Saturday, April 21, 2012

Washing Clothes, Deep Thoughts, and Drawings From Ethiopia

On Thursday, We went to Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop , which was excellent hands-on review from all the pioneer stuff we've learned this year. And we were also able to check this off in our 8 Wonders of Kansas book.

Everyone said that their favorite activity was washing laundry. Oh, I wish that were true at home. Maybe we should start washing by hand....
The second favorite was the stagecoach ride.

This is the last operating stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe trail. Another treasure in our backyard that we have failed to patron until now. But I'm sure it won't be the last time!
And finally, the game "Graces".
Yesterday I attended the Midwest Parent Educator's Homeschool Conference.

Oh man, I needed that, to be around people going through the same struggles. To calm my fears, to encourage me. I won't get everything done. I have not completely ruined my children by keeping them from the masses, which (some of ) the masses like to tell me.  And taking on homeschooling inevitably means putting my four a priority over everything, cleaning, and keeping up with whomever is doing something better than I.

These are my observations, coming from a completely biased and indoctrinated mama:

1) Everyone needs to drop their stereotype of how homeschool families look. Yesterday, not one jean jumper. There may have been one, I just didn't see it. Everyone looked "normal", like as if you were in the grocery store...a good mixture of all types of people, even some mix in ethnicity. Now, I know that everyone has seen a real weird lookin' homeschooler, but I've seen 50 weird lookin' public schoolers for every homeschooler. Just sayin'.

2) The only difference than the grocery store is that everyone was smiling and kind. Probably because they were getting a break and encouragement from the actual work, but so kind none-the-less.

3) The kids that volunteered to help were so professional and curtious, and the adults were patient and curtious to them. Very refreshing after our stop at McDonald's for ice cream on Thursday.

4) I am overwhelmed with information and possibilities. Now, I realize that most people are uninformed about the homeschool resources avaliable. Just like I am uninformed with how you train for golf. I don't care at this point, so I don't choose to become informed. However, it is tiring to hear this criticism from the uninformed. Like the checkout lady that said, "I thought about homeschooling but I wanted my children to be smarter than me. I don't know everything they teach in school." Not in a question form but a don't-you-know-what-you-doing-to-your-children type of way. I have to turn down super activities and curriculum simply because I can't do it all. If I don't know something, there is always a way to figure it out.

5) What is even more important than how we look, if we practiced enough math, if we are advanced in reading, if we are in enough activities, or if we make a ton of money is that they know who they are in Christ, and not according to their teachers or peers. That they have the integrity and character to use their very personal gifts for God's glory, and to help people in need. To build a strong family support and vision for certain direction and accountability. Basically, to have the freedom to accomplish more than they could imagine under God's direction.

I am pumped. And overwhelmed....with gratitude and resopnsibility.

I love that our country thus far allows freedoms in choosing which education is right for each family, and pray that this will continue.
And on a completely separate note, I recieved a letter from Ethiopia!!!!!

I've gotta admit, I'm one proud mama, aunt, and sponsor!

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