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Marriage and Homeschooling: Both Take Work

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, June 03, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 22 June 3, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook.
If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend!


Notes from Lynn:
-- Marriage and Homeschooling: Both Take Work
Helpful Hints
-- Free Goodies from Papermate
Question of the Week:
-- Trip to Washington
Reader's Response
-- Help With 8th Grader's Writing


This was a great week! I got to meet so many great people at the
NCHE Conference this past weekend. If you are a new subscriber
that signed up at NCHE, WELCOME!

Our state conference was absolutely full of great speakers,
vendors and homeschooling families. The opportunities for
learning were abundant. The event was full of individuals
filled with wisdom. Do you know what else the building
contained? It contained a huge amount of folks that were
looking confused and overwhelmed. Maybe you were one of those!

If you are a seasoned homeschooler I doubt that you are
surprised. I HOPE most of the folks that came to the book fair
were not surprised either. Sometimes we start listening to
everyone that has been "in the know" longer than we have and we
end up totally lost. We begin to doubt everything we have ever
believed. We are lost because we have forgotten our original
focus that was built for OUR family.

There are a number of parallels between homeschooling and a good
marriage. Many of us played with the idea of homeschooling for
some time. We "flirted" with the idea. Then we moved into a
courtship where we began to read about homeschooling and
started putting out feelers in the homeschooling community.
Eventually we got "engaged" and started telling non-
homeschooling people that we were considering homeschooling.
Some were supportive and some were not, but we forged ahead
anyway. Thus came the marriage of our family and homeschooling.

This may seem like a strange analogy to you, but bear with me
for a little while longer. To continue with this comparison, in
a marriage there are struggles. Sometimes we go to marriage
seminars or read books on the topic in an attempt to diagnose
and possibly fix the problem. Sometimes the books still do not
really *help* because my husband and I are nothing like the
individuals written about in the books. We might even go to
counselors. Sometimes we end up asking everyone that will
listen about our situation. In the end, if our marriage is to
survive through the tough times, it usually takes work and
commitment and mutual goals on my husband and my parts without
the direct input of others. WE need to be on the same page
heading in the same direction to make the marriage work. Help
from others is wonderful, but in the end, it is OUR marriage
and OUR home and OUR relationship.

In homeschooling, the issues are similar. Sometimes school gets
tough. There are things that pull you or your student away from
the vision of homeschooling. The honeymoon ends. That perfect
curriculum is not so perfect and everything is just not working
quite like you had imagined. We start talking to everyone that
has been doing it (some more successful than others.)
Eventually, though, after reading all the books, attending all
the seminars, listening to everyone's opinions, you and your
student have to find the best avenue to make the homeschooling
journey work for you. No amount of books can *make* your
homeschooling journey work. In the end, (and most of you have
heard this ad nauseum from me) it is YOUR SCHOOL and you are
the ones that eventually have to make some decisions and stick
with them.

As the summer begins, I hope that you can take some time and re-
evaluate the positives of your "relationship" with homeschooling.
I have no doubt you have already determined where you "failed",
but have you looked at what good things you accomplished this
year? You need to build on the positives. The negatives will
ALWAYS be there, but the positives are what give you a firm
foundation to move forward! If your relationship with your
spouse gets "shaky" it never helps to concentrate on the
negatives. It does help if you focus on the positives and the
reasons for why you fell in love with him in the first place.
In homeschooling, the idea is similar. Focus on WHY you started
this journey and re-focus on where it was you were headed. Then,
and only then, can you focus on HOW to get where you want to go!

Have faith in yourself. You've made the RIGHT decision. Now it
is a matter of figuring out what will work in YOUR SCHOOL and
how to make it work. You CAN do this. I have faith in you!





Sign up your school and Papermate gives you $40 worth of FREE
school supplies!! All they asked me for was my personal
information (name, e-mail, phone) then the school name and
address. Then you fill out your list, and they tell you to send
in a hard copy and your kit will be in the mail! - Melissa
[link removed - no longer valid]


This summer my family and I are going on a mission trip with our
church to Washington DC I want to do a summer study around the
memorials we will be visiting so that the girls understand what
the meaning is behind what they are seeing. What do you suggest
as far as theme, books, videos, websites, etc - DeAnna


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!

How can I improve my rising 8th grader's writing skills....
.....not penmanship, but sentence structure and technique?

We use a workbook from Barnes and Noble bookstore called Harper
Collins College Outline Series ENGLISH GRAMMAR. If this is too
advanced: The daily newspaper offers many examples of much
needed editing. He could take an article and write it in
'proper' English versus journalistic quick English. Examples of
poor work and examples of good work side by side help. Also,
our local business school has an excellent grammar course, the
old fashioned kind with diagramming sentences etc. Look for the
Frank Shaeffer series of workbooks, they offer Vocabulary,
Spelling, and Grammar in thin, humorous, colorful format. If
you are dealing with a shorter attention span or lack of
motivation, changing workbooks is a nice thing. - Ellen


Tags: marriage, homeschooling, improving writing, sentence structure, homeschool grammar, homeschool language arts curriculum, homeschool curriculum review, language arts homeschool resource, home education encouragement, homeschool tips, help, support


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