Thursday, June 27, 2013

Understanding the Bill of Rights

  In our studies of history quite often we look at ancient times such as the Crusades or the Egyptian Pharaohs.  Have you looked at what our fore fathers were trying to establish for all of us to enjoy? England put unreasonable taxes and restrictions on the colonists. The people began to feel that they were just slaves to the English empire and not appreciated for who they were. Because the government was acting in an unreasonable manner the people revolted and established the basis for our country today. Do your children know what the 4th of July is really celebrating? Do they have a strong basis to make decisions about where the country should be going?

  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. " quote

  Take some time this week to become reacquainted with the reason the United States of America was established. Help our children look at the holiday with new eyes!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Looking at how others have improved their teaching ability

  There are many different ways to homeschool. You can use the packaged avenue and buy many different kinds of courses to fit your children's needs. This can run into hundreds of dollars making it prohibitive to many. There are homeschool groups who exchange text books and ideas and this will lessen the overall cost. You can tap into online courses, many of which are free, and some of them are run by the state's educational communities. This is a great resource if you are struggling with how to start.  However, this avenue puts your children directly in line with how the government wants your children to be educated. Some of the courses may not be appropriate for your way of thinking.
  I stumbled upon this interesting course which is free from MIT; it involves teachers striving to increase their ability to help children learn.  In my mind this is the goal that all of us who are homeschooling are attempting to do. We used the open method of teaching or as some like to call it unschooling. This worked well for us. Our three children studied what interested them. We gave them opportunities to explore lots of different avenues. We kept them in touch with others who were also interested in their subjects of choice. We ended up with three very well educated children who are very successful in their chosen fields. Our youngest will graduate in a few days as a doctor.
  The remember to structure your classes to fit your children. Some of them may want to read everything. Others will need a more hands on approach to learning. And there are some children who need an audio or visual way to absorb the learning. Combinations of all of those will help them to progress at a rate that is satisfying to you and them.
  Homeschooling is not right for everyone. Some people will find that their children need the highly involved social structure of a classroom. In that case there are several different alternatives such as charter schools or private schools. Find what works best for you and them. They are our future and it is important that they learn how to learn! Good luck and have fun!