Sunday, November 11, 2007

Catching Up

As my cute picture here would indicate, I've been running around like a chicken with my head chopped off all month and it won't end any time soon. I'm appearing at the Utah Chocolate Show with Candace Salima this weekend (and I've got scads of product to make) then Thanksgiving's at my house this year, followed by a probable day trip down to Ephraim the Saturday after that. Believe it or not, December is actually a pretty slow month for me.

I'm sorry I haven't been as responsive to questions and comments in my comment trail. I'll take a minute to answer some of them now.

Ronda said:

I--please don't hate me for this--didn't vote for referendum one, but my decision had nothing to do with homeschoolers.

Ronda, I absolutely don't hate you. My frustration wasn't aimed at referendum one, but rather the comments that arose after the fact targeting homeschools. Your house shall not get toilet-papered by me.

Lauri said:

I would love to hear more about your homeschooling education and how you currently homeschool your children. Do you follow any style? Somedays I really question my decisions.

Lauri, I don't follow any particular style. In fact, I'm quite ridiculously unstylish. When my child needs a math book, I look around for one I like and then I use it. My curriculums are from all different companies, even. I just use whatever seems the most applicable to that child at that time. I get a lot of my supplies from Christian Books, and also from our local school supply stores. Sometimes I'll find a book I like at a store, come home and see if Amazon has one. That's a great way to save some money while I'm at it.

As far as questioning your decisions, as long as you make them with your child's best interest at heart, you'll be completely fine. The Spirit will guide you in what your child needs to know and to learn. You'll also be guided to notice the ways in which your child learns best so you'll know how to approach the topics.

Keeley said:

Could you let me know what programmes/texts/whatever you do to teach writing? I'm feeling really inadequate in that area.

Do you mean writing as in handwriting, or as in creative writing?

Either way, let me share what I do. I don't know if this will work for you or if it even answers your question, but we'll give it a shot.

My children have inherited their father's art skills and my writing skills. They love to draw and illustrate their own stories. I give them plenty of paper (we go through a ream about every two weeks) and they draw and write to their heart's content. When they're done, I go through and correct their spelling. I also encourage them to use their nicest handwriting.

I find that by letting them loose on a project of their own, it's more fun for them than just sitting down to a page of "make the letter A." Of course, they do that when they're first starting out, but I try to get them writing their own things as soon as I can. They have more of an emotional investment in it, and it keeps them going.

I hope this was helpful! Please ask anything else you'd like -- it may take me a little while to respond, for which I apologize, but I will get back to you, I promise.


Davis Bigelow said...

Well, I must confess to being home schooled. I also must confess to having mixed reviews of the whole experience. I took grades 1-6 and 9 at home.
On the up-side, I learned my stuff very well. I never did homework - or was it all homework? Anyway, the stark fact is that I would not be able to call myself a writer today if not for home schooling. On the down-side, however, that great foundation of education I got cost me dearly. I continually had a strained relationship with my mother - who constantly got my dad and his belt involved in the education process. When I finally did go out to public school, I refused to do any homework. After all, when school was out, it was over for the day. The other, and perhaps costliest part of my home school experience, was the lack of social interaction with peers. When I entered public school in grade 7 – at age11, I was small in stature, a year younger than my classmates and so socially inept that I must have been the definition of a backwoods nerd – although I don’t think the word was coined yet. As a result of my unpreparedness, I struggled with personal identity for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until I was nearly 34 years old that I felt like an integrated adult in a world where I belonged. I lost a lot of life in exchange for the ability to put pleasing ink on paper!
My advice? Careful what you do to your children in the name of education. For the most part, my experience was a matter of necessity. My Dad was ill and could only do the job he did. We could not choose to move. I expect that all who read this comment have more options than I did. Be careful!!!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thank you for this comment, Davis -- it's true that far too many parents confuse the line between schooling and other things. I would dare postulate that the issues you had with homeschooling weren't so much with homeschooling itself but rather the way it was administrated in your home. Parents can get social interaction arranged for their children -- they can go to parks, enroll their children in community classes, set up play groups. There are other places to interact besides school.

On the other hand, I'm glad you're an author. I'm sorry that it was such a long and painful road for you, but glad you have arrived where you are now.

By the way, how come you've disabled comments on your blog? I wanted to say howdy to you about half an hour ago and couldn't.

Laurie said...

Thanks Tristi for your comments. I loved finding the perfect book for each of my childrens learning styles. I need to have more confidence in my own decisions.

I also appreciate Davis' comments. I am always interested in how homeschooled children view their education once they are adults. I had a friend tell me once that I needed to stop "playing teacher" with my children. That I wasn't a little girl anymore playing with my dolls. I was dealing with real lives. I want to add though that I am 33 this year and I still have no clue how to be an adult and fit into the world around me...and I blame that completely on my public school education! So I agree, Be careful what you do to your children in the name of education, whether it's public or homeschool. Tristi, I am going to try harder to follow the spirit and then have confidence in my decisions! Thank you!

Misty said...

Thanks for catching us up on the up takes. Glad to see new posts coming my way, from you!

ali said...

Wow. I've missed out on a lot by playing hookie this past week, haven't I?

I would have loved to have homeschooled my kids and maybe I will yet, one day, but so far I've opted for public school. I try though to keep tabs on what they're doing so that I'm certain they are getting the best education and experience for them. I'm ready to change it as soon as I need to IF I need to!

Keeley said...

I found it interesting to read both Davis' and Laurie's comments. I guess it just goes to show that every parent needs to be on their knees constantly, seeking the Lord's guidance.

Thank you for answering my question, Tristi! =)

Davis Bigelow said...

Thanks for the encouragement Tristi. I suppose that if I hadn't traveled the road I did, I wouldn't be who I am today - and while I'm nowhere near perfect, I am marginally satisfied with who I am and grateful for my positive direction of travel. I try not to bash the undesirable parts of my past. (Sometimes, I am even successful.) I think it is a bit hypocritical for anyone to despise past events when those very events play an essential part in present success.
(Wow, that's a bit deep!)
Anyway, I think we just need to build on what we have instead of trying to have different stuff. Maybe that's why I enjoy writing non-fiction. It forces me to find good things in reality - things that I would probably never see if I wasn't confined to a set of finite events.

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