Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Got a Little Sidetracked...

Phew..it's early in the morning, and I've got a little time, so I'll try to catch up.

Spunky has some really interesting things going on at her blog. Check it out...it's stuff that really is important to us homeschoolers, in particular the issue of parental rights--is it an inalienable right or is it a fundamental right of parents to determine how their children should be raised and educated? Read up, weigh in.

Accidental Homeschooler, on the other hand, has had a WHOLE LOT going on in life in general. We've started a home business, and my head has been swimming in the last few weeks trying to get things organized and underway. It's really hard work, but fun! Little man thinks he doesn't have to do lessons any more, but he's got another think coming...starting today!

It really has caused me to consider the dreams I hold for my family. My first thought was this: "this is a whole lot of work--how on earth can I possibly homeschool and run a business? I guess I'd better consider enrolling him in school." My second thought was "whoa, sister--what about the education that comes from running a family business?" I had to remember why I homeschool, and what about it keeps me on task? It's the freedom, the same reason that we've started a business. We want out of the rat race. We want our family at home, together, enjoying meals and chores, staying in and going out, and we want it on our terms. We don't want to have to pack up the car and leave at 4:00 A.M. for vacation at the beach because it's the only days off from school and everyone else in the DC area is also going to make the mad dash to the beach that day, rain or shine. We want to say in the middle of a sunny week when all the other kids are in school, "let's go to the beach today!" and do it. Freedom...more on this later...

So, I'm going to have to revamp my schedule a little bit to start earlier so I can keep up with this blog, my son's lessons, meal planning, etc. It's an exciting adventure we're starting! Stay tuned for progress reports!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Who are you Blaming for your Plus Size Wardrobe?

If you are reading this and are overweight, please...don't take offense. I don't know why or how you became overweight and what you plan or don't plan to do about it. I myself am overweight, and I'm working furiously to overcome that state. I have mentioned before the campaign in our house to overhaul our health...

But...this campaign to make McDonald's responsible for the nation's obesity problem is patently ridiculous. Doesn't anyone take responsibility for the food they ingest? A child cannot go to McDonald's lest a grown-up, most likely a parent takes them. A human adult cannot eat a Big Mac or a Crispy Chicken #7 combo meal lest they walk in and order it. McD's has made an honest profit offering exactly what people who walk through their doors are looking for--food that is fast, convenient and tastes good, much as we hate to admit it. If you don't like how fat you are, then stop going to McDonald's. You'll probably not lose weight that way. You might have to actually make some lifestyle changes along with it, but don't sue them or write a book about how they are to blame for your health issues. Everything in moderation, my friend...everything in moderation.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gettin' Somewhere

Well, I'm making some progress in the blogging business. I've been added to the Homeschool Blogwatch! I'm excited to welcome new readers to my little spot here on the internet. I'm new at blogging, but I hope to keep the entries frequent, interesting, and most importantly, encouraging.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Cost of Homeschooling

I'm a little behind on posting this because my family and I have been fighting a bug, but it was too good not to link to. Concerning the amount of tax dollars that are poured into each student, and the relative cost of homeschooling, Spunky posted this. I was very amused...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Junk Food in School, or, Reason 468 Why I Homeschool

We hear so much in the news about obesity in children, and you only have to look around you to see that it is, in fact, a huge problem. I found this article on Yahoo! health and thought it was kind of interesting that lawmakers are "concerned" about junk food in public schools.

Dangerous weight is on the rise in kids. This week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the rate of obese and overweight kids has climbed to 18 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls. Four years ago, the number was 14 percent.

Lawmakers blame high-fat, high-sugar snacks that compete with nutritious meals in schools.

"Junk food sales in schools are out of control," Sen. Tom Harkin (news, bio, voting record), D-Iowa, senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said Thursday. "It undercuts our investment in school meal programs and steers kids toward a future of obesity and diet-related disease."

Is the problem because there is junk food in schools? I don't know...I want to blame the parents on this one. Yes, schools can help, but good health and nutrition starts um...at home?

I don't know about you, but my mom was a health fanatic, mainly because she was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis in her 30's and didn't want us to experience the same health problems when we were older. I knew what was good and bad to eat, and I would be stricken with attacks of guilt if I surpassed our two-cookie limit, ate too much candy or ice cream, or, worst of all WHITE BREAD! I guess I am my mother after all--my four year old boy already knows what is good, healthy food and what is not. He knows that chicken has protein, carrots have vitamin A and are good for your eyes, he knows all about vitamin C and how it's important to fight disease. Perhaps most imporantly, he knows how important it is to limit treats and get exercise, and he's proud of himself when he's done both.
Parents are responsible for how kids eat, but kids are at school for much of the day, said Margo G. Wootan, the center's director of nutrition policy.
Well, now, that's my point exactly. I don't have this problem because my son gets three home-prepared meals a day, and I myself monitor his activity levels and if he's getting sweets or not. Another reason for homeschooling.

Should they take junk food machines out of schools? YES. But will that stop kids from eating junk food? Not if Mom and Dad aren't setting a good example and teaching them at home to eat healthy diets. The nanny state just can't touch the heart in quite the same way as mom.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Told Ya So!

As a homeschooler taking full responsibility for the cost of educating my child, I tend to get a little bitter when reports like this come out. How about a little of my own tax money going to educate my own child who, by the way, is far and above the level of most other kids his age (and I'm not biased at all wink, wink)! I believe that he is gifted with intelligence, but I believe more fully that the reason he is ahead is BECAUSE we have fostered an environment that will nourish his mind and body. Meanwhile I pay huge amounts of money in taxes to increase the stupidity of society through public schools (see my post Dumber than Taxes ).

What would you do with $8287 per student in your home? I know mine would have some REALLY NICE field trips and a wholotta books and art supplies. He'd also have a foreign language teacher and music and art lessons. Since we don't get a piece of that pretty pie graph, however he'll have to settle for mom.

HT Spunky for pointing this out.

TV and Soda

I posted before about our family's decision to ditch the TV subscription, and I'm happy to report that we are none the worse for wear. It has been about four months now, and there were no D.T.'s, no "weaning" off the tube, no begging on the part of the boy to turn it back on.

I should, in the interest of full disclosure, admit to two exceptions (easy to make with DirecTV service because you can turn it off and turn it on any ol' time)...We turned the service on for the Olympics, and I'm glad we did. We have also had it on for the last two days or so while little man is recovering from a hideous stomach flu and wants to do nothing but lie on the floor under blankets and get better.

Even so, it is not the first thing he has chosen. I also got him some games, a new puzzle, and a lego creator set to ease his suffering and he has spent a lot of time focusing on them as well. In the past TV was the "default" choice. Now that the habit has been broken, it is really the last choice he makes. He understands that as soon as he is better the TV is off again, and he's fine with that, and in the meantime I maintain strict control over the program choices.

I wish to draw this analogy: I love CocaCola. My favorite meal during football season used to be a ham and cheese sandwich on Italian bread and a Coke. Knowing what I know now, however, I know that soda and carbonated beverages actually leach calcium from your bones, not to mention the shock to my system from the sugar and caffeine that results! I also know that white bread is as bad or worse for you than the Coke. I suppose the ham and cheese have some value in terms of protein and what-not, but there are certainly better choices, if you want to consider that the ham is probably preserved with all kinds of phosphates and who-knows-what, and the cheese is high in fat and cholesterol. My knowledge of this tasty meal surpasses my body's ability to enjoy it now, and I no longer find myself wanting to eat this kind of thing.

The same is true of TV. When I see it now, I am offended more often and bored more quickly by all of the "junk" that enters my brain. I actually think about the money I'm wasting to have this gobeldy-gook enter my house. I consider the damage it can do to my family, both to their physical, as well as their mental and emotional well-being. My knowledge of the subject has surpassed my ability to enjoy watching TV.

Will we go back to TV? As far as I can see, no. Having Mom and Dad both completely on board with this, as well as having just started a blog, a new home business, and oh yeah, educating the children (!) we are occupied with many more valuable things that will contribute to, not detract from, our family's health and well-being.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Choices We're Given in Life...

My brother gave my son a cowboy costume...handcuffs, spurs, badge, but no gun. I'm guessing that cowboys are becoming more politically correct these days. That did not stop my son--he quickly procured one from his personal arsenal.

He ran downstairs the morning after receiving this gift (having slept with all of those cuddly items in his bed) and asked, "DO YOU WANT TO BE ARRESTED OR SHOTTEN?" No "dood morning, mommy!" no hugs or kisses...just wanted to know which of these miseries I would prefer.

Yesterday he received a Darth Vader Transformer and asked, wielding a light saber, if I would prefer to be "shotten or cut in half." I chose to get "shotten" because I thought I'd have a better chance of survival.

Makes you think about the choices we're given in life. Sometimes the decisions we make seem just like that--a choice between two bad things, so we choose the least bad thing that we can, or at least the one that will be less painful. It seems to me that many people are doing this with their lives, their health, and their children's education. They look around them at the options they are given by society, the government, and their surroundings and choose the lesser of two evils in any given situation. It's like being at McDonald's and choosing a chicken sandwich instead of a burger because supposedly it's healthier, but you're STILL at McDonald's.

When my son gave me the option to be "arrested or shotten" I politely said, "neither, thank you. I'm feeding your sister right now." That's my point. Stop choosing the least bad thing and make the decision to avoid them altogether and make a new way. It's why we got rid of our t.v. service. It's why we are focusing on our family's nutrition and health, and it's why I breastfeed my baby and homeschool my son.

May you be encouraged to make the best choice...not the least bad choice today...for your family and always.