Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Myth of the Unsocialized Home Schooler

Some days I wish that the myth of the unsocialized home schooler wasn't a myth. Today was one of those days. The myth says that homeschooled students are social misfits that have no friends and struggle with relationships, especially peer relationships. Today I lost my DD to her schooled friends. They had a snow day and she was drove crazy with calls from them to come out and enjoy the day with her. After negotiating with me that she would still get her school work for today done I finally let her go. It would have been so much easier if the myth were true and she had no friends and would have happily spent the day in educational endeavors. But alas, she is a social butterful with so many friends it's ridiculous. She finds the myth quite hilarious.

After she spent the morning with her friends we quickly took some time to check out the info for today on the advent calendar. We found the history behind the Christmas Carol "O Holy Night" to be quite intriquing. Did you know that is was the first song to make it's way over the airwaves? That's just one fascinating fact we learned about it. We also were quite intriqued with checking out microscopic photos of snowflakes and learning more about how snowflakes were made. DD couldn't wait to get back out with her friends and share with them the interesting things she had learned.

Cleaning up my starred items

Every since I discovered it, I have been thoroughly enjoying google reader. Only problem is that I've come across so many great blog posts that I want to refer back to or take more time to think about that my starred items lists is way too long. I need to get a handle on it or it's going to drive me crazy, so tonight I am going through the list in hopes of dealing with some and thus making the list shorter.

I am loving Jeannie Fulbright's blog. I have a lot of her posts on my starred items list. One of these is her post Steps to Self Learning. It is packed full of wonderful stuff and well worth the read. Here are some quotes from it that stood out to me.

"The first step to moving toward self learning is to carefully select curricula that is especially suited for self education. This means that the course can be used by the student alone once they have grasped how it should be done. You see, once your child has learned to read (a teacher is often needed full time for this accomplishment) they are ready to read to learn."

"When you are first starting the process of self learning, you will gradually ease your children into the material."

"Much is accomplished by reading. I use narration to ensure their retention of the material they have read. If they complain that they don't know what to do or don't understand, I ask for a narration of the text they read. If they don't know...they were not reading attentively and I have them reread it. Usually, this fixes the problem"

"There are some subjects that need more oversight than others during different phases of a child's academic development."

"When you are teaching new skills and new concepts, you want to oversee the process and make sure there is a level of mastery before you leave the child on their own. Leaving a child on their own too early will result in frustration for the child and a lack of progress, as well overseeing subjects that don't need a lot of oversight."

"There are three exceptions to this progression from learning to read to reading to learn." This paragraph goes on to explain what those exceptions are.

As I said, the whole post is well worth the read. These quotes just give a small indication of what it is all about.

I need to water and fertilize

I am deeply challenged by a quote from a post I just read. Lysa TerKeurst's post for today has this quote in it "The Grass isn't greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water and fertilize it."

The post reminds me how important it is for me to put a conscious effort into making my marriage all it can be. I'm afraid I fail at that all too often and I start thinking that there may be greener pastures. I need to start taking better care of the pasture I am in so that it is the greenest pasture and I have no need to look elsewhere.