Two Finished Projects

When I was homeschooling, I tried to make time for sewing, and sometimes I actually got some, thanks to my husband who watched the kids so I could sew uninterrupted. Back then, I promised myself that my post-homeschooling life would include plenty of sewing. And so it does!

Here’s what I made in July and August (machine-pieced, machine-quilted):

Stretched Stars

Stretched Stars

I also finished a project I began last fall, and worked on while watching DVDs with my husband in the evenings:

Embroidered pillow (downloadable pattern from www.connectingthreads.com)

Embroidered pillow (downloadable pattern from www.connectingthreads.com)

Both were fun projects. I have more quilts on the way but haven’t found a new hand-stitching project yet.

Overstock Sale! Save 75% off Guide to Homeschooling in print

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My book,The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling (retail $11.95), is on sale for just $2.99 in print! That’s a 75% savings….click HERE to snag a copy.

Prefer eBooks? We’ve put the eBook on sale for $2.99, too. It’s available at Amazon for the Kindle and at Barnes and Noble for the Nook.

Are Introverted Children Being Drugged?

In light of my recent (see archives for March and April 2014) series on introverts, I’d like to add this article, which speculates that introverted children are being misdiagnosed as having special needs or even being mentally ill, when in reality there’s nothing wrong with them. Worse, parents are most often the ones pushing for medication for their children who don’t fit the prescribed mold.

How awful for these children! As one commenter put it:

I’m shy and bookish I’m not mentally ill I’m introvert living in a extroverts world.

Pre-Teens, Internet Access and Attempted Murder

A tragedy just occurred in a town not far from here. Two 12-year-old girls played out a terrible fantasy based on a website they often visited that resulted in them luring their 12-year-old friend into the woods and stabbing her: she survived but is clinging to life.

The owner of the website denies that it’s anything but a literature site. But according to the two girls, it propelled them to do something very evil.

Some people are going to say that the website should be shut down. Others will say that it was never meant for children in the first place.

But the bottom line is that these girls had access to the site. Their parents may not have even known about the site, because thanks to today’s technology, anyone can have easy and private access to anything on the Web.

It seems so long ago that we had a computer set up in our dining room, where we could supervise Internet surfing and thus allowed our children limited access to the Internet. As they grew older, they could afford their own computers in their own rooms. At that point, we could no longer see what they were accessing, but they were nearly adults by then and we had to trust them.

Now, young children have total access to the Internet, and to the many good and bad things available on it. Kids are being bullied on Facebook and other social sites. Some have committed suicide because of that.

Once, it was considered entirely reasonable for parents to strictly limit their children’s intake of all forms of media, and even of books they considered inappropriate. But since the ascent of the Internet, it seems that most kids are allowed free access to anything they can find. And now we’re seeing the sad results of that policy.

What’s Worse? Uneducated Homeschool Parents or Negligent Ones?

 

At the grocery store checkout counter yesterday, I got to hear the cashier and bagger, both middle-aged women, talk about homeschooling.

These gals were discussing which of their fellow employees were homeschooled. They agreed that most of their homeschooled coworkers seem quite well-socialized and normal. (It’s always a relief when I hear that, because it means I don’t have to give my standard “Just because someone doesn’t wear hip clothes, have a tattooed forehead or have three kids by three baby daddies doesn’t mean they’re not socialized” speech.)

Anyways, the cashier then noted that her sister had chosen to homeschool but made a mess of her kids, that they had turned out very awkward, and stupid to boot, but she thought the stupid part came from her sister, who wasn’t very bright to begin with and clearly had no business homeschooling anyways.

Fortunately our transaction concluded right then, so I didn’t get into a discussion of whether stupid people should be able to homeschool their children. While I believe that every parent has the right to decide where their children will be educated, I understand why people assume that you must be super-smart to homeschool your kids. But they’re wrong, of course, because a highly motivated (though not highly educated) homeschooling parent can learn right alongside their children after they reach the limits of their own education. Case in point: I’ve often noted that I never understood geometric proofs until I had to teach them to my kids. The best I could do was to stay one step ahead of them on that subject; you can imagine their delight whenever I’d forget something and they got to correct me.

So I don’t care whether or not a homeschool parent is a genius. I know that if they’re motivated, they’ll find a way to make sure their child learns what they need to know. If a subject is too complicated for them, they’ll find another way for their child to learn that subject. Heck, I did that too, like when I sent one of my kids to a local college for chemistry class (science wasn’t exactly my strong suit).

Again, as long as a parent is motivated to homeschool, they’ll make sure their child learns what they need to know. I don’t worry about those parents. But I do worry about another kind of parent.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve recently been made aware of a couple of situations where parents are keeping their kids out of school in order to homeschool them, but then just aren’t homeschooling them.

(I’m not talking unschooling; the unschooling parents I’ve known over the years were very concerned about their children’s education and made sure to raise them in a rich learning environment. They just didn’t use formal curriculum, preferring child-led learning instead.)

No, the parents I’m referring to aren’t educating their kids at all. This blows my mind. I’ve never known anyone to do that before (and I’ve met a lot of homeschooling families over the years!) Such parents are:

  • doing a huge disservice to their kids,
  • abdicating their role as parents, and
  • in some cases, breaking the law, because in most states, there are educational requirements for all children.

I have no clue why these negligent parents won’t send their kids to school if they’re not going to bother to educate them at home. But I feel very sorry for their kids, and also for the conscientious homeschooling families who will be tarred with the same brush once outsiders hear about these parenting failures.