Clearing up 52-54 and how my husband is involved in homeschooling.

July 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm 12 comments

What is 52-54 you ask? Click here to find out.

A question arose on a blogI read about homeschooling and whether or not our husbands are involved. I’ve been pondering this for a while.

Not that I have to ponder “if or how” my husband is involved but our dynamic is unique and I was thinking about the why. My husband is a public school teacher so its actually quite strange that we have chosen to homeschool and that he is in fact involved in that. I love what Karen said in her post about her husband being her biggest defender and that, I would say, is Matt’s #1 roll.

Another way our situation is different than most is that my husband is a talker! He laughs that if most women have 3500 words a day and men 2000, he has 2000 per hour! :) I process things by writing and pondering alone and then bring the parts that I can’t get through alone to a trusted friend (often my husband).  He, on the other hand processes everything by talking. Talk it through, argue it through, and when something has to be done he doesn’t just set his mind to it and go he has to talk about the details. I thought I could talk! HA!

You can see how leaving him completely out of the picture would not give him ample opportunity to feel he was doing his best job as defender! He needs to talk through the details. I guess he would be something like our Principal. :) Not in the “authority” sense but more my companion and support system. If I’m really stuck or struggling with balance etc. he is there to bounce ideas off of. Also my husband is the huge visionary for our family. I’m a dreamer! He can see the big picture and keep us “on track” so to speak where I can get overwhelmed with the day to day tasks not feeling like we are reaching goals quickly enough. Does that make sense?

One day before we started homeschooling he and I took a drive and as we went along we jostled ideas and thoughts back and forth. Eventually we came to a conclusion about our school concept that we wanted to strive toward and gave ourselves a “mission and vision” statement. This actually came partly out of conflict. He had been fielding some “flack” from people at work about why we homeschool and of course those skeptics thinking that somehow I had manipulated him into allowing me to “keep the kids home”! They must NOT really know my husband!

Now before I freak you out on this it is not intended to make me feel “greater than thou” or even for Matt and I to have something to hang over the others head, it’s more a marker. Like the spiritual markers God gives us as believers we wanted progress markers in education to align to a goal and have an answer for ourselves mostly, it just so happens that it helps us to answer others when we have the Mission and Vision in the back of our heads. Okay, ya we are weird and scholarly like that! Both of us first born, driven, passionate, talker, educator type people. Speaking of education that was a huge and ridiculous paragraph, forgive me!

Anyhow this is what we came up with…Our Mission: Develop the drive to persueTruth and apply knowledge. That is a capitol “T” because we feel if knowledge is properly applied and a person actively persues truth they will always find The Truth in Christ. We won’t have to fear that we didn’t give our children all the head knowledge they would ever need because they will know how to seek. If they loose their way they will have the tools to learn their way back.  At least they can never claim ignorance right?

Our Vision: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. an acrostic. I’m shaking my head right now, we are so so “magoo”! Here goes;
R. Reach your potential
E. Exercise a joyful heart
S. Speak for what’s right
P. Promote your Created personality
E. Exercise knowledge
C. Care for others
T. Train to use your God given talents

So there you have it. As I think of this too I am reminded that another huge motivation for writing itall out is the fact that at this time we have our children in a state run charter program (don’t be a hater!). We prayerfully considered this decision and came up with the mission so that we can see the line in the sand! If the charter option at any point were to steer us away from that line we would we have a gauge! I am not interested in having the state teach my kids but I am (at this point) okay with aligning them to the standards especially since my husbands job is a factor! Standards aren’t what you might think. I’m not teaching that evolution is right or omitting God from my curriculum (ooh, boy this is a big discussion-I won’t go there)! Just to say I am thankful to God that this option allows us some financial flexibility, I can spend money on the faith based curriculum I REALLY want the kids to experience and accept the help for the standards like Math, P.E., even music lessons. Beyond that God has totally blessed us with a Christian consultant teacher.  It’s definitely not for everyone. 

The “mission” is my way of processing! :)  It is written in black and white and I can refer to it from time to time. This past year I was frustrated with a specific reading push in the standards set forth, so I brought it to Matt’s attention saying “I just don’t see how this aligns with our Mission!”  He came through for me and we discussed how mastering reading is essential to being able to pursue truth!  Not that I would skip the “reading” concept but I’m truly not passionate about teaching elementary. I can’t wait until the upper grades and K-3rd seems so mundane and unnecessarily repetative to me.  We have found a balance and I am now more passionate because I see how it fits into the big picture!

Back to my husbands involvement. Matt is for sure my helper, defender and my substitute teacher! This coming year we are going to try once a week having him take the boys through the math concepts for the week. I have a hard time seeing math in a big picture way, I get stuck on the why and even though it is low level math I get stuck on what “concept” am I teaching! Not to mention we use Right Start Math (I guess it is somewhat like Singapore Math) and I was taught the good ol’ memorize your tables way! We will be trying this out but I intend to play all the games and do any seat work with the kids and Matt will overview the weeks “concepts” to fill in any gaps. He can look at my book and in 5min figure out what the theme is where I have to read every word. I’m weird like that!

One problem we both see with him being overly responsible for any of the day to day activities of school is that after being at work it would be more work (literally) for him and he would be less able to leave work at work and just be Dad!  There is such a huge need for Dad/child relationships in our culture, we don’t want to overshadow that with more school, and an evening agenda and then off to bed.  I’d like for Matt to be able to play with and disciple our kids, if that happens to be in a learning environment great.  We are both of the “lifelong learning” camp and therefore our house is full of opportunities, we actually have to balance our need to “teach” with our kids’ need to “learn” by natural consequences and just being kids.

Aside from the new plan to do math, Matt does do a directed discipleship driven Bible study with the boys twice a week.  That is their sacred time and they really look forward to it so I’m sure any dad involvement can be turned into an opportunity if that’s how a family wants to run their school!  We just struggle with over-teaching our kids.  Evenings need to be set aside for fun and open conversation (remember, we are talkers!) not work, and agendas.

So there you have it, our crazy messed up beautiful! I’d better post this thing before I get off on another tangent!

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Henny  |  July 16, 2009 at 2:09 am

    impressive! I enjoyed reading this. it’s fun seeing all sides of homeschooling and how it works.

    Reply
  • 2. Liz  |  July 16, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I think that sounds wonderful. I miss homeschooling. We were part of a charter as well. My husband wasn’t able to be part of it at all due to commute/long job hours. I’m not surprised that your husband is a ps school teacher. I knew many hs families where either mom or dad was a ps school teacher. It always helped to reinforce to me how great hsing was as an option.

    Reply
  • 3. Sarah C.  |  July 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Very nice.
    We do a homeschool co-op. The teacher’s husband teaches at the HS. Many people I know would like to but “are worried about their child not being social enough”. I find it kind of funny because one of the main reasons we decided to HS was because we didnt want our children social at a young age with people we didnt want then social with. Thanks for sharing you reasons.

    Reply
    • 4. glutenfree4goofs  |  July 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      Yeah that makes complete sense. If one really looks at it, who would want their children taught how to behave by observing other children? Not to mention the fact that at school it is popular to disrespect teachers, and kids who try to immulate or learn from an adult are considered nerds! My kids are not secluded or unsocial but I do know some people who homeschool out of fear and those kids are difficult to get along with socially-even as an adult- because they literally fear people, the good with the bad! Guess its balance.

      Reply
  • 5. Debbie  |  July 18, 2009 at 8:37 am

    We homeschool our boys and dad is the one who answers all the math questions in our house, too. I like using the video teacher with Math-U-See.

    I think your Mission Statement is a great way to stay focused. I heard of a women who was ready to quit when her child performed poorly on his standardized testing, and then her mentor pulled out her mission statement of what this mom had listed as truly important and test scores was not listed. She realized from her mission statement that she was doing everything that was important.

    Reply
    • 6. glutenfree4goofs  |  July 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      That’s great! It definitely helps to stay focused.

      Reply
  • 7. Karen Joy  |  July 18, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Great post. I love how you and your husband really work as a team with a unified vision and mission. Very cool.

    Reply
  • 8. purplemoose  |  July 20, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Awesome!!! I like the RESPECT idea. And lifelong learning. And Right Start’s games. And. . . well, I’d better not list everything! I have considered the “what to do when the kids are grown” question and wondered if maybe getting a teaching degree would be fun. (That and midwifery, or becoming a doula. . . I guess I don’t have to decide now :D but it’s hard to have too many interests.)

    Reply
    • 9. glutenfree4goofs  |  July 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

      I often think I have too many interests. The question then becomes how to fit them all into a lifetime AND how to do anything well if I’m dabbling in a lot of things. Balance, is something I’m learning to achieve by God’s grace.

      Reply
  • 10. 100 « Blog Schmog  |  September 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    [...] My kids attend public school (ask me if you care) [...]

    Reply
  • 11. Jen  |  December 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Hey Jess, thanks for this article! I’ve been a little nervous about the homeschooling end of things when it comes to parenting my kids… but recently i’ve received a lot of encouragement from others. Anyway… thanks for what you wrote. :)

    Reply
  • 12. 100 AGAIN « Blog Schmog  |  February 10, 2010 at 5:49 am

    [...] My kids are in public school (ask me if you care) [...]

    Reply

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MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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Many of you have been checking back for results on my sourdough creation. At the moment it is still a science experiment, but a happy, bubbly experiment. Never fear, recipes will be here! I did make a beautiful, moist and delicious loaf of sourdough using yeast and a myriad of other ingredients but I'm still trying to create something more user friendly. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a starter on the counter that you could add 4 things to and have a loaf of bread by dinner? Mmmm! Attempt #1 - rose well but resulted in a dense chewy blob Attempt #2 - rose ok but was thin and lifeless then fell and another dense (not so chewy) blob Attempt #3 - to the dogs! Attempt #4 - A sourdough pancake success see post under what's for breakfast gluten-free goof? Ongoing - I've tried several more times and am going to try a completely different approach on the bread starting this week. (Mar 18). My sourdough is still happy on my counter and it makes great pancakes but it's a lot of work just for pancakes. Keep checking! April Update: She is still kickin and I'm still workin on a yeast free, gluten free sourdough loaf! May Update: My sourdough "pet" has been dried and retired until next baking season. I've traded her in for a hotter model, the BBQ! :)
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