Do Homeschool Kids Miss Out?

Each year we have an annual homeschool cupcake decorating valentines day party. This year valentines day happen to land on a public school holiday (Presidents day) so we were able to invite both our homeschooled and public schooled friends which was a special treat.

We had about fifty people here enjoying themselves. And once again, I look around to find a bunch of kids that are very well socialized and have lots of friends. (Mythbuster #1 – homeschool kids have friends and are socialized!)

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Kids were having a blast all over the place, jumping on the trampoline, zipping down the zip line, climbing trees, digging giant holes in the hillside (apparently just a few foxholes and trenches incase we reenact the war during history lessons, haha!) and decorating cupcakes. It is always such fun to see kids being kids and having a ball!

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It is also great to see so many school kids and homeschool kids getting along. (Mythbuster #2 – that homeschool kids and school kids can’t get along.) They all cooperated and worked well together toward similar goals.

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There were lots of various ages ranging from 2-12 and all the kids seemed helpful and able to get along with their peers, which beats yet another myth…(Mythbuster #3 – who’s a peer? same age? same interest? same capabilities? or someone you just like hanging out with regardless of differences?)

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So as I look around and see an amazing group of kids that are very well socialized busting more homeschool myths I feel happy to know we are a part of it all. I love knowing with time the homeschoolers will show the world just how fantastic they are!

I hope anyone that is considering homeschooling understands that the lifestyle of a homeschooler is not some foreign weirdo world. Your lifestyle is up to you. Homeschooling puts the control back into your hands. Your family, home, life is once again yours.

And the answer is NO…homeschool kids do NOT miss out on anything! They have lots to celebrate!

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Strewing, I’m a Strewer, Are You???

I love to strew activities around for my kids to find and explore. Today I caught a few photos of strewing in action!

My daughter was painting earlier while my son was totally engrossed in history channels documentary Ancient Aliens series. Painting was the last thing on his mind.

After a while I noticed my daughter had moved on to building circuit boards with our snap circuit kits. (Which were conveniently set out)

(Side note: awesome toy alert!)

I hated to waste the paint she didn’t use up, so I took it outside and put it on a table near the sand box. (I knew they would be our near the sand box this afternoon)

One of the kids chores today was to remove old sand box toys for goodwill. As they started removing toys, they decided they didn’t want any of the toys, just the sand, some rocks, shells and the water hose. (Another moment that supports more natural simply play over plastic crap toys!)

And I digress a lot! Such is life as a masterful multitasker haha! 😉

Point is, there was that paint, just sitting there while the kids cleaned out/played in the sand box. Not noticed at first.

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Then after a little while…my son discovered it and decided he wanted to paint some rocks….

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My daughter was engrossed in flooding the sand box and making her own sand creations.

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But it wasn’t too long before she discovered her pet rocks needed some eyeballs! And the paint happen to be right there.

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I love how activities lead into others so smoothly. My son was clearly still processing the earlier documentary’s information when he decided to build ancient alien inspired cities, walls, artifacts, etc in the sand box.

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A quick toy tidy chore with cleverly places supplies turned into nearly two hours of fantastic creative personally inspired educational play.

Strewing is such a fantabulous way to give mama a quiet moment to sip some tea and the kids a chance to love learning. All I did was set the paints outside and assign a tidy up chore. Win win for all!!!

As I type I overheard the kids making plans to become paleontologists and the adventure of finding a freshly painted dinosaur tooth (aka stick) in the sand box, who will hide it, who will find it, the outfits they need to change into first, who will wear what, etc…the plans are almost as much fun as the adventures….oh to be a kid again! 🙂

Thursday – Day Four

Well first thing this morning neither child had forgotten I promised a BEN 10 episode, so they started their day off with a cartoon. When the one was over, they were hooked and wanted more, more, more…so I figured if they worked together to clean my daughter’s room (which looked like a tornado blew thru a hoarder room) Then I would agree to another Ben 10.

 A few minutes later they came out and said they were finished. I’m pretty sure this is not the case. I ask, did you really clean up her room in that short of time? And they said, OH I THOUGHT YOU JUST WANTED A NICEPATH THRU HER ROOM…ha ha! So I look, they had neatly shoved everything to the sides so one might have a lovely path threw the disaster zone.

 With a little guidance they did a beautiful job on her room and they also worked on compromise, working together to tackle a fairly large job (giant really for a kid!) I could hear them deciding who would do what. It was pretty cute!

 A few jobs needed to be accomplished before our play dates arrived today.

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 We had two separate play dates today and to be honest I got way side tracked chatting with my mama friends to document much of today. I do have photos to share, but not a lot of “homeschooling” stuff other then SOCIALIZING…today was SOCIALIZING DAY! Ha ha! 🙂

 A little dress up time:

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Breakfast time:

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 My son is researching Ben 10 alien costumes and preparing himself for HALLOWEEN already! He will most likely change his mind a billion times, so we have a rule, I will purchase ONE costume, but if you decide you want to be something else, then you have to make the costume yourself using stuff from our dress up bin….or literally MAKE IT yourself with card board or whatever you have to use.

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 Contemplating life I suppose? I wonder if school kids get much quiet time to just think their thoughts. I know when I have a busy day it takes a lot of quiet practice to come down and feel grounded and able to just think my thoughts, so I love seeing my kids pondering life or maybe Ben 10 costumes ha ha!, but just having quiet moments to think their own personal private thoughts.

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image Son: Did you know your body is complex? You can eat upside down! (as he puts a handful of popcorn in his mouth upside down…apparently one can defy gravity in some ways)

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Play time: (trying to sort out weapons, game rules, costumes…all really important stuff!)

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Lunch Time:

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 Playing after Lunch…(mama is starting to loose steam and forgetting to document…sorry!)

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 Kids came in the room where the mama chat was going on, so I have a few photos of the games they pulled out and played…

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Then back to base camp to plot some more weapons, war tactics, game rules and strategies for conquering the other team!

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 Little break to jump on the trampoline (and it is hard to see but one kiddo is up in the tree)

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These magnets are still fascinating to him. He has had three days of processing these magnets. I know more is going on up in his brain regarding the magnets then just positive negative charges…he had that mastered when he was two! I’m guessing Thomas Edison type stuff, so I’m glad there isn’t fire involved and it’s just magnets! ha ha!

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A bit later one set of friends left and another arrived…The girls were playing with the doll house and it wasn’t really my son’s gig, so he played this game by himself in more of a puzzly way.

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 This is where I failed on documentation miserably today…I was having a nice time visiting with friends and the kids happily playing. The day got away from me… 

Dinner time… 

Bath… 

I took the kids out for an ice cream. As much as I dislike them having ice cream right before bed, I had promised it to them two days ago. I figured we should just get that promise over with and hopefully the sugar crash happens in their sleep. Ha ha!

 I’m going to snuggle up with hubby and watch whatever show he’s watching then head for bed…I hope to do a better job tomorrow. 

I’ve been thinking about it, I think I will try this again in the fall/winter when we are doing more schooly things then we do during the summer. We do school year round, but we are relaxed schoolers and the month of July we are SUPER relaxed schoolers…lol…might not be the best week, oh well, hind sight is alwasy 20/20 we’ll do it again some time down the road… 

Good night!

Go Climb A Tree!

Climbing a tree….one of the passages into childhood….

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No longer allowed at schools…..sad!

I really want to rant and rave about the need for tree climbing in our children’s lives. How the element of danger is necessary in the developmental process and how we as a society have removed nearly all degrees of danger (& nature) from our children’s natural play.

No climbing, you’ll get hurt
No jumping, you’ll get hurt
No running, you’ll get hurt

When my son was a toddler and we were heavily involved with a moms group. The other mothers would see him toddle off and start climbing. They would inform me, as if I’m not watching my own child. “He’s going to fall!!!” they would announce it in a panicked voice.

Not only was I watching my son, I had already assessed the situation and realize that if he did fall he might get a little scared, but he wouldn’t be injured. And it was a good opportunity for him to learn his abilities. My replies were generally on the lines of “if he does fall he will only do it once” or “if he does fall, he will learn from it”

One of the other mothers said to me during group, I can’t believe your busy son has never been to the emergency room when my sweet docile daughter has been three times already.

I just had to laugh at the descriptive personalities. Busy, sweet, docile…ha ha! Parents can be so bias at times towards their own sweet innocent darling perfect children. Especially when they hang out with busy dirty dangerous children whose parents clearly don’t know that germs and danger exist. Ha ha! (Oops my sarcastic side just slipped out)

The truth is her sweet docile daughter never had the chance to experience danger. She never had any “safe danger” to play with. She had no idea that life could be dangerous. It must be a safe situation, no one was hollering “stop you’ll get hurt!” So when opportunities came up and no one was looking (aka hovering) she would go about her normal developmental path and voila danger would arise, but she had no clue danger was there.

We as a society are so preoccupied with making the world a safer place for our children (which sounds nice) we are not realizing the consequences.

1) We are raising children that never get to experiment with “safe danger” Children today are not learning and making brain connections on their danger boundaries. (Which can also go into personal space boundaries and many other body awareness/social issues, but we can save that for another post down the road)

2) We are not outside in nature enough climbing, jumping, running, etc…Our children are becoming oblivious to outside sounds as well as sounds of danger and their intuition skills.

3) We are creating “overly worried” children. Worried about irrational fears, because they are told constantly don’t do this, don’t do that, this is dangerous, that is dangerous, don’t touch that, it’s dirty, it has germs, but they aren’t fully sure what they are supposed to do, or what real danger is, they only know its out there lurking in every corner, waiting to get them and it must be something bad….really really bad!

Now that I am involved in a homeschooling group, instead of the hover mama club, I see lots of tree climbing, free happy kids developing not only physical abilities but loads of brain power.

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So I plead with you, get out into nature and let your kids climb trees!

The Unsocialized Homeschooler

The socialization of homeschooled children is a common topic that many homeschoolers are asked about by non-homeschoolers.

When people are considering homeschooling, often they fear their child will miss out on the socialization a classroom brings.

When people are unaware of what exactly goes on in a homeschooling home, they assume the children are unsocialized or rarely get to play with children their own age.

People assume homeschooled children only socialize with their siblings as playmates.

Socialization seems to be one of the biggest concern of the non- homeschooling community.

As a homeschooler, socialization is my least concern, and I’d like to share with you why.

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Each week on average we have 3 play dates with a variety of friends.

Each week we meet up with a homeschooling group and have a park or beach day.

The homeschooling group arranges monthly field trips.

We have sleep overs, camp outs, BBQs, parties, community activities, etc.

We sign up for clubs, sports, dance, horse riding, music, etc.

I was recently told by a friend whose children attend the local public school, that my children have more of a social life than hers do. She confessed, she had worried about homeschooling kids, thinking they sat at home all day with nothing to do, while the other kids were at school playing with friends.

The truth is, school kids spend majority of their day sitting in the classroom, not outside playing with friends. Where as homeschooled children are generally finished with their studies hours before school kids are let out for the day; therefore, homeschool kids get to spend the rest of their day truly SOCIALIZING with friends.

If you are concerned or would like more information on the topic of socializing homeschooled children, here are two really good books on the topic.