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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:08 PM

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"article on black homeschoolers (SWIPE) + axe me questions"


  

          

i haven't posted on this topic in some time. we several years deep in the game. i have two homeschooled kids in college now. (my oldest daughter, the only one who was not homeschooled, graduated college in may of last year).

and we got 3 in the pipeline (two high schoolers, one middle schooler).


anyway, here's the article. (i didn't write it and have nothing to do with it. just saw it, RT'd it, and thought it would be good to spur discussion)


http://m.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/02/the-rise-of-homeschooling-among-black-families/385543/

Marvell Robinson was in kindergarten when a classmate reportedly poured an anthill on him at the playground. After that, the gibes reportedly became sharper: "Why are you that color?" one boy taunted at the swing set, leaving Marvell scared and speechless. The slow build of racial bullying would push his mother, Vanessa Robinson, to pull him from his public school and homeschool him instead.

Marvell is one of an estimated 220,000 African American children currently being homeschooled, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Black families have become one of the fastest-growing demographics in homeschooling, with black students making up an estimated 10 percent of the homeschooling population. (For comparison’s sake, they make up 16 percent of all public-school students nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.)

And while white homeschooling families traditionally cite religious or moral disagreements with public schools in their decision to pull them out of traditional classroom settings, studies indicate black families are more likely to cite the culture of low expectations for African American students or dissatisfaction with how their children—especially boys—are treated in schools.

Marvell, now 7 and in the second grade, was the only black student in both his kindergarten and first-grade classes, and one of only a few black students in his San Diego elementary school, according to his mother. And Marvell’s Asperger syndrome—a high-functioning form of autism that makes social interaction difficult—only added to the curiosity and cruelty with which his fellow classmates approached him, Robinson added. She was concerned the school wasn’t doing enough about it. "I just thought maybe I could do a better job myself," she said.

"They said, ‘kids will be kids,’ and the only solution was for Marvell to be monitored—like he had done something wrong," Robinson said. "In the end, I don’t think that anyone should have to monitor my kid" because of other kids’ behavior.

Robinson allowed Marvell to finish first grade there and began homeschooling him when he started second grade in September. Robinson adjusted her nursing schedule to include 12-hour shifts on the weekends so she could take on educating Marvell during the week. Her husband, a sous chef at a restaurant in downtown San Diego, continues to work full-time and participates in lessons when he can.

And while her primary motivation was giving Marvell individualized attention, Robinson was unable to separate her worries about racial bullying from the decision. "If he hadn’t been bullied I would have really looked into transferring schools, or going back to where I grew up in Kansas," she said. "At least in Kansas it was more racially diverse. I assumed that’s how the schools would be in San Diego, but I was wrong."

Robinson likely joins hundreds of other African American parents who've decided to homeschool their children because of dissatisfaction with the traditional campuses. Indeed, Joyce Burges at National Black Home Educators has watched her membership grow "exponentially" in the 15 years since the organization was founded, a trend also reflected in Marvell’s home state of California. While Burges’s national conferences in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, used to attract only around 50 people, they now attract upwards of 400, she said—a noteworthy number for the first organization for black homeschoolers in a sea of predominantly white organizations.

Research conducted by Marie-Josée Cérol—known professionally as Ama Mazama—also offers insight into the growing trend. A faculty member in the African American Studies department at Temple University in Philadelphia, Mazama began homeschooling her three children 12 years ago and realized quickly that there was little research on black homeschoolers.

"Whenever there are mentions of African American homeschoolers, it’s assumed that we homeschool for the same reasons as European-American homeschoolers, but this isn’t really the case," she said. "Because of the unique circumstances of black people in this country, there is really a new story to be told."

In a 2012 report published in the Journal of Black Studies, Mazama surveyed black homeschooling families from around the country and found that most chose to educate their children at home at least in part to avoid school-related racism. Mazama calls this rationale "racial protectionism" and said it is a response to the inability of schools to meet the needs of black students. "We have all heard that the American education system is not the best and is falling behind in terms of international standards," she said. "But this is compounded for black children, who are treated as though they are not as intelligent and cannot perform as well, and therefore the standards for them should be lower."

Mazama said schools also rob black children of the opportunity to learn about their own culture because of a "Euro-centric" world-history curriculum. "Typically, the curriculum begins African American history with slavery and ends it with the Civil Rights Movement," she said. "You have to listen to yourself simply being talked about as a descendent of slaves, which is not empowering. There is more to African history than that." Mazama’s studies show that black parents who choose to homeschool often teach a comprehensive view of African history by incorporating more detailed descriptions of ancient African civilizations and accounts of successful African people throughout history. This allows children to "build their sense of racial pride and self esteem," she said.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Fields-Smith, an associate professor in the department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia, has in her own studies found similar motivations among black homeschoolers. "The schools want little black boys to behave like little white girls, and that’s just never going to happen. They are different," she said. "I think black families who are in a position to homeschool can use homeschooling to avoid the issues of their children being labeled ‘trouble makers’ and the suggestion that their children need special-education services because they learn and behave differently."

What it means to be "in a position to homeschool" has long been a question in the homeschooling community. According to Mazama, regardless of race, homeschooling families tend to be wealthier and better educated because they must have the economic ability to have one parent stay home full time. Home education, she added, is "not a middle-class phenomenon."

However, both Mazama and Fields-Smith say this is beginning to change; barriers that in the past might have left homeschooling out of the question for many working-class families are being lifted. Greater access to public-education resources is making homeschooling more appealing, too. Mazama pointed to the availability of subsidies ensuring homeschooled children have access to standard public-school nutritional offerings, for example, and public programs allowing homeschooled students to enroll in extracurricular activities and after-school sports as reasons why families are increasingly seeing homeschooling as a valid alternative to traditional education. In fact, Fields-Smith is in the process of writing a book on black, single homeschooling mothers because she sees "more and more families of less means" making the decision to sacrifice traditional career paths so that they can pull their children from school.

Rhonda McKnight would be an archetypical candidate for Fields-Smith’s book. As a single mother, she works about 45 hours per week as a contractor for the state of Georgia—often at odd hours and during the weekend—so she can homeschool her 8-year-old son, Micah. "It’s not easy," McKnight said. "It’s extremely difficult to balance everything." While a common criticism of homeschooling is a potential lack of socialization for children, Mazama said the growing number of homeschooling groups solves this problem. McKnight for her part joined a homeschooling collective that, in addition to providing Micah time with other children, also helps her manage her workload. The group gathers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to engage in extracurricular and hands-on learning activities that can’t easily be done in the home, giving McKnight some time to herself—and, of course, some time to work.

Micah, who like Marvell is autistic, didn’t learn well in a classroom with 25 students. McKnight also felt as though his teacher was misinterpreting the symptoms of his disability as behavioral problems and accusing him of "behavior that was not typical to him." "I don’t know how racially motivated it was at the time," McKnight said. "But even black teachers are taught certain things they are not even aware of. Our culture tends towards labeling our boys."

The poor education, according to McKnight, left Micah significantly behind in several subjects, which means she’s now trying to pack as much into his schedule as possible to get him back on track. "He doesn’t really get a day off—not right now, because he’s just behind. I feel like he doesn’t really have time to relax," McKnight said, explaining she wasn’t aware just how behind he was until she started to homeschool him. Most devastating, she said, was when she realized her son was reading well below his expected third-grade level: "I felt like I had totally failed him, and the school had totally failed him, and the only thing I could do was work with him one-on-one to get him caught up."

To get Micah up to par in his academics, McKnight has employed a customized mix of purchased homeschool lesson plans and learning materials she developed herself—all on top of what he learns at the collective. When Micah is home, McKnight said her days are "totally dedicated to him." They work for at least an hour on each of the core subjects, studying within the grade level that best suits him in each area. On days he returns from the collective, McKnight reads with him for two or three hours with the goal of getting him to a third-grade level by the end of the year. Lessons even continue on Saturdays and Sundays. He’s at his father’s place every other weekend, where he continues his reading schedule, and on the weekends that he’s home McKnight takes him on educational field trips—Atlanta’s many museums are frequent destinations.

It’s this ability to shape everyday activities and lessons to meet the personal needs of each child that Fields-Smith finds so promising about homeschooling—especially for black families. "There is no one way to homeschool," she said, noting all of the families that she consulted for her study were "catering to their children and customizing their education for them" instead of using a single stock homeschooling curriculum.

Still, Mazama and Fields-Smith acknowledge that homeschooling is controversial, particularly in the black community. "For African Americans there is a sense of betrayal when you leave public schools in particular," Mazama said. "Because the struggle to get into those schools was so harsh and so long, there is this sense of loyalty to the public schools. People say, ‘We fought to get into these schools, and now you are just going to leave?’"

For Paula Penn-Nabrit, an African American scholar and writer who homeschooled her children in the 1990s, this struggle hits very close to home. Her husband’s uncle, James Nabrit, argued Brown v. Board of Education in front of the Supreme Court alongside Thurgood Marshall; he later served as the president of Howard University. When Penn-Nabrit decided to pull her three sons from public school, it angered many of her black friends. "A lot of people felt that because my family was intimately involved in the effort to integrate schools, that for me to pull my children out of schools was a betrayal of all that work," she said. "But it really wasn’t. The case had nothing to do with what I, as a parent, decide I want for my child. That decision meant the state can’t decide to give me less than, but I can decide I want more than."

In 2003, Penn-Nabrit published a book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League, in an effort to help others repeat her successes with homeschooling. Her older twin sons, Damon and Charles, both attended Princeton, and her youngest son, Evan, went to Amherst College and then to the University of Pennsylvania.* The book, according to Penn-Nabrit, received "a lot of open hostility"—with several people accusing her of racism—because it detailed accounts of the discrimination her sons allegedly faced in public school and emphasized an Afrocentric approach to education.

Upon deciding to homeschool their sons, Penn-Nabrit and her husband, both of whom have degrees in the humanities, elected to teach them the subject areas they knew well.** For the remaining science and math courses, however, they hired black, mostly male, graduate students from the Ohio State University to take over—in large part so that the boys had exposure to successful people who looked like them.*** After all, according to the Department of Education, less than 2 percent of current classroom teachers nationwide are African American males; until their homeschooling, Penn-Nabrit’s children had never had a black man as a teacher.

"Most black people go to school and never have a teacher that looks like them, and this is particularly true for black boys," she said. Similar concerns, she noted, led to the creation of single-sex schools—a particularly apt comparison for Penn-Nabrit, who attended Wellesley. "If women benefit from having a period of isolation from the larger group, that could be applicable to black boys as well."

Mazama, meanwhile, said that rooting children in their heritage in an educational setting allows them to do better emotionally and socially. "If anything, homeschooled black children would be much stronger because they would not have been devastated at an early age by racism," she said. She explained that the absence of these early destructive experiences, combined with a heritage-focused curriculum, ultimately allows children to recognize and deal constructively with racism—"not by denying it, but by confronting it because they are comfortable with who they are."

"That’s the way I teach my own children," she continued. "I have seen this work."

Back in San Diego, Vanessa Robinson has also seen it work. Now that she's been homeschooling Marvell for five months, she notices that he is better adjusted and has moved farther along academically than he did in public school.

"He’s a completely different person," she said, reporting that his confidence is higher compared to where it was in public school, allowing him to make friends in his neighborhood and learn more quickly. Robinson said that, while she bought a set of lesson plans with a suggested timeline, Marvell now moves so quickly that she has to add lessons together from an array of instructional programs just to keep up. And when he finds something he loves, she lets him dive deep. "Right now, Marvell says he wants to work for NASA, so we’re really focusing on getting in depth into science and space," she said. His new interest is a thrilling prospect for Robinson, a registered nurse with a background in science.

"I just want my son to be a free thinker and to question everything," she said. "I wish that when I was growing up, I could have done that."

* This post previously stated that both of Paula Penn-Nabrit's sons graduated from Princeton with honors. We regret the error.

** This post previously stated that Penn-Nabrit's husband had an advanced degree in the humanities. We regret the error.

*** This post previously stated that the graduate students Penn-Nabrit hired to instruct her sons attended the University of Ohio. We regret the error.

This story was produced in collaboration with The Hechinger Report.




peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Where do they play ball? Seems like you mentioned having a kid
Feb 18th 2015
1
In my school district, homeschooled kids can play for the local school
Feb 18th 2015
3
Damn, I guess that's one big drawback. But at least she don't have to
Feb 18th 2015
4
It was bad enough that she stopped going.
Feb 18th 2015
8
      that's messed up. i'm sorry to hear about that.
Feb 18th 2015
11
that's the so-called 'Tebow Rule'. (even though it predates him)
Feb 18th 2015
12
      Jason Taylor was Homeschooled
Feb 25th 2015
24
there are entire homeschool conferences and leagues.
Feb 18th 2015
7
links to good curriculum for a preschooler?
Feb 18th 2015
2
don't have links but offhand, there were two go-to reading
Feb 18th 2015
9
      RE: don't have links but offhand, there were two go-to reading
Feb 25th 2015
25
Who does the teaching?
Feb 18th 2015
5
This is what I've always wondered about.
Feb 18th 2015
6
measure thrice, cut once. (in other words be very careful
Feb 18th 2015
14
in our family, my wife, predominantly.
Feb 18th 2015
10
      Thanks, bruh.
Feb 18th 2015
15
           lmao. you know, we've had folks ask us to homeschool they
Feb 18th 2015
17
bookmarking article for later! always thinking of homeschooling
Feb 18th 2015
13
where are you? (what state?)
Feb 18th 2015
16
      i'm in NY state/NYC
Feb 18th 2015
18
           their laws are kinda strict, but it looks doable.
Feb 18th 2015
22
                RE: their laws are kinda strict, but it looks doable.
Feb 25th 2015
27
Another question. What's up with grades?
Feb 18th 2015
19
absolutely. not really different from public or private school.
Feb 18th 2015
20
      Interesting. I appreciate the info
Feb 18th 2015
21
up. in case anyone's still interested.
Feb 25th 2015
23
RE: up. in case anyone's still interested.
Feb 25th 2015
26
We've had a really hard year
Feb 25th 2015
28

placee_22
Member since Sep 30th 2002
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:12 PM

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1. "Where do they play ball? Seems like you mentioned having a kid "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

that either plays football or runs track.

Track is probably easy w/ track clubs and stuff. But what if you got a stud football player? Can he only play at your zoned school, or can you cherry pick?

  

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PoppaGeorge
Member since Nov 07th 2004
10384 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 03:16 PM

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3. "In my school district, homeschooled kids can play for the local school"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

so whatever my kids want to do for extra curricular activities they can do at whatever their middle school and high school would be.

We did that for drama and band for my 16 year old, but the girls there were pretty fucked up towards her.

---------------------------

forcing myself to actually respond to you is like bathing in ebola virus. - Binlahab

Like there is stupid, and then there is you, and then there is dead. - VAsBestBBW

R.I.P. Disco D

  

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placee_22
Member since Sep 30th 2002
12954 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 03:23 PM

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4. "Damn, I guess that's one big drawback. But at least she don't have to "
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

>We did that for drama and band for my 16 year old, but the
>girls there were pretty fucked up towards her.

deal w/ that bullshit all day long. B/C I'm sure it's not just going on @ band or drama w/ kids like that.

  

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PoppaGeorge
Member since Nov 07th 2004
10384 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 03:45 PM

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8. "It was bad enough that she stopped going."
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

There's some pretty shitty parents raising extremely shitty kids these days. My daughter is tall (5'11") and has a lighter complexion and was relentlessly teased about it.

---------------------------

forcing myself to actually respond to you is like bathing in ebola virus. - Binlahab

Like there is stupid, and then there is you, and then there is dead. - VAsBestBBW

R.I.P. Disco D

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 04:04 PM

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11. "that's messed up. i'm sorry to hear about that. "
In response to Reply # 8


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 04:21 PM

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12. "that's the so-called 'Tebow Rule'. (even though it predates him)"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

>so whatever my kids want to do for extra curricular
>activities they can do at whatever their middle school and
>high school would be.

folks were discussing that in NC. it'd be great for athletics and extracurriculars, however, the homeschool community is divided over it, as they think it would open them up to more scrutiny and legislation.

i actually like NC's rules for homeschooling. we're considered (by homeschoolers) to be moderately regulated. we have to administer a standardized test (of our choosing) each year, as well as maintain a list of books, and register our homeschool with the state, and keep attendance records.

and you're subject to a random audit of the above once per year. but that's only happened to us once out of 9 years.

>
>We did that for drama and band for my 16 year old, but the
>girls there were pretty fucked up towards her.
>
>---------------------------
>
>forcing myself to actually respond to you is like bathing in
>ebola virus. - Binlahab
>
>Like there is stupid, and then there is you, and then there is
>dead. - VAsBestBBW
>
>R.I.P. Disco D


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Cam
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Wed Feb-25-15 04:20 PM

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24. "Jason Taylor was Homeschooled"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Taylor_%28American_football%29

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:44 PM

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7. "there are entire homeschool conferences and leagues. "
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

i coach a JV / Varsity girls high school team (on which my middle daughter, a freshman, plays). and i'm an assistant coach on the Varsity boys' team.

we play through a collective, umbrella organization. sometimes that is a general organization that exists to support homeschool parents and students. other times one is created solely for sports (my kids used to belong to a homeschool band which was one of those independent entities).

in our case, in NC, there are teams spanning the state, with an eastern and western conference, and divisions among them.

in terms of organization and competition, it's akin to charter or private schools.

for example, my girls team, which is freshmen and sophomores, was JV in conference, but we played up at the varsity level non-conference. we have played 27 games, thus far, and have regional tournament this week and states next week. we were 6-0 in conference, 10-1 as a jv team overall, and 15-12 including varsity games, which included other homeschool teams as well as local charter and private schools.

there is also a post season tournament we'll be playing in with 100 teams (total, across all age divisions) from the midwest to up and down the east coast. teams will be there from georgia, nc, sc, nj, ny, md, ia, in, tn, etc.

there will be scouts from div 1 through 3.

my son, who is a re-classed sophomore, is starting for the 2nd year on varsity. he is in the process of getting looks. he also plays AAU (and my middle daughter was invited to come back to AAU) in the off-season with, and against some of the best players in the area and state.

i coached in the homeschool football league for the 2 yrs before this one (my middle son played his junior and senior years). he wasn't looking to play in college. nowhere near as many teams as in bball, but they rounded out their schedule w/ small charter and private schools and were pretty competitive.

generally speaking, homeschool sports is on the come up. one of the top mens bball recruits last year was a homeschooler. and some of the top womens bball players in recent years have been, also. moriah jefferson, who is a three year starter for UCONN (and who was the top guard in the nation when she came in) played for a homeschool squad in texas.

in our situation, the umbrella organization appoints a board for sports and a commissioner and AD, who handle the logistics of scheduling and getting us a place to play. we rent the gym at a local charter school for practice and games.

in season, we're lucky to have one night of practice (and one or two games) per week. but we go in and beat teams that practice every day.






peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:13 PM

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2. "links to good curriculum for a preschooler? "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


.

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:47 PM

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9. "don't have links but offhand, there were two go-to reading "
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

books / curricula we used.

i got to find them. both were awesome, and with multiple kids, with multiple learning styles, we ended up using both. that's another advantage of homeschooling. you can tailor your teaching methods and curricula to your individual child and what works for them instead of what someone picked out at a district or state level on some 'one size fits all'.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Tiggerific
Member since May 24th 2007
13451 posts
Wed Feb-25-15 04:25 PM

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25. "RE: don't have links but offhand, there were two go-to reading "
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

Please let me know what books to get. My child is about to turn 3 and while we will probably put her in private school when the time comes. And, will put her in preschool when she is fully potty trained, I still want to try to get her ahead of the game. I work with her (not every day) but when she turns 3 it will be an every day thing. Especially if she's not in preschool by then.

"We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents" - Bob Ross

"I'm wearing a MSU Tshirt because I went to MSU, you are wearing a UM Tshirt because you went to Walmart!" -unknown.

http://bjsquirrelchronicles.blogspot.com

  

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placee_22
Member since Sep 30th 2002
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:26 PM

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5. "Who does the teaching? "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Is it a shared responsibility?

Do either of you have a 9-5 outside the home?

If you do, do you teach stuff when you get home too?

How difficult was it to teach subjects you have little to no knowledge of?

Do you have any regrets about choosing this path? (I think I know the answer to this one)

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
15250 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 03:33 PM

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6. "This is what I've always wondered about."
In response to Reply # 5
Wed Feb-18-15 03:34 PM by PimpTrickGangstaClik

  

          

I think I'd be pretty competent in teaching my kid math and English/Lit. But stuff like Middle /High school level Science and History, I'd be absolutely awful without intense prep.


>
>How difficult was it to teach subjects you have little to no
>knowledge of?
>

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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poetx
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14. "measure thrice, cut once. (in other words be very careful"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

in selection of curricula.

the ideal curricula:

- should be something YOU can understand. if you can't figure it out as an adult, it probably ain't gonna work for your child, unless you have a specific struggle in an area that your child does not

- should work with your child's learning style / personality. we have children that are tactile, auditory, and visual learners. we looked, for example, at one math curriculum and it was INCREDIBLY boring. no illustrations, just endless page upon page of problems. that would have bored the hell out of us so we knew it would not fly with our kids and their attention spans. the good thing here is that YOU have the flexibility. there have been times, particularly early on, when we changed our minds about a particular curriculum mid-semester. he or she was just 'not getting it' or there were flaws in the books that did not manifest themselves immediately. switching halfway through was not ideal, but MUCH better than forcing our kids to do that additional several weeks worth of work for naught.

- should be in line with your educational goals. while we don't *have* to, we looked at the entrance requirements for the state university system (ie, how much math, science, english, electives, health and phys ed, etc) and made sure that what we are doing is consistent with that.

>I think I'd be pretty competent in teaching my kid math and
>English/Lit. But stuff like Middle /High school level Science
>and History, I'd be absolutely awful without intense prep.

depends also on when you start. if you start early w/ them you'll be surprised that you are learning right alongside them.

>>How difficult was it to teach subjects you have little to no
>>knowledge of?

really not that bad. case in point, we used Rosetta Stone for Spanish (I and II). the early stuff is easy, but as you move forward, everything is in spanish. it gets harder to grade when some of the questions are open ended. but we make it work.

my middle son did spanish 1 one year at co-op, and then we didn't like it and had him redo it using rosetta stone at home. he tested 3 points away from placing out of Spanish 2 in college.

all else fails, if you can't find a local co-op class, there are plenty of online alternatives.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 03:58 PM

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10. "in our family, my wife, predominantly. "
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

she resigned from her corporate job (she was a mgr at IBM) in 2001, which ended up being the year we decided to do foster care and adoption. at the time it was to have more time to spend with the three kids we already had.

we know, however, single moms and single dads who work AND homeschool. it is possible.

when we first started homeschooling one of the things that was striking was that we could get through the academic day in only 2-3 hours. (it gets longer, later on). but kids can easily spend that much time on homework and, in our experience, most of that goes unchecked.

>Is it a shared responsibility?

again, it varies. whatever works for your household. i teach a Logic / Critical Thinking class. and i grade all writing assignments. my wife does just about everything else. my son goes to a science co-op. they do the teaching, but my wife does the grading, etc.

for others, there are online curricula, or co-ops, or even something called Classical Conversations (where all the teaching is done on one day, centrally, and the kids do homework and reading the rest of the week. that's *ugh* to us, but some people swear by it).

so you can be doing 5 different lesson plans for each kid, like my wife, or it can be like a la carte private school, where you ferry them around to various co-op classes. we prefer the more hands on approach, but a co-op or two is just so they do have some experience w/ the 'everybody sitting in a classroom' type deal.


>Do either of you have a 9-5 outside the home?

i have a 9-5 within the home. i work from home. i'm an IT consultant. depending upon my project, i may or may not have to travel. i'm usually not traveling, tho. so i'm around if they need anything. and no, it doesn't bother me in the least. if i need quiet for a conf call, i'll go find a room.


>
>If you do, do you teach stuff when you get home too?
>
>How difficult was it to teach subjects you have little to no
>knowledge of?

if you pick the right resources, it's really not a problem. for example, for math, we use something called Math-U-See, which is great. the book is very good, and it also has an accompanying DVD.

now, my wife (and i) have learned and relearned mad stuff in teaching it to our kids. that's kind of a good thing.


>
>Do you have any regrets about choosing this path? (I think I
>know the answer to this one)

emphatically no. it has been a blessing.

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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placee_22
Member since Sep 30th 2002
12954 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 05:33 PM

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15. "Thanks, bruh. "
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

Sounds like y'all have it down. I'mma just move back to NC and send my kids to y'all school.

brush up on that 1st and 4th grade curriculum...lol

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 06:12 PM

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17. "lmao. you know, we've had folks ask us to homeschool they "
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

kids.

(by law, i think you can take in up to 2 non-relative kids).

we be like, thanks, but er, um, our hands kinda full right now.

another part of this dynamic is grandparents. there are a good number of grandparents who, for a variety of reasons, are homeschooling their grandkids.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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samsara
Member since Sep 15th 2002
3463 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 04:29 PM

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13. "bookmarking article for later! always thinking of homeschooling"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

my question is: what was the final tipping point to make the homeschool decision for you? how did you and your wife look at her professional life when making the decision - was it something she wanted to come back to or felt like this would mean giving it up for good?

i'm basically homeschooling my daughter in math because her school/teacher does a terrible job at progressive education and math and at a decision point professionally.

and then there's black culture/history
german culture/history
and black german culture/history
that she will never get in school

when they went over the month of february with her 2/3 class, i think she might have been the only child who'd heard of a black history month

and yet her white male teacher decided earlier this year to have a classroom talk about "the protests" that i found so inappropriate and "othering" for black/latino kids. things like that just make me want to pull her immediately.

but there's violin, art, choir, movement at her school that we couldn't entirely replace in a homeschool context

i go back and forth on all of the points but have been really thinking about it for next year because i don't think there's an option for a mixed 3/4 class and she's always been ahead of her peers and i don't want her in a 2/3 class again next year.

"i fear no fate" e.e. cummings
"No girl. No fried chicken. I'm going back to get some sleep." - Haruki Murakami

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 06:10 PM

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16. "where are you? (what state?)"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

>my question is: what was the final tipping point to make the
>homeschool decision for you? how did you and your wife look at
>her professional life when making the decision - was it
>something she wanted to come back to or felt like this would
>mean giving it up for good?

oh, b/c my child that did NOT have learning disabilities (cj3), they tried to tell me that he did (because he communicated above his grade level and was able, as a 3rd grader, to use irony and sarcasm when speaking with adults), and the one that DID (jj2), they made US jump through hoops and were insisting that kindergarten was too young for any differentiated services.

no. it was cool to have her frustrated and crying on the daily in class b/c she didn't understand wtf y'all were talking about, OR acting a clown to distract from same.

told my 8th grader (cj2) he was dressed like a thug (he had cornrows and boots) at his magnet middle school. so he had the classic push-pull going on: his peers fking w/ him for being in advanced classes and not hood/gang affiliated, and his adv classes teachers fking w/ him for not being white and maintaining black cultural affinity. that year was hell for him and he was responding by shutting down. i'd be up w/ him for hours doing homework and then he'd go to school and not turn it in. chronically. we pulled him out in january of his 8th grade year.

cj3 was told, famously, by his 4th grade teacher that she loved to take the kids papers home over the weekend and BLEED all over them (she marked mistakes in red ink). my wife to this day will not do red ink corrections. this the same teacher that told him that his (excellently written) report on batman was no good, because it was too dark. unlike cj1 and cj2, he is a square peg that wanted to remain square, and they spent the better part of his whole public school career trying to hammer him into round holes.

>i'm basically homeschooling my daughter in math because her
>school/teacher does a terrible job at progressive education
>and math and at a decision point professionally.

i haven't touched on this, but it is also possible, for those parents who simply cannot commit to homeschooling fully to accomplish a lot in just an hr or so per day, if the goal is academic.

>
>and then there's black culture/history
>german culture/history
>and black german culture/history
>that she will never get in school

right. my oldest daughter, who was public schooled throughout was pissed when she took world history and they went over every continent but ran out of time to do Africa. i was like, duh, it's at the end of the alphabet -- oh, wait.

for parents who don't homeschool, this is still possible to add enrichment activities to ensure your kids are knowing what's up.

>
>when they went over the month of february with her 2/3 class,
>i think she might have been the only child who'd heard of a
>black history month

:-/

>
>and yet her white male teacher decided earlier this year to
>have a classroom talk about "the protests" that i found so
>inappropriate and "othering" for black/latino kids. things
>like that just make me want to pull her immediately.

damn. teaching protests without any grounding in history. nice job.

>
>but there's violin, art, choir, movement at her school that we
>couldn't entirely replace in a homeschool context

homeschool co-ops, community groups, private lessons, etc., are options. it was fortunate that when we made the decision on cj2 (our then-8th grader) that there was a homeschool band with a concert band, wind ensemble and jazz band that he was able to participate in. his magnet band was award winning (even if the teacher was a dick) and respected throughout the state. our homeschool band played music that was even higher level than that and had multiple members of the all-state band on it.

(these two brothers were jazz prodigies, and played with college professors in bands and stuff when they were in 8th and 9th grade). for kids who are REALLY gifted in a particular area, homeschooling gives you a chance to let them fully explore and nurture that.

>
>i go back and forth on all of the points but have been really
>thinking about it for next year because i don't think there's
>an option for a mixed 3/4 class and she's always been ahead of
>her peers and i don't want her in a 2/3 class again next year.

one of the biggest things about homeschooling is the relationship w/ your child / children. our kids have healthy relationships outside the home, in the community, at work, etc., but we have been blessed to have really strong relationships with them, and that they have them with each other.

that's something that a lot of folks miss out on. (arguably, within the homeschool community, itself). homeschooling doesn't make that happen, but it affords ample opportunity for it.



peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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samsara
Member since Sep 15th 2002
3463 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 08:31 PM

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18. "i'm in NY state/NYC"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

i actually just called the nyc homeschool office the other day to find out whether it was possible to do it for one year and to still have a spot at the school and they said normally yes

i do think about basically "homeschooling" while she's at school but i have a hard time allowing her to continue being in a school environment where she's starting to feel like she's not going to be taught anything new in certain subjects. *sigh*

i'm sorry you had to go through pure incompetence with teachers affecting your children. i can see first hand how the teaching at my daughter's school disproportionately affects the black/latino students, families who aren't aware that the (white) progressive education devotees are basically supplementing academics on the weekend.

i'm constantly amazed at what some parents/educators/administrators obviously think is ok or maybe they aren't paying attention.

it is hard to make the decision when looking at other long term factors (if we have to relocate, future professional opportunities, for how long, etc.) but i keep coming back to it. i know there's a big and growing community here but haven't really done the work to look into the practical things and what's available.





"i fear no fate" e.e. cummings
"No girl. No fried chicken. I'm going back to get some sleep." - Haruki Murakami

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-18-15 09:49 PM

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22. "their laws are kinda strict, but it looks doable. "
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

http://homeschoolnyc.com/homeschooling-ten-steps/law.html

>i actually just called the nyc homeschool office the other
>day to find out whether it was possible to do it for one year
>and to still have a spot at the school and they said normally
>yes

your child is in a magnet school or something?

>i do think about basically "homeschooling" while she's at
>school but i have a hard time allowing her to continue being
>in a school environment where she's starting to feel like
>she's not going to be taught anything new in certain subjects.
>*sigh*

yep.


>i'm sorry you had to go through pure incompetence with
>teachers affecting your children. i can see first hand how the
>teaching at my daughter's school disproportionately affects
>the black/latino students, families who aren't aware that the
>(white) progressive education devotees are basically
>supplementing academics on the weekend.

even without regard to the racial aspect, there's a LOT of stuff that's just screwed up in schools nowadays. that whole zero tolerance thing is nuts, the way it's implemented, where they somehow manage to punish the good kids.
>
>i'm constantly amazed at what some
>parents/educators/administrators obviously think is ok or
>maybe they aren't paying attention.

a lot of people just take for granted that everything is cool.

at my daughter's high school they were regularly tasering kids over shit like throwing paper in the cafeteria. one kid threw a crayon in the trash and the (black) teacher wrote it up as assault (b/c the crayon bounced off the rim of the trash can and hit him).

>
>it is hard to make the decision when looking at other long
>term factors (if we have to relocate, future professional
>opportunities, for how long, etc.) but i keep coming back to
>it. i know there's a big and growing community here but
>haven't really done the work to look into the practical things
>and what's available.
>
understood. it's a momentous decision. a lot of folks do the whole 'just sticking my foot into the water' thing. some do it just for elementary school. some through middle school. and some all the way through.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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samsara
Member since Sep 15th 2002
3463 posts
Wed Feb-25-15 04:54 PM

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27. "RE: their laws are kinda strict, but it looks doable. "
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

>http://homeschoolnyc.com/homeschooling-ten-steps/law.html
>
>>i actually just called the nyc homeschool office the other
>>day to find out whether it was possible to do it for one
>year
>>and to still have a spot at the school and they said
>normally
>>yes
>
>your child is in a magnet school or something?

We don't really have magnets. It's an unzoned school known for progressive education. They take kids from all over with a preference for closer districts and have way more people applying than spots (of course)

>
>>i do think about basically "homeschooling" while she's at
>>school but i have a hard time allowing her to continue being
>>in a school environment where she's starting to feel like
>>she's not going to be taught anything new in certain
>subjects.
>>*sigh*
>
>yep.
>
>
>>i'm sorry you had to go through pure incompetence with
>>teachers affecting your children. i can see first hand how
>the
>>teaching at my daughter's school disproportionately affects
>>the black/latino students, families who aren't aware that
>the
>>(white) progressive education devotees are basically
>>supplementing academics on the weekend.
>
>even without regard to the racial aspect, there's a LOT of
>stuff that's just screwed up in schools nowadays. that whole
>zero tolerance thing is nuts, the way it's implemented, where
>they somehow manage to punish the good kids.
>>
>>i'm constantly amazed at what some
>>parents/educators/administrators obviously think is ok or
>>maybe they aren't paying attention.
>
>a lot of people just take for granted that everything is cool.
>
>
>at my daughter's high school they were regularly tasering kids
>over shit like throwing paper in the cafeteria. one kid threw
>a crayon in the trash and the (black) teacher wrote it up as
>assault (b/c the crayon bounced off the rim of the trash can
>and hit him).
WTF!!'!!!!!



>>
>>it is hard to make the decision when looking at other long
>>term factors (if we have to relocate, future professional
>>opportunities, for how long, etc.) but i keep coming back to
>>it. i know there's a big and growing community here but
>>haven't really done the work to look into the practical
>things
>>and what's available.
>>
>understood. it's a momentous decision. a lot of folks do the
>whole 'just sticking my foot into the water' thing. some do it
>just for elementary school. some through middle school. and
>some all the way through

Thanks for the insight. I'm starting to look at medium term goals where I'm working at home, in the community to see of even on year is possible. Thanks for starting this thread so it's back on my priority list!!.
>
>
>peace & blessings,
>
>x.
>
>www.twitter.com/poetx
>
>=========================================
>I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
>focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
>
>not having much to show for it. (c) mad

"i fear no fate" e.e. cummings
"No girl. No fried chicken. I'm going back to get some sleep." - Haruki Murakami

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
15250 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 08:43 PM

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19. "Another question. What's up with grades?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Do you grade your kids work? Is there any meaning or relevance to home school grades?

Like when applying to colleges, I had to send in my high school transcript that had my courses taken, grades, and class rank.
Is there anything similar to that for home schoolers.
Basically, how do colleges evaluate them along side traditional students?

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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poetx
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58352 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 09:32 PM

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20. "absolutely. not really different from public or private school. "
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

there are right and wrong answers. and there are subjective and objective criteria.

>Do you grade your kids work? Is there any meaning or
>relevance to home school grades?

we grade. same as in traditional school. answer is right or wrong.

now, we have leeway in that we can let the kids retest if they bomb a test or do something stupid. that's an individual call.

the integrity of the grades are up to the integrity of the parents/teachers. some ppl cheat on taxes. *shrug*.

how do colleges deal with this? in general, admissions offices look to see if students' GPAs are in line with their standardized test scores. if your kid has a 3.9 GPA but scores a 900 combined math and reading on the SAT, they probably using mad grains of salt in interpreting their GPA.

so there are checks and balances.

because my son is heavy in the bball circuit, i know kids from AAU from public and private schools that are dumb as a box of rocks and, in both situations, who have been given grades or had them inflated.

we were just talking about two kids who transferred schools mid season, and it was because they went to bball powerhouses, but were failing out. so they went back to schools where they don't do anything but play ball.

a kid who 'graduated' w/ my daughter and was a highly ranked D1 football recruit had to go to prep school for two years and then 2 yrs of JUCO to be eligible to get in the side door of a major university. (he's a really nice guy. he just was lacking academically from waaay back and it was too much for him to qualify coming out of high school).



>Like when applying to colleges, I had to send in my high
>school transcript that had my courses taken, grades, and class
>rank.
>Is there anything similar to that for home schoolers.
>Basically, how do colleges evaluate them along side
>traditional students?

we use a planner that is online and allows us to keep track of our books, grades, attendance, standardized test scores, and all that stuff. and one of the things it does is print report cards and running transcripts.

when it was time for us to do college applications we used that and that was more than sufficient. only thing that was N/A on the college apps was class rank.

but SATs, GPA, extracurriculars, and all of that were on there. and homeschooling is mainstream enough that several schools have provision for homeschooled (under 'which school did you attend?') on their online applications.

the research on homeschoolers is that they tend to be above average academically and have experience in being self-directed learners, and therefore tend to transition well into school.

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
15250 posts
Wed Feb-18-15 09:41 PM

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21. "Interesting. I appreciate the info"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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poetx
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Wed Feb-25-15 01:21 PM

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23. "up. in case anyone's still interested. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

my youngest daughter's doctor did not clear her to play in the state bball tourny this week with her middle school girls team. without her, they took 2nd in the regional tournament. they would have won, with her. and would have had a chance to win the whole thing this week. but her long term health is more important.

the jv girls team that i coach easily won their regionals. my son's varsity team won two tough games. those two both easily made their all tournament teams, and my son made the all star team for the east (they only do that at the varsity level).

so, if the snow is not too bad, we will have semi finals and championships fri and sat for MSG, JVG and VB teams. wish us luck.

on the school tip, my wife canceled school on monday. my two oldest sons came home for the weekend from college, and my oldest daughter came home, also, and they supported their siblings during the tournament, and we had a great time. we were (as we always do) ripping and running all weekend, so my wife made the call to give the kids monday off, to recoup. she did the girls' hair, and they kinda recharged their batteries.

as it would turn out, when everyone else was having snow days on tuesday, it was no thing for us. the kids knocked out their work, as usual.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Tiggerific
Member since May 24th 2007
13451 posts
Wed Feb-25-15 04:32 PM

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26. "RE: up. in case anyone's still interested. "
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

Very interested. Thanks for posting. My daughter turns 3 next month and I've really started to look deeper into Durham County Schools. What I've seen...scares me. Especially considering all the educated people in Durham County, you would think the schools would be better off...

Sadly, no. So, its either private (which has its own problems) or we try to get into a particular charter school or home school. Public school here is NOT an OPTION AT ALL!!!!

"We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents" - Bob Ross

"I'm wearing a MSU Tshirt because I went to MSU, you are wearing a UM Tshirt because you went to Walmart!" -unknown.

http://bjsquirrelchronicles.blogspot.com

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
42171 posts
Wed Feb-25-15 09:24 PM

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28. "We've had a really hard year"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Not sure if you've seen my other posts, but long and short of it is my son got diagnosed with some shit putting us in a two to three year recovery period. The first nine months were complete shit.

I think about it in the context of this post because as a homeschooler it's not something we were prepared for. You know how you think you're prepared for emergencies and in the heat of it some of that preparation leaps through, but then you realize you're going to be on alert for two to three years at least.

We still haven't completely fallen back into routine but the nature of things would have been diruptive homeschooled or not. We spent months traveling state to tstate for doctors and shit. we've had a lot of support from other homschoolers. Significantly it brought us much closer with one of the black families which has been quite helpful.

But I think one of the most important and reaffirming things I've seen has been my eldest daughter through it all. She is the oldest and most adjusted but also entering *those* years so i know she's been going through a lot. But her own homeschool practice has flourished insanely.

She has it in herself to have an interest and take it on beyond expectations. From reading, to coding, to writing fiction, to embroidery, to musical drama, to science experiments... She's just eating it all up. In some regards I know its an escape and emotionally the mrs. and i are doing what we can to help her work through that. But just the ability to do it, to go for what she wants and needs,thirsting to know more, that's why we do this thing.

My son has benefitted in some ways as well, but it's also crazy because of drug side effects and a bunch of other shit. It's a lot of responsibility on our part the helping him through this period of his life while encouraging the skills he will need going into the next. It's one of those stories you read in someone's biography later on - 'i got really sic when i was young' and then they go on to do great things. But they never get over those years. Man, it's rough.

My youngest though, she's a trip. She's been holding us all together. With two older siblings she just gets everything earlier, so now having just turned three she's officially become the boss. Really can't wait to see all she grows into.

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Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."

  

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