Saturday, November 19, 2011

Busy day ahead

Well, it's been a busy week. How many times do I say that, right? The kids crammed their five days worth of school work all into Monday through Wednesday, because we needed Thursday through Saturday off. We usually fit five days of school, plus one field trip day, into those six days each week. 

Have you heard of the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix? We went on a homeschool field trip there last week with other families from our church. Wow, was it ever impressive! If you haven't been, I definitely recommend it. If you bank with Bank of America, I think they give you free admission on the first Saturday of every month with your debit card. Not sure of the details, so check with the museum or your bank first.

One of the things I love about homeschooling (watch, some dimwit will leave a comment saying I secretly resent homeschooling because I said that) is exposing our very young children to so much of what the older ones are learning about. Somewhere I read that knowledge is like snow falling on their brain - for a while, it just sits there, but then one day it all melts and sinks in. It's so true. Anna loved the "musical experiences" room, where the kids get to try out all sorts of different, cool, and unusual instruments. At one point, she was beating a conga drum. Well, ever since then, she has been crawling up to her big tub of A&D diaper ointment, holding it just like a drum, and beating it in rhythm. It is so funny to watch!

Well, this week was going to be busy, which is why we worked hard to get ahead. We spent all Thursday and Friday shopping and decorating for a wedding at our church today. The decorations came out very nicely, if I do say so myself. I'll have to get pictures before the festivities today.

To make things more interesting, Becky developed an ear infection on Monday night, and threw up all over her bed from the fever. You know, because I had just changed her sheets that evening. Ugh! At first she was getting better from the ear drops, but by the middle of the week she started running a fever again. I blame myself for not being consistent in giving her the ear drops because she hated it and insisted her ears were no longer  hurting. She is still not completely over it by today, manifested by her crankiness. She is supposed to be a flower girl in the wedding today, so we will see. Did I mention she is cranky?

Miriam is also a flower girl, John the ring bearer, and the two other boys are going to help as ushers/waiters at the reception. They are worried there will be no cake left for them by the time I relieve them from their duties. Such is life as a pastor's kid: the girls get to be flower girls, and the boys have to do all the work! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I don't know if you resent homeschooling, but I do think you are so anxious to see it's benefits that you often appear very naive.

    Public school kids go to that museum, too, you know. With their baby sisters in tow. Who are copying them and learning from them, just like Anna! It's not a homeschooling benefit at all. It's just a benefit of having an older sibling.

    There are benefits to homeschooling, sure. There are also benefits to public school. For example, kids don't have to wait around to learn, till mom is done with the laundry, cooking, cleaning, baby care, shopping, etc. They can learn all day at school (and mine do!)

  2. I just learned last month that some chiropractors know of a special technique to avoid ear infections. As soon as our one year old started to tug on his ear and be super cranky I let my friend who is one do it and wow- immediately after the ear popped he was perfectly fine with no medicine at all! He has 4 kids and not one ear infection. I sure hope Becky feels better in time for the wedding..oh throwing up in bed..isn't that your most hated thing? :-/ Anna is looking so big and CUTE!

  3. One of my favorite things about going to museums and zoos where there are lots of children is observing how each child makes the experience their own.

    On the home remedy note, have you ever heard of Calcium Bentonite clay? Very interesting stuff.

  4. I'd love to see how the decorating turns out. I hope you post some wedding pictures! Becky wouldn't be the first cranky flower girl and she won't be the last. ;-)

  5. Who is that cutie pie blonde haired toddler, and what has she done with little baby Anna?! ;-)

  6. I just wanted to respond the the anonymous comment at 8:11 am.

    Homeschool kids don't have to wait around to learn while mom does "laundry, cooking, cleaning, baby care, shopping, etc." In our home that also becomes a learning opportunity. And quite often my boys will be sitting and reading while I am doing some housework. Or adding up our grocery total while I am shopping, or helping me take care of their younger brother, etc.

    But my husband, a former public school teacher, will tell you that there are tons of times when kids in public school are sitting around waiting to learn. They don't have the opportunity to get up and learn on their own; they often have to sit and wait until the other kids are caught up before going on to the next lesson.

    I understand that learning can take place in many different environments, and would never say that homeschooling is for everyone, but it does bother me when people imply that public school is better. It is not better for my family. It is not even equal for my family.

  7. Petra - ha! Isn't that the truth??!??!

    Megan, I don't know, but I guess we'll keep her. ;)

  8. Zsuzsanna~ That musuem looks like so much fun. I CONSTANTLY say how much I love homeschooling, because I DO! I also don't think we are naive...just excited about homeschooling and what you do. I am too! And by the way, none of my kids are waiting around to learn...they are learning ALL DAY LONG! I agree that in Public school children are learning all day long also...I do not disagree... EVERY child learns all day long~ but what is it that they are learning??? That's the true question.
    Well, have a wonderful day at the wedding, I bet it's going to be beautiful, I would love to see pictures :)

  9. My kids learn while I'm doing laundry etc, I don't know of to many moms who make their kids wait to learn while they're doing household chores and they're not sitting in a crowded classroom waiting for a few seconds of their teacher's time (yes my kids did attend public school in the past I do have a right to compare). Some people's lives revolve around "fundie" blogs and how many snide remarks they can comment on them so they can brag to their silly "friends" on their forum. What a life to have lol.

  10. Anonymous says Zsuzsanna is naive and says, "For example, kids don't have to wait around to learn,... They can learn all day at school (and mine do!)"

    My response: HA! If you think kids learn all day in school, you are the one who is naive! Homeschooled kids don't have to "wait to learn." HS moms are usually bright enough to figure out how to schedule chores around schooling. So your sad attempt to paint a picture of a knowledge- deprived child sitting there all day watching mom fold laundry, wishing he could learn something is ridiculous. Public school kids are the ones waiting around to learn. They wait for the bus to get them to the institution, then wait for the bell to signal the time to start class, then wait for roll to be called, then wait for announcements over the intercom. When class finally begins, they must wait for the teacher to cover the subject ONE way to a class of 20 kids until the average student should get it (regardless if an individual student needs less or more time to get it). They also wait for the teacher to answer everyone elses questions; they wait some more for the teacher to deal with the problem kids. They wait through snack break, some more through lunch and recess, and they wait through each passing period. Add up all the passing periods, breaks, lunch, recess, PE, art, music, etc. There are probably only about 4 hours of core class time (which includes other kids' needs and classroom teaching methods (which take LONGER). That's why a homeschool kid can easily knockout most (sometimes all) their schoolwork by lunch or shortly after. And they will learn more in that time than public school kids. More learning is accomplished in less time, because it is solid learning and practice with the attention on individual students compared to the classroom lecture of 20 kids at a time. No one can really argue with this; so if you don't want to homeschool, that's your business, but don't make idiotic excuses like "the kids have to wait to learn." Come up with something better than that. But you are right about your kids learning all day in school. They'll experience inescapable peer pressure, bad language and attitudes, and they'll learn that being queer is good. It may not be academic, but at least it's something, right? Sorry to go off on this track, but I just HAD to address such a thoughtless spewing of garbage.

  11. "Reading" seems to be the primary way that homeschool kids learn, while their mothers do the cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. Want to learn history? Read a book. Want to study physics? Read a book. So many homeschooling moms can't seem to be bothered to do anything else but point their kids to a book.

    If you read Generation Cedar, now even *talking to your kids* is a homeschool learning experience. And writing a grocery list counts as spelling! Wow, how comprehensive.

    Here's what my kids do in public school--appear in plays, watch a chick hatch, plant a vegetable garden, take singing lessons, form a "town" and buy and sell things, go on factory tours, take robotics, etc.

    And they learn to cook, clean, mail a package, go to museums, etc on the weekends, and after school.

    And while they are in school (and this is the part ZsuZ really envies), I can get all my chores done so I am 100% with them when they are home.

  12. Zsuzsa, I can't believe that you predicted the "dimwit comment" with such accuracy! It was the first one of the day! Ha! ;)

    Anna is just too cute! She looks like such a big girl now!

    Can't wait to see photos of the wedding! I really hope Becky is feeling better soon!

  13. I sure hope you little one had their ear infection clear up. My son just had one, too.

    I cannot believe I didn't check my email while I was in Phoenix. I could have used those strawberries. I forced my sister into my juicing phase!!!

    That museum looks awesome. I grew up in Phoenix and don't ever remember going there. It must be relatively new!! So cool!

  14. Janine, if neither "reading" nor "talking to your kids" are appropriate ways to teach/learn, what are we supposed to use? Sign language? And why is going shopping with mom not educational, but kids ***pretending*** to be a town and buy/sell things is? NONE of the things you listed as your children having learned in public school is stuff that is unavailable to homeschooled children. In fact, we have done almost all of them. And instead of doing my chores and then giving 100% to my children, I just give them 100% of my chores. It's great!!

    Michele, I'm sorry! You probably won't want to hear that the strawberries actually turned out to be only $15 per flat. Maybe next time - they almost always have something cool going on. The MIM is new, like a year old maybe, but the facility and the collection are stunning. I hope your son's ear infection clears up quickly - especially if he is not able to take the antibiotic.

  15. Anna is such a cutie pie. I can't really tell what is the best : the fact that she's become a toddler, or that she is just gorgeous ! I hope she becomes as sweet as her siblings :)

    I had ears infection when I was young, about six times, I was even operated one time, and I ended up pretty well !

    On the topic of homeschooling : I definitely think that children are given more personal attention than in public schools. But I don't think they are taught so much better. Maybe it depends on the teacher.

    I had wonderful teachers back in primary school, but I was a gifted child, and many times, I had understood perfectly the lesson, and the others hadn't, and I was so bored because I couldn't go on on the programm, I had to wait until the others were finished. This is something that wouldn't happen in homeschooling.

    I have the opinion that homeschooling is great, but many mothers would not like to do that because they want a job outside the house. This is my case, I love my studies and I want to be an interpreter all my life afterwards. This is what makes me happiest.

  16. Yay! A new family photo! Your kids look gorgeous! Love the matching dresses. Beautiful.

  17. "For example, kids don't have to wait around to learn, till mom is done with the laundry, cooking, cleaning, baby care, shopping, etc."

    And when you're learning at home you don't have to wait around to learn until the idiot who decided he doesn't want to learn shuts up or leaves the room so the teacher can continue. There were a lot of "troubled" kids at my high school and often instead of just sending them to the principal's office when they decided to walk around and goof off, the teachers would stand there quietly and say "As soon as Joe here wants to be quiet and sit down, we will continue". Of course the kid would never do either so 45 minutes would go by with everyone staring at the walls, bored out of their minds.

  18. ZZ, The difference is this. If you take your kids shopping, you are the boss and you do everything.

    You choose the products, you write the check or receive the change, you put the receipt in your purse, you decide what store to go to next. If you own a business, you choose the product, hiring the employees, etc.

    The kids just tag along and watch. Learning a little, perhaps, but not much. Mostly just bored and aimless, from what I've seen.

    In a pretend village such as the one I've seen, kids are the boss. They choose the product, write the checks, etc. And that's how they learn. By doing everything themselves.

    And since all the kids are roughly at the same level, it works pretty smoothly. There are no 2-year olds smashing the buildings. No baby crying to be fed.

    I'm sure homeschooling parents are free to create their own pretend city with their kids, but somehow laundry and cooking seems to prevent it from ever happening.

    However, unlike you, I can see both sides of the issue, and there are certainly benefits to homeschooling.

  19. I am a school nurse in the public school system. My own children went to Catholic schools. And I have close friends who home schooled. Each educational system had pros and cons. I think each is a legitimate option. I agree with the poster who said that the core academic subjects take up about 4 hours of the school day. There is recess, lunch period, and non core subjects. I'm disturbed that many public schools today are doing away with physical education, which all children need. Some are doing away with art and music, which all children need. One advantage of public schools if you live in a large district is the variety of schools, there are Montessori schools, A+ schools that focus on the arts, classical schools that focus on a classical education, magnets that might focus on science, music, math, immersion schools. We have Spanish, French, German, and Chinese immersion schools in our district. You are fortunate ZsuZsu because you can teach your children to be bilingual as a home school Mom, not all parents can do that. If my children were young today and I lived here I'd send them to Spanish or Chinese immersion. If I lived in a district without immersion I'd homeschool until middle school, then send them to a Catholic school. The important thing is that parents make an informed choice about what is best for each child in their family. I have a friend who is home schooling just one of her children, a 4th grader. He just has always hated school even though he's very smart. His siblings continue at their Catholic grade school, and Catholic colleges. But he's home schooled and it's working.

  20. It's true that children in public school don't learn academics all day. But they do learn all day.

    They are not following mom listlessly into the car so she can go buy socks. They are talking with their classmates, watching, observing, trying things out, learning to get along. They even learn from the announcements--what is Veteran's Day?, why is the fifth grade going to a "symphony"?, who won the math contest, etc. It is all new, so they learn.

    They are not playing video games. They are not watching TV. They are not on the computer. Yet these are things I've seen homeschooled kids do, so that their mothers can get some housework done.

    I don't blame these mothers. Of course they need to get things done. But, very often, their kids are lying around, fighting with each other for the remote; their time would be much better spent if they were at school.

  21. Wow you all have so much to do out there for kids , Leah would love that . There is nothing like that here .

  22. Wow, seriously?! What's with everyone hating on Zsuzsanna's parenting choices and home schooling?!
    I don't agree with everything this woman says, but one things for sure, I'm VERY impressed by her parenting!!!
    Home schooling is a wonderful thing to do if you're going to do it with heart and soul and strength. Public schooling is both good and bad. Unfortunately the one my eldest is at is terrible! He has learnt almost nothing all year, except bad things from godless children there, and has been bullied! I hate the school he's in, the only reason he's even there right now is because the police will turn up on my door step if I take him out! I am looking at private schools for him next year, or home schooling him myself!
    Zsuzanna is, from all I've seen on her blog a wonderful, dedicated Mother. I doubt very much those smiles on her kid's faces are forced for the camera and Mommy really is holding a knife at them or something. Her kids look happy, healthy, well looked after, and hopefully well behaved!
    To say she hates homeschooling is completely stupid. Sorry. But it's a nonsense argument.
    As a Mother, I think she's doing a great job and I'd welcome tips from her! (hint, hint Zsuzsanna! lol)

  23. Oh, the instrument museum looks like so much fun, I'll have to put it on the list for the next time we make it to Phoenix. I think a lot of family's miss out on museums and activities in their area--explore your town and surrounding ones, there are spots that are more educational than people realise--for example, your trip to the cabin was filled with learning activities as well as fun.

    Oh, hearing about Becky's ear infections make my own ears hurt.

    I don't know how you manage to do it, as when one of your little ones is sick, chances are the others have it, too! That's a lot to be 'Doctor Mom' to in the middle of the night!



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