Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Return to Homeschooling...........

I had not realized that I had not posted on my blog in almost a year. I had been so busy, I hadn't even noticed at all.  I suppose initially, I felt that since we weren't homeschooling anymore, and this was a blog about homeschooling, that maybe I wouldn't.  Yet, really and truly, it is a blog I began long ago for my children.  If it serves anyone else, lovely, but really, it is a record for them.  So in hindsight, it is a blog of their education, and I wish I had thought to post things they were doing in school - maybe I will add some of that at some point.

The year has been whirlwind.  It began with public school for a fourth grader and a kindergartner.    That was after long, heated discussions with the district office regarding a 5 year old illegally entering kindergarten, shopping around for a school that would allow it, (a retiring principal thankfully registered him for kindergarten late in June) and then driving my children way out of zone, to that school each morning, beginning in September.  

In late Autumn, I began teaching at a charter school.  I moved my kindergartner from public school to a Montessori school, and then brought him back home just a few weeks ago, after being terminated from the charter school.  My ds only words that day, my last day teaching, when they picked me up, were "Great mommy! Now we can homeschool again."

All of those things are entire stories in and of themselves - angry public school administration, botched evaluations, bullies in the kindy, and a hectic lifestyle that left me questioning so much at the end of the day, especially when I had to teach lessons each day that took HOURS of planning, to students who were apathetic, angry and had NO desire to engage, while my own children were suffering. It was hard to see the point of it all some days. 

While it was never my thought to do so really, and while I was always extremely skeptical of schooling, and the public system that has gotten itself into such a quagmire, and really it was an economic push that forced my children into the schoolroom, I realize now, more than ever, how ridiculously little learning actually takes place in most classrooms, how children's educations are repeatedly interfered with by unruly peers, and other extraneous matters, how they are taught to the test ad nauseum, and how I am just so unable to wait for the next reform, which may or may not be any good anyway.

I refuse to sit back and "wait" for reform to come about.  For now, I am my children's reform. They will be long grown by the time any other sort of reform comes about.  Their chance at an education will be over. I must seize this moment, the privilege and opportunity that has again been bestowed upon me.  A year ago, I questioned why this privilege was being taken from me.  I now know.  I had become radical in my thinking, and have definitely gained some balance through these experiences.  I have also come to see the privilege that it is to homeschool my children.  I am grateful to have this opportunity once again. It is a blessing indeed, more than I had ever before realized (and I thought I realized then).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Month Later....

So we have begun our public school life.  It is very odd.  I never thought this day would come, sought to avoid it, until the very end.  Hoping it is only temporary, wishing it were not so.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Goodnight House, Goodnight Rooms...

It is strange how a place becomes a part of you, even a deep and intrinsic part.  To part with your surroundings is to part with a small piece of yourself, your ways of being and of interacting with the world.

So we bid our home goodbye.......

Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Waiting for the Windstorm

Sometimes life gets really bumpy, like a windstorm suddenly rocking our boat.  Things seem to happen all at once, one after the other, very much like the rolling waves, crashing in without letup.  Life has seemed like this lately.  The waves keep crashing in.  First we were told we need to move.  A few days later, the refrigerator died.  Now there is no hot water and a flood in the basement.  I am not sure what tomorrow will bring; part of me is waiting for a windstorm.

And yet, I took some time today to reflect on the bright blue sky....for we shall weather this storm.  Somehow.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

14 Chances

I am just reading through a post Melisa Nielsen wrote about temperament and parenting styles and hence the title of this post - 14 chances.

Why do we sometimes lose our temper as parents?

It is all about learning how to set boundaries as a parent, for the child, and being willing to stick to them.  I think many parents today could benefit from such a thought.  It is like the mom at the grocery store who tells the child umpteen times (maybe fourteen?) not to do something, or else.....  The child very well knows that the parent is not really setting a boundary.  These are empty threats.

How much better for our children to hear fewer words, but ones that hold real meaning.

Easier said than done.  I know.

I think such an approach helps us to keep our cool as well.  No need at all to lose one's patience or temper, because the child has not been allowed to wear away at our patience.

Boundaries.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When I grow up....

As we were going for a late evening walk, looking for fireflies, ds looked at me and suddenly asked, Mommy, when I am big, will I remember being little?  It really struck me, as he was nearly sad in his questioning.  He found a little pebble, and asked me to keep it, so he could remember being little.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Line and Form with String

I decided to introduce some more complex forms, and thought to use string (or modeling clay) to make this easier.  We used a different color for each part.  It enhanced our ability to 'see' the form, an essential part of what form drawing is all about.







Monday, May 6, 2013

Farewell to our Goldfish


Dd took this photo.  We had this little goldfish for about four years.  I was surprised to learn how long they could live, although in the end, he took a turn for the worse, probably ammonia buildup in the water.



Monday, April 1, 2013

Free Book for Shelters Block

I had mentioned in an earlier post that we have been using the book How We Are Sheltered for our shelters block, and I thought to post the link.  It also doubles as a resource for a Block on Handwork/ Trades.  It is an older book in the public domain, and requires a little editing, but it is nothing that can't be done while reading.  


How We Are Sheltered. a Geographical Reader