Friday, May 21, 2010

There be too much history.

For the past couple of weeks Damm and I have been faithfully spending an hour each day working on our respective summer projects-he on his writing and me on Spanish and history. I had previously mentioned wanting to create some sort of series that I’d work on throughout the summer. I did a bit of brainstorming and decided that I should write essays on bits of fun and fascinating history. Then I started thinking up topic ideas and realized that I didn’t have enough time to randomly pick subjects, research them, and then write entertainingly. So I decided to pick one area of focus. It came down to either Modern Russia or the Civil War Era, since these are the two history courses I’ll be taking in the fall. I chose the Civil War. And even then I have not narrowed my focus enough. The essays one could write on the American Civil War … the possibilities are endless.

And so I’m in the process of redefining what I will write/research. I’m in the midst of gathering info for a short fact sheet on the Civil War: important dates, important people, etc. And I consulted with my dad and I have a couple of generals I’d like to write about. All that’s good-but I don’t think I can deviate from the facts just yet. I shall be simply presenting facts, albeit in my own unique manner. I would like to write about cause and effect, the import of issues, why certain things happened. I’m just not there. I haven’t been exposed to enough history. And of course my munchkins demand most of my time so I can’t read much history outside of my class readings.

Good news? I’m already thinking like a grad student. I’ve been researching colleges that offer Masters in history online, since my focus will shift towards homeschooling the Orclette and Miniorc after I get my BA and school for me has to be flexible. I’m giving myself up to 5 years to complete my Masters. Anyway, I was reading the course objectives one college gave for their Masters program, and everything I’ve been wanting to do this summer aligns with their stated goals. So, patience grasshopper. I’ll get thereJ


Steve said...

Homeschooling? Seriously? Why?

bobreaze said...

Everyone is entitled to how they choose to raise their children. I hope home schooling works out well, please make suer you involve the kids in activities with other children. so they can become adjusted to social interaction whenever they venture into the work force or college. I know you dont need this tip though you and your husband seem like awesome parents.

Dammerung said...

Myself and Wulfa were both homeschooled.

For the schooling/grades side of things we're both A students now and have been most of our lives.

As for social side of things we were both very active outside of our homes, Wulfa in particular with the soccer world and myself with volunteer works in my hometown at the time.

As we've both been able to get and keep jobs and have a social network and continue our education I'd say the experiment turned out fine.

So we figured to use it on our kids. We like the control it gives us over the quality of their education. I've always felt that my education was better than most public schools and some private. This is based on discussions with fellow college students and friends.

Now I know my education was NOTHING as nice as something you might get in an Ivy League style private school for the very wealthy but *shrug*.

Anyways thats a short unedited why but thats what you get on a morning where the orclette is leaning over my laptop saying "daddy what is this? daddy what is that?"

Beowulfa said...

We have chosen to homeschool because we believe it to be a superior choice for our family. Both of us were homeschooled and are turning in stellar performances in college, as are our siblings. Both of us were socialized with all age groups, not just our peers. In public/private schools kids typically interact with only their age group. Homeschooling allowed our parents to school us according to how we learned best-auditory, visual, or kinetic-and didn't force us into a mold.

As to social interaction ... my brothers and I were very involved with soccer from an early age and ended up playing at a competitive level. We were involved in our church and attended homeschooling co-ops. I attended a music school run by and for homeschoolers and competed at the Division level with other public schools in music. I attended soccer camps and music camps, as did my brothers. We took numerous field trips and my mother turned almost everything into a learning activity and made it fun. I would venture to say that we were more socialized than most of our public school counterparts.

Most people hear about the abnormal homeschoolers. What they don't hear is that homeschoolers get into the top colleges, they have top SAT, ACT, etc. scores. I can tell a homeschooler apart from other kids because they typically don't think according to any one mold. This is not to say that public/private school kids do not excel ... I have seen many smart, motivated, and accomplished kids who have been educated the traditional route. And I am not against public/private schooling-once my kids hit the high school years we will consider letting them go to a public or private school. It is easier to get scholarships for sports, music, and so on through traditional schooling.

Very long-winded response, but both Damm and I have thought about this a lot. And our parents thought through their decision to homeschool us and faced extreme opposition and ridicule from family members. Family members who later apologized because they saw how well we were doing.

Some object to homeschooling because not all parents have a degree. My mother did not have a degree (my father has his Masters in Electrical Engineering) and Damm's parents did not have a degree when they homeschooled. You don't need one, frankly. You have to have the desire to teach your kids and the energy to research how. And the ability to acknowledge when you need outside help. Educators in the traditional system do need extra training because they are managing larger classroom sizes and that is incredibly different from homeschooling. I have a healthy respect for educators-they get scant praise for the extraordinary efforts they go to to teach kids in a system that works against them and is more and more forcing them to teach kids to pass a test.

I realize homeschooling is not for everyone. Not everyone has the option of homeschooling. But for my kids it is the best option.

bobreaze said...

See if every homeschooling was like yours then its is the supperior choice. Thank you for replying. + respect btw i think your kids will turn out great.

one of my best friends was homeschooled, it set him back a year in high school but his school in florida let him take computer classes. so that when he graduated high school he also got an associates degree in Computer network technology. I think it worked out better for him. Wish i had that option when i was in high school.

PS. im going to do a post about my family soon, i think i want a more personal touch in my blog on occasion. SImilar to how yours and your husbands is.

Steve said...

I have my doubts about homeschooling in general, but it sounds like you're planning to do it the right way.

Certainly, there are a lot of successful homeschooled kids. When you watch the National Spelling Bee, for example, there are a ton of them.

I'm an educator, and I deal with a LOT of homeschooled students. In my experience, the VAST majority of homeschooled kids are kept out of public school for the wrong reasons. Typically, its parents trying to shelter their kids from the perceived evils of the general population. Often its religious reasons. Occasionally its because the parents think they are smarter than the teachers (usually untrue). These parents make their decisions without considering whether they are qualified to provide a good home education. Unfortunately, those kids often receive a very poor homeschool experience.

Its those parents who reflect badly on the entire homeschooling option. If your kids come out ahead, with a varied and thorough preparation for higher education, then more power to you.

The other interesting thing here is that if you're planning to homeschool, that kind of implies that you're going to be at home and not working. It seems like you're going through a lot of effort to get a degree in order to be a stay at home parent. That's not a positive or negative, just an observation.

Dammerung said...

Several states require both parents to hsve degrees to legally homeschool. I am military and won't be able to guarantee that we live in a homeschool friendly state.

Dammerung said...

Also after the kids are gone a degree is handy.

Beowulfa said...

@Steve: as Damm said, some states require a degree to homeschool. And besides that, getting a degree is something I have always felt I needed to do, and right now I have the opportunity to get one. And it can only make me a better guide for my kids' education:)