That was the line I just read to my kids from a history book. Simple, direct, and false. Why on earth would anyone write that! Not only were there plenty of 'torries' there were plenty of folk who wanted to let well enough alone!
Why was it right for the colonies to rebel against their country, but not right for the south to rebel against the American govt?
Simplest answer, because the victors write history. I wish it were not so. I would like to hear all the honest truth when I study history. They say those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it, I wonder what is to be said of those who feed false history to their children?
Viewing the 'Frugal Home Education' Category
That was the line I just read to my kids from a history book. Simple, direct, and false. Why on earth would anyone write that! Not only were there plenty of 'torries' there were plenty of folk who wanted to let well enough alone!
We were recently at a renfest with the two older kids. They had saved up some money for the trip, and upon entering JC immediately made a beeline for a cute little shop that sells knitted ornaments, dolls and the like.
She found a cute finger puppet for $3, when I pointed out she could get two for $5, and each would be cheaper she declined.
Cheaper per item, but more money spent. I constantly hear folk who 'couldn't pass up a good deal' failing to consider that they might need the extra money more than the second item.
Though I told her I would pay the $2 for the second and we could take it home for her little sister.
After a free ride on the butterfly swings she found a 'princess wand', she couldn't find a price. A nice shopkeeper came over and said it was $5. JC checked it would have used up all the rest of her money, so she decided to pass.
Then later she was looking at tiara's, at first she ooohed and awwed over various pink flower and ribbon contraptions, but then she put it all back. She told me she didn't think she had enough money for one. I offered to check, but she said no.
Meanwhile GMC was spending his money on archery (he loves this), and the frog thumping game, and beef jerky.
Mommy was spending hers on tips for entertainment (wonderful pirate show this year) and food....and a parasol.
When I got back, my MIL commented on how I could have gotten one at the dollar store. And proceeded to tell me how most of the clothes she buys the kids come from there (the ones that either fit weird, arms too long while you have to rip the wrist area to keep it from cutting off circulation, or are just plain small, size 5 on my 3 year old)
She also told me how cheap the chewy ships ahoy where there (stale, I love those fake cookie things, and I only ate a couple cause I took em before I realized they were stale) And how the cheerios always come from there (also stale, but I don't eat em anyway) Among other interesting things (those bandaids that wouldn't stick)
I am all for frugal and cheap, in general I do not waste (much) money, BUT if the quality is suffering I would rather spend a buck or two more. You would think I grew up on fancy foods all high class or something, but actually I grew up on peanut butter, cheap mac and cheese, and hotdogs, with the occasional curry by my father. Clothing was all handme downs (I had no idea some folk went 'school shopping'). Money wasn't spent on foil, but when we did buy store bought cookies, it wasn't cheap it was the good ones out of the red bag. now those are worth the calories and the price! (but not to often, like never bought any as an adult...)
Now I do not eat hot dogs, nor boxed mac and cheese. But I do still use mostly hand me downs.
Spending money is all about choices. I would gladly trade any amount of stale cookies for one really cool parasol (that I will still be enjoying for years to come).
Not that I fault my MIL for buying the cookies, her cookies, her taste buds, not mine. To each their own.
I don't drive...that is in some respects an obvious way to save, no insurance for me, no car, no gas, no car related expenses.
But there is more to it than that.
For one thing, I can't sign my kids up for tons of classes, nor take them tons of places every day. Not that I have anything against 'stuff'. Just that I have to be very choosy so that most activities are done when my husband is around to drive, or when a wonderful friend will drive me (in return for gas money) I know many a broke person who thinks nothing of spending hundreds a month on different children's classes. I believe children need a great deal of 'down time' to create their own play, too much driving form one class to another takes away that time.
Another more useful result of not driving, when I am out of something, I HAVE to make do, I do not live less than 2 miles from a grocery store, or any other store for that matter. So if I am out of something, I must improvise.
You can sub for just about anything.
Out of one kind of tape, use another, or use glue, or creative folding, or a stapler.
Spaghetti sauce on rice is perfectly edible. Seriously, make it spicier and it is called 'Spanish rice' Really rice can be a base for anything you would put on pasta, or potatoes, and vice versa.
Most dishes can manage without a spice or two, baking as well. and most items in a recipe have a decent trade available. google em . When cooking it helps to know the type of taste you need to replace (sweet, hot, acid, whatever) or chemical habit of the item (binding, rising, ect)
Crafts are great examples, use a bobby pin instead of a paper clip, or a paper clip instead of a 'brad'. Look at what you have, not at what you think you need, I am always surprised at how inventive I can be when neccessary.
When I teach the kids a new game, or math concept, or science, I often find instructions calling for certain 'manipulatives' (items you can move). If I know the point I can sub. For example, 'teddy bears' are often used to count or graph. I have a bucket full of miscellaneous animals to count, and duplos are uniform in size enough to graph. No cash spent.
Need some shapes for tessellations? google and print em. Science is a little more random, but so long as you know what you are trying to do, you can fake it at least part way.
Not that any of my inventions will be winning awards, nor being paid for. But that isn't the point. Making a craft with the kids or playing a game, or cooking isn't about making money. It is about having fun without spending.
When you want to work on a letter sound with young children, you don't need full alliteration, you just need lots of words that begin with a certain sound. Suppose you start with D. Any kid can be prompted to come up with Dog, or Daddy. Most can follow clues to dragon, or dream. If you read Dr Seuss you of course go with Donald David Doo dreamed a dozen doughnuts and a duck dog too.
House rules will differ for each house, but in ours, whoever comes up with a word last wins. So saying half a dozen in a row to use up words is common. We also have very lax rules for the kids; they can repeat any word, while Mom and Dad must use new words. Oh and using any outside help, like google is cause for disqualification. Other than that, we just aim to have a fun discourse full of the letter of the day.
After an hour or so we have used up dreary, darning, disco, dwarf and all the compound words like doormat, doorknob, or daytime, daylight, and daylong. So we move on to bigger words like destroyer, destiny, declare, and deviate, or derivative.
Somewhere around lunch time we get desperate and decide to try all the places we know, like Denver, Dorchester and Dormont.
Then we start to borrow foreign words, like derriere, or dormir , dos , and deux.
By dinner time we start to get desperate and decide all words have various forms, so dine, dined, dinner, dining, dines, and diner all count as new words. Back to that French, conjugation is now fun. Je Dor, Tu dors, il/elle dort, nous dormons, vous dormez, ils/elles dormant. (And that is just for present tense, which is all I know)
By the time we head to children’s choir practice the other adults want to know we are fighting over who can conjugate the Latin Deo first, which essentially means remembering all the different forms sung in any song we heard, because neither of us knows Latin very well. (Dona, Donno? Domine, dues?)
If this is all done with the giggles and excitement of a couple parents competing for fun, kids will learn something. From how to compete (don’t get all worked up, it is for fun!) To how to graciously lose, kids are learning. Not to mention since you repeat the sound “d” so many times and “D is for desist!” at every word any young child has to pick up some letter sounds.
Now I decidedly must decamp,and deliberate some other kind of delectable drivel to delight the dedicated readers of my decidedly disaster of a drawn out note.
Kids will always learn, they are designed by God to learn. We as parents just get to direct them toward useful information. Or we try anyway. Somehow Starwars quotes and sports statistics crop up along with math and reading!
Every minute of a child’s day is learning, from the moment they are made till something ruins it, a child is learning, waking hours are spent noticing the world, cataloging, and filing away tidbits of information, sleeping hours are spent organizing and sorting through those tidbits.
I think the single most important thing parents can do is delight in the learning with our children. So stop and notice the worm, take a moment to see how high you can count in binary, or just read a good book. You don’t even have to read it to them, just enjoy it yourself, nothing makes a kid want to read more than seeing someone else chuckle and yet not be able to explain it. Many times I have said “You have to read the book to get it”.
We read constantly throughout the day. Before nap, before bed, while cooking dinner, and during nap time (which is an hour of enforced silence for the older two) books abound. Mom reads when she wants a break; Dad reads online how to fix a computer, or the latest sports news. While Google is the source of all answers, someone has to read those websites for the info. And even when seeking professionals, we still read. You didn’t think I paid long distance rates to talk with Grandpa, of course not; that’s what gmail’s IM is for!
I did long ago swear my kids would not grow up reading at the dinner table, not because reading is bad, but because I grew up where a family dinner meant 4 books brought to the table. So for those times we talk…generally about what we read during the day! Most topics begin with “I was reading today…”. Or “did you read about…”. Then there are the story reviews by the kids. Not some fancy format, but simply a child sharing what they read or heard that was worth sharing today.
We run most of our adult conversation through a filter to see what lesson the kids are learning. Not that we script anything, just that before we start or at least before we finish we think about the lesson. So yeah we talk about the sports scandals, and then we talk about how they could have avoided the situation, or what politicians should keep their noses out of. We talk about science, or history, or current events, all with an ear to the lesson. I am sure plenty of bad lessons seep through, but when we can, we aim for a good one. Even a conversation on winning the lottery can be educational…politically or mathematically.
Many conversations include math. Most adults use math every day without thinking about it. How many times a day do you check a clock? Whether we are checking to see if we are late, or to see how long before dinner, we use the clock and add or subtract time. Of course cooking uses plenty of math, from counting scoops, to converting fractions. Paying bills, or balancing a checkbook is of course math, why not skip the calculator next time and see if you can write it down like the kids? Go ahead and check your answer with a calculator, I do! So long as we do the math out loud with no complaint, children see that math has many uses. Though we need to not blame the math for our decision, math is not the reason we avoid yet another donut with 300 calories, the empty sugar and fat is. Math is not to blame for our bank account not having enough to buy a new playground set, the daily need to eat is.
We build the house to be educational; every little thing is another tidbit for them to sort through while they sleep.
You see when asked what someone would pay to finance a couch for a year, my son couldn't wrap his number crunching head around the problem. He didn't know what financing was!
He also apparently doesn't know how to capitalize properly, nor what a colon is.
But he does know enough to pass his test in the 97th percentile, so I am happy. (though a conversation or two is in his future regarding capital letters and colons!)
I was thinking on how different folk want 'the best' for their kids.
I don't. Oh don't get me wrong I could think of quite a few good things to do with a spare million, but truth is them being better people than I is more important than them having more than I do/did.
I want them to have financial skills earlier than I, but am ok with them not having more money.
I want them to be better educated than I, but am fine with them not wanting a degree. (certainly no need of a 'brand name' one)
I would like if they could travel more than I have, but I don't need it on chartered jets. A mission trip or the like would do them better.
All the things I want for my kids, are not cheap, but are also not so costly that we cannot manage them.
And the biggest things, are free. Lessons in honesty, love, integrity, compassion, history, peace, empathy, cultures...
free but not easy. Would be easier if all I wanted for them was a fairy tale childhood.
We have a number of frogs out of doors in the yard (one advantage to not spraying for weeds)
And the kids find them very interesting but it is very hard to study them at length, cause they naturally run, err hop from kid!
Anyway I was considering how to keep and observe them without endangering them, and I think a simple tank terrarium, or bowl would be ok. I just have to either make sure the kids let them go after a day, or find out what they eat (I guess flies?)
I have no desire for a pet resident, so not looking to spend a lot of money (or any if possible), I just want a temporary holding device that will last for a day or at most a week (though next year I mean to take the kids down to the creek and hunt for tadpoles early if possible-those we would keep till they morph, so long as we manage not to kill em)
Anyway, been racking my brain all morning, somehow a collection of computer parts doesn't lend itself well to a terrarium.
Why do I have to shell out $50-$100 of my own money on top of the tax money sent to test other kids?
If the gov't is so all fired curious just where my kid falls compared to average 7 year olds why don't they test him?
They do have these days set up for just such a purpose in the public school year, which my tax dollars fund not only the electricity, the supervision, and the grading, but also the salary of the person who decides what to do with the scores.
But will they share any of that tax funded time/space/grading with me? nope, require me to do it, but not one ounce of assistance for the process.
Not that I want gov't interference, just that I wish they would keep their grubby noses out of my business when all they want me to do is spend money.
So my internet wasn't working well yesterday. I normally spends 10-60 minutes with the kids looking up interesting topics.
So I went with the old fashioned book...seems those paper bound things do have interesting info
Learned a bit about the Mercury and Gemini missions. Hope to read more on Apollo today.
Since that co-op isn't working out for me I got together with a couple moms and worked out a mini option on Tuesdays. Still have something bigger in the thought process for Thursday..prolly not gonna do it right off the bat though.
Should be a good chance for the kids to get a few topics in and happens to be right before the GS meetings will be in fall. decent timing.
Though does make Tuesdays full!
In the co-op there was discussion of offering piano and or voice lessons. I checked and GMC still wants piano (has been asking for a long time, either piano or violin or recorder)
And JC recently heard a teen girl sing opera and the Aladdin theme, JC was absolutely enthralled and wanted to learn how to sing that way.
Since I can't read music, nor sing beyond passable I figured they would have to get their lessons from someone else.
We are no longer doing the co-op, organizational issues, so I don't know if we can afford the piano or voice lessons.
Seems to be about $80 a month each. Which sounds like quite a lot.
Today my husband came home with two different kinds of bread. One a dollar more a pack.
All because the kids want to know it is worth the dollar more.
I haven't yet compared nutrition in each (though both are whole wheat).
Should be interesting to see if the kids really compare and certainly hope the cheaper bread is good enough!
Pandora is the best radio station!
But for hearing a specific song it sucks, or at least I haven't figured out the trick
youtube is where it is at for a song request. But it is a bit annoying to have to keep choosing songs.
In short depends what you need, but either way it is free
Did you know tons of music is on youtube?
I just discovered, from the co-op that you can find tons of classical music, and since my cousin was up, I peeked at newer stuff as well.
There is tons of songs. All sortable and searchable.
Though it doesn't quite reach the ease of having your own licensed songs, it sure is free.
This morning we have been listening to half a dozen Beethoven piano songs and a few concerts.
And every night this week I have been soothing L with a variety of favorites.
My kids have a book we use to record/write/draw everything. It is part nature journal, part drawing notebook, part journal, part copywork, part scrapbook for other work.
And GMC has been using it for a 'encyclopedia' of fish, meaning drawing one or two fish per page with or without names, and using up the pages ultra fast. (BTW did you know a sole was a fish version of a chameleon? I didn't.)
So I am fast approaching decision time. Do I spend money for a book without lines (because most entries are scrapbook photos, or drawings) or do I let his next book come from the same stash of free lined bound notebooks.
So a typical day here involves many more questions than I have answers to. In general I try to file interesting ones away to google search, becuase if I am online I am not doing housework, which means I tend to avoid googling things till later on.
Anyway by the time I get L down for nap, lunch finished and maybe cleaned up, checked on emails and tried to sludge through some work for the scouts or CE or whatever, I have forgotten the interesting question. Not surprising as I have a terrible memory, but also not helpful.
So today I had a novel idea...I could write down the questions then when I have my hands free go google them with my kids. (usually GMC, U has to short an attention span and JC is more interested in drawing and making up stories)
I know this is an old idea, but for me, it just might be the beginning of a homeschool breakthrough! Sometimes the simple things escape me.
reading this blog: crazy mom I realized I have friends in both camps
I used to say that there were two camps within homeschooling and I did not fit into either - these were the "Granola-Crunching Tye-Dye Brigade" and the "Bible-Toting Denim Jumper Brigade". I have absolutely no problems with either of these two 'camps', other than the fact that I did not 'fit' into either of them very well.
And I don't fit well into either, though I have traits of both. (bible yes, jumper no...Granola yes, tye dye no). Though I am willing to bet most folk have some traits of both groups. Homeschooling has cliques. You would think a comon goal of educating our children outside the system would be something to relate to.
But since there are about as many reasons to homeschool as their are homeschoolers we just don't all agree.
Don't get me wrong we can in general get along fine. We just have to search around for the right type of homeschooler to hang with, or at least the right kind for the right event.
Working on the co-op is an eye opener on just how different homeschoolers can be, and just how hard it can be to get them all to agree on anything!
And sometimes when you boil education down to the common denominator, you lose something. you lose what makes homeschooling so unique, the differences of folk doing the schooling!
Today was a rather good day, we managed to get chores, and some education in with minimal fighting/fussing
The kids were cooperative so life was smooth and things were completed quickly. I love when that happens.
I also am amazed at how much can be accomplished when it does:
-kids rooms cleaned, beds made
-living room clean/vacuumed
-kitchen clean/vacuumed (no, not swept/mopped)
-dishes, laundry, breakfast, lunch
-math for the older three
-writing for all (yes L sat in my lap playing with a pencil, cute red scribbles .)
-geography game for the older three
-bible story, verse, copywork
-Drew Monet's 'water lillies' from memory
-worked out on Wii fit (borrowed for week)
-All three played on wii, and some other free time.
-family tree by G, with some notes about Gma when she was his age.
-chapter of book on Braille
-L down for nap, and other had some quiet time.
Outside G is squirting the grill, which nearly instantly dries, it is rather fun to watch how fast the water evaporates. I asked him why and he said 'cause it is metal' which is kindof right. Though frugally it is a waste of water....I should tell him to squirt the plants.
So I was at the computer with plans to stop the Myzoo action and go to some sort of school like lesson with the kids.
I turned around to find my oldest curled up on the couch with a book about ancient Egypt. hmm don't want to disturb him.
Checked on JC, curled up with a book reading aloud to her dolls. Ah nope.
UE was also 'reading', and almost asleep in bed. EL was already asleep.
So there went my school plans, their (self directed) education was getting in the way!
For Scouts 'world conservation' badge, G has to keep a bird chart and name 10 birds, 5 'IRL' (In Real Life).
At first I was a bit worried, not that he can't name birds, he has an amazing memory. But worried that we wouldn't see 5 different birds around here.
So far, since Tuesday, he has seen Wrens, Black birds, Crows (how does he know they are different?) Blue birds (or Jays?), a robin or two, and a cardinal.
Never knew there were so many different things right here.
One thing I am learning to do different with the Charlotte Mason, is to look right here for nature. One of my weakest subjects.
NWF has a national backyard camping day, June 27th.
Our cubscout pack will be participating, with each den gathering at one fellows backyard.
The boys will spend some time working on outdoor skills, like setting up tents, and cooking, plus maybe some rank work.
So I thought I would see what the girl scouts could do, at the Daisy level, they have no official camping/outdoor skills. But I figure you are never to young to enjoy some outdoor fun, and go over some outdoor safety.
Now if I can only manage to borrow an air mattress before then so I don't have to be woken up by EL all night long!
This is an exciting time in my sons life. He has discovered beer. And requested we buy him some to try.
I follow the theory that my kids are better off expiramenting at home while I am there to watch, rather than secreting it away.
So we shall buy some this week and see what happens. I expect a bit of a mess, but I am sure he will enjoy the fun. I might save it for Thursday or Friday when we will have several of his friends over and make it a party.
Cracked.com recommends Corona While I wish they would swear less, I do think they have a good point.
Today we had folks over for Science
The focus was Light, we broke it, bent it, and mixed it up.
I found a how stuff works article last night to read a bit of (mostly I paraphrased for smaller kids)
then we talked about how waves are NOT objects moving, but energy..prolly went over their heads, but playing in water was fun.
-broke light with a prism, wish I had enough for each kid .
-bent light with water (pencil in clear glass) and magnifying glass (wish I had one for each kid)
-mixed light (filters over flashlights in dark rooms) had enough for them to take turns (yellow, blue and red light combines to white if you do it right)
-told the rainbow boy story, and they drew pictures about it.
And since I happened to have this big bucket of blue water I just had to add some baking soda and popcorn and red vinegar just because.
Next month we are going to do some fun optical illusions.
So my son had a birthday, recieved some gift money, and then all the kids got some for the holiday.
Now what would any sane boy do with all that? Dunno, but just as I insist they brush teeth every night, I insist they deposit some in long term savings, some for the church and do think about what they buy.
GMC figured out the percents (math class in target) to give and deposit, then with what he had left he went to the store with an eye to buy.
We hit the after Easter Sales, nothing good. Though the boys both wanted dino heads shaped like eggs. Like I need more eggs.
GMC found a game some sort of star wars board/collectible card game. He was very interested until we explained he would have to buy extra sets for the game to be fun, so that $15 game could turn into a $45 game or more before he had all the fun parts.
Then he found a computer game on sale for $10, and wanted a book. Normally I find books the best investment, but a jedi book? Do we really need the in depth 'science' behind light sabers and droidekas? Oh well it is his money.
JC found a simple recipe game with her money, good skills for UE to learn, but he wasn't interested she was..oh well they will both play it.
UE found a book he wanted about dinosaurs, nothing fancy, but a decent book he can mostly read himself, doesn't hurt anyway.
Husband found chocolate, and robins eggs.
And they may or may not be on their way over.
Don't you just love information?
I may or may not get off the computer to go clean.
Or I may go read with the kids and ignore the dishes.
I have been thinking lately about 'true unschooling' and I am not actually a proper unschooler. The trouble with un-schooling, to me, is that it assumes a child will learn all they need to know without interference...and while that is true it isn't good enough for me.
I know for example that EL will learn English without my help, but I also know that if I point interesting things out to her stressing the name (Apple, would you like Apple? have an Apple, more Apple? all in the space of 5 minutes) she may learn quicker, (or not), she aught to learn what apple is at least. On the other hand she isn't very likely to learn kumquat..but then she doesn't need to. If I wanted her to learn kumquat I aught to go get one and treat it like I did the apple.
I think the same thing applies to older children, they will learn plenty on their own, but if I want something in particular. I prolly aught to teach it (like phonics) but I shouldn't try without relating the lesson to the kid (like getting an apple to eat)
Which is why I like much of Charlotte Masons teaching, while we can't always take a kid to the past or another country, we can use what she calls 'living books' to help bring kids reasons to learn.
She also tends not to place emphasis on what you don't know so we can fill in the gaps (really like in Gods world we could ever hope to know all of it?) instead asking kids to share what they did learn, might not be the exact high points we found, but it is bound to be interesting what they learned.
Bringing kids into the nature we teach them about, and placing real items in their hands, helping the lessons mean something to them (you pick a tree to learn about, doesn't have to all be the same tree for all kids) these are the parts of CM that appeal to me. And in some ways it looks like unschooling, because we are not to terribly worried about having the exact right lessons according to state, and are not taking these lessons out of the real world, (from the real world not out of it). But because we bring interesting lessons to the kids it isn't unschooling.
On the other hand the most important lesson an unschooler can give us is that it will be ok, a child is designed by God to learn, no matter what you do they will, and for the most part they will learn all they need in the world, without a single drop of interference.
So if one lesson isn't sinking in, that is ok, they either wont need it or it will sink in later. When they want-kids have to choose to learn for it to stick, we forget that often because children naturally want to learn, from birth, and I bet before they are naturally inquisitive, it is only after when one drills the curiosity out of them that they stop wanting to learn. (though all children are different, one may be a fountain of questions another more scientist exploring without asking, a third content to skim the surface, a fourth who knows?)
Visits to the dentist really take a bite out of your wallet, especially now that we have 3 going. (EL has only two teeth, not much to clean!)
But good news all three have no cavities, and all were praised for being good at brushing.
Since I am there to see them spend way to little time and be sent back every night, either it doesn't take much, or the kids have good genetics. Or they eat the right kinds of things?
I am not sure, but we have no plans of changes, so I guess we can expect the healthy teeth to continue for a while.
Before the appointment and during the wait we finished a full days worth of learning. (though there was some learning going on during as well)
Then after, my oldest spent 4 hours with my husband at work. I heard he had a lot of fun, I hope he learned something.
JC will get a turn later this month.
Just found out the homeschool enrollment for 09 is open.
Who is eligible for the BOOK IT! Program for homeschools?
Any student in grades K-6 (5 years old by September of current school year) that is homeschooled and does not attend any other educational facility.
What are the program dates for 2009-010?
October 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010.
When will the 2009-10 materials be shipped to enrolled homeschools?
Materials will arrive by early to mid-September.
The parents and I had our first planning meeting, and at first glance, we are very different.
I am very driven about the three Rs, but beyond that I am very much an unschooler.
Not that I don't teach, just than in general I am not to picky what we are learning so long as we are.
So what if a kid is interested in Abraham Lincoln at 5, I do not plan on repeating or making him wait til 6 just because the 'plan' says 6 year olds have to study him..it is fine if they do, but fine if they don't.
And if they don't study him till 8 or 9. it is ok I might object if they never do study him though. But then again I might prefer they not to the current glamorized version of him.
Same with sciences, beyond life skills I see no need to insist that kids know how to classify birds or flowers, though I see no reason not to. I see no age requirements on Gods world, why do we impose them on children?
On the other hand I could get some Language and I would love for my kids to learn about nature from someone who knows....
Next week we meet again, I shall see how it goes.
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