Worthy Reads

Homeschooling

*NOTE GEORGIA HOMESCHOOLERS: New bills affecting homeschooling in Georgia – Atlanta Homeschooling Examiner

How home schooling threatens monopoly education – USA Today

Homeschooling — Another Name for Helicopter Parenting? – Huffpost Students

The Microcosm of Homeschooling – Huffpost Teen

A Home-Schooling Pioneer Looks to the Future – NYTimes.com

The Messy Side of Interest-Led Learning – Interest-Led Learning

Learning to use the time you have – Project-Based Homeschooling

Homeschool Reflection: I’m Ambivalent – Patheos

Education

Online courses need human element to educate – CNN Schools of Thought

Raising and Educating Boys

Guns don’t kill people – our sons do – USA Today – Very provocative column, and I have to agree with it.

Boys, Bullying & Guns – Blogging ‘Bout Boys

Blog Business & Worthy Reads

Just a bit of blog business:

  • First, I’d like to say a big thank you to Simple Homeschool who included my post, In Response to a Teacher’s Questions About Homeschooling, in their weekend links.
  • Second, I’m happy to say that I finally bit the bullet and paid WordPress so that this can be an AD-FREE blog.  I knew those sneaky ads (which they cleverly never let me see) were there, and I despised them, but I have to watch the money I spend, and I appreciated the opportunity to get started with a free blog.  Perhaps someday I will research how to put ads of my own choosing that I can fully endorse, but for now Mama of Letters will be sans ads.

And here are my Worthy Reads in no particular order…

Education

Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher by William Johnson in The New York Times Sunday Review.

Workforce Preparedness: Is Your Grad Ready for the Real World?  – Houston Chronicle Blog – A little dense and specific to Houston, but I thought it posed a good question.  Students need to think in terms of getting the skills they need to be prepared to compete in the workforce.

Myth Busting: How Reading is Taught in a Waldorf School – I love learning about different educational philosophies, so I was happy to come across this post on Moon Child.

UN Produced Atlas shows Girls Still Falling behind Boys in Education – SOS Children’s Villages: Canada – I talk a lot about boys and homeschooling, but this is a reminder that all children around the world are still struggling to get a decent education.

Afraid of Your Child’s Math Textbook? You Should Be.by Annie Keeghan on her blog, Chronic Sense.

Educating  and Raising Boys (I will add the following to my page Worthy Reads About Raising and Educating Boys.)

A Huge Gender Gap Persists In College Degrees, Do We Need A White House Council On Boys And Men? by Mark Perry

Boys falling behind girls in education, experts look for solutions by Bruce Lindsay for KSL.com-Utah

All-boys’ classes grow confidence, leadership by Tamara Shephard on InsideToronto.com

Who says raising boys is easier?  by LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor

Learning to live with ‘boy energy’ by Stephen Bede Scharper

Homeschooling

The Moral Status of Homeschooling and Public Schooling Motivations by Pamela J. Stubbart, Huffington Post – another response to Dana Goldstein’s article in Slate.

In ‘Class’ – at Home – Ted Landphair’s AMERICA

The Best Homeschooling Resources Online – By Jamie Martin for Parents.com

Why I Could Never Have Homeschooled My Children – A Response – by Sharon Greethal for BlogHer.com – Scroll down to see a comment I left here.  I don’t believe homeschoolers should ever question a non-homeschooler’s parenting skills or commitment to their children.

I am too negative about homeschooling – From the blog, Skipping School, which is written by Kate Fridkis.  She was homeschooled Pre-K through 12th grade and then went on to college at Rutgers and Columbia.  Now she’s a freelance writer.  And obviously, I recommend her blog as well.

Should Home-schoolers Play for High School Teams? in Room for Debate on the The New York Times.

Setting Our Homeschool Priorities for Two Boys, ages 5 & 2

In my last post I shared our homeschool mission statement and how I brainstormed what was most important to me to teach my children.  But how does that look on a day-to-day basis while my boys are five and two-years-old?  Obviously I’m not going to teach everything all at once.   Instead, I sorted out what my priorities are for them at this time.

I should note that I’m mainly referring to my five-year-old when I talk about specific things I’m teaching.  My two-year-old is happily tagging along and I involve him in what I can.

So what are my priorities for my five-year-old, a.k.a. Kindergartener?  I have read some blogs by homeschoolers with children this age, and it  amazes me what they are doing! I’m impressed how they spend a good portion of their day on “homeschool” whether they use a curriculum or various resources. At first I was inclined to think we weren’t doing enough, but then something occurred to me.  Usually these other families had one or more girls.  Maybe there was a boy in the mix, but there was always a girl. Having two boys, I know there is no way we could sit down and do formal lessons for more than say….twenty minutes (give or take)! Maybe it’s just my two boys, but having read many resources about boys, I’m inclined to believe gender can make a difference. (Though I think some girls can be this way too!) Of course, family dynamics can make a difference too, and every family has to figure out what works for them. I made this list for myself to sort out what is most important for my five-year-old at this time. (And, honestly, if I had a girl, I think these would be my priorities too.)

All of these are equally important to me.  Click the links to go to the follow up post on each topic.

  • Imagination/Play/Motion – Let him use his imagination and be in motion as much as he needs to be. Allowing for a lot of movement and having ample space for that is especially important for young kids.
  • Literature – Immerse him in books and storytelling.
  • Exploration/Nature – Let him explore the world and get into nature as much as possible.
  • How to find answers – Encourage him to ask questions and teach him how to find answers.
  • Spend quality, stress-free time together – Use our time wisely.  Don’t over schedule the kids or myself.  Allow for plenty of time at home for free, unstructured playtime.  Allow for quiet time in the afternoons.
  • Teach responsibility/involve him in my work – I explain why we (mom and dad) need to work, why we all need to take care of our (only) home, and I plan to engage him more in the work/hobbies that I enjoy like blogging and photography.

Notice that except for literature, I didn’t mention any academic subjects.  This is because I don’t feel academics should be a priority for a five-year-old.   However, I am teaching my son reading and math right now, and I do think this is important.  These formal lessons are short and slow-paced, and I’ll explain the why, what and how of that in a future post.

And as I mentioned above, I’ll be following up this post with a series on how I accomplish all of these things.  I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and stay tuned!  Thank you for stopping by!

Please tell me what your priorities are for your child whatever his/her age might be.