Nowadays, I am inclined to think, as Clark Aldrich writes, that “What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.”
And, frankly, being a part of the broken, immoral education-industrial complex, the monolithic monopoly forever, futilely trying to reform itself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The current school system is so f***ed up, it isn’t workable.
Seriously. I didn’t even want to make a post, because it counts as interacting with the world. But hey, that’s the price of Blog365, right?
I remembered those “Writer’s Block” prompts on LJ, and decided to try that as a starter. Who comes up with these things? One of them was about what you’d want to do with your favorite “superstar” if you were alone with him or her. What, are we all 12?
Katie and I had more running around to do today, but it didn’t happen. I should have planned to have a flare, since we did. We had another appointment scheduled tomorrow, but it’s been postponed. Yay.
I definitely need to find something more uplifting to read than Laura Lippman. There’s a fair amount of casual fat-bashing going on in her books. Very lookist, all around.
Sam and I had a very nice date night while Katie was out with her beau. He had started making chili last night, finished it tonight, and added corn muffins. I’m not a big fan of chili (I won’t eat it if Sam didn’t make it), but it was a very satisfying meal.
The girl is doing very well in the online course she’s taking, and I’m happy to say that my semester is going well, too. It’s hard to believe that my baby will likely start college courses this summer or fall!
Continue reading “Happy Wednesday!”
It’s be SO long since I updated things here! Not that I think anybody really missed me, but still, I should have kept it up a bit better.
Katie tried attending a good high school near us, and loved it. She got great grades, was chosen to work on the yearbook (it’s a very competitive process there), and was even made the chief photographer right away! She was also getting involved in other activities, and she made some good friends. She really loved the art classes, in particular.
Unfortunately, her health suffered. She has severe restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia (which causes sleep problems), and truly horrific migraines in addition to being allergic to all kinds of things. The migraines aren’t well-managed any more, so that she has a migraine almost every day despite taking Trileptal as a preventive. She’s had to use her rescue medicine so much that it’s no longer very helpful, either. She just can’t get any decent sleep, thanks to the RLS and fibro, which means that she needs a minimum of ten to twelve hours every night, and still wakes up unrested. And our insurance has gone stupid, repeatedly refusing to cover her allergy medications, in particular. 1 Right now, they’re refusing to cover Provigil, which was the only thing keeping her awake enough to even consider attending school. She’s under doctor’s orders to stop driving until the sleep situation is ameliorated, and has been for some time, so she’s been delayed in learning to drive and getting her license.
So she’s back at home, which is a real disappointment to her. We’ve decided to try making the best of it, and focus on the good things. For instance, she’s no longer held back to anyone else’s learning pace, and she doesn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops. She can learn whenever she is awake, honoring her body’s need for more sleep than most people.
She wants to take college classes online, which is how I’m managing to continue my education despite health problems. I think it’s a good idea, so now we’re considering schools and money. While the University system schools here in Georgia technically have all their core classes online, the reality when I attended Southern Poly was that the entire school usually had only one or two seats for any particular course, and of course those seats were taken immediately.
We’d love to hear about the experiences of any other homeschooled teens who are finishing high school in college, particularly those who are taking classes online.
Her eventual goal is art school, and while there is a local school that has an online program, I just don’t see how it’s possible to learn some things through the internet. Neither does she. So we’re also looking for good art classes to supplement whatever she does online. We’re in Decatur, and since neither she nor I are driving, close is good. MARTA accessibility is absolutely necessary!
1 hey insist that everybody should be just fine with Claritin, which is available over-the-counter. Not so!
I got through NaBloPoMo, as ridiculous as it was to commit to posting at least once a day for a month. So of course that small success has led me, in a moment of more-than-usual-lunacy, to sign up for Blog365 (otherwise known as “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire”).
The purpose is fairly clear: to post at least once every day of 2008. February 29 is a “rest day.” Posts may be written on any site, rather than sticking to just one blog, so I’ll try to spread them around on mine/ours. If I can’t get something on the actual site on a particular day due to net connection issues or whatever, I have to write (yes, write! like, cuneiform or something!) a journal entry and transfer it to a blog as that day’s entry.
It would be far simpler to have a system of some sort. Maybe I’ll create a rotation:
- Fibrant Living — health, living with a disability, podcasts
- Academy Caritas — homeschooling, education, college
- House Fireheart — polyamory, particularly my and Sam’s approach to it
- Heartsong Handicrafts — home of my original needlework patterns, and soon to be home for the rest of my stitching information
- Cyberstalked! — internet safety and privacy issues
- Cynthia Armistead — my professional portfolio, where I put the geeky stuff
- Enemy of Entropy — here, of course, where I put general stuff, book reviews, and the like.
Hopefully there will be new podcasts up soon. There will definitely be more music, as we have that lovely concert piano we received via freecycle all repaired and put together. It’s beautiful and sounds great! Not at all bad for one drive to pick it up and less than $200 in repair fees! (Sam wanted to just take it to the nearest authorized repair center rather than doing it ourselves.)
2007 wasn’t a stellar year, but neither was it terrible. Sam has a steady, secure job that he enjoys, in an organization that’s allowing him to advance. , Katie had a lot of health problems, but I’m hoping that we’re on the right path to resolving them. Shelley passed away a little shy of her 18th birthday, but since we’d been told in 1999 that she only had a year (at most) left, we felt that we’d gotten an “extra” 8 years with her anyway. Kioshi has grown into a nice companion, too.
We really kept to ourselves a lot through the past two years. When you’ve been betrayed and hurt as deeply as we were by our former housemate’s sudden craziness in 2006, there’s a lot of healing to be done. I don’t know if I’ll ever approach Thanksgiving without trepidation again, but we had a good one anyway. The stress did contribute to the deterioration of my health, and that does make it harder to get out. We’re working on it, though. We certainly learned who our true friends were, and we’ll never forget that.
So on to 2008, which we hope to be full of more time with friends, better health, much more music, Katie spent last night and almost all day today with friends from the school she was attending as well as her new beau. Sam and I spent the day gaming, upgrading some web sites, eating good food and watching movies. If it’s true that whatever you do on January 1 indicates how your year will go, we should be just fine.
So, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want me to talk about what reading means to me or my child. How about both?
You might have noticed that I talk, a lot, about reading. I think Now Reading shows at least
four five of the books that I’m reading right now, and that’s a fairly normal number. I don’t include my textbooks, because they’d be there too long!
Reading is one of the things that I can still do, most of the time, despite the fibro and other crap. I can’t always manage to read on a screen, or follow something like a textbook. Fortunately, though, fiction by some of my favorite authors—especially an old favorite novel, like Partners in Necessity—is easier, and is a very good way to distract myself from the pain for a while.
I haven’t talked about it much, but Katie has had increasing health problems over the last year. Her migraines are no longer managed, despite taking high levels of preventive medications. The rescue medications aren’t working well because she has to take them too often. She had another round of sleep studies, too, and a new neurologist has been trying different medications to help her get a decent night’s sleep (which should help the migraines and other problems). So far, anything that helps her sleep despite severe restless leg syndrome leaves her zombified the rest of the time. Provigil, even taken twice a day, can’t keep her awake and aware enough to function in school. She’s literally sleeping like a cat, 14–18 or hours a day, just never deeply. Her dark circles have circles, now.
But she can still read, too. Slowly, some days, and going back to re-read some pages, but she gets the same comfort from it as I do. You know she’s mine when you realize that she’s never without at least one, and often two, books in her purse.
I started reading to her during my pregnancy, along with talking and singing and playing music for her. I read out loud to her from her first week out of the womb, too, sometimes while breastfeeding, other times while just being with her. She talked at an early age, and was very clear. She learned to read quickly, too, and has always been very opinionated (where did she get that?) about her choice of reading matter. One of her favorite things about leaving the public school system was being free of that damned Accelerated Reader program and its ridiculous restrictions!
It’s no surprise that I hope my nephews and niece are readers, too—although that’s far less likely, since their parents aren’t, really. My brother used to brag that he’d never read any whole book, even those assigned for classes. (I never understood that being a point of pride, even if he did get good grades.) My sister has never read anything that wasn’t required. I don’t know their spouses very well, but I’m fairly sure they aren’t recreational readers, either. At least the grandbabies have our mother (their Nana), who got me started reading, and will sit for hours with any child, reading book after book (or the same book, over and over) patiently.1 I’m not close to my siblings, geographically or otherwise, so I don’t have many chances to influence the babies. I can give them books, though, and hope to catch their fancy so they ask to have them read!
Being a fluent reader gives one more of an advantage that any other skill you can give your child. Readers can use that skill to learn absolutely anything else. They can explore math, science, critical thinking, history, current events, art—you name it. If you teach them to read, get them in the habit of doing so, and teach them to judge their sources well, you’ve given them an incredible start on life.
1 Mom (and I!) did read to my siblings, but neither of them ever wanted to sit still long.
I haven’t mentioned how Katie is doing in school in a while. While there have been some adjustment issues switching over to “school” from homeschooling, she’s got all As. The “life by the bell” thing has been a nuisance, and she and one of her teachers just do not communicate on the same wavelength, but she’s dealing with it. She adores her art class, something I’m definitely not equipped to teach at all.
Two of her three academic classes are advanced, and the third would be but was already overcrowded when we registered her for classes. So much for having trouble getting into high school as a homeschooler.
The schedule isn’t easy on her body or the family, but again, she’s dealing. She does have increased fibromyalgia symptoms as a result, and has had to add a daily nap to her schedule after school.
One of the most difficult issues is having certain lines of discussion “off limits.” That’s just too weird, after years of being encouraged to follow her interests and inquiries wherever they lead. While she’s attending a relatively liberal school, the fact that it is a school means that there are constraints on subject matter.
Her literature teacher referred to chastity belts as a medieval urban legend earlier in the year, and when she started explaining just how very wrong he was, he slammed the discussion to a close. If the man is going to be so sloppy with his facts, he shouldn’t be surprised when he encounters disagreement!
Sam and I met someone yesterday who said, “Advanced classes are how we segregate these days.” I pointed out that they certainly aren’t new, as my own class of 1984 was tracked into advanced, regular, and remedial (although the last two weren’t called that, precisely) tracks, too. I found it an interesting statement, but we were in the middle of Charis Books and discussing many things, and didn’t get to pursue that one as far as I’d hoped. What do you think of it?
I just wanted to post a link to an interesting but very basic article about socialization, since it continues to be something idiots bring up regarding homeschooling.
I don’t think so, honestly. And, if she’s anything like those who participated in a recent survey, I don’t think Katie will, either.
…according to “Homeschooling Grows Up,” a research study on adults who were homeschooled, 74 percent of those who were homeschooled are currently homeschooling their own children.…The “Homeschooling Grows Up” survey said that out of the more than 5,000 surveyed, 95 percent say they are glad they were homeschooled and 92 percent say having been homeschooled is an advantage to them as adults.