Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Travel, Trust, Technique

Recently, I traveled to Nashville to retrieve my youngest, my daughter, the dancer. She attended Nashville Ballet's summer dance intensive. Beginning her dance training "late" in her young life, she is working hard to catch up with her peers. So being away from home for over a month to focus on dance technique was a part of her plan.

For our family, sending a teen off for so many weeks was a huge first! For myself, it was a sudden transition, a preview of what is soon to come in my own life. I see my future and I am actually excited about the possibilities. First up there will be quiet time, with the possibility of uninterrupted thoughts convening in my mind and coming to fruition (or not) based on my own inclinations, not those of others in our household. There will be more travel with my husband and on my own. We will both be able to work more on our own creative pursuits. We will also have the awesome joy of  watching as our young adult children follow their dreams and goals, taking the road to enter the big world as contributing members of a larger community.

For each of us, myself, my husband, our two sons and our daughter, the possibilities are wonderful and exciting. I am thankful that we made the decisions and sacrifices that we have to spend many hours, days, weeks, months and years together developing strong bonds with each other, growing and learning. There were days of questioning ourselves and doubting our decision to home school. We had to trust again, and again that we knew our children and what worked for our family. We did make the best choice for our family by taking advantage of the option to home school. We aren't quite done yet but it is right around the corner. I caught a glimpse of the future and it is good!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where did June (and the last two decades) go?!

June 2018 was jam packed for this homeschooling family. The many daily decisions and tasks accumulated into major milestones for us to acknowledge and celebrate. Acknowledging a college graduation was one of the big events.

Our oldest, graduated from college. Home schooled through high school, our "experimental child" graduated summa cum laude, with a B.S. in accounting, top 25 in his class, and with a start date to a real job in September. It is not really our accomplishment to claim as a family, but his as an individual student. And though it may not be our accomplishment to claim, it is a testament to family, dedication and to homeschooling. What we (our family & homeschooling families generally) can claim is that homeschooling works.

When I watched as our oldest son, our first homeschooling student, walked in the graduation procession, taking a sit among those young adults, all with the shared academic accomplishment of completing a college degree, my heart swelled with pride. Seeing him cross that stage, I finally and completely left my doubts about our choice to home school behind.

I have always loved homeschooling and have never regretted the decision for our family. The personal and family benefits have been so amazing, many and ongoing. However, I did often question my own ability to teach academic subjects and fell woefully short in some. I like other homeschooling parents, sometimes wondered if we were doing the right thing, or how prepared our kids would be for participation in the mainstream. Those doubts were frequently fed when they intersected with the unsolicited doubts and questions that came from others outside of our immediate family.

Graduating from a university, previously home schooled or not, is major life event for each and every one of those students crossing the stage, what they don't (nor should they, necessarily) realize, is the major life event it can be for their parents. For myself and my husband, after the years of early attachment parenting that led us into homeschooling; the wonderful days of extensive time together, learning, growing and exploring are changing dramatically. While each year has brought changes, I had no idea how wonderfully exciting it would be to see each of my children launch into the world, their own unique lives to develop, their own challenges to overcome and their own contributions to make.
I am beyond proud of who they have become, how competent they are and I am excited to see where they each go.

Textbook Resources

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fourth of July 2018

In celebration of Independence Day 2018, I am re-posting the following thoughts and ideas from the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Star Parker is the Founder of CURE whose writings I have been following for several years. The Executive Vice President of her organization, Derek McCoy, sent out the message below on July 4, 2018. He suggests three ideas for each of us, to educate and review for ourselves and our families, the history of the founding of the United States of America.

Derek McCoy's message:

As we celebrate our 242nd birthday, let’s make sure we preserve our memory of these unique governing principles.  Here are three simple things you and your family can do:

1. Read the Declaration of Independence. It is both a pleasurable and a rewarding experience that should be enjoyed by every citizen. The Declaration is a deep, rich document, giving the twenty-seven reasons that America was birthed, and also setting forth in its first 155 words the six immutable principles of American government – the six principles on which the Founders later erected the Constitution of the United States – the six principles that still produce American Exceptionalism today.

2. Learn something new about those who wrote the Declaration. Look at the names of the fifty-six signers; find one you don’t know – perhaps one you’ve never heard of before, and look him up and read a short bio about him (perhaps from sites such as Colonial Hall) or get a copy of Lives of the Signers, so that you can have a short bio about each one of the signers. In short, rediscover a new Founder.

3.  John Adams said that Independence Day “ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” So enjoy the fireworks and parades and celebration – but also make sure to honor and thank God – make it a day celebrated “with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

Together we can make a difference,

Derek McCoy
Executive Vice President  
CURE Center for Urban Renewal and Education

USA History learning resources: