Trying again to say this (Homeschooling from scratch)

I don’t want anyone to worry about my children’s education.

That said, I’m not very good at expressing myself when I attempt to dispel concerns.

Last Sunday a retired teacher noted the rapidly approaching school year and said, “I bet you’re really busy planning now!”

Did I say, “I began researching in January, stopped buying materials in March and simplified my curriculum in July”?


I told this career K-2 teacher that no, I wasn’t in the midst of planning, that I was only going to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic (feeling that’s plenty for a 5-year-old), and as Natasha can already read and we do other activities together already, “school” wasn’t going to look much different than life right now.

I know this lady trusts me, but I bet you a nickel she’s trying really hard not to worry right now.

I love the books I collected for teaching, but the reality is that at this point they are more for my comfort and enjoyment than to apply on my own child (just yet).

Tomorrow I will be attending a meeting for “independent homeschoolers,” a group defined mostly by it’s members’ choice to homeschool apart from state aid or direction.

I’ve been asked by a number of people (usually more than once!) why I’m not “taking advantage” of all the “great programs” that are designed to “give me money” to “do whatever [I] want.”

The easiest out is the one my mom suggested  yesterday: it’s genetic.

Mom taught (and I learned) out of a random-yet-comprehensive collection of books salvaged from the school district’s annual text-dump (that, unfortunately, it doesn’t do any more).

My one experience with a structured curriculum, with daily assignments and a set amount to get through in a year was Calvert.  Two years actually: 4th and 6th, if I remember right.  I hated it and hope I would never do that to my children.  There was just this unmitigated *weight* of never being done.  Ever.  It just dragged on and it was impossible to get ahead.

And I thought it was horribly wasteful– you couldn’t use the curriculum or any of the books from one kid to the next (I’d never have the pleasure of watching my little brother re-live my misery) but had to re-buy the whole set for the next kid.

Anyway, I’ve been told there are other experiences to be had, but  as the mom/teacher, I’m going to stick for now with what I enjoy.  And that means playing at school before I need to, in order to prove to myself and anybody who cares that I can do this without someone “official” hanging over me.

More Growing Up

Natasha this afternoon, very carefully and polite:

“Now, when you’re done with the comics, instead of throwing them away, I would like you to give them to me, because I’m interested in comics now.  So many funny pictures.”

Kids Being Mean

Natasha got her first taste of teasing and rejection yesterday, but (thankfully) I don’t think she fully realized that’s what was happening.

The back door was open and I heard the 5-year-old next-door protesting to his mom that the other kids were being mean to Natasha.  I went out then, but Natasha didn’t seem disturbed at all, only more serious-faced than usual.

I talked with her and she came inside with me.  Then she told my one of the girls in {neighbor-boy}’s yard was being unkind.

“She was making fun of {neighbor-boy}—saying he was in love.  And he’s not in love, he’s just a kid.”

I found the observation fascinating, and what I got out of the collective event was that the visiting children noticed the children’s friendship, tried to tease them about it, and like good friends, they noticed the intent-to-harm their friend over the attack on themselves.

Or at least expressed themselves that way.

I think there’s something precious in that sensitivity; I hope we’ll see it continue.

Melody was coming out of our car  a couple of days ago when it was so sunny, panting for effect, “Wow, that car is freezing- Hot!”

Snapshot Update

Two weeks ago, now, Jay and I droe to Anchorage and back, leaving Friday afternoon and returning Saturday night.


The next weekend the Renaissance Faire got rained-out, but the girls still got to wear their costumes:


On Saturday to Papa and Grandma’s, and Sunday to church.  Yes, Melody wore a shirt under that vest.

I find I didn’t get a picture of Elisha in his bi-colored “jester” outfit, but Mom got several, so I’ll have to get hers.

He didn’t really care for it on Saturday (thought we managed to “trick” him into wearing it, which is no small trick these days).

But when Elisha saw the girls in their costumes on Sunday he was excited to put his on again, and as soon as Jay tied the back you would have thought he was wearing a cape, because he began at once to make these flying leaps between pieces of furniture.  I felt a little shell-shocked.

Something about costumes, I guess…

That same weekend a bird flew into our garage:


Elisha was the first to notice him (Jay and I couldn’t figure for the longest time what he was so excited about).

He was still stuck after hours with the door open and it took some getting to get him out, but it was finally accomplished. (A flashlight in a dark garage and a dry humidifier figured largely in this process.)

Just this last Saturday we did a lot of biking around, and Jay found a way to fit all three kids (and yes all buckled) in the bike trailer.

3-kid-trailer.jpgYet another moment when I’ve marveled at the perfection fo God’s timing and design in giving us children of these ages and sizes.