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Saturday, July 26, 2014

If they only had the time... seeking alternate homeschooling ideas

There would be a whole lot more homeschoolers if more parents only had the time.  Based on the messages I receive regularly there are oodles of oodles of single parents who desperately want to homeschool their kids, but there's that little pesky problem called work that keeps getting in the way.

One of my very best friends has managed to homeschool her kids due to perfect timing of ages, and a moderate amount of flexibility in her job.  But most parents can't get together either the smallest amount luck and flexibility and family support to get it done.

That leaves parents asking the question, (the most recent email I've received) asking where to find certified teachers that would take on 4-5 kids.... because they want their kids to be part of that group.  The problem is that they are few and far apart.

Before we started homeschooling, my husband asked the same questions.  He knew we could not afford a private teacher, but felt that surely we could split the cost of a teacher or two among a couple families... but that never happened. I did it solo in the end, and I am happy with our journey.

However, like I said there are many parents who need help because they don't have the time to do the job themselves, or the support people in their family to help them.  At one point, I thought that this is what I wanted to do with my life after homeschooling, but I really don't think I am equipped to be the teacher... I could coordinate, but not teach.

I know there is an answer, but it would take a bit of coordination to figure it out... to find qualified and safe teachers... to provide oversight for safety.... to provide a place where parents could drop off kids while they are at work, and have them taught individually and corporately in as small a group as humanly possible... but in the end, we are doing school again, because once homeschooling leaves the home, it becomes a school again, and so many parents are stuck.

What to do... what to do?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pinterest makes you feel inadequate (Cleaning my pantry)

I told my daughter my plans to clean the lower portion of the pantry today, and explained that I was inspired by Pinterest.  She replied, "Pinterest makes you feel inadequate"...  "It is a whole site of things people do better than you", she continued.  "Besides, your plans sound a bit anal-retentive", she spat.  Clearly, Pinterest has struck a nerve with her, and she disapproved of my plans to have a Pinterest-worthy pantry.

I forgot to take a before picture, but here is the during: 

All the stuff on the floor of the pantry. 
This is all the brooms and such that were also in the fray.

There were crushed laundry baskets from the dollar store that I tried to organize with before, when I organized with only dollar store items, but these things were so flimsy that they just flattened and fell

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Carnival of Homeschooling, Thank You Edition

None of us would have any success at homeschooling without the help of others. All of us have been inspired, supported, encouraged, counseled, and befriended by a more experienced homeschooler, and if it had not been for them, we would not be here to pass on the torch.  

Let's start with If It Weren't For Them  at Dewey's Treehouse.  In this post, our blogger, Mama Squirrel,  thanks homeschool veterans like Nancy Wallace and Mary Hood, Author of The Relaxed Homeschool, as well as community and family members who helped and inspired them along the way. 

One of the people I would like to personally think is Henry Cate. The Cate's have kept this Carnival of Homeschooling going week in and week out, through holidays, and through easy times and hard. This Carnival has been a major source of inspiration in my life.  

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Updates and Shenanigans

Not to toot my own horn, but at this very moment, my daughter who will be 18 in less than a week thinks my husband and I are the best parents ever.  Apparently, after speaking to all of her college friends, homeschooled or not, she wouldn't trade her parents for anyone else's.  That makes me kind of giddy.  She likes to tell people that she had two rules growing up... 1. Don't Lie, and 2. Don't be stupid.  I guess she's right... I didn't write it down or anything, but those were two things I could not tolerate, and all other rules fall under those two.  I never had to tell them to be nice, because they just were... so I guess I could also say that I have the best kids ever. 

My daughter and I decided to do a 10 day semi-fast.  Fruits and veggies all day and then a reasonable dinner.  That lasted 2 days.  Hubby made the mistake of calling us chickens when we started whining.  We were in the car later cursing him out pretty much for no reason... he wasn't even there, we were just taking out our hungry frustration on him in his absence... we then decided it wasn't worth it.

I am costuming for a very interesting play right now.  Next week is the designers run through, so we can make sure the costumes and choreography will work together, and then address any problems and altering, and make changes as needed based on what we see during the show.  What was I thinking?  The actual play is in about 2 weeks.  

During our homeschooling years, I managed to work from home and make a decent income.  I mainly wrote for 4 sites.  Only two of those websites are still active, as content writing bit the bullet a couple years ago as people search for videos more than written article these days. This week, the main site, announced it is closing and is turning over the rights to all of our articles back over to the writers.  This is very generous, because we wrote based on the fact that some of our income would be in upfront payments, and the rest would be in monthly commission checks.  I was making 300 a month easy before I even got out of bed, and around the holidays I could make as much as $1000 because I wrote a lot of seasonal stuff.  In the last year, I have only received $100 a month in commissions and have pretty much stopped writing for them.  On the downside, I need to download, categorize, and find a new home for 1800 articles (I'll probably discard about 300) before I lose access to my articles at the end of august.  I've done 50 since I found out yesterday.

I'm supposed to be getting my real-estate license. After taking the online course plus 2 day crash course, I don't feel prepared to take the final exam or Real Estate License test.  I'm going to have to pay to extend my class for 6 months, and learn the info on my own.  The online class was pretty useless, and the 2 day crash course was kind of a joke.  I have a new empathy for the online classes I had my kids take.  In person classes, or just reading books and taking tests is actually better.