Miscellany

I lost track of who orig­i­nal­ly linked to what, so I can’t cred­it them prop­er­ly. But thank you to who­ev­er they all were, any­way!

Filed under “anoth­er rea­son I’m proud to be a home­school­er”: Cal­i­for­nia court rules that pri­vate school can oust les­bian stu­dents. I do under­stand that it’s a pri­vate reli­gious school, and that their denom­i­na­tion does­n’t approve of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. On the oth­er hand, the girls’ par­ents chose to send them to that school, not the girls them­selves. And demand­ing that every­body in the school be het­ero­sex­u­al makes every bit as much sense as demand­ing that they all be right-hand­ed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell over­board in inter­pret­ing the “evi­dence.”)

Can I get an “Amen”?! End­ing Weight Bias: The Eas­i­est Way to Tack­le Obe­si­ty in Amer­i­ca

This is news? Read­ers build vivid men­tal sim­u­la­tions of nar­ra­tive sit­u­a­tions, brain scans sug­gest

Not Good News: Mer­cury found in kids’ foods — and in pret­ty much any­thing else that con­tains HFCS. I’m con­fi­dent of my abil­i­ty to kick the soda habit, but total­ly avoid­ing HFCS pret­ty much means avoid­ing all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Think­ing Brain

No sur­prise to me, at least: Watch out. The Inter­net will cut you

Real­i­ty check: Sor­ry, you don’t have a 200 IQ

Anoth­er no-brain­er: Video Games May Hin­der Rela­tion­ships

Homeschooling High School in College?

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!

Will we regret homeschooling later?

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.

From Are home­school­ers pre­pared for the real world?

Learning by Doing

An awe­some arti­cle by Seed mag­a­zine (my cur­rent favorite mag­a­zine!) about learn­ing by doing. Appar­ent­ly that’s how we learn best. When we learn by doing, we retain the infor­ma­tion we’ve learned much bet­ter than if it’s pre­sent­ed to us in an abstract way.

How We Know: What do an alge­bra teacher, Toy­ota and a clas­si­cal musi­cian have in com­mon?

I’se a student! But still a crip, too

Well, I’m offi­cial­ly in school and off to a run­ning limp­ing start.

I made it to my sta­tis­tics class on Tues­day, but only after a nasty fall. I was only about 20 min­utes late, and the pro­fes­sor was more than under­stand­ing. I was utter­ly lost for the first part of the class, but by the end of it I felt very com­fort­able. I can do this.

My body took over on Wednes­day, though. I slept all day, despite alarms and phone calls. Seriously–I did not wake at all until after 2:30 or so, and I believe that was because my blad­der and need for pain meds final­ly won out over the need for more rest. So much for the week­ly blood test appoint­ment at 11. I did­n’t get much home­work done through the rest of the day, either, though I did try. Hope­ful­ly eat­ing the whole day is enough to appease the fibromyal­gia demon.

So today has been giv­en over to doing all of the week’s assign­ments for tomor­row’s course, Comp100. That’s the “learn to use Win­dows, Word and Excel” class that’s required for every­one at this school. I’m real­ly annoyed at hav­ing to take it at all. There are lots of lit­tle assign­ments, and while I know this stuff inside–out even make­work takes time.

Right now, I’m tak­ing a din­ner break. I deserve that much.

The biggest chal­lenge of that course (oth­er than fol­low­ing the *exact* direc­tions rather than doing things in more effi­cient ways) is that the text­book is too bloody big and heavy. I had prob­lems with that at my last school, too. I need a seri­ous book­stand, because hold­ing these big texts real­ly is a phys­i­cal chal­lenge for me. They’re increas­ing my pain, which makes it hard for me to focus on read­ing the assign­ments.

In hap­pi­er news, my admis­sions “advo­cate” called me today to tell me that the tran­script eval­u­a­tors had revised their opin­ion of my cred­its and giv­en me anoth­er 13 cred­its! So I’m anoth­er semes­ter clos­er to grad­u­at­ing. I think that puts me fair­ly close to senior lev­el, which means more finan­cial aid eli­gi­bil­i­ty.

Katie and I have fall­en into a pat­tern of doing our home­work togeth­er every day. That’s nice, and it helps a lot with my miss­ing the time we spent togeth­er home­school­ing.

I’m hop­ing that I can get caught up and stay there by the end of this week­end, and then have time to breathe and do fun things again. This is just a half-time sched­ule, so I real­ly need to build a lot more sta­mi­na before I try to add two more class­es next semes­ter!

You know what I want? A trike. Real­ly. A great big trike with a nice big bas­ket. I think I could ride to school near as fast as I could get there on MARTA. I might have to spend the night there before I could ride back home, but give me some time and sure­ly I’d build up some kind of con­sti­tu­tion again. Even­tu­al­ly.

I know how to ride a bicy­cle, cer­tain­ly, but my bal­ance has gone to heck thanks to the FMS and I don’t recov­er from falls well, so I’ll give in and ask the uni­verse for a three-wheel­er. Sure­ly they’re less expen­sive than the scoot­er I need, right?

Katie and high school

Katie is absolute­ly lov­ing school.

Well, she loves the social aspect, and the chal­lenge of inter­act­ing with new instruc­tors. She isn’t hap­py about liv­ing by a bell, and of course all of us are adjust­ing to liv­ing on the school’s timetable in gen­er­al.

At the end of the very first day, she called and asked if she could go hang out with her new friends at a near­by cof­fee shop. That’s my girl, the extro­vert. She’d already made friends and con­tin­ues to do so. So much for any wor­ries (which we did­n’t have) about her social skills.

She’s doing well aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly, too. We talk about her school work and she asks for input at times, so I know what she’s doing. It isn’t near­ly the same as the lev­el of involve­ment required for home­school­ing, but it’s some­thing.

She isn’t accus­tomed to the adver­sar­i­al rela­tion­ship some teach­ers and staff mem­bers auto­mat­i­cal­ly assume towards stu­dents, and it isn’t some­thing I ever want her to accept as right or nor­mal. Expect­ed at this lev­el, maybe. But not right.

I’m still hav­ing some “emp­ty nest” feel­ings, but see­ing her thrive cer­tain­ly helps deal with them. Home­school­ing was def­i­nite­ly the right thing for us for the past few years, and did pre­pare her well for high school. We have no regrets at all there!

In transition

Katie is going to high school in a few weeks, a 10th grad­er. The school is much larg­er than the one she attend­ed last fall — approx­i­mate­ly the same pop­u­la­tion as my own alma mater when I was there.

I, at least, will con­tin­ue to write here, as I’ve been inter­est­ed in home­school­ing and edu­ca­tion much longer than I’ve had a child at home offi­cial­ly being home­schooled. In fact, I first heard of home­school­ing as a mod­ern real­i­ty right after I grad­u­at­ed in the mid-1980s, and was imme­di­ate­ly intrigued. I read every­thing I could find about it, and have kept up that con­nec­tion since then.

Katie is all excit­ed, of course. I’m excit­ed for her. I fear she may be damp­en­ing that excite­ment down a lit­tle because she knows that I’ll miss her, but she should­n’t. That’s just a nor­mal part of being Mom­my. Let­ting go is in the job description.Trying new things is in hers.

Online Writing Labs

So any­way, I meant to post about those Online Writ­ing Labs (OWLs) that many col­leges have put online.

Their con­tents and qual­i­ty vary wide­ly from one col­lege to the next. They’re intend­ed to help stu­dents write their papers at what­ev­er time they get around to doing them, wher­ev­er they hap­pen to be. Good ones include online access to ref­er­ence tools such as dic­tio­nar­ies, the­saurus­es, and gram­mar usage guides, a link to the school’s library, any for­mat­ting stan­dards estab­lished by his school in par­tic­u­lar, and some­times more spe­cif­ic mate­r­i­al depend­ing on the type of stu­dent expect­ed to be using the OWL.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, some schools have slapped a list of links up on a set and called it an OWL. I won’t be rec­om­mend­ing any of those piti­ful lit­tle things.

Yes, it’s per­fect­ly fine for oth­ers to use these sites. They aren’t behind the school’s fire­walls, so they are a resource that has been gen­er­ous­ly shared with the pub­lic. If you find one espe­cial­ly help­ful, con­sid­er send­ing an email to the site’s authors/editors, thank­ing them for their efforts