Monday, April 21, 2008

Photobucket BOWL-A-THON this SATURDAY!

Our oldest two daughters are on staff at Master's Commission. In June their group will be going to Trinidad. Their purpose will be two-fold. They are setting up a program in Trinidad that will imitate the MC model but will have students living in a foreign country and doing a missions internship. Students will have to have had a certain level of training before they go to Trinidad. While they are there, they will also participate in various mission outreaches.

BreAnne will not be going on this trip. Krista will. The group is having a bowl-a-thon this Saturday to raise money for the trip. Your donation will be tax deductible as it will go to the group fund and not to an individual. You can donate a set amount or a per pin amount. If you are led to help out with this, please email BreAnne at or Krista at and let them know how much you would like to pledge. They'll be able to tell you where to send your $ and how to get a receipt.

Above all, will you pray for their ministry as the team prepares to leave the first week in June.

Back to your normal blog reading.....


Photobucket MONDAY

I did not work out. I had plans to get lots of school done - I didn't do that either. LOL

We went to speech. It appears that the only sound Nolan has trouble with consistently now is "r" and that she will give us exercises and such to work on that. We have another month and then I don't know that Nolan will be going back next fall. He still processes things funky but that isn't going to really change. So.....Nolan is sad about leaving Miss Natalie.

Nolan and I went to Lowes and got lumber to build garden beds. Wow - that was a workout in itself.

We grabbed milk. We dropped off "Chocolate Hemp Bliss" for the United driver. We didn't order this. ::snort::

We made Lasagna and such for dinner. Mike had invited F. Jim for dinner and I had to call and say, "Don't bring him, my cooking will kill him!" I'd forgotten that he's deathly allergic to garlic and I use LOTS of garlic in my lasagna and had garlic rolls alongside. The poor man would have been stuck with salad. It was a spur of the moment invite. We'll have to do it again.

I grated 3 lbs of mozarella and 3 lbs of sharp cheese. Since I had the grater out, I made a double batch of laundry soap today. I'm hoping that will last a couple of weeks.

We have lots of visitors and such this week. It promises to be busy.

PhotobucketOld Fashioned Homeschooling

I’ve been schooling long enough to have observed trends and cycles in the movement.

In the “old days”, we schooled very simply. We didn’t have the options currently available. We have a zillion companies willing to sell to us, yahoo groups, blogs, co-ops, online schools, umbrella schools, church schools, tutors …and yet I’ve seen a disturbing trend developing that alarms me. I believe that our many options have led to unrealistic expectations, feelings of inadequacy, and have contributed to burn out for many homeschooling moms. I believe, this culture has led many to put their children back into public schools in Jr High and High School because they feel that they couldn’t possibly do it as well as “” (fictitious url) or the “experts”. At conventions we use to hear that we, our child’s parents, were the experts on our children. Now, we often hear from the true homeschooling experts….and feel that we shouldn’t question their authority. When I began schooling we simply took it one day at a time until we finished. Most school districts didn’t want our children back in the system; we knew we had to school them until we figured out what else to do with them. ::snort::

Unrealistic Expectations: SuzieQ may post amazing blog glimpses of astonishing nature walks and yet totally ignore other school subjects. She doesn’t tell you that her oldest is 3 years behind in math, that her youngest hasn’t begun school, and that the great ideas she posted 6 months ago and that you are trying to implement didn’t work at all. SuzieQ may really be practically perfect – but we can’t really know. Co-ops may be wonderful, but aren’t absolutely essential for 2 – 3 days a week. It is possible to stay at home and homeschool the old fashioned way – and see great results. Homeschool companies, like other businesses, try to convince us that their product will SOLVE our homeschool problem. It doesn’t always work that way. Do you think I’m making this up? Consider this ad that was sent via email by a big and popular HOMESCHOOL magazine. This magazine and others are where many new homeschoolers turn for “expert” advice: We expect support from these publications.


Are you still homeschooling the old fashioned way?

Homeschooling was infinitely more time consuming before “XYZ Academy”. Homeschool parents use to spend their nights and weekends doing lesson plans, tests, grading, scheduling, and coping with the ever present “Am I doing enough?” No wonder burn out is so common! Does this sound like you?”

I don’t feel supported by the above. I feel that the ad tries to portray there is something wrong with old fashioned, independent homeschooling. The use of the term and the description of what “old fashioned” would be offends me. In fact, I need their expertise to homeschool. This ad from a Homeschool magazine has irritated me enough that I don’t plan to renew my subscription.

Feelings of Inadequacies: The above ad landed in my in-box on the very same day I was communicating with 2 online friends and a local friend…. all feel INADEQUATE. I was angry…righteously angry, I believe. Ads like the above, huge co-ops that try to offer all the advantages of private school on a budget, practically perfect homeschool bloggers, tutors who charge huge bucks to implement programs I can buy for a fraction of the cost, perfect posts on yahoo groups, can all lead new homeschoolers, and even veteran homeschoolers, to feel that they aren’t measuring up. We slide into thinking that homeschooling SHOULD be easy. I shouldn’t be wasting my nights making lesson plans, grading, scheduling…..I should let the experts do it. I must find a way to pay for these services. I couldn’t possibly do enough on my own…look I can’t make the perfect 9 week unit study on the lifecycle of a slug. Obviously, I NEED to either join a very active co-op, or this academy, or buy this product. When I’ve worn myself out trying all the options, when I have no money to buy the latest and greatest, I throw up my hands in frustration and put my child back into public school. More and more people feel INADEQUATE to actually homeschool independently. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Burn Out: This syndrome has always been around – even in the dark ages of our movement. I see it intensifying as well-meaning and loving moms try to implement ALL the current options. We leave our homes constantly, yet we try to accomplish all that our curriculums map out for us at home. We fail to pick and choose and so we fell picked over, wilted, and exhausted by spring.

I am not saying we should never use any of the current options. I own a yahoo group. I publish a blog. I take advantage of drama classes and such. However, I believe we need to remember the heart of homeschooling.

A few Things to Consider:

God is the expert on your children. YOU are his partner. Get HIS plans for your child and faithfully follow it.

Do not become a curriculum/blog/magazine/yahoo group junkie if you are prone to feeling inadequate. Once you have God’s plan - stick to it. Look around when you have the green light from God to look for specific help. Don’t allow yourself to feel validated or invalidated based on what others are doing. Look to God for approval.

People homeschooled long before all the current options were available. Most homeschooled until graduation once they had pulled their child out of school. It CAN be done.

If you find “perfect blogs” causing you to feel depressed or inadequate – don’t read them!

Balance – use the options that encourage and help your specific family. If at any point you feel the disadvantages of participating are outweighing the advantages, be courageous enough to adjust. Seek balance.

We do ourselves harm when we excessively compare ourselves and our children to others. Quit!

Carefully choose your mentors – online and in real life. I am NOT trying to be judgmental….but you really only know what an author chooses to reveal about herself. Are you sure she is a mentor you should follow? Has she ever shared the hard days, the real days, the icky stuff so that you can learn from her how to work through those sorts of days? What do you know about her marriage? What do you know about her children? Are they the types of adults you would like yours to become? Has she schooled long enough to give weight to her theories? Has she lived long enough to experience both joys and heartbreaks? Is she willing to pull you close enough so that you can learn from both? Does she give you the freedom to search God for yourself and reach different conclusions than she has? When you find this sort of woman, online or in real life, get close to her. Shadow her. Learn from her. DON’T TRY TO BECOME HER. God has a plan for YOUR family and YOUR life. We don’t need to become clones of each other. Don’t put her on a pedestal – she’s human. If she’s showing you the good, bad, and the ugly you aren’t likely to put her on a pedestal. ::snort::

Shew – this is far too long. The End.
**Update - Having read comments and a few personal responses I want to be crystal clear that I am NOT saying that "co-ops are bad" - some of my best friends are co-op coordinators. ::snort:: I'm not saying "yahoo groups are bad" - I own one. I'm not saying homeschooling blogs are bad. I have a blog and am a team member of Home School Blog Awards. I'm saying that if we aren't careful we tend to allow outside things to define how we homeschool and if we are a "success". If co-ops, tutors, alt ed are good for you - go for it - just realize that it's not the ONLY RIGHT way to homeschool with success.

As for my criteria for a mentor - that could be a whole other post.....but basically I look at Titus 2 and think that a mentor should be doing those things she is to teach younger women (obviously she won't be perfect this side of heaven). There again - those are MY criteria and you are free to choose your own. ::snort:: I am NOT saying that you cannot glean from a woman who doesn't meet the Titus 2 criteria - but mentor to me signifies an intimate spiritual relationship - someone who will be signifcantly speaking into my life on a variety of issues, vs. a casual/learn from each other at a support group type of relationship.
Dana over at Principled Discovery is hosting the Carnival of homeschooling. This is my first ever carnival. LOL I highly recommend you go read Irene's "homeschool bag lady" at the start of the carnival.


©2008 D.R.G.
Moms of Many Exercise Challenge Weekly Fitness Goals (click button for more info)

Weekly Goal - 240 Minutes (40 minutes most days)
Total Weekly Minutes - 295 Minutes
Annual Goal - 11,700 minutes (2900 by end of March)
Minutes to Date - 3,557 minutes

Monday - 50 Minutes (Leslie Sanson'es 4 Fast Miles)

Tuesday - 95 Minutes (65 min recumbent bike, 30 min elliptical)

Thursday - 115 Minutes (recumbant bike - got caught up in coverage of FLDS)

Sunday - 35 Minutes (walk with 4 younger ones)

I'm not happy with LIFE on this new schedule and I need to figure something out. Now - if this routine was resulting in weight loss, maybe I would feel that it was worth the stress to our school schedule. LOL I KNOW that I need INTENSE workouts most days of the week and the 4 fast miles is not as intense as the elliptical for the same amount of time.....but I can't always spend the 2+ hours it takes to drive to the gym, work out and come home. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Something.

To read accounts from more participants - click here. To join us, click the icon above.....