Trust The Children

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NBC - A New Chapter In Home Schooling

Victoria Clayton an MSNBC contributor posted this article a some weeks back. Personally, the title "unschooling" is unattractive to me. So often it has been used, and even in this article, as a "up your nose, government schooling" kind of sentiment. Yet, she makes one excellent point that the, "Controversial home-taught approach lets kids take the lead in learning".

This approach was really at the foundation of the home schooling movement. John Holt, Raymond Moore, Pat Montgomery, Sylvia Ashton Warner, John Goodman, and others, all spoke to the point at one time or another way back in the 50's and 60's. While they never seemed to form a formal alliance, their informal influence on one another, and on the idea of educating at home has been priceless for all of us today.

The article adds, "In the past 20 years the number of unschoolers in the United States has grown from fewer than 2,000 to more than 100,000, says Patrick Farenga, president of Holt Associates, Inc., a Boston-area organization started by John Holt, the late education reformer who coined the term “unschooling.” That’s a conservative estimate; others in the education field put the number closer to 200,000 and say the unschooling population is growing by 10 to 15 percent each year."

Again, there are as many ways to home school as their are children, and as Cyndy says, in the climate of shootings, needless homework, and halls filled with foul language and inuendo, they are all better than government schooling. Yet, this relaxed and laid back approach, gives parents a personal balance that allows them to persist and avoid burn out. So this approach that is more student based defining direction has it's advantages.

Monday, October 30, 2006

10 New Reasons to Home School

1. There is no “how to”. You get to make your own decisions about what is important in education. You get to read lots of books and do lots of research to ultimately to figure out who you are, and sooner rather than "too-later" you will learn, since there is no “right” way to educate you are free to find your way.
2. People will always ask you why you homeschool. Then you get to deal with their questions somehow. This helps you refine your own thinking and reasons. Your children respond positively to your increased confidence. This. Positive. Process. Never. Ends. You will become sharp as a tack.
3. It is very likely that someone you love will absolutely love the fact that you are homeschooling, and will make it clear. This will be a nice reinforcing moment. It is a wonderful feeling to stand firm in what you believe and finally be vindicated. In the end, you get along better with them if you do stand firm and let them come to their senses in their own way.
4. You get to create your own social networks and you are able to make friends without the constructs of a school setting. Truly the master of your own destiny. And the kids get to learn how to get along with people in the real world after they have a foundation in sound values that last. The values YOU give them. The real world is scary sometimes, and it’s not always easy to know how to meet people. Your choice to build them up first in your values really pays off now, in their ease and comfort associating with others.
5. You will get to answer all of your kids’ questions. This contributes to your own discovery journey. And sometimes, (ok, maybe often), you’ll have to admit that you don’t know something. Wow,is that empowering! Instead of saying, “Ask your teacher tomorrow” and putting the teacher in the position of "hero" you will instead, get to say, “Let’s look it up together” and over time you will be their hero.
6. The first step to successful homeschooling is to let go of everything you ever knew about education, and to start from scratch. This enables you to build and always take with you the effort you put into this process. Relationships and knowledge are all you take with you when you die, so you are the richer for the journey. Since you have doubts about how government school works, over time you will be surprised and pleased at how different homeschooling is from that version of reality. New beginnings are a way of life, with each day beginning with no mistakes in it. Every little incremental improvement is YOUR step and you get the joy from it. No wonder people see you as peaceful and happy.
7. There are a million things to buy out there and buying none of them is a real option. While it’s easy to get sucked into the “it’s for our kids’ education” trap, you learn that developing your children isn't so much tied to what you purchase as it is to what experiences you enable them to enjoy. And homeschool conferences. They can really help you re-create enthusiasm by getting reinforcement in what feels good to you and easily discarding ideas that just don't play well in your mind. They are like going to an endless mall of educational materials and ideas and you don't have to buy any of them to be successful. That really feels good. If you go to too many of them, you may even be coerced into speaking at one. It is then that you really begin to articulate your own philosophy and this articulation is now available for your children and grandchildren because it is now written down.
8. Even if millions of parents have homeschooled before, and nobody will be able to tell you what to expect, there are some of those millions who will be able to empathize with you as you negotiate the path. Reaching out until you find your own support group not only helps you succeed at home, but will develop life long friends. Homeschooling is like being a parent - every family is different, so you don't have to assume the identity of another family's values. And you’re going to have the freedom to become your own expert and do a lot of research, coming to your own conclusions. The research is part of your journey. And make no mistake about that, life is not the journey of your kids alone. It is much more your journey that they get to see and benefit from. And sometimes life is less cerebrial and more heart and feeling. You will get to experience both. So, once you’ve decided to homeschool, you will be spending just as much time as your kids with your nose in a book, or doing on-site research (park days and info nights) because you decided long ago that life isn't a spectator sport. You have your own interests that you are active in pursuing. In fact, all along the way, you’ll probably be learning a lot more than your kids are. That is a dream come true.
9. You get to fill your house with books, magazines, science projects and pencils. Your bathroom was a library long ago so that is ok. And what’s better, is that whenever someone starts talking about a topic, you will wonder, “That's an interesting topic. I wonder if we have a book on that! Later on today or tomorrow, I am going to check.” People will be lifted and energized by being told all about the nuts and bolts of your son taking a radio apart. We have never had anyone bug us in 27 years for help on their school science projects. Even if they did, they are welcome to any resources we have to offer.
10. You are free. Completely and totally free. And you have the good part of the responsibility too. This is the perfect match for your own personal growth. Any other way will leave you ever dining but never satisfied. Instead you will feel a deep sense of harmony with your divine purpose. There is nothing that compares with that feeling. If you need a hand, drop us an email. [;-)]

PS. The inspiration for this entry was here, 10 Reasons Not to Home School. Just thinking over here too.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Reply: Can Home Schooling Save Our Educational Crisis

I found this title on a blog I read. Their conclusion was that home schooling can't save our educational crisis and I had to disagree. Here's why:

Our entire american way of life is based on a free enterprise model where we vote with our feet and our dollars. Since education is a monopoly, meaning limited or no choice, it is one of the institutions that does not "benefit" from market forces and hence is stagnant. No different than the Soviet Union of my youth. Really, few disagree with that premiss. Home schooling in most states today is the ONLY free market force available where people can vote with their feet, thus telling the establishment that you don't buy in and therefore your tax dollars assigned for your child will NOT go to them. That is called voting with your dollars AND your feet.

Remember, the difference between chess and checkers. In one game you need to take all the other guys pieces, in the other, only a few strategic moves and you have checkmate. To me, home schooling and making this option easy enough for more to do it, is the ONLY way we currently have to change our system. It is, for me, THE strategic move. And even if the system never changes, more kids benefit from the best educational option, the safest option, and the most moral option out there.

In business, a good CEO appreciates good competition. It keeps him and everyone on his team sharp and engaged and spawns innovation. Government school leaders should welcome the home schooling option. The growth and success of home schooling truly is one of their best tools to motivate change and improvement. Yet it doesn't appear that they are wise enough to see this!

When we homeschool, we do good for our children and we do more good sending a message. Successful home schoolers who have figured it out, can share their ideas, and help others in an open and accepting environment. In this way, as a group, we as home schoolers can make a difference in the broader context of education for ALL children by becoming a more and more popular alternative voice in the educational dialog. If government educators were smart, they would pray for our success!

I know in our 27 years of home schooling, there were those who made a nice difference in our lives, helping us believe we could do this. In turn, we have made a nice difference in other families ourselves, helping them see the simple way we approach this. They in turn have discovered for themselves that they could succeed as well. This process is a comforting thought. It feels good actually. Others did good for us and we have done good for a few others ourselves. In the end, the kids have benefitted. I really get a peaceful and warm feeling about that. So can you!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Middle East History in 90 Seconds

I found a great link this morning. Middle East History in 90 seconds. Graphically shows who has conquered the Middle East in the course of 5000 years of history! It shows in a map of the middle east and the incoming and outgoing of each conquering nation. Its really cool. There were several conquerors, between the Babylonians and today, that I had never heard of. For older kids, this is a great place to begin a discussion of the middle east.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Want Less Homeschooling Stress for you and your children?

CNN of all places, offers this article entitled.

Report: Kids need more time for play from The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Numerous studies have shown that unstructured play has many benefits. It can help children become creative, discover their own passions, develop problem-solving skills, relate to others and adjust to school settings, the academy report says.

"Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood," says the report, prepared by two academy committees for release Monday at the group's annual meeting in Atlanta.

And the lack of play? How can that impact your life?

A lack of spontaneous playtime can create stress for children and parents alike. If it occurs because young children are plopped in front of get-smart videos or older children lose school recess time, it can increase risks for obesity. It may even contribute to depression for many children, the report says.

Especially in the younger years, back of the academics a bit. Let them learn the way they were meant to at this age. We have been doing this for 27 years. They will develop more important skills this way than your reading lessons offer at the young ages. Please give this some thought.

The Wonder of Being Self Taught

My Microsoft son, sent me this link today. About being self taught. When I am dead and gone, and my children are left to represent our family values, these thoughts represent some of the highest values I hope to have passed on. Here are a few highlights.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”

- Isaac Asimov

“Persistence and self-education are the keys. Nobody can teach you how to write - you have to teach yourself, using the examples of others for inspiration.”

- Greg Bear

“Vitally important for a young man or woman is, first, to realize the value of education and then to cultivate earnestly, aggressively, ceaselessly, the habit of self-education.”

- B. C. Forbes

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

- Jim Rohn

Take a look. We live in exciting times to be teaching our children the value of being home taught.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Food and Home Schooling

I read this interesting link from another homeschooling list I read. Often homeschoolers homeschool, because of a behavior issue with one or more children. This is can be very very real. How much does diet contribute to these kinds of behavior problems? Perhaps we as parents unwittingly contribute to the "wiggles" we deal with from time to time. Anyway, you might find it interesting. I did.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

HS Easy - Each Day Builds On the Last

An ancient prophet made this statement without knowing he was talking about home schooling, "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."

Over and over again, it is the little things, not the dramatic efforts, that over time accumulate into something wonderful. Every day, I hear our youngest son Joseph, 12 years old, for instance, working on world awareness with his mom. What does she do? She reads a current event from the morning newspaper out loud to him, and then expects him to do a "who, what, where, when, why and how" orally on what she has read. It doesn't take that long. It is a simple thing really. Sometimes she may do two of them in the morning. But it really takes just minutes. After he answers, sometimes Cyndy will comment on, or ask questions about his comments. More often than not, he draws his own conclusions, because over the last days, weeks, months and years, he has become amazingly aware of the world around him. For just a few minutes each day. No curriculum, no preparation days required. Just one day building on the last.

It comes out when he offers family prayer in behalf of the family. He often prays for people and situations around the world really meaning it. I marvel. But mostly I marvel at what a few minutes each day, day in and day out grows to become in the life of our sons.

So much of home schooling just isn't that hard. Yet, it is so, so rewarding, when one day builds on the last.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

55 Reasons to Home School

I read this article this morning, "Reasons to Home School". What a great list. It opened my eyes again to things I hadn't thought about.

Let me share a few:

2. Spend more time with children when they are rested and fresh rather than tired and cranky from school.
9. Encourage concentration and focus - which are discouraged in crowded classrooms with too many distractions.
13. Children learn to help more with household chores, developing a sense of personal responsibility.
24. Children can learn to work for internal satisfaction rather than for external rewards.
38. More time will be spent with people (friends and family) who really love and care about the children. Children will bond more with siblings and parents since they will spend more time together playing, working, and helping each other.
43. Grading is usually unnecessary and learning is seen as motivating in and of itself. Understanding and knowledge are the rewards for studying, rather than grades (or stickers, or teacher's approval, etc.).
55. Family will not be forced to work within school's traditional hours if it does not fit well with their job schedules and sleep needs.

It's a good read as well as a resource for others who are considering their educational options.

Monday, October 16, 2006

More Positive Reasons to Educate At Home

Home Schooling And Your Kids by Low Jeremy

Reasons I had never even considered for home schooling now show up in a national survey of over 7300 home schooling families.

Is home schooling effective?

Most people tend to believe so. Many experts think that home schooling can be an effective learning tool because it practices a more personalized form of education.

...this type of learning environment has helped many children absorb more of what they are being taught.

Some home school statistics show that a number of home school students scored as many as thirty percentile points higher than national public school averages

More Community Involvement?

In 2003, the NHERI or National Home Education Research Institute conducted an extensive survey of over 7,300 home-schooled adults in the US with over 5000 of them being part of the survey for over seven years. The findings of the said survey indicated that more home-schooled adults are more active and involved in their respective communities.

Voter Involvement?

Most of them are also more likely to get involved in civic affairs and have higher voting population percentages than their counterparts.

More Positive Parental Outlook?

In terms of outlook, almost three fourths of home schooled adults feel more positive and find life exciting as compared to less than half for the general population.

More Family Time?

Home education can be just as effective and efficient as having your children taught in traditional institutions. Home schooling just carries a big advantage over these educational institutions in the sense that this method can make parents and their kids find time together.

Closer to your kids and more effective education?

If you are looking forward to getting closer with your own kids and more active when it comes to their schooling, then home education for your kids should be considered.

Stay tuned. It gets better every day?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Learning to Read At Home

I read this on a home schooling list I often read. It was a question about reading comprehension. If offer these comments, not as a comprehensive instruction set, but as some observations. But since it is so often a concern, I mention this here.

"Hi everyone. This is a question from my sister. Her son is in 3rd public school and he is having trouble with his reading comprehension. His actual reading is at or above "grade level" but his comprehension is really bad. He has a hard time answering the questions about it."

This is a common question. Something we experienced with our own children. Especially with boys. After having read about Key Vocabulary and Sylvia Ashton Warner, I see this now in a completely different light. And I don't think this is a "problem" like I used to think.

Of course, I am not an expert here, but may I offer what I see. He can read, but can't understand. So, he can comprehend the letters, make the sounds and vocalize them, but the meanings of the words is missing. In fact his ability to vocalize the words is above grade level. But just because he can vocalize the words, doesn't mean that in his mind the meanings of the words are connected with the words themselves or his ability to vocalize them. That is what I took from this. I think this happens to all of us actually.

So we have a 3rd Grade boy who has an inventory of words in his mind. For some of the words in his inventory he has meanings attached to those words and for other words in his inventory he hasn't yet attached meanings. When the words in his inventory are being used for which he has no meaning attached, he can say the words, but can't make sense of them. But here is the key to me, when words are used from his inventory where he DOES have meanings attached, I am sure his comprehension is just fine.

I am not suggesting that this mom is freaked out or anything like that. But some parents do get concerned, and even overly concerned about reading issues just like this. It is good to remember that to much of learning, including reading, there is a natural process. This boy, like many, needs much reinforcement for what he CAN do. His progress can BUILD on what he can read and can understand.

As to learning how to read, I really like the principles involved with the concept of KEY VOCABULARY, which is to take the vocabulary that a child uses when talking daily as the source to use when teaching reading. Why, because for the most part, the words a child uses in speech, are words that they DO attribute meaning to. Of course it takes a little more effort to teach reading this way. However, one benefit of this kind of effort would be that the child doesn't get traumatized needlessly thinking he is a "problem" because of this. Give him space while increasing word inventory with meaning and he will turn out just fine in this area.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Colleges Now Seeking Home Schooling Students

Focus on the Family brings us a great headline Colleges Seeking Homeschoolers. When meeting with new home schoolers, either moms or dads, I hear over and over again, "So how do they do getting into college?" I understand the concern and the question. We had the same one years ago. Now that 6 of 11 have made it there, most with scholarships, that question doesn't nag us anymore. Parents who visit with us, often find courage in the success of children like ours. Yet many are still searching for a reason to "trust their children" AND trust themselves as home schooling parents.

It is true that some schools are looking harder at high school transcripts. Especially for seniors who complete ACT or SAT tests early in their senior year and then basically loaf for the last 4 months. Yet this article makes it clear that while registrars are taking a second look at HS transcripts, they also are on high alert for home schooled children. Cyndy also feels strongly that a home schooled student who has Junior College time with good results, can almost right their own ticket. Why? ACT and SAT tests are really nothing more than a "predictor of success". That is what registrars are looking for. Some reason to believe that the boy or girl they invite to their institution will come, thrive and succeed, bringing honor the their school. As the article makes clear, home schoolers do better than most in college, and with one year or more of Junior college on record to prove it, there is little if any risk to the registrar in approving such an application.

Home schooled students, by and large, now have an advantage when seeking higher education. More and more, there is every reason to figure out a way TO home school instead of relying on worn out excuses why not. We as home schoolers are a private lot, still feeling our way for the most part on a day to day basis. Yet, if we can find ways to reach out and help others see educating at home as possible, not only will the world be a better place, but their chance for higher education may be actually enhanced.

Play Makes Education At Home Easier

It sounds too simple, but I have discovered again it's truth. The simplicity of it is probably why it is so elusive. However, let the heavens ring aloud... The work of a child is play. I first heard these words from Pat Montgomery many many years ago at a WHO convention in Tacoma Washington. My Microsoft son, called tonight about yet another article saying that children need more play. I didn't find today's article yet, but I did find the following:

(click) Play Time Fun must be a big part of the school day. By Trish Konzak

(click) Children Need More Playtime

(click) Good news for kids: Doctors advise more play Youngsters between 5 and 16 need to be active for 1 1/2 hours a day

And for those who say, "But Mark, these articles are really more about physical health than education I offer:

(click) Children Need More Play!

I quote: "We know that active play improves school performance, concentration, mood and behavior....
Current recommendations for children are clear: an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. How much do children actually play at school? The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has monitored 3rd graders at 10 different study sites across the U.S. The astonishing results, published in the February 2003 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, should be a call to action. Children averaged only 25 minutes per week of MVPA at school -- compared to a total of at least 420 minutes per week that children need. We need to change our schools! In the meantime, one of our most important jobs as parents is to get our kids moving. Active play is fun. It’s also fundamental to healthy minds and bodies."
Alan Greene MD FAAP

And then this:

(click) Pupils 'need far more' play time

Games complement the curriculum, a study finds
Pre-school and primary school children are missing out on "vital" playtime in the classroom, an academic has warned.
Professor Pat Broadhead of Northumbria University found the amount of time left for games had been cut by changes to the curriculum in England.

Working towards tests at age seven had had a "knock-on" effect on reception classes and pre-school groups.

The study of schools in Leeds, Sheffield and York said play helped problem-solving and social skills.

"Play-based learning gives children a sense of independence. It's a chance to explore and investigate the world.

"Children also determine the ways in which they work and use their experiences to solve problems."

Prof Broadhead said activities such as sandpit games, playing with model figures and using building blocks, had been ignored because of growing emphasis on literacy and numeracy targets.

She added: "Play contributes to all aspects of development. I hope it regains its prominence in future.

This goes along with an article I wrote some time ago citing Sylvia Ashton Warner's concept of "Breathing Out...Breathing In".

The idea that little children are "schooled" not when they play, but when they are being actively instructed by someone is not completely accurate. Once again, children learn by observing and experimenting and interacting so much more than we give them credit for. Let them play, and give them the credit for learning before you give yourself credit for teaching. It just works better that way.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Safety For Our Children... Repugnant?

Bill O'Reilly, in his recent talking points memo, points out that a major news channel included this from the father of one of the victims of the Columbine killings of a few years ago about safety in government schools.

"BRIAN ROHRBOUGH, FATHER: I am saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week's school murders. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting.

Since that day, I tried to answer the question why did this happen? This country is in a moral free fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing Him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value.

We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you, the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion.

Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. And we are seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.

Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools, our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States."

He points out that Ms. Couric, CBS's new news anchor, anticipated that many would find the comments of Mr Rohrbough "repugnant" and that her "elitist" attitude about the issue is all to common in our country today.

Agree or not with O'Reilly and his political bent or Rohrbough's comments, he brings up a motivating point for me. Helping one another succeed at home schooling blesses the lives of children in a countless ways. How many children go to school each day, frightened for their own safety and thus crippled in their opportunity to learn anything that day, because a parent has talked themselves out of the option of home schooling. I understand that each family is different. There is no "one size fits all" educational package. Home schooling is a commitment and a choice with it's own set of challenges. However, if we as home schooling families can boil the process down to a set of basics that more families could consider plausible... do-able if you will, more children will find safe haven, excellent education, and a stronger moral sense. All of us stand to benefit.

Safe haven, excellent education and a strong moral sense are becoming more an exception rather than the rule in government schooling. No one can realistically argue this point. Doing our very best in what we do as we educate at home, and working together more effectively as a home schooling community to help one another, acting as resources to one another, (independent though we all seem to be) brightens the beacon of hope that our children can find somewhere in the storms of our times, a safe pathway to the future. When we choose to educate at home, we choose at the same time to provide our children a safe haven, a more excellent way in education and actual instruction in moral values that stand the test of time. Aren't you pleased to be making a difference in the world AND protecting your children?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm Too Dumb / She's Too Dumb

Reaching Out

I was preparing to speak at a home schooling conference. I decided to interview a few dads to find out their take on home schooling. Some were already home schooling. Some had home schooled and quit. Some hadn't even considered home schooling. I wanted to know what their take was on the topic. The hope was that I would get straight forward unedited comments. For the most part, I think I did.

A number of reasons came up why not to home school, but one stuck out for me. Nearly every father, expressed at one point or another during the interview that he doubted if his wife was capable of "teaching" his children. It came out in different ways but the concern was nearly universal. Some admitted that in reality, they themselves felt inadequate. I suppose that imprinted itself on the spouse.

The conference came and went. We had a open house inviting neighbors and friends to find out more about home schooling. I am sitting in my office the next day. Looking out the window, one of our open house friends and her son came marching across the grass and up to the front door. In they came, asking, "Mark, do you have a few minutes? Would you help me find what my sons interests are?" I said sure and began asking questions. It wasn't long before we were on the phone to some resources I had and within a few minutes, he was off and running with ideas in an area that he is excited about. For that moment at least, this was one excited young man.

Conclusion? Some parents might not be smart enough to teach a subject or two. There might even be parents who can't teach very much at all. But, leaving aside the self directed nature of learning for most children, almost every parent is smart enough to FIND SOMEONE who is smart enough. That's what happened with this friend of ours and her son is better for it. Personally, I think she is a pretty smart lady.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Had A Bad Day? Think Again.

I read a powerful and well written post about ( bad days, comparing ours to others. Keeping perspective. I suggest you read it because home schooling families get our share of bad days too. (Even though admitting it to government schoolers sometimes seems like suicide.)

Our experiences are certainly OUR experiences. But when you get old like us, you begin to realize that such experiences may not be the universal defining experience for anyone but ourselves. It is so easy to see everything only through our eyes, our lenses. We think we understand how they feel, because we understand how we would feel. I have come to believe that a huge canyon often divides the two, my experience and your bad day.

As "normal" members of the human race, our lives come complete with our normal share of bad days. As home schoolers, we choose to add the potential of yet another category of disasters to the normal bunch that everyone has. These difficult times certainly are school masters in the "one room school house" that we call "home" schooling.

I thought about this the other day while I was going through the toughest time, SO FAR, in my life. He has all the answers, yet often we don't ask. He has all the cures, yet often we don't seek his healing. He has all power, yet we don't seek his influence. He loves us at a level we can't understand, yet we often don't understand what it means when we say that He does love us.

Of course there are some bright spots in His life too. I did make the bed this morning and lift that small burden from Cyndy's back. That had to be a happy moment in all of human existence. However 24-7, when he picks up the happy stick, the other end comes with it. So I guess Cyndy and I need to learn to experience some of the same stuff He lives with all day. Even when it hurts us. After all it hurts Him too.

Finding a way to love others more perfectly, especially when we aren't that confident in loving, is all to often a trial and error process. Please be patient with me when I do the trial thing and it ends up an error thing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Get A Maid - I'm Serious

I mentioned in a recent post, that we had a group of home schooling "interested" over a few weeks ago. Some were die hard home schoolers, some just considering it, others, just getting their feet wet. It was good for all of us to share and enjoy the benefits of just being together.

One concern that came up, a concern I have heard a lot of fathers voice over the years, had to do with whether or not their spouse "could" actually pull the "home schooling thing" off. Sometimes the concern revolves around the respect that exists or fails to exist between the children and the mom. Sometimes, there is a vision in the dad's head that causes him to believe that his wife needs a doctorate in order to "teach" at home. Then there is the dad who sees a capable spouse, but visualizes her continuing to do all the homemaking necessaries AND an 8 hour a day teaching job at the same time.

This last concern came up as we were talking and one of the dads said, "Well, home schooling is so important to me, that if my wife is going to spend this time with our kids in home schooling, I decided to get her a maid." The response to this idea was just amazing. He actually arranged for a maid to come in once a week or once every two weeks to get the house back in order.

Can you imagine anyone in the group turning that down? We spend a lot of time discussing all about methods, curriculum or the lack of it, children's learning styles and a hundred other concepts the center themselves on the children. Occasionally we talk about the large pink elephant in the corner, and that is burnout. I wonder how many other families would be home schooling if the stay at home spouse, in most cases the mom, knew that a maid was part of the deal?