Thursday, September 25, 2014

Camper Q and A

I've decided to do a little Q and A session for today's post. And for those of you who like me on Facebook you've given me some great questions to answer (if you can't find me on Facebook there is a link in the tiny print at the bottom of each of my posts). The rest of you who weren't given that opportunity can now ask me questions in the comments here, or send me a message if it's too personal to express in general public, and I'll write up another post answering those questions. 

I did get 6 questions total over the course of this last week and I'll answer 5 of them here, leaving the sixth a special post of it's own next Wednesday!

Question one: Did you always intend to homeschool or what led you to homeschool? Honestly, we'd considered it on and off for several years. All preschool years were taught at home (who wants to pay $1200 a year for preschool classes, just to learn colors/ABC's/123's?). When YCJ was in Kindergarten she'd come home from school in tears most days having been teased so badly and bullied and she'd asked to be homeschooled (to this day I don't know where she learned about homeschooling to begin with as we'd never used the term). ECJ was also badly bullied in public school, for being smart and short... Well, we tried private Catholic school (talk about expensive!) thinking the smaller class sizes and the zero tolerance for bullying would help... Nope. We sent them back to a different public school as this was the middle of the school year and we prayed and talked, and talked and prayed...

A few months later I found out that Daddy had been hiding some bad news from me that he was seriously ill. We contacted several doctors who wouldn't help and finally found one in another state that would. We talked, we prayed, and we cried. Finally we decided to homeschool, live in our camper in a much warmer climate (either long term or short term we hadn't decided), and spend as much time together as God granted us...
Learning in the camper...

Daddy's been in remission for 18 months now!

Question two: What qualifies you to teach your children? (This one was asked of me by another homeschool mother also named Crystal who had had this question directed at her and wondered how I'd handle the situation.) Answer? I AM THEIR MOTHER. I taught them (of course with Daddy's help) to walk, talk, use the potty, tie their shoes, ABC's, 123's, manners, prayers, how to clean up after themselves (most of the time), etc... THE BIBLE TELLS ME TO. Yup, that's right it sure does and there's several references to it throughout the Bible (you can click on this link to find some of them to site if you need to). I know my children best and can therefore teach them the easiest, we have a smaller student - teacher ratio, and there is no better comfort than that of a parent when you "just can't get it" when you're trying sooo hard! Also, it's legal for me to do so therefore you can't do much about it.

Question three: What about socialization? (Also asked by Crystal to find out my response, she's been asked this several times and only just started homeschooling this year!) Honestly folks? I HATE when people ask me this. Close your eyes (after you read the next sentence or two) and think back to when you were in school... Remember the teacher saying all the time, "You're not here to socialize, you're here to learn!" YUP... because putting 30+ eight year olds in desks in the same room and not allowing them to talk to each other is teaching them to socialize.... 

Imagine if you would a office environment where there were lots of cubicles all grouped together by what age the people who worked in those cubicles were. And NO ONE was allowed to talk while you were supposed to be working. Older people were frowned on for talking to the younger people. Everyone having to take lunch by age group... This is just NOT the real world and why should we teach our children that this will ever happen outside of a brick and mortar school house?

My children socialize by talking to each other, their friends, our neighbors, members of our church, their Catechism teachers, our extended family, people they chance to meet at the playground (zoo, park, etc..), and so many others. They're learning to socialize with all ages and not just their peers! We know this, and logically so does the person asking you these questions. The average elementary recess time is about 10 - 15 minutes where children are let outside to run around and "socialize" ... My children spend over half their day socializing with everyone they know that they come across that day. 
This is NOT our classroom!!

'Nuff said.

Question four: Which subject do you dislike teaching the most? Which is your favorite subject to teach? OK... total honesty? I despise math and spelling!!! I never have been the best speller in the world and math confounds me when you get to certain levels... But, I'm learning along with the kids and finding that I enjoy them more now that I'm older (and have the Teacher's Manuals lol).

As for which subject is my favorite to teach that's a SUPER hard question to answer! I love teaching all the other subjects at different times. Fall is my favorite for science, winter my favorite is history and writing, spring I love music and art, and during the summer I love all things physical! BUT, if I had to pick just one ... just one all time favorite mind you... I'd have to say reading! I am a bookworm. I am such a bookworm that I collect books on my hobbies so that I can read the instructions on how to make new things even if I never make a thing out of that book! I have over 50 different Star Trek novels that I've read a million times just because!!


Question five: What homeschool method would YOU want to learn with, and is that the same as what works best for your family? If I were to have been homeschooled I would have loved a classical but eclectic approach. Good old fashioned, timeless books to learn from and the ability to follow my interests at whim...

No, it's not exactly what we do as a family. It wouldn't work for many of the campers. They do best with text books for many subjects, sprinkle in a dash of nature walks and science experiments, add a dash of crafting, two shakes of the newest music we're listening to, and a pinch of recreating history. That's the recipe that works best for ALL of my children. They do many interest led things as well but this is because they have TIME to do so along with the rest of their lessons and they've discovered that LEARNING IS FUN!

And so now you have some of my answers and you can tell that although we didn't mean to take this journey from the beginning we're loving every step of it now!!

Don't forget if you have any questions to ask them in the comments! 

(Special thanks to Tristan for supplying such wonderfully thoughtful (and thought provoking) questions not asked by Crystal.)

And for those of you who have yet to look us up on Facebook you can find us there by following this link . As yet it is the only social media account we can be found at

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