Friday, August 24, 2007
Why Older Kids Should Still Play with Blocks
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Another Use for Cookie Cutters
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Reasons for Homeschooling
- safety concerns,
- curriculum preferences (a religious curriculum over a secular one),
- inferior educators in the public schools,
- unnatural socialization in schools,
- concerns of indoctrination of our children in schools, and
- simply recognizing that a parent is the best teacher for his/her child.
When I went to our "Kindergarten Round-up" last year to learn more about the public school, some really good questions began flooding through my brain. What if Thomas got hungry in the middle of the day? What if he wanted a drink? Would he have to drink nasty water from the water fountain? Would he be given candy every day as a reward? Does the room have carpet? How can a carpeted room with 20 5-6 year olds be healthy? Will they use safe cleaners? Do they spray the school with pesticides?
I recognize that most parents would not even think about these things. But to parents like me, they all matter. Why would I provide the healthiest home possible, and then send my child to school all day? A school where they are sure to use chlorox, toxic floor cleaners, and pesticides in the classroom. Think I'm crazy? I just received a newsletter from Dr. Mercola with a link to an article stating that 80 percent of schools are applying pesticides. I live in a small town, where they spray the ball park for mosquitoes, and when a lice outbreak occurs, they "treat the room" (whatever that means) without so much as a letter to parents. People in our town still smoke like chimneys, so you can see that we wouldn't get much sympathy if we said anything!
So to my list of "reasons for homeschooling" I now add, "providing a healthy learning environment." We will learn in our purified air, drink distilled water, clean with non-toxic cleaners, and eat healthy food when we're hungry!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Algebra for Four Year Olds
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Homeschooling Others' Kids
Monday, August 6, 2007
The Things Kids Say...
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Homeschooling and Lice
Head lice are small insects that live off of human blood. Head lice do not fly or hop, but they are accomplished travelers, crawling all over the universe looking for hospitable heads on which to live. Head lice can easily be gotten from church, mission trips, outreach opportunities, spending time with friends, and at any activity that children attend. Even if you home church and home school, your children can get lice! If you don’t know what to do when it happens, it can be a long and costly battle until you finally see the end of it.
Like most parents, I always hoped my children would not get head lice. I had no plan except that I knew I would never use chemical lice shampoos on my children. These products are pesticides that are unsafe for use, particularly for pregnant women and children under two. Being a mother of six, I have spent quite a few years either pregnant or with babies and toddlers…or both! Due to the fact that head lice bite the scalp to live, when we use pesticide products on our children we are introducing these chemicals directly into their bloodstream via the open sores on their head. That combined with the fact that our skin absorbs everything we put on it was enough to let me know I had to find a safe alternative.
A few years ago I discovered head lice on my children. I was horrified! My youngest little boys got their heads shaved immediately since they had quite an infestation and I knew that they would have a hard time sitting still for multiple rounds of combing out nits.
For the older children I first tried home remedies such as olive oil and vinegar. We found both options messy, illogical, and ineffective. I realized that the bottom line was that all the live lice and eggs have to come out of the hair. A fairly simple goal! An online contact told me about a battery-powered lice comb called the Robi Comb, so I bought one and went to work.
The Robi Comb actually electrocutes lice as you comb through the hair and they get stuck in it’s teeth. We were amazed at the amount of lice we found, and how tiny and nearly transparent some of them were. Newly hatched lice are almost impossible to see, so we were very glad our Robi Comb could catch them. We followed up with a metal egg comb to get out all the eggs, and just repeated this process again and again until we were confident that all the lice were gone.
Once we were through with the Great head Lice Battle of 2004 I did some thinking and some research. I knew that I never wanted my children to get lice again, and I wondered if there was anything safe that I could use to help prevent it. Sure enough, I found that the wonderful world of herbs offers many choices for this purpose. I started tinkering around with a formulation until I finally had a product that smelled great, didn’t irritate the skin, wasn’t oily, and worked well. My husband and I eventually got started selling our Supermom’s No-Lice Hair and Body Spray in 2005 and we have been so glad to help other families find a way to prevent and eliminate head lice safely and effectively.
Erica Johns is owner of Supermom’s No-Lice Advice, a business that is dedicated to helping families prevent and eliminate head lice safely and effectively. Erica is working toward becoming a Certified Natural Health Professional and also offers many more products to help families live healthier through Supermom’s Health and Wellness. Erica and her husband Dave have been married since 1991 and are the happy parents of 6 children.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Socialization of Homeschoolers
But the second day into it, I got a call from my friend, a fellow homeschooler. "Is everything okay?" she wondered. Not knowing what she meant, my mind began racing. But she quickly filled me in. The day before, Thomas, my six year old, had gotten upset during story time. He did not want to participate in the group activity. He is GREAT at sitting quietly and listening, but when it comes to him participating in an activity that is not on "his schedule" or for which he does not know the outcome, he panics. He wants to know what, when, where, why, and how, before he agrees to take part in the "unknown" and of course, most people either won't understand this, or won't take the time to explain.
This is when I really started thinking about the way people view homeschooled children. Other parents would look at my child and immediately think, "oh, see what homeschooling does to children? He can't handle x, y, OR z!" I know that this happens. I've seen forums and blogs discussing just this thing and people talk about how "dysfunctional" many homeschoolers are, especially when they go off to college and can't "relate." Do they ever think that children were this way BEFORE homeschooling?
No, they usually want to find a reason to be comfortable with the school system. It's the easier way, the less time consuming way, and the way of the mainstream. It's easy to make a case out of one experience a person has had: "Well, when I was in college there was a homeschooled girl that quit after one quarter simply because she couldn't fit in..." First of all, I wouldn't want to "fit in" with most college activities, and secondly, it's ONE person! Basing your opinion on one person is ludicrous, and - the easy way out.
My daughter was in pre-school for a short time, and I remember asking her if she'd like to, "stay home with Mommy and Thomas?" She jumped at the chance! I already knew that a little girl had pushed her down on the playground (which the teacher didn't see, and therefore she felt there was no justice, making it even harder to get over) but she seemed willing and eager to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Months later, she told me, "I didn't want to go to school with those babies!" Sure enough, her pre-school friends seemed "behind" socially and intellectually but I never imagined she would pick up on this. She was ready to play with others, and they were still stuck in themselves. Imagine the torture this was for her! She is now four, and while I have held back on teaching her, is on a 5-6 year level socially, conceptually, and even in motor skills. Because her birthday is in November, she would have to wait another year for kindergarten if she went to public school. Can you imagine?!
My children have participated in dance, scouts, soccer, choir, church, homeschool groups, and other activities. They are not thrust into a classroom with same-age kids all day long with only one moderator to make sure everything is okay. While my son is very analytical about EVERYTHING, everyday his comfort level improves to where he is actually almost social! My daughter will talk to everyone who looks her way. If you want to make a case against socialization of homeschoolers, you don't want to look at my family! Because you simply will not be able to draw any conclusions, just like you can't draw conclusions on that "one girl in college..."