I keep meaning to do a 2012 wrap-up … I guess I really ought to get to it before January runs out, eh? Here are my top posts from 2012. It may be ten … or it may not! We’ll see what I find when I go looking.
He’s Bullied, But He’s Still Got to Go to School … Doesn’t He? Young Jonah Mowry posted a devastating video about the bullying he had received since a very young age, and how one of his responses was to begin cutting himself in second grade, and his thoughts of suicide as he grew and the bullying got worse. I know that parents of bullying victims want to help their children, but my question was, and is: “How has the institutional school system so brainwashed us all that we have reached a point where it is more important for a child to learn to add and subtract than it is to protect him from this sort of [bullying] animalistic behavior? How can we – we parents, we teachers, we school bureaucrats – think that it is okay for him to despise himself, his life, and his peers, as long as he can diagram a sentence properly?” If this sort of thing happened to your child in any other situation, you would fix it or if it weren’t fixable, you would remove your child. My hope with this post is to let parents know that there IS another option besides just leaving their child in school and waiting for the “It Gets Better” campaign to come true. Bullying is an excellent reason to try homeschooling.
Schooling Dick Cavett, who let fly with a bunch of completely irrational and unconsidered jabs at homeschooling, was kind of fun. I don’t often give my inner juggernaut free rein, but bullies … or media trolls anyway … sometimes need a sharp slap upside the head.
Learning to Read
In a four-post series, I wrote about how each of my children began reading … all four in completely different ways with one big commonality: I didn’t teach a single one of them, other than reading to them.
My first-born and oldest daughter was an easy-breezy Natural Reader; her younger brother was more of an Unnatural Reader who didn’t learn until age nine. My third child, another boy … well, I have no idea, since I have absolutely no idea how he learned to read other than his brother the Late Reader Taught Him. My youngest girl had some Attention Challenges along the way. Thankfully, they all love reading and all read well above their technical grade level!
Writing these stories inspired me to start a perpetual How They Learned to Read blog hop linky – just keep on adding stories about homeschooled kids learning to read so we’ve got a giant resource to point out for people!
One reason I unschool is because I feel very strongly that School Held Me Back. Another is that I feel guiding and empowering children to make many of the important decisions they must make is more productive than simply telling them what to do … even though some people think it looks like I am always Giving in to My Kids. I actually have a very strict parenting style, wherein I keep my promises to my children, and if I tell them they’ll have a choice in the matter, I do my absolute best to abide by that and honor their choices and my promise.
Learning Shouldn’t Hurt
I also unschool because when someone tells me that Discovery Channel Doesn’t Count for learning it can’t really mean anything other than “Discovery Channel isn’t painful enough.” Sadly, the idea that some kids might enjoy their education seems to be intolerable to some people. And while homeschooling doesn’t have to hurt I’ve found that a few people do Unschool Till It Hurts too, and that’s not necessary either!
How to Unschool
The easiest way to help people move toward relaxing and unschooling is to show them. So I used my blog to show people how to Say Yes More and how kids don’t always have to Conform to the Norm. We try to capitalize on the fact that kids naturally want to Walk in Dad’s Shoes and grow up to imitate their parents.
Artistic Strewing Success Story shows how I figured out my daughter’s interests and hit on the right thing to “strew” in her path to spark her passion. Unschooling gives passionate kids the gift of time – 10,000 Hours of time – to make themselves an expert in a subject before they ever reach college age. And yet, it’s still okay to be a Scheduled Unschooler if that is what best fits your family’s needs!
I posted here and there on topics other than homeschooling. My simple anti-dehydration recipe from The Day I Didn’t Get a Migraine seems to be helping a lot of people avoid migraines, and I feel very blessed both to have found the remedy for myself, and to have a means of telling other people about it so they can be helped too.
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Well that’s less than ten, if you count the topical groups, but quite a few more than ten if you count the individual articles! I hope to be blogging much more regularly this year. If you have specific topics you’d like me to address or questions you’d like me to try to answer, please contact me via my Facebook page.