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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ramblings of a Homeschool Mom

I would love to read a book entirely devoted to the things people say to homeschool moms in the checkout line, I really would. I'm sure it would be a hoot.

Ever had a friend, family member, complete and total stranger in the checkout line at Wal-Mart ,upon finding out that you homeschool, quiz your children in hopes of proving that they can't possibly know anything with you as their teacher?

I don't go around quizzing public school children on their knowledge and no one else seems to be doing that either. There's several reasons I don't do it and think others ought not to do it to homeschoolers either...

1. It's extremely rude.

2. I think it's extremely ignorant to assume that any child isn't smart because of where they go to get their education.

3. It's really NONE OF MY BUSINESS! Last time I checked no one died and made me chief of the intelligence police.

I mean, I am math dumb when it comes to throwing letters in with numbers. I never "got" algebra until my second year of college. Does that mean I was dumb? That the public school system failed me, my parents made a mistake? NO, of course not...all it means is that I never liked math and thus never applied myself to doing any more than just surviving until I was old enough to choose to use a calculator whenever I wanted.

I don't voluntarily offer my opinion to a mother or father who chooses to public school, however , everywhere I go I am attacked and criticized by people over my choice to homeschool my children...doesn't seem fair, really. I actually had a cashier at Wal-Mart tell me that I was a bad parent to be homeschooling and that she thought it ought to be illegal...yet she could offer no good reason why she held that opinion...I however, have plenty to say on the matter.

Public school as we know it today hasn't always been around and has never been the only option allowed to educate children. As long as parents followed the laws governing homeschool throughout the years, homeschool has been a viable option, though not without it's bumps in the road. I'm for options and for the parent's right to choose the option they feel is best for their families. I am not a public school basher! I want to say that again. I AM NOT A PUBLIC SCHOOL BASHER! I am a product of public school and I'm dad was a school teacher for over 30 years and it helped pay the bills for quite some time. So, I don't down public schools or the teachers. I think the huge majority (aside from a few bad seeds we hear about in the news)of public school teachers do a great job and I commend and respect them. Do I see things I'd like to change? do to if you'd be honest regardless of your lean toward in educational matters. That being said, I also see things here in our little homeschool on a daily basis that require change...curriculum, approach, routine, attitudes, diapers etc... No means of educating our kids is without it's mistakes and messiness, okay?

Do I think they ought to shut the doors on the public schools? NO! NO! NO!

Do I think everyone on the planet ought to homeschool? No. I've said it many times before , to be a successful and effective homeschooler, you have to feel a certain call to do it. Just as any public school teacher or private school teacher has to feel a call and have a passion for educating young minds to be truly effective. I had teachers during my school career that loved what they did, had a passion for the material and thus were the best teachers in my eyes. I also had some that just seemed to be...there, for whatever reason...I never learned much from them.

A good friend of mine and I were talking the other night about attitudes we've encountered. She told me of a time at the drink dispenser at McDonald's when a woman made the comment upon discovering that school had not been called off for the day but that the gaggle of kids were homeschoolers, that her daughter never could have been a successful doctor if she had been homeschooled. And she was right to a certain point, I'm sure. If she had tried to homeschool and not been successful, her daughter might have gone a different road. But her meaning was to say that she didn't think homeschoolers could be successful, well-rounded individuals. This is one of those arguments I both love and dread to hear. So, let me throw some names out there for you...

Leonardo DaVinci, Mozart, Stonewall Jackson, Douglas McArthur, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, 10 US presidents including Lincoln, Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Moody, John Newton, George Washington Carver, EINSTEIN, Booker T. Washington, Pierre Curie, Blaise Pascal, Winston Churchill, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, Supreme Court Judge John Marshall, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, Ansel Adams, Clara Barton, Sandra Day O'Conner, Father of the US Navy John Paul Jones, Sally Ride (1st female astronaut), Florence Nightingale, Andrew Carnegie, and my personal favorite being a baptist and all...Colonel Sanders. Pretty sorry bunch, wouldn't you say? So the argument that homeschoolers are somehow inferior in intelligence to others doesn't really hold water with me. I mean EINSTEIN, for heaven's sake!!!!!!

But, skeptics and critics will be around every bend when you go off the mainstream path. Is it fair, no , not really. I will not apologize for my choice to homeschool, will not retract my praise for it when it's done right...I will not lay down and quit because other's make fun or make comments that are ignorant. If anything it will fuel my passion and pave in concrete my position, renew my resolve. The road of homeschooling is narrow and weedy, sometimes muddy and can be very lonely sometimes. But I always quote the last stanza of Robert Frost's Poem "The Road Not Taken" when I find myself getting discouraged:

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages since

Two roads diverged in a wood-and I

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

WHew...What a Relief !

Feeling very blessed and excited this morning! Just paid off credit cards and the only car we owed anything on. Today is a day of reflection on just how blessed we have been. Several years ago, when I first started to stay home, we ran into some financial trouble. Like many young immature couples, my husband and I thought our combined credit scores and incomes would be best used acquiring "things". New vehicles, when the ones we had still ran, had plenty of room in them and were a year within being paid for. A four wheeler that was fun, but costs us too much a month. In short, we wasted our money. When we should have been living frugally like we do now (not by choice as much as necessity) and buying a piece of property and building us a little house, our eyes were full of materialism. Well, when Lillie came along, we decided that my place was at home. A decision neither JOdy or I regret (except when money stresses us out). So the new vehicles went, the four wheeler gone...yet still things were so tight. I'll not bore with endless details, but three kids later, we were saddled with a huge car payment (another dumb, impulsive move we thought we had to make at the time) a mortgage, small credit card debt along with the basics needed to job. Jody losing his job was the BEST thing that has ever happened to us. We've had lots of wake up calls in our 8 year marriage, but this one has really shaped us more so than any other. We have grown up (though we still have alot of that to do) and we made it through the Lord's help and others to make it through the unemployment, Jody's schooling and job hunting. The Lord blessed him with a job right out of the gate that is wonderful and though has it's daily challenges is something he enjoys which makes me very happy. And today...I feel, for the first time in a long time, FREE of the financial burdens we have gotten ourselves into. We have learned that priorities are everything. The stuff of this world doesn't hold the same appeal. Now we want some land and a small modest house to call our own, our kids to be provided for but not spoiled and we are TIRED of debt.
Things will still be tight sometimes, but we're armed with the knowledge of our past mistakes and are capable of adjusting our perspectives. God has blessed, for sure and has seen us through a long dark valley that we are finally seeing an end to. Advice to new couples...and really any couples...debt stinks...stay away from any of it that's not necessary. Realize that what your parents have after 30 years is from 30 years of hard work and sacrifice...most can't obtain 30 years of financial blessing in 2 months of marriage! Learn to live frugally, below your means, and be content with what GOd blesses you with. It is when we become discontent that we make dumb money choices and get into such messes.
So, happy independence day to me! God has done so much and is working even now and I can't wait to see what he does in every aspect of my life.
Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Have Somebody With Me...

Life is full of firsts...last night I attended church in a house. I have been blessed with a wonderful church family and, being between buildings, we met at my in law's house last night. No one knew quite what to expect, but the Lord met with us and I think we all got the strength and encouragement we were needing.
This experience got me thinking about 1 Corinthians 3:16...
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
What a blessing this verse has been to me through the last couple of weeks. God's word has a way of doing that , doesn't it? Through salvation I lost so much (my overwhelming burden of sin) but gained so much, as well. Eternal life, joy in the midst of troubles, and the knowledge that I take God with me...that I don't have to be in a temple, or a church house...sitting on a padded pew or at a man made altar to worship God! I can be in the van with a bunch of screaming kids...washing dishes, in the cereal isle or in a house church setting as was last night. The main ingredient in worship is the prescence of the Holy Spirit and I take it with me wherever I go...what a huge blessing that is.
In the scripture where Jesus speaks with the woman at the well he tells her "...believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in tis mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father...but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." All you need is the Spirit and a heart tuned to God to worship the creator of amazing is that?

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mom and Dad...This one's for you...

Another budding artist in the family...As promised this piece is called "My Sister Chloe As She Falls Off a Cliff Into a Raging River" by Jackson Cole Davis.
Public Response? Less than favorable...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Official!

Just got back from my amniocyntesis at Fort Sanders. It was as uncomfortable as I remembered it to be last time, though the needle was not at all huge like I remembered it. Also got my ultrasound which CLEARLY told us that a baby boy is on it's way! In fact, the ultrasound tech gave me two pictures proving it was a boy, as if one was not enough...I mean, it was obvious. Now balance is restored in the Davis house. Dad says he looks just like me...not sure if he was kidding about that or not.

The ultrasound itself, aside from being miraculous was also very humorous. The rather serious technician was getting very frustrated with my boy cause he wouldn't stay still long enough for her to do any anatomy shots...this was the longest ultrasound in history, but I didn't mind...I loved watching him scoot around and evade the camera. The technician did not appear to share my enthusiasm...even after I apologized (jokingly) for his behavior. Welcome to my world , honey, is what I thought. I still can't get any of my kids to sit still. She even jiggled my belly ,quite roughly in fact ,to get him to move, even made me turn on both sides ( I felt like a pig on a roasting spit )...but alas, he is stubborn, surprise, surprise.

No matter how many times I have seen an ultrasound, I am always amazed and stunned by the experience. It makes it all so real and I can't wait for the movement to get started...well, that's another thing. I may not feel that way in a couple of months as this kids got big feet and LONG legs and them babies ain't gonna feel so hot in a couple months. For those familar with ultrasound pics, I show this to gain your sympathy...look at those clod hoppers... But all was well. The amnio was alot more uncomfortable because the baby moved alot, it made my stomach and body jerk...very startling considering there was a needle inches from his little body. Maybe that coke and coffee this morning wasn't the smartest idea? Don't tell it to the technician, as I don't want to make her day worse. Then I graciously gave them three tubes of blood cause I'm nice like that. But the results should be back in 2 weeks so be praying that all will be well. Now, I'm going to go be's orders you know.

Have a blessed day!