Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I can't believe he's ONE! He is such a happy little blessing! We are so glad God gave us this little "surprise!" even when we had thought we were done with having babies. I can't imagine life without his beautiful smiles!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Someone posted this over on Homeschool Share's forum, and I thought it was hilarious! We haven't run into any rude or questioning people (yet!), but we've only just started, so maybe it's coming!

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish Listby Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all dislike you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, stop talking!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


She's FINALLY four! (going on 25). For Campbell's birthday, she and I went to a production of the ballet Coppelia. We both loved it! She was mesmerized - okay, she jabbered through the whole thing, but it was constant questions about what was going on, and "how are the ballerinas doing that" and "can I learn to dance like that?" It was fun to watch her enjoy this gift. I knew she'd love it, since she is definitely all girl. If something is sparkly, she just naturally gravitates to it - Thank you grandma for the glittery jeans, I'll probably never get her to take them off! She is our live-wire, our snuggly one, our questioner. I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for her life!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hopefully we are back in the swing of things, now that I've switched hosting sites! I will be trying to update as much as I can over the next few days. Be sure to sign in as a follower on the panel to your right!

We have really been enjoying school the last few weeks. We spent a great week on Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, and learned about the city of Boston. Last week we focused mainly on our math and reading/handwriting. Sawyer and Campbell are both doing great with their reading. We are flying through the BOB Books! We also just started learning about place value in math. Here are a few pictures of Sawyer playing with the Decimal Street Lapbook game we're using to reinforce the concept (a link to the blog I found it on) I made one for each of them, since we'll have two more kids using them again in another couple years. (And it cuts down on the screaming and fighting if they each have their own!)

We had a few beautiful days last week-very warm for March! We spent a couple of afternoons at the park around the corner from our house. It was fun to watch the kids enjoy the outdoors, and see how much they've grown since the last time we were there. Last year we had to lift Gracie up the steps because they were too big for her. This year, she was all over the place!

Campbell was thrilled that she was able to swing across the rings all by herself now!

I keep forgetting just what a big kid our Sawyer is! He's growing so fast, and has now entered a phase where he doesn't want his picture taken. The few I got were after much coercion!

This week we're doing a unit from Homeschool Share on the book Thundercake by Patricia Polacco. She's one of our favorite authors. (okay, one of mine!) She is a local writer, and has a Meteor Festival every July at her home near Battle Creek. She opens her home and studio, and you can see how she creates her stories and illustrations. I'm hoping to take the kids. When I mentioned it to Sawyer, he said "oh, yeah, then we can see old kick cow!" (One of the characters from the story.) We'll have to see if it fits into the schedule this summer (hint, hint daddy!) I love her stories because they are always based on fact. They are usually stories about her family, or herself as a child.

The story is about a little girl who is spending time on her granmother's farm and is afraid of the summer thunderstorms we get in Michigan. Her "Babushka" helps her conquer her fear by distracting her with the promise of making a thundercake! We've been learning about Russia (where Grandmother is from), the weather, Michigan's State Bird/Flower, and patterns. We will be doing half the unit this week, and half of it next.