Thursday, January 31, 2008

Almost 20,000 hits!!

Holy cow! I just saw the sitemeter count. There are almost 20,000 hits!

Quit lookin' and start commentin'!! LOL

A whole new approach to education

Actually, it's not "new" - it's "old."

Heart of Wisdom is a homeschooling resource that I have been looking at for a while now. Now is the time of year for homeschoolers to begin thinking about gearing up for next year. (Yes, I know it's early, but curricula needs to be decided upon and bought in advance.)

Reasons why I really like the HOW approach:

  • I like the approach used by HOW. It is designed on a 4-year plan, and it covers all of the required subjects. It also has a 4-step approach to lessons, and it is based on the Hebrew education style (as opposed to the Greek education style taught in schools).
  • It seems less structured, so I feel it is going to be a good "fit" for my daughter, but there is still plenty of content - so it will challenge my son.
  • Part of the lessons are "how this helps me in everyday life." - how many times have you heard students ask, "When am I ever going to use this?"
  • There is a heavy emphasis on the Bible.
  • There are a LOT of Internet links in the lessons.
  • There is an emphasis on writing.

My only drawback is that it does look time-consuming for the parent, but that is okay.

I am going to spend the next few days/weeks poking around the website and seeing what I think, but it really does look like a good curriculum to use.

If anyone has used this (or if you know of a fantastic curriculum), feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mommy's little treehugger

First, let me start by saying that the title of this post refers to my 9 year old, and I say it with love. :o)

Somehow I have a little activist on my hands. I do my part for charity stuff, but Camryn takes it to a whoooooole new level.

I fully expect her to join GreenPeace or some such organization when she gets older. Or start her own.

When I asked her about which Presidential candidate she thought would be the best, her answer was: "Someone who would be conscious of environmental issues. We have to conserve our natural resources." This was from a 9 year old. And she just rattled it off like she says that kind of stuff every day of the week.

Case in point:

We had a food drive for our church this week. (We have a food pantry at the church.) Camryn called relatives and collected 65 items for the food pantry!!! She collected more by herself than most of the adult classes did altogether!!

What does this have to do with homeschooling?

Each of my kids has their own strength. My older son is really strong in science and math. Because I share this passion, it is easy for me to relate to it and get excited about it.

But I finally realized that Camryn has a true gift, as well. She has a heart of compassion. She can motivate people to contribute to worthy cuases. She never meets a stranger. She relates well to younger kids, older kids and adults. She loves talking to an audience.

And so, in the long run, her gift is as valuable as any other. (And perhaps more so.)

My job is to help her nurture and grow that talent over the next 9 years. :D

Curriculum choices are an obvious start, but I also need to choose projects and other opportunities for her to gain experience in her chosen "field."

By the time she is 18, she could have an impressive resume built up!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Do what you are passionate about

I had several emails about a previous post that mentioned working from home. My response is this:

What is your passion?

I would say that there are several "passions" in my life:
  • Homeschooling. I feel very passionately that I am the best teacher for my children and that I should be free to raise my children as I see fit - with my morals and values.
  • Writing. I love to write. I love to put my thoughts "out there" and see how others respond and react. I love to generate discussion. The Internet has brought out so many good authors and provided an outlet for their talents! (Hopefully, I am one of them! LOL)
  • Debate. I LOVE a good debate. I love switching sides and debating the opposite of what I believe in, just to play the Devil's Advocate from time to time.
  • Public speaking. I love getting up in front of groups and yapping. I have spoken to groups about my testimony (former Wiccan and occultist, now Christian), about how to spot signs of witchcraft/occult involvement in teens, about domestic abuse (from past experience) and other topics, but those are the ones I speak about most.

I read recently that when the artist Renoir was crippled with arthritis, he strapped a brush to his arm and continued to paint. THAT is passion!

Find something you love doing (or a product you love selling and telling people about) and start from there! Find a hobby or find a company you can love working with!

Comments or suggestions? Comment here and tell about what you do! Why do you do it?

Got a question? Post that, too!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"What do you study?"

This is another question I get a lot.

Please keep in mind that different states have different requirements. To find out more about what is required in your state, please visit the HSLDA site.

In SC, for the grade level my children are in, I am required to teach reading, writing, math, social studies and science. I am free to teach these subjects however I choose and do not have to use any set curriculum.

Personally, in addition to these subjects, I also teach the following:
  • Phonics/Word Study
  • Spelling
  • Language Arts
  • US Geography (which could be under the Social Studies heading)
  • Home Ec (sewing, cooking, etc.)

Next year (when my son is in 7th grade), I will add literature to the list.

Because it takes so much less time to do schoolwork, we can cover a larger number of subjects in any given day. Even with the additional subjects, we are still done by noon most days.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I am SO much cooler online....

Have you heard the song by Brad Paisley?

"I work down at the pizza pit
And I drive an old Hyundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I'm 5'3 and overweight

I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic
Mild asthmatic
Never been to 2nd base
But there's a whole nother me
That you need to see
Go check out MySpace

'cause online I'm down in Hollywood
I'm 6'5 and I look d*mn good
I drive a Maserati
I'm a black belt in Karate
And I love a good glass of wine

It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious
'cause even on a slow day
I can have a three way
Chat with two women at one time

I'm so much cooler online
So much cooler online

I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac

In real life the only time
I Ever even been to L.A.
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.

Online I live in Malibu
I posed for Calvin Kline,
I've been in GQ
I'm single and I'm rich
And I got a set of six pack abs that'll blow your mind

When you got my kinda stats,
it's hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend

But I grow another foot
And I lose a bunch of weight
everytime I log in"

I love this song!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"I can't afford to homeschool."

This is something I hear a lot. I discussed this a bit in this post.

"I can't afford it. Both of us have to work!"

Aside from the fact that the second income may not really be helping (when you factor in child care, etc.), let's assume you need to have two incomes.

Did you know there are lots of options for women (and men) who want to work but need to be at home?

  • Ebay is one option. Clean out your house and make some moola.
  • Telecommute. See if your current job can be done from home.
  • Freeleance work. Writing and marketing jobs can be done this way.
  • Home businesses. You can either start your own biz or join a Direct Sales company.
  • Turn a hobby or passion into a business.

I do a combination of #3 and #4. Right now, my income comes from my home business (with a gourmet food company), but I am releasing 3 books this year, and I believe that will contribute greatly to my income. I would love to make a living at #5, but I have yet to find a way to turn my fondness for watching Star Trek reruns into a profitable home biz. Hehehehehehe

My true goal is to make enough to keep my hubby at home hand have him not need to work. We'll see how that goes! LOL

Snow days

Here in the beautiful coastal city of Charleston, SC, snow is something we watch on The Weather Channel, not something we drive in or see outside of the window.

Actually, we do get snow - about once every 8 years. I have 2 kids that have never seen the white stuff. One has seen a dusting. The other saw tons of snow - in PA.

So last night the weatherman said we "might" have snow today. "Might," in this case, meant "not bloody likely, but there is always a miniscule chance we could see a flake or two." That was all it took for my kiddos.

KIDS: "Can we miss school if it snows? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please?"

ME: "Sure! No problem! In fact, if it snows, I'll dance naked on the lawn!"

Okay, I didn't tell them the last part, but I thought it really loud.

Anyway, today the darling kiddos got up, ran to the window and saw.........!!!!!!!!!

Rain. Lots and lots of rain. Sad, sad kiddos..... :(

For those of you who live where it snows all of the time, homeschooling is great. Curl up on the sofa and enjoy some hot chocolate while other people try to drive in that slippery white stuff.

For those who only get the occassional snowfall, homeschooling is great, too. Want to take a day off to frolic in the snow? Sure! Go ahead! Have a blast! Want to have school anyway? Sure! Go ahead! Go for it! Want to frolic in the morning and study in the afternoon? Sure! Go ahead! Do it!

It's all about having control over your own schedule instead of answering to someone else. :o)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lies, lies, lies

I was looking through the local paper and saw an ad in the Help Wanted section. I am not looking for a job, but this ad caught my eye.

It read (and I am paraphrasing) "Local entrepreneur seeks bilingual assistant to help expand business."

Now, I really don't want a job, but I thought I could help out a fellow entrepreneur, right?

Well, when I called, I got a sales pitch to join this guy's MLM. I have nothing against MLM or Direct Sales (I am with a Direct Sales company myself), but this company sounded like a ripoff AND the ad was VERY misleading, and I told him so.

I also told him that I had called with all intentions of VOLUNTEERING my services to help with his business, but after calling and hearing what he had to say, I changed my mind. What he is doing (with the ads) is just plain wrong.

Okay. I feel better now. Thanks for letting me vent. :D

Monday, January 14, 2008

Living life more efficiently

As many of you read on this post, I am not known for my housekeeping abilities. LOL

However, that is before I found FlyLady. (

The transformation has been AMAZING! My family is in shock! (Even my Mom.)

She uses very small steps (she calls them FLYBaby steps) to get you started.

I am on Week 2 and I am thrilled. She has everything broken down into really easy, 10-15 minute steps.

If you suffer from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome - her phrase), be sure to check her site out and sign up for the emails. It is awesome!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lordy, Lordy - Guess who's 40!

Yep, that's me! I turned 4 decades old on Jan. 10th!

Do I feel old? Nope. I don't. The grey hairs in my head remind me that this ain't my first rodeo, and I have a little common sense now.

Our culture worships youth. Ads cater to the young and how parents can please the young. Ads loudly proclaim how you can "fight the signs of aging" and all of that nonsense.

I worked hard for these grey hairs. Heredity has been good to me in the fine lines and wrinkles department (Thanks, Mom!), but my grey hair gives me away.

If I dyed my hair, I could easily pass for 30, but I don't. Why should I? So people can think I had my kids when I was 16? So they can look at me differently? So total starngers can think I am younger than I really am?

No, thank you.

Besides all that, my daughter loudly and proudly proclaims that I am "4 decades old" to total strangers everywhere we go, so the hair dye wouldn't work anyway.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I've been tagged!

I have been tagged by Mercedes!

Here are the rules to this particular meme:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  4. Tag six random people and the end of your post-link to their blogs.
  5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the fun begin!

Okay. Here are my non-important things:

  1. I love dark chocolate.
  2. I drink way too much coffee.
  3. I have a zillion Post-it Notes on my desk.
  4. I am tired today.
  5. I had pizza for lunch.
  6. I will blog more after I finish this post.

Now I have to tag six people. Hmmmmmm.

Okay. I tag the following:

  1. The Myst:
  2. Dave:
  3. FreefromPT:
  4. MKRules:
  5. Shades of Pink:
  6. And finally:

Now to go notify them.....:D

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Homeschoolers and college

Another question I am asked about homeschooling is, "What about college?"

What about it? College is certainly an option for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers (on average) do better in a college environment than those who are traditionally schooled. Homeschooling is a lot of independent study, any way - much like college.

Another option homeschoolers have is taking college classes before graduating from high school. It is quite possible for a homeschooled student to have an Associates Degree by the age of 18. In fact, some online colleges will allow students as young as 14 to take courses! Graduating from high school early is not unusual, either.

Homeschoolers also keep a portfolio of work done. They usually take the SAT. They can take college entrance exams. All of these things help "prove" the academic ability of the student.

Having control

Kids in public schools around here will be going back to school on Thursday. I never understood that - going back to school for 2 days and then being off for the weekend.

We are off until Monday. Yeah, only 2 less days than the public school kids, but it seems like more because of the weekend.

I love the flexibility of homeschooling. It makes for a much more relaxed time.

I have also decided that we are not taking off 2 months for the summer. I am going to have some time off, but then we are going to take a shorter break so that the kids don't forget all that they have learned. :D

I like being able to control our schedule. It makes things work for us.