Saturday, February 23, 2013

Is Volunteering Important for Your Homeschoolers?

 Helping your children to find appropriate volunteer opportunities is very important on several different levels. Giving back to those who are less fortunate helps all of us grow! When picking out different avenues for volunteering look at what the person wants to do with their lives. Do they want to work in social services? How about working at a homeless shelter, delivering food to seniors, or helping at a Domestic Violence center. This will help them to see what others are doing in those fields.

 My daughter wanted to work with animals. She volunteered with a Wildlife Rehabilitation Non-profit and in a Veterinarians office through out her teenage years. She started college at 16 and went on for 8 years to become a Veterinarian. She now works with that same office and sets on the board of the local Wildlife Rehabilitation Non-profit. By seeing what the work was like she never hesitated in what she wanted to do for her life long career. Plus having several years of volunteering before applying for college helped her be accepted by two colleges on her first try.

 Is your child interested in the environment? Check out the local Forest Service office. Quite often they have summer jobs and volunteer opportunities. Medical Field? How about the local hospital or Nursing home? Gardening? The State Extension office helps to develope Master Gardeners and many of them are growing plots to help out the food banks.

  There is not a shortage of opportunities. Let your imagination and their imaginations take them places that they never envisioned and the results will be fantastic!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homeschooling on Those Hard Days

 We all have had days when home schooling is really hard! The children are disconnected and just a little unruly. So change things up and make it a fun day that is still constructive.

 Are they being wiggly? Set up hopscotch on the kitchen floor if it is yucky outside. Use a wadded up paper towel for the tosser. This will help them burn up some energy and laugh! While doing this pop some popcorn and get ready for the next step in an unusual day.

 Once they are worn out a little put the popcorn in a large unbreakable bowl and head for the frontroom. Sit down leaning up against the furniture in a big circle. You get to start this. Holding the bowl in your hands start telling a story. Make it simple. After a few sentences take some popcorn and pass the bowl to whoever is next to you. They do not get any popcorn until they have added to the story. This works really well with younger children. Letting them create from their imaginaton helps them to think outside that box that tends to constrict us. We spent many hours laughing and sharing doing this.

 For an older child doing that process on the computer is fun and can be saved for later usuage. My oldest son and I spent hours creating fun stories that took unusaul turns. Let your imagination out to play!

 Need some help getting started? Try these:
  • It was snowing outside and all of the lights went out.
  • I was taking a walk when I saw a .....
  • The walrus was just sitting on the curb looking totally lost!
  • When we went to the beach we found a ...
  • Grandpa was taking a nap in the big chair and I ...
  • Dad said we were going on a trip and I was hoping to go to...
 This can encourage laughter and togetherness. Have fun with it ! Happy story telling!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Is Home schooling a Benefit to Society?

 Society benefits in many different ways because of the move to more homeschooling. When we look at just the educational cost relief to the public school system it is tremendous! If every home school child reentered the public school system today we would grind the system to a stop because of overcrowding.
 Your children help to raise the level of learning in every way. They score higher on the SAT scores showing that the level of education is superior to what is offered in the public school system. You are taking the time to make sure your children are supplied with great content not useless quantity. You are empowering them to be independent learners which will benefit them and society throughout their lifetime. They are able to research different fields of endeavor and decide for themselves where their lives will take them.
 You are guiding your children to establish strong moral and ethical standards. They are not subjected to bullying and predatory teachers within a system that is unsafe. Your children are being socialized in a safe and productive manner. They are not being exposed to unhealthy ethical  and moral problems before they are old enough to withstand corrupt thinking.
 As your children progress in a subject you are able to guide them to higher levels, while in the public school system they would be held to the standards of the class or teacher. Your children can explore different areas of instruction that interests them. This allows them to view different areas of learning and find what they excel in.
 What other benefits to society as a whole by your taking responsibility for your children’s education do you see? Let’s talk about how you view it. Share your ideas help to expand the beneficial results!

Another Reason to Homeschool

 There are many reasons for homeschooling your children.
  • Religious conflict with the type of classes being taught.
  • Predator teachers
  • Gun violence in the school
  • Quality of the education being offered
  • Bullying by other students
 The list could extend on for a great length. Oregon, as a state, has been extremely easy on home school families. A letter to the governing school and yearly SAT testing covers the requirements. The child must not fall below the 50 percentile in more than one subject. There are even online schools that are free to take and the parent can monitor the child's progress and study material.

 However, recently there has been introduced into the legislature a bill that I find disturbing. Oregon has an law governing vaccination of children and that that must be done to attend public school. There is a way to avoid it by stating a religious objection to the process. Now the state government is considering that the parents of children who do not want their children vaccinated must be educated on the benefits of the process. I am sure that the parents are educated! I am deeply concerned that this might grow into forcing the children to be vaccinated at school. If I had children who were involved in this debate I would pull them from the school immediately!

 If you value your rights to home school then keep a close watch on what the government is doing. Public school was created to indoctrinate children and train them in the way the government wanted. This could be taken to even greater lengths in the future!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

 Traditionally we all celebrate Valentines Day with the giving of chocolates, cookies, flowers, cards, and other presents to those we love. Advertisements bombard us with the idea that if we love someone then we will buy them an expensive gift so that they will always love us. Wow, what a bunch of not so good stuff!!!

 How do we really show people that we love them and how do they show us? We do things for them. We cook meals, fold laundry, even take out the trash when it isn't our turn. We sit by their bedsides when they are sick because they do not want to be alone. We watch movies that are not funny to us, but that they enjoy, for the twentieth time. Even when we are so tired that we can barely keep our eyes open we will sit up for hours with them because they just need to talk. That is love! They show us love by drawing us funny pictures, or asking us to read them a story. Giving us hugs when we least expect them or saying thank you when they normally do not.

 Are there people that you know of that do not have anyone to tell them that they are loved? How about all of the elderly who are sitting in Nursing Homes with out visitors? Would they appreciate handmade cards with a cookie tucked inside? Homeless Shelters, Domestic Violence Shelters, Veterians Centers are filled with people who feel lost and abandoned. They are all human beings who with just a little help may be able to put their lives back together again.

 How are you going to celebrate Valentines Day?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Learning About Government

 How much do your children understand about who, what and how their government works? While governments internal workings can be confusing it is still important to understand the basics.

 What are the local government offices and how are they filled? Do you have a City Commissioner or a County Commisioner? Is your sherrif elected or appointed? Do you have an elected District Attorney and Judges? In the county that I live in those are all elected positons. These officials are concious of who put them into office and make sure that they are available to solve problems and answer questions. We have set in on many Commisioner meetings and voiced our concerns or agreement with the issues they were discussing.  We can call our commissioners and while we alomst never get talk to them immediately we do leave voice mails for them and the get back to us in a reasonable amount of time with the answers. We sat with our local District Attorney and he explained his duties and responsibilities. You can attend court cases and observe how they are handled. Our Sherrif vowed to always have a listed phone number incase any of us wanted to talk to him.

 This is important on many different levels. Having one on one contact with these officials helps our children to learn that they are just people. They may be irritating or great. But in the end they are just people like every one else; not some geat power that can be scary to approach. By talking to them in a direct face to face discussion you can get a feel of whether they are honest or someone you want out of office.

 The same approach may be applied to the state and federal government levels. These officials are availabe to be contacted. They should answer your questions, although the answers may not be what you wanted to hear.

 Government officials are our employees. We hire them and we pay their salaries. As our employees it is important that we keep track of who they are, what they are doing and how they are doing it. Help your child be ready for this very adult responsibility!