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Megan’s Ryan’s Voice – Murphy’s Law of Homeschooling States: Once you get into the swing of things something will happen to ruin it. Last week the big boys caught the colds from the wee ones. Since I am not a MERCILESS slave driver I gave them a bucket next to their desks in case they had to stop working long enough to toss their cookies. No, we took a couple of days off but now they will have to do some catching up since some of their classes are online and therefore less forgiving.
Kindergartener promptly contracted the same cold back from them and got sick again. Fortunately that doesn’t phase his school work since he still has just as much energy as always. It’s turned out pretty nicely having him on a schedule of work rather than the very loose lessons that comprised his preschool education. He is old enough now for me to tell him to complete X Y and Z before leaving his place at the table. That leaves me a few free moments to attend to Toddler 1.1 or do REALLY important things like…take a bath.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Homeschooling is the kewlest thing one can ever do for their children, bar none – period. Those individuals who argue about, “Well, how about their social skills?” and this and that don’t know squat. Peons of a communistic educational system – indoctrinated zombies thinking in the same manner. Unfortunately, these are the individuals whom we need to be careful of. The may stop at nothing to destroy our right to educate our children just because they think they can do better.
Neither here nor there, it is exquisite to watch our children growing right in front of us. It is a treat to be able to teach them everything we know too. Oops, we get in trouble for that.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s only week four of this year’s homeschooling, and already I can’t wait until it’s over…sometimes. Most people automatically assume the material/teaching is the hard part about homeschooling aka am I smart enough to teach? That’s not it. The REAL hard part is discipline, especially schooling teenagers. Being the teacher AND the principal and meting out the punishments, then stickin’ to yer guns. Teenagers are professional soldiers when it comes to emotional battles, and it’s all too easy to get stuck in trench warfare with them. Our teens are no different. They aren’t sassy, gum poppin’, eye rolling brats like a lot of public schoolers, but they are stubborn all the same. (Aren’t ALL teens??) They are having the usual difficulty (denial) in getting back into the new/old routine of school, and they are making everyone pay by shirking work and walking around with silent but dark thunderclouds over their heads. I’m SURE I was the same at that age – I freakin’ hated school.
As you know, I already warned them not to try last year’s shenanigans, but they’re doing it anyway. Neglecting subjects A, B, and C because they are at their mother’s house those days, and she doesn’t sit on their shoulders (like us) and ensure they complete all their work by the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crack a whip behind them all day shouting, “Heeyah mule!”. I write out the days work in a notebook and leave them to do it during the day. When it is finished, THEN privileges begin like having friends over and TV watching. If it isn’t done by 6 PM they have to stop for the day, do some push-ups (disciplinary action), and roll the work over into the next day and even into Saturday if need be.
It’s times like these Marcus and I fantasize about throwing in the towel. And I DO mean fantasize. “Hey honey the kids are in school! What do you wanna do today?! Drink ice cold beer at the beach?? Done! WHEEEeeeeeee!” Then we wake up and stick to our guns for one more day, then another, and another after that.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Duh gone it! I don’t know how we’ve been able to manage without the public school system for, what, seven years. Well, well, well, a lot of patience and stamina; brain stamina. Ha ha ha. Hey, don’t sweat it, let’s have some fun. You know it’s been fun.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We spent last week getting ready to start school today. I planned out the subjects the Teenagers would be learning on a marker board while they assembled the needed folders, notebooks, and textbooks. Then we mapped out each subject and wrote out a course outline to help us determine how to pace the school year. I decided to imitate the same style we had last year where they do subjects A, B, and C at our house and subjects D, E, and F during the days at their mother’s house. Since she is too busy to help them with their work they can bring the finished assignments back here with them for me to grade. I can already smell trouble brewing though. Last year they started to slack off at mom’s house and come back here with little to no work done on those subjects. I fear they’re going to give that another try this year. I’ll just have to be very frank with them and warn them ahead of time not to try it. It didn’t fly then, and it won’t fly now.
This will be Preschooler 4.11’s first official year of school On his 5th birthday coming up I’ll have to upgrade him to Kindergartener 5.0! Even though we’ve been doing preschool and kindergarten workbooks since he turned four, he is still excited about having ‘school’ like his big brothers. The only thing I’ll change is to switch out his Pre-K workbooks for K and start teaching him to play the piano and read music. He has Marcus’ gift for music so we want to give him the tools to unlock his potential as soon as possible. As always, the biggest challenge will be to keep order and a loose daily schedule running smoothly. And most importantly, keep the TV turned off! It’s nice to have that ‘electronic babysitter’ for Toddler 1.0 at times, but the trick is to keep it to a maximum of thirty minutes per day – if I have to turn it on at all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice –It’s special. Once in a lifetime event. Okay, hey, maybe he can do some ka-ra-TE too. Just read an invite to “Meet ups” karate event. It seem inexpensive too. $40 per month for 4 lessons. One can even pay as one goes – kewl, heh?
I’d rather he start playing hockey, but hey, we will have to resort to roller hockey for a while instead. Musical talent?? Ah, shucks! I don’t have talent at all. It’s been hard work my lady, hard work, and even then, the work one has to continue to put in is even harder.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - The little guy is almost five years old, and while he has enjoyed his older brothers and his older brothers’ friends it has been a struggle to find compatible playmates for him. Thanks be to God for technology, in part, because we have stumbled upon an immense cascade of activities geared towards the little guy. What have we been using to find such a resourceful shower of activities? We have found Meetup.com, and in it we have found a number of groups geared towards physical activities in his age range.
We have been in two groups, and so far it has paid off with dividends abound. The little guy has met new friends his age, visited a nearby petting zoo with the same friends, and more adult women to say things like, “Hi! I’m this old… (hold up four fingers) but I’ll be five soon.”
Mami, a.k.a, Megan Ryan, has found a way to meet like-minded women, too. Seeing that these groups are geared towards mothers of toddlers and homeschooling families, she’s finding it exciting to be able to surround herself with women who have similar dilemmas. Some homeschool and some don’t, but they are all seeking friends for their sons and daughters.
The Meetups.com groups have become a serious problem, though. Megan Ryan has been so busy studying the schedules and planning out trips and get togethers with these other families that she’s forgotten to make dinner on occasion and a few other household tasks, like getting her ginger brew going (she calls it her pain medicine). Isn’t that marvelous, well, not for her if she’s forgetting to brew it.
The whole experience has put a smile on everyone’s face in this family. Thanks be to God.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - Yeah, we’ve been going to playdates, etc. at least four days per week, all in an effort to see which group(s) we’ll stick with and which we won’t. It’s been tiring but loads of fun, all of it free too. There were some playdates scheduled in places that charged admission, but we avoided those. It was going very well until public school started. Then all of the children his age disappeared off to preschool and kindergarten. Only one other homeschooling family in the lot, so it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll drop out of those groups and find some for homeschoolers. As most of you know, we already belong to a homeschool group, but it is quite small and only meets twice a month this year. That’s not nearly enough meets on the playground for Preschooler 4.11, a.k.a. the Energizer Bunny. Plus all of his friends in that group live a bit too far away to meet and play a few times per week. Overall it’s been a great experience, lots of fun and has opened my eyes to all kinds of places around home that have free activities for children.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – We are gearing up for another homeschooling year. Determining which books to feast on will be a challenge. We wish to keep it simple and fun, yet intriguing and informative. Spanish will continue to be the subject of dependability upon me, but that has become a much easier subject to enforce since Preschooler started speaking it – it’s reinforcing to see him interested and responding to everything I say in Spanish; now I’m hoping it will continue to rub off on the teenagers.
Technical English Grammar will be the Achilles heel once again for the teenagers. I say “again” because I gave it a shot with them a few years ago, but they simply didn’t have the maturity for it back then, so I shelved those books until now. They have a great ability to write, and they seem to enjoy it, but technique is not fun, and I can understand. We’ll just continue to make it fun for them and resort to the occasional flogging when we must
For history, we’ll be hitting something questionable, but deep. It’s call The Red Amendment by LB Bork. Some people have already called this guy names because of what is attempting to do to this country. What is it that he is trying to do? Well, to try to live under God’s laws, not man’s laws. It’s simple.
Mathematics will be the same as last year… algebra galore. Physical classes will consist of a healthy dose of trampoline jumping, running, hockey, and everything else we can do OUTSIDE.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s been a great summer, but now I’m ready to jump into the new school year with both feet. Just for the sake of Preschooler 4.11 making some close friends I looked into a Catholic preschool around the corner. Yikes… Nowadays it’s all about education and structure with zero play time…for four year olds. Really?? I’m all for learning the alphabet, etc. but NO play time?? Our little guy would enjoy it, but he would be bouncing off the walls when he came home from all his pent up energy. Plus, how can you make friends without social/play time?? He gets all the education he can stand from me, but he needs playmates.
For da big boyz we’ll do some more classic literature, Catholic apologetics, and music like last year. New subjects will be driver education, and speech. Teenager 17.2 has a bit of a lisp that he can’t seem to shake so we’ll take it head on this year and exterminate it. Another part of speech will be public speaking. I’ll have them choose a topic, research it, then give a presentation to our Catholic homeschool group. We haven’t allowed them to get driver’s licenses for a few reasons, but mostly they just aren’t mature enough yet.
Insurance Agent: “How did the accident happen ma’am?”
Me: “Well, my son saw a pretty butterfly float past so he watched it a little too long.”
Insurance Agent: “How long was that?”
Me: “Long enough to travel through three red lights, go cross country through a public park, and carom through a crowded parking lot like a steel ball in a pinball machine.”
Not really, of course but it is the stuff of our nightmares I tell ya. How and WHY my parents ever let me drive when I was 17 is beyond me.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Yay! Last day of school! Summer has begun! I am probably just as excited about it as the boys. No more homework to grade for a while All they have to do over the summer is practice their typing skills, and once they reach 30 wpm, I’ll let them take a break from that too. I think we’ve all earned a little R&R this year…even if it is only for a couple of months.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – And study law, Scriptural and man-made. We are trying to determine which man-made laws contradict God’s laws and which ones are in agreement. The obvious ones are “thy shall not kill” and “false witness”. “False witness” is defamation. Something else we can claim in court when they try to pin some sort private jurisdiction over our person, is “thy shall love God above all things” – pursuant to their laws, here in Florida, it would be the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998, and Public Law 96.1211, “the Bible is the Word of God”.
Today’s stories -
- DOMA’s Last Stand
- Habit Of Contradiction
- Malta Militant Defense
- Brilliant Brazilian Brothers
- Tweet Truth