Oh my goodness, an actual post!

Hello! Is anyone still here? I haven’t posted in so long I had to think about how to access the old blog.

I couldn’t have ever predicted the tumultuous year beginning last fall until now. What is that saying? Man makes plans and God laughs. Well, let’s hope all that laughter is one good thing that has come of my many, many less-than-successful plans.

School was a roaring success for my fourth-grader who entered public school for the first time ever last fall. Once he got the hang of the variances in the subject material and adjusted his testing strategies, he absolutely loved it. As you may guess, I’m not a huge fan of So Much Testing and you may have heard of testing boycotts around the country. So when Dane was genuinely sick on his big test day, I was totally comfortable with him staying home. He was sick after all. What do you think he wanted to do? Take the test, of course! In tears, he insisted on going to school. Fortunately he did well but I do wonder if there ought to be a makeup testing day for sick kids who aren’t at their best on testing day.

Here is where I, as a homeschool mom, praise public school. I don’t think there’s a school anywhere that could’ve made his transition better. His classmates were wonderful and his teachers were tears-in-my-eyes fabulous. I just want to hold on to this moment forever because it was that sweet. They cared so much and it showed. They taught so much and it showed. They worked so hard and deserve so much credit for the very bright class of fourth graders they produced. Yes, there was lots of testing but there was also so much wonderfulness that came out of the year that the entire experience felt like one big blessing. Thank you, public school teachers!

My older son and I eventually found our way. I discovered that he didn’t really need me hovering as much as I had previously. I was heavily invested in his day-to-day lessons but mostly because I was monitoring and adjusting for two different ages. Once I discovered that he really only needs me to check in once a day and actually performs better when given more independence, I backed off and learned to enjoy it. So he went to work with his dad several times a week and slept in and schooled at home on the other days. He still likes having two or three days to sleep in at least till 10. Then he reads for about an hour, cooks his own breakfast, then starts on his math and other subjects. Most days, he doesn’t seem to need me till mid-afternoon. He is a very independent and self-motivated learned and as long as this works for him, it works for me!

With one son in school and one son learning independently, this means I can return to some set-aside dreams. I’d list them here but, you know, I don’t want to jinx them, so you’ll just have to wait and see. Besides, you know what happens when I plan, right? Laughter. So no planning, just dreaming. :)

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This Public School Principal Decides to Homeschool His Youngest

Dana:

I feel very much like a fence-straddler. There are pluses and minuses about public school and homeschool. I have one boy in each. It would be so much easier if we are all in one place, but doing both meets the needs of both boys. I have blogged recently about how much my younger son loves his school. He loves his teachers. He loves the structure. He loves his friends. He loves being away from home. He loves learning in groups. Here is a letter from a public school teacher that is about the not-so-great part of public school: over-the-top testing. As always, I appreciate different viewpoints and I think it’s worth a few minutes to read the opinion from someone in the trenches.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Tim Farley has had it. He knows what the state and federal government is mandating is wrong. He knows it hurts children. He will do his best to protect the children from these harmful and spirit-deadening demands. But he will home-school his youngest child. He explains why here:

Tim Farley writes:

My wife and I have finally hit the breaking point. We can no longer sit by and watch the educational system that has been co opted by Bill Gates and his corporate cronies in the name of “education reform”, harm our youngest child. Jessica and I are the parents of four wonderful children (7th, 5th, 3rd grade, and kindergarten). Although we would like to homeschool all of our children, due to several factors, we will only be homeschooling our youngest, John Paul.

John Paul is a bright and energetic boy. He was born with a heart defect, and at…

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