Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly Report:Homeschooling in the Field

This week we did a fair amount of actual schoolwork- well, not too much. It was rainy and cold and drizzly and chilly. We did about 1/2 of our normal workload and didn't feel too guilty about it because were busy getting the house and ourselves warmed up and we did some other very cool things.
KB is interning with a friend who is running for State Legislature ( so she has been doing lots of mailings and other "grunt" work for her. This past week she was able to attend an invite only dinner with Tony Perkins and other noteables and had a grand time. Tammy and KB make quite a pair-Tammy might be 5'3" with heels and KB is 5'10" without. Tammy is a dynamo and in a hard race. Prayers are appreciated.
The kids and I and a couple of other TeenPact friends participated in the "Initiative 11" ( We canvassed a portion of town, handing out literature, putting up yard signs for those who wanted them and letting people know about the initiative. Despite going through a conservative neighborhood the kids still had doors slammed in thier faces and a couple of nasty remarks. They came home worn-out. Walking for miles and participating in a hot-issue is tiring!
Yesterday we had the pleasure of spending the day at a One Room Schoolhouse, complete with Rural Teachers. Class is in session! Our kids were divied and sat together by grade but not before we went outside for a flag ceremony. Back inside for the Pledge of Alligience and and the singing of patriotic songs with piano accompaniment.
It was unanimous. The kids LOVED it. The morning was spent in age-appropriate lessons, with a recess break to try out the metal see-saw, merry-go-round, slide and swings. After recess we had the added treat of Mr. Julian, aged 92. His grandpa built the school over 125 years ago, he, his dad, and son all attended the school. He sang songs, several in Norwegian, recited poetry and answered question after question. For lunch he sang the Table Blessing in Norwegian, which we followed in English. Cub raised his hand and wanted to share the Table Blessing in Latin and went up front and recited the whole thing beautifully. 3 cheers for Prima Latina (again!).

Lunch was brown-bagged, then more recess, the out-house for those willing to brave the cold and the smell, followed by story-time. Our Rural teacher was a masterful storyteller and we all sat enthralled by her craft. There were more lessons (geography, history, puzzles, recitation, fairy tales and mazes), then math races by grades. The kids loved them and the whole room was cheering and clapping! At the end of the day we went and took down the flag, gathered our things and went home. The kids all exclaimed that they loved the day and wanted to come back soon. One of the Rural Teachers mentioned to me that she didn't think that the One Room Schoolhouse and Homeschooling were that much different, and indeed it did not appear to be so.
Three times this week I've had adults tell me what a respectful, well-mannered "young son" I have and how "lucky" I am. I always forgo mentioning my opinon that "luck" has nothing to do with it and that deliberate parenting does. One adult (one of the docents at the One Room Schoolhouse) said, "most kids his age just aren't nice." We've had many comments about our older kids over the years; they are well-mannered, sweet, nice, behaved, beautiful and modest, intelligent, fun, respectful. I think that more than anything, they aren't sullen. They shake your hand, look you in the eyes, respond articulately and convey respect and appreciation. In that they are unusual from many of their peers. Imho it's not luck. It's the investment of 2 decades of deliberate dedication, prayer and pouring into. I had a friend tell me about 5 years ago, "Of course, everyone wants the benefits of homeschooling, but I, I mean, we, don't want to sacrifice what it would take." Whether by luck or deliberation, but more probably by the grace of God this boy rocks.


Jonnia said...

I love reading your blog! Sounds like you all had a wonderful week. I've never heard of a One Room Schoolhouse program like you describe, but it sounds like fun!

Karen said...

It looks like you had a wonderful week. I have always thought that homeschooling was very much like the old One Rooom School houses. I didn't know that there were still any in operation. That is a fantastic experience.

Melissa said...

I loved reading this report. Not only does the One Room Schoolhouse look like a unique and wonderful experience, your son sounds like a gem of a young man and a tribute to your parenting and faith. :)
Melissa (party of 5)