Welcome to the 55th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling: Parents' Meeting Edition. Yes, you've wandered into the church basement where the homeschooling moms (and a few dads) are gathering for news, conversation and moral support. Keep your coat with you, the heating doesn't always work too well down here.
ChristineMM (The Thinking Mother) is setting up chairs tonight. She's feeling a bit worried about How The Family Schedule Is Going. Lara from The Open Door comes to help her out. She says that at her house "The School Year Must Be Going Well," after hearing that her son actually wants to take a test to show off how much he's learned. They decide to sit down after the meeting and chat some more.
Will everybody please have a seat and we'll have some announcements first.
One carnival reader sent in a link to The Pro Second Amendment Committee's 2007 Annual Student Essay Contest. There are categories from elementary through secondary, and the entry deadline is February 15th.
Another contest! The Official HSB Company Store announces the Math Tutor DVD Bundle Contest for January. "To enter this contest just leave a comment here telling us about your favorite math manipulative or activity." I could do that...
Groupnews at HomeEdMag.com reports on "Jason Taylor, Tim Tebow, Homeschoolers and Public School Sports Featured on ESPN." They note that "ESPN’s Outside the Lines featured a report on a homeschool family from GA who want their homeschooled sons to play on public school sports teams, and [discussed] the GA Tim Tebow bill that has grown from it."
Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse presents "Joel Turtel Wrote a GREAT Story." Joel (the author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children) gave Gena permission to reprint "a must read short story he wrote that was featured by American Daily. The story is about how a father comes to realize that public education is dumbed down and how he has cheated his daughter by not first investigating the system he placed his daughter in."
And there are two announcements about field trips:
Michael of Family School describes a visit to the art museum (and an unexpected question) in Art Appreciation and the Mechanics of Halos.
Heather presents Field Trip Foto Friday: Crowe's Nest Farm posted at Sprittibee.
We usually invite people to come up and describe a typical day in their homeschooling life. Tonight Birdie, Kelly and Kristina are going to share.
Birdie tells us what homeschooling looks like in her nest, in "What Does Homeschooling LOOK Like, Anyway?"
Kelly at Pass The Torch gives a three-month review of her homeschool experiment, and decides that "process is more important than product."
Kristina of At Home, On Fire muses about the spiritual connections between homeschooling and Christian life in "While I've Got You."
Because January 15th was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we have some members who would like to share their thoughts on that.
Elena at My Domestic Church presents "Flexibility- the key word in homeschooling," using MLK discussions with her children as an example. Elena says, "I didn't use any special curriculum for this, just my own experiences and knowledge of the subject and it worked out very well." Too bad Elena can't teach some of the 19% of college students that think "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s contribution to history was 'advocating the abolition of slavery.'" (Thanks to Barbara Frank from The Imperfect Homeschooler for posting this in "History and Martin Luther King, Jr.")
Missy at Life Without School muses on racial stereotyping (even within the homeschool community) in Thoughts About Diversity.
And Andrea Hermitt presents How Would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Feel About Homeschooling? posted at Homeschool Blog.
Time to take a short coffee break, stretch your legs, sign up for field trips and say hello before we get on to tonight's main topic.
The topic around the coffeepot is a big boo, hiss for people who think homeschoolers (especially unschoolers) are a) out of touch with reality, b) selfish, and c) uneducated. This has obviously touched a nerve with Alasandra, who gives them all her two-cents worth in More Misconceptions About Homeschoolers. Susan at Corn and Oil agrees that "Homeschoolers Don't Miss Out." Tootle adds her experiences with "Homeschoolers and the Real World."
Sandy at Relaxed Homeschooling comes out swinging with "My Beef with a National Educational Association Article". The NEA writer asks, "So, why would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children?" Sandy responds, "We don't assume to know it all, however, we do know HOW to give our children what they need in order to learn."
And Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies responds with some wonderful "Thoughts on Standards and Credentials."
Janine at Why Homeschool points out that when teachers teach to a test, the students don't master the material, in "Teaching to the Test."
Okay, everyone, we could just skip the rest of the meeting and talk about this some more, but it's time for our Main Topic: Things to Keep You Busy During the Winter. Will Sarah, Rebecca and Meredith come up to the front?
Sarah of Small World presents some of her Favorite Family Games.
Rebecca at Today in Faerie School shares a list of "50 Simple, Winter Activities to do with children," especially the "Ideas I'm definitely doing (if I remember)," in "I Needed a Place to Store This."
And Meredith at Sweetness and Light says "We'll be "Owling" in the Preschool Learning Corner for the Month of January!! There will be lots of fun books, activities, and things to learn and discover through Seamus's eyes this month with two special Field Trips planned for observation and hands on learning about these magnificant nocturnal birds of prey!"
The main part of the meeting is over, but the library is open now--and don't forget we can use help putting things away.
Mama Squirrel at Dewey's Treehouse, the librarian, isn't in a very good mood; she's giving a "Growl, Hiss for that Booklist." Somebody get her some decaf or she'll go on about it all night.
Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium Pursuit provides a list of Free Online Audio Books. This newest incarnation of books-on-tape is gaining popularity quickly with homeschoolers such as Krakovianka, who posts about this "modern twist on an ages-old tradition." Ann of A Child's Geography adds her own take to this with Listen to the World's Sounds--Listen to His Heartbeat. "Call the kids around, turn up the speakers, and whirl around the world. Only ears and attentive minds are necessary."
Over by the cookies, a group of ladies is chatting about curriculum ideas.
Andrea at the Families.com Homeschool Blog asks, "What do Children Need More: Structure or Freedom?"
Alejandra at A Guide to Raising Great Kids provides a list of When to Teach What. Patti at All Info About Home Schooling answers that favourite question "What Do You Use? (Ages 4 to 5)."
Tara Reynolds presents The $5,000 Tomten posted at Waldorf Our Way.
Mama Chjaos notes that using a favourite toy train to find out about magnets is really Science at its Best.
Janine at Baptist Homeschooling takes a similar approach to Teaching Math Concepts, using everyday activities.
Denise at Let's Play Math gives some advice on teaching Order of Operations.
Hi Desert Hi-Jinks has a look at a One Word Writing lesson.
A Dusty Frame shares about a great resource she's found, the Homeschooling with Notebooks website.
Christine and Lara sit down to talk about how things are going, and are joined by several others.
Kat of No Fighting, No Biting worries about the fact that she doesn't orchestrate a lot of creative art projects, in "I'm Not That Kind of Homeschooler!" "I do teach the kids cooking and sewing, let them loose with art supplies and they do produce lots of creative things such as catapults, homemade cards, and lots of drawings and paintings," she says. "But, sitting down with one child to do a specific project? Perhaps I am lazy or perhaps I realize that the odds of any project being completed without a smaller sibling destroying it are almost nil." Cindy of the Dominion Family Blog says that kids need to develop academic (and creative) independence in "Homeschooling: How to Fail." She reminds us that "The homeschooling survivor is the mom who knows that if all the plans and dreams for her school depend on her direct input something is gonna give." The Deputy Headmistress of The Common Room adds to Cindy's ideas with "Homeschooling when Mom is Interrupted."
Judy Aron at Consent of the Governed reminds everyone of what can happen if that final independence isn't reached, in "A New Phase for Kids And Parents - 'Adultolescence.'" "A new stage of your kids' growth called 'Adultolescence' describes a period following college that can last five or more years. No joke!" (Collective shudder.)
Sorry to break this up, but we have to clear out of here! You can leave your nametags in the box by the door.
And the doors are locked, and the meeting's over. Thanks to everyone who attended this week, and to the Cates for making the coffee! Next week's Carnival of Homeschooling will be hosted by The Thinking Mother. You can submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of homeschooling using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.