My Secret Weapon

Many times at our School desks, aka the dinning room table, I have to call attention to our task at hand.  Raising my voice or slapping the desk table, can usually get my boys to look up and take notice.  This can be VERY frustrating when I’m having to do it a lot on particularly feisty days.

There were too many unnecessary distractions on their work area so they had to be eliminated, granted sitting next to each other was one of them but I’m looking into this.

A great friend was down sizing her homeschool supplies and I was a lucky recipient of a bell.  It was the type you would find on a family store counter to get the attendants attention.  I began to use this tool to bring order to our day and something magical happened.

One time I accidentally hit the bell and instantaneously both boys (who were playing with bubbles in the kitchen sink – who were supposed to be washing dishes) turned at the same time and looked to me for instructions.

The clouds parted.

It was an “Ah Ha!” moment for me.  The cogs in my mind started to crank with visions of bell trained obedient boys .  From then on out I tapped on the button, the bell rang and the boys stopped what they were doing and looked to me for some kind of announcement.  Well, armed with THAT kind of power, I began to take advantage of it and soon I began to abuse it.

I often would bang on the bell to stop arguments.  Boys cringed, covered their ears and begged and pleaded for me to stop.  They offered up their obedience in return for their hearing.  I have to admit it was wonderful but I could see that I was getting out of hand.  SO, rather than have the boys fear for their hearing I used my newfound tool for good rather than evil.

I still use the bell to bring order or get them to come back from a break BUT it’s now a tool for games like, “Who can answer…” type questions to see if they were listening.  My boys love to compete.

I teeter on the edge of Queen EvilBell  Ruler every moment.  Perhaps, one day, my beloved secret weapon will go missing so I MUST be careful.  I must be wise and NOT abuse my power.  In order to keep me grounded I have devised some rules to cut down on distractions at the table.

Here are just a few of our Class Rules:

1.  No toys at the table.

– All toys will be confiscated and you will not be able to play with them ALL DAY (even after school).  Sorry Lego man.

2. No snacks.

–  There are designated snack times and once the time is up all things must be cleared away.

3.  Pencils Down

–  You will not fiddle with pencils, crayons or anything that will take your attention away from the lesson UNLESS it is part of the lesson.

4.  Raise your hand if you would like to speak (sometimes eagerness to answer makes this difficult)

5.  ALWAYS ask if you can leave the table

– Nothing drives me more crazy than a boy who thinks he can escape to snuggle with a cute sleeping dog under the table).

*sigh*

What rules have helped bring order to your class?

Why We Homeschool

“Why did you choose to homeschool?”  It’s a question often asked by parents who are considering to do it themselves and other times it’s curious friends or strangers.

The number one reason I give in response is:

I want my boys to learn.  Plain and simple.  I don’t want them to learn how to pass a test.  I don’t want them to learn how to give a correct, specified answer in order to pass so that our school district can “earn” their funding and have good standing.  I want them to explore knowledge, it limitless.

Another reason we homeschool:

Freedom OF Religion

I can teach my sons about the foundation of our faith without fear of reprisal.  We can openly discuss our biblical worldview.  I want my boys to be able to stand firmly in their faith and KNOW what they believe and be ready to defend it because they will have to.

History

I don’t want my sons to learn a revisionist history of this GREAT NATION.  I love my country.  We have done GREAT things and I want to promote love and allegiance for their country.  I want them to learn about our founding fathers and not through the 21st century lens.

The best advice I heard was to let my children learn about the Revolution and Civil War directly from the men and women who LIVED through it and not from some college grad’s interpretation.  AMEN!  Autobiographies here we come!

There are countless reasons why homeschooling is the best choice for our family.  I can tailor their education to the individual.  I can speed up their lessons or go as slow as we need to go.  We can explore art and nature and physical education whenever and wherever we want.  We’re not tied to our home as some would believe.

Many parents tell me homeschooling is something they could never do.  I was one of them.  Some would say you have to have a degree in teaching.  I’m sure it helps.  We teach our kids all the time by action and in-action.  We’ve taught our kids to speak yet most of us are not certified linguists.  Some of us have taught our toddlers to identify letters, shapes, signs, to read or even a second language before they get to preschool.  You can teach. Continue reading