and until then you share the (cheap) kid-cell phone with the other kids. Therefore our 17 yo, Luke, has a phone and the three girls all share a phone. The rest of the boys are still too young to care. Luke's cell phone has a broken screen but he can't get a free (and cheap) upgrade until December, so for now he's stuck with it. He really doesn't care because he would have to be lying in a ditch needing help before he would voluntarily dial someone anyway. However, as I was helping him pack up his phone and charger for his three week trip to Guatemala I became concerned that he might have trouble making an international call without being able to see his screen, so I swapped the girl's phone with his.
I forgot a few things, things like...
1)The girl's phone says "Bump it to the trumpet" on the outside screen.
2)The girl's phone says "Hey, girl!" when the phone is opened.
3)The girls asked me to pretend to be Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter- and they recorded me. The ringer doesn't ring instead it repeats, "Mummy is calling, my little diddykins", over and over and over.
4)The girls programed all this and locked it with a password that no one remembers.
My husband called to remind me of the above, ostensibly to ask for the password so they could fix the situation. But he had already rightly guessed that no one would know the password. In reality, he simply called to share the situation with me because accidentally humiliating your teenage son is just good clean fun, especially if your spouse is the guilty one.
Somehow I have the feeling that I will not be hearing my son's voice for about 3 weeks. I'm just glad there's email.
This wiki entry was my day. We sent our oldest child, a 17 yo son, off to Guatemala for a three week intensive lanugage school, studying, you guessed it, Spanish. He is such a great kid and has turned into a great, shall I dare say, adult. A seriously fun to raise child, except for a brief time when he was 6 and inexplicably wanted to spit everywhere. This trip is a big deal for him and for my husband and I. A day of independence for him and a day of letting go for us. I had so many images of a happy, maybe even tender farewell, images of my husband and I praying with him before they drove off, taking photos as they left. Not.