Our 2016-17 Reasons For Homeschooling 

Our reasons change every year. I wanted to put down our new reasons for this academic year, from all of us combined.

Reasons for the Kids

1

I homeschool now and it’s fun. (My siblings) went to public school and they did not like it. (Sibling) said it is like a prison and my public-schooled friends say it is like a prison. We have co-ops and I get to play with my friends. We get to have potluck breakfasts and I get to play with my cousins because they are homeschooled. I don’t really know–I just like homeschooling. I like to learn about the human body and math and cursive. I really like math. I like fractions, times, division, plus and subtraction. I like all of them. I like learning spelling. I like the Old Testament.

2

There won’t be bullies there so they won’t hit me. If my siblings bully me or hit me, I can find a room to lock me in. In school the bully might sit … near you. But its better in homeschool, you can sit wherever you want, not where the teacher wants you to sit. Your mom will know which grade you are in. (I like learning) how to write, learning how to trace, learning how to sound out the words. Favorite things to learn about: Gravity, science, building (I have tools). 

3

(I like learning) how to read and playing with the blue sand.* I like the blue sand because it’s very soft. Learning DVDs. 

*The blue sand is for learning montessori stylel how to write letters and numbers, while at the same time repeating the short vowel or most-used consonant sound of the letter.

My Reasons for Continuing to Homeschool

  • I love teaching my own children. It feels like a new and fun hobby. I love that it gets to be me and not someone else. I love that my kids come to me with questions and trust me with their educations. I love seeing their eyes light up when they learn.
  • We have a big library which is expanding every year. We are loaded with DVD curricula, games, books, textbooks, workbooks and supplies of all kinds. We even have a homeschool room now, which I love having!  I did do it without one for a few years, but it is nice to have one. We still learn and do assignments all over the house, but it is nice to have a place to put things in to keep life organized.
  • I love that my kids just get to live life with freedom. They do not have to sit in an assigned seat, sit still, be quiet and only speak when they raise their hand and are called upon. They not have to line up for lunch and march through the halls to lunch. They do not have to line up to leave the house. They do not have to ask permission to use the potty or get a healthy snack or drink. 
  • I love that when other kids are in school, my kids learn from repair prossionals, real estate professionals, lanscape professionals, servers at restaurants, fast food workers, store clerks, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, museum guides, visual artists of the community, people in care centers, poeple giving service in the community, wildlife rehabilitators, actors, musicians and more. I am far from being their only teacher.
  • I love that my kids can learn to do home repair, yard work, cooking, meal planning, shopping, housecleaning, decluttering, building, landscaping, tree olanting, composting, gardening and many more life skills, during the day and in the evening.
  • I love that we can talk about our religious beliefs unhindered my social expectations. We can talk about God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, the Bible, the Book of Mormon and our Prophets and Apostles, all day long. We do not have to teach every religion equally. We d not have to equally exclude all religions. 
  • I love that when there is a problem understanding a concept being taught that we can turn to God in prayer, trust Him, have faith in Him, and ask Him for help. I love that He always does help!
  • I know Heavenly Father told me to homeschool and told my husband to trust me to nurture and educate our children.
  • I know homeschooling works. Even though it seems impossible, with God, it is possible.
  • I love being with my kids, spending time with them and getting to know them. I love that they get more time with me and with my husband. I love that they get more time with each other and get to be together all day on most days.
  • I love that I know them and can figure out the best ways each of my kids learn. I get to know them more each week. Their interests are always changing and I feel like I always can be there to watch them change and grow. I get to teach them the ways each of them learn best.
  • I have the freedom and the responsibility to hire others to teach my children. I choose their teachers myself. 
  • I get to be the one that teaches my children about social things like learning, religious values and the ten commandments, service, kindness, respect for people of all ages no matter their age, respect for poeple of all religions and cultures and races, reading, exercise, research, making friends, determination, being honest, hard work, etiquette, standing up for themselves, being assertive and being polite. They do not learn it from kids their ages in a public school. 
  • I do not have to wait for quarterly parent, student, teacher conference to find out how my child is doing or wait for the end of semester or end of level test because I know what they are understanding and learning every day. If I want to have a more formal assessment or testing for them, thye are free online and available, or available for a small price.  can assess them myself sometimes, too, with my own verbal quizzing.
  • I can be creative with how and what I have them learn. I can also be spontaneous. I can change the way we do things at anytime.  can come up with a new system or routine at will. I do not need approval from a bureaucracy.
  • My kids are taught about our founding fathers, liberty, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, government, civics and world history with books, field trips and curricula I choose. Their curricula is carefully selected and edited for truth to be taught. My kids d see socialist indoctrination, but because I point things out to them and they have been taught the truts, they can spot indoctrination even when I am not there, and tell me about it.
  • I know what is on the tests I give my kids. I know before the test and after the test, what the content of the test is.

Relax, Homeschool Lesson-Planning-Obsessed SuperMom!

     Last night I was so upset and worried because our “REA GUIDE to CLEP Western Civilizations I” book was missing. I have been using it to plan how and what to teach my daughter for Homeschooling Early College in Homeschool High School (9th grade). I told my husband last night, “I am so messed up!” He asked why and I replied, “The Western Civilizations I is missing, and it is my latest obsession to work on that for homeschool. I do not know what to do with myself!” This was at 8 p.m. He said, “Find a new obsession, then.” 

     Honestly, I cannot relax even at 8 p.m.? I resolve to relax after 7:30 p.m. every night. If nothing else, it will help me re-charge for the next day and be forced to enjoy my children instead of worrying about homeschool.

     I found the book in the van this morning. Whew. I had said many prayers. I know Heavenly Father was probably trying to tell me to relax, but it was not happening. I have a hard time relaxing. I am obsessed with lesson planning. I am always lesson planning. 

     I found this article in my E-mail box this morning. It was great. A Post About Relaxing Your Supermom Obsessions

I Am Determined to Help Moms At the Beginning of Their Homeschool Journeys

I am going to help other women who are beginning to homeschool their children and need a guiding hand and a loving, listening ear. This is what I must do. I am moving on to a new step in my homeschooling journey.

What if I were the last woman on this planet left homeschooling?

I had to give something up in order to gain something in my homeschool this past year. Well, truth be told, I had to give a lot of things up to make homeschooling this many kids something that can function. I gave up facebook and all of the homeschooling facebook groups that went along with it. That gave me ever so much more time to actually teach my kids things and be a way better mom. I also had to give up much of the communication I had with my very local, very close homeschool friends. I did not give up all of it, mind you. I did not enjoy it, either. Because I gave up facebook, I also gave up facebook messenger, where much of that chatting went on. Even the giving up of the much chatting with my really close friends about homeschooing gave me much more time to lesson plan, to shop for homeschooling resources, to read books which improved my knowledge and helped me homeschool better and to spenc more one on one time with each child, enjoying life and one another and learning together.

To the other homeschool moms out there, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities for any number of you to decide to send your kids to a private school, a charter school, an online school or a public school in any given year. If it were to happen, you would defend your decision, perhaps on a blog post like this one. You would have many reasons. I do not know what your reasons would be. They are your own. I am telling you this, though. It would upset me to read about your decision. I am candid here. Even if you are a stranger and were never my support network, I would be upset because I get so psyched about the growing of the homeschool movement. If you are a personal friend, it would hurt on a more personal level, but would be guilt. “Why was I not there for her? Why did I not support her enough? Did she need me? What did she need from me?” This is because when we are in this, we know that it is tough. It is EXTREMELY tough. Support is so important.

I reflect. Am I homeschooling today only because of the support network I had when I started? Why, yes. Yes, indeed. I would not be in my 5th full year of homeschooling this year were it not for the support of people who, at the start, were complete strangers. I would not have even started had it not been for the support of a good and kind friend who supported me starting and helped me to start doing it.

Today, though, after 5.5 years of homeschooling, I am on a different level. I no longer feel a vital dependency on other homeschool moms around me for my continuation in homeschooling. I feel that I could be the last homeschooling mom on the planet. I know it would be exceedingly more difficult than it is for me now, but I feel so much more strongly about it. I am so much more experienced in it. I am not homeschooling because of the support network I have in homeschooling my kids at this time. I would keep doing it without any of the support. 

I am a different woman than the one who started to do this in January of 2012. I am not too different, though. Then, I had to meet people who were strangers and start from scratch. This year, I have a huge library of resources and curriculum. I have a lot more experience and knowledge, too.

This having taken place in my life was a miracle. It was calming and peaceful. It has made the inner turmoil go away. It has made guilt and worry go away. This past Sunday as I listened to a talk in church and learned wisdom from it, my stress also went away, as the speaker advised me to “Enjoy the Journey.”

I am committed to enjoy the journey, but in order to enjoy the journey I must serve others by helping those who WANT TO ENJOY THE HOMESCHOOLING JOURNEY but are too overwhelmed, too worried, too concerned, too unsupported and too frazzled with stress to do so. My new NEED is to help others who are at the beginning of their journey, who are not yet to the point where they could and would homeschool even if nobody in the world did it but them.

Joyce Kinmont is a wonderful example to all of us who feel the call to help other homeschool moms to get to the point where they feel they could do this on their own. Joyce sends me E-mails now because I joined her E-mail list. Her E-mails are simple but peaceful and supportive. Her website blog, Every Home A School, is the same. Joyce is the first Homeschool Mom in the state of Utah (as far as I know) since it became legal again. She is the founder of the LDS Home Educators Association. She started this when nobody in the whole state was there to walk her through it. That is amazing and very courageous. If it hadn’t been for her, perhaps I would not have heard of homeschooling and would not be homeschooling my kids today.

She is one of my heroes. She does not support me and you in homeschooling because she needs the support. She is a grandmother now and has been finished homeschooling her own children fo a while now. She did not decide that she needed time to herself more than time to help us. That is crazy. Who does that? A hero does that. A Great Woman of God does that.

I am not going to tell you “I want to be just like her when I grow up” because I do not. I want to be me, but heroic in helping other homeschool moms, just like her. I will figure out a way to be a hero with my own gifts, talents, determination, goals and guidance from our loving Heavenly Father.

A Great Woman of God I will become. It will take time. It may take the rest of my life. I am determined, though, and I will become the Woman of God that Heavenly Father sees I can become!

{“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” -Ella Wheeler Wilcox quotes (American poet and writer 1850-1919)} (Source: Thinkexist.com)

The Career of Homeschool Mom at Midnight

At midnight, this mom is still up searching for books, youtube videos and answers to all of the questions, interests and passions of her children. Sigh. 

First it started like this:

‘I will read “Better Than College…” again and see if I catch some new things the second time reading it. Before long, this came to my head.:

‘I wonder if I could find youtube videos about what it is like to be a nurse.’

After watching a few and saving then for my children to watch, I decided to look up some other careers my children have had interest in. I watched and saved those. 

Before long I was again on amazon adding book after book to my wishlist for the kids. This wishlist is forever long and I have to prioritize and decide later which of all things I want to buy, will be best for “my littles.” 

I cannot belive time flies so fast!

******

O.K., FYI, I just fell asleep leaning over my iPad. I really should go to bed.

Exhausted But Very Happy

I would just like people to know what it is like to be a homeschool mom. I am exhausted but very happy. Here is a post about the things I do that, all added together, day by day, are exhausting:

Chauffering to class (yes, I hired a teacher for a subject)

Digging holes and planting trees and grapevines

Planting, watering, covering, and protecting newly planted flowers and vegetables

Watching my husband and kids move dirt from the road to the garden (*not exhausting)

Breastfeeding and reading (at the same time) lots and lots (*not exhausting)

Volunteering with my kids to feed hospitalized wild birds

Driving around in the van a lot to get places

Decluttering, Organizing and Cleaning the house

Interconnected Family Health

Lately I have learned that everything I need to do for my personal health, affects our homeschool. I focused on my health. Today I came to the conclusion that my husband’s and my childrens’ health contributes to the success of our homeschool, too. I also decided that all of us can influence everyone else’s health. I observed that each aspect of health also affects every other aspect of health. 

Important are Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Mental, Social and Financial Health. Each aspect of Health is intertwined with each other aspect of Health. Each family member’s health is interconnected with the health of each individual in our family. The things each individual does, contributes to or takes away from the good health of the family’s whole health.

I came up with a plan to make task lists daily for each family member which will help us all improve our personal healths, our interpersonal healthiness and our overall family health. It has been working well so far today.

For me, this blog post is great for my mental health today. This will contribute to the mental health of the family, as well. I am so excited for this personal mothering breakthrough. It is for me a great discovery!

I hope it will benefit your family to ponder this!

My Book Recommendations for Homeschooling Moms & Dads!

I often get questioned about how to deal with this or that problem and I often give book recommendations. I love reading non-fictions books which will help me with my homeschool. Here are some of my favorite recommendations, the ones I recommend most often to more homeschool moms and the ones which have influenced whatever wisdom I have with which to homeschool. Some of them, I picked up long before starting to homeschool.

“Homeschooling Day by Day,” by Kristy Howard

“The Homeschool Experiment,” by Charity Hawkins

“Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe,” by Todd Wilson

“Things We Wish We’d Known: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling,” by Diana Waring

“The Underground History of American Education,” by John Taylor Gatto

“Unschooling Rules,” Clark Aldrich

“The Learning Coach Approach,” by Linda Dobsen

“The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child’s Classroom,” by Mary Griffith

“Discover Your Child’s Learning Style,” by Mariaemma Willis, M.S. and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.

“Cooperative Learning in the Classroom,” by David W. Johnson, et.al

“Farenheit 451: A Novel,” by Ray Bradbury

“The Active Classroom Fieldbook: Success Stories From the Active Classroom,” by Ronald Nash

“Help! Around the House,” by Don Aslett

“Not For Packrats Only,” by Don Aslett

“Done!” by Don Aslett

“Unconditional Parenting,” by Alfie Kohn

“The Homework Myth,” by Alfie Kohn

“The Schools Our Children Deserve,” by Alfie Kohn

“Help! I’m Married to a Homeschool Mom,” by Todd Wilson

“Number Sense Routines,” by Jessica F. Shumway

“Spelling in Use,” by Lester L. Laminack and Katie Wood

“Whole Learning: Whole Language and Content in the Upper Grades,” by Pat Cordeiro

“The NDD Book,” by William Sears, M.D.

“How to Negotiate With Kids Even When You Think You Shouldn’t,” by Scott Brown

“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

“Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live, Too,” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

“Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach…” by Hal Edward Runkel

“A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom,” by Aline D. Wolf

“Montessori Madness,” by Trevor Eissler

“Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years,” by Elizabeth Hainstock

“Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years,” by Elizabeth Hainstock

“Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky,” by Carol Garhart Mooney

“Called Home,” by Karen DeBeus

“Superwoman Syndrome,” by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

“Toxic In-Laws,” by Susan Forward

“The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity,” by Joseph Nowinski

“Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You,” by Susan Forward

“The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk,” by Diana West, IBCLC and Lisa Marasco, M.A., IBCLC

“Numbers in Pre-School and Kindergarten,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Reinvent Arithmetic, Second Edition,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, Second Grade, 2nd Edition,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, 3rd Grade,” by Constance Kamii

“Achievement Testing in the Early Grades: The Games Grown-Ups Play,” Edited by Constance Kamii

“How to Raise a Child With a High (E.Q.) Emotional Quotient,” by Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D.

“Teaching Children Empathy, the Social Emotion: Reproducible Worksheets…” by Tonia, Ph.D., Casselman

“That’s My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character,” by Rick Johnson

(Utahns) “The Utah Adventure,” by John McCormick

“Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” by Seth Godin

“Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family,” by Mary Ostyn

“Getting to Dry: How to Help Your Child Overcome Bedwetting,” by Max Maizels

“What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions,” by Douglas A. Riley

“The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller,” by John Truby


Local or not, Homeschool Moms Can be Mean to Other Homeschool Moms. Sorry. hUgS!!

After the Wounds Have Healed, Here is the Story     

     We homeschool moms love to tout that we are socializing our kids, but in a different way. Our kids do not learn social skills the way that public and private school kids do. Many homeschool moms love to write posts about how they are teaching their kids about social skills. Moms who homeschool do their best to teach their kids many things they never learned well in their growing up years. One of these things, is social skills.

     Whether they were homeschooled or not, though, moms are not perfect at social skills themselves. Sometimes, this shows. Most of the time, it hides. Sometimes, it takes the form of gossip. Sometimes, it just stays buried in the minds of the other homeschool mom, and she keeps it her secret, that she just cannot stand you.

     I will tell you that homeschool moms do not always tell the truth. In fact, when I hear things that are not nice, about others, I become extra suspicious and ask questions of the person they are talking about, herself. ‘I know she can shed some light on this,’ I think to myself, and I find out her point of view. 

     Recently, the (false) news was spread that (name) was responsible for something I did that the local homeschool community did not like. I was upset and worried, or course. I was upset that this woman might feel upset. I was worried that she would think I had said that she had caused me to do the thing many did not like. I told her she was not responsible, and that I had done this for many reasons. I named them. I assured her she was not a reason. To this day, I have told nobody which homeschool moms were the big bullies who caused me to do this thing nobody liked. Ther were roughly 15 of them. I will not give names. This made the homeschool community upset. They wanted to pin the blame on somebody, so they made up a story and pinned it on someone. This was not fair and not nice. 

    I was very upset one day and my wonderful, kind, music-loving husband introduced me to Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake it Off,” from 1989. It made my day. I bought it from Amazon. I listened to it again and again. It got me through this rough time. I heard from a couple people, that many were saying unkind things about me in the homeschool community, and also that I had true friends, because there were people defending me and standing up for me at the same time. 

     I did not even ask who the nice people were standing up for me. I knew who they were without asking. I also have a guess that the same people who hurt me, were the ones trying to take stabs at my reputation. Knowing this hurt immensely. It was like…O.k. I have tried 3 metaphors already and like none of them. I went from feeling safe and loved in my community of homeschool moms, to feeling hated and unsafe. I felt I could no longer trust so many people. 

     This was a lot of emotional and social pain for me, but it has helped me to become a better person. I have since read a few books and have learned how to:

-spot potential “frienemies” before I let them into my cirlcle of “I trust you with my thoughts and my heart.”

-notice “frienemies” who are disguised as people I can trust with my heart and my thoughts, and stop sharing things with them, and stop inviting them over, doing favors for them, answering their seemingly innocent pleas for advice, and so forth

-Notice emotional blackmail attempts of others, on me, and thwart the attempts, letting them know where the boundaries are and letting them know that I feel this way and you feel that way, and it is o.k. that we disagree. I will not change my position or stand, because of guilt, shame, social pressure, anger, or any other emotion.

-Notice when I am using emotional blackmail on others, and stop it! I now know what it is and how I have used it, unknowingly, most of my life. I am now catching and stopping myself. 

-All about narcissists. Narcissism is not what I thought it was. It is a different thing. I used to think it ws conceit and vanity. It is not. What it is, is a disorder causing the person to take advantage of others, not thank others, make people feel guilty for not giving them more, and to use others for their own gain. It is manipulating others into giving things up for their benefit, so that they can metaphorically eat from the King’s Table while the others (who have sacrificed for them) eat the pig’s pile of scraps for food. “Suuuuuu-Ey!” It is then demanding a word of thanks for the pig’s food given them, then asking for more sacrifice. It will be never-ending, until the others tell the narcissist no, and stick to their “no.”

-That to end my cycles with narcissists, in the relationships in which it is necessary and possible, cutting off contact with the narcissists, is the best move. In some situations, one can just learn to say no, and the relationship just changes for the better. In some situations, cutting off contact is not possible because of relationship ties. However, in these relationships, we must be extremely vigilant and NOTICE when they are using emotional blackmail to get us to do what they want us to do.

—-

I am grateful for what I have learned. Thanks, ladies. I am now so much wiser!

If You Chance to Meet a Homeschool Mom…

Mosiah 8:18 “And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;”

A homeschool mom has had a very difficult days, weeks, months and years. She has had ups and downs just like you have. The difference between a homeschool mom and other women, though, is that when other women say their lives are difficult, people do not usually tell them to quit whatever it is they are doing because what they are doing is futile or too difficult.

If a woman works as a nurse and tells her friends about the difficulties of working with doctors, for example, other women do not tell them, “If is is so hard, then quit being a nurse!” or, “That is why I am not a nurse!”

However, when a homeschool mom says to another person, “I am having a rough time with (this or that),” without hesitation, the other person says something like, “Then quit homeschooling!” or “That is why I do not homeschool!”

 

 

For a homeschool mom, taking the risk of telling you that homeschooling is very hard, is a risk. That risk is a big deal. She has heard from many, that she should stop homeschooling if it is so hard. She wants you to be a listening ear or a sounding board. She is testing the waters with you. She will test the waters with many, until she finds someone who will allow her to have frailties, to not have to pretend she is someone she is not.  She does not want to stop being a homeschool mom because she feels overwhelmed, just like mothers do not want to stop being mothers when they feel overwhelmed.

Next time you feel like saying to a homeschool mom, that because what she does is too hard, she should quit, remember that she could have been a dear friend. This homeschool mom may not risk being truthful with you again. She may add you to the bottom of her extremely long list of people to whom she cannot vent.

Is it the duty of a homeschool mom to bear this life without complaint? Must she live life telling everyone homeschool is going perfectly, even if it is not, because of potential passing of judgement about her incompetencies? Does the homeschool mom not get your part of “bear one another’s burdens that they may be light,” because she has chosen a path of which you do not approve?

Please do not be a person she knows she cannot vent to, or dares not try venting to for the first time. She needs to vent. It is a healthy thing all women must do to keep their sanity. She who homeschools is not extra-human. She is NOT more amazing than other women. She does not think she is. She is humble and does not think she is  better than you because she has chosen this different path. No, she is not judging you, so please allow her the same courtesy. She is a normal, everyday woman, as unique and complicated as any other woman, who needs listening and caring from other women, just like all other women. Just like all other women, she needs a sounding board. Please do not tell her to quit telling you the truth by telling her that if homeschooling is so hard, she should quit.

Instead, support her as a friend supports a friend. This is what we homeschool moms crave. We need badly, people who listen and empathize, but do not tell us to quit homeschooling. So, please, whether you understand the homeschool thing or not; Whether or not you support it or agree with it, Support the woman. She is a child of God, and she has burdens that she would like to tell you about. Just listen. All she needs is a listener. Be that person for her!

Perhaps instead of telling her to quit, you can say,”Oh, that must be hard.” Then you can tell her you also have troubles, and she will listen to you, too. She will then say to you, “Oh, that also must be hard.” You do not have to have the exact same life to be friends. Friends are just people who support one another. They listen to one another. They are there for each other. Just be that for a homeschool mom! She will be so relieved to have finally found someone.