Homeschool Playground's Weblog

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Sports and Jobs April 12, 2011

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Most parents know that children can get very busy before you can blink.  Depending on the family or child, there may be sports, music lessons, tutoring, volunteer work, church events, and more.  Then, there are some kids who don’t have a wide variety of activities.  Some may just do sports or just music.  I think parents have to decide what is best for each child.

I was recently in a discussion with someone about a certain teen boy and their possible need for a job.  This teen is a straight A student (that I know of) in the public high school.  He plays every sport he can get into.  He is a nice enough kid but he has had some major problems.  Some think that having to be accountable to an employer and to have to work hard may be the answer for this kid.

I am not this teens parent so I am not sure what the answer is for him.  For my own kids I would be looking at whether they were college minded or not.  Are they going to get a sports scholarship?  Would I want a job to be in the way of the scholarship? 

Years ago I taught piano lessons to several children from one family.  This household had 10 children and the father was home for two weeks and then gone for two weeks so the mother had to do it all when he was away.  She had a rule in her house – you either play sports or go get a job.  Her point was the being idle is bad for teens.  They need to be doing something productive with their time.  Don’t get me wrong – her kids had a lot of fun but they knew that they needed to be active and to be contributing to something, not just playing video games or watching tv.  Today, what I know of this family, the kids have been to college, served missions for their church, made good choices in marriage partners and overall they stayed out of trouble.

For my kids it is different.  We don’t have as much money as the family I mentioned above.  And even when there is money to hire a gardener or whatever, we do it ourselves and the kids work as hard as I do.  They LOVE the satisfaction as they look at our home and yard and see the result of what they learned how to do and worked hard to achieve.  As I write this, they are taking my vacuum apart to fix a problem so they are having to learn how the machine works.  They are so fun to listen to.  I want them to be active in things and should they choose sports (which is what they love right now) I will support them.  But here, at home, they will always have to do consistent hard work so they know what it takes to run a home and family.

 

New Blog September 9, 2010

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If you know me then you know I love wonderful quotes. They are inspiring and some people are so great with words! It is fabulous and I wanted to share so I created my blog at http://quotagiousness.blogspot.com. Please come visit!

 

Over Scheduling Children June 23, 2010

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Every year as school raps up and summer approaches I get asked so many questions about what my plans for my kids are during the summer.  This question always baffles me.  There are many reasons for my feelings about this question but most of all I recall summers of my childhood that were filled with lazy summer days where you were left to make believe, have projects, help parents and see family.  We were not scheduled every minute of the day with outside activities, we were simply allowed to enjoy childhood.  I see no problem with this and wonder how many of today’s children would benefit from more time to be just kids, being active and using their imaginations.  How many of them could go off of the ADD medications or anti-depressants.  I am not against such medications in extreme cases but I think they are highly over used and abused. 

What happened to building forts, playing outside, riding bikes, games of “Cowboys and Indians”, or acting out your favorite shows.  We had cable growing up but it there were not as many kids channels and our parents sent us out to play and we did as we were told.  Never thinking we were put upon or that we were not having fun because we didn’t spend all day in front of a Nintendo or watching G.I. Joe.  Those were luxury times that were few and far between, they were not everyday things. 

We had swimmming lessons on and off, we had music lessons on and off and that was all great but we did not have to be in every single sport offered, every music lesson offered and all community and church activities.  I look back now to a childhood where I can see that I was allowed to be a child.  I was not expected to rise to the same level of an adult in a corporate position.  There were hours to dream and pretend and explore.  Most parents under estimate the importance and true value of those hours.

I guess the key is that “everything in moderation” should be our motto as parents.  Whether it’s education, play, video games, television, friends, sports, or anything else.  Moderation is a great thing to keep in mind.  Our kids will benefit and they will embrace their childhood and look back with fond memories and develop in a manner that is healthy.

 

Staying Put – New Job Leads May 25, 2010

Well, we won’t be homeschooling or living overseas after all.  The whole situation changed and is beyond our control at this point.  However, the subject intrigues me about what it takes for families to take this adventure so I will continue to write more about these things on a regular basis.  I must get back to homeschool blogging more often!  I miss it so much and miss the input of readers.

For now, the kids are finishing up their course work for their respective grades.  We just moved and I am working doing some work for a new company call Social Empire Media Marketing.  I absolutely love it and the company is really great.  They have such great services.  I have been exposed to some new ideas and topics and that is always fun. 

Recently I was doing some work for an East County San Diego site to help them with search engine rankings and it has been challenging but fun.  Unfortunately, everything is taking more time than I thought and that is hard as I am impatient and I fear that client’s will not see the humor in the delay.  Here is hoping that it starts coming to me quicker and I can get on track. 

In the meantime I will continue to write about homeschool but will keep you posted on some of my work.  Don’t forget my other site at Homeschooling Program and the blog for that site.

Please send me your thoughts and let me know what is new with you or just introduce yourself!  Talk to you soon!

 

Homeschooling Overseas March 15, 2010

We found out this past week that my husband, who just joined the Army, will be stationed in South Korea for about three years.  We just started a new year of curriculum so we are hoping that things will work in our favor and we can continue our homeschooling overseas.

We are excited as homeschoolers to visit other countries, learn of customs and cultures and more.  We are lucky to have orders to South Korea where we can so easily and affordably travel to so many great countries that are nearby.  Our families are excited to come and visit and to explore the area.

The children are a bit hesitant.  The little ones don’t really understand what another country means but the teen of the family knows quite well and seems to have a fear of the unknown.  While I want to validate his feelings I do want to help him get excited.  We look up many pictures of the country and we have been learning as much about the culture as possible. 

The children are currently in their second year of Spanish and I’m hoping that they can take on the Korean language.  My understanding is that it is phonetically based so some find it to be one of the easier languages from that part of the world.

Anyway, we are off on a new adventure!  Any tips, advice, words or wisdom or ideas are more than welcome.  I will just add that we would appreciate it if your thoughts were of a positive nature.  We need support, not doubt or trepidation!

 

Dream Dollhouse! March 2, 2010

Have you ever seen really fine dollhouses?  If you are female perhaps they transport you to another day and age when you had a dollhouse of your own.  I had such a dollhouse that was built especially for me.

My dollhouse was made for me by my grandfather and while it was not beautiful on the exterior he did let me use remnants of wallpaper that he had from different homes he had built.  This dollhouse was not traditional as you did not interact with it from a side view.  My dollhouse simply had no roof.  You could look down on the floor plan.  It was very unique.  It was very heavy as it was built out of my grandfathers building scraps but it was so much fun and even my friends thought it was great.

My grandparents loved antiques and yard sales so they would find dollhouse items all over and they collected them for me.  My grandmother sewed furniture and table cloths for the dollhouse and she taught me how to sew those items.  I spent countless hours with her fabric remnants making my own furniture that I could change out as I pleased.  My dollhouse had many dollhouse bedroom accessories.  My grandma had found a great lamp that was tall for the bedside that you would envision reading by.  She found furniture and decorator items, even thing that we hung on the walls with straight pins for nails!

My friends all had Barbie dream houses or other name brand houses.  I was always happy with mine because it wasn’t the normal hot pink of some.  It had fun features and was completely original and that has always mattered to me.  Most of all it was wonderful because it was built with love by my grandfather and furnished by my grandma.

As I think of my two daughters and what kind of dream dollhouse would be perfect for them I look back at my own.  It is not what I would want for them.  Mine was large and heavy and we simply don’t have the space or a grandparent who would be interested.  For my girls (and me of course!) I would choose something lovely because my 6 year old thinks that everything she sees and/or has should be “lovely”.  It would have fabrics with textures and colors, flowered and bright but sweet coloring.  My girls would have at least a two story dollhouse with fine furnishings.  I have a hunch they would love anything Victorian because it was such a frilly time period and everything was geared toward looking wonderful.

In my mind I can visualize a white Victorian house with a porch that makes you thirsty for lemonade.  It would be fun if it had space for all the things the girls love to imagine.  Like an art room, a game room, a music room.  I’m sure we could get very carried away.  Dollhouses are dreamy!

 

Maybe Public School Is The Answer February 17, 2010

I have a six year old who will turn seven next month.  She is a sweet and gentle girl but she is pretty social and capable of holding her own in most areas.  She is one of the smartest children I know and she has the quickest of wits!

My problem is this.  She is resisting several things and I find myself at a time in my life where I am trying to earn a living, be a single parent (not a co parent right now, just single), homeschool the other children and I have a three year old wandering around.  We are also moving in the next six weeks which is my reason for postponing a decision on whether to keep this girl home or to enroll her in school (public or private).

We have handwriting issues.  She can make her letters.  No matter what program I try to find or the one shipped by her school (K12) she will not write her name in the correct format.  For example she writes in all capital letters, no lower case.  She will do it on practice sheets but even then she will not work at making the letters the right size on the lines or to make it look like the example.

Reading has been halted on and off because she insists that it is too hard and puts up such a fuss.  I had this with my oldest child and after backing off and knowing that he did have the tools in his head he came around and is a bookworm at 13.  He has loved reading.  I believe in my heart it is because we didn’t make it a miserable event and I fear doing that with my daughter now.  I don’t want her embarrassed at church and mostly I don’t want her to feel like she is less than anyone else because she is behind in this area.  She is smart enough and she does read when she puts her mind to it but she has herself convinced that she can’t.

I do not want to enroll her in a school here for six weeks just so that she can start to feel comfortable and then have her make a huge move.  My children have experienced more than their fair share of change this year.  They include their father (at age 37) joining the Army full time for six months (nine days notice before he left), we had to move in those nine days, they found out weeks later that their parents were divorcing, they know we are moving yet again in six weeks time and they just had a close family member die.  I think we may have enough change for a short period of time.  However, if another school option is best then I will make the change after we are settled.  Perhaps in the fall after I try to catch her up over the summer and may even get a tutor for her if I can afford it.

Part of me knows that she would not be lacking if I were more self disciplined and not distracted by working at home.  I have also been dealing with all these changes and that has made me less productive.  I am not heartbroken over any of this except on behalf of my children.  I have tried to do all I can to make things right for them emotionally but then other areas have suffered.  For now I hope to keep her reading if nothing else at least a little each day, learning new sounds every now and then.  As for the writing, we can only hope this will get better.  She is willing to do that work at least so I should just keep giving it to her.  And I will pat myself on half of my back for a half good job on reading out loud to her.  I do believe that is a great asset to kids for many reasons.

Anyone with ideas, tips, or anything please post your comments!  I am open to any help, opinions or ideas!  Thanks in advance!