18 October 2014

Another Homeschooling Abuse Case.

When it's a homeschooling family that goes wackadoodle, it's about the homeschooling or the fundamentalism.  But when a public school family goes crazy, it's about "poverty" or "culture" or "mental illness."  Go check the news sometime and see if I'm not right.

Now, look.  I'm not saying child abuse didn't happen in the most recently publicized case.  But I sure wouldn't bet a whole lot of money that it did, either, particularly as the teen witness to the alleged abuse didn't report it until years later as an adult.  Don't give me this "victims are trapped" bullcrap.  This ain't Pakistan or Yemen.

And the very fact that the allegations are published in some "let's talk about the horrid things that happen in homeschooling families and how we need to regulate these people" type blog also should give people a bit of pause.  (That's one reason why I'm not linking, by the way.)

Like I said:  I'm not saying abuse didn't or did happen.  That's a question for DFS and the courts and so on.  What I am saying is that people love to jump on this kind of crap, because they want to "prove" that homeschooling is bad, or wrong, or is somehow "led" by a bunch of child-molesting, patriarchal weirdos who believe in things like using essential oils to combat Ebola.

There are so many new homeschoolers out there it's just incredible.  I frequently come across new homeschooling parents who I'll bet don't even know who Mary Pride is, let alone most of the people at the center of this crapola.  So to be all triumphant about this family's problems 1. probably isn't going to affect the homeschooling community too very much, and 2. is really poor form.  Publicizing the identities of allegedly molested children?  Yeah, that's pretty much what you are doing when you print the names of their parents.

Classy.

10 October 2014

Carschooling.

 Patrick has another semester of community college and so rather than run about constantly and getting nothing done, I bring the children to the local library during his class time.

That means I can no longer use a different notebook or workbook for every subject, particularly as my surgeon has limited me to lifting 20 pounds for the rest of my life.  (Had three hernia surgeries and would prefer my intestines stay inside my body from now on.)

So I've torn out all the workbook sheets and stapled them into weekly "packets."  When I'm getting ready to leave for the college, I'll put the relevant packets in a hard folder, grab our LIFEPAC science workbook and our pencil case, and head to the van.

I bring sandwiches and we have a "picnic" before heading in and grabbing a table.  Rewards for good work mean the children each get to pick out three books and on particularly long days, they can use the kindle for a little bit before heading back to pick Patrick up for the drive home.

When I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I'll pick a restaurant that looks homeschool-friendly.  The problem is that we need to stick around for several hours.  McDonald's is friendly, as is the local Taco Bell.  I had never been in a Taco Bell before and doubt I will go to another again (barring national disaster and so forth - never say never).  We've also done the coffee shop thing a few times.




03 October 2014

Which Would You Choose? A Math Lesson From Rose

Oooo, you should choose the second one.  Because that's a way lots more money.  Patrick thinks they are the same, but he doesn't know that more zeroes means more dollars.  See, but now I am in first grade and so I know that.

29 September 2014

Weston Red Barn Field Trip!



We had a great time at Weston Red Barn in Weston, Missouri.  We arrived just after 2 pm, when the school tours are wrapping up and free admission hours begin.

We picked apples at the orchard.  There were a large number of bees around, but they never stung us.  They seemed very content to hop about the apple trees and didn't bother us at all.  If you're still and quiet in the middle of the orchard, you can hear the hum of their hive.  So bring an epi-pen if need be... but I don't think you'll need it.

There are several different sorts of animals about including rabbits, cows and a tiny mini-pony.  He's pictured here.  I would be surprised if he measures much taller than three feet.


There's also a pumpkin patch and a hay ride, but we'd expended a fair bit of energy looking around and ferrying little buckets of apples to fill our bag at the gift shop.  It was hot today!

The apples are quite good, but they're not as perfect and polished-looking as the shiny ones you see at the store.  They're much duller and have small dings and things like that.  But they're good.  They taste just like the air smells near the trees, just a little sweet and like fall.






If Women Catcalled...

25 September 2014

It's Hammer-Time.

Unrelated photo of my grandfather.
As you may remember, Pony Boy had a problem calling our house for a while.  I've been suspicious of him bullying Emperor ever since they became "friends."  Emperor is plenty smart, but he doesn't always catch the social cues.

It seems the calls would happen for a while and then suddenly stop.  Every few months, Emperor would be the target again.  I know it's Pony Boy and one other kid with a different voice.  But we never knew who.

Lately the calls have escalated in their disrespect and the level of crudeness displayed.  You know, I try to give a lot of leeway to children because that's what they are.  They make mistakes.  I kept telling them that this was really not in their best interest to continue doing this.

Yesterday, we got a couple of very disgusting phone calls.  One happened when I answered the phone and apparently?  Someone else was calling in at the same time and leaving a horrid message on the machine.  They are very crude gay sex, masturbation and drug-related phone calls.  Screaming phone calls.  It was just too much at that point.

Unfortunately, we found out our local police would do nothing unless I handed them the suspect's name and phone number.  And even then, they're juveniles so good luck with that.  It was very disheartening to hear.  What the policewoman said was that often, the best thing to do is to involve the school's "resource officer."

Well, I'm mighty disinclined to involve the police in school when it concerns an after-school problem, but the point was made that the kids all go to school together, so... at least they can be made aware of the situation.

Sigh.  So I went to see Officer "Hammer-Time" at the school first thing in the morning at a friend's suggestion.  (Yes, I have to have a nickname for everyone, ok?)  He is a very nice person and took my tip about Pony Boy.  He called the kid in to "chat," and of course kids are all overwhelmed by the badge, spill everything, and now the cops/school know who did this.  It was him and some kid I will call Twig Boy.  If you knew their names?  You'd say the nicknames fit. 

Anywayyy.

BETTER than anything I could have asked for? Is the fact that it turns out this happened on the school bus. Which means the bullying counts as taking place "on school grounds." Which means school consequences, sports team consequences, and home consequences are gonna happen. The triad.

Just imagine getting that phone call, and learning your kid has just bullied a disabled child.  For months.  And wouldn't stop when his parents asked him to.  Wouldn't want to be those kids this weekend. 

21 September 2014

Another Assorted Post.

I'm Not Arrogant.  I'm Just Better Than You.

Analyze Words will take your twitter handle and spit out some sort of psychological gobbledygook.  Instead of pegging me as an over-friendly extrovert (which I most certainly am online, folks), it says that I'm arrogant, angry, worried, distant and analytic.

I was expecting "you're so nice!" or something like that.  Well.  Go try it and see what it says.  It has pegged everyone else I entered into the system pretty well except me, so it might just be a quirk.  It uses word combinations to psychologize you... somehow.

That's Not The Book Title.  

Anyway.  I had to put a buuunch of stickers on this book after I took the picture you see here.  Patrick would sometimes do reading time with Rose and would giggle about the book title.  It's SUPPOSED to be "Happiness Hill," but I reinforced the binding with Super Mario tape.  Take off the ha- and I guess it isn't the same word any more. 

He also really ruint the marketing scheme for one particular granola bar I USED to enjoy by pointing out what the giant and em, somewhat engorged-looking sidewise peanut on their package looked exactly like.  Thanks, Patrick.  I do think that someone should hire him as "Juvenile and Crude Hilarity Prevention Specialist."  You know.  Sort of like how some places hire hackers to try to test their systems.

He recently got a job at a local thrift store and he gets a 50% discount!  I want his next job to be at a grocery store... if that's the sort of employee discount they are offering these days, I could save some serious money.

Leaving You With... 

This cute picture of Rose.  Her first big trophy.  She had lost every game at the tournament on Saturday.  I think they gave her the trophy because it was already engraved with the event name and date, and they had an extra.  She's so proud of it, though.  She works very hard at notating her game and playing her best.