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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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From Sunup to Sundown?

This article, which I found via Homeschool Buzz tells the story of a homeschooled young man who attained a perfect score on his ACT. It's a wonderful story - and one that supports my belief in homeschooling - except that I take issue with the statement at the beginning of the article. It is this:

"Daniel studies from the time he wakes up until the sun sets, and
his studies are paying off."

I am sure that his studies ARE paying off. I highly doubt that Daniel studies from sunup until sundown. What makes me doubt this is that his mother mentions his love of baseball and the fact that he has many interests.

I resent the journalist fostering an attitude toward homeschooled kids as bizarre children who do nothing but schoolwork from the time they arise until the time they are sent to bed. It's not that way - let us at least be honest.

I have enough problems fielding bizarre accusations from well meaning people without this journalist throwing his own bias into the mix - thank you very much. Accusations, glaringly said with an all-knowing tone, including (but not limited to) these things:

*My children are 'isolated'.
*My children do nothing but schoolwork.
*Strange attitudes toward different bed and wake times.
*Nasty remarks about leisurely eating our breakfast of oatmeal in our pajamas at a later hour than they think we ought.
*Strange remarks about not being able to stand being around their kids very much.

Here is a news flash! I'm going to be brutally honest - as a Grizzly Mama should be.

My kids are 100X more well adjusted than ANY public schooled kid that I have EVER had the occasion to meet. My kids are 100X more involved in their community than ANY public schooled kid that I have EVER had the occasion to meet. My kids are 100X more physically active than ANY etc... My kids have 100X more contact with other children and in various situations than ANY etc... My kids have 100X more contact with a variety of supportive adults than ANY etc...My kids absorb 100X more information in ONE HOUR with me than ANY etc...

ENOUGH with this mis-characterization of homeschoolers as whackos. We like our kids - okay? It's not strange. Many people like their children. Most parents want what is best for their children. Homeschoolers have just taken the bull by the horns and accepted the responsibility for educating their children. What young Daniel has achieved is achievable by most youngsters who have a higher standard set for them. And no....they will NOT need to study from sunup to sundown.



Blogger Mike's America said...

Monica: Of COURSE your kids are going to be 100% smarter than the public school warehoused varities... Look who their teacher is!

Just don't let them anywhere near comments by the Gaffa machine and they will turn out superior in every way.

19 October, 2005 16:07  
Blogger GaffaUK said...

I hope your kids education thanks to your gerat help provides them well in life.

As for the Gaffa machine - I don't think any kids need to hide away from different ideas and thoughts in life. That's freedom to think and judge for yourself - a central facet in any decent democracy.

19 October, 2005 16:18  
Blogger Dani said...

Your kids will be 100X better at anything as long as they don't go to public school.

Praise the Lord that you love your kids enough to train them the way God commands you to and protect them from harm. It will pay off!

19 October, 2005 17:53  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Great post Monica!
I get 50/50 judgements from people around here. 50% know how bad our local school system is and understand completely. 50% give me the raised eyebrows and the statements you've just quoted.
Our son is middle-school age, so we also get the people who think he's been suspended from school just because he's out in public during a school day.

gaffauk, I gotta agree with you this time. Our son gets a much more balanced view of the world than he would in public school. We study all sides of history and science.
In world history we study the religions of the world and how they helped form a culture. He's learning how and why things work rather than sterile facts.

19 October, 2005 22:00  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Well thank you Mike - you are sweet to say that and you are always supportive and that means a lot to me.

Thanks to Gaffe too and I wish to assure you that my daughters are exposed to a more well-rounded view of the world than they would get in public school. Especially when it comes to Science and History. It is very important to me and my husband that they are taught the Scientific Method and approach scientific questions with the method always at the top of their mind. The History they are learning is very rich - as we know that History is rich with important stories and lessons for life - and my love of History did not begin until I was in my late 20s. The reason it took so long was due to the education (or lack of I should say) that I was tortured with as a child in the public school system.

Dani - thank you and it's true. A bad day homeschooling (where we are tired or not feeling well) is still so much better than any day in public school.

Tshsmom - thanks and I'm sorry to hear that you get that crap too although I am glad that you shared it with me because I was wondering if other homeschoolers have to listen to as much of it as I do. It gets very aggravating. I have to stay calm though because before I looked into the possibility of home educating I remember having the same doubts and questions.

20 October, 2005 00:36  
Blogger tshsmom said...

That's why it's GREAT to have you here, Monica! Some days moral support can make all the difference in the world. Thanks for being such a pal!

20 October, 2005 15:28  
Blogger GaffaUK said...

I think the trouble with some schools is that they tend to pick on the dull areas and teach it with a lack of enthusiasm. I mean history is rich with stories.

Also it seems teaching has gone to far with empathy. I mean it's all very well imagining what it would be like fighting in the WWI trenches but if you don't know who was fighting, when and why - then history has no backbone or content.

20 October, 2005 19:11  
Blogger tshsmom said...

You said a mouthful there, Gaffa! The WHY brings history to life.

20 October, 2005 21:04  
Blogger MamaGeph said...

You know what's the worst? The parents who swallow the state school pace, despite their kids' strengths. I want to shake the fools who bemoan their kids' brightness, and how they work to make them slow down. What on God's green earth are these people thinking?! Why not tie lead weights to their ankles and tell them to sprint the 100 yard dash?

21 October, 2005 17:13  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I don't get it either MamaGeph. The only thing I can chalk it up to is that many parents trust the state more than they trust themselves.

It's possible that pressure from others can stymie a parent. I know a woman who was ready to pull her kids from school until a relative of hers told her she was crazy to even think about it. So she decided not to.

I get very frustrated and aggravated at times listening to those same parents. I try not to go sideways on them. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Gaffa - I'm not sure WHY kids can't be taught the things in school that I teach at home. Perhaps there just isn't enough time - what with trying to get a room full of 30 active kids to cooperate. I've often thought to myself, 'Gee, this could be adapted to a classroom - and it would be interesting and fun.' Well - I can't fix the public school system. All I can do is the best that I can for my own kids. Many kids in the neighborhood participate with us especially in Science projects. They love it.

22 October, 2005 00:41  
Blogger GaffaUK said...

Out of interest (and I don't have any kids) - how do you go about teaching your kids at home? I mean do you have any inspections or have to mean any criteria?

22 October, 2005 17:27  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Pennsylvania has one of the most rigid homeschooling laws in the United States. Every state has it's own law. Some states require nothing. Others, like Pennsylvania, regulate a family almost to death.

I understand (to a certain extent) the state's concern about the children of it's citizens. I think that their concern needs to be overwhelmingly applied to their own state school system which is failing miserably. Yet the state feels the need to monitor homeschooling families - and studies have proven homeschoolers to be better off in every way when compared to their public school peers.

It seems that the concern is misplaced.

There are many options when it comes to homeschooling one's children. Check out some of the homeschooling links on my sidebar. I especially recommend HSLDA and PA Homeschoolers. Both have a rundown on the law in PA. Both also have links to support groups and information on different options.

We use the K12 curriculum. There is a link to that on the sidebar as well. We love the curriculum. Many homeschoolers do not use a curriculum at all.

22 October, 2005 20:09  
Blogger Gina said...

monica ,
I know when I finally make the decision to homeschool , my family will think I have lost it ..

23 October, 2005 05:47  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Hi Monica, yes tell it how is, you have nothing to prove to the critics!

From what I can see the benefits are enormous if you can do it, I admire this way of teaching. Also your children don’t have to come across the demon headmistresses like Ms Trunchbull in Matilda by Roald Dahl that I’ m reading to my grandchildren when they come to stay. She picks them up by the hair and throws them (she used to be shot put champion) far as she can LOL she hates kids. And there are some Trunchbulls out there I’ve seen them! LOL

Your link stated “Statistically, home school students score about two points higher than the average private or public school student.” Monica, More power to your elbow, not the Ms Trunchbull’s of this world LOL they throw the kids off track without an extra help!

23 October, 2005 17:53  
Blogger MonicaR said...

They may at first, Gina - but it will only be because they don't fully understand or appreciate it. You may be surprised. I was expecting MUCH more flack from my family than I ever received. I expected no support whatsoever and was SHOCKED when many of my siblings, my mother, an aunt were completely behind the decision 100% and expressed their full support.

Some of the stuff I get from the neighborhood moms blows my mind like what I wrote about in my post. It's mostly because they don't know the reality of what our days really are like. If I can do it - anyone can. I am no genius. I am not the most organized person you will ever meet. I am not a saint or patient all of the time - although I am learning to bite my tongue and allow them their own process of learning because they do it so beautifully without me pushing. I don't need to regulate or hover and worry. It's been a learning process for me, too.

With older kids it's a much more independent thing for them. One of my sisters put her son into a cyber charter for 2 years because of the middle school. He loved it and exceeded all expectations for his grade level. He did a great job.

23 October, 2005 23:15  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Yes Sparky! LOL! There are some Trunchbulls out there, aren't there? I've seen some teachers who just don't seem to like kids very much. There are many that do like them and care - but their efforts are thwarted by many things. School boards, school administrations, unions.

Either way it's not too good for the kiddies.

I will have to find this book you are reading to your grandchildren. It sounds like a book that we could easily enjoy!

23 October, 2005 23:18  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Hi Monica it should be in your Libraries. There is also a great little film too that has been made. Danny DeVito is in it he is Matilda’s father,
Danny DeVito - Filmography, Awards, Biography, Agent, Discussions, Photos, ...Harry Wormwood/Narrator ... aka Roald Dahl's Matilda; Felony (1996) . ...www.imdb.com/name/nm0000362/ - 58k - 22 Oct 2005 - Cached - Similar pages
The film Matilda would be every homeschooler’s nightmare of letting their little one go to the state school! Book or Film both brilliant, the film I think is great for all the family to watch. It’s probably on Video. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Down with Truncbulls down with Truncbulls LOL

24 October, 2005 14:32  
Blogger tshsmom said...

ANYTHING by Roald Dahl rocks!
Our daughter still reads his works. Our son wouldn't be caught dead with one of his books, but I DO remember that he loved James and the Giant Peach when his sister read it to him. ;)
I thinks it's a "girl thing", so your girlies should love Dahl!

25 October, 2005 18:31  
Blogger MonicaR said...

We're definitely into the girl things, Mom.

Although Daddy has his influence, too. They love Batman, Spiderman and race cars too.

25 October, 2005 23:09  
Blogger GaffaUK said...

How good is history taught in public schools over there? I've written piece bemoaning how poorly it is taught in the UK. No wonder kids are bored with some of the dull topics they are given.

27 October, 2005 14:20  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Gaffa, our school system doesn't teach ANY history until the 6th grade! How pathetic is that?

27 October, 2005 17:17  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Gaffa - it's terrible over here, too.

For our girls - it starts in Kindergarten with continents, countries around the world, moves into American history with the natives, an overview of the 13 colonies, Lewis and Clark, The Civil War, going west, Great inventors, the civil rights movement. Right now we are traveling over the globe with 'Mr Traveler' and in fact are visiting many countries in Europe. We just did France and I couldn't resist telling her that France has a reputation for losing wars. Beautiful city Paris, though. :-)

In first grade it's ancient civilizations - Mesopotamia, Code of Hammurabi, ancient Egypt, India - and so much more. I could go on and on.

As they go into the higher grades these same time periods are revisited and more in-depth.

It's wonderfully presented and geared to their level. It's one of their favorite subjects. One of my favorite subjects too.

When I was in school History consisted of memorizing dates of certain battles and wars. I hated History - it was so boring to me. It wasn't until I met The Troll (who has a fascination with history) that it began to come alive for me. I'm still angry about how badly done it was for me in school.

The publics on our block have bemoaned the fact that they don't have History OR Science at all. Nothing in the lower grades. It's too bad because when the kids are that young is when they are little sponges just soaking it all up.

28 October, 2005 00:32  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Monica. I was wondering if this was only happening in MN.
This is the same way we teach history. Our way, the kids know WHY something is happening in the world today because they have learned about the events in the past that led up to current events.

Memorizing dates is just a waste of brain space!

28 October, 2005 15:25  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I agree, Mom. One of the fundamental things that the little ones learn is that civilization springs up where there is a water supply. Rivers. They don't teach THAT in public school, do they?! It's a very useful thing to know! LOL!

Our government schools are in quite a sorry state.

29 October, 2005 00:11  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Yeah, we did a whole thing on mountains and civilization too.
I'd NEVER heard of the Indus River Valley before we started homeschooling.
I think public schools rely heavily on date memorization because it's easy to write a test on it.

29 October, 2005 09:32  
Blogger alix said...

hi stranger!

every time i start to falter, i come here and you knock it out of the park EVERY time. thanks, grizzlymama...it helps more than you could ever know.

we're doing Ancient Civilisations now, and my kindergartner LOVES it! you should have seen her drawing of Enkidu, so cute. i don't remember ANY of this stuff, gawd i hope SHE will. LOL

i liken the process of HSing vs. PSing to the difference between reading a list of information vs. the old television show Connections. being able to connect the dots and know why they're connected is cool. very cool. we were looking at one of my archaeology books and she commented on how writing has evolved through different cultures. are they getting this in the classroom at her age? don't think so.

well, enough rambling from me. good to drop by, thanks, as always. :)

04 November, 2005 18:10  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Hey girl! Good to 'see' you again.

I think the reason we can't remember any of it is because we were never TAUGHT it. LOL!

I love the curriculum and the kids love it too. It's so fascinating watching their learning process - a privilege to see every day. The more time I spend doing this the more I appreciate my kids.

05 November, 2005 12:33  

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