Monday, August 29, 2011

Unsocialized Homeschoolers

School has begun at our house. Well, sort of.

Katie has finished her 7th grade Switched on Schoolhouse program, and Amanda and I have begun working on some remedial things. Sort of.

I have this philosophical issue with school starting before Labor Day, and the official end of summer. We have done some school work since all the girls' public school friends are back in school, and thus, not around during the day. And the pool doesn't open until 4:00 PM now, so we can't go laze around the water either.

But, we will do a bit of math and language arts with Amanda. I will set up Katie's 8th grade curriculum, but will give her a couple of weeks off. And, we are starting a serious reading program.

What has me boggled is how we got into so many activities! Today Katie starts soccer practice with the local Christian school in the hopes of making their team. If she makes it, she will be at practice Monday, Wednesday & Friday with games on Saturday.

Wednesdays will be particularly challenging, since I have to be a choir practice by 6:00 and Katie's practice lasts until 5:00. I'll have to run her home for a quick shower and then back to church - did I mention practice is actually at the church?

Wednesday night programs at church start back in earnest this week. Amanda loves going to Awanas, so we definitely have a commitment for Wednesday nights.

After Labor Day, and our trip to the beach for a week, we add other activities. Amanda will be going to art class on Mondays, we have a homeschool co-op all day on Fridays, and guitar and drum lessons twice a month. (I still have to figure out how I can get Katie to soccer practice at 3:30 when Amanda's art class doesn't end until 3:30)

All of this got me to pondering how in the world anyone in their right mind could think a homeschooled child is lacking in socialization! My kids are busy, and involved with other homeschooled kids. They attend church with a mix of kids in different schooling options. They play with kids in the neighborhood who go to public or charter schools.

We don't live in a cave. We are not in a commune somewhere or homesteading away from the entire world. Seriously, how do you not have any socialization?

Maybe people mean the kind of socialization that is prevalent in schools today. Class time when they cannot talk. Quiet time at lunch. Recess which involves a planned physical activity which can be counted towards PE time instead of free play and peer interaction.

Or maybe it means exposure to what is deemed appropriate socialization in society today. Dating early, unsupervised afternoons, detached parenting, pressure to achieve and be #1 or not try at all, "family" tv viewing that is anything but family oriented.

Possibly it is the idea that our kids are socialized to be "open minded" and "tolerant" by being exposed to alternate lifestyle options or curriculum demeaning the true basis of the founding of our nation. Or being tolerant of every other view except the Christian view. (Example being the PA announcement I heard right before we started homeschooling, "Attention teachers - please remember that none of your bulletin board items can say "Easter", they must say Spring.")

Stepping on some toes here no doubt. And, I realize that many people whose kids are in public school are strongly reinforcing a Christian worldview and taking a hand in countering the politically correct agenda.

Whatever the case may be, we have chosen to homeschool our children. We have chosen to tailor our teaching and curriculum to their particular styles of learning, and their interests and talents. We have chosen to teach them with a Christian Worldview which means seeing the world through the lens of the Bible and Jesus.

And it means interacting with all types of people. All ages. All races. All religions, orientations and whatever else people choose to define themselves as. It means loving them and being Christ to all of them. THAT my friends, is socialization.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I am constantly amazed at how two kids from the same gene pool can be so totally different. Katie and Amanda are like day and night, as are most siblings.

But lately, I have been watching the cats a noticing their different personalities. It is quite interesting, and since we have a plethora of cats, quite entertaining.

First, there is Topaz. He is the full grown cat we got at the shelter, Of course the shelter told us he was a she, so it is a wonder he doesn't have an identity crisis from being called "her' for 2 years!.

Topaz is our big gentle giant. He is HUGE and was once mistaken for a beaver (no kidding). He is the first one at the food bowl, and loves to give you head butts.

Next is Peach. Peach leads a charmed life. When we met the man at the animal shelter, he had just picked up then kitten Peach. Amanda immediately  fell in love with him, and Peach's feet never touched the bottom of a shelter cage.

Peach is quiet, and sweet, and knows he has a good life. Unlike some of the other cats he had never had a yen to bolt out and open door. He knows what he has.

Tiger is the other cat who we rescued from the shelter. She is a stealthy, hunting machine. She can jump unbelievably high, and perches in the highest spot she can find. She likes to carry off socks, and play with pipe cleaners.

Tiger and Peach produced a litter of 5 kittens - 3 of which still live with us. (The other two found new loving homes). The kittens are Fluff, Wiggles and Raccoon.

Fluff is just like his name - I giant fluff ball. He is loving and is always the first in line for a handout of people food. His meow is quite annoying, especially when he is sitting outside of Katie's room crying for her to let him in!

Wiggles is not wiggly, just skittish. If you looked up the term "scaredy cat" in the encyclopedia, her picture would be there. But she has lovely golden eyes, and likes to steal drinking straws from cups.

Lastly is Raccoon. She is a mottled mix of gray and brown, and her face does look raccoonish - although in reverse. She is sneaky. Nothing more to say about her.

The cats are fun and provide great entertainment. I am glad they are all different, just like all of Gods creatures!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Need an Alice

I need an Alice. Remember Alice from the Brady Bunch? The live in housekeeper who did all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and even went on all the family vacations?

Where does one find an Alice, because I desperately need one. I cannot get on top of getting my house in order, and home school my kids at the same time. Maybe it would be easier if we weren't here all the time, but I like my kids and love home schooling.

So, the answer is to get an Alice. I am not sure where she would live though. We don't have one of those secret spare rooms off our kitchen. I suppose we could put a cot up for her in the garage.

Maybe if I had an Alice I could be that Mom with the smart hair do (preferably a little more modern that Carol Brady's shag), groovy clothes and I could sit and needlepoint and dispense sage motherly advise with a smile of my face.

After all, if I didn't have to stress out over the sad state of my home, what's for dinner, and locating all the lost items that only I can seem to find, I would be able to think clearly and provide intelligent answers to burning questions too!

If I had an Alice, she could work her magic while we were doing school or at co-op or on any of our other assorted and sundry field trips and errands. Shoot, if I had an Alice and she would clean for me and do my laundry, I would gladly grocery shop for her!

I don't think my Alice would want to go on vacation with us though. I mean, when you live with the family you take care of, don't you need to kick back by yourself and let them go to wherever without you? Hmmm, maybe theres a message for me there...

I'd even be glad to give her time off so she could date her own version of Sam the Butcher. I am all for love as long as she doesn't get married and leave before my kids are grown.

So, anyone know where I can get an Alice?