Monday, July 29, 2013

Homeschooling and the job market

As parents we are trying to raise our children to be hard workers, to be kind and to be competent.  We want them to know and love God.  We love homeschooling because it allows us to focus on the whole process and not separate out academics as one of the most important items in the world.

Many parents are happy public schools have a focus on academics so their children will be able to get good jobs, with the end being a good career.  We don’t see a well-paying job as the ultimate goal.

Having said all that, I am happy that our oldest daughter seems to be off to a good step in the adult world of the job market.  For the last couple years our oldest has been able to make good money babysitting, often $100 in a week.  She has pretty simple tastes and hasn't felt a need find full time employment.

This summer she decided to look for a full time job.  She had a hard time at first.  I was pleased that she kept looking after applying at a couple dozen places.  Early in July she finally had success with a temp agency.  She got a job to help out with a college bookstore.

She has enjoyed the job and the managers seem happy with her.  They have kept her around while it sounds like they have let a few others go.

Homeschooling doesn't seem to limit children in the adult job market!!!

This week's Homeschool Showcase is up

Kris is hosting this week's Homeschool Showcase at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Instagram Edition (plus mobile photography tips)

Heather is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Sprittibee.

She starts the carnival with:

Welcome to the Random Instagram Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling! If you are new to ‘blog carnivals’, please read the link at the bottom of this post to find out more. This post has many links that take you off-site to other homeschool blogs where you can read their ‘showcased’ article submission. If you would like to submit an article for a future carnival or host the carnival on your site, please see the bottom section to find out how. Each carnival writer has the option to put their compilation to a ‘theme’ if they so choose. Being a fangirl for Instagram (which you can use on almost any smart phone these days), I figured I would share some of my random photo art with you – and give you a few photo quotes and pointers in between all these great homeschool blog links!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Common Core

I was very impressed by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Author of Why I Am a 'Liberal' and Other Conservative Ideas.

As homeschoolers, we sometimes get caught in the crossfire of new educational programs, as such programs tend to affect text books, college application criteria and so forth.

I really want a transcript of his speech.  There are so many note worthy things he said that I would like to quote, but I don't want to take the time to transcribe the entire thing.

A cloaking device

Maybe Harry Potter's invisibility cloak isn't too far off. 

Researchers suggest magicians' mirror tricks could be used as large scale cloaking devices covers some science in making things "disappear."

Here's a video showing the effect:

And here is a video showing how it is done:

Pretty cool!

Five types of emails to improve your life

Make your life better by sending five simple emails has some good thoughts.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My "Don't" list

This week, I've had the opportunity to answer questions from parents who are preparing to homeschool their children. Over the years, I've had quite a few such conversations.

I thought it was interesting that in my conversations with parents, they are largely worried about their child getting into college.

So here is my "Don't List:"

1) Don't worry about your child getting into college while he or she is in kindergarten. Focus on the developmental needs of the child in the stage he/she is currently in. Far too many parents and educators torture little children in the theoretical pursuit of a college education. (I could do a whole series on this problem alone.)

2) Don't bases your academic goals on your neighborhood school's curriculum or state standards. Base your academic goals on your child's needs and his/her interests.Yes, there are academic standards for college, but children develop at different rates and blossom at different ages. Don't hold your child back or hurry them along to meet some arbitrary and artificially created "standard."   If you must have outside validation for your academic plans, please use research based criteria and not ego driven benchmarks.

3) Don't neglect the non-academic subjects. No matter what career you children ultimately chooses, where they go to college or if they go to college at all, he or she will need to know how to do laundry, clean the house, balance a check book, change a diaper, cook a simple meal, and so forth.

4) Don't worry so much. Enjoy your time with your children today. As the good book says, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  Worrying about college while your child is in grade school is a waste of energy.  Also, the educational landscape is constantly changing.  The criteria used today may not be the criteria used ten years from now. 

5) Don't complain about your neighborhood school, the school your kids used to attend, or any other educational option. It just irritates your friends and neighbors who have made the choice to entrust their children to those institutions. If your friends, neighbors and relative feel that they have to defend their educational choices, they will not come to you with their questions about homeschooling when they are ready to make a change.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Sprittibee

This will be the 395th edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Homeschooling and Quilting

Katherine is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at No Fighting, No Biting!

She starts the carnival with:

One of the beauties of homeschooling is the opportunity to educate a child as well as help form their character. Those of us who have taught our own children from their earliest years through 8th grade, or even all the way to 12th grade graduation, know that this is a long, and sometimes arduous process. One of my hobbies is quilting, a useful art that transforms fabric into a beautiful object that can warm the body and soul for a lifetime. It takes a great deal of time and perseverance to make a quilt, just as it does to teach a child to read, write, count, and slowly learn to think and reason.

First you select yardage of fabric in your favorite colors, wash it, press it, and cut it according to the pattern selected. There are many homeschooling curriculum choices available from traditional, to classical, to unschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, July 15, 2013

A report from my youngest daughter

My youngest daughter recently turned 13.  We now have three teenage daughters!

I asked the youngest to provide a summary of her summer.  Here it is:

During the summer I’ve been trying to stay productive, with more than a little coaching from my parents. Luckily they’ve been keeping me busy. My father frequently reminds me to make a list each day as a way to stay on track. It has been helping.

Some of my goals are to stay fit, study my scriptures more, spend more time with family and last but not least spend time with my pet rabbit. In addition to all that, my parents have me doing yard work, house work and a little math. But I still have time for friends and biking as well as playing on the computer. (One of the family rules is we don’t get to play on the computer until after 3:00 PM.) It’s a good thing all my years of homeschooling have taught me to be self-motivated and stay focused.

This summer might not be overly relaxed but it has been fun and I expect it will continue to be very fun. I’ve had the opportunity to attend our churches girls’ camp, which was a great summer experience.

One of the greatest pleasures is being a parent and watching your children turn out well. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Home Grown Mommy.

The carnival starts with:

Thank you all so much for coming over to check out all the awesome wisdom being shared by fellow homeschooling families!

Thank you to those of you who participated by sending in articles! You help keep this wonderful resource running.

I noticed the number of article submissions are way down from the last time I hosted – let’s all share this carnival with friends, through Facebook and other social media outlets, our blogs, etc. This is such a great way for all of us to gain some insight through what other families have experienced – let’s help it grow bigger than ever before!!

On that note, here is this week’s edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling!!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: No Fighting, No Biting!

This will be the 394th edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me.
Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, July 08, 2013

Where we are after 14 years of homeschooling

Our oldest daughter has completed her first year of community college as a full time student.  She began attending community college part time the second half of her junior year in Cate Academy  under the concurrent enrollment option (which is free).  

Daughter #1 hasn’t really settled on a major yet.  She began as an Interior Design major, but branched out into a wide variety of classes, including criminal law.  We jokingly say that she is going to be the “fashion police.” 

One of our biggest surprises is that our math challenged daughter has gotten A’s in college math classes (Intermediate Algebra and Geometry) and is planning on taking more math classes. This is the kid who in the 4th grade couldn’t get 100 simple addition problems right to save her life.  She took two years to complete the Saxon Algebra I book and two years to complete the Saxon Algebra II book.  We are pleased to see that slow and steady actually does win the race.

Our second daughter has completed her junior year of  high school.  She passed the CHSPE easily and got A's in the two classes she took at the community college last semester.  This kid has already picked a major and has planned out next year’s community college classes so that she will have many of the core classes for her major completed even before she applies to the program at a 4 year college next year.

She also struggled with math but got a respectable math score on the ACT and SAT.  She also tested out of much of the college math requirements.  As much as I would love her to try more advanced math, her major does not require it.  She needs only to take Statistics to complete her college math credits, which she plans to do next semester at the community college with the concurrent enrollment.  

We don't advertise that she has already passed the CHSPE or she would have to pay tuition at the community college.  We don't produce that documentation until she needs it to start college as a full time student in the fall of 2014.

Our youngest daughter will be beginning the 8th grade (homeschool) in the fall.  She is the only child we’ve had thus far who was on track to take Algebra in the 8th grade.  I tried with the other kids, but they just weren't ready.  This is the kid who taught herself to read on   

Since her older sisters were such late readers (somewhere between 3rd – 5th grade), it never occurred to me to even try to teach her to read earlier.  She was ready before I thought to invest any serious effort.  We ended up with a few Explode the Code books that she never needed.  This is also the kid that can spell which is something that no one else in the family does easily.

Academically, this child is the most advanced for her age.  This is also the kids that I have done the least for.  By the time she came around, my time was stretched between 3 children.  Just about the time she started school, her younger brother with special needs joined our family. I have no explanation of why she has done so well other than this is also the kid who did all the occupational therapy routines with her younger brother to encourage him along.  And, she had the secondary exposure to all her older siblings' activities.

When she was a young, I would work one on one with one of the older children while the other child "played with the baby."  Then the older girls would switch places.  I did spend some one on one time with our youngest, but it was proportionally much less than the two older girls.

Our youngest child (Baby Bop) and only son thus far, has finished is first year of “homeschooling” which to outsiders looked a lot like playing in the back yard.  I focused on speech (he has a significant speech delay), brain development through movement and literacy through listening to books on tape.

We have a tutor that comes in once a week to spend an hour with him doing whatever she wants.  She has a BS in engineering and an MA in Occupational therapy, and has an incredible sense of what he needs.  By school standards we are behind, but since 2 out of 3 of my other kids developed on their own schedule, I haven’t worried too much about it.

Baby Bop is progressing and his neurodevelopmental issues are fading with time.  I plan to be a bit more structured next year, but I am more concerned with basic brain development than I am with artificial academic mile posts that he will hit when his brain in ready.  

And that is what our 14th year old homeschooling looks like.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Home Grown Mommy

This will be the 393rd edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, July 04, 2013

A problem which has existed for centuries

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

             We hang the petty thieves and
            appoint the great ones to public office.


Celebrating the July 4th

I think one good way to celebrate the 4th of July is to write our leaders.  I've already sent off a set of letters.

Here is a site for Contacting your Elected Officials

You can contact the President of the United States.

Your Senators.

Your Congressman.

Tell them what you think needs to be done to make this a better country.

I think it is our duty as citizens to frequently voice our concerns.

Happy July 4th

We wish you all the best on this July 4th.

As a reminder of what our Founding Father fought for here is the Declaration of Independence:

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. 
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Study: People With a Lot of Self-Control Are Happier

The Atlantic reports Study: People With a Lot of Self-Control Are Happier.

Hat tip: Instapundit

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The "Enjoy Reinvention" Edition

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Dewey's Treehouse.

Mama Squirrel starts the carnival with:

Welcome to the 392nd Carnival of Homeschooling!

This week's Carnival theme is from a submission by Julie Bogart of Brave Writer"It's reinvention time!" discusses the reasons even experienced homeschool moms keep reinventing, improving, tweaking what we use and how we teach.  Sometimes it's because the kids have changed...and sometimes it's because the teacher has!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, July 01, 2013

A sign of success

One of the things we like about homeschooling is the opportunity for quicker and more complete mastery of academic subjects.  We think it is wonderful that we can tailor the instruction to each of our children.

But even more important to us is character development.  We want our children to be self-driven, to be able to set and work towards goals, and to learn to take ownership for their lives.

I am very excited that my sixteen-year-old daughter has taken ownership for what she will do this summer.  She has decided what she wants to accomplish in the next couple months and has built a chart to mark off her progress.

Here are some of the areas she wants to work on:

Saxon Math lessons & Aleks – Math is one of her weak spots
SAT & ACT sections – She has taken each test and will be taking them again this Fall
ASL – she wants to get ready for taking her second American Sign Language class
Exercise – strengthen her body
Yard work – help with the garden
House work – help keep the chaos at a low level
Violin & Piano – maintain and improve her musical skills
Good book – we strongly encourage our children to read more than just entertaining books
Scripture study – strengthen her soul

We may need to reminder her once in a while, but for the most part she will keep her chart in a visible place and stay on top of these areas.

It should be a good summer!

This week's Homeschool Showcase is up

This week's Homeschool Showcase is up at at Weird Unsocilized Homeschoolers.

The start of a new month - try something new for 30 days

I like Matt Cutts' TED talk on Try something new for 30 days.

Consider trying something new for the month of July.