Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homeschooling And Socializing

Today, my mom stopped by to spend some time with her grandkids.  We see the world very differently, and she was less than enthusiastic when I gave her the news that we are going to homeschool our children.  "Children need to have socialization!"

Who ever said that homeschooling would prevent them from socializing?  The way I see it, there is more time and opportunity for socialization with homeschooling than in public school.  The typical school day lasts about seven hours.  The only time children have during these seven hours to socialize are during lunch (about 30 minutes), moving from class to class (only a couple of minutes), during recess (two 15-minute sessions, for younger kids),

That means that students are sitting at their desks for just under six hours a day, and longer for older students.  When they get home, they get to spend 1-4 hours a day (depending on age) doing homework.  All told, children are spending between 7-11 hours each day on school work.  How much time does that really leave for socializing? 

And what are our kids getting in return for sitting dutifully at their desks for those 7-11 hours a day?  Are they receiving an education that inspires them, stimulates critical thinking, and encourages creativity?  The answer, in most cases, is a big, resounding, "NO".  They primarily are taught to take standardized tests.

It doesn't take much effort to locate email lists, groups, or forums that can put you in touch with other local homeschoolers.  Homeschooling parents can coordinate museum trips, concerts, science fairs, visits to the zoo, and basically any other field-trip that kids mights attend through their school.  Parents can divide up the various subjects based on each parent's skills and specialized knowledge to teach the children in a group environment.  There are so many other outlets- 4H clubs, scouting, little league, etc., that socialization (or lack there of) should not be a reason to avoid homeschooling.

Our children are still very young.  Before they are old enough to attend kindergarten, I'm sure my mom will overthink this issue and come up with a dozen other reasons why homeschooling is a bad idea.  My husband and I, however, believe we can do a better job of educating our children at home than in a crowded public school with underappreciated teachers where high scores on standardized tests are the only real goal (and rarely acheived).

And now, it's up to me to network, research, and prep for homeschooling our children.  While Karl has been a bit of a late talker, he's now saying lots of words, letters, numbers, and it is exciting to watch him learn, especially since we were part of it. 

Live better, a little every day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back Home With Baby

As many of you already know, and as many others may have suspected, I haven't been updating this blog for a few weeks because our beautiful baby girl was born.  While we were trying for a VBAC this time, we ended up with another c-section.  Labor was going along well.  Pain was being well managed with accupressure, music, breathing, and vocalizations.  Labor felt more like an intense trance.  Unfortunately, there was clear evidence the baby was in distress.  The heart rate monitor showed her heart rate to be too high early in labor. 

The midwife (who has a low c-section recommendation percentage) recommended the c-section, and remained with us during the surgery.  When our daughter was born, we found out she had swallowed meconium.  This is one of those complications with no real way to prevent it.  Thankfully, she did not develop .She needed to be monitored for her respiration's oxygen saturation, as well as blood sugar levels, which were low due to her glucose stores being used up while under stress in labor.  On a positive note, the midwife, nurses and doctors were all amazing- nothing like the hospital staff we encountered during the birth of our son.  It is comforting to know that there are some facilities that actually put the patient first.

Regular blog entries will resume again tomorrow.

Live better, a little every day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Planting Time Begins

Even though I'm still waiting for labor to start (any day now), it's time to get planting.  The sun has chased away the clouds that brought historic floods to our area.  We have a much bigger garden planned this year than last year, divided into three shares.  The first is for our consumption throughout the season, the second is for preserving for the winter, and the third is for sale or barter.  We also have several new additions to our gardening efforts, and that has us very excited.

Today was a great opportunity for Eddie to get outside and prep one of our beds for planting, and he Onions, carrots, and beets are going in this week.  We have flats of sauce and slicing tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, along with swiss chard is repurposed yogurt cups, just doing their thing in the windows. They will get transplanted to containers and hardened off on our balcony before finding their home in the back yard. 

This year's seed purchase total was a mere $35.  While we have more edible varieties planned, the ones that I'm particularly excited about are the melons and pie pumpkins.  But, those are still some time away.

And now, back to hoping that labor will start soon!