The theme for this 9th anniversary edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is: CHANGE.
When we began homeschooling in 1999 I didn’t start with the end in mind. I couldn’t see past the cluttered dining room table, the quest for curriculum, and the days that lasted forever despite the years passing swiftly.
When they were young, growing, and changing, I couldn’t picture what it would be like when my boys graduated.
What would they look like? How tall would they be? Who would they be?
I thought Garrison would rise the ranks in the business world. He had a gift for leadership and problem solving.
Benny might be a writer. He had penned dozens of stories through the years, and a novella.
My youngest Will is still changing and growing. He starts high school next year and maybe then I might have a better idea. Maybe he’ll start a hipster coffee shop and sell his art.
I have to keep this post short or I risk a flood of emotions and the reverberating pain that closing a life door can bring.
I miss my little boys. Homeschooling them was a a crazy awesome, no regret adventure. I love my big guys. When the little boys I snuggled, tickled, nursed, raised, and learned alongside surface from time to time like the breach of a humpback whale, I feel peaceful. I love those moments.
Is this homeschool journey of ours is truly ever over? Our boys are beginning their own life travels, and we are still companions. No, it is definitely not over. It’s just different. And it’s all good.
"Now personal delight, joy in living, is a chief object of education; Socrates conceived that knowledge is for pleasure, in the sense, not that knowledge is one source, but is the source of pleasure."–Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, p. 302
Art has always been a core subject in our boy’s homeschool education, right alongside reading, math, writing, and video games. Gaming got there by default: three boys, majority rules, 21st century, it’s in their blood. I quit fighting and embraced the games.
Now I have a sophomore majoring in Information Systems with an emphasis on Game Design (he recently developed/published a game for the Sony Vita), a freshman majoring in Public Relations who writes grade A essays on E-sports, and a high school freshman Minecraft maniac computer geek who codes, is an avid photographer, and designs seriously good architecture on Photoshop and Blender.
I have no doubt their early and consistent exposure to art in all its majestic and magical forms helped to shape their creative spirits and artistic career paths. Hmm..their dad being an accomplished artist might have influenced them a bit too.
A diverse and consistent exposure to art throughout your children’s formative years is essential to a well rounded education. I just finished perusing Artsology.com and had to tell you what a goldmine of free art lessons and online games they offer! They also explore topics in music and literature. I was surprised to learn Artsology has been around for eleven years, and bummed to think I missed out on some great art explorations!
There used to be two parts to Artsology: the free section that has enough to keep you and your kids busy for a long while, and the membership section which housed
- The Gallery Insider: a virtual trip into contemporary art gallery and exhibitions.
- An interview with MoMA Chief Conservator James Coddington.
- Art Features: A look at sculptures and machines such as Leonardo da Vinci’s work and tools by James Capper.
- The Art & Jazz Series where a jazz selection corresponds to an art project.
- Arts Fun Books printables section.
They are currently rolling over the membership extras to the main free site – an amazing and generous offer to the world of educators, students, and art appreciators.
I tried one of their free online games: The Stymphalian Bird Game
The game is similar to Flappy Bird. You click your mouse to navigate through ancient Greece columns. I died quick. But my teen gleefully soared with the greatest of ease and then chuckled at my poor gaming technique.
Interested in an art investigation? This page takes you to Anamorphic Art by Salvador Dali.
Artsology points out as you view the piece, what at first hand seemed like a simple (yet weird) bug image reveals itself to have all sorts of images contained within it, depending on how you view it.
Seriously, Artsology has a rich and assorted harvest of art education and artistic opportunities to enrich and inspire students of all ages. I appreciate their passion and commitment to building such a commendable site. Their mission is to be “the teacher” who made an extra effort, far beyond normal teacher responsibilities, to expose students to art/music they might not have otherwise heard.
I high five their efforts and know from our own homeschooling experience, whether the art be drawing, sculpting, designing, music, writing, acting, we were created to be creative.
So be creative, and start with a journey through Artsology.
I’ve been writing code for most of my career. I’ve written in a variety of programming languages. For most of the last fifteen years I wrote in Java. Recently I’ve been using Python. While each languages has its unique features, most languages share some basic, common concepts.
Here at the Davis home, we are busy planning our school year after a nice summer break from routine. We know you are all busy too but a few homeschoolers took the time to send us a post for the carnival.
Technology In Homeschool Education is Here to Stay
Technology, how homeschoolers are using it, how parents need to keep up, and what to do to keep up and keep safe.
Rise of the Machines: We live in a technological age. According to the Pew Research Center at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, 93% of teens surveyed have, or have access to, a computer at home. Additionally, 95% of teens are online according to the same report.
As a teacher, there are some behaviors I am more apt to tolerate than others. Fidgety? I understand, I’m the same way. Forgetful? That’s expected: we all have lots of things to remember. Unfinished assignments? As long as it isn’t an everyday ongoing occurrence, I can deal with. But bad manners? Impropriety of behavior is one thing I will not tolerate in my students. It’s a good thing I have only had three in my homeschool because ingraining proper manners and instilling sincere politeness in my boys has required consistent effort.
Because the most effective form of teaching manners is role modeling, teaching manners has required me to be on my best behavior, especially when my boys were young. Little ones are always watching and they imitate what they see. Tutorials, books with colorful illustrations, acting, singing. it is good to combine all types of teaching techniques, but if you really want your children to be good mannered, be their example.
Manners don’t come naturally, so with a gentle and tender heart, teach them and show them. Have your kids take a look at George Washington’s list of 110 virtues. remember my boys copying them by hand when they first learned to write,
Number 7 is a good one: Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.
Number 55 not so much: Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.
Hosted this week by/at Janice Campbell
Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile may be startled to see a completely new look. I’ve been wanting to do a little housekeeping for awhile– the previous theme has been up since 2007 or so, and was getting a bit long in the tooth. I was finally pushed into the update by suddenly having the blog lock up and refuse to let me log in for a week or two.
Dictionary.com had some insulting “Example sentences” on their apps and website until shortly after twitter user April Thompson @oddlysaid called them out.
— April Thompson (@oddlysaid) August 11, 2014
UPDATE: Dictionary.com has replied to us through their twitter account that they removed the offensive examples. Strangely, when Kathy visited the site (late Monday) they were still there, but have since vanished.
Didn’t meet your editorial standards? You need to look up the word “apology.” You can see the original sentences in the screen snap above.
Susan has posted the Carnival of Homeschooling for this week. Check it out:
Carnival of Homeschooling: The Finding Solutions Edition July 15, 2014 Welcome to the Finding Solutions Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling! Homeschoolers face many different challenges and deal with a variety of doubts about our chosen educational path. Even after homeschooling for 20+ years, I still have questions and concerns, and reading about how other homeschoolers deal with their anxiety helps me remember that I am not alone, and that solutions can be found for any obstacle we may encounter.
Now that two of my three boys have graduated high school, I’ve wondered if I would do it all over again. If I could travel ahead in time when we began this homeschool thing and could see the end, would I still do it? Yikes, did I realize just how hard homeschooling was? I don’t think I did.
No, I’m sure of it.
I had no clue how hard homeschooling would be.
Homeschool three boys for nearly twenty years.
Teach them to read, to do math, to write.
Ugh. Writing! Why was that so bittersweet? One loved it, one liked it, one would rather stare off into space.
Science, history, manners.
Gym, aka go run around outside and swing for a half hour.
Language, geography, cooking, chores, public speaking.
Clubs, Awana, bible quizzing, honor society, art, music, laundry (my future daughter-in- laws are supposed to thank me for that one).
Library skills? Right.
Fire safety, bike safety, highway safety, STD’s (that was weird), anti-smoking.
Drivers education. Ok that one nearly killed me. I recommend you hire a professional for that subject.
I’ve written 128 quarterly reports, 31 Individual Home Instruction Plans, and lots of Annual Assessments and Letters of Intent. Thank you NYS for being so greedy for paperwork.
All this while trying to keep the meals coming, the house in order, and a marriage happy.
I’m not trying to scare those of you who are thinking of homeschooling, and I’m not trying to prove I’m some super star homeschooling mama (though I really am and so are all of you homeschooling mamas).
Now that I’m at the end and if I had a time travel machine to go back, would I do it all again? Would I homeschool my three boys for nearly twenty years? Knowing how hard it was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? Let’s not forget…
Would I do it all again?
Every single minute of it.
Garrison, Ben, Will. You are the best, it has been a privilege to be your teacher, and I am am blown away God chose me to be your mama.
Would I do it again? What a silly question.
Homeschooling has it’s seasons. We all knew when we started this journey that the goal was to someday graduate. We just graduated our second son here at the Davis home. One more to go. Certainly we have mixed feelings as we see our sons become more independent but there’s joy in knowing we were there and part of their lives every step of the way. Our own Kathy tells the story as we Graduate Number Two at Homeschoolbuzz.com. ChristineMM of The Thinking Mother shares what she thinks is the main thing that all parents (not just homeschooling parents) should teach their kids : What a Parent Should Teach Deputy Headmistress tells of Life with mostly littles via The Common Room: “One day I had three children, ages 9, 7 (almost 8), and 2, and then the next day I had five, ages 9, 7, 5, 3, and 2. All three of the youngest were in diapers. How did I ‘do it all?’ HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
Bon says: “The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching” is Not So Good via MathFour.com. Have you seen the list of 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching? Looks like there’re some problems with it!
Sharon presents Honoring Aunt Tucker posted at awakeningyourtrueself.com. “The voice I heard when I woke from a dream this morning was my Aunt Tucker’s. Not actually her voice, but definitely her. I could not go back to sleep so instead I begin celebrating Aunt Tucker’s life. On this day when her body will be placed in a grave, her soul is dancing with the moon and her sister stars. She has already sent us small but distinct signs that she is loving us from her new home, from the place where she is light and ageless.”
Conductive ink is a cool new type of paint that makes for some fun electronics projects in your homeschooling.
This past weekend we graduated our second son from homeschool. If we can do it, you can do it. Davis Homeschool started in 1999 with one in kindergarten, one in pre-k, and one in utero receiving instruction in ABC’s via daddy talking to my round belly.
We homeschooled our two graduates for 13 years, and have four years left with our youngest. It has been one wild, adventurous, unpredictable, all consuming, and undeniably spectacularly wonderful ride! Congratulations to our 2014 graduate Benny for surviving and thriving in homeschool. He has grown from a sweet, always smiling, loved to read, little boy to a charming, dry-humored, always smiling, loves to play video games, but loves Jesus more young man. We are beaming with joy. We know God has plans for our sons, and are happy to sit back and watch it all unfold. I wish we could take credit for the way they turned out, but we were just the instruments. God gets the glory.
- If you are in the early years of homeschooling: enjoy it and don’t give up, it only gets better.
- If you are in the middle years, don’t panic: high school is easier than you think.
- If you are in the home stretch: hang on tight cause its a whirlwind.
- If you graduated your child: Congratulations.
The Homeschool Post is happy to host this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling. We’re continuing our month-long focus on building character in our children. Homeschooling is about more than just academics – it is a lifestyle of learning with an emphasis on strong character. How do you encourage your children to make good choices and to think critically? In a culture sadly lacking in good role models, how do we point out positive examples of good character?