Hello again all you staying at homers!!  This has been quite a ride for us all.  Whether you live in a city or in a rural community all around the world this has been a time of challenge for families.   I have had the gift of being able to talk with my mentor teacher and have long and deep conversations about Montessori principles and practice.   This time has been such a gift.  One of the things we seem to come back to is the environment.  How do we as Montessori guides connect the child to the environment?  How does the guide connect to the environment?  As an intern teacher this past year I was focused on giving lessons and trying to keep the peace.  I was successful for the most part but deep down I knew there was something not settled.  I couldn’t put my finger on it until my mentor and I began our 4 to 6 to 8 hour discussions since we were in a stay at home order state.  I can’t express my gratitude for this gift of time time and space to share with each other.  Of course our discussions got me to thinking, when I home schooled my own children how did they connect to the environment of home?  Was the environment of our home prepared to welcome them as individuals with in that space?  Was the atmosphere peaceful with plenty of opportunities to connect with each other?  Well all I can say is if I had the understanding I have now things would have been much better.  Parenting isn’t an easy task and when unexpected things are thrown in the mix it can be daunting.  So let’s begin to think about this in context of the home environment, the child(ren) and the parent.  I want to begin by explaining you don’t have to have a dedicated space to do this work.  In fact when the work is woven with in the daily routine of living it is easier to connect the child and the parent to the environment and to each other.  The home is the very first place children learn and the parents are the first and best teachers. (Yes I really did say you as the parents are the best teachers)  So how are you going to live up to that!?

The environment is more than the physical space we call home.  That is the last thing you need to think about just now. Think about how you may or may not interact with your child(ren) in any given situation.  Your child reaches for the hot handle of a pot while you are cooking.  Yes you should take the precaution of not having the handle forward on the stove but turned toward the back.  Still little hands are curious to see what is in there.  It smells so yummy!  And she sees you working so diligently with concentration stirring.  What is the response?  Well years ago parents would have scolded the child and sent them out of the way.  Instead a good way of handling this would be to gently take hand away and ask the child what she thinks may be in the pot.  Begin a conversation.  Or play a rhyming game with her answer.  So if she answers soup, you may go on rhyming loop, coop, poop(?).  Which could lead to interesting places.  You the cook could lift him up to see into the pot and help you stir or go over the things you put into the pot.  In a home where parents are comfortable with children taking a very active role in the kitchen, a learning tower may be brought over to the counter and child can use a simple tool to chop veggies or other fruit.  I was in a home once where the children ages 3 and 5 chopped all the veggies and helped cook the dinner almost entirely.  The 5 year old even lit the gas burners on the stove.  No one was cut or burned because they had been taught and had enough confidence in themselves and their skills to do this.  Even though I subscribed to Montessori principals this gave me pause and reflect on how much would I be willing to trust children with this level of responsibility.  If we as adults take the time to prepare an environment of confidence in our children because we have trained them to do tasks the prepared environment which we will talk about later will come together with out much trouble.

The next thing we can look at is that of speech and inter-relational actions.  So lets say you child(ren) is having a very bad, no good, awful day.  This happens for various reasons.  I noticed when one of my children was about to take a cognitive leap, usually around their birthday a week or two before that day they became rather emotional, everything was wrong and they danced on my last nerve too!  How we speak to this child makes all the difference in how well or not we both transition through this time of inner upheaval.  So when said child has a difficult moment, you may be able to deflect a real disaster by saying “come sit with me” at the first hint of upset.  Then tell them you noticed they seem to need to tell you something.  Then listen, attentively, this is not a time to fix what is wrong but to ascertain if the child needs your help to fix it or just to voice a concern.  These interactions may take place during bed time routine, or in the middle of the day when they may need some space or something to eat. If you have younger children who need to interrupt have a pad of paper and pencil ready for them to use to draw with in eyesight and continue the conversation.  Once the concern has been voiced if indeed this child has a way to tell you what is going on inside ask if you need to help or just have a moment of cuddles.  Now understand children don’t always have the words to explain feelings especially big feelings. It may take a few tries for him to get it all out.  If we as parents can prepare an environment of trust we can also have a peaceful environment in our home.

Remember the entire world has been turned upside down by something, it could be the necessity of staying at home due to a disease or a new event such as a new baby in the home, or a death of a beloved family member. How we as adults respond to all this will set the tone for your children to process it more positively.

We Montessorians are big on peace.  But what does that look like?  Can we even have peace in the home much less on earth?  What does a peaceful environment even look like?  Well this is the part where we can come to the physical space element of the prepared environment.  One thing you may notice in a Montessori classroom is that there is a lack of bright colors and bulletin boards on the wall. Montessori believed any thing that broke the concentration of the child at work was unnecessary, that included visual stimulation.  So in your home you may want to consider having a space in your home that is not so visually stimulating.  There are colors that are more calming than others, the greens and blues specifically.  Not everything has to beige.  You may incorporate some shelving to keep work or toys on.  A toy box is a big draw but it helps create chaos so shelving with no more than three things on them to start.  When my oldest son came along I put a small shelving unit in his room we picked out three toys he especially liked.  We put them on the shelf and I showed him how to take them off the shelf one at a time and then replace them when he was done with it.  The rest of the toys stayed in a box in his closet.  When he was ready to switch out we did, about every two weeks.  This set the tone for him to be an organized child and now grown man for the rest of his life.  It wasn’t so easy when all five of my kids were little but I did try to keep the distractions to a minimum.  Sounds, sights, smells, tastes and  tactile experiences are important to a child. Incorporate these things into your environment.  A fuzzy pillow, a bottle of a favorite or seasonal smell on the shelf, give your child(ren) different things to taste as you cook. Hang one beautiful art print on the wall.  There are so many ways to incorporate sensorial experience into the home environment.

But what about the “learning” ?  What is learning really?  It is doing.  For centuries humans have been learning by doing.  But I know what you as a parent are really thinking.  I had those thoughts when I was home schooling my own children.  Yes the 3 R’s have to be attended to.  Let me give you just a few ideas.  After all this blog isn’t about teaching you how to teach, as a parent you do already know how.  What we do need to learn is to pay attention.  Children around 3 – 3.5 want to begin counting everything.  So when you go for a walk or even the grocery store you can count steps you are taking from one point to another.  In the kitchen the child can count plastic containers you have in that bottom drawer.  Then you can sort lids and bottoms, and match them.  How many big pots and how many little ones?  How many pairs of socks in her drawer or dresses and tops in the closet.  There are lots of things to count and your child will find it fun to discover things to count on her own as well.

I am going to stop here with counting and address writing and reading (yes in that order) in the next blog.  I want to encourage all you parents to see yourselves as your child’s greatest asset during this time and to embrace the chaos and take care of yourself in the process…

Stay safe, be well, be peaceful.

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Home alone – with your kids

Home schooling, this is a concept that most parents never have thought about.  Parents go to work, take the kids to preschool, pick up groceries and the kids at the end of the day.  Pretty routine, all is well.  THEN the world turns upside down and there is some kind of crisis and everyone needs to be home.  What to do!!  Toddlers, preschoolers’ and grade schoolers’, OH MY!!!!

As a veteran Montessori homeschool parent I want to relieve your overwhelm and angst during this already stress inducing time.

First, little ones require routine, just like food, it is essential.  You don’t have to get up at o’dark thirty like you did when you went to work and them to preschool or the bus stop.  Yes, you can sleep in.  However it is important that the children know what comes next so no matter when you tumble out of bed; keep the “what comes next” consistent.  If the “next” is toilet, wash face, and breakfast keep that in place. Adults tend to like the novel, little ones not so much.  So if Monday is oatmeal for breakfast, keep that but if you want to change it up ask them what they would like to have or at least give them notice that Monday this week will be pancakes instead of oatmeal.  By the way this is the rational for very few if any, going outs (field trips) in the toddler and primary classes in the Montessori school.  Grade schoolers’ love them and should have access to going places during this time.  If you are going to a park of course everyone should be able to go so pick a time where the routine of the little ones isn’t up ended too much.  Or take a blanket and let the baby take their nap out of doors.  You can hike as a family or take a walk around the block.  If you have a yard do a back yard bird watch or insect hunt. The grade school child can then come back and do research on what you found.  Viola you just did Montessori!  We did a few walks where we picked up the trash on our road.  We lived in the country and would you believe it we picked up three large black trash bags of trash one day on our ½ mile of road when we did this.  We talked about reduce, reuse and recycle concepts and made a family plan to do this.  Viola you just did Montessori again!! 

What’s next?  Laundry or picking up the house or their bedrooms.  What a huge chore for a little one.  So pick one.  Little ones can sort lights and darks for the laundry. Preferably only their own cloths.  The concept of each one teach one (large family concept) also helps.  Older children know how to sort they can teach the next one down.  If you don’t have a large family do a “group lesson”.  When my children turned 8 I taught them how to do their own laundry.  That was the age they could reach the washing machine lid to put their cloths and the detergent in. I taught them how to measure, and pour the detergent and fabric softener in.  If you use pods remember children’s clothes aren’t as much per load so a small bottle of detergent for them to use is a good idea. Viola you just did Montessori!!!

On to the cleaning.  Sigh no one likes to clean.  So I made it a game.  We did this several times a day.  The 10 second tidy from the show The Big Blue Couch, was a favorite.  So for toddlers tidy or 1 or 2 items.  Pre – schoolers’ 3 to 5 and grade school children as high as they can count.  Is it 7, 10 or 100?!  They love it.  Anything left except perhaps in the common area can be left till the next round of the 10 second tidy.  Oh wait!  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!

We had table time in the morning from 8-9 o’clock and I put every kind of art supply on the table and they created while I read aloud.  Ok, I limited the toddler to only 1 crayon and a piece of paper and the rest of the kids were welcome to use what was available.  The result of this was that they were busy working with their hands and listening, I have 4 artists and one published author from this formative exercise using the hands and brain –creative mind process.  Each creation was an expression of that child’s imagination.  As time went on I hosted a professional artist to hold a three day workshop on the art process for the homeschool support group I lead. It was so popular homeschool families from the neighboring state were calling me to see if there were any slots open!  What about the paper, it is so costly!  I was lucky I had a source of used computer paper, the kind with the holes down each edge, so I could get that by the boxful for free. I just bought a box of it from Goodwill the other day for us to use at the school I work in.  So it is still around.  Ask your friends or the power or gas company if they have used computer paper you may find a fantastic source for free paper.  Voila you just did Montessori!!!!!

     Oh my! Is it snack time already?!! What to have.  In my house I always had a bowl of apples and bananas on the counter and the kids helped themselves. (We were free range snackers.)   If there were carrots (I used the regular sized carrots) my oldest ate those.  We also made ants on a log with celery, peanut butter and raisins. Peanut butter crackers were also a favorite make it yourself snack. Don’t forget the hand washing! If you want to let the kids make their own snack have all the supplies out on the table in succession of steps.  So if they are making Ants on a Log have the celery, peanut butter and raisins, in a small bowl lined up on the table in succession. The older ones can cut the celery spears in half and the younger ones can use a table knife to spread the peanut butter. (You know who is capable/had lessons on doing what so you can delegate the process)   Then place the “ants” on the log from the bowl.  They can place their creation on a paper towel or small plate and enjoy.  At times we had snack on the floor for an indoor picnic or took it outside on the lawn to enjoy. Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!

I read aloud to my kids. A lot!!  So what to read?  I wanted my children to be aware of the classic literature I was privy to so we began with the classics and shorter chapter books.  We have read C S Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jules Vern 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, The Secret Garden, Little House on the Prairie, and of course Harry Potter.  I also had a variety of classic children’s books such as the Curious George books, Mike Mulligan and his Steam shovel, The All of a Kind Family and any book I could glean from the free books at the library and the book sales. I was fortunate, my mother kept all of my childhood books so we had a store to begin with. We are a family of collectors so books are a big deal, I have 5,000 books at my house.  These will be the legacy my children receive instead of lots of money.  🙂  Then there was the library which we haunted on a bi-weekly basis. It was a wonderful resource.  As a large homeschooling family they were, at first, apprehensive but when they realized we had grace and courtesy lessons they became some of our best friends and advocates even extended family.  The kids had their own library cards and checked out books every few weeks and what I could not afford to buy I could check out and we could read.  Now that we are in the time of CVD-19 you can access books on line through your local library by using the apps Hoopla and Overdrive.  So no need to go out and catch germs from the books.  I did wipe down the library books when we got them home with a Lysol wipe just to get the last kids germs off the books.  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!!

Sigh, it is time to eat again!! Lunch can be whatever you want but the kids can help!!  Opening a can of soup, making sandwiches, a cottage cheese and veggie platter.  My mother would go to a great deal of trouble to make me Raggedy Ann on a plate.  As an only child I was kind of spoiled.  But teach the kids to make their own using the process above with the snack.  One person can grate carrots, (hair) one can cut celery, (arms and legs)  one can cut the olives in half, (eyes)  and one can put the scoop of cottage cheese (head/body) on the plates and one can cut the peppers in to strings for the mouth.  Like I mentioned above if you don’t have a large family divvy up the work between who you have and have fun cooking with your kids.  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!!! 

In my daily routine we were pretty much done with “school” buy one o’clock.  So the rest of the afternoon may be devoted to getting the little ones down for their naps. More reading aloud, before naps, targeting the younger set in my household and tending to the older ones academic needs if there were any.  Sewing projects, learning to iron, art projects, building projects also were done when the little ones were down so there were fewer interruptions.  Oh wait, did the laundry get switched out?  It may be ready to fold and put away.  I taught my children to fold laundry from the very smallest to the oldest right away.  When I did everyone’s laundry I would put a sheet on the living room floor and the laundry would go there and we would all fold and stack it in piles by the person it belonged to. I used this time to have conversations or sing with my kids.  One of my favorite songs was the Teamwork song from Levar Burton’s Reading Rainbow.  I wanted to get the idea across that at times we had to work together to get things done.  We are also a family of individualists who like to do our own thing.  By the time they were doing their own laundry I had worked myself out of a job.  We also darned socks, the ones that were too far gone were turned into puppets.  Learning to sew on the buttons for eyes and make an embroidery nose and mouth was a big challenge but the result was getting to make a puppet stage (out of couch cushions) and put on a show.  Oh look you just did Montessori!!!!!!!!!

Super?  What super?  OMG I forgot to take the “fill in the blank” out for super.  A common occurrence for us.  Ok, well the ground beef is ok to cook frozen just takes a little longer, spaghetti: check, pasta sauce: check, some kind of bread: check, greens: check.  Whew! crisis averted.  Seriously this happened at least twice a week.  So I switched to making frozen meals and took them out the night before, had a big note to self on the fridge.  Make a frozen meal you say, when one has a large or small family life can get hectic.  So when I made a meat loaf or a casserole I made two and froze one.  Eventually the kids helped with the process, cooking noodles, chopping veggies and stirring the meat. However there were times I just needed to Practical Life alone so I cooked dinner and the kids skedaddled.  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!!!!!

One thing we did twice a week was make our own bread.  I have what I call an Amish Bread Maker.  It is a stainless steel bucket with a dough hook that attaches to the top of the bucket.  The ingredients get poured in preferably by the children and then they take turns turning the handle to knead the dough.  Of course you can do all this by hand and that works just as well. My grand – ma had one of these bread mixers and I always wanted one so when I found one in the Back to Basics catalog I ordered it.  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!!!!! 

    Another skill I taught my kids was to memorize their home phone number, address and their mom and dad’s names.   Did you know that 70% of all accidents happen with in the home or very close to home?  Being able to call 911 and give them the information they need to help is valuable to a child.  It gives them a sense of confidence without overwhelming them with responsibility.  Viola you just did Montessori!!!!!!!!!!!

Why Montessori at home? My main goal was always to work myself out of a job and to raise competent and independent kids.  We all need to have skills to take care of ourselves, the environment and others, so this is a good time to teach them. Proof in point; my daughter just got home from the Ukraine where she was serving with the Peace Corps, she got evacuated back to the US.  If she had not had this kind of training she would have had a harder time living in a country that is basically living in the 1950’s.  In fact some of her cohorts did not have these skills, the steep learning curve was apparent.  My son in LA has these skills and has been able to navigate many situations in living and adapting to different environments in LA, California. (Aka Crazy Town)  My son and daughter in law in Texas have been through hurricanes and tornados and floods, they knew how to take care of themselves and others during a crisis.  My son and daughter who have lived in my house in Ohio on their own have used these skills as they stretched their wings to go to new jobs and university they knew just how to take care of themselves, by cooking and doing their own laundry and fixing things when they broke.

Even though I’ll always be a mom, I am no longer a parent.  My kids have all launched and I can rest assured they know not only what to do but how to do it, and if they don’t exploration is allowed.  We are not raising children but future adults.  This is what I believe Maria Montessori meant when she stated she was educating the human potential.


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Open Letter To My Sisters Who Won’t March.

An open letter to those who won’t march.

Some of the women I know have registered their opposition to The March.  In their view standing up for ourselves was in no way needed.  And from their perspective perhaps they don’t feel a need to stand or march.  You see these ladies live in that magic bubble of white mostly middle class privilege.  These ladies are good people, kind people, people who you can call in the middle of the night when you are suicidal and find solace.  BUT (and this is a big “but”); they do not realize, or if they do have a shallow understanding, that the world they live in does not exist for the majority of the rest of womanhood around the world and here in the United States.  I can identify with these ladies I grew up in the middle class white privilege too.  For 50 weeks out of the year.  But those other two weeks mom and I went to South Carolina to visit her side of the family.  We rode the train, there were many kinds of people on the train, but one thing I noticed was that the most important people on the train were Black.  They were the porters, sky caps, cooks, and the waiters.  They were the ones who helped you and took care of you and made sure your luggage got to where you needed it to be.  At my grandmother’s farm there were more important people. They made sure I had milk to drink, the tobacco crop got put in and harvested and everything ran smoothly.  They were Jesse and Lurleane and their 10 children who were the share croppers.  And though the years I noticed something.  There were separate entrances, drinking fountains, and bathrooms for these important people.  When I invited the daughter of Jesse and Lurleane to come and play she wouldn’t come into the house.  We had to play in the yard.  When Jesse came to give the report of what happened on the farm he stood at the back door and talked with my aunt.  I found that strange because being from out west, we always came right in and visited. And there were the words used to describe these important people.  Negro, Colored and then finally Black.  I also noticed that Jesse’s children took a different bus to school than the rest of the kids on Langston Road did. Things seemed upside down to me.  But I did not know why.  Not until Dr. King began to share his dream, and President Kennedy was assassinated, then his Brother Robert and finally Dr. King himself.  Because of my dad’s job we went to other places on temporary assignments for him to go to school or develop and maintain the radio communication systems he built.  We went to Oklahoma City where I saw many diverse people groups.  We were there when JFK was shot. The Irish Catholic woman in the apartment above us camped on our couch for three day and cried. We had a TV and they didn’t.  We went to Hanksville, Utah, where I learned that Mormons were OK people.  In fact they were people just like me only they had a different religion. We lived a summer in Roosevelt Utah close to the reservation.  I almost got a baby sister or brother out of that trip as my parents had looked in to adopting a Ute or Navajo baby.  I grew up with Mexican people in the Spanish community in my town as well.  Diversity was all about me.  I just had not known what I was looking at.  Then the big one came on the scene, the ERA. The Equal Rights Act put the plight of women on the map politically and ethically.  It highlighted the disparity of pay, of availability of birth control and other health serves for women.  We are still without protection in these areas under the constitution.  From 1972 to 2017, 45 years, women have been formally marginalized by the U. S. government and the business community. My mother worked for less than her male counterparts and did a better job.  But she was a woman so paying her the same was not going to be an option.

This is why we march.  It is not just about reproductive rights though that is a major component of our complaint.  It is about many other rights that have been denied us.  We as women are entitled to the same freedom our male counterparts are. That includes being paid what they are paid for the same work position that includes being able make decisions for our future that benefit us and our community. As a woman I chose to have my children, I could afford to do that.  I chose to stay at home and educate them, I could do that because of my white privilege. And help from my parents.  Not everyone had that kind of support even in my own family.  I count my lucky stars every night.  But, in many ways I represent those who have been marginalized as well.  I am a woman, I am single, I am gay, I have a disability and I don’t make enough to make it without government assistance even though I have two degrees and many years of experience in education and work a full time job.  I am also a senior citizen.

As a mother I have not had to caution my son’s on how to act in public because of their skin color. I have not had to caution them about how loud their music is in the car. I have not had to caution them about owning a gun, or where they could go or who they could date. But as a mother and a woman I have heard rude comments from men made to my daughters because one of them was tweaking her hairdo in a mirror at the mall.  I have been told of incidences of men yelling rude comments to my daughter while she walked to her car from work.  As an employee of the public school system I have seen the shock and fear on the faces of young girls when their male counter parts whooped it for the winner of our recent election, a misogynist, racist man.  These young white privileged boys who have no clue.  But the girls are already showing some reserve, especially those with brown skin.  I have seen that bit of caution creep in.

As a gay woman I don’t feel safe anymore.  I won’t be able to be true to myself in that part of my life in public.  As someone who works with people who are disabled and who has friends who are disabled in some way I feel very concerned about their welfare.  Will there by funding for the services they need?  As a senior will my social security be tampered with?  Will I have the assistance I need to help with the heating bill?  Will I have Medicare and Medicaid to help with my medical needs?  You see I don’t make enough to buy insurance that is offered through my work.  I could go on but I think you get the idea.

We have gone from an atmosphere of inclusion, to exclusion in the blink of an eye.  Life doesn’t feel safe anymore.  And we must remember that in order for women to vote in any election someone marched.  Those women who voted for racism, misogyny, inequality on so many levels you can sit in the comfort of your privileged bubble.

                                                 But the rest of us?

                   WE WILL MARCH!  

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OMG is right!!  I has been three years since my last blog!!  You know the last one about life going in a straight line? Well nope that hasn’t happened here.

After my last post/update there was Sandy Hook.  Yes that Sandy Hook!! And all the wind went out of my sails.  I wanted to write a response but I had no words.  NONE!!  Frozen. Numb. Shock.  There was absolutely no way I could even process the tragedy and I’ll admit I still can’t.

So here is the short version on my catch up.   I switched jobs, went back to school to earn my masters in Early Childhood Education and had a major medical event all since I last posted.  And here we are.   I am once again embarking on the blog -0-sphere and going for a second masters for Intervention Specialist/reading endorsement. And once again find myself unemployed due to a downsize and have had a medical problem with my heart.

So where does that leave us and homeschooling.  Well it leaves us exactly the same place we were three years and so many more shootings ago.  Only today I’m not going to talk about teaching the three R’s.  Today I am going to talk about being safe.  Or the illusion of being safe.  When the shootings at Columbine happened I sat and cried for three days.  I could not understand why or how those young men saw fit to kill their classmates. How could their parents miss so many signs?  My kids were aware of what had happened.  My oldest son remarked “Well that won’t happen to us we homeschool!”  I wanted to tell him he was right but I had to tell him the truth.  Yes it could happen to us.  We go everywhere together in public places.  I had to tell my son that all it took was an angry customer in a grocery store, a deranged motorist in rush hour traffic or a kid with a vendetta at the park and we would not be safe.  BUT we could be smart.  Which meant being aware of our surroundings.  That doesn’t mean being paranoid just aware of others.  Too many of us walk around  in the world or Wal Mart with our heads in the clouds.  So how are we aware of what is going on around us?  One thing I do is I look people in the eye and I smile. That helps spread the sunshine.  And I notice what they have in their hands.  Shopping bag full of goodies for the grandbabies or ammo?  Being observant can help save lives.  Now I will admit most of the shooters picked an unexpected time and place for their crime.  We never expect to go to Wal Mart and get killed.  Or to school or to the hospital.  But it happens. We also took the ALICE training through our Civil Air Patrol squadron. It made me feel as if I have some agency if this ever happens.  So I helped my kids learn a few simple things about observation and distraction and off we went, shopping, to the park, to the library.  I live in a small rural area, I hope none of the people who live near me will go off the rails and kill us.  I pray everyday for there to be some kind of lasting peace in our world, beginning within myself. Until then I’ll live in that illusion and choose to trust in the goodness of others until proven wrong.

Hopefully it won’t be another three years till I am here again.  At least that is not my intention.

Peace and prayers peeps

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OK so I have thought this was going to go in a strait line. My talking about home schooling the hows and whys.  Well you know what happens when you life life in a strait line you run into a brick wall!  

So I will go with random thoughts floating through the ether today. 

Reading ~  

Why do we teach our children to read?

I had several children who have the same learning difficulties I do and learning to read took allot of effort.  At one time I thought well I will just have to go to college with them and read them their assignments.  I was serious. But then the light came on and I was off the hook.  Whew!! 

But seriously why do we teach our kids to read? 

As usual this conversation started in my head when I was up to the elbows in soapy dish water (isn’t that where are the good stuff starts?)  and I thought ~ 

The obvious is that if they don’t read we as parents are stuck reading it all to them.  Not high on my list of things I want to do for the rest of when ever.

The home school evaluator will turn me in for educational neglect ~ No that isn’t either. 

Makes them look smart? Nope 

Didn’t want them to have their brain rotted by TV? Getting closer.

Then it hit me ~ I taught my children to read and read to them through out their growing up years because i wanted them to think about higher concepts. I wanted them to think about love and death and life and good and evil.  

We read many chapter books from Melville and Swift, Burnett, Stevenson, Defoe, Henty, to  Brian Jacques and .K. Rolling.  We learned and laughed and talked about what was read.

What do you or have you read to your kids?  

What concepts have you come across in your reading?

Word of warning.  Once you raise a reader forget about not having an Amazon or Barn’s and Noble account.  And invest in more book shelves.  

Happy reading and thanks for visiting.


Posted on by dgm1952 | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

So what exactly is a free range child?  Good question, as we go though the process of discussing home schooling and parenting and what ever else may come up you will get the idea.  You never know you may be harboring on in your kitchen as you read this.

Why home school?  Yes why indeed!!  There are many more reasons to home school than to not but I can only express my own reasons.

But first this message:

Home schooling is NOT for the education of the child (yes you read that right)  It is for the character development of the parent.  Plaster this on every available surface at eye level You will meed to repeat it many times along the way as the process of home schooling, parenting and child development unfolds.

What were my reasons for home schooling my children? Let me see if I can break it down to the top three ~

1) I believed that if I had children I should be the one to raise them.

2) I felt it was my calling  in life

3) OK, I admit it, I’m a big wimp  I couldn’t stand the thought of them going to school with out me.

There are so many other reason why but these come to mind first.

I would like to hear from my readers as well.

What do you want to know?  Why do you home school? What can I help you with?

Lets talk


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