Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Month: September 2013

Yet Another Project

If you have wondered over the last several months why I am posting so rarely, well, here is your answer:

The North Texas Homeschool

Yes-sir-ee, we are now homeschoolers. We started August 12th and so far, things are going really well.
Come on over and check out the new blog, which will chronicle our homeschool adventures as well as give insight to interesting sights around North Texas for fieldtrips and family getaways. I will also write curriculum reviews and give links to sights that provide much needed information.
The Funny Farm will remain active (I promise it will be more active than it has been) to deliver the wacky stories of our farm adventures.
I hope you enjoy the tales, and with any luck I will keep them straight enough to get them on the right blogs 🙂

The Decision to Homeschool

Deciding to homeschool is a bit like deciding to enter a hot dog eating contest minutes before the timer starts, having never trained your stomach to adequately hold 150 Oscar Meyers at the same time.
I mean, you know how to eat, and you love a good frankfurter, but you are crossing a line that may result in unexpected consequences. Namely puking behind a kettle corn tent in 100 degree heat while someone records the whole humiliating incident on their smart phone.
Announcing that we were preparing to homeschool our three boys after eight years of public school was similar to facing the crowd at the eating contest. We had a few fans who supported us wholeheartedly, a few people who completely wrote us off as certifiably insane, but mostly we encountered suspicious caring observers who questioned our every move intentions. 
While a few of the questioners hurt our feelings, most asked out of concern and curiosity. Those questions turned out to be a blessing. We had to do some extensive soul searching to find the answers we wanted to give.
So here they are, the answers to the most-asked question: “Why?”

  1. Because we can.
  2. It’s our responsibility.
  3. Because his painting was a perfect representation of a TARDIS mid-flight. 

The first answer probably made you roll your eyes. The second most likely ruffled some feathers.
Even if your child goes to the most prestigious private school in the city, you are responsible for making sure they practice and retain the knowledge they are given. Not to mention the fact that their moral character is completely dependent on your ability to lead them down the right path. 
So if you have the opportunity, why not take control of the information-dump presented to your children? Why not spend your days pouring in what you hope they will someday pour back into the world?
The third answer may have had you calling CPS. Stick with me for a minute.
The day before our homeschool began, I was on the verge of tears. Would I be able to handle the work? Was I really willing to endure another year of Algebra? Would I ruin my children?
Then Youngest (calling him a Dr. Who fan would be an understatement) brought me a painting he made of a TARDIS. Instantly, my terror turned to laughter, my stress to joy. I understood what no teacher, no matter how much she or he cared for my child, would: instead of his normal angular lines, Youngest had smeared the edges of the blue police box to represent a TARDIS mid-space-flight.
Here in my hand was a milestone that would have gone unnoticed by even a seasoned public school teacher. They may have thrown it out, misunderstanding the smudged blue rectangle instead of immediately hanging it on the wall.
The moral of the weird story is that I know my children. I know them best. I’ve known them longest. I love them more.
Even when I don’t agree with them, I have an understanding of how they came to a particular decision. I can ease their fears, calm their worries, push them out of their comfort zone and answer their questions.
Or at least find the answer in the teacher-edition of the book.

TARDIS Streaking Through Time and Space by Youngest