August 30, 2008
I’m a homeschooling mom of five kids with a cluttered house, a patient husband, and a love of my Heavenly Father.
I love teaching my kids at home, well, most days , and have found that as the homeschooling movement grows, there are more and more amazing resources available. This blog is my attempt to put them all in one place, share with you, and learn from you.
Here’s a bit about me, for those of you who are interested. My life reads a bit like the resume of a science fiction writer (which I also do a bit). It turns out that many of my odd-ball hobbies and skills end up being pretty useful for homeschooling:
I started karate lessons at age 13, and am a 4th degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate. (Though I don’t currently use it for much more than blocking blows from a tantrum throwing 2-year-old.)
Herbs and Medicine
My mom raised me on peppermint tea for stomach upsets and comfrey for injuries. I was in charge of growing the herbal part of the garden and learned alternative medicine as a child. After college, I went to medical school, had two children during school, and after getting my M.D., decided to stay home with my family instead of doing a residency. I still dabble in alternative medicines and make my own herbal ointments. They work so well that after sharing many globs of ointment in Ziploc baggies, I finally bottled and labeled it as Turtlebalm.
In the same alternative health vein, we switched to eating primarily vegan in January of 2007 for my husband’s heart health, my heartburn troubles, and our children’s future health. It has done wonders for us all, and for the liberals out there – we are even reducing our ‘carbon footprint’. :-)
I love the Hypnobabies program for giving birth without pain medications and without pain. It’s amazing that you can train your mind to keep your body focused on relaxing during the intensity of giving birth. I used hypnosis in some form for four of my births and can honestly say that I was able to be pain free for the majority of my labors. I think hypnosis can also provide some great tools to deal many chronic troubles like morning sickness, chronic pain, panic attacks, etc.
I’m an entreupenuer at heart. I started with a paper route and selling candy for a profit at school. I love to think up businesses and new products, though I haven’t yet been able to squeeze anything wildly successful into our busy and crazy home life. That doesn’t keep me from thinking up new ones.
And about three years ago, I thought that bees were so fascinating, I read a few books, bought some equipment, and then ordered two packages of bees. I’m up to four hives (two ‘normal’ Langstroth hives, and two ‘Top Bar Hives’) in the back corner of our typical suburban yard. Why not?
I love my family and teaching, so homeschooling is a great fit. I have a few main reasons for homeschooling.
- Time – First is time. I don’t want to turn over the bulk of my kids waking hours to someone else. I don’t mind a bit here and there. But, as their mother, I think they are my responsibility to raise and I don’t feel like I can do that very well with only an hour or two in the mornings and evenings, and weekends. Though I admit I am envious, on occasion, of my friends who send their kids off to school all day, I could never do it all year long. Do you think they would let me send my kids for a week every five months or so – when I need a bit of a break?
- Quality – I don’t feel the typical education in America is a high quality one. Check out how we rate compared to other industrialized nations. There are too many kids that fall through the cracks. Even with our ‘big’ family, our teacher-to-student ratio is 5:1. Can’t beat that.
- Life and Character – Or as some would say: Socialization. I know, you’re wondering if you heard me right. Socialization is one of the reasons I teach my kids at home. They get to associate with children of all ages instead of just their own age group. I love watching my kids learn to hold and calm a baby, learn a new skill from a teenager, or play easily and happily with with a much younger kid. They also associate with adults of all ages and from all walks of life. We discuss life, morals, good and bad choices, consequences, goals, etc., all day long. Adversities like bullying aren’t completely eliminated, but when they do happen, I’m right there to help my kids discuss, analyze, and problem solve. When our little niece died, I was there when my daughter prayed to help her. We pick raspberries together, do chores together, play at the park, read, discover, and live together. I’m there for their lives, to help guide and shape them each day and share in their discoveries. I wouldn’t give it up for the world.