Monday, March 8, 2010

Hamsters On Wheels

Remember me?  It's been a while.

I'm happy to report that my computer is feeling much better now.  Unfortunately, since it no longer takes 10 minutes to open the web browser or load pages my kids have hijacked it.  If I want to use my own laptop I have to make an appointment.  I know I'm the parent but I try to choose my battles wisely and this is just not one I'm willing to fight right now.  I have bigger fish to fry.

***Warning:  You are about to experience another one of my brain dumps. ***

I read somewhere that studies show that daily naps greatly strengthen the ability to pay close attention to details and to make critical decisions.  Now that's research I can really get behind.  Noted nap enthusiasts include Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison.  So, obviously I'm in good company and I may be a great world leader or inventor someday.

I also read somewhere that writing down your thoughts helps your brain process them.  That's unfortunate for you, my readers.

So here goes...

I am still pondering whether or not to home school my 8th grader next year.  There are a few reasons I'm even considering homeschooling.  First, our local public high school has a less than desirable learning environment.  And when I say "less than desirable" I mean it's a nightmare. (No offense to my teacher-readers.)  I won't go into details but suffice it to say that it's out of control.  A friend of mine described it really well yesterday when she said that it has an "adversarial atmosphere."

Second, my daughter is afraid of the high school.  And not without reason-- One of her best friends was physically assaulted last week.

Third, my dad instilled in me a love of learning that continues to this day and I don't see that same desire in my children.  I WANT that desire in my children.  Public school is failing to accomplish that in my children.  I want to attempt to pass that love of learning on to them while I still have the chance.

Fourth, I think I could do a better job of preparing my children for college.  We could work at their own pace instead of having to teach down to the lowest common denominator.

Fifth, I am concerned about what my kids are learning in public school.  Man-made global warming is taught as fact rather than a theory and skeptics, like my kids, are openly ridiculed--even by teachers.  (I'm not going to debate man-made global warming with you today so don't waste your comments.  I'm saving that for another post.)  History is being rewritten to cast a favorable light on the progressive movement and to remove the Founding Fathers.  Kids are being taught in subtle ways that America is bad and that becoming a "global citizen" is the way of the future.  In short, today's children are being indoctrinated.  (Again, I'm not going to debate this with you today.  That's for another post.) I am burdened by what I want my children to know before it's too late.

So, it sounds like I've already made up my mind, right?  Here's the catch:  My daughter LOVES basketball and soccer and if I homeschool her she won't be allowed to participate.  Some states have what is commonly referred to as a Tim Tebow law which says that homeschool students must be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.  Unfortunately, Arkansas is not one of them.  There was a so-called Tim Tebow Bill brought up before the legislature last year but it was tabled and sent for an interim study.  It won't be up for a vote again until the spring of 2011.

We live in a small community so there aren't enough homeschool students to form their own team.  Some cities around us do have that option available but it would mean driving at least 45 minutes ONE-WAY for practices.  And she LOVES her team here.  It's a really great group of girls.

So....I don't know.

Some more thoughts running around in my head like hamsters on wheels have to do with my house.  We built a house four years ago that we love.  Mostly we love the location.  We had a realtor call us recently and ask if we would consider selling it because she was looking for something suitable for some clients.  As our friend Chris the banker says, "Everything is for sale for the right price."  So we let them come look at it thinking that nothing would come of it.  And then they wanted to come look at it again.  Uh-oh.  So we looked in to buying more land in this same area and building another house.  Which was kind of exciting...for a few minutes.  And then the thought of moving set in...ugh.  We'd have to rent something in the meantime and we've got three dogs and two cats.  This is a problem.  However, we kept thinking how nice it would be to downsize a little, especially in view of the current economy.  And then we thought maybe we would just refinance since rates are so much lower now.  But that's a hassle too.  And then we'd be committed to staying put for a few years in order to recoup the loan closing costs.  But then what if we need to relocate because of jobs or what if we have an offer on the house that just blows us away?  So that's all up in the air.

And speaking of the economy, Europe is melting down and I'm afraid we're not far behind.  I am wrestling with the best way to prepare.  I'm not building a bunker in the back yard yet but I am concentrating on paying down debt, getting out of the stock market, stocking up on canned goods and learning to speak Mandarin.

Oh, I kid.

About learning to speak Mandarin.

That one's way down on my priority list.

You know what?  I DO feel better now.  Those hamsters can take a break from their exercise in futility for a little while.

8 comments:

Mich said...

Wow! You did have the hamster wheels turning...

Prayers as you decide what to do about the school issue. A toughy for sure.

Do me a favor and give my sister a big hug for me next time you see her. She needs it! Glad she has great friends in her life.

Tiffani said...

OK. Here goes:

1. I'm not much of a napper maybe that's why I can't remember things very well?!

2. Y'know I totally support anyone's decision to homeschool and I get that there is the sports issue. But would you trade ALL of those wonderful things you mentioned that you could do at home with them for the CRAP you mentioned about the school...all for sports?? There will be a sacrifice made whatever the decision...a sacrifice of the safety, educational level, social influences or the sacrifice of organized sports..which, if you did decide to HS, maybe you'd feel LESS stress and the drive wouldn't be so bad to find a place for them to play sports...

3. If you build a bunker, I'm moving to Canada.

Love ya and I'm praying over all of the "wheels" in your head. It's tough to have so many going at one time!

Christi said...

From another newbie to homeschooling...our experience has been great this year! Both kids will be homeschooled again next year! I realize that Arkadelphia won't have the homeschool resources that larger places have, but Caylie had 2 girls that drove from Hot Springs to play with her v-ball team here in LR this year. They went to Nebraska for Nationals, etc... They had a GREAT experience! I know that Saline county has a pretty active homeschool group. I know several people that are involved in that group...in fact, Christian's basketball team played that group a couple of times this season. If you have any questions that I could help you with, feel free to e-mail me...christigillum@sbcglobal.net. Also, I would highly recommend attending the convention in Searcy next month to learn more if you are interested. I gathered lots of information there last year. (And they have a used book sale that can save you LOTS of money!) One more thing...check out homeedonline.com to get some answers to basic quesions that you might have. I know that it is a VERY overwhelming decision, but really, making the decision is one of the hardest parts...it has been so VERY rewarding for our family! :)

Amber said...

HA! Tiff is moving to Canada. Crack.me.up.

And we've discussed the other, so I'll just leave it with a "So Glad You Are My Friend."

Love you much.

Carpool Queen said...

You will make the right decision because that's what you do. The answer is there, my friend. It may be found after a nap or two.

Kendra said...

Girl, I don't have enough time to comment on it all!

I was afraid of AHS, too. Which is why I am glad we got the heck out of dodge. And speaking of getting the heck out of dodge, move if you get the chance! Or homeschool and fine some way for her to play team sports. Because it just won't get any better. Are there any AAU teams around or something?

I want you to know I listen to your boyfriend, Glen Beck, on the radio and think of you.

whimzie said...

I think of you every time I see GB, too!

We're most probably homeschooling next year. I'm excited, terrified, tired already just thinking about it.

I wish we could just stay at the school they're in now. I love it so much. But we're military and we move so that's not an option. I am glad that more resources are available to homeschoolers than were available even five years ago, but I'm sorry the Tim Tebow option isn't available in your area.

It's a tough decision. Believe me. I know. I'm having second thoughts and doubts every five minutes. But we will make the right decision, I just now it. Because we're both going to the same place to get guidance. And He won't let us down.

uncle gene said...

Lisa 1.Home schooling requires a good, patient, teacher.You seem to have that.
2.Don,t know what you do about sports.We live in a backwards State.
3.Price the house at twice what you think it is worth.You can always come down.
4.Go to Best Buy and get 2 mini
lap tops 300 each and you get yours back.