A look back

Image Credit: divulgewithdani.blogspot.com

Wow, we have talked about homeschooling A LOT. Through my writing, I hope you have come away with three things:

1. Don’t judge people on their appearances. Seriously people, even if someone looks “nerdy,” does not mean that he is a lesser human being. In fact, unique people are often the ones worth getting to know. In several of my posts, I’ve tried to debunk myths about the stereotypical nerdy homeschooler. However, those “nerdy” homeschoolers are really great people and if you judge them on appearance, you’ll lose a great chance at getting to know some amazing people.

2. Homeschooling is a legitimate form of education. Homeschooling doesn’t offer all the same opportunities as public schooling (although it offers many of them), and that’s okay. Because of homeschooling, I have had the opportunities to travel all over the U.S. and to other countries. Because of homeschooling, Because of homeschooling, I love to explore and learn new things.

3. Try homeschooling on your  future children. Because of homeschooling, my family is the second most important thing in my life (Jesus takes the cake). Homeschooling is worth it just for this. Growing up with my siblings as best friends and learning from my parents’ life experiences taught me more valuable lessons than I could ever learn in 12 years of classroom lectures.

So, think about homeschooling. If you have kids, or plan to someday, start considering how you want to raise them. If you homeschool them, chances are they won’t turn out normal. They may just be unique, interesting, and intelligent. And that is vastly better than normal.

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5 Things Every Homeschooler Should Do

Homeschooling is a lifestyle. Let’s face it: We’re different. Often, however, homeschooling carries with it the implication that because we’re different, we also miss out on certain things. Sometimes this is true, but homeschoolers also have many opportunities to experience things others don’t. At any rate, here are five things every well-rounded homeschooler should do.

1. Join a group.

Although homeschoolers have many opportunities, sometimes we don’t take advantage of them. Honestly, it’s easy to get isolated. So join a group. It might be a school sport, extracurricular group, or a club like 4-H. Try to find ways to connect with people.

2. Do school in your pajamas.

Some families are less open to this than others, but I highly recommend doing it at least once. In my home, we used to have “jammie days” about once a week. No, it’s probably not a good idea every day, but it can be fun once in a while. And there are those who would question your legitimacy as a homeschoolers if you have not had this experience.

3. Bless your family.

As homeschoolers, we spend a LOT of time with our families. It’s easy to focus on school work rather than caring for the people around us. Remember that you really do care about your family and do something unexpected. Volunteer to do the breakfast dishes or quiz your sister on her biology definitions. It can change the tone of the entire day.

4. Volunteer.

Simply because of our flexible schedules, homeschoolers are able to be involved in ways public school students cannot. Take advantage of this. There were many times when my sisters and I were able to bless someone by babysitting for them during the day.

5. Take a stroll around town in the middle of the day.

Okay, this last one is kind of a joke. I’m not necessarily recommending it, and you will probably get some funny looks. But it can be fun.

Have you experienced any of these? What would you add to my list?

Kayla

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The game of books

Image Credit: thehungergames.travsbestdeals.com

 

If you could be any character in The Hunger Games, who would you be?

I still can’t decide between Peeta, Effie Trinket, and Primrose. I would choose Peeta or Primrose because these two have goodness and make sacrifices for the people they love. Effie, on the other hand, is rather clueless and does things out of the goodness of her twisted sense of kindness. Her actions, though shallow, have the right motives and she doesn’t get hurt as badly as the other characters do.

I devoured The Hunger Games over Christmas Break. As you can tell, I’ve deeply analyzed the themes of the story. Immersing myself in these books brought me back to my youth, when I was a skinny bespectacled child who read books for fun. Anne of Green Gables, Aslan, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes…they were all great friends.

As part of home education, my mother had the freedom to make most of my homework reading-based. Looking back, I am so blessed to have been fed books at a young age, all because of the freedom provided by homeschooling.

Today, my list of books to read someday when I have time has grown to 26 different works. Theology, historical fiction, muckracking journalism, and classical works have all made the list. I can’t wait until I get another chance to devour books for fun. I can’t wait for my next Hunger Games.

And for the record, this girl is going to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games on March 23rd. The books were that good. Watch the trailer here: Hunger Games Trailer

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A “Penniless” America – Better Off?

 

The penny is probably the most patriotic piece of money in America. Featuring a favorite president of many, the copper coin is as American as apple pie. Unfortunately, however, recent studies show that the penny is declining in use.

In his February 17 article on cnn.com, Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University calls for the elimination of the penny. He points out that, statistically speaking, pennies are not worth the time it takes to fumble for them. Nevertheless, businesses pay out more pennies than they receive, so the demand continues, even though once they get into the hands of people, they tend to just sit around and collect dust.

President Obama thinks he has the answer to this problem. He recently asked Congress to change the mix of metal that goes into each penny to try to lower the 2.4 cents it currently takes to mint one penny. Whaples, however, is skeptical. “The bottom line,” he said, “is that even if pennies could be created out of thin air, the cost of our time would outweigh the gains from using the penny.” Sad, but true.

Homeschooling is another integral part of America that was once considered to be not worth the “trouble” it caused. Unlike the penny, however, homeschooling is growing. According to a September 2011 infographic by Course Hero, homeschooling has exploded in the last 30 years, growing by a whopping 919%.

Homeschooling is also anything but useless. Years of experience have proven that homeschooling is a highly successful education method, and more and more parents are choosing it every year. The penny may be on its way out, but homeschooling isn’t going anywhere.

What do you think? (about the penny or homeschooling, or both!)

Kayla

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3 misconceptions about homeschoolers

  1. Legal issues

True Story: When my siblings and I were in elementary school, my mother enrolled us in a homeschooling co-op group. We would go on field trips, have holiday parties, and even volunteered at the nursing home. One day, while we children were caroling for the nursing home residents, my mom was talking to a sweet, elderly lady. The conversation went something like this:

(Elderly lady) “Those kiddies are so sweet. What school are they all from?”

(My mom) “Well, actually, those three are mine, and all of us moms homeschool our children.”

(Elderly lady) “NO! Is that even legal?”

2.  Clothing

Unfortunately, homeschoolers have a reputation of having zero sense of style. Denim jumpers, stretch pants, turtlenecks, and giant glasses are all stereotypical parts of a typical homeschooler’s wardrobe. And sorry folks, it’s only a stereotype because there is some truth to it. Most of us dress somewhat normally. And for those of us who don’t, try not to judge. Contrary to The Devil Wears Prada, clothes don’t make the person and you will miss out if you judge people by their clothing, even if they were homeschooled.

3.  Sports

Whenever I tell people that I played sports on a home-school team, I get strange looks. Not only because the idea of homeschoolers having their own teams is foreign, but also the notion that homeschoolers have the same level of athletic ability as the average public schooler is hard for some people to fathom. Nevertheless, we can, and do play sports, and

Photo Credit: MySpace.com

some of us are quite good. Take a look at Tim Tebow and Blake Griffin. It’s possible.

So, there you go. Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t judge a kid by his education. Messy Mondays does a great job of summing up even more common misconceptions about homeschoolers.

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3 reasons homeschoolers are NOT socially awkward

All right. I suppose it’s about time we address perhaps the most prevalent perception about homeschoolers: being socially awkward. Stereotypically, homeschoolers are shy, homely creatures – very uncomfortable in social environments and basically unable to interact normally with other people. It’s true that there are probably homeschoolers out there who do struggle with these issues. However, many more are NOT socially awkward and here’s why:

1. They’ve had more interaction with people of widely-varying ages.

Rather than spending their days in public schools surrounded by peers, homeschoolers generally come into contact with people much older and younger. When my sisters and I got together with other homeschoolers, there were usually some people around our own ages, but there were also students younger and older than us. We also had a lot of exposure to other adults simply because of the different kinds of opportunities we had.

2. They’re flexible.

It’s pretty obvious, but homeschoolers tend to be quite flexible. Our lifestyle demands it. Structure is important, but within the structure, we learn to do things in different ways. One example is learning styles. If something doesn’t work, homeschoolers have the flexibility to try something new. We have a think-outside-the-box mentality that easily lends itself to social situations.

3. They have a strong support system.

Because of their situation, homeschoolers get much more one-on-one interaction and attention. They usually have very strong family bonds. Growing up in such a supportive, safe environment with people who care about and encourage them does wonders for a child’s self-esteem. This situation is not unique to homeschoolers, but it is certainly very prevalent simply because of the types of values that usually lead parents to homeschool.

Bottom line: homeschoolers may not be “cool,” but they’re not necessarily socially awkward.

Just because they don’t embody the latest trends does not mean homeschoolers are unable to function socially. They may interact with peers a bit “differently,” but more than likely, that’s a good thing.

What has played the biggest role in your social growth?

Kayla

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Waiting on Valentine’s Day

Whether today is Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, or just an average Tuesday for you, you probably have an opinion about this day of romantic celebration. I can’t say that I’ve always looked forward to Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bitter single just chomping at the bit to get “hitched.” Actually, I’m a little tired of those people who are chomping at that proverbial “bit.”

I was talking with my friend, Brienna, the other day about a view that many more conservative homeschoolers have about singleness. They like to refer to it as “a time of waiting.” Usually this implies that you are waiting for your future spouse. As my friend Bethany told me today, “If singleness is a time of waiting, then you’re always waiting. Waiting to get married, waiting to have your first kid, waiting for kids to graduate, waiting for your retirement.” You get the idea; this waiting game turns into a vicious cycle of always looking ahead and never living the moment for all it’s worth.

So if you’re single this Valentine’s Day, remember that today is part of God’s plan for your life. He’s working in you right now. You don’t have to wait for the man or woman of your dreams to come along in order to start your life. God is a day-by-day God. He wants you now. He’s not waiting for you to find anyone because if you’ve already fallen for him, then you don’t need to wait any longer.

P.S. Just to throw in a little humor, see how Jostie Flicks tries to speed up the waiting game by trying to Catch a Man.

~Zoey

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