Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freethinking Homeschoolers

What give us the right to be freethinking homeschoolers? Think about it! What gives us the right to think that we are the best teachers for our own kids? Just because it's been that way for centuries before public education was ever instituted.

And what gives us the gall to think that we can live a lifestyle of learning just because it has turned out the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Wolfgang Mozart, Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Leann Rimes, Fredrick Terman (President of Standford University), Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington,  and Albert Einstein. JUST to name a few famous homeschoolers!

What gives us the freedom to think that we can teach our children to think for themselves just because the rest of the world seems to have forgotten how to do that?

What gives us the right to keep our kids from being "socialized" in public schools just because we daily hear about the bullying, sex and drugs that predominate most public schools?

Yes, I'm a freethinking homeschooler and I'm teaching my kids to be the same! How about joining us?? Here is another mom who has encapsulated why I teach my kids at home!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paragraph Writing

I love to write! However, for some reason I have always shied away from doing a formal teaching with my kids on how to write. Paragraph writing is not something that we have really focused on. Recently, I've been thinking that since ManBoy is nearing High School, it's high time that we start to focus on the mechanics of writing good paragraphs.

My kids are constantly writing little stories for their own pleasure, (I guess they've inherited my love for writing!) but I've never really pointed out the many errors in their spelling and grammar. I preferred to focus on giving them praise for their creativity and imagination. I guess it really is time to start having them correct the mistakes in their written work as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are We REALLY Unschooling???

I've never really thought of my method of teaching my children as unschooling. However, when I get right down to it, I guess we really do a lot of unschooling! For instance, one of our favorite ways to learn science is through watching "Myth Busters". "Myth Busters" is a show on the Discovery Channel. They take different myths and put them to the test using scientific methods. One that we just watched involved finding out, if an object traveling forward is released from another object traveling the opposite direction at the same rate of speed will fall straight down. The Myth Busters have a lot of fun testing these myths and therefore make learning science fun.

Another really cool way that we learn science in our house is watching the show from the Science Channel called, "How It's Made". They show how everyday things are actually manufactured. They've shown everything from computers to jeans!

I imagine that I could find lots and lots of other examples of how we are actually unschooling in our home. For example, my kids love to cook. Every time they do they are practicing their fractions, reading, following instructions and a whole slew of other skills.

My kids also enjoy attempts at writing their own stories. This is not something that I ever assigned to them to do. They just decided to try it so I let them go for it. Can you think of any ways that you are unschooling in your home??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What language is Cursive??

When RoboBoy was probably in 1st or 2nd grade one day out of the blue he asked me, "Mommy, what language is cursive in?" We chuckle over this, but these days cursive might as well be a foreign language. It seems that so little focus is given to teaching our children handwriting anymore. I was guilty of this myself for a while.

I felt so overwhelmed just trying to teach my kids the basics that I figured that handwriting was something that could be pushed to the background or dropped all together. I'm realizing that this is a mistake. Our kids still need to be able to read and write cursive. My dear friend shared with me the other day that a young man she knows is getting ready to get his driver's license. He doesn't know how to sign his name in cursive and therefore has no signature. Hmmm, not good!

But this got me to thinking..."Wait a minute! My kids don't yet know how to sign their names in cursive either!" This is something we need to be working on! One of the tools we will most likely use is the handwriting worksheets found at I've talked about these before. One of my favorite things about them is that you can customize them with whatever words your kids are working on and then print them out to have them practice. So I could make worksheets with each of their names in cursive and have them practice writing their signatures. That way, when it's their turn to get a driver's license, (gasp! not too soon, please!!) they will be ready to sign on that dotted line.