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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Almost time for school

We take the summer off. Of course all summer there are many moments that could be considered 'teaching moments'. I don't document it and keep track of it for the state, though. So I'm gearing up for doing all of that soon.

The little one - the 5 year old - is SO excited about learning to read. She climbed into bed with me early one morning (Grizzly Papa was at work already) and chatted away. One thing she said made me giggle - it was 'Soon daddy will have TWO reading girls!' She wants her own composition book - and she shall have it!

The older one - the 8 1/2 year old - wants to re-arrange the day. She doesn't want to start with math anymore. 'Okay', I said, 'think about what you want to do and we'll make it happen. We can also continue to make adjustments if and when you want.' Last year she decided that she hated math. I looked at her in disbelief. Hate math?! She's scoring at 9th grade level on the state assessments! Hate math?! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...Grizzly Mama has it figured out. The cheerleader on the block (age 9) HATES math. The cheerleader on the block has taught all the girlies her cheer: 'The boys have the brains and the girls have the seexxxxy legs!' Of course I had to point out that it's a bunch of crap. The cheerleader has moved away and I had to explain to mine that usually if one hates doing something then one doesn't easily do quite so well at it.

I'm excited about starting, too. It's a lot of work yes. It's a commitment yes. Of course it is. It's a joy to watch them learn. It's a joy to learn new things right along with them. It's a joy to see that light go on. You know - when they learn to read? Every word they figure out is read aloud in a squeal and with a big smile. Nothing can replace that.

I can hardly wait for school to start!

23 Comments:

Blogger "Alice" said...

I love the fact that my youngest (who is now ten) loves school. She started reading when she was three. I wish I had the discipline that she has even now back then.

09 August, 2005 04:51  
Blogger Ciarán said...

Best of luck Monica: I'm with your daughter on math, much to my regret. Keep pushing her!

As for reading, I'm with 'Alice' as an early reader. There's no more liberating gift from a parent than literacy.

09 August, 2005 06:53  
Blogger tshsmom said...

I CAN'T WAIT to see if our school district will figure out that our son is homeschooled THIS YEAR, when I send my paperwork in next month!

09 August, 2005 18:44  
Blogger Dani said...

Here are some fun online reading activities for kids: Starfall.com

My kids just love using this web site. It's easy to use with a variety of activities for grade levels K-2.

Enjoy and Happy Homeschooling!

10 August, 2005 05:40  
Blogger Dani said...

When you get a chance, check out:
My New Homeschooling Links

You should find them helpful and insightful.

Blessings to you ~

10 August, 2005 05:48  
Blogger Gina said...

ahh I wish I could have done that also with my youngest .. home school I mean ..

10 August, 2005 13:50  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Monica: I'm running out of patience for Toadie, your "A.S.S."

It's becoming rather clear that he is less interested in an honest, intellectual exhchange than he is in the "food fight" that attempts to perpetuate socialist disinformation...

10 August, 2005 17:20  
Blogger skye said...

Mike,

Toadie is playing checkers while the rest of us play chess!

:)

10 August, 2005 21:06  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I wash my hands of him. He's lost. *sniff*

10 August, 2005 23:38  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh! And thanks for the comments everyone and I love the links.

(Losing Toadie as my A.S.S. has thrown me for a loop.)

11 August, 2005 01:11  
Blogger skye said...

Toad is just lost. Period.

11 August, 2005 22:50  
Blogger skye said...

A gift for my Fourth birthday, the novel "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett ignited a literary love affair that burns brightly to this day...

Oh yes, I still have that old, well worn novel in my library.
--------------------------------
As for reading, I'm with 'Alice' as an early reader. There's no more liberating gift from a parent than literacy

11 August, 2005 22:56  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Love 'The Secret Garden' and it is also one of my older daughter's faves.

Both of my daughters have not been particularly early in anything. I know a homeschooling mom whose 3 y/old already reads simple words. Not MINE. LOL! By the beginning of kindergarten they were (and are for the little one) barely putting the damn alphabet together properly....

Anyhoo - once they DO decide to start going there is no stopping my girlies!

Literacy is a gift and I say again - I thank God every day that we live in America. Every single day.

PS to Gina. It's never too late! There may come a day when you will need and be able to exercise that option. Maybe not, too - but maybe! One of my sisters homeschooled her youngest for 2 years because she didn't like the middle school. He is back in high school now. It's always an option and there if you need it.

11 August, 2005 23:43  
Blogger City Troll said...

As for toad maybe he will suffer from that phenominom thats going around. For no reason that they can find Toads are just exploading.

And I swear thats atrue story.

15 August, 2005 14:33  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Hi Monicar, a very big thank you for giving an insight into homeschooling!
I will leave this post up as the newest for a week. I think an alternative to left wing biased state education is long overdue for those who want a more balanced and truthful education for their offspring here in the UK. Thanks for the compliment re: savvey I would love to help my grandchild on a permanent basis but financial commitments deem otherwise! Still I’m going to look at the situation here in the UK and see how it works.

A couple of questions, do you run your teaching timetable along the lines of your public schools, re: holidays?

Also do you set aside a room and make it, well like a classroom to create a learning environment just like the school classroom? Like a couple of desks and globes, charts and pictures to encourage a conducive learning area?

Or is teaching in any room or area, just curious. What in your opinion and experience is the best format?

15 August, 2005 21:47  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Yes Troll - I heard about those exploding Toads.

Sparky - it's different for everyone. We have the kids computers set up in the dining room with shelves for the books and we also have a lot of their toys in there. Their artwork adorns the walls the drawback being that we don't have a dining room now...we eat gathered round the coffee table in the living room. Most of the work is done away from the computers. Writing, reading, math manipulatives etc.. We 'do school' in many settings. Sometimes out on the lawn, sometimes at the picnic table, sometimes in the livingroom at the coffee table, sometimes in the dining room, sometimes in the kitchen while I'm cooking, sometimes riding in the car I have them do some stuff. I know of one family who set up their finished basement as a schoolroom and that's where they do everything. Some people like to get it all done in the a.m. but as for us - we sleep in and get going a little later. We're usually done or nearly so by the time the publics get home and start calling and knocking up. Sometimes we save music or art until after dinner. As I've been doing this for several years now I've moved away from regimented to a more relaxed 'go with the flow' type of mentality.

We love it and as I said - at the beginning I was very worried and keeping tabs and regulating things and fretting over the little stuff. I have now learned that it will all get done (it is a lot!) without all of that worrying.

There are days where I have to push the kids a little harder and remind them that if they want to advance then they need to get the damn math worksheet done sometime within the next 68 1/2 hours! Most days are not like that though. They're excited and want to see what's up next. Most days are good and very enjoyable with lots of laughter and learning.

There are many ways to approach it from a very un-structured 'un-schooling' philosophy to a very structured, teacher/class type of environment. I am somewhere in the middle and gravitating toward the more un-structured.

As far as days off go - we really don't follow the publics schedule. The exception being a summer break. We take days off that the publics are in school and many times are doing school when the publics are off. We tailor it to what WE need - not to what the publics are doing. When the kids whine to me about doing school when the other kids are off I remind them of the time we went sledding in the snow while the other kids were sitting at school. They get over it.

15 August, 2005 22:59  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Hi Monicar, I like your philosophy on home education. I suppose some though might like the classroom setting and strict times! Question how much recording keeping do you have to do, do you need to show prove to inspectors that you have covered a particular area against knowledge that a child of a certain age would have deemed to have cover in your public schools?

Can I put your reply up on the front page? My states are showing not everyone goes to the comments section. About a third to half go there! I am getting an average of 50 unique hits per day from all around the world Australia, Newzealand, USA, Finland, Spain, Gambia, with the bulk here in the UK.

If its OK I’ll put it up later, got to get back to the grinding stone! PS how many hours are is your state behind London Time-wise?

16 August, 2005 10:05  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Hi Monicar, I just caught the time at the bootom of my reply. 10-05am if this is the time in yout state there is a 5 hour difference between us, just wanted to know!

16 August, 2005 10:09  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Yes - I think it is a 5 hour time diff.

On Alicenot's blog she has a nifty clock that shows London time and Georgia time.

17 August, 2005 00:03  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Wow, I am famous; I didn't know you guys missed me that much.

Now I am off to Cuba to finish my masters in Marxism; since I am so Socialist for disagreeing with anything you and Mike say. I am truly lost, only Jesus could show me the light. Oh wait, I forgot, Jesus was a Socialist.

18 August, 2005 10:04  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I searched for a way for several days not to do this publically, but since I was rude pubically, I guess it's only fitting. I apologize for being mean to you on someone else's blog. I further apologize for doing something I know is wrong and not being able to control my temper and attacking you personally.

23 August, 2005 11:02  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Apology accepted and appreciated Polanco.

23 August, 2005 18:57  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Thank you.

24 August, 2005 14:53  

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