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About shinyhappypeople

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    Headmistress at The Institute of Subversive Thought

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  1. A man who is active in the Mormon church was inappropriate with a teenager. It wasn't anything illegal, just stuff he said to the teen, but was still extremely concerning and suggests strongly he may be unsafe with kids/teens. I'm not going to the police (again: nothing illegal, just pervy and gross) but I think his church should be made aware so that they can at least make sure he doesn't have access to young people within that context. So, my question: who should I contact? Thank you.
  2. So, you're working full time while homeschooling and still your daughter learned a lot this year. She has friends. She can do the work assigned, it's just maybe a bit challenging (which is fine) or she's just not super motivated to expend energy on things she's not interested in (which is totally normal). And you wish you'd gotten around to more music and poetry. Stop being so hard on yourself. You're doing a really good job!! She sounds like a pretty normal 4th grader. If you'd rather put her in traditional school, then by all means, make the switch. But do not for one single moment think that you somehow "failed" at homeschooling. That's not even close to the truth.
  3. I feel like you're taking what I say literally when I'm speaking in hyperbole. Which is actually weirdly relevant to the discussion. I took what certain authors and speakers said/wrote literally when perhaps they were intentionally overstating their case to make a point. Either way, I think the people I have in mind have a lot to offer and I don't literally want any of them to stop speaking/writing.
  4. So... just to clarify. I'm not anti-homeschooling. And this forum is not representative of the mindset I'm talking about at all, which is why it's safer to rant about it here than on one of the many homeschool fb groups I belong to. If you want to meet some true believers join a homeschooling group on fb. The mindless, thoughtless encouragement for homeschooling in train wreck situations is prolific. I think some parents can homeschool very well, either through natural teaching ability or outsourcing or whatever. Some parents (me) feel forced to give it their all and hope for the best because of circumstances outside of their control. When I talk about the Homeschooling Cult it's the rigid mindset that homeschooling is the end-all, be-all and anything less is a sort of failure. It's a real thing. I'm arguing against my own (mostly unconscious) adherence to this mindset, fed by certain authors and speakers that I really admire even still (based on her latest book, I'm excluding SWB). Meanwhile curriculum providers can give false assurances that of course anyone can teach XYZ subject. Just use their product. I want to see myself as an independent thinker. In many ways I am. But with this issue, I haven't been. Weirdly enough, I wasn't (and still am not) concerned about how other people educate their kids. Different strokes, and all that. But for me... entertaining the idea of dramatically changing course left me feeling like I was failing because I bought into the messaging that, particularly as a Christian, homeschooling is the holy grail of education. Christian school was a reasonable alternative, but never affordable for us. Public school is awful always. And now here I am considering a p/t public high school and it's rocking my worldview. I do have choices. And unless the authors/speakers are going to come into my home and teach my kids, then perhaps they need to just can it. On the other hand, we may end up continuing with homeschooling (with tweaking). Who knows. We have choices. Each has its pros and cons. None of them makes me a failure as a mom. When something isn't working, good moms pivot, right?
  5. (This is sort of frustrated, ranty rambling. Thank you for bearing with me) I'm doing some soul-searching as my family wades through an enormously difficult time. Anyway, it got me thinking about education and the idea that we can get into a cultish mindset about homeschooling. It makes you feel like you have no choices beyond parent-directed home education. And this is the best education option, and if you don't homeschool, then do you even love Jesus or your children? But, you know what? I suck at teaching math and science, and it shows, and it's an issue. Not every parent can teach every subject. Stop pretending we can! And YES some kids really do learn best in classroom settings. And NO it's not fair to expect kids to self-teach subjects that we're weak in. And the socialization thing... OK, it's more about socializing, but it does matter. Let's stop pretending it doesn't or that once a week youth group is going to cut it for most kids. We need to put as much thought into our socializing plans (tailored to the needs of each kid) as we do into picking the rest of our curriculum. I value homeschooling (really!). We may in fact continue doing it (with major tweaking). But I find myself weary of the rigid mindset that education choices are black/white, good/bad. And I want to kick myself for falling into that mindset. My heart was in the right place. My motive has always been love.
  6. 10 yo is really young. He might not be gay, he might just be figuring things out. I hate the pressure we put on kids that a "crush" at a young age = you're gay, it's permanent, break out the rainbow confetti. I mean, sure, maybe he is, but I guess what I would tell the parent is to stay calm. If it were my son, I'd remind him that daddy and I love him no matter what, and encourage him to be patient and give himself time to grow up before he identifies as anything. A friend on mine's 18 yo daughter was describing this phenomenon in high school: freshman year a bunch of girls came out as lesbian, by junior year they were dating boys exclusively and wondering what they were even thinking back in freshman year. Sexuality is complicated and hormones are crazy things. The fact that he's had crushes on girls suggests that if he's gay (big if, dude he's 10!!!) then he's not exclusively same-sex attracted. So, given his community's standards, if the same-sex attraction continues, I'd talk to him about not acting on it and limiting his romantic partners to girls since he's attracted to them, too.
  7. So, the plan is to work through Painless American Government with DD. I love how streamlined it is. I love that it's easy and light. Anyone know of a similar title for Economics that's streamlined, easy, light, gets the job done? Barron's doesn't have a "Painless Economics" 😞 She strongly prefers books and workbooks over videos or online programs.
  8. We met with her treatment team (minus the psychiatrist) today. I hadn't thought to pull them into this issue because they've kind of been sketchy about homeschooling. Not outright anti-homeschooling, but... not totally on board, either. Anyway, given the most recent incidents with DD, everyone is on board with her not stepping foot in a public school. So that's good. We're all finally on the same page. So her team will work with her on motivation and providing outside accountability simply by asking DD "How's schoolwork going? What are you working on?" It sounds simplistic (maybe it is) but I actually think it will be helpful for DD. We're also working on a rewards system involving stuff DD really, really wants. So now I'm thinking through which classes we can skip, what we should keep. The time thing is a real thing, as is DD's tendency to feel easily overwhelmed. Today has been a good day. Thank you for the replies so far. It's been really helpful. p.s. If you've happened to pray for us... thank you.
  9. Yes she needs a diploma. Everyone who is intellectually able needs a HS diploma. The GED book isn't a bad idea, though.
  10. I've been to GHC, and it was a lot of fun. I've also worked at a smaller, local convention and so I've had a chance to see things from the inside. The thing about huge conventions is time. YES, they have loads of vendors, but you won't have time to visit them all, especially if you want to attend any workshops. When I was at GHC I don't think I made it through the entire hall. Also, the vendors are a lot busier which is good for them ($$$), but not so much for me if I wanted to really talk about how to make a product work for our situation. At a smaller convention the vendors have time for you. It's a more personal, relational experience. Do your research ahead of time and if there are vendors that you're really interested in that will be at the big convention but not the smaller one, you can always ask if they can send a rep to the smaller show. That way you see the products in person but still get more personal attention.
  11. She wants to be a tattoo artist. She'll need a diploma and to do an apprenticeship. She may take more art classes at the community college in the future. I can set my own graduation requirements. She wants to have done work similar to what typical teens cover. I'm satisfied if she makes it through pre-algebra, because that's the math she needs. It's not so much wanting to shove content into her as that I believe that a certain level of historical and scientific literacy is really important. She *wants* her classes to feel like school. She doesn't respect informal learning - even though that's where she's learned the most. I might see if I can get her on board with Great Courses or Masterclass to address some of these in a way that feels like school but is still accessible to her (idea rich, but not reading/writing heavy).
  12. I don't feel like I have a lot of time left. I have 1-1/2 years for over 3 years worth of high school work. She has a history of being dangerously impulsive, so when she's 18 there's a very good chance she'll move out and I do not want her to launch without a diploma. She may have to live with that consequence, but with all my heart I don't want her to having to go through the stigma of being a high school dropout. How's she going to get a job? Support herself? Support her future kids? She has multiple significant learning disabilities so there's that, too. There's so much. On the other hand, she's mentioned that she'd like an extra year to work on high school, and that's great. But when the time comes, she could just as easily move out and be a high school drop out (remember: impulsive). I do have some currency, though - ballet. As long as she's a student, we pay for ballet. It's expensive. She wants to continue dancing after 18, so ... yeah. That may work. Dude, I suddenly feel some hope 🙂 She won't need a transcript for a 4 year college, but I do want her to have one for her own records. I want her to be able to see that yes, she has accomplished academic things that typical learners accomplish. This is important to both of us. She is truly brilliant and creative, but the LDs have her believing the opposite about herself. Things take a long time to get done on a good day. And she usually only has the mental stamina to work on ONE subject a day (when she's willing to work at all). I am totally open to redefining what a credit means. So, instead of 160 hours a credit can mean covering a specific topic to a certain basic level of mastery. Progeny Press poetry guide is going to be one English credit. Sue me. Watching and discussing ballets, good movies, plays, etc. will be another English credit (Visual Storytelling - my favorite course title to date). Should we ever finish her grammar program, that, combined with a fair amount of already completed work, will be 9th grade English. (That'll be her most legit English credit). Her counselors (plural) are sweet but don't know how to help. One wants me to put her in public high school. Um... no, ma'am. Not if that means she'll engage in risky, self-destructive behaviors. So, she's not a ton of help. More than getting her schoolwork in order, her dad and I feel the pressure of having 1-1/2 years to teach her - in partnership with her counselors - how to cope with life in healthy ways. Putting her in an environment that feeds her worst impulses isn't helpful. It's like telling an alcoholic to go ahead and get that job at a bar. I like her counselor but she doesn't have kids and sometimes it shows.
  13. What do you do for school refusal when the student is already homeschooled? Older DD is recovering from trauma, has a serious mental illness, we're figuring out the med situation, and exhibits impulsive behaviors that make a traditional school setting dangerous for her (she admits that she would definitely do these behaviors if she were in a B&M school). So here we are. Stuck in homeschool. On the bright side: the latest addition to her medication buffet appears to maybe be working (ok, we're ONE day in, but I did notice a difference yesterday so... maybe?). Other bright sides, she does ok at the outsourced class she takes (just one hour a week). She's also still doing very well in ballet at her new studio. It's just the other stuff that's scary. She's 16 and in 11th grade (we give social promotions in our homeschool 😉 ). She has ONE English credit almost finished. She's crashing and burning in pre-algebra, even though she says she understands the lessons (we're using Derek Owens, fwiw). It's all the little tiny video clips she has to watch that gets overwhelming for her. I've offered to have her split up lessons over a few days so she just have go through a few clips, but... no dice. Anyway... any BTDT advice? Or just regular advice? I feel legitimately panicked at the idea of even approaching her about school after what happened last time. But the girl needs a diploma and I won't issue one if she doesn't do the work. I've thought of trying to pull together an unschooling transcript to give her credit for her self-directed learning. That might at least help her "catch up." I think being so far behind schedule definitely stresses her out. Anyone know how to do that? She hates reading so it's not like I can just categorize books she's read into neat subjects. I'm up for ideas on how to make binge-watching Jenna Marbles on youtube into a high school course (kidding, mostly).
  14. What helps you sleep through the night? I fall asleep fine. I wake up in panic mode over stuff that's happening with one of my kids. My brain gets on an ugly loop. Any gentle things I can do to calm myself down in the middle of the night so I can get some sleep? I have essential oils but not sure which ones might be helpful for middle of the night panic. I'm totally open to other suggestions, too. I'm so tired right now that my face hurts.
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