Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Scheduling homeschool

Well time has flown by and it has been a long time since we last posted. We have made some major life changes. We moved across the country to the Seattle area,We have experienced kindergarten in a public school and now are homeschooling for first grade and presumably for the rest of his academic years. We have speech therapy once a week with a one on one speech therapist(our son is autistic) and we attend a home school co op where he attends classes that he chose. We are very happy with the co-op and how he is learning.
We originally allowed him to attend public school at his request and stayed the year but our dislike of the public education system was only intensified by our first hand experience .
Don't get me wrong, I adored his teachers (class and resource room ) but the way things are handled and the lack of social skills that are taught furthered our desire to home school him.
We have been entertaining the idea of moving to a commune sometime in the near future and are currently on the hunt for the perfect fit.
Conan has recently discovered the awesomeness of "MineCraft" and we let him pay it offline . It is super awesome for home school learning and he enjoys it !
My current struggle is this game he has stumbled upon called "Roblox". He gets so frustrated and many a meltdown can be linked directly to him dying in the game. I am not sure if we will cutting this game out of our rotation of entertainment during freetime in our time.
Abc mouse has been a great help as well. We love Abc mouse and Pbs kids. My husband and I differ in some ways of parenting. He is more laid back and approaches things in an unschooling fashion. I am a follower of schedules and routines. We have discovered that our son is more of a schedule and routine person than not and so we schedule our day . I allow a good amount of freetime (he can do whatever , this includes video games and tv). We also have one day a week where he can "veg out".
Veg out day is just that , no schedule , just chill!
A sample schedule may look something like this (non co-op day)
900am -930 am :Breakfast
930am-10am:free time
1015-1030:play dough
1130-1230:free time
100-115:speech worksheets
115-215:playtime with mommy
215-315: read /no electronics
500-600 :dinner
600-800pm:movie time
800-900:bath,brush teeth ,read and bed
We attend co op three days a week and speech for an hour once a week so this is how we roll two and a half days a week (One of the co op days is just an hour long class and of course one day a week is chill out day)
I wanna hear from other parents. How does your day look? Am I the only one that breaks it up this much? Id love to see other examples of homeschooling and unschooling !
we will posting on the regular now . So welcome to our crazy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Numbers and other things

I have been homeschooling Conan for around a year now and he is doing great. He can count to 100( of course he is convinced that the number 44 being right after 34 for some odd reason all though he totally knows otherwise). He knows his abcs, colors and shapes. This is all information he would be learning in Kindergarten but thanks to the magic of homeschooling he knows this now.
Before you start on this , yes he gets social time with other kids.
 We are part of a ton of homeschooling groups and he has a friend that lives near us that visits very often . I have sat in on a public preschool classroom and they do not encourage socialization. When the children attempt to be social with each other they are quickly "corrected" and told to sit in their seats.
Where did the idea of kids getting social skills from school become a thing? If I learned how to be social via school I would be raising my hand to ask the bus driver a question. I would be a million times more awkward then I already am and I attended public school.
In public School you learn how to isolate the kids that are different, form cliques and how to sleep with shades on. Period.
I am very happy with homeschooling as a whole right now and I recommend it to any and everyone. We recently made a life change and I quit working so that  I would have more energy and time to homeschool. This meant that we had to make some financial decisions (budget cuts if you were) and we are super happy with the results.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What is it with people and what other people name their kids?

I'm late to the game blogging about the bullshit kerfuffle surrounding the recent popularity of naming girls Khaleesi, after the title Daenerys Targaryen gains and holds on the television program Game of Thrones, as well as A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the program is based.

If you haven't caught wind of this, go check out Game Of Thrones’ Khaleesi is now a more popular baby name than Betsy by Katie Rife.

Now, I answered the question Is it a bad idea to name your child after a fictional character? over on Quora, because naming your child after a popular fantasy character is something I have some expertise on. Every once in a while I get an upvote, which reminds me of my annoyance regarding the subject.

The first way you can tell this whole "controversy" is bullshit is the fact that they chose Betsy as the name that's fallen, which is goofy on a number of levels. Betsy?! I think I've only known one Betsy in my whole life. I suspect there are a lot of goofy names more popular than Betsy! Especially when compared to people with "Betsy" on their birth certificate.

The choice of Betsy cripples the logic of the whole thing, because Betsy is traditionally a nickname. Do I know if the Betsy I knew was named Betsy or Elizabeth shortened to Betsy? Nope. No idea. Do they know how many of the people named Elizabeth in 2012 will be called Betsy? Of course not. I bet not even all of those parents know whether they, or their daughters, will at some point take a liking - or disliking - to the nickname Betsy.

The other choice given in the article, but not as fussed about, was Nadine, which is traditionally given as a name in itself, so at least we can make some sense of how many of those Nadines will be Nadine forever.

Again, to my recollection, a lifetime of meeting people has put me in contact with a grand total of 1 Nadine. My high school bus driver.

I think I'd notice, too, because it is also the name of one of the most finely crafted rock & roll songs in history.

So, the whole thing is framed around names that are just familiar enough to seem like it means something, but uncommon enough to render the whole thing utterly meaningless.

The thing I wonder about is, though, is why the fuck do we care?

Yeah, I used to be one of those people who grumped one thing or another about how people named their kids. That me would have complained about the "properness" of those people who named their kids Betsy rather than Elizabeth in that discussion above.

 Something happened to me, though, in the fuss over naming my son Conan. My in-laws got annoyed by it and there was a lot of back and forth over that, mostly involving passive-aggressive suggesting of more "normal" names, not one of which did we even consider... and, of course, would have dismissed on principle even if they had been names we might have otherwise considered.

So far, since his birth, we've had no real issues. Most people seem genuinely pleased when they get it. Now, sometimes people have trouble getting it.

We get "Connor?" a lot when we give his name, but that's hardly an issue in the long run. We also have some troubles with Pronouncing Conan, but again nothing that causes a fuss worth mentioning, at least outside this context.

Supposedly, the concern is "What about the children?" Right?

I'm sure everyone who is reading this an shaking their head is thinking this.

I think I'm in a pretty good position to speak to this.

I was born in 1971. My name is Neil. Neil was not and is not a terribly common name, but it is familiar to most people.

It's probably somewhere around Betsy and Nadine in being well-known but not common, although I'd guess, without looking it up, that it's a bit more common than those.

Growing up, Neils Armstrong, Diamond, Sedaka and Young were well known. I wasn't named after any of these. I was named much more traditionally after my father before me and his father before him.

But other kids would tease me about my name.

Why? Because it worked.

I was a sensitive kid, for whatever reason, and people made up silly rhymes about my name and it hurt my feelings and made me angry, so they kept it up.

Am I upset because of my name? Of course not. It's part of who I am. I like it.

Being the '70s, in liberal Seattle and going to a lot of experimental(ish) private schools, I knew a fair number of kids with odd names that they were given to them by their hippie parents, and you know what? Most of them were fine. Happy with their names. Why? Some probably got some flack, but most not. I suspect most of them just lucked into being less sensitive generally.

 I also knew a metric ton of Jennifers. The majority of them were named by parents who thought they were naming them something kind of interesting and unusual.

 I don't know if anyone has every made a study of it, but I suspect it has something to do with this -

I knew more Jennifers who were frustrated about the relative commonness of their name than people with unusual names who were frustrated by their unusual name.

To the extent there's a real judgment of kids names based on their rarity, it's all about parents not kids.

Remember, for most of childhood, most of the names you hear are new to you. So kids are in the habit of being introduced to people with a name they've never heard before and accepting that as the name of the person. They don't learn about names being out of the naming conventions is from their asshole parents and the bullshit judgments they offer.

You, name judging assholes, create the problem entirely.

If you introduce a kid to someone as Screwdriver, they'll just go along and call them Screwdriver, because they have no basis to judge that as unusual, until quite a ways into growing up. Not because they can't be jerks, as I said before they can and will, but because they don't have the context to specifically realize the oddness of that yet. The only way they get that is from adults in their life teaching them that.  By the time they know enough on their own to draw that conclusion on their own, they'd already most likely just know this Screwdriver and judge them and tease them based on whatever factors they really judge and tease other kids by, which has absolutely nothing to do with their names.

In the end, I'm done. I was an asshole to make dumb judgments about what people name their kids and you're an asshole if you're still doing it.
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