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Too Much Responsibility?

This was interesting to read.  Can homeschooling be too much responsibility for a parent?

I want to homeschool, but don’t want the responsibility.

Often I take a look in Google Analytics to see what brings people to Simple Homeschool. Many readers arrive after an online search, on the hunt for information about a certain topic. Common searches that bring readers here include simple homeschooling, homeschool encouragement blog, waldorf homeschooling, and making the first homeschool day special.

But my heart dropped a little when I read that a few people found this blog after typing in “want to homeschool, but don’t want the responsibility.”

Fear of responsibility on the homeschooling path isn’t uncommon. After all, so our thoughts tease, if we send the kids to school and things aren’t going well, there’s someone else to blame. But if we grasp this calling fully by the reins, we know in whose direction fingers will point if results aren’t in line with the norm.  Continue reading

Note that this isn’t written from the perspective of a believing parent. (Disclaimer: I don’t even know much about the website.)

But if a non-Christian family shouldn’t shy away from homeschooling for fear of the responsibility, doesn’t a Christian have even more responsibility for the children the Lord has given us?



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Keepers / Contenders

We have done some form of Keepers at Home / Contenders of the Faith since my oldest was in first grade.   The website Keepers of the Faith has several resources for parents or teachers to use with children of all ages.  To me this program is very similar to Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts where the children strive to learn a new skill and receive a badge for completion.  The skills for girls vary from learning the books of the Bible, sewing, table setting and cooking.  Boys skills include things such as archery, Bible reading, knots, and wood working.  There is a wide variety of character badges and skill badges.  Even when we haven’t had others to work with us on the badges we have often done many of the activities in the books.  They are useful skills and even a few things moma wishes she had learned as a child.

Below are just a few of the badges and skills that a child can work toward.

  • ABCs (3)
  • Academics  More!
  • Albums
  • Amateur Radio
  • Amphibians
  • Applique
  • Aquarium
  • Aquatic Life (1)
  • Archery (1)
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Athletics
  • Auto Care
  • Badminton
  • Baking (9)
  • Band (1)
  • Baseball
  • Basket Weaving (1)
  • Basketball
  • Beadwork (1)
  • Bee Keeping (1)
  • Bible Memory  More! (13)
  • Bible Reading  More! (1)
  • Bible Study  More!
  • Bicycling (3)
  • Biography
  • Birds (10)
  • Book Binding
  • Bowling (1)
  • Bread Baking (1)
  • Budgeting
  • Building Blocks (1)
  • Building Fun
  • Bus Worker
  • Butterflies (2)

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Chicks

It all started with the chickens laying eggs. Our larger breed chickens never go broody and want to hatch their eggs out. So we decided to incubate.

Good science project especially when it is so interesting.

We built our own incubator from an ice chest. It required lots of temperature watching because it fluctuated with the room temperature too much.

 

But low and behold the fertile eggs developed into little chicks.

We candled the eggs at night and you could see them develop. They went from dots, to a network of veins with a large prominent black dot for the eye, to bouncing around little chicks then to huge dark blobs with little visibility. We don’t have a real candler so we just used a flashlight. By the end we had four eggs that had developed and were ready to hatch.

They went into the real incubator that my son got for his birthday.

 

 

 

Then after a day or two we had pipping.

 

Hatching!

 

Little chicks. Three out of four chicks hatched. Which is good even for a broody moma chicken.

 

Since we had so few chicks we bought a few more babies to add to the brooder. We had wanted some bantam types like Silkies or Frizzles but none were available. So we ended up with six blue and black Cochins, not the little Cochins, but the huge Cochins. Sorta like Silkies on steroids with large feathered legs.

We have one egg still due to hatch in the next few days because it was started late. It was a lone egg because the chickens stopped laying when we got some really cold days.

But we attempted to incubate some eggs that had been in the refrigerator for over two weeks. Some people have had good success with incubating fertile eggs from the grocery store. Several of our older eggs weren’t fertile and I was about ready to dispose of most of them as not having developed but last night I candled one of the refrigerator eggs. There was a bouncing around little chick! If you’ve watched many ultrasound pictures that is exactly what candling eggs is like. This chick had a rhythmic up and down bounce going on. I could have watched it for hours but we can’t leave them out of the incubator for that long.

 

Who knows my son may actually be able to make some money off of his chicken business after all.

 

Need some chicks?

 


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Back to Homeschooling

We’ve had a break the past few weeks from homeschooling.  Between my husband and oldest son being off several days, everyone being sick for a week or two and new baby chicks very little has been done around here.   🙁  Time to get back to work with the chores and school work.   Lesson plans and report cards are due soon also.  Those to me are the hardest part of homeschooling; record keeping.

Here is a list of books to use for homeschooling.  They are based off of the Robinson Curriculum,  The nice thing is that these are available online for free.

Robinson Booklist



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Homeschooling Statistics

The data here is very interesting.  It is a compelling reason to homeschool even if you ignore the main reason most Christian Families homeschool.  While I feel homeschooling is important for building good strong Christian character and sound Christian doctrine, it is still good to know that we don’t have to do that at the expense of our children’s education.  While good SAT scores are helpful that isn’t the bottom line for most homeschooling families.

Just a note:  According to the chart homeschooling is saving American Tax Payers approximately 16 Billion dollars.  That’s not petty cash!

Homeschooling By the Numbers [infographic]

HT: Challies.com


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Heritage History

Most of my children love to read and they really enjoy reading historical fiction.  A favorite historical fiction author around here is G.A. Henty, which has taught my oldest son about wars and time periods most people have no clue about.  Many of Henty’s books are available for free download in the kindle version or paperbacks are available for under $10.

We have found that history is much easier grasped when read in the form of a story and not just learning dry facts.  (I’m in the process of learning history that I never learned in public school.)  Heritage History is a free source for time lines, maps and stories about the the characters of history, even those you’ve never heard of.  The history is divided up into time periods and also into civilizations so you can go to the section about Rome and read the time line of Rome and the stories of Rome.

Warning though some history is of course violent and there are portions that are not suitable for young children. I would never just turn the younger children loose on the website.  Since most of the actual books on the site are in the public domain, if you desire you can search for the title somewhere like Project Gutenberg to download and read offline.



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Homeschool Conferences

Here are two homeschool conferences that I know about with the links to the websites.  While they are still a ways off it helps to plan ahead and it is cheaper to get the early bird discounts. 🙂

Midsouth Homeschool Convention

Memphis, TN

March 3 – 5, 2011

Speakers include:

Dr. Susan Bauer,

Ken Ham,

Doug Phillips, …

Tim Hawkins will be entertaining.

CHEF of Alabama Convention

Gardendale First Baptist

Gardendale, AL   (part of B’ham metro area)

June 23-24, 2011

Speaker: Kevin Swanson

New thing that is planned is that families of preschoolers may attend free to be introduced to homeschooling.


If you know of other Homeschool Conventions in other locations you can add the info in the comments.



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My New Toy – Kindle

My oldest son got me a Kindle last week.  I wasn’t sure previously if I would even want one or use one enough to make it worth the money.  Thankfully though the prices now are about half what they were two years ago.  But since I now have one I have found it to be very easy to hold and read from, even easier than many books.  We strive to take care of our books so even with a paperback we don’t turn the cover back upon itself.  That will break the spine quickly and cause you to have a handful of loose pages.

The Kindle has several advantages:

  • Holds up to 3,500 Books.

  • Easily transported compared to carrying several books.

  • The eInk is interesting.  It looks so real we tried to pull the sticker off the screen only to find that the screen displays a picture even when turned off.  It is very crisp looking.

  • Mine is the 3G version which means I can download books anywhere.  There are also other advantages such as email and internet which I haven’t figured out well yet.

  • I have over 60 books on the Kindle and haven’t bought any of them.  They were all Free Books for Kindle.

  • There are a few games that the children beg to play. Actual word games! Such as Every Word.

  • There is a good potential for using it for homeschool because so many of the free books are classics or history books.

  • I can also download directly from Gutenberg Press.  Free again!  I like free. 🙂
  • Others include Many Books,


  • There is a highlighting and notes feature so I can copy important quotes and then later use them on my computer.  Highlights and notes can be seen online if you desire to copy and paste them elsewhere by using the website Your Kindle Highlights.

  • My son has also set up a way that I can send a web page to the kindle for later reading using RekindleIT or Instapaper.

  • I can also put PDF’s on the kindle to read.

  • Kindle Reading Apps are available for free for the PC, iPod and Mac and several other platforms.

  • The kindle will read books aloud if enabled by the publisher.  This is handy as we’ve been listening to Black Beauty while driving in the car.  I can see where this would be helpful for beginning readers.  Thankfully the Computer voice is better than the Computer Sam of years ago that read aloud every period and comma.  But it isn’t perfect, yet.

  • Turns out that with the free email address that you get with the kindle you can email yourself Word documents.  They can be emailed as attachments and then the website will email them back for the kindle.  This doesn’t cost anything, but it isn’t instant.  There can be some lag time.  These documents aren’t editable; however, you can add notes to them.


Do you use a kindle? What do you use it for beyond the typical just reading a book?  Bible Study? Homeschooling?



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Homeschoolers Are Abusers According To the Media

I have been very busy lately and hardly had a chance to read any news.  But yesterday I did read an article about a missing young girl.  There was one sentence in that article that said “Because the girl was homeschooled, ….

So in addition to the sadness about the little girl who no one knows where she is, I was also saddened by the need to point out that she was homeschooled.  First of all she wasn’t homeschooled, she was home.  There is a big difference!  Just keeping your children out of public school is not homeschooling.  Abusers keep their children hidden away at home; homeschoolers live with and teach their children at home and in public.  The difference is like night and day.

Just yesterday my children were seen in public and private by probably a hundred people.  They had their private violin lessons.  Then we shopped at Sam’s Club.  We bought gas.  We then spent a long time at Academy Sports contemplating Bows and Arrows for my middle son.  The men working the hunting section would remember us well.  Then last night we ate at Red Lobster to celebrate our oldest son’s recent birthday.  Believe me at least the waiter there would remember bringing endless plates of shrimp to starving boys!

Over the past few days my children have been seen by no less than several hundred people.  Over a hundred have interacted enough with us to remember if they were to see our pictures or be asked about us.  (Which of course blows away the “lack of socialization” claim!)

True homeschoolers aren’t hidden away at home!  We might have a couple of days where no one outside of the family sees us but those are rare now that the children are older.  Even if we did nothing else like shopping or school activities, we are at church at least twice a week.  Accountability isn’t an issue.

My point is just because a child is home and not in public school don’t call it “homeschool”!  There is a big difference.

Terry has written about the same issue today.  Funny how often that happens!  Hers is a well reasoned argument while I just ranted. 🙁



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