Thursday, March 10, 2011

I love Jon Stewart

I am a homeschooler, but I am also a former classroom teacher, married to a classroom teacher, the daughter-in-law of a former teacher, the cousin of a teacher ... in other words, teaching is in my blood one way or another, and I have the deepest respect for those who choose to teach children. Teachers bust themselves every day (and yes, I do acknowledge there are those who should not be in the classroom, but they are far outnumbered by those who are dedicated and pour themselves into their job), and get so very little respect. Though I have been a fan of Jon Stewart's for a while, he has earned yet more respect and admiration from me after this ...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crisis in Dairyland - For Richer and Poorer - Teachers and Wall Street
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Balancing Act

I have to admit I've never been the best juggler. I'd start with 3 juggling balls going smoothly for about 3 exchanges and then the balls would keep moving further away from me and I would keep moving forward, trying to keep up with them. Eventually the balls would fall to the ground and I'd have to pick them up and start again. I know there is a metaphor in there.

Many days I find I am juggling much more than those three balls. In contrast, though, to my futile attempts at juggling balls, I am getting much better at juggling life. Admittedly I had forgotten how crazy life can be with an infant, even one as easy going as Miss K. To extend the metaphor a bit further, if everything I do in my day has a one-to-one correspondence to a juggling ball, then Miss K equals about four of them. But, I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

All this to say that I have found there is a fine line between keeping the juggling balls in the air and allowing one or two to drop every once in a while. An expression that tends to float around homeschooling boards is "it's a marathon, not a sprint." In other words, we have goals of where we want our children when they move onto college (yes, we plan on homeschooling through high school). But, our journey to that point is a marathon.

In high school I was a sprinter. I had nice, short bursts of energy but never learned how to pace myself in a long-distance race. Sometimes that extends to our homeschooling. There are moments where I begin to doubt what we are doing on a day-to-day basis. Then I begin to feel pressure to get more done in the day. I start thinking we need to pile on the school work for fear of falling behind.

Eventually common sense sets in and I realize I was trying to sprint our way through life. So, we slow back down again and take things at a marathon pace. But then I worry about becoming too complacent and not doing enough. In the end it is a balancing act. It's learning how to live like this is a marathon while also trying to keep the juggling balls in the air. Some days I need to allow a ball or two to fall so that we can keep moving on this journey. Other days I need to act a bit more like this is a sprint, if even for a small while, in order to force myself to learn how to keep all balls in the air. A balancing act. Balancing pacing with needed quick bursts of energy. Balancing juggling life with knowing when to drop a bit. I have a feeling I might finally get it figured out once my children are adults. Maybe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sentence Composing

We are only a few lessons into Sentence Composing but already I can say that I really like it. We are practicing our grammar skills from MCT to analyze the model sentences and using that to unscramble the imitation sentences. Our current lesson now has us writing our own sentence in imitation of the model sentence. Mr. I, Mr. A and I did this together by first coming up with a subject and verb. Then we added in the other components. I have to say I am impressed by what they wrote.

Based on the model sentence
They parted the bushes on the bank and peered out over the water.
from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the boys wrote
The giraffes ate leaves from a tree and walked over the savannah.


Today we will continue the exercise (we split it into two days - I'm aiming for quality and not necessarily quantity). The model sentences are a bit more complex, but I have faith that the boys will have some good imitations from them.