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Showing posts from November, 2016

Super Mommy Pancakes

There is an episode of The Middle where Sue is touring colleges with Mike and then run into a father/daughter duo.  The father is over the top, super involved, emotional, and proud.  They dub him "super Daddy pancakes".  This term has been used lately in my house to describe me, in a tongue and cheek kind of way.  With Grace looking at schools lately, I have to wonder if she were in school, if I would be a "super Mommy pancakes" kind of mom: super involved in her after high school choices, crazy emotional over whatever her choice was, and sentimental over the prospect of "losing her" to college.  Part of me thinks I would.

As I walk through this with Grace, I realize how my senior year at a high achieving suburban high school left its mark on my psyche.  I still feel the angst of sitting in my senior seminar class listening to the college acceptance announcement read over the microphone broadcasting to the 400 seniors who was going where.  I was accepted i…

Defending Homeschooling

Yesterday I was called to defend my homeschooling to someone who did not know me well and does not understand the concept of homeschooling well.  Some of the questions that were asked included:

How do I grade?How do I know they are on track?How do I teach what I do not know?How do I have patience?How will they go to college?
These are fairly typical questions and I should have been able to answer them with ease and confidence but I sensed judgment and it shook me a bit.  After all these years, I thought I was beyond being shaken up by questions, especially when asked respectfully.  To be fair, the questioner has a very traditional outlook on education and has two children younger than mine, who already know which Ivy League schools they wish to attend.

So how did I respond?

Grades - we don't grade.  I have gone back and forth over 
the years about grading but I wrote a post a few days ago that sums up my thinking on grades.  It took Grace a year and a half to make it thought algebra an…

New Hampshire Getaway

Even though October was filled with many, many fun events (Switchfoot, Carnegie Hall, fall retreat, mens' retreat), it was also filled with many, many obligations to fulfill like driver's ed, homework, band practice, and late work nights.  Many days passed in a blur.  The miles driven added up.  My energy level dropped.  A break was definitely needed.  Back in August, Greg's vacation to the Cape was cut short due to work obligations and we said we would make up for it in the fall.  If we are not intentional about stepping away, we won't.  We could do a staycation but the house, the dog, errands, chores all keep us from enjoying a state of true relaxation so I booked a winterized cabin in Moultonborough, New Hampshire on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Our only goal was to relax.  If that meant wandering around, so be it.  If that meant watching four days of movies, so be it.  We had no plans, no agenda, no obligations, no itinerary.  It was glorious.  Wednesday we wand…

Pumpkin Festival

It is very hard for me to maintain balance between academics and interests.  Interest led learning has always been a priority in our home, whether it was baking, crafting, music, pet care, photography.  In each area that the girls discover there are all the elements of academics, from research, to writing, to collaboration, experimentation, and ultimately their success and demonstration of leaning comes when the go out into the "real world" and get the pet and care for it, or bake a batch of cupcakes for someone who pays them for their time and talent, or when they win a contest, or when they do something successfully which affords them a second opportunity.
This is where I get a bit overwhelmed because if you are truly life learners, then grades are arbitrary.  You "pass" when you succeed, when you receive accolades from mentors, when you are given a payment, when you are given a second opportunity.  You "fail" when you don't meet the assignment, you …