Posts Tagged ‘homeschool’

Starting this month, each family member will be creating at least one blog post monthly. The idea is to give the kids choices about what they would like to write about as well as provide work samples for their portfolio.

I hope everyone will enjoy seeing their creations! It would be a BIG help if their readers would leave constructive comments on their work. Thank you!

Here are the instructions I wrote for the kids to help them choose a subject:

Family Blogazine

Each month we will create a magazine together. It is up to you to decide what aspect of the magazine you wish to create. We will also include original illustrations and photographs.

Here are some ideas:

First person experience – Write an article about something you have experienced. An example of this would be an article about going to a museum. Explain what you liked and disliked about the experience, as well as your general opinion about it.

Biography – Write an article that gives interesting details about the life of another person, living or dead. An example of this would be an article about Abraham Lincoln, Lady Ga Ga, or a family member.

Instructional article – Write an article that tells the reader how to do something interesting. An example of this would be an article explaining how to pack and prepare for a fun camping trip.

Recipe – Write an article that describes and lists instructions for an original recipe that you created. An example would be a recipe for a smoothie that describes how you thought of it and why people should try it.

Movie, Book, or Game review – Write an article that describes the positive and negative points of something you have seen, read, or played. An example would be a review of Little Big Planet, including what you like about it and dislike about it. You would also include your general opinion of the game and express why you think your reader would or would not want to play.

Fictional story – Write a short story about anything you like!

Poetry – Write one or more poems about anything you like in any style you like. You can draw illustrations for them, if you like.

Humor – Write a funny article about anything you like. For examples of this, check out Dave Barry. Another option is to create a collection of original jokes.


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♥ Derrick ♥


Just when I had almost forgotten how hard it was to be a kid sometimes, Derrick recently gave Adam and I a snapshot into his mind…and an affirmation of why I feel homeschooling can be so important for those who are able to take advantage of it.

Adam drives Derrick to and from school each day. It’s part of their one-on-one time that we feel is so important for Derrick. So, a few weeks ago, Adam noticed that Derrick’s mood quickly changed when he jumped out of the truck and started walking to his class in a portable near the back of the school. His shoulders drooped, he stared at the ground, and his pace dragged gloomily.

After watching him for a few days to try to figure out what the problem might be, Adam asked Derrick why he was acting so down in the dumps. To which he responded in a truly 8-year-old way, “I dunno. It’s just boring walking by myself I guess.”

Adam suggested that he try smiling at people he passes by or even saying “hi”, to which Derrick responded in an equally 8-year-old way, “Um…what? You’re crazy, Daddy.”

Every day after that, Adam would ask him if he’d smiled or spoken to anyone on the way to class. The answer was no, of course. So we were left puzzled by this bizarre situation. This kid, for his entire educational career, has gotten in trouble almost daily for socializing too much in class. This kid, who can’t keep his mouth shut for more than 30 seconds at a time and never stops moving, smiling, singing, whistling, dancing ever suddenly is stymied by the most basic elements of socialization – the smile?

Seriously? This kid can't smile?

Then, two nights ago after a family meeting, Adam and I both asked him if he’d managed to crack a grin yet during his solitary walk to class, and he melted into a pool of sobbing child before our eyes. His button nose crinkled as he howled miserably. We looked at each other in surprise, realizing we’d need to dig a little deeper to figure out what the real problem was. It went something like this:

“Derrick, what’s really wrong here? I can’t imagine you’d be crying because you think it’s boring to walk to class by yourself. What’s up, kiddo?”

“(bawling) People will think I’m weird because I’m walking by myself. (wailing) And if I smile, then they’ll really think I’m weird. And it’s so lonely.”

I was shocked at first, but then I remembered what the pressure to fit in felt like at that age. I remembered how important it felt that nobody thought I was weird or different. I bristled with the understanding of how tragically damaging this “schoolyard socialization” is to a child’s developing sense of self. I remembered how I felt at his age when my friend and I were picked on mercilessly by the other kids who thought we were weird.

I was downright livid.

How is this “socialization” supposed to help him in the real world? Why should he feel burdened by a need to fit in? That is most decidedly not the value structure we want for our kids. They have the right to be the person their heart tells them to!

“Derrick, first of all, there’s nothing wrong with walking to your class by yourself. It’s just walking to class – trust me, dude, there’s no deep meaning to it all. And it only takes you two minutes to get there. How lonely can one kid possibly get in two minutes?”  He cracked a smile.

“Why do you think anybody would think you’re weird if you smile at someone? Is it weird to be friendly?” Adam added. Derrick shrugged his shoulders and rubbed his fists into his eyes, still in tears. “What if someone smiled at you first? Would you think they were weird?”

“No. I’d think they were nice. (sniffle)”

“So what kind of person would think it was weird to smile at each other?”

“I dunno. (sob) Nobody, I guess.”

“Exactly. You’re a friendly kid. There’s no reason why anybody would think it’s weird for someone to be friendly.”

Our conversation continued, meandering through different pathways of helping him to wrap his brain around the situation (interrupted occasionally by a whiny Caroline, who was easily placated with a juice box). There’s no reason why this awesome kid, so full of sunshine, couldn’t share some of his happy with the people he passed by on his hundred yard walk every morning. He needed to know that. He needed to know that anyone who would think he’s weird for being friendly isn’t a person whose opinion he needed to value in the first place.

Is that person his friend? Nope.

Damn, I forgot how hard that lesson is to learn.

“I just want to be homeschooled,” he wailed. We are planning on having him join his sisters at home for the next school year already, but still, we wanted to know his thoughts.


“Because I just want to be me.”

Amen, little man. Amen.

I love my smiley, happy boy.

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