Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Home School?

Many people want to know why I have chosen to homeschool my children. Well, there is no ONE answer. More a collection of many reasons. While there are many wonderful schools, both private and public, as well as many wonderful teachers, I have come to realize that my children do not fit into the conventional "mold". Homeschooling has given my children the opportunity to learn "outside the box". While we strive to teach our children morals and values in an immortal world it becomes more difficult upon a daily basis. Homeschooling has given us the freedom to further explore interests and have a deeper learning on many subjects. We do not have bells that signal the end of one subject and the beginning of another. Once we have come to understand and are able to master a lesson then we are able to move on at our own pace, as slowly or quickly as necessary. I can not imagine sending my children to a place for them to learn from strangers where I have no idea where their values or priorities may fall. Nor can I imagine being denied the opportunity to learn daily from my children.
So when does our "school day" begin and when does it end? My children are given the gift of curiosity and are taught to continue to learn through out the day. From asking questions, to learning a new skill, or maybe by reading a book, and many times from not knowing what something means or how to spell it and looking it up in the dictionary. I can not remember how many times we have asked one another a question and had to go to the world wide web to look it up and research it to find the answer. Some people wonder things and leave it at that, we wonder and find out daily. So again I ask, when does our school day begin and when does it end? Well, I hope to learn new things until I take my last breathe. My goal is to have my children also have that unquenchable thirst for knowledge as well.

100 books every child should read - ParentDish

100 books every child should read - ParentDish

Books Every Child Should Read

50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, illustrated by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum, 1995. (Multi-ethnic)
One Afternoon by Yumi Heo. Scholastic, 1998. (Asian Pacific American)
Grandmother's Nursery Rhymes/Las Nanas de Abuelita by Nelly Palacio Jaramillo, illustrated by Elivia. Henry Holt, 1996. (Latino)
Margaret and Margarita/Margarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser. Rayo, 1996. (Latino)
Baby Says by John Steptoe. Mulberry Books, 1992 (African American)
I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Little Brown Young Readers, 2001. (African American)
Baby Rattlesnake by Te Ata, illustrated by Mira Reisberg. Children's Book Press, 2006. (American Indian)
You Are My Perfect Baby by Johce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Nneka Bennett. HarperFestival, 1999. (African American)
Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin. Chronicle Books, 2000. (Asian Pacific American)
Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? by Bernelda Wheeler, illustrated by Herman Bekkering. Peguis Publishers, 1992. (American Indian)
More, More, More, Said the Baby: Three Love Stories by Vera B. Williams. HarperCollins, 1996. (Multi-ethnic)
Do You Know What I'll Do? by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. HarperCollins, 2000. (African American)

Ages 5-7
Drumbeat... Heartbeat: A Celebration of the Powwow by Susan Braine. Lerner Publishing Group, 1995. (American Indian)
Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng, illustrated by Ange Zhang. Lee & Low Books , 2003. (Asian Pacific American)
Halmoni and the Picnic by Sook Nyul Choi, illustrated by Karen Dugan. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1993. (Asian Pacific American)
Hairs/Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros, illustrated by Terry Ybáñez. Dragonfly Books, 1997. (Latino)
Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven. Puffin, 1997.(Latino)
Honey, I Love and Other Poems by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. HarperCollins, 1986. (African American)
The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo, illustrated by Paul Lee. Harcourt Children's Books, 2000. (American Indian)
Celebrating Families by Rosemarie Hausherr. Scholastic, 1997. (Multi-ethnic)
Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dragonfly Books, 1997. (African American)
Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney, photographs by Myles C. Pinkney. Scholastic, 2000. (African American)
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. Lee & Low Books, 1997. (American Indian)
Morning on the Lake by Jean Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by Karen Reczuch. Kids Can Press, 1999. (American Indian)

Ages 7-9
My Name Is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada. Aladdin, 1995. (Latino)
From the Bellybutton of the Moon, and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna, y Otros Poemas de Verano by Francisco X. Alarcon, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children's Book Press, 2005. (Latino)
Golden Tales: Myths, Legends and Folktales from Latin America by Lulu Delacre. Scholastic en Español, 2001. (Latino)
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009. (African American)
Maples in the Mist: Poems for Children from the Tang Dynasty by Minfong Ho, illustrated by Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. Lothrop, 1996. (Asian Pacific)
John Henry by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Puffin, 1999. (African American)
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee. Lee & Low Books, 1995. (Asian Pacific American)
Wings by Christopher Myers. Scholastic, 2000. (African American)
The People Shall Continue by Simon Ortiz, illustrated by Sharol Graves. Children's Book Press, 1994. (American Indian)
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. Dragonfly Books, 1996. (African American)
What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know about Horses? by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by George Littlechild. Children's Book Press, 2003. (American Indian)
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter. Yearling, 1990. (African American)

Ages 9-12
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. Scholastic, 1999. (African American)
Native American Animal Stories by Joseph Bruchac. Fulcrum Publishing, 1992. (American Indian)
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Laurel Leaf, 2004. (African American)
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Hyperion, 2002. (American Indian)
The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism, and Renewal by Sheila Hamanaka. Scholastic, 1995. (Asian Pacific American)
Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement With the People Who Made It Happen by Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne. Knopf, 1999 (Multi-ethnic)
Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza. Children's Book Press, 2005. (Latino)
Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers. Amistad, 1992. (African American)
The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico by Naomi Shihab Nye, with paintings by Mexican artists. Simon & Schuster, 1998. (Latino)
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. Scholastic, 2002. (Latino)
Quilted Landscape: Conversations with Young Immigrants by Yale Strom. Simon & Schuster Children' Publishing, 1996. (Multi-ethnic)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. Puffin, 1997. (African American)
The Rainbow People by Lawrence Yep, illustrated by David Wiesner. HarperCollins, 1992. (Asian Pacific American)
The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. (Asian Pacific)

More info available at...

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List By Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue 1, Fall 2007.
1. Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2. Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3. Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4. Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5. If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6. Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7. We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8. Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9. Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10. We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11. Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12. If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13. Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14. Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15. Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16. Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17. Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18. If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19. Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20. Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21. Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24. Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25. Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Search This Blog