Monday, December 31, 2007

Learning All The Time

Okay, so I finally convinced Larry that the USB ports on the monitor aren't working and he was nice enough to find another port to plug the MP3 player into... and it worked! I figured out how to get into ITunes and find my podcast (Garrison Keillor, natch) and download it to my computer; and then I even moved it to the player (I think I did, anyway - Theo didn't actually listen to the player to make sure, mostly because we don't know how to use it yet and now I have to locate the missing earbuds).

I'm thinking there might be a way to download podcasts directly from ITunes to my player(?), but I can't figure it out. (That was a not-very-cleverly disguised plea for technical assistance.)

Some people have e-mailed me and asked why the fact that I am homeschooling 6 children does not figure prominently on this blog. I don't know. Mostly because this started out as a family newsletter; and, believe me, the less I brought up the homeschooling thing, the better. Plus, there's not that much to write about home education for "outsiders." We goof off a lot. We go to the library frequently. I bribe the kids with food to do their math pages. (I know David is going to be very disappointed at engineering school when no one offers him candy for a finished problem set.)

And the high schoolers? Well, the dirty little secret of the homeschooling community is that homeschooling ceases to be tons of fun once you hit those upper grades. There's stuff you have to do, whether it's inspiring or not, just so the kids don't end up with careers driving those Port-A-Potty trucks, you know? (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) My older ones do an online accredited curriculum so that I don't lie awake nights worrying that I am ruining their lives. Instead, I lie awake worrying that all the other home-schooled teens are having more fun with high school than we are.

Any homeschooling moms with high schoolers having fun out there? I'd love to hear from you - drop me a line (or a comment). Thanks!

And a very Happy New Year to all! I'm looking forward to this coming year, simply because I know that we won't be moving anywhere. Low expectations, folks, that's what it is all about....especially at


  1. When frustration set in with the schools from time to time, I considered home schooling. My children are alive today because I just said "no". The REAL question I have is: how a nice Jewish girl from Jersey ended up with a Catholic military man?

  2. It's a fine line, writing about homeschooling. I'm well fed up with all the "we homeschool and it's fabulous and we've just build our own solar-powered vehicle" type of homeschooling writing. And I don't subscribe to HEM anymore, not since I read on the writer's list how the editor doesn't think people should be allowed to "try" homeschooling, only people who make a lifetime commitment to it should be "allowed" to use the term. That's fine if that's her opinion, but I don't agree and it sort of made me feel worse than ever about some days wanting to send my kids anywhere but with me. You know, I never like to say "We're doing X FOREVER." Life doesn't always cooperate.

    Sigh. I'll shut up now. Happy New Year.

  3. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    In truth, I would love to hear more about the homeschooling, but I totally dig reading about Larry's adventures in the kitchen, too. Or his Ikea chair. So I'm good!!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Heidi :)

  4. fannie mae - it remains to be seen whether my children survive my, um, tender ministrations, home education wise. And the Jewish-Catholic thing? Happens all the time - we have that guilt thing in common.

    amy - Helen is more hepped up about government-subsidized homeschoolers - she worries (and rightly) that government interference could diminish our right to educate the kids as we see fit. And, yes, I do find the overachievers a bit hard to take. So I ignore them.

    family adventure - well, you are certainly easy to please!

  5. My son always tells me he wishes he could go back to school. he hated being homeschooled because he *has* to do his schoolwork and I actually give him work that challenges him, LOL.

    Can I ask what are you using for the high schoolers? I am looking for something for Andre for next year. (I get to start homeschooling ALL of them next year, since we are moving, and the Honduras schools suck)

  6. I don't homeschool, but have kind of thought about it. I think it's great and, for one, would love to hear your experiences with it. Also, what specifically do you like/dislike about it?

  7. All I can offer in the way of technical assistance for iPod downloading is: get your kids to do it for you! It works for me, though I do end up with some odd stuff on my iPod, I have to admit. Hope Anna's feeling better! New Year to you all!

  8. I am schooling my kids through an on-line virtual charter school, so they provide the curriculum and I do the teaching. I often wish we could do something more fun and relaxing, but we have to put in the required hours and finish the required lessons. So if we goof off too much, we have to make it up in the end.

    Funny stories about homeschooling would be great. Homeschooling blog, not the stress release I look for in blogs (if my vote counts any).

  9. madmad - I'm not forgetting the pineapple princess story....

    toni - I hear you. Blogs that are all homeschooling all the time just stress me out. I think people just thought it was odd that it almost never comes up in my blog. And they're right. But maybe because not much funny happens along those lines.

  10. I wish I could help you more on the technical front. I have an iPod and when you plug it in, it automatically opens up iTunes and syncs everything up for you. You just have to click on the page iTunes creates for your iPod while it's connected and uncheck the boxes of playlists and podcasts you don't want on your player, click on the "Apply" or "Sync" button, and viola! But as far as I know, that only works with iPod. My husband has to do something funky to get his iTunes stuff onto his MP3 player and all I hear when he tells me about it is "Blah, blah, blah!"

  11. You've got my admiration for homeschooling. We did that for too many years before I came to my senses and put the kids in school. The reasons were many, and I don't regret it, but I did enjoy it on occasion. ;)

  12. High school is easy if you have them take the "hard" classes at the local community college. My son graduated from high school with 30 college credit hours and a great head start. He was no over achiever either. I find high school the easiest to do.

  13. I hs 5 dc and one is a highschooler. I can understand your post. Some days are great and a few are not so fun such as our struggle with Algebra this year. But overall, I have enjoyed it. Thanks for being REAL.

  14. I am homeschooling one high schooler this year. I hate the canned correspondence school we are using, and so we are going to do our own program next year. Eventually she will take some courses at the local community college. She is an average student and we are struggling to get all the work accomplished, a lot of which I feel is ridiculous. I should've listened to my gut when we didn't like this program last year. Duh! Live and learn. We live in NJ and have a lot of freedom as far as our homeschooling goes. Thanks for your blog. I, too, am tired of the families where all the children are above average, the women are all models and the men; well you get my point (my apologies to Garrison Keilor).