Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Note To Our Readers

In case you didn't know, there are multiple new posts below--please read and enjoy! (And, ahem, now that I'm getting caught up on blogging, I'm COMMENT HUNGRY!!)
No pressure . . . okay, maybe a little. :P

29 comments:

kristenhcubed said...

You said you wanted comments. I hope you meant it. I tend to get a little on my high horse about the homeschool vs. public school thing but mostly I keep quiet. But since you are so vocal about your choice and how well it works for your family I've deciced to sound off. I have a great respect for (most) people who homeschool. I know lots who do and (most of them) do a great job. But I've decided that homeschoolers shouldn't be the only ones who get to "rah-rah" their educational choices. No doubt there will be more sound-bites to follow. I hope you and your readers will not take offense at any of my plugs for public school. I don't take offense at any of your plugs for homeschooling. It's all a matter of what works for you and what works for me. Diversity is a good thing.

D'Arcy said...

I

D'Arcy said...

will

D'Arcy said...

definitely

D'Arcy said...

make

D'Arcy said...

lots

D'Arcy said...

of

D'Arcy said...

comments

D'Arcy said...

Wow, all those Sylvia's in a row are kind of cool, no?

Boquinha said...

Kristen, that's absolutely my point. Everyone needs to do what works for them and this is what's right for us, hands down. I absolutely agree that it's not for everyone and I know many families who thrive in public school and probably wouldn't thrive doing homeschooling. I don't see it as one being above the other or even as a debate. I'm simply glad there are options and I'm a BIG believer in following your heart and living authentically. This is authentic for us and we're thriving beyond what I could've possibly imagined. So, rah rah to you, too! And anyone else who is doing what works for them. Seriously.

D'Arcy, I love you.

Boquinha said...

P.S. And of course you can have all the sound bites you want, but just to be clear, I don't view it as a competition . . . I in no way feel that what we do is superior to what others do or vice versa. So, please don't feel that you have to defend NOT homeschooling. I really don't look at people in terms of "those who homeschool" and "those who don't." I don't think more of those who do or less of those who don't--I really don't think twice about it. We have loads of friends who do both--I say do what works.

I'm simply posting about what we do like some people post about scrapbooking or cooking or politics. It's what we do. :)

Boquinha said...

Hey D'Arcy!

Or rather . . .

Boquinha said...

Hey

Boquinha said...

D'Arcy!

Boquinha said...

I

Boquinha said...

think

Boquinha said...

you're

Boquinha said...

GREAT!!

D'Arcy said...

I am not sure what about this blog denotes talking about education, but Kristencubed, you've piqued my interest.


I've been in public education for the last 8 years of my life, and been a student of it the other years. And while I love my job and truly believe in the education of our youth to lead us into a bright future, I find that my job is lacking by all the things that education isn't getting. I am not saying that public education is bad, but it definitely has room for improvement.


A LOT of improvement.


Maybe your kids go to a great school and you don't need to worry. But I have taught in inner city Florida and in Harlem, the Bronx, and the Lower East Village.

And let me tell you. We NEED to be worried here. We've got problems. The kids of today have problems. Education has problems.

Big problems.


Many of my friends home school their children and I can honestly say that their children are able to REALLY learn and grow at a faster rate than kids in classrooms of 41 (one of the classes I had in Florida had 41 students and I only had 30 desks, i had 11 kids sitting on the floor for the school year). They are able to learn according to their interests and learning styles. They are able to have a tailored made education with teachers who love and care for them.


I am currently teaching at a charter school for early college education. I have MANY students come from homeschooling into my classroom. They are always among the highest achieving in the entire school. In fact, our Student Body President was homeschooled until tenth grade. He just got a full ride to Stanford.


While I would NEVER give up public education, (because I wouldn't have a job !!) I have a hard time closing my eyes to the facts in front of my face.


But like you said, diversity is a good thing.

emily said...

d'arcy took my idea, i was so going to do that too. oh well.

emily said...

i was in public school my whole life, and i feel like i'm plenty smart. and that i was prepared for college as best as i could have been with the little effort i was putting in. and i graduated from college. so i'm probably okay for being in public school.

emily said...

i admire people who homeschool (and do a good job). a lady in my ward has 7 kids and homeschools...i want to cry when i think about that. i can't do it. i've thought about homeschool a lot in the last year, and i just don't think i can do it.

emily said...

but if obama wins the election and doesn't protect marriage, and homosexuality is taught in public schools, i will home school. no doubt about it.

emily said...

sorry if that's offensive. but it's true, and we're all airing our grievances here, right? so there you have it.

barney6 said...

My, my, my, 24 comments! Yay! I just wanted to put in my two cents about homeschooling.

When I first started and came to realize what an amazing difference it could and did make in the lives of my children and our family as a whole, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!

I still occasionally feel like that, but mostly I've learned restraint. People who choose to use public schools tend to get defensive, really defensive.

Besides that, I think there is and will always be a place for public school and am certainly not advocating for everyone to homeschool. It is a personal choice and I'm with you, Stacy, I never look down on anyone for the choices they make as far as schooling goes.

There is still that desire, though, to tell everyone who will listen how amazing it is. So, while I have learned restraint in my personal interactions with people, I will most certainly blog about the joys (or hardships) of my homeschooling journey on MY blog. If someone chooses to take offense at that, then they spend way to much time looking for something to get offended about.

kristenhcubed said...

I thought I might get some attention with that post. Just a couple of things to add. I'm NOT offended. I have, however, read and heard a lot of arguments for homeschooling that are akin to saying that all people who choose to put their kids in public school are idiots and that homeschooling is the most superior form of education on the planet. I simply don't believe that and it's the superiorty complex and sarcasam that often comes across that bugs me a bit. I think my kids get a great education at home AND at school because I choose to be an involved parent who encourages my children to be excellent. They don't always succeed but then, neither do I. I know that there are a great many problems with our educational system and maybe someday it will become bad enough that even I will choose to (or have no choice but to) homeschool. I wish that there were more parents in the public school system who chose to be as involved and amazing as many of the parents who homeschool. Maybe we would have fewer problems. I am very lucky to live in an area that has good schools. Not perfect ones. I just know my own limitations and I don't think I would be a good homeschool mom. Maybe I would surprise myself. Wow, I'm getting long winded, sorry. So again, I'll say, I'm not offended and I don't mean to give offense. But if you're going to dish it out, you've got to be able to take it.(Speaking generally, not specifically) As I said before, if it works for you, more power to you. We do what works for us, too.

So, Stacy, I don't view it as a competition, either. I just like a good conversation and nothing makes for better conversation than people who see things differently but don't look down on each other. Here's hoping you're feeling my love! You rock!

Rebecca said...

I just started homeschooling our kids a year ago and we love it!! As for the comment about participating in your kids education - I found that while I wanted to be a part of my children's education while they were in public school I was not allowed to be. Our kid's school had so many rules about when and how parents were allowed in the class room and when and if we were allowed to keep them home I felt that I was being completetly excluded from their education. I agree with Stacy that homeschool isn't necessarily the best for every family but I feel so much more involved and apart of what my kids are doing on a daily basis.

Boquinha said...

Weeha! 27 comments! Awesome.

I've been away from the computer for the past several days and am behind (AGAIN) on all things blogging and email (it's been gorgeous out), so here goes some catch up before I am away again for a couple of days. (It's in the 80s in the middle of October, so we're outside a lot. Also, Thing 2 is sick and I've got patient notes to write). And I just felt like filling you all in on why I've been away and will be away from the computer. :) Don't you feel so enlightened?

Okay, so the task at hand . . . responding to comments:

First off, a few friends have informed me that they wanted to comment but were having computer issues. I so wish they could've because what they had to say was really, really good and very balanced--honest about the joys and struggles of homeschooling.

D'Arcy, fascinating! Those are such intersting stories and insights! I love the story about the kid going to Stanford. More and more, colleges are looking to recruit homeschoolers, specifically hiring admission officers to actively recruit homeschoolers. It's very exciting that the stigma of homeschooling has changed into something that is enviable. It's so not like it used to be in the 60s and 70s and that's exciting.

I'm going to try not to get too far ahead of myself since I'm doing entire homeschooling posts eventually . . .

Emily, you're not alone. The phrase "I just don't think I can do it" is the oft-most quoted phrase of people who consider homeschooling. And I'm fairly certain that anyone who is a homeschooling parent has thought that before (and while) starting to homeschool. The night before we officially started homeschooling, I cried as I went to sleep worried that I wouldn't be able to do it or that I wouldn't have the patience or that we'd mess up the kids. The next morning, we started. We haven't looked back since, not even once. Jumping in and trying it made it crystal clear to us that this is right for us--it has been undeniable for us and that feeling continues to strengthen. We LOVE it and all my fears have melted to nothing--it makes me a better mom, of this I'm sure (and very grateful).

And, for the record (though this will be in later posts), we homeschool because it suits us, not because we're scared of what the kids would learn in school. Mark and I both loved school and feel schools have lots of good to offer. This is simply more of an amazing fit for us.

Toni! Thank you for commenting! (I know Toni through blogging--we haven't yet met). You're spot on. This is our family blog, started originally as a great way to keep in touch with grandparents who live on opposite coasts. Since we don't live near any extended family, this is a wonderful way to share and keep in touch. Obviously, it's turned into a great way to keep in touch with LOTS of people as well as a hobby and borderline obsession, but it is, mainly, our family blog. And we ARE excited about homeschooling and I have no apologies for that, especially since I truly, truly, TRULY don't think less of those who don't homeschool. Quite honestly, I hardly think twice about it. Honest to goodness truth.

I mean, MOST people send their kids to school. That's the norm. Homeschooling is not. I guess to me, being defensive about what we don't do would be akin to expressing anger or defensiveness or insecurity about other topics as well--it'd be like going to a blog about running and saying, "WHAT?! You run marathons?! Well, *I* don't and I think it's fine that I do Yoga instead of Cardio!" Silly, extreme example, but I'm trying to illustrate how much I really don't think twice about it. I read stuff all the time that people do that I don't (running, homebirths, sports, crafts, NASCAR racing) and don't feel the need to let them know that I *don't* do those things, because, well, why? It just IS. And that's how I try to look at things in general. They just ARE. No way is better or worse, right or wrong, good or bad, it simply is.

I'm like you with that, Toni. In conversations, I tend to follow the lead of those with whom I speak as to how much I say about it. I'm NOT a homeschooling "missionary," trying to convert the world. Even professionally, I'm more about helping people do what's right for them regardless of whether or not it's something I do or would do. My clients often try to get me to make their decisions for them (about divorce, jobs, etc.) and I always smile and say, "I'm not making this decision for you. I will, however, help you get to a place where you can make the right decision for yourself." That's honestly my approach. I'd be a really sucky counselor otherwise. :P I'd probably get in trouble as both a therapist and a friend if I were always pushing an agenda like that. So, just like Toni says, I do want to shout from the rooftops how wonderful this is because I'm excited about it FOR US. But not because I think it's for everyone, because, quite frankly, I really don't think that. In fact, I think the total opposite of that--homeschooling is NOT for everyone. Just like so many other things in life--do what works for you and love it!

Kristen, that's great that you're so involved in your kids' school. I think that's fabulous. I bet teachers love that, and more importantly, it's so good for the kids and the family in general that you care enough to be involved. And I don't get offended by differences in opinion. I hope you can tell from our conversations that I express our enthusiasm because we love it, not because we feel superior, because we really don't. We simply LOVE LOVE LOVE what we do and I'm an enthusiastic person that way. :) It's unfortunate that some homeschoolers out there have that kind of "we're better" attitude. Thankfully, most of the homeschoolers I know aren't like that, but I've met one or two like that and honestly, it was a turn off. I can vouch for us and for most homeschoolers who have been posting about this that we're excited about loving what we do but we certainly don't feel we're better than those who choose differently. I'm excited to tell my story about how we got into homeschooling (it's interesting AND funny) and can explain more, but I'm very glad we have this option and we're very, very grateful. There are many reasons people often cite as to "why" people homeschool--we can relate to many, but not all. They're different for everyone.

Okay, I might have a word limit here, so let me post and then keep jabbering . . .

Boquinha said...

Oops, that should read:

I can vouch for us and for ALL homeschoolers who have been posting about this that we're excited about loving what we do but we certainly don't feel we're better than those who choose differently.

And Rebecca, great comment! Having seen what you were going through before, YIKES. I hope that those who ARE sending their kids to public school aren't struggling with such awful dictates and situations. I think a lot of people are, thankfully, in really good school districts that encourage parental participation and involvement.

That being said, I'm glad you homeschool and are in our group--we love having you! :) Besides, how else could we stay up until past midnight on many Sundays playing games and eating food and not worrying about having to start school too early the next morning? ;) I'm still feeling the effects of yesterday's food fest!!