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Archive for November, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

John here…today’s ROTD is that homeschooling allows you the freedom to explore lateral thinking skills.

Nora has a loose tooth. She’s excited about it and can’t wait to put it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy.

For now, of course, she believes in the Wee Mite of the Molars.

Just for fun, I asked her, “I wonder what she does with all of those teeth?”

Her reply? “Maybe in her world they are money and she’s a banker!” =D

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Freedom of Speech

Things you don’t hear from most 5-year-olds at the breakfast table: “I need my gun to be camouflaged.”

I wonder how that would go over if she had said it at a traditional school. I know kids have been expelled for drawing pictures of guns. (My daughter has done that, too. It was a picture of her shooting a shotgun. The picture even includes a bad guy bleeding profusely.)

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned before how much I HATE zero tolerance rules. It’s more like zero thinking. Expelling kids for drawing pictures, pointing chicken fingers, or giving candy to a friend is just stupid. More than stupid, it’s horrible for the lessons it teaches to our kids. It doesn’t teach them “These are the rules, and we mean it.” It teaches them, “We don’t use common sense, and you’ll be better off if you don’t either. Our rules are more important than you, your education, or your independence. There is no responsibility to do right, only to follow the rules. We’re watching you, just waiting for you to screw up.”

Regardless of how you feel about guns, please stand up for your rights and freedoms, and for your children’s rights and freedoms. Every little insult we allow, from zero tolerance rules at schools to body scanners and pat downs at the airport, is one more piece of straw on the camel’s back of our Constitution.

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Reading Lessons

Having your child read a book to Dad at bedtime counts as a reading lesson.

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Education majors

Today’s reason to homeschool is: you’re better prepared than you might think.  What makes an expert?  Many people feel that degrees, certifications, and other qualifications are important.  I feel that way less and less each day.  I earned a teaching certificate a few years ago, for the purpose of getting a job.  I don’t regret it, exactly, but of all the things I’ve accomplished in my life, if I ranked them according to how proud I was of myself, that certification wouldn’t make the top twenty.  In my experience, education majors are the last people I would want teaching my children.

This evening, I was reading comments on a blog.  This is one of the comments responding to the question, “How do you feel about early education?”

b———–d said…

i do not have anychildren but my major is earlychildhood edu and i am planning on being a preschool teacher and i have observe children and one      thing that was taught me me is that children learn though play and movement and music. and also i learn about the developmentally apportiate zone that is you don’t how to count if they don’t there number . it line upon upon it is important to teacher young child , but it should be done in away where they want to do and young children love to learn and explore and also i think chidren should be guide it learning love love care patenice not force

November 11, 2010 8:28 PM

I’m glad this person isn’t striving for any grade level higher than preschool…but still.  Nevermind the typos, I don’t think I can even follow her train of thought.  And yes, I know it isn’t fair to judge a whole group of people from one bad example, but I don’t think this example is really so many standard deviations away from the norm, if you know what I mean.  The next time you meet a ditsy college student, ask him or her (usually her) her major.  Good money says it’s Psychology or Education.

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The Truth about the Market

John here (for a change):

So yesterday evening, while pouring some Ginger Ale from the bottle, Nora asked a “silly” question: What if it weren’t Ginger Ale in the bottle but something else?

This lead to a discussion of trust and business.

“Ok, Nora, what would happen?  If we went to the store and bought something called ‘Ginger Ale’ and it turned out to be root beer, what would happen?”

“Well, I guess we would be mad.”

“Right, and if we were mad at a store for lying to us, what should we do?”

“Not shop there anymore?”

“Right.  And what would happen to the store if enough people got mad at them for lying and stopped shopping there?”

“It would go out of business.”

“Right!  So, do you think most businesses lie to people or do they tell the truth?”

“Tell the truth.”

“Right. Why?”

“So we’ll come back and they won’t go out of business?”

“Right!”

It’s a wonder to me that more adults cannot grasp this simple concept: the vast majority of businesses, big and small, deal honestly with their customers, employees, and suppliers because they want to remain in business.

She understood that, because there is always another store we could go to to buy our Ginger Ale, it helps keep the business honest even if the owner doesn’t want to be.

[Of course, I did take the opportunity to point that if gov’t does something we don’t like, we can’t just “shop” at a “different gov’t” to which Nora replied “Then they don’t have to worry about being honest to us, do they?“]

Teaching our kids the truth about how the market works…today’s Reason of the Day.

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Practicality

As a homeschooler, I can teach my kids some practical skills, like do-it-yourself home improvement, that isn’t considered real education in traditional schools.  Ironically, I have found the practical things that I was never taught in school (but learned a little about by watching my dad) to be FAR more useful, money-saving, and time-saving, than the intellectual things.  There are things like repairing an appliance, buying something from the internet, navigating health insurance, and investing money that are very important skills completely ignored by schools.  I’m excited to be teaching my kids to think for themselves, rather than how to think for someone else.

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Date of Manufacture

Awesome video:

YouTube – RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

Today’s reason to homeschool: because the most important thing about my children is NOT their date of manufacture.

My homeschool journey began with the problem of having a bright 3-year-old, ready to learn to read, who wasn’t going to be allowed to start kindergarten, at a public or private school, until she was five and a half.  And right behind her, another bright child, who had the misfortune of an early fall birthday, who wouldn’t be allowed to start her education until she was very nearly 6 years old.  So I started teaching them at home, and just haven’t felt the need to stop.

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