Category Archives: Family
I look for new ideas for my kids’ education since I home school. I want to cover the material as required but in an interesting way. I want to make things more interesting to keep their attention and thus I had a few twists. I look for ideas here and there and sometimes I hear about them from other mothers. When a new lesson strikes a particular chord, I pursue that direction. It can be challenging in some subjects, but there is always a way to make art, music, language studies, history, and science more appealing. I often ask the kids to come up with their own ideas and am often surprised by their appropriateness and relevance. This is the rewarding part of home schooling. You watch and witness little minds grow and it can be in ways that astound you. There was the time one of the kids asked for an art project that they could make themselves. They had made many maps of the country and the world out of papier mache or clay, but always in two dimensions. Now they wanted to see things in three D. They wanted to have to wear those special weird blue and red glasses, like the ones you put on to watch a movie. I figured out a way to use special printed paper that could be mounted in the round.
Now it was my turn to get creative. I decided to do a flashlight comparison study for the next science project. I intended to check the brightness and batter usage of a regular flashlight and an LED to see which came out better. I didn’t know if the kids cared about the results, but they professed interest. I asked them the hypothesis, the root of scientific inquiry and they got it right away. The standard flashlight would not come out the winner. Give the kudos to the LED. To be fair, I have to mention that it was the brightest LED flashlight I’d ever seen, and it was definitely a quality tool. If this is the feature you want, by all means by one. They are all affordable these days and readily available on the market.
After years of home schooling, I have resorted to having contests with the kids to see who comes up with the most winning lesson plans. The winners can pass on some type of homework for their efforts. I try to keep homework down to a minimum as I believe that kids should have social and recreation time every day. But we do have a bit now and then such as studying for tests and writing essays. I want their education time to be as much like public school as possible. I do require minimal time on cell phones and tablets unless they are researching a report. Then I have close supervision going on for the duration. I do feel that I provide quality education.
There have been some big changes in our family over the past few months. One of the biggest events is that my oldest son, Michael, 19, got a full scholarship to college and moved out of our home. Of course, he will come home during vacation time. However, this is a big step for all of us.
He has just completed his first semester and I have had mixed feelings during this time. When we were preparing for him to move out I was nervous about how he would cope with living a whole new life, especially coming from a home school environment. I also felt sad that I would not see my son on a regular basis, even though I knew we would talk regularly on the telephone. I am used to having all three of my children with me for most of the day. However, my predominant emotion is pride. Not only am I proud of his academic success and getting a scholarship, I am also proud that he has become a rounded young man with the skills needed to live an independent life. I feel proud of myself too for the role I have played in making him the young man he is today.
During his first semester, Michael and I have talked regularly. I tell him everything that is going on at home and he tells me about both his academic progress and his experiences of college. So far, most of the things he has told me are all signs that he is having a great time at college, is doing well and is making the most of various extra-curricular activities and social opportunities. Michael has achieved good grades on the assignments he has submitted so far and says he is enjoying his courses. The thing I am am most pleased about is that he has made some friends there already and seems to be having a great time with them.
Of course, there have been some negatives too. During the first few weeks he had some issues with finding his way around campus and getting to know the local area. There were a few incidents as he adapted to the practicalities of living independently as well. The biggest issue he has had so far though was catching a case of athlete’s foot that developed into toenail fungus in the communal showers. At first he wasn’t sure what it was (his first call was asking for help because his toenails looked yellow) or how to get healthy nails and treat his toenail fungus, so of course I got a number of telephone calls from him to ask my advice.
Overall, I would say that if the biggest issue he has faced so far is a bad case of athlete’s foot, and then his first semester at college could generally be considered a success. I can only hope that his experiences of college continue to be as positive as they have so far. Now that he has successfully completed his first semester, I feel confident that he has the skills and abilities to achieve great things and to also have a fantastic time with many great experiences.