Monday, March 26, 2012

Only an Option For The Wealthy? Nonsense!

I came across this article in Newsweek about homeschooling. What I wanted to respond to was the comments.

Over and over, I saw the refrain, "Homeschooling is only a viable option for affluent, 2 parent households, because one parent needs to stay home to school the kids."


I am a single, working mother.  I homeschool.  I have made it work.  Oh, and I am far from rich.  Far, far from rich.

In today's world, I don't see any reason for a mother to have to leave her kids at home to work at a job 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  There are too many options these days to work at home, or create a flex time position, or work graveyards. Even if Mom does have to work outside the home, with support from the community and her child care providers, she can still successfully homeschool. 

I work from home as a bookkeeper and virtual assistant.  I work outside the home a few hours a day, but not much.  Schoolwork is set the night before, and sometimes the kids stay up late in their rooms to do it, other times they get up early and get it done.  Total daily time on formal lessons?  Less than 2 hours.  We're done before lunch, and then I get to shoo them outside to play (PE!) for the rest of the day while I work.

Since I don't work outside the home every day, I don't have to drive as often, nor do I have to have expensive business clothing and shoes.  I can also plan and prepare meals, which keeps the grocery bill low.  I do work about 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. 

My son attends Cub Scouts, and my daughter is in ballet, jazz, and modern dance at a local studio.  I do the books for the studio to pay for her dance.  Both kids attend a math learning center - again, paid for with trade work (yup, I do their books too). 

We love hitting yard sales, and were delighted to find a student microscope at a yard sale for $10.  They have examined almost anything you can put on a slide and are constantly looking for new things to examine.

Kids love to learn.  They want to learn, as long as that love of learning isn't killed.  I put my focus on reading, writing, math, grammar, history, and language, and more or less get out of the way for the rest.

Khan Academy offers a huge number of no-cost videos and self-test, mostly on math and science.  I log them in and let them go to it.  They love it.

If you want to teach your kids at home, there is always an option.  Always.  It may involve some creative thinking, but there are options.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Discovering the Joy of Reading

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”   ― C.S. Lewis

I love reading.  There is nothing more wonderful than a good book.  And I am excited to see that Mercedes has suddenly also found the joy of reading.  She's reading the Little House series (she calls it "The Little Books") and so I told her I would purchase them for her as she goes along.

The fun part is that I get to re-read them too!  I have always loved those books.

She's also got the Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter series, the Borrowers, and several others that I loved as a child and still love as an adult.

We hate textbooks - what idiot thought it would be a good idea to give kids a chapter of a great book and call it good?  We read books.  Real books!

I am so excited to see the kids loving to read!