Changes

Hey, folks!

This website needs to go through some changes, so I won’t be blogging on a regular basis here anymore. My goal at first was to have a web-based place to find things to do in the area, for those that don’t want to follow social media. But, since I’m not homeschooling my own children anymore and have moved on to other things, I’m just not in the loop to keep that kind of blog going. So, this site will have to change a bit.

For now, it will stay static. There will be links to information about how to get started, forms you can use for your own homeschool, and contact info in case you want to talk to a live person.

Privately homeschooling our children has changed all our lives for the better. I want to share that with the world, but I’m starting to think the only way I can do that effectively is by watching our kids move out into the world and be awesome humans.

I’m still here, so if you want help or have questions, please send me an email. I’d be happy to chat!

This Fight is Not Over

From ParentsUnited4Kids.com

“We celebrated for a brief moment yesterday, upon hearing the news that Assemblymember Jose Medina is amending AB2756. The portion of the legislation that mandates fire inspections in our homes will be omitted. The piece that remains, and potentially new pieces to be added, is aimed at data collection. What does this mean?

The staffers in Medina’s office couldn’t really give anyone a clear picture of just what exactly this meant beyond including a section on the PSA that distinguishes ‘type’ of homeschool (i.e. Virtual, charter, online, or ‘traditional’).

This is what we know: Data collection will allow them to separate us into smaller groups and smaller groups are easier to target. We also know that California’s politicians are shrewd and patient. This will be Step 1. They WILL be back with more legislation that aims to restrict our rights.

Bottom line, this bill needs to go. There is no crisis calling for restrictive legislation. Or data collection. Our legislators should focus on more pressing issues, like poverty, homelessness, or the fact that our public education system ranks near dead last in the country.

Please take a moment to call Assemblymember Jose Medina’s office and ask him to pull AB2756. Be polite. You could even throw in a “We understand Mr. Medina’s concern after seeing the Turpin story. It was horrific. No one wants to see children being harmed. But, we need to see it for what it was – an aberration. There is no crisis in California homeschooling.”

Things you “need” to Homeschool Preschool and Kindergarten

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people promoting the idea of enrolling in a public charter school for Preschool (Transitional Kindergarten) and Kindergarten so that a family can get funds for classes and supplies. But exactly what kind of classes and supplies do you need for kids under “school age”? When we first started homeschooling it was because we wanted to do things differently than the public schools. It wasn’t that I thought I could do school better at home. And we didn’t start off as unschoolers. Especially for Pre-K and K, I thought my sons just weren’t just ready for a classroom situation yet and wanted to hold off on academics. I’d read about delayed academics and thought it was a good fit for my sons. They were active and inquisitive and really didn’t seem to look like they were ready to sit still and learn to read and write yet. I had already started to look into homeschooling and I knew preschool wasn’t required in California. I knew that kids were just as ready for school if they played freely and were read to instead of going to preschool, so we held off on that. Then I found out that Kindergarten is also not mandatory. My sons were perfectly happy not going to school so far. They were reading and writing, playing games, going places and learning every day. Why would I send them away to learn?

So my husband and I decided that we would use Kindergarten as a test kind of year. We would make and keep all the records required of us as a private school, but not file as one since Kindergarten isn’t mandatory. If it was working, then we’d file the following year when our oldest entered first grade.

It worked very well and we’ve continued for the last 11 years!

So what do you need to homeschool Pre-K and Kindergarten? Here’s a list.

  1. A public library.
  2. An internet connection and a way to print things.
  3. A car to get places, or a bus pass and time.
  4. Food. Lots of it.
  5. Happy and loving parents.

You don’t need a curriculum. Everything your child needs to learn in Kindergarten is available online for free. They need to play, explore, create and have a loving parent around to help them find things.

They also don’t need classes. They may want to explore something like scouts, though. And the city’s parks and recreation classes are pretty cheap for experiencing some new thing and socializing with other kids. The park is a great place for finding friends and cooperative play. Local homeschool groups on Facebook are great for finding friends to go to the park with!

If you live near a museum, zoo, or regional/national park, it’s a great investment (if you can) to get a family membership. If you can’t swing the cost, watch Facebook groups for free days and group tickets. Or put together a field trip/tour yourself and invite your local group.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you really don’t want to be distracted by what a third party (school) is going to tell you that you NEED to do to give your child a good start. Take your child’s education into your own hands, especially for Pre-K and Kindergarten. Give it a try on your own first, when your kids really do just want to be with you.

Take this time to learn about education, read books, go to conventions, talk with veteran homeschoolers, follow blogs. There’s so much more out there than the public school route. If you find later on that your kids would like to take outside classes or buy science kits and curriculum you just can’t afford on your own, then by all means, use the public charters! That’s what public education should be, something to boost people up so that all kids can have access to education supplies. But don’t let the system tell you that your 4 or 5 year old needs to be in several classes, learning to read and write formally, and studying math and science through a step by step curriculum to succeed in this world. They don’t. They need you showing them what it means to be a human. They need you to read to them whenever they want and to introduce them to new stories, places, and experiences. They need you to ask them questions and listen to them talk. They need you to answer their questions and show them how you find the answers. They need to see the wonder that you express when you find something interesting. All of that is free and unregulated. Try it!

Deschool Yourself

I just finished listening to an overview of these podcasts and I can’t wait to listen to the next eight! Many of my favorite authors and speakers in one series of awesome talks to get US, the adults, to deschool ourselves, take the responsibility for our own education, and become better people. It’s the path to greater home education!

Deschool Yourself – An Eight Part Audio Production on Healing the Fifteen Thousand Hour Infliction of Public School

Homeschool Day at Riley’s Stone Soup Farm!

Located in Oak Glen, Riley’s Stone Soup Farm is hosting two home school day
programs in the near future and YOU are invited! Programs like these are what made up MOST of my children’s elementary education. There’s so much you can do to prepare before you go and follow up with afterward! For the Farmhand Adventure, find some books set around the 1860’s. What was going on in the United States at that time? Who was the president? How many states did we have? Who was a prominent scientist at the time? What was going on around the rest of the world?

There’s a great site about Little House on the Prairie HERE, that has tons of information from and about the books. Reading one of those books out loud might be a great place to start!

Here’s a great list of books about the time of the Gold Rush in California that was going on around the time that The Stone Soup Farm was being started! They’d be great to look into before the California Pioneer tour. My favorite is “By the Great Horn Spoon”!

The Civil War was also being fought at the time. My favorite books that my boys and I read were “The Red Badge of Courage” and “Rifles For Watie”.

“The Yearling” by Rawlings, would also be a great book to read that would tie into the time period!

The tours coming up next are The California Pioneer Tour on March 29th and The Farmhand Adventure program on June 1st.

Please visit their website for more details. Reservations over the phone are required.

Riley’s Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard
12131 S. Oak Glen Rd.
Oak Glen, Ca 92399