Not much going on around here after the holidays. We had fun over food, along with a visit from my in-laws that we didn’t know about until a few days before Thursday. Hence, we’d bought no turkey as no one here eats it, but instead “gobbled until we wobbled” (thanks, Tirzah) on de-boned chickens stuffed with crawfish dressing. Once we knew we were having guests, we did run out and buy some honey smoked turkey slices from our local grocer’s deli section. Their turkey is as almost as good as the much-higher-priced Honeybaked or Logan’s turkeys; even our son, the vegetarian, will enjoy an occasional slice. Football was lackluster, but we still had a ball, and I soaked in the tranquility of a weekend with little to do—at least until Sunday. I spent some of the day, and more of today, planning out the next 2-3 weeks of our 1st semester. Where did the time go, and moreover, where did 2008 go? Much to my relief as I perform my mental assessment of where we are versus where I planned to be, we are fairly close. This is despite several deterrents to our “normal” school year, although “normal” is a never-ending quest in which we’ve never found the end of the journey, just a new twist of adventure.
Given my love of planning, it’s been exciting to start looking toward next year. I’m finding several great resources—free and low-cost resources, praise God—that contain great ideas to compliment our reading. I’m excited, and I look forward to it being less stressful year. I’m believing that the girls have had this school year to make whatever adjustment they needed to make, and they’ll be more a bit more at home with the flow of their individual schooldays. I was so pleased when I passed by our home computer recently and saw the oldest’s e-mail to a friend she met on her missions trip. School is getting easier, she said. God is so very faithful, in spite of the number of times I promised to leave this particular care with Him, then I’d get frustrated and take it back, then I’d feel convicted and return it to Him, and the cycle repeated itself more times than I can articulate on paper.
I’m realizing as I complete my own study of becoming the parent of a college-bound homeschooler the importance of documentation. Not only is the documentation important, but apparently, appropriate or inappropriate verbiage can make a big difference. Texas is such a homeschool-friendly state until the only documentation I’ve kept in the past are those files that satisfied my own needs as a visual learner. Now I’m realizing that, once next year approaches, someone who has no clue about the oldest will judge her worth based largely upon my words? Scary. Anyway, on the lighter side of this concern is a post I saw on a Yahoo loop from an unschooler regarding putting together a course description based upon her kids’ “class.”
I’m almost finished with my daughter’s course descriptions, and am a little fried…Any ideas anyone? Basically, for the last six years (I’m giving one credit) we have raised goats for milk, bred and birthed kids (goats), been a part of a friend’s horse breeding program which was very specific and controlled, kept our own horses and are well versed in just about every health issue a horse can have. We’ve raised chickens and turkeys from eggs to slaughter and or/egg production, and are well versed in all poultry health care. We also know a lot about dogs and cats, if that helps.
My MIL would have a field day with this one. She once informed us, with great satisfaction, mind you, that her friend, a fellow public school teacher, had been asked to lead the homeschool group at their church. Both my MIL and her friend are servants of God and very skilled at what they do, but I couldn’t help but scratch my head on this one. What drove a homeschool parent to seek guidance—no, leadership– from a classroom teacher in running a homeschool? Though I could see some benefit, I kept going back to how can you articulate all of the non-academic transitions and accomplishments your children make just by being in this environment to someone who doesn’t necessarily understand it (and perhaps doesn’t even want to)? Such was my thinking as I continued to read through the thread and think about how I might document our journey for someone who’s just reading it to make enough to offset student loans. One person responded with a few college course descriptions as a suggestion for the appropriate wording:
I don’t know what high schools call stuff like this but at the university level, it’s animal science. If you want a more formal and comprehensive description, go to an Ag school/Vet School website and find the appropriate course descriptions.
310. Behavior and Management of Domestic Animals. Application of behavior of cattle, horses, sheep, goats and swine to their management; basic principles, physiology of behavior, perception,
training, predators, use of dogs in livestock production, stress and animal welfare.
Growth and Development of Livestock. Evaluation of slaughter livestock as related to growth and development, production efficiency, carcass value; selection of breeding animals based on performance, production records, visual appraisal; principles of growth biology; biotechnological tools used to manage growth and development.
The list of college courses goes on, but I’ll spare you. Anyway, the unschooler decided that she didn’t want to develop “college speak,” but wanted to be true to what her daughter had done. This got me thinking about how words influence others. I thought that it is okay to be genuine and authentic, but I also thought about how Paul ministered: he was true to who he was, but he also knew that he had to meet the Jews at a point where the Jews would listen and look for more. So, I start putting together a course description of sorts for our Costume and Fashion in Ancient History course (do you like that name?), where, thus far, I’ll use the Biblical book of Esther, another short text that has a similar title as the “course name,” and a wonderful novel by Ginger Garrett, Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Esther:
A study of costume and fashion in ancient Egypt and its impact on women of royalty within the Persian Empire.
Well, it’s a start. I’ll put more meat on those bones as I flesh it out for myself and continue to dig through all the great resources out there. HA HA! These next few years should be loads of fun.