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September 30, 2015

Just a homeschooler - Not a know it all

not a know it all
Just a homeschooler - Not a know it all
Homeschoolers by nature, I think, are genuinely helpful people, enjoy helping others, enjoy giving advice, enjoy giving out pointers, and being there for others.  I know this to be true because of my blog, other homeschoolers blogs, and being apart of the homeschooling community for the last several years. It's great to have friends (even if they are just on facebook) to turn to for help, advice, tips, support, etc.  It's great knowing depending on the platform, group, or forum you can have access to 10, 20, 50, 100, 5,000 or even 20,000 plus other homeschoolers. Homeschoolers that might not share all your values, but they have one thing in common with you: They homeschool and love their children. Okay 2 things in common....

With all this access I see a disturbing trend:  Expecting these homeschooling friends, groups, forums, to be your ONE stop shop for EVERYTHING! Expecting these circles to essentially be your research department, your doctor, your gardening expert, your bug expert, your --- do I dare say --- your GOOGLE!

This is very frustrating! While homeschoolers are helpful, willing to help, they are not experts on every topic.  Need to know what type of bugs those are? Google, search a bug ID site, ask a local bug guy, go to the library get bug ID books. Need to know what type of apples that tree is and if they are edible? Go ask a local small business, family owned, apple orchard, seek out library books, seek help from a gardening or canning group.  Need help ID mushrooms.... well you get the point.

I'm just seeing a trend where to many people expect other homeschoolers do things that they should be able to do themselves.  -- Part of homeschooling is teaching your child how to research things, how to find information, know where to turn when you don't know the answers. While your peers might be helpful on giving you pointers on where to find information they should NOT be called upon for the answers for everything under the sun -- unless they are experts, it's their hobby, etc.

When I looked into homeschooling several years ago I read either in a book, blog, website or newspaper article -- okay maybe not a newspaper article -- that homeschoolers like to be helpful, but they don't want to be bothered with questions you can find yourself.  They rather you spend time trying to research it, find the answer yourself, and if you can't then ask for help.

When I first read it I thought it was referring to homeschooling laws, curriculum, schedules, routines, etc. Now, I think it means much more then that. It means stop relying on your homeschool circles to be your Google and stop asking them for  help for things that are better suited in other forums and quit "hiding" behind the label while it's for school there for it apply to homeschooling.

I've been in this game for a long while. I know that homeschooling is a lifestyle and under that premise anything under the sun is really apart of the homeschooling -- but use some common sense. You wouldn't go to the auto shop looking for a bug exterminator. You wouldn't go to drug store and ask to speak to the pharmacist about your car issues.  While I love all of  you and I'm glad to help when I can and will continue to do so: I'm just a homeschooler - Not a know it all!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

September 24, 2015

Fast line to the driving years

teen drivers
Driving in the fast lane
It's hard to believe that I'm within a year of having my children be at least student drivers with learning permits.  This notion scares me.

1. My kids old enough to drive?
2. I'm not old enough to have children drivers.
3. I'm not ready for this.

Did I mention I'm not old enough to have children drivers?  My son 14 is counting down the days for when he's eligible to get his permit. Once that happens it won't belong for my daughter because they are only 10 months apart.  I'm not ready for this!!

In addition to being ready for this my children have said things recently when driving around that honestly scares me and makes me wonder if they are really ready for this.  For example while returning from home from the grocery store, my daughter exclaims "There's a corn field there? When did that get there? Has it always been there?"  Or getting out of the car from the store parking lot "As those houses always been there?"  My son is also asking similar questions.  Ummm --- hello we have lived in this area for practically your whole life. These things have always been here -- well some of of them are new, but I promise you the cornfield has always been there and I promise you those house have been there for as long as you can remember -- meaning they were built when you were babies -- but that was nearly 15 years ago -- so yeah they have pretty much been there.

Then I pointed out how those storage sheds across from the corn field are new, they are being built now, only to be met with "There is a construction site there too?"  Oh good gravy --- what am I going to do? This is an area you are familiar with, we drive these roads often -- what's going to happen when it's NOT a familiar road, path, surrounding? I am sincerely worried. Why haven't my children been more aware of their surroundings until now.

There is a construction site in front of the Wal-Mart here now. Nothing has happened yet just a fence around some grass with a sign that states it's a construction site and you need permit to enter within the fence area. Giving my children's lack of awareness I made a point to make them aware of the the construction site.  "Look, kids that is a construction site. That means something will be built there" Last thing I need is to go to Wal-Mart one day with them only to hear them say "When did that get here?"

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

September 23, 2015

The amazing transformation from liquid to solid

Amazing transformation from liquid to solid
Today in science we discussed the difference between: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.  We also learned about amorphous.  Amorphous is the state where an object is not really a liquid or solid. It's in between.  An example of this is glass and while we don't think of glass as being amorphous it really is and that's why windows that are REALLY, really old are thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom. The glass after several years (hundreds) will slowly shift to the bottom. The glass in your windows at home are doing this now, but -- you really can't see it.

One thing you can do, at home, to help illustrate this point even though it's NOT a true amorphous solid (it's a non-newtonian fluid) is to make oobleck.  Oobleck is made with two common household ingredients: water and corn starch and get its name form the Dr Suess' book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Oobleck is about 1 part corn starch to about 1.5/2 parts water, meaning if you use 1 cup corn starch you will want use about 1.5 to 2 cups water. If you use 3 cups corn starch you will want to use 4.5 to 6 cups water. This is a fun thing for even your teens to play with!!!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

September 17, 2015

Gift from my son: Mushroom Identification

Yesterday, my son did some volunteer work at the local library. The volunteer work was arranged by his scout troop so going also gave him service hours credit for scouts. This volunteer work was setting up books for the upcoming book sale and as a thank-you the boys were allowed to pick out a book and received a cup of ice cream from the local homemade ice cream parlor next door to the library.

After he was done with setting up books he met me at another part of the library. As he approached I noticed a book in his hand. He has set up for previous book sales before but never came out with a book.  I was excited to see he found something that interested him.

"Cool, you found a book! What's it's about?"

"It's not for me. It's for you and it's about identifying mushrooms"

Well, my mother's heart just skipped a beat! My son actually thought of me and remembered how, I in passing, mentioned about wanting to learn to ID mushrooms; so when he saw the mushroom field guide he knew I should have it.

Teens still care about their parents :)

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September 13, 2015

How to make your homeschool diploma legitimate?

Well isn't that cute? 
Despite what people may think homeschooling parents can issue and make diplomas for their children.  Truthfully, a diploma written in crayon is just as valid and legitimate as one that is nicely typed up.  I advise you go with the nicely typed up. If you don't want to type it up yourself you can pay a small fee to a company that will make a diploma for you.

Why use a nicely typed up diploma? Well it looks professional, nicer, and generally speaking is questioned less then one written in crayon.  The one written in crayon would most likely be dismissed as a joke.  You don't want your child's education to be seen as a joke.

If you are homeschooling during the high school years, you will want to keep records, detail records, even if you state doesn't require records. This makes transcripts easier to do at the end of the your child's high school career. Armed with good transcripts, records, and other things like test scores your child should have no issues with their post high school choices.

Actually, many colleges seek out homeschoolers and many even list what they require from homeschoolers on their websites. Or you can talk to the admission department of the college you're thinking of and ask them what they would want from you.

If you go the make your own diploma route, besides avoiding crayons, you will want to include certain information like: It's a high school diploma, your child's name, and wording that indicates your child completed the requirements needed for graduation.  HSLDA site has more details.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.
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