Archive for the 'School' Category

School Time

Monday, September 12th, 2011

If you know me, you know I’m one of the most consistent at being inconsistent home-schooling moms there is. We go through good schooling times and less active schooling times. It’s true my girls are pretty smart and intelligent, where our unschooling has taken place, but they definitely have some areas where they lack the know how, or just plan practice.

I started our formal schooling last week and I have a few areas of heavy focus, which means we’re working on them 4 times a week, since we take Mondays off and I’m trying to be practical and help them in areas they have interest, or have taught themselves, but are lacking, because well, they taught themselves.

One is writing, like how to write letters properly. Both girls know how to write all the letters, except lowercase q’s, but are not writing them all properly, or starting out in the correct areas, so we’ll be working on those.

Second is spelling. Both my girls read like crazy, but only one is where she needs to be spelling wise, and that’s Eden. Eden learned most of her reading phonetically, so she understands spelling and spells things correctly, for her limited writing, where as Lilah writes a lot, but does not spell everything correctly. I have an actual curriculum I’m using for this, and putting them both through it, and we’re starting at the very basics. I like it and think it will help them a lot, especially Lilah.

Last is math. They both know a lot, but I’m finally getting to the point I need an actual book for Lilah, rather than just work books and real life situations and discussions with us. Lilah’s in the third grade, which is totally crazy to me, and I finally feel that a more curriculum based math is what she needs. We’re quickly working through some lower level math books, and by January I hope to start her at a third grade level book. She’s able to work completely on her own, with a little help from me, which is exactly what I want for math, until she gets older, and even as she gets older, I’m fine if we wait and she might be a little behind, and then she’s able to read through and work things out for herself at a later point. It’s finding a good curriculum that tells them the why and not just the how to solve a problem.

Some might judge that I’m doing my girls a disservice. How could I let them get so far behind on such basic things? But honestly, I think they’re fine, and they learn quickly when the time is right. I’ve enjoyed having them home, and I love that they get to play for most of the day. Some of their play time is spent reading, a lot really, and some is spent fighting over Mario Cart, though for the most part they get along, it’s when mom says no that the arguing ensues, and most is spent with us as a family and that’s just the way I want it.

So there’s what we’re doing for school this year, of course I have other goals for us, but these are the areas we’re lacking and I feel it’s starting to interfere with their learning or ability to grow and learn more. I hope I can be a more consistent home-schooling parent. I think we’re all under agreement that we need to step up and put more into school. Lilah has been really cooperative and is really wanting to get better at all I’ve mentioned, while Eden is being the stubborn one in some areas. I’ve really enjoyed our school time last week, and found it really encouraging for us. I know we’re entering a new phase in our schooling and we’re doing just what we need to.

I’m not trying to do public school at home, I’m trying to make my home a place of learning and growing.

Moms getting a degree

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Recently a thread was started in my uschooling group about Obama wanting to add more time to the school day and school year. I whole heartedly disagree with this, but that’s also why I homeschool.

The thread got sidetracked at one point and one of the members mentioned the ads for Obama wanting mothers to get an education.

Have you noticed all the ads going around about encouraging moms to go back to school and get a degree? The government will take care of the kids! Have they lost the “strong families make strong countries”?
“Dr. X.” – insert name here, PhD/ND-CTN/CBT
Doctor in Natural and Holistic Health – Quantum Naturopathy / EFT-BSFF /EPFX-QXCI

Being a homeschooling mom with a degree I couldn’t help but respond. I’ve just posted so the discussion is just getting started. I also think it’s interesting that someone with a PhD, or some sort of education in her field, is so against educating mothers.

I’m not going to use quotes for the following because they’re kinda long. I’m also not going to post all the discussion, but just some that I think are valid.

My response:

My response to encouraging moms to go to school.

I think higher education is something to be valued. Education should be valued, and things taught in a college setting are not always easily acquired in the real world and through life learning, though with my degree you could learn a lot in real life and just through text books.

I know the ads are there to encourage people to get a degree so they can work and pay more taxes, but I think they’re really trying to help families who are in lower incomes so they can get a degree and pull themselves up from poverty.

I hope we can all agree that those in poor circumstance who rely heavily upon the government would be better off if they were able to provide for their own families. Most who rely on the government for food and assistance already have their children in the public education system and taking them out is not an option. If they become educated then it helps their children to value education by mere example and it’s shown that children with mothers who have a degree are more likely to get a degree, and then you have a generation who is more capable to take charge of their child’s education and teach from home. I know education does not equal wealth and there are many occupations where a higher education is not needed, and that is fine, but their target audience is not people who are able to make it on their own, but those who are using help and already rely on the government.

I have a degree yet I stay home and teach my children. Having a degree doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to abandon your children to the public education system. It’s about enriching your life and learning more. I also am not alone in having a degree and being a stay at home mom and homeschooling mother.

I know have have a more traditional view towards homeschooling than others in the group, but we’re still trying to instil an ‘always learning’ type thinking, one area I think we agree on.


A response from Ms. A:

But most of the poverty-stricken people wouldn’t be able to afford higher education anyway. And I disagree that the most important thing to poverty-stricken families is more education.
The key is tighter family units. In a tight family unit, where trust and love are primary, kids have the best likelihood of thriving as adults. Happy, loving families produce happy, interested and secure children who grow up able to choose their own paths easily and with courage – with or without money. You can’t do that as well when you come from a background of stress or unhappiness.
Encouraging women to pursue an education, devalues their role as mothers. It says “you’re not important unless you go to work”. Shouldn’t we be supporting woman who are raising children? Can’t those same women still encourage their kids to make good choices – whether or not that includes college?
We were pretty dirt poor for most of my childhood, only getting to a stable (but still below middle class) level when I was a teen. I didn’t finish high school. But my mom was sure to empower me that only I was in control of my success. Without a high school diploma and without a business course, I owned my own business. I know lots of others who did the same.
I’m not saying education is bad or shouldn’t be supported, if it’s the persons choice. But I do feel the motivations behind it most times are unrealistic or unnecessary. And I do feel the government has its own agenda. As do the universities themselves. So many people choose college because they feel it is the only way to be successful. That’s a lie.
I don’t feel higher education should be valued more than any person choosing a life path that best suits them. I think it should be seen as one option among many to creating successful people. Sometimes the best choice. And sometimes inferior. I can’t tell you the number of professionals with a college degree in one thing and a career in something completely different. People that feel they wasted four years of their life and thousands of dollars. Why? Because they falsely thought they had to.
College CAN be great. College can ALSO be a total sham. I don’t think it holds any more value than life itself.
And I don’t think it is as important to raising happy, healthy children, interested in the world and confident in themselves and empowered in their choices.
Those in poverty areas may not be able to afford going to school, but part of the program is to help those women be able to go to college. Right after I posted this I thought about how the target audience might be single mothers who are in lower income situations who would like to provide more for their families and education might be that key for them.

I respectfully disagree that telling anyone they need a degree devalues them and whatever role they have, but I see a degree as a pathway to more information and not necessary as a pathway to more money.

I know that there are many amazing successful and intelligent people out there who have not finished college or even high school and that college can be a total sham if you thought you were going there for one reason and then figured out they couldn’t deliver what they promised. There were many classes I was required to take for my degree and I thought, why the heck am I taking this, then there were classes I was required to take and would not have on my own, but learned so much. I went knowing I was just receiving my education because I wanted to learn and not because I was going to use it to get a job. In fact if I ever work, my degree would probably be useless since I don’t “use” it as a mother. I don’t find that my role has been belittled by me wanting a degree.

I think any woman who is a wonderful, caring mother deserves my respect, whether she has a degree of any sort or not.

I think the key is being well learned in whatever you choose to do so you can succeed, and well learned can easily be replaced by well educated. I know a higher education is not for everyone, but learning is and we should all be learning whether we chose to learn through life or through a more formal setting.

I agree a strong family is needed to help children grow into amazing and secure adults. There are strong families in both lower and high incomes, there are weak families in both high and low incomes, but children in a lower income have a less stable home life due to financial stresses or other stresses in the home and thus are less able to grow into an empowered adult.

I do think the government is becoming all knowing and butting in where they shouldn’t. It would rather have the children in school and teach that money is success than to teach parents on how to be a good parent, but what if it offered classes on being a good parent? It would meet the same, if not a lot more, opposition because everyone has their own opinion on being a good parent and how a good family unit is created.

The problem you introduce is how do we provide a good stable family environment to every child so they can become whatever their potential is?

So how?

I don’t know because I know a lot of idiots out there who don’t care about their kids, none of which are in this group. 😉

5 Things

Monday, January 12th, 2009

1. Well behaved girls. People don’t mind watching them for hours on end because they’re so wonderful.
2. Patience for sewing. I was 12 when I first attempted sewing, but it was just a pillow, than 16 the second time and I swore off machines at that point. I’m grateful I started up again at 21 and had a mom who taught me/ still teaches me when I have a question. I’ve created many things since and have enjoyed most of the outcomes.
3. Naps. Today was a yoga day. I take a nap nearly every yoga day and I am thankful I can. It’s also fun to cuddle with Eden since we take our naps together.
4. A warm home. It might be a little drafty but I’m glad that we control the temperature and afford to keep it warm or cool during the hot summer months.
5. An education. Jon starts school today. I’m thankful he’s pursuing his higher education even farther for his Masters and I’m thankful that I was able to finish my Bachelors and I can’t  believe it’s been two years.

Congratulations Jon!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Well even though the semester is not technically over till the end of this week, Jon received his grade for his independent studies class he took this semester.

He got an A on his paper which means he received an A for the course!

Really I’m just so happy to have the semester over. It was hard to give him study time when I wanted to have my own time  at times. ( How many times can I say time or times in a sentence?)

We’re going to have a lunch date next week and Eden’s old nursery leader is going to watch the girls. I ran into her at the bank last week and she made the comment that she hadn’t watched the girls all year and would love to. (She watched them last year when we went for a celebratory lunch date after the end of the semester.) Since we’re no longer in the same ward I felt like I would have just been using her if I asked her to babysit, but apparently she wants me to use her and her daughter and watch my kids. Who am I to say no?

So next week we celebrate the conclusion of a good semester.

How I apply my degree to life.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Yesterday a new season of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman started on PBS. This is one of Lilah’s favorite shows. I was sewing so I mostly listened in.

That night at dinner Lilah told Jon how she saw a new episode of Fetch, and they had given the kids new names. I had seen that the contestants were different so I commented on how they were all new people. Lilah insisted that one of them was the same kid as last time.

Since I caught the tail end of the show I saw that once again they had an African American boy, like the previous two seasons. I learned in a criminal justice class that cross racial identification is difficult and often the witness incorrectly identifies if the suspect is a different race , especially when it’s a Caucasian identifying an African American.   I figured she thought it was the same African American boy from the last season.

I put my theory to test and asked Lilah who was the same kid. She replied the brown haired boy. There was a white boy with brown hair and he came on screen before the  black boy. I asked if it was him, she replied no. I then pointed out the black boy and she replied yes.

So my knowledge of cross racial identification gave me some amusement today.

I haven’t forgotten all I learned in college after all.

These aren’t the best pictures, but they were the best I could find.

Could you tell the difference between them?


Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Jon’s been officially admitted for the Fall 2008 school year for the Electrical Engineering master’s program at UNLV!

Wahoo, what a wonderful anniversary present!

It was through e-mail that we got the news, so we’ll be getting the letter shortly in the mail. Plus he only has about a year or so till he’s done!

This is such a relief and a good thing for our family.

I’m so proud of you babe!


Monday, December 17th, 2007

Wednesday was Jon’s final. As a surprise I made his lunch with just a few snacks and a note explaining that I’d be there at 11 o’clock to take him to lunch and celebrate the end of a hard semester.

Event’s that happened before Wednesday:
I had to get his managers e-mail and see if I could steal Jon for lunch, but she had two to her name, so I had to ask specifically for it and tell Jon that I just wanted it for no reason.
I also avoided setting a date for our monthly date. I kept telling him to wait until after the finals since we were already busy this weekend.
It was fun. It was also hard to keep myself from telling him that the Justice’s would be watching the girls on Wednesday and it was hard to not tell the girls. (This was the first time they’d be watched by Sis. Justice, one of Eden’s nursery leaders, and I know Lilah would have spilled the beans at some point if I told her before Wednesday.)
So I did just a little bit of scheming for our lunch date.

Well, I got Jon and we decided that we’d head to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. He had been there for a couple of working lunches, and we don’t usually go to that end of town to eat, so lunch seemed perfect to have me try the restaurant since Jon had liked it so much.

The problem.
Jon wasn’t sure what street the restaurant was on. He’d never driven there and was usually in the back seat when driven there. (I will also say that he’s not bad with remembering where places are, he’s just not very good.)
So we drove down Flamingo thinking it was there. But it wasn’t.
Then I was positive that he had told me about it and it was on Tropicana near Pecos. He was thinking DI, but since I was so sure we tried Trop.
Uh, no luck.
So we drove to DI and right before he pulled into the restaurant I immediately recognized it because it was in a neighborhood that I grew-up near and across the street from the Sav-on my brother had worked at. Also my sister rear-ended a women in front of this restaurant because she was looking in her rear view mirror making sure her friend was still following her to wherever they were going and the car ahead of her made a sudden stop because of another reckless car.
So I knew about this restaurant, but had never been.
It only took us 25 minutes to find it.

We ate a wonderful lunch. In fact neither of us ate dinner that night because we were still full.
Their lunch menu is basically in short Spanish titles so Jon was my translator and he found the English description in the regular dinner menu. I ate the good chicken or something.
It was good and not spicy, which I was very thankful for.

We enjoyed our meal and I returned Jon to work and picked the girls up.
( Luckily Jon is salary not hourly, so it wasn’t a big deal that we took an hour and forty minute lunch. They also like him since they just received truffles the day before. 🙂 )
Sis. Justice loved watching the girls and she was amazed at how well they got along with each other.
I mentioned that they don’t fight when with sitters usually and Lilah, from observing my comment, mentioned on the way home how she likes to be good at people’s house because she doesn’t like being in trouble or going to time-out.
I told her it helps mommy when her and Eden get along and don’t fight because then people like to watch them because they’re so nice.
(Lately she’s been showing pride for the days she doesn’t have to go to time-out and becoming more aware of moods. Today she asked me why I yell at her sometimes. In which I don’t yell, but I use a loud, yet stern, voice. )

It was a wonderful afternoon and I was just so happy to surprise Jon.
(Well kinda surprise him. He got the note at 10 o’clock when he went to eat his morning snack.)

I’m happy the semester is over and I think Jon will beable to apply for the Master’s program come January. We just had a couple hurdles and I think he can now move forward. I hope, though it’s all up to him.

It’s done.

Monday, September 17th, 2007

This past week we had two Enrichment activities. One was the regular get together, it was on personal and property crime prevention, and then we did a graffiti clean-up in our ward boundaries that was more of a ward activity. It all went smoothly and I think I sleep off any stress this weekend, not to mention that I had to wake up at 6:08 am on Saturday and I don’t get up until 7:30am, if you’re lucky.
Our main obstacle was getting the priesthood to give us names of volunteers. The committee members over getting the names bothered them a lot, but if they had them earlier, they wouldn’t have been bothered so much.
I think we need to help the priesthood in figuring out a method that would help them get names to make is go smoother because it’s no fun to get names for the nursery the night before and names for a major project two days before. No fun at all.
We’ve had enrichment’s where we were scrambling for nursery volunteers the night of, and that is definitely not fun, especially for the men asked to do it so last minute.

I’m really happy that my first Enrichment meeting went so smoothly. Our next one is right around the corner in November, so I have one week to breathe before I attend a RS presidency meeting because the 4 meetings we do during the year are a matter of prayer and meeting the needs of the women in the ward.
One week off.


Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Do I miss school? I think I can finally say yes, I miss going to school.
I read a blog a little while back by daring young mom about keeping current and I thought, maybe I should go back and get my masters? Of course it was fleeting and the thought only lasted that evening. To think about what I want to do once my kids are grown is scary.

I think I would like to teach college, but I’m not sure. I think it would be nice to have a psychology practice, but it would be more of a refuge for teenage girls who are in trouble.  I  hope that someday I’ll know what I want to be and that I’ll have the self confidence to do it. Right now it’s like, wow a masters is a lot. Do I really want a masters? Of course it’s no help seeing Jon having a difficult time getting into the Master’s program, and I know he’s much more intelligent than I am. (It’s more of the process of getting three academic letters of recommendation. He’s going to take a class this fall and hopefully if he does well he’ll be able to ask that teacher for a letter of recommendation and things will go smoothly after this. )
Anyways, as I am left not doing much of anything besides taking care of my daughters, I wonder if I have more that I should be doing. I wouldn’t want to go to school while Jon was in school. That would make life a little crazy yet again. He’d take classes during the day and would need to study at night, so to have me take classes at night would probably be pretty difficult while he’s going to school. Then I wonder how long will we be in Vegas. Once he’s finished with his masters I want him to look at other universities to see if he can move ahead in his field. I really want to get out of Vegas once he gets his masters, but if he decides to get a PhD I’d be willing to wait as long as we’re in a bigger house by then. 😉
Life is just so unsure. I want to keep my studies and life experiences current, but it takes so much to be a mom that it can be hard when what you’re interested in needs to be done outside the home. I’m not a writer so I can’t just sit at home and write. I need to be out there learning or doing things that are related to psychology or criminal justice. I just don’t know what.

I feel a little lost.  Really I don’t want to be making money or working, I just want to be developing myself and my mind.
I don’t know if I’m ready to go back for an even higher degree. I worry that it would be ten times harder since we’re still planning on having at least one more child and a masters is much different than a bachelors. I just wish I knew where to go from here and that I knew what turns life will give me so I can prepare now.
Would you go back and get a masters if you were planning on staying home, home schooling and having a child while you were doing it?

It Came!!!

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I received my diploma in the mail today!!!
I still need a frame. Any suggestions are welcome as to where to get a nice one with a mat or a floating frame

It even came with a wallet diploma, courtesy of the UNLV Alumni association.

Yes, I did blur out my middle name. I figure this is a public site.