Straightening the girls room

You can see here the bed is partially painted, and I’ve not yet started the bookshelf. The walls eventually are going to be a darker gorgeous purple, and the trim will be the same brown as the rest of the house will be. Bed linens will be a combo of blues, greens, and purples. It needs a lot of work but it’s CLEAN….mostly. It’s clean enough!DSCN0647

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The goose egg

Twenty days since my last post, and a lot of things have been happening. The littlest, Bug Hunter, tripped on a step up when going out on the upstairs porch. Banged her head right into the wood and ended up with a goose egg. I’ve never seen one like this, it’s always been AFTER the fact and hours later the Mr. would have a small knot on his head or something. No, this was a hard boiled egg cut in half mere minutes after she fell. I was scared at first, honestly, but with no blood, no pupil issues, her balance was fine I checked online while Spider Monkey went and grabbed the ice pack. It seems this is not at all uncommon and to just keep an eye on her for any sign of troubles that would require scans.

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By the following morning the lump was almost entirely gone with just a faint blue/brown bruise.

I tried to alter my lesson logs by writing ‘Documentary’ in the day/subject blocks rather than the title OF the video. While I keep a separate sheet listing the documentary and it’s information it just looked incomplete on my lesson logs so it was back to a bit more detail.

I am still very much enjoying the folder system over the book planner that I was never able to maintain. I have a clear folder in my daily planner that I can keep just 3 pieces of paper in and a sheet of stickers on the other pocket. It’s working wonderfully.

Let me see…I made an agreement with the girls that for each workbook they complete they get 1 hour of video games. We have accumulated a lot of workbooks, most are 3/4 of the way finished but having so many is getting to be a mess. Another video game reward will be an ENTIRE day of free game play when they finish their Time4Learning lessons entirely.

I’ve also been considering changing the name of my blog/page name. I’m not sure yet, it’s just an idea I’ve been tossing around the last couple of days. The only thing holding me back is that I don’t focus ONLY on homeschooling so changing it to the name we adopted for our little free range school just doesn’t seem *quite* right.

Why? Why? Why?!

The question of WHY has been coming up a lot the past few days. Why do you choose to homeschool? on twitter, and even the Pagan Blog Project has teaching as a topic. Maybe the universe wants me to blog about this, then again probably not. Teaching is by definition, showing someone how to do something and that’s what I do. I teach the girls, but I also teach them how to teach themselves and to enjoy learning not just memorization.

My 140 character response to the question is very simple,

‘I homeschool because I know them best and how to provide lessons that are tailored to their varying personality/skill levels’

At many points in our day I will notice things that would lead to issues in public school. I realize they would not do well in a setting that requires strict adherence to ‘acceptable behavior’ and would likely be in trouble and labeled with a learning disability or in need of medications. I’ve SEEN what happens when they get bored in even a basic school setting such as religious education in our previous church-they became disruptive, and wouldn’t follow directions. Boredom. Simply moving up to the next class which was a year ahead (and grouped a year or more older by age) solved the problem.

Beliefs, our religion is just something that comes up. When out for a walk and we see a dead animal we can have talks about death, reincarnation, totem animals, decomposition, what that animal ate, etc. There is no distinction between religion, and lessons. It’s just life. We use The Rede for writing practice, and study the various Gods and Goddesses from all over the world. We find dead and dried butterflies or beetles and it becomes an entire morning of anatomy, life cycles, and symbolism just from a walk down town. It’s hard to explain to someone the integration of spirituality if they don’t practice it themselves. Some days the girls just feel the urge to chant and dance, or to meditate.

If you’ve never been the odd child out you probably don’t know what happens in a group of kids, to that person. Ridicule, insults, bullying are the most common. Often the object of of the attackers attention begins to alter their personality in hopes of fitting in. I’m basing this on MY observations of course, but it is not something I would subject my kids too. Even in middle school as an open Pagan I was ridiculed, told I was going to hell, my beliefs were ignorant. I had students AND teachers, for lack of a better word, interrogate me about my views. Art teachers when I made a clay pentacle, keyboard teachers when they notice my necklace, even history class when I would offer more information on a culture’s Gods that the teacher had missed.

I’ve never been told directly that I am not preparing them for the real world, but I DID just read another person’s blog and their experience being told this. Frankly, I find it baffling that someone would consider public school anything like the real world…I found it the exact opposite. They don’t lack for ‘socialization’, and I have no issues saying I am glad they aren’t exposed to the crap behavior of so many other kids. At an age where children are sponges and adopt behaviors of others around them, of course I don’t want their personality tainted. It’s my job to protect them from it, to develop themselves before dropping them into a ‘lions den’.

How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

mrsmomblog

A Letter to Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department:

I have played your game for the past two years.  As an educator, I have created my teaching portfolio with enough evidence so I can prove that I am doing my job over the course of the school year. I am testing my students on material that they haven’t yet learned in September, and then re-testing them midway through the year, and then again at the end of the year to track and show their growth. Between those tests, I am giving formative assessments. I am taking pictures of myself at community events within my district to prove that I support my school district and the community. I am teaching using the state-generated modules that you have created and assumed would work on all students, despite learning style, learning ability, or native language.   I am effectively proving…

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Qin and Han Dynasty Podcast

We love these podcasts for our homeschool lessons.

Mr. Zoller's Blog

This podcast focuses on the history of the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty in China. Topics discussed include legalism, the Silk Road, and Chinese inventions. You can visit my YouTube Channel and view all of my videos by clicking here.  For school districts in which YouTube us blocked, you can also find my videos posted on Vimeo.

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Locks of Love donations

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This is the first time we’ve been able to get the girls hair long enough to cut and send for a donation. We have wanted to for years but the girls would get ahold of scissors and chop off a chunk, taking us back to square one. I’m proud of both of them for doing this.

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Last time we went skating…

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