Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh Brother, M, & Doo-Dah

Oh Brother, M & Doo-Dah
Oh Brother (a.k.a. Flip) is our third of three blue eyed boys.  He's apprehensive around new people but is really a neat kid.  And smart, too.  We have a deal, he and I.  I am going to throw him birthday parties every year and he can have whatever he wants for supper.  That's my part of the deal.  His part of the deal?  He is always going to turn three.  Pretty good deal, huh?

M is our only curly top.  She's twelve at the time of this post and has a variety of transient interests.  She writes sometimes and then she crafts for a while and then it's on to something else.  Sharing is actually one of her best skills.

Doo-Dah (a.k.a. Doodle or Dood - but he won't respond if anyone else but me calls him by these names) is our firstborn.  He's 18 today.  That, folks, is down right craziness.  High school graduation day is the first of June this year.  THIS YEAR!  Oy.  He taught himself banjo and guitar a few years ago and recently bought his own banjo.

That means we've been home schooling for somewhere between 6 months and 75 years.  Doodle says, "It's been only twelve years or so, you know."  OK.  Twelve years.  I taught him subtraction so I guess he's probably right.

When we got married, we had already decided we would home school any children we would have.  In theory, I should have known that the "we" in this case would largely be "me," but you'll find that I've never been good at foreseeing the details.  We had reasons to home school.  They were great reasons, too.

And things went great with those reasons, too.  We got a few questions and some doubtful glances but we knew we could overcome those things.  Confidence was ours and we had strong, solid reasons for our choice.

So, then we had children.

But that's OK.  We were still strong in our convictions.  Great reasons.  It would be a powerful experience with strong family, the joy of learning and a natural, loving way to share our convictions with our children.

Then we were home schooling.

It was a new gig so it took a while to get some things worked.  But the problems we had didn't have things like organization, curriculum, or learning styles at their core.

The problem was all those great reasons.  Don't get confused on me here.  They really were great reasons.  They just weren't our reasons.

But now that we have made it through the struggling of those first years, we DO have our own reasons.  I'll share them because a) they might help you find some reasons of your own and b) it's all part of "how I do it".

Home school is efficient. I can teach my child to read from knowing no letter/sound pairings to a 2nd grade level in about 15 min a day, 5 days a week in just over a year.  It will cost me less than $50 in materials to do this task.  I can teach them math from knowing only single digit recognition to decimal long division in about 15 more minutes, 5 days a week in about 3 years.  Materials for that, if I order everything in it's most complete form, is about $150.  

My children have less prejudice. Now THAT could make some waves. I intend to explore the how and why I've come to this conclusion, but until then I'll just note what others have said about this.  

  • "Your children seem to enjoy this even though there aren't any other kids their age here to talk to."
  • "It really helps that he looks at my face when I talk to him.  It's so much easier to hear and understand each other."
  • "Your kids don't stare.  I mean, your little ones do sort of but they're just little and probably stare at everyone.  What did you tell them?"
I am selfish. That's the flat-out truth.  That look of struggle that the boy has on his face with handwriting before him?  I want to help with that.  That "EUREKA!" moment when my daughter can multiply fractions from a word problem?  I want that, too.  All of those moments of struggle, growth and achievement. Those should be mine to experience with my children. 

These are just a few of our reasons and only a small glimpse at why they are our reasons.  I'll be revealing more about our whole home school experience as time goes on.  It's one of the things I do.


  1. this says, no comments. except i left comments from my phone. i can even see the comment on my phone but i can't see it here. do comments only display once you've reviewed them?

    1. Yup. I review them. Unless it's spam I'm sure I'll post but - eh. I'm new at this gig. Maybe I'll figure it out. maybe?

  2. i guess that answers my question. read your comments, silly. that's part of blogging, ya know.

    1. I like you. You make me feel normalish.

    2. "normal" is overrated. really. i like you just the way you are. crap, i feel a song coming on...billy joel or something...

    3. hey, the first comment i left, still isn't there. i know i said something about you being the most selfish person i know. or something like that. cuz you are - so crazy selfish. i mean, driving down to my house so you could plant some hostas in my yard that i've been enjoying for 3+ years now. i mean, how selfish can you be? pffft!

    4. I've never seen that first comment. Guess I'm selfish and oblivious both, huh?

  3. My favorite? "I am selfish."

    I was just thinking the other day that I would hate sending The Boy to school because then I wouldn't get to see him ALL DAY!

  4. So interesting. Sounds like all things in my life, usually the reasons I do or don't do something turn out to be irreverent or just plain false as time goes on. Interested in hearing more about your kids having less prejudice. Do you find this also when your kids interact with other cultures, beliefs, traditions, etc.

    Do you see any advantages to sending kids to public or private school...just get my questions percolating!

    1. I KNEW you would have great questions, Kate!
      Ya know, you & a set of my dearest friends were the first people that came to mind when I typed that first line of that paragraph. For different reasons I thought my words would spark interest. I think I could spend quite a few blog posts on my statement about less prejudice. I'm quite certain I will. If you don't see them, `zing` me so I don't let them fade away!

      Do I see advantages to public/private school? Sure. Are those advantages lost in a home school? Pshaw! Nah. Those same advantages can be exercised even GREATER from home!

      I'll copy your whole comment with it's points and put it into the right places in my idea seeds.

      AND - if you don't see a post coming on your question soon enough - hit me with it and I'll do what I can! (Seriously. I would be stupid to say it and not expect someone to take me up on it.)

  5. I've totally noticed the non-prejudiced thing with our home schooled kids too. And we get a lot of the same comments about their interaction with people.

  6. Visiting from Everyday Notions. :) You have a lot of really informational things on here! I am a mom to 2 and have no interest in having more... but love to hear about those with more... it's always good to learn from the "experts". (you would have to be with so much practice)

    :) I am curious how you figure home-schooled kids are less prejudiced?? Is it because they have fewer negative experiences with people of other cultures or because of the character you build into them? My kids are not prejudiced... they aren't really aware of racial differences (other than hair styles... my daughter really notices that)... would love to hear more about this theory. Both mine have gone to private and public school from day one (even pre-school {gasp}), and are raised Christian... but don't struggle with prejudice. Great blog. New follower, look forward to reading more!

    1. Hiya! Love it over there at Everyday Notions ( too! She's a great pal in real life, too.

      You said: ":) I am curious how you figure home-schooled kids are less prejudiced??"

      Well, technically I was speaking just about _my_ home schooled kids being less prejudiced. [hmm.... which begs the question "Less prejudiced than what or whom?" Good question. Not sure how to answer that in a comment. But I owe that answer!]

      You said: "Is it because they have fewer negative experiences with people of other cultures or because of the character you build into them? "

      Of the two I would say the closest answer is "because of the character you build into them". But it's more/different than that even. It's a way of understanding people and the life that is all over the planet in all kinds of forms. It's a way of judging without pre-judging. ... and it's a whole series of posts on it's own.

      I'm not sure when this post will come out. I hope for soon but our March is pretty busy. We'll just have to see.

      But keep coming back and keep asking questions! I love questions. They are the things my posts are made for.