My Homeschool Rant for the Year 2008-2009

As a homeschooling parent, as well as a Christian, I am very careful to be respectful of other people’s choices for thier children’s education. I do not believe that homeschooling is for everyone, and though I have many friends IRL who homeschool their children, I have just as many whose children attend public or Christian schools. I would never in a million years, dream of telling them they are making a mistake having their child in a public school. I believe that the public schools need Christian teachers and students – the worst thing we ever did as Christians was to pull our kids out of public schools when we lost the right to pray in school. We are supposed to live in the world, without partaking of it. But that’s another rant altogether.

I am constantly amazed by the attitudes of certain public school educators in our area who believe that we homeschoolers are lazy and that we only allow our children to be homeschooled because we don’t want to teach them. Such is the case for one public school official from just across our city’s border who deems that the decline in their public school numbers is due to “the tragedy” that is called “homeschooling”.

His exact words were: “We are looking into the problems that we see. We know
that homeschooling is an issue, he said. We have about 120 kids that are
currently being homeschooled. I think personally that’s a tragedy. I think most
of those kids are not truly being taught.”

What he’s really saying is that it’s a tragedy that his school doesn’t have higher numbers so he can receive more money for his school district. He went on to say,

“While they do that, it gives them a way of avoiding mandatory requirements,” hesaid, referring to parents and students involved in homeschooling.

I take great exception to this kind of attitude. If you study the Stanford 9 test scores of homeschooled children versus public schooled children, you’ll find that the homeschoolers in the state of Arkansas (where this man’s school district is) ranked higher than kids in public schools in every area except for math.

Y’all. I often joke about being a “lazy homeschooler”…but that’s all it is. A joke. Anyone who homeschools knows that amount of time and money that a homeschooling parent puts into their kid’s education is an investment in their future – I want to see my investments grow and reap bountiful rewards for years to come. But I feel my highest calling as a mother is to instill godly principles and character in my children that will be passed down to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their children, and so on.

I know that there are families who homeschool who do not take the time with their kids necessary to ensure they are really learning the material. I don’t understand it, but I know they exist. I can think of a family right now whose daughter is a teenager and can barely read. While I think that’s extremely unfortunate, I submit this – who’s to say that she would have been any better off in a public school? I also know several teens who have graduated locally and can’t even spell or read. Which is worse? I don’t know.

Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not against public schooling. I think there are some incredible and talented, God-called teachers in our public schools. I think there are also some real louses – and as with anything in life, you get the bad with the good.

But I don’t want someone else forming my children’s opinions for them. Call it “brainwashing” if you like, but I want them to understand why we believe what we believe and I want it based on the Bible, not on some silly notion that the world began with a big bang and we all came from primordial soup. I believe that God created the earth in a literal six day span, that each day consisted of 24 hour periods, and that he rested on the seventh day. And I want my kids to believe that too.

But it’s not just because of my spiritual beliefs. I believe that the country’s future depends on our children today. In case you’ve not noticed, we’re not exactly leaving them with something great to work with. I don’t want to raise kids that are dependent on other “educated” people to explain current events to them, or tell them who to vote for. It is imperative that they decide for themselves after reading all the facts presented. I want them to be able to make good choices for their futures based on solid, godly principles. Have I said that before? Do you see a theme here?

I guess all I’m saying is that I think there are quite enough “educated fools” out there. I’d personally like to raise some without the latter part of the equation in their name.

/rant.

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***enter my Photoshop PS3 giveaway right here***

How Cute is this for Fall Decorating?

I receive the Home Made Simple online magazine and though we don’t usually have pumpkins around Halloween time, I’m almost tempted to make an exception this year – look at how absolutely adorable this is!

I’m thinking I might wait until after Halloween and do this for Thanksgiving time instead…as I said yesterday, Fall is my favorite time of the year — is it any wonder why???

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Can you spare 20 seconds?

Okay, y’all. I have a huge favor to ask of you if you have the time. {insert big grin here}

My dear, sweet, beautiful niece, Brooke VanOoyen, needs your help. She is a senior this year and is up for a $1000 college scholarship photo contest on this site. It would be a tremendous blessing for her to win that scholarship – it would pay for her books for the first year of college, and I know her mom would really appreciate not having to pay that out of her own pocket (what mom wouldn’t?)

The problem is, she only has 26 votes! The top person has over 700! I only have about 438 folks subscribed to my blog at this time, and I know that not everyone will even see this or much less read it. But I’m asking that those of you who DO see it and read it, just click over to this site and find her name “Vanooyen, Brooke” and vote for her.

Really? It takes about 20 seconds. What’s 20 seconds out of your life? Unless you’re a snail…then I suppose it would be a lot.

Thanks in advance.

And if you haven’t entered my giveaway for Photoshop CS3, you can enter it by clicking here and leaving a comment and your email address…because I’d like to contact you. You know, if you win.

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Eight Days a Week has never had more meaning to me..

Okay, so I’m not working eight days a week…I’m actually trying to take weekends off now so I can spend time with my kids (not that I don’t see them every day…but there’s a definite distinction between mom and teacher).

I designed a memorial blog for a friend’s daughter (and I must tell you there was no charge – it was for personal use – that’s so the bad guys don’t come and try to take me away!), and since I won’t be showing it in my portfolio (it was a freebie and made with items that are for non-commercial use, plus she’s my friend), I wanted to show it here. So Jeanette, this is for you, sister. I know you miss your sweet Lezlee Ann and it brought me great joy to do something for you so you can write her story on its pages.

I also finished and installed another design today – for Christy at The Road to Home, and I’ll be profiling it over on my design blog in the next day or two, but here’s a preview of what her new design looks like:

Ooh…and I’ve also been busy doing a few button projects:


Plus, I’ve taken in two more orders today…my queue is hopping and so am I. How’s it going in YOUR neck of the woods?

****PHOTOSHOP CS3 Giveaway ends Oct 31st – Have you entered? ****

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“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree” – Emily Bronte

Oh how I love the changing of the seasons from Summer to Autumn, where every leaf becomes a flower, issuing a gentle reminder to slow down from the hectic pace of summer and just enjoy being.

We spent a homeschool day at the Fair last month and I’m just now getting around to post about it. It was a free day and there were lots of activities especially for the kids. The weather was cool and crisp in the early morning, but as the afternoon wore on, we all shed our jackets and sweaters, because the temperatures climbed into the low 80’s.

This year’s theme was “Thank a Farmer”, since almost everything we eat and wear comes from a farm. The kids learned that corn is in practically everything they come into contact with and were especially interested in the fact that even the root beer they love so much has a derivative of corn in it (corn syrup).

The kids loved the cow-milking demonstration – even I learned something, and I grew up on a farm. Did you know it’s illegal for milk farmers to sell unpasteurized milk? I didn’t. We have the federal government to thank for that…standards and regulations and all. I suppose it’s a good thing, because there’s less chance for disease, but it’s so sad to me. I grew up drinking milk right out of the cow. Literally. We’d milk Bossy (yes, that was really her name and she lived up to it) and once we’d carried the pail to the house, the milk and cream would already be separating and mom would scoop a big cup out for me to drink before school. I loved it…sigh.

My favorite was Elsie the cow and Beauregard, as evidenced by the number of photos of the two of them that ended up on my camera. I was saddened to learn that Elsie’s entire life consists of laying around at fairs such as ours. She will never be bred or know the true joy of being a cow in an open field. She lives her life behind those four little metal gates. And Beauregard is not even her calf – as she has never been bred…he’s just some cute calf they threw in for oohs and aahs.

We watched a rodeo demonstration – bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing…it all made me remember my childhood and our farm in South Texas. We did that for fun – there was never a crowd, but we’d hop on the pigs and pretend we were riding bulls. That in and of itself was probably way more dangerous than riding on a bull, since pigs are fiercely mean and would have probably killed us if they’d have known any better. The kids loved the rodeo clown – he came into the audience and shook hands and high-fived the kids. And yes, he walked like a cowboy…as bowlegged as all “git-out”. That’s Texas-speak for “to an extreme degree”, just so ya know.

And now it’s nearing the end of October, the leaves are falling, the air is cool and crisp and we’ve already been on our first hayride of the year. Sigh. I love Fall. It’s my absolute favorite.

What’s your favorite season? Why?

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All good things come in Threes – a giveaway!

***If you’re here via Bloggy Giveaways – please go to item #3 – that’s the giveaway!***

Mondays are good days for announcing things, don’t you think? It’s long been known that I’m a maker of lists and enjoy the pleasure of accomplishing tasks and marking them off of said lists, if for nothing else than just the satisfaction of seeing something was actually completed.

1. My brand-spanking new Design Blog is finished. I am so excited about it – I coded it myself (which explains why some of you who have MSIE6 and FF2.0 will have viewing issues – working on the bugs still). You can visit it if you like, or not. I still have some work to do on it and there are still a few pages that are either buggy or not complete, but honestly? I just wanted to get it out there so I could announce part two of my list.

2. My order pad is open for business. Yay! I already have a wait-list of five people, but I will accept new clients as well – please go to my new Design Blog for the new pricing list and to place your orders.

3. And finally, today is the first day of a special giveaway I hinted around at last month. Some of you know that my husband recently got me the full Adobe CS3 Creative Design Suite (I had just purchsed the Photoshop CS3 two months earlier) – and apparently he got a steal because they were just about to come out with version 8 – so he couldn’t wait until Christmas (so much for surprises) because he knew how much I’d been wanting it. (Everyone say “awww”)

So what’s the giveaway? Adobe Photoshop CS3, of course! It is the original disc with the original packaging – the box and getting started manual come with it. The only catch is that it had been installed on my computer once. I uninstalled it when I received my new one so it’s ready to go for someone else, complete with the product and registration key. It’s like BRAND NEW, people.

I’m not Pioneer Woman…so I’m not giving away a brand new copy, but you can think of it as “re-gifting” or whatever floats your boat. It’s all good and I would have killed for a good used copy when I started my design business earlier this year…as it was, I spent over $300 on it. Someone is going to win it for free.

If you’re still with me – here’s the hoops:

1. One entry per person per day. Yes, I said per day. You may enter once a day every day up until October 31st, at which time I will close comments and commence the drawing using a random number generator, or my pointing finger, depending on how many comments there are.

2. Please tell me why you want to win this in your comment…all comments that are generic “count me in!” and “I’d love to win this” will be thrown out, because I can do that.

3. Giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike – open to US and Canadian residents.

4. Giveaway ends Friday, October 31st at midnight, winner will be contacted via email and announced on this blog.

5. I can’t believe I have to remind folks this – but PLEASE leave me a way to contact you – an email or your blog address with an email address – I will not leave a comment on a blog letting you know you’ve won. I need the ability to EMAIL you. Thanks!

How’s that for a Monday? Pretty good, huh?

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