Whole Heart School is now in session.
The baby is three weeks and a half weeks old now so I figured we'd better get started on school. I didn't spend any time with the kids keeping things fresh in their minds during this summer as I intended (aside from reading with the big boy) - but hey, I was fat, hot, miserable... pregnant. We are brushing up on reading, carrying, borrowing, multiplying, and just plain paying attention! It's really amazing what a couple months more of maturity does to a child!! It's been THREE days and they are like little SPONGES and just catching on SO quick, PRAISE GOD! We are going to have a great year (by the Grace of God). Our studies will include the second half of the Old Testament, ancient Greece and map reading. Math, science (the systems of the body, astronomy and an in-depth bee study to get ready for our farm bees next spring). English, creative writing. We will also be learning French (in a more formal fashion than before), cursive (which many people have told me their kids aren't learning in school anymore), typing, piano, violin and studying musical composers and artists... Degas, Van Gogh, Rockwell... Chopin and Handel to name a few. (I will post my posters again if you would like). I won't be throwing up every ten minutes this year so I am thinking it's going to be an amazing. I look forward to Christmas break to access how we are doing and what the kids have learned. We have decided to spend our mornings doing farm chores, mom's Turbo Fire work outs, errands, baking and being a family and to school in the afternoon while it's quite and the little ones are sleeping. GENIUS!!!
Lately I keep seeing these two words:
"Common Core" on the Internet.
I can't tell if I am bored with it or a bit concerned.
Homeschooling is huge for me. That and homebirth. What I mean is, the minute we loose our rights to do these two things with our children. Well... fricken' forget it. To me, that's about as bad as it can get. It's off to hide in Appalachia if you know what I mean.
So many people give me grief about these two passions of mine... grief or "concern". Like, What if your baby dies... How will your kids be socialized? Don't you need a break from them? And my favorite, Are you going to Homeschool all the way through highschool? As if I am going to (and that's the plan so far) well, as if that would be a bad thing. I mean come on, generally speaking, have you SEEN what's coming out of public high schools lately? I don't want my kids to turn into that. I don't want my kids around that. Please, don't read me the riot act how your kids and your public school are different... I know... that's why I said GENERALLY SPEAKING. Not every kid is going to be stupid or go off the deep end and turn into a twerking, texting, twit. But, like I said, I just don't want my kids around it. (Come on, twerking, texting twit? THAT was funny.)
Now, I have friends with awesome families that I LOVE and greatly respect who have their kids in public school and that's the beauty of the country right now - we can each decide what is best for our families. I have no desire to be dogmatic about something like education. However, just like natural/home birth I hope that everyone does their research and knows what is going on in each system and what, if any, alternatives there are. Some mom's would LOOSE THEIR EVERYLOVIN' MINDS if they taught their own kids. Trust me - I understand. I've lost mind many times. Thankfully Jesus found it for me and brought it back! It still doesn't stay put too well.
But - this Common Core thing creeps me out. And so far, from what I have read I am not very impressed. It seems like another control freak, knee jerk reaction to the disaster that is (GENERALLY SPEAKING) our school system. It looks like everyone is going to have to jump "how high" to make sure they are all on the same page. I've read stories of desperate curriculum changes to accommodate what is going to be on the tests. I've read of horribly low scores on states who are running preliminary tests after making those curriculum changes.
Supporters say Common Core only tests students in math and English,
but critics say school districts will devise curriculum to maximize
their students' performance on the national exams, and, in fact, have
already begun that measure. And those same critics claim Common Core
math standards barely cover basic geometry or second-year algebra and
that the classics are all but ignored in English classes.
“The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been
shown to be a disaster,” Glyn Wright, executive director of Eagle Forum,
told FoxNews.com. “With the new math standard in the Common Core, there
are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can now equal 11 so long as
a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”
There are some serious questions we need to have answers to-
Whose writing these tests?
What is their background/agenda?
What if it is a disaster? Will they admit it?
And how does this affect Homeschoolers and our choice of what we teach our kids? See, I think it's really going to affect us when it comes to college. For the most part we homeschoolers are teaching our kids differently than a public school education. Ours is more of a classical education if you will (GENERALLY SPEAKING). We aren't wasting time teaching about so-called "Global Warming" or whatever palatable name they call it these days. There's no "Janie has Two Mommies". We aren't reading "technical writings" as is one of the focuses of Common Core (or so I have read - that schools will focus less on the classics) -- we've already introduced our kids to Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain. Critics say the loss of focus on classic literature will hurt children's ability to think critically.
Yikes. That's what we need are more kids walking around with an inability to think.
I just want my children to have depth and a wicked (strange pun?) understanding of our faith... to know that there is life beyond an Ipod or Xbox. And to know how to (lovingly) argue an atheist into a corner. (The numbers are frightening when you look at how many "Christian" kids leave the faith upon entering university - that says a lot about their upbringing, the pagan culture of college or BOTH!)
Anyways, what I am saying is, if the whole system "out there" changes then where does that leave homeschoolers who want to apply for college? NOT that college is a focus in this house. Don't get me started on how college is not for everyone. It just seems like this could put a lot of pressure on homeschooling parents to conform in order for kids to be taught what is on the tests.
And I can't tell yet if that really concerns me or like most things...
really bores me.