Boondock Ramblings

A little bit about a lot of things

To say watching parents clamor to homeschool in the United States is a surreal experience for me is an understatement.

When I started homeschooling my son three years ago I was looked down at by former friends and his former teachers. I remember hearing a former friend disparge another friend who had chosen to homeschool her children. I had a feeling similar things were said about me when I chose to do the same. I was ostracized as soon as I chose homeschooling over the small private school he has attended before.

Now here we are starting another year (in a couple of weeks), watching parents rushing to enroll their children in online learning or planning to homeschool their children in other ways. Most of the parents I know who are choosing to homeschool this year will be using their school district’s online programs. They will have access to their children’s regular teachers in one way or another.

More photos like this can be found on my account at Lightstock.com.

In our state the governor changes his mind about every five minutes on policies and guidelines for the schools so I’m pleased as punch we don’t have to worry about all that mess. Before COVID, we had considered sending my son to the local public school (this county is so sparsely populated it has one school for the entire county.). Now we aren’t even mulling it over. He’s staying home and I’ll be using curriculum I chose that hopefully he will enjoy. Let’s be honest, though: it’s school so he probably won’t enjoy some of it no matter how hard I worked to find curriculum I felt would provide him a proper education while also being slightly interesting.

I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there who are terrified about homeschooling their children or having their children be educated online. No matter how you’re handling your child’s school year this year I am confident you can handle it, Mom and/or Dad. If you are worried about your child’s education then that already shows what a good parent you are.

More photos like this can be found on my account at Lightstock.com.

If I could give you any advice at all it would be the advice I gave myself just today when my mind started racing about my need to lose weight: one step at a time. It works for homeschooling too. I don’t know if any of you are like me, but I always think I have to apply everything I’ve ever read about weight loss or homeschooling in one go. I have to do it all at once and if I don’t do it like the people I read about did it then I might as well give up. At least that’s what I hear in the back of my head on a loop and today I took the scissors to the loop.

I don’t have to start working out like a madwoman right now after years of not working out. I don’t have to eat exactly like someone online who lost 20 pounds in a month. Their body is not my body.

I don’t have to buy every single curriculum out there for my childen and fill their days so full that their head spins.

This school year will definitely have its challenges but I have a feeling parents and children alike are going to find some moments during it that they will look back on as a memory they’re glad they made. Yes, schooling at home will be hard for parents who work outside the home and sacrifices may have to be made but I have a good feeling those sacrifices are going to be worth it.

More photos like this can be found on my account at Lightstock.com.

Homeschooling my children hasn’t always been easy and I often wonder if I’m screwing them up but when I see how relaxed they are learning at home, when I see the variety of experiences they are having and when I see the struggles public schools are facing this year, I am glad we chose to homeschool and were in the position we could.

More photos like this can be found on my account at Lightstock.com.

If you have decided to homeschool this year, for whatever reason, here are links to a couple other posts I’ve shared in the last few months (and beyond) about homeschooling. Some of the links might not apply now that we are moving out of the COVID situation and into a new school year, but others will.

Suddenly Homeschooling? Here are some tips and links to help you out. Sorry I can’t send wine.

More Links For Parents Suddenly Homeschooling

How Homeschooling Has Made Life Easier and Less Stressful. Well, sometimes.

Our Homeschooling Journey So Far This Year (2019)

37 thoughts on “No. Seriously. We homeschooled before it was the thing to do. And yes, you can do it too.

  1. dolphinwrite says:

    I hope this helps some people. I understand some math is more difficult. I found a way to help improve, but it wasn’t until college that I learned this simple principle. But as a teacher, I explained this to some parents, and they used it with their own children, finding better results. **It’s this: Knowing a tough subject is coming up in the next semester, I get the books early, the semester before, and take time to study the chapters. Not to proficiency, but to get a flavor and understanding. Then, when I took the subjects, I already had some understanding which greatly helped in the classes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Efrona Mor says:

    Nice post, I’m homeschooling an 11th grader so the challenge is things like calculous. I hired a teacher to handle that as my math skills, are not what they were years ago and call me lazy, but I don’t want to learn it all over again, just too busy, but so far homeschooling for the last 3 weeks, has been super good!

    Like

    1. I won’t be able to do calculous with my kid so he’s either going to public school or I’ll have to hire someone too! There may be some tough times during the year but tough it out. It’s worth it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Efrona Mor says:

        Thanks, I’m doing great so far, and I have a calculous teacher for mine!!! Cheers to good things!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. dolphinwrite says:

    One of the reasons, after a couple of years teaching, then staying a couple of decades more, was we considered if we weren’t in the class, then who would be teaching those children. We saw the declining educational growth in the students, and so worked hard to raise work habits, lesson and project quality, and prepare the students for their years ahead. I always believed in home schooling, but seeing how so many young people needed a strong education, we remained as long as we considered the opportunity teach quality lessons remained. Where we are today, parents are the ones who will return quality education to America. These are exciting times, because more and more parents, with past months, have seen what can be accomplished at home. We’re also seeing happier kids walking about for family times are increasing. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree! It’s opening up so many doors for family members to get closer and support each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. alimw2013 says:

    Awesome love that you have provided this and with such encouragement… I know over the years I have received a lot of guff for homeschooling and now I just have my middle kiddo I homeschool and plenty of people have been sassy about that!! I have to snicker just a tiny bit when everyone had to do online school at the end of last school year because people (who’ve made rude comments to me) finally got a taste of homeschooling!! Not sure they enjoyed homeschooling or not but they didn’t have a choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dolphinwrite says:

    The Lessons of the Past and Present

    After completing the university, then going on to education, I became increasingly curious about history, more so our own country, and with time, saw the depth of history and how our country came to be. I came to this, I believe in part due to a relative who served in WWII and shows about the country’s founding. This is why, I encourage people to read the federalist papers, read our founding fathers’ own words, read books from people like Frederick Douglass, but also research topics of old. In this way, they learn and realize, then pass on to the next generation the lessons of the past. To really understand, they will wonder, read, and research for themselves, for that’s how real understanding happens, each person on their own road, perhaps together with others.
    One of the lessons I learned early, which I never forgot, is those who have forgotten the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat those mistakes. This has not had a more profound effect upon me than in recent years. As I’ve scratched my head, wondering how so much disinformation has infected Americans, how the level of rhetoric and propaganda has entrenched our lives, I’ve watched and researched. It’s when I delved deeper into our history that I found the answers. Even watching old movies, including “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” reading books from Nate Shiransky and others, even reading books from socialists, and reading the founding fathers’ own words that I realized they knew way back then what is happening today (Real research will have a profound effect.). In fact, they predicted it. In their own worlds, they experienced what we are seeing today (Yes, the tools used for misinforming the public are centuries old, and requires people to grow up ignorant of those lessons.). And if they were here today, they would be astounded at the technology and level of rhetoric and propaganda, but they would not be confused or befuddled by the players and how easily people have been duped. As they studied the happenings of today, they would soon understand the dynamics and what’s at play.
    The longer I live, the more I read, the more I realize how little I really knew while growing up, even when America was number one in the world of education. I’ve even pondered if the disinformation campaigns was going on back then. Even in college, while taking a few history classes or reading books, as I look back, I see how little was really taught and how little I really understood. This caused me to wonder if the disinformation campaign was already in force. And seeing the world of today, I better understand the challenges of so many people thinking they know without ever really knowing.
    People are attempting to tear down statues, paint graffiti, change the meaning of the past, and slur those responsible for helping create the best country ever, and many out of frustration without ever knowing who the real problems are in the difficulties we face. And they’re doing all this in part from growing up disconnected from history, hearing socialists/communists/Marxists using the pulpit to “recreate” the past, from our country’s past, and all the great Americans who learned important lessons that they brought to these lands. And with the level of propaganda, disinformation, history rewritten, hiding the real past from the people, and entertainment distracting us from morals and lives of responsibility, it’s no wonder so many are suffering and banging their heads against the wall. And all too many have become the blind leaders of the blind. I’m just amazed at how fast and how much the infection has spread. And all the distractions, keeping us focused on “their” agendas so we never wake up, ask questions, and seek the real answers, many which are found in history past. We can even learn from researching dictatorships, how those “leaders” took over their media, altered school texts, and put in place propaganda campaigns, then pointing the finger of blame on others, sometimes America, so the people never wake up and see their own leaders as the ones responsible for all their troubles.
    What we see today is people scurrying this way and that, worrying about this and that, completely distracted by their own problems, looking for entertainment and survival, but with the wool pulled over their eyes. It’s like a man looking for the dollar he dropped in the dark. As long as the light in out, he can never find it. We’re living this life. The light has been put out, or has dimmed, and people are fumbling for this place or that, unable to find that dollar. And with time, they even forget the dollar. They forget the dollar because of all the noise about other things: misdirections.
    So where are the answers? Well, if that same man would become calm, patiently observing the problem, he might realize the candles and matches in the drawer and bring light to the room, finding that dollar. The same is today. If people would calm down, consider, return to the resources we all were born knowing, we might start “seeing” the problems, ponder, realize solutions or where to seek them, and grow in understanding. Instead of being ostriches, hiding our heads in the sand (For an ostrich with its head in the sand feels safe, because while the light is out, he or she can’t see the lion approaching. But the lion or tiger is still there, and the ostrich will soon be just as dead.), we can wake up and realize the real problems. However, we will also have to face our fears. But the fears are being created by those who want our heads in the sand so they can attack our freedoms (with rhetoric, propaganda, and fake language) without our ever knowing it. But only when we are in chains of our own making, by our own disinformation, might they reveal their real intents, but then it will be too late.
    We see an incredible level of disinformation in the media. But don’t they have a college education? Remember, I went to college, even taking additional classes to have a “proper” education. But remember also, I realized how bereft of deep information that education was, how little in the way of real history and the lessons of the past it contained. Which led to self-research, listening, reading, talking, and more, then realizing that most of my real education occurred outside buildings. No, I believe most of the media have not a quality education. If they did, they could not perform their work as they do. And we suppose, the ones with quality education, who truly understand history, who truly seek after understanding, do not get jobs in journalism, are soon removed, or are propagandized until they’ve forgotten the past.
    If things are to become what America once was, still is in many places, and real liberty with responsibility is to once again be the common life of a good people, where checks and balances enforce the rights of the people, then it will begin with searching people. It will be with teachers who do not look at security and retirement as first priority, it will be with parents taking on the great responsibility of raising their children and teaching them right from wrong, it will be with people thinking outside the box and for themselves to discover real answers, and it will happen because more and more people want to understand how this country came to be. For no matter what problems we find with any of our founding fathers, and yes they were not perfect, we also will see the good they did and what they worked so hard to impart on future generations.
    We keep hearing about racism and slavery of the past. Yes, our founding fathers had slaves. Yes, they made serious mistakes. But most of us don’t understand the times they lived. Most of us don’t understand the world early Americans lived. Most don’t understand that slavery was world-wide, very common place, that slaves came from lands that enslaved their own people, then sold them, and that the people who came to these lands came from places that slavery was common. Wrong, but common. And anyone knows that people take on the values and practices of where they grew. We see it today. People are making all kinds of mistakes, but they do so because that’s the world they grew up in, lived in, and it’s all they know. And I will say this, many of the mistakes people are making today, in ignorance of the past, are terrible, and perhaps, future generations might shake their heads when they read about us. How ignorant we are. How separated from history’s lessons we became. How easy we are to be duped by propaganda and rhetoric. How easily led by entertainment, the media, and worries not of our own thinking. How, when we had the opportunity to raise our own children, we didn’t take on this most important of responsibilities, allowing them to become programmed and misdirected. But we also see today, more and more parents taking a larger role in raising the children. Perhaps without realizing, they preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow, ones who will turn the lights up. And be examples for others to realize for themselves, as America was meant to be, and as it was in the beginning, imperfections and all. Remember, the founding fathers wrote the Constitution with words to prepare the way for freedom for all. George Washington set his slaves free, and so did others. And they fought for all people’s freedom. In a world still tied to a horrific past. And freedom in this country is still the best, and we cannot allow socialists/communists/Marxists, many in entertainment and information places to detract from our opportunities and responsibilities.

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  6. dolphinwrite says:

    The difficulties are far greater than many of today’s parents know. When I was growing up, while America was still number one in the world of education (now a distant 17th to 30th), we had decent history lessons, but even then, far below what could and should have been taught. During my years as a teacher, I sought to correct much of the lack of information, researching after hours, and in the last few years, became more and more interested in the foundations of this country. Most people simply do not know the rich history of our country, the centuries preceding, and all that went into the U.S. Constitution, the deep lessons and understanding contained within those words. And science is another frontier I could write volumes on. **Many of the problems we see today are greatly due to people growing up unaware and not educated about our country, the men and women responsible for freedom, and this is not being related to the many who need it in order to lead our country out of the difficulties we face today. Home schooling parents, truly high quality teachers (I’ve only been able to meet a few over the decades.), and truly educational programs can make a difference. And it’s extremely necessary for parents to learn about our country, about the founding fathers, read the federalist papers, read about Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, George Washington, and more, from their own words, also including John Locke and Montesque, which will open doors for more reading, and this should be shared with their children, for it will open the eyes of the Amazing Quality that is real America. I understand better the words of one good man who said he was a voice crying in the wilderness, for I suppose, he saw so many who didn’t understand and didn’t seem to want to know. But it’s parents and quality educators, not seeking to propagandize or work only for retirement, but to truly pass on real understanding and encourage others to think for themselves and research that will make the future bright again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that what’s missing from our American education is lessons about what happened in history that we can learn from. My concern is that the modern education is trying to change history to fit today’s times. That’s not what history is about. We need to show the good, the bad and the ugly but also understand that was how things were done back then. We need to stop demonizing people in the past because they hadn’t learned how to do things better . As the saying goes “If we do not learn from our history then we are doomed to repeat it.”

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  7. Isn’t this all a mess? Thanks to our PA governor0, who drives me nuts, school districts are truly scrambling to figure out what to do, how to do it, etc. I watched our school board meeting on zoom just to see what was happening because they were see-sawing back and forth on whether to open up or not. And my oldest grandchild goes to kindergarten this year. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone just as public school isn’t right for every student. You do what’s best for your kid, no matter what. I agree though that before all of this covid paranoia, homeschooling was frowned on but we have friends who very successfully home-schooled their children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If he would stop making decisions during press conferences that might help 🙄 “what’s that? Oh yeah — sure— we should wait a year to have sports. See you later!!” “But, sir, what data do you have that says we should do that?!” Waving as he drives away in his SUV they put bids out for when all the other car dealerships were forced to close

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You know I am going to be checking out all of your links! I am vaccilating between excitement and nerves about homeschooling. My husband who was totally against it at first (pre-Covid) is not all in, and has even mentioned that we should just consider it for the long term. So fingers crossed for me this year! I am sure I will email you once school starts and I freak out. LOL. I am happy too though, that we went this route. Wyatt would never wear a mask all day, he touches everything, and would not benefit through online distance learning on the computer all day. So, I am confident in my choice in that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I truly think this is the best thing for Wyatt. Even his doctor said how well he’s doing since you started. This isn’t saying you can’t enroll him in programs in a different school setting later. Most states allow homeschooling children to have access to services within the district they are part of as well so check into your state’s homeschool laws. Some children excel when they are taught one on one. There have been many articles about how much employers and colleges like kids who are homeschooled because they are self motivated and rarely need to have their hands held. They’ve been taught to do things for themselves, think for themselves and have been socialized with all ages – not only their age groups. There are resources in a public school setting for a student with Wyatt’s challenges that will help him, yes, but as far as helping him from the standpoint of him as a whole person teaching him one on one is going to benefit him even more I think.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. dolphinwrite says:

        You’re child is everything. Kudos.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you so much Lisa. As we get closer I am freaking out a little bit more. LOL. I think if this goes well, we might keep doing it through elementary but we will play it by ear. I have always wanted to homeschool so here is my chance. Yikes! I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement so much!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m actually getting nervous too. I’m trying to act all confident but when I think about lesson plans and preparing for our first week I get butterflies and have to go distract myself with something else. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Do we? 😭😭😭 hold me! 😂😂 just kidding

        Liked by 1 person

  9. dolphinwrite says:

    As a teacher, I encouraged parents to visit my classroom, though with time and politics, I realized some might create difficulties. That’s sad. Today, I would encourage parents to sit with their child, one day, and imagine sitting their every day of the year. That might encourage more to home school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Between the doors being locked because of shootings and now COVID, it’s like parents can never be involved in their child’s education in school. Weird world we live in.

      Like

  10. I homeschooled both our girls from kindergarten to high school and I thank the Lord for the privilege. I would do so again And again because it was the best decision for our family

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It isn’t right for everyone and I know it’s going to be a challenge for many parents this year but I really think there will be a lot of good that comes from it too. I know I’ve really enjoyed it and our time together.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kat says:

    The more relaxed and child-oriented approach to homeschooling is definitely really appealing right now. My son just started first grade and right now all of the first grade teachers are battling the district about having a more flexible schedule for these little 6 year olds who only had half a year of Kindergarten in classrooms. It makes us hopeful, but, if it doesn’t work out, I guess I’ll get to be the homeschooling mom I’ve been thinking of becoming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s all so challenging and I hate it. I am not anti-public school so it’s hard for me to see these kids having to face all these challenges. I know why they are necessary but it’s still hard to see. I would have liked to have sent my son to our little school this year but he almost passes out from wearing a mask in the store, let alone a six hour or more school day. That and his allergies….. it would not be good. And my almost 6 year old? Please. She would never keep that mask on. I’m not putting a teacher through that. lol.

      Hang in there. It’s going to work out. One way or another. I know you’ll be great either way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kat says:

        Thanks, Lisa! It’s a strange one day at a time kind of thing, but absolutely much better than having kids wear masks. As good as my son is at following rules, I think he’s drawing the line at wearing masks he can barely breathe out of. Our state has arranged for elementary schools in districts that meet certain criteria to reopen and I just wonder how on Earth they’re going to get 5-10 year olds wearing masks for an entire school day 5 days a week.

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      2. In Pennsylvania our governor changes his mind on a whim and says they have to wear masks all day. Every other day he makes statements in the media about what schools should do but never makes it official which leaves the districts completely confused about what they are legally supposed to be doing. I feel awful for them. Many districts are offering virtual learning and the parents are rushing to it because the governor keeps adding new rules. The latest seems to be masks at all times – on bus, in hallway as, even if they are six feet apart. Parents are pissed because they had already made plans and a few days before school was set to open he changed the requirements again. I don’t understand what working parents are supposed to do when things keep changing like this. They can’t make plans for work and how to have their kids educated. Fine If the state wants to make rules but make them and stick with them. For me this isn’t politics. I don’t care what party the guy is from – he’s completely all over the map. Even his own party is getting confused. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. kat says:

        Wow, that is confusing! That’s the question my husband and I have: how are working parents supposed to handle all of this? No one here seems to have actually answered it. My son’s school, at least, is emphasizing having grace and understanding this year isn’t going to go perfectly, but as long as we do our best, it’ll be fine. But I also wonder how many students have already missed the first few days of school. This is just not the best time to be a parent with school-aged kids. There’s a city near us that’s decided to open classrooms where students can be 6 feet apart and do virtual learning without a teacher in the classroom. My only thought is, great, the students can be infected instead of the teachers and then they can spread it to everyone else. I know everyone’s trying to solve the problem, but there are just too many bad ideas out there. The vaccine cannot be ready fast enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Except vaccines usually take years to develop so that’s going to be a screwed up situation too if it’s rushed I’m afraid but I’m hoping not! 🙄 oy! The confusion and drama of it all makes my head hurt. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. kat says:

        That’s my fear, too, but my husband is a scientist in a related field, so he’s keeping a very close eye on it. He keeps saying it’s looking really good, but as long as people stop going out and spreading it because it just makes it mutate and might make the vaccine not as effective. It is much too dramatic, but I’m so antsy to get back out there, I’ll take any shred of hope I can get these days.

        Like

      6. But if they don’t go out they will never build immunity to it or other viruses either at this point. Bit of a catch 22…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. kat says:

        I imagine schools will be empty when there’s a working vaccine and everything’s back to normal because the kids are catching up on all the colds they missed, and then they’ll pass it to us. It’ll be fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Oh gosh … never thought Of it that way! Craziness! I want to laugh and cry at the same time! 😂😭😭😭😅 it’s enough to make my head hurt — so yeah we have a summer cold in my family right now. We called our daughter’s pediatrician to double check what we should do and she said our daughter’s illness is following the pattern of a cold that’s going around so to see how it played our. Her fever was gone in two days. Now I have it. It sure puts you on edge but one thing is that Where we live there have been more negative tests than positives. We have that going for us at least — I think but I don’t know because then I read about all the false negatives that can happen. 😳 it all makes my head spin, Kat!!! Hold me! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. kat says:

        Okay, I’m about ready to move to where you are. Where I am, we’re not doing well at all and I’m sure the recent protests are not going to help one bit. It’s good to know, though, that there’s been a summer cold going around. My daughter had a 2 day fever that worried us a few days ago, so now I’m constantly checking the rest of us for anything strange. The multisystemic condition some kids have been getting has been slowly rising here, so I’m kind of freaking out. Kind of glad kids aren’t in schools right now! Even scarier that the flu is around the corner and it’ll be impossible to tell what anyone has without a reliable test, and we all know how many false positives and negatives are out there. Some days I’m ready to squeeze my cat and hyperventilate. But I hope your family is feeling better! Good thing it isn’t anything more serious.

        Like

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