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Everything posted by PrairieAir

  1. I finished O Pioneers! by Willa Cather yesterday morning and started The Song of the Lark by the same author immediately after. I'm confused on days, though. I think I need to look at a calendar. Somehow I thought I was two days ahead of schedule! I did enjoy O Pioneers! though there were some things that irritated me about it. I loved the descriptions of the prairie and the relationship of the people to the land. There were so many things I'm familiar with and that I love in those descriptions, and it was obvious that the author had a love for her native Nebraska prairie. I enjoy her style of writing and her characters really lived for me. Alexandra is such a wonderful, strong female character. Her only real fault, and one cause of irritation for me, is her inability to understand one of the other characters when she was able to so easily forgive another who I did not feel deserved such forgiveness and understanding. I was also disappointed in the ending for two of the characters and couldn't understand why they did not choose to do something different. Um, I don't think I can say more without spoiling it, but gosh that sounds vague. I may put some quotes that I particularly enjoyed up on my blog later today. It was a good book, but not a great one for me.
  2. So, it's okay to do it because someone else does it to us? Is that really how we justify our actions? As I said elsewhere, I expect more out of homeschoolers. If anything that shows a bias toward homeschooling, but that's the way it is. -------------- Someone else (with a unicorn icon maybe? can't remember) asked where folks could go to complain about public schools if not a homeschool board. I would answer that complaints about public schools would do the most good when given to the school, the school board, and on up the chain right down to how you vote. You could picket. You could start a letter writing campaign. You could volunteer to help make a change. Don't just complain; do something if the situation so moves you. ----------------- As to the posts encouraging someone who has already determined to put their child in ps, well, I've written a few of those. I don't just recommend that someone give up homeschooling when the going gets rough. In fact, I know there have been quite a few times when I both encouraged someone to stick it out and try changing a few things and also told them that if ps was what they eventually decided to do that their kid would be okay. Why write posts like that? Because I know from personal experience how hard it can be to make the switch from homeschool to public school even when you know that is what is best for your family, know your kids will be fine, and when no one is persecuting you for your decision. I have also known people who have been ostracized by former friends because of their decision to stop homeschooling. I've also known some of those who persecuted or ostracized those people, and you'd better believe I let those IRL people know what I thought about it just like I would on this board. It's extremely hard to stop doing something you've put so much of your heart and soul into for such a long time. Feeling you're losing every friend you've made along the way because of a decision to do what you feel is best for your family is a very lonely place to be. Perhaps it is because we live in such a homeschool friendly area, but I have not seen public school people ostracize a friend who chooses to homeschool the way I've seen homeschoolers shun a homeschooler who decides to put the kids in ps. It can get very ugly. (In my case, I always avoided getting too close to people who seemed so judgemental and nasty, so I didn't have that problem.) So, yes, I offer my support to people struggling with that decision and try to give them encouragement to do whatever is best in their situation--whether that is continuing to homeschool or putting their child in public school. _______________ I absolutely agree with Tracy in TX. (Gosh, I think it was her.) Those public school kids--past, present, and future--make up the majority of our citizenry at this time. They are not all rotten, nor are they doomed. Their parents and teachers are not all horrible, lazy, stupid, or any other adjective we may wish to apply. These are our neighbors and sometimes friends. (Hello, my name is Jenni. My kids go to public school, and I would like to be your friend.:D) I wonder if such generalizations would fly if they were about race or religion. Surely we would all recognize those comments as ignorant and bigoted. Why is it wrong to point out when the same thing is being done in other categories? Why study logic and then throw it completely out the window whenever it comes to homeschool vs public school? Why must public school be bad in order for homeschool to be good or vice versa? Why do we feel the need to justify our own parenting/schooling decisions by putting someone else's down? When I first started homeschooling, I did look at it a little as an us vs them sort of thing. I was incredibly insecure. (I was only 23 and immature and insecure in many areas, homeschool just being one of them.) As I became more confident about the choice we had made and how we were doing, I became less critical of others. Were there suddenly no reports of bad things happening in public schools? Of course not. The difference was that I was able to take them as the individual (no matter the number, Peek) instances and I did not need them as proof that I was right in my own decision. ____________________ If folks want to continue bashing ps here, that's fine by me. They should expect to receive criticism for it though. I'm sure they'll receive support too. I've been phasing out my board use slowly (and then going through spurts of absolute addiction) and I think it would be best for me to continue that since these discussions take up far too much of my time and energy. Because of that, the criticism for those types of posts may not come from me, but by golly I hope someone (like one of the many who have posted in this and the other thread) is here to call it what it is. _______________________ Ya know what? Hooray for homeschooling parents who are choosing to do the very best they can to nurture their children's bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits! Hooray for private school parents who are choosing to do the very best they can to nurture their children's bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits! Hooray for public school parents who are choosing to do the very best they can to nurture their children's bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits! Hooray for every parent everywhere who loves their children and does their best to provide for their every need. :party: You ALL have my support in doing that. Do we all feel sufficiently blessed and encouraged to continue seeking the best for our children now? Gosh, I hope so.:D
  3. We have a home Bible fellowship. We have a 1999 Suburban bought new in 2000 which we haven't driven for two years now and are currently trying to sell now that gas prices have dropped enough where someone might consider buying such a beast. We've been driving a Saturn Ion for the past two years. I miss some things about my Suburban. It certainly was great for dog shows and camping trips--things we don't do as much any more. It would be nicer for driving these rough country roads. (Kansas country roads are generally not paved.) The Saturn sure is cheaper all around. We changed vehicles due to changes in the economy and our family's needs, not so much for any environmental concern, and certainly not because of any religious conviction. I'm really interested to see where you're going with this! It seems such an odd question that the answer has to be interesting, right?:lurk5: Now, as for the local churches in our small rural town, I have noticed a lot of pickup trucks. Suburbans and small cars are there too, but I would bet that pickup trucks take up at least half of the church parking lots around here. We have one each Baptist, Methodist, and Church of Christ in town and a Friends church and one non-denominational church out in the country nearby.
  4. I cried often in that book. The part you mention was just one instance. My kids had to continually take over the reading.
  5. The Bible is an obvious answer since I'm Christian, but, yes, it's at the top of the list. :D East of Eden comes in second. It has a lot of personal significance for me. These three are inspiring because of they are stories of triumph in difficult circumstances. The Hiding Place I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The Glass Castle
  6. That sounds like me. I'm a big cry baby. I know better than to ever read Where the Red Fern Grows to my kids. Many places in the Little House series made me cry, but the part where Mary leaves for college was the worst. Summer of the Monkeys Black Beauty The Giving Tree All the Places to Love (which is really sweet and not in the least sad) Julie of the Wolves There are far too many to list. This is just what I can remember offhand.
  7. Copied from the school district's web page: "...to set policy which will have a vision for the future. This vision will assist and challenge teachers in educating our youth, will be responsive to community beliefs, and will strive to bring out the talents and capabilities of all who are involved within the school district." It seems more of a direction for the school board itself than what they would like to see students achieve. It's also pretty darn vague.
  8. Why is support of anti public/private school sentiment necessary for support of homeschooling? I've said it before. This is just another extension of the mommy wars. It's not helpful. It's divisive.
  9. I haven't read the entire thread, just the first and then the last two posts. I would like to say that although my kids are now in ps, I do fully support homeschooling and those who choose to homeschool. I also see things as happening as Pam said above. I know for my own part that I avoided posting in a thread about someone else's recent bad ps experience and subsequent decision to return to homeschooling. I didn't feel I had anything helpful to add since the original post was so vague as to the problem they had encountered. I felt badly for the poster and her daughter. I briefly considered what I might be able to say that would be helpful, but I couldn't think of anything that hadn't already been said by the three people to respond first. The two threads about ps that I did respond to in the last few days were different. I know it's a homeschool board and we should expect those on it to favor homeschool over public school. However, the homeschool community does itself (individually and collectively) more harm than good in making the same sort of generalizations about public schools that they would take offense at being made about them. Personally, I expect more out of homeschoolers and homeschoolers on this board in particular. When I am among public school folks, I don't hesitate to correct their generalizations and misconceptions about homeschoolers. Why should I do any differently when faced with such things directed toward public schools here? I'm sorry if anyone sees that as not being supportive of homeschooling.
  10. Anyone I know online is an "imaginary friend".:lol:
  11. We watched this last night. Let's just say I will never think of "Dancing Queen" quite the same. If you've seen the movie, you probably know I'm talking about something in the last scene and not that particular number. I didn't see it coming. I missed two references. My family had to rewind it for me. I'm still recovering. I agree with much of what you said about it. The scenery was beautiful. Meryl Streep looked fabulous, and I think she did quite well with the singing. Sophie was gorgeous, but she looked more like 16 than 20 to us. I would love to have or plan a wedding like that! I would love to live in that crumbling hotel! Yes, it did look like they were having so much fun making that movie. I really enjoyed several of the numbers, especially "Dancing Queen" and the one at the end with *everyone* dancing. It made me want to dance too! Pierce Brosnan? Eh. I've never seen the attraction. Colin Firth is not particularly attractive to me physically, but there is something endearing about him. (Hence my distress.) The other guy's character was appealing. The general storyline was interesting. It seems like it coulda shoulda worked. And yet, FLOP. It still made me long for a vacation or a lifetime in Greece.
  12. I did not say "working out", I said "working like". This was in reference to the financial impact such a move may or may not have on the schools. I'm just not sure how it would all fall. Ridiculous to say all. What I mean by ridiculous to say "any" is to say it indiscriminately without qualification, not that there are no schools like that. I would have thought you'd understand that. Yes, MY experience was/is good and the experiences of others have been bad. It's anecdotal either way. I certainly don't believe my experience is unique or rare. I do believe that if an honest study was done and numbers were crunched, the majority of public school experience would not be the horror that you think it is based on your own anecdotal evidence and experience. I have not hidden the fact that I no longer homeschool. There are quite a few on this board who no longer homeschool or who homeschool only some of their kids. It's right there in my signature line. I'm not sure what you meant by the first two sentences of this paragraph, so I'm including that just in case. No one is suggesting that you should put your children in public school, that this is the right thing for your family, or that you should subject them to what you see as "Yet Another Battlefield". In my situation, the public school is not what I would consider a battlefield and that is one of the reasons I feel comfortable having my children there. What may be a distraction for some, may be used as an added opportunity to learn and grow for others. Again, I am not condemning your choice to homeschool or saying that I feel public school is somehow necessary to round out a child's education whether academic or spiritual or experiential. I am aware that my children's situation of not having a physics class that comes with a detrimental spiritual side is the exception rather than the rule? What? I would say the opposite is true. Since physics is generally a high school course, I would hope that any young person of average intelligence and ability would be instructed and grounded enough in their own faith by that point to know what they believe and to withstand a little difference of opinion. I think you know that I am not promoting "great academics at a high spiritual cost" by what I have said here. Statements like that make me think you're just trying to pick a fight. I'm truly puzzled by this since I am clearly not condemning those who chose to homeschool. Let me remind you that I homeschooled for 13 years. I don't think I made a mistake. That is not why my children are currently in public school. I do not doubt that I could homeschool them through high school successfully if we felt that was the right thing for our family. (Granted, I would get someone at a co-op or a tutor to help with subjects such as physics.) Let me be very clear. I am not condemning people who choose homeschooling over public school. Why would I even be here?:001_huh: I am only condemning: a) the article b) the notion that those who do not agree with the article are "lukewarm Christians" c) the villainization of and generalizations about all (or even most) public schools, public school teachers, experiences of children who are forced onto this "battlefield", etc.[/I] I agree that things will vary from person to person and family to family and that some people are hardier than others. That's why I support families doing what is best for their family and for each individual child. I don't quite understand who you're saying needs to be sheltered or is hardier or who is called to be a meek servant or a "loud wacko". At first glance, it looks to me like a thinly-veiled insult, but it's a very confusing and jumbled one, and I'm going to choose to believe you did not mean it that way. :001_huh:Well, okay. I think we agree there. The first part of this paragraph goes back to that age old question, "If God is so good, why do bad things happen--sometimes to good people?" Yes God does intervene in many ways. Just as He told Joseph to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt, He is capable of giving us instructions today. Perhaps the problems arise when we don't listen. God does not force us to listen. Remember Paul? God told him several times not to go to Jerusalem, but Paul went anyway and was put in prison. Paul's was very sincere and religious in his reasons for wanting to go to Jerusalem, but God knew that it would get him in trouble and communicated that to Paul in several ways both directly and through other people. Paul's response is recorded in Acts 21:13. "Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." It was not God's will for those things to happen to Paul. How much better could Paul have served God outside of prison? It was a result of Paul ignoring what God told him. Now, I do not draw any parallels between those who homeschool (or don't) and Paul's situation. Nor do I think it's appropriate to draw parallels between Joseph fleeing to Egypt to protect the baby Jesus and Christians fleeing the public schools to protect their children. These things are written in God's Word for our learning, but they are not directly addressed to us as in, "Thou shalt flee the public schools" or "Thou shalt not homeschool". They are very different situations which may or may not shed light on this particular area of our lives. Remember that there is room for variation, in this case the variation being whether God has given you specific instructions on your child(ren)'s schooling since the topic is not directly addressed in His written Word. I agree that it is up to us as Christian parents to listen first to what God says and then to our parental instincts. Absolute agreement there. On all the things you listed and more. I agree that that may vary for different families and different individuals. I do not condemn anyone else's choices and wonder why you seem to have taken my comments that way. I'm glad you have made the choice which you feel is best for your family and that you are able to do so. If I have read a combative tone which you did not intend into your response, I apologize. However, it seems that any time I make a comment with the intention of introducing a little moderation into the thinking and comments already being made about public schools, you become extremely defensive and, yes combative. I. Do. Not. Understand. My positive statements about public schools do not mean I see homeschooling in anything less than a positive light.
  13. Gorgeous! I love Arabians. My inlaws and most of the people around here are into Quarter Horses, which are also very nice, but I prefer the finely chiseled features of the Arabian to the blocky heads of the foundation Quarter Horses.
  14. Diva cups, reusable toilet "paper" (cloth wipes for everyone), and the Green Bible I must not be as much of a tree hugger as everyone close to me thinks because I wouldn't use any of these unless I had to.
  15. While I would agree that this sort of thing happens too often (Isn't once too often?), I seriously doubt that it is the norm. Yes, it would be upsetting for the children present in that classroom, and I would hope that the school is dealing with this in some way rather than just ignoring that the kids saw it. I say I hope the school is dealing with it because it is their responsibility since it happened there are likely to be parents who will not deal with it at home. While it must be very confusing for those other children, I feel that children who have witnessed something like that and who have a good family environment and parents who will help them deal with what they saw can easily overcome it. It is those two boys that I really worry about. It absolutely breaks my heart to think what sort of things they may have been through already in their young lives. This is not a symptom of what's wrong with the public schools. It is a symptom of what is wrong with some families. The families of the two boys are not the only ones I'm talking about either. What about the families who rely solely on the school to sort this out with their children? There are too many parents who depend on others to do their primary job--and by that I do not mean teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  16. A few random thoughts on this thread: Nayflies (sp?) brought up a more likely reason I'd agree on a mass exodus of the public schools, though, as someone else pointed out, I don't think it would work quite the way one might picture. I think it's ridiculous to refer to any and all public schools as a battlefield. We moved a lot when I was a kid. Some of the schools I went to were not very good academically, but I was fortunate to never have to attend one that could be considered a battlefield in any sense, not physical, not spiritual. I am actually quite pleased with the middle school and high school my kids currently attend in our town of less than 2,000. I feel they are receiving a good education there and they have good teachers and staff who really care. On top of that, this school district, which is comprised of just three schools (elementary, middle, and high school), does things their own way. This is a rural community and Christianity is the religion for the overwhelming majority of the population. Although they are respectful toward those whose beliefs may differ, they do not make an attempt to hide their own beliefs in order to be politically correct. Public prayer is offered at appropriate times, but no one is forced to participate. There are posters in the hallway that mention God, though not in a pushy, overdone way. Teachers express their beliefs fairly openly while making sure to state that others may not agree. The high school biology teacher taught evolution, but would admit in class that she did not believe it to the extent taught in the science book. Christianity is not pushed in this school, but students, staff, and teachers are not forced to hide their beliefs. One of the high school teachers is a Buddhist, and no one keeps him from talking about that. It is a very open environment which allows students to hear some variety of beliefs and still strengthen their own. That does not seem like any more of a spiritual battlefield than any other area of life. In thinking about the concept of a spiritual battlefield or spiritual warfare, my mind goes to Ephesians 6. Verses 10-18 inform Christians that we are not engaged in a physical battle but a spiritual one and instruct us in how to arm ourselves. It's interesting to me that the chapter (although chapter divisions were not included in the original revelation given by God) begins with instruction to children to obey their parents who are "in the Lord" and to honor father and mother. Verse 4 instructs fathers not to provoke their children to wrath, but to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". It is the parents' job to instruct their children and lay the foundation for them. It is the child's job to obey their parents and honor them. Instructions are then given regarding servants and masters, and then comes the statement that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood" along with instructions in how to arm ourselves. Now, I am not suggesting that putting children in public schools is part of "the great commission" or that we should "thrust our children onto the spiritual battlefield" before they are ready. However, I am saying that the Bible does speak to the inevitable spiritual warfare of this life and tell us how to prepare for it. In the same chapter, parents are told how to bring up their children so that they are equipped for that later. Scripture does seem to remain silent on the topic of public vs. private vs. homeschool. Yes, parents are responsible for teaching their children. I don't know about others, but I have not stopped teaching my children since they started public school. Their education at home continues in many ways and in many subject areas, not the least of which is their spiritual education. Leaving the physics instruction up to someone who is a Buddhist does not mean I am failing in the responsibility with which God has charged me. (Teaching the physics myself would probably mean I was failing to give my child the best possible education available to us on that subject!) Yes, my children are exposed to different beliefs, but it does not threaten their faith as their instruction and our discussion at home continues and they are encouraged to search the Scriptures on their own as well. If anything, the opportunities to discuss differences in beliefs have helped strengthen this area of their education and give them a surer sense of what they believe. Rote memorization has its place, but at some point a student has to get past the point of spitting out what he has memorized and make that knowledge his own to truly believe it. Then he must apply it. Questioning these differences in beliefs ("Why do we believe this way when friend X believes Y?") helps that process along. I have never felt specifically "called" to homeschool or send my kids to public school. Yes, I do try to remember to ask God when making decisions for my life. However, I don't believe God gives me instruction for every decision I need to make. Isn't it possible that there may be some situations where God feels He does not need to intervene? Perhaps some choices are pretty much equal. Is God not my sufficiency in everything, no matter where my kids attend school? Is God not capable of watching over my kids no matter where they are?
  17. I highly recommend The Edge on the Sword if you're looking for a book with a girl heroine. Where the Lilies Bloom is another great one along those lines for that age group, but I'd pre-read it first as it may be too much for some kids who are very sensitive. I loved it when I was about 12 and have read it as an adult and found that I still loved it. ETA: I'd sit in on the discussion to help it along. I agree that the discussion isn't likely to go far with most kids that age unless there is someone to ask the right questions.
  18. You may want to check this out to: http://www.census.gov/2010censusjobs/index.php
  19. I'd say the area we live in fits most of your criteria. Cost of living is very good compared to many places in the U.S. People are very friendly. Summers are a bit long and hot, but we do have four seasons with some snow and usually not too much. Land is much cheaper compared to other places. We live in Butler County, but if you looked a few miles south (Cowley) or a little further east, land and property taxes are even cheaper. We are 25-45 minutes from any place in Wichita, which is not a large city but has plenty of shopping/dining/cultural opportunities for me and a good library system. Many people around here ride, but not so many ride English. There are a lot of places to stable horses. I would say Oklahoma would fit most of those criteria as well and you could find places close to Tulsa or OKC that would be suitable.
  20. I'm sorry, but I disagree. In fact this comment and the mentality shown in the article make me want to "spew". Again, I'm sorry, but they really do. This implies that Christians who do not agree with this assessment of public schools and pull their children out to homeschool them or send them to private schools are "lukewarm Christians" unwilling to take a stand for God and do what His Word says. That's simply not true.
  21. Well, I'm a Christian, not particularly conservative (I think conservative Christians would say definitely not!), a tree hugger, and a recycler, but not the greenest person either. I don't see why the green letter edition would be any worse than the words of Christ in red. I don't think the red letter editions have been done too carefully and they sometimes get it wrong. I would find it annoying to read either. The colored print is a strain on my eyes. I like the printed on recycled paper in the U.S. part. That's groovy. I prefer the KJV because that's what I'm familiar with. I don't know much about the NRSV. I don't much care for commentaries and I really do not like people coming at the Bible with their own slant, looking to prove what they already believe. That's my concern about this Bible, though it's no different than my concerns about any of the other specialized Bibles marketed to various target audiences. Can't people be content to write separately about how they apply their Christian beliefs and values to whatever (being green, being African American, being a woman, being an Appalachian American--don't laugh; all these Bibles exist) and just print plain ol' regular Bibles? It doesn't confuse me. I know which part is God's Word and which is man's opinion, but I fear some are more easily misled. Perhaps that's the intent.
  22. I thought of a few places while reading through the rest of this thread. All are due to smell. I'm very sensitive to smells. Chillicothe, Ohio - The Mead paper plant is there, and something about the way that stuff is made makes the entire town stink. You wouldn't think paper could smell that bad. Bovina and Hereford, Texas - The names say it all. Dodge City, Kansas - At least I wouldn't want to live anywhere near those massive feed lots there. Just driving past is enough. Now, keep in mind that I live a little less than a mile north of a feed lot. I can smell the cows on most days, but it is nothing compared to the processing plants in Bovina and Hereford or the HUGE feed lots clumped together in Dodge City.
  23. Yesterday we had New Year's dinner at my mom's house. She had a bottle of Tabasco sauce that looked like it could be as old as our oldest ds. The label was yellowed and the contents were brown instead of the usual color. It also smelled extra vinegary. My brother and I forced her to throw it out. I told her I'd buy a new bottle for her if she'd like. She started to fight it and then said, "No, I will not be my mother, and I will not dig it out of the trash after you're gone.":lol:
  24. I put "other", as in "Huh? What?":lol: We are all electric, but I know not from whence the electricity is generated. I turn on the switch and there it is. We do have a wood stove that we use in the winter to heat the basement, but we have not used it much this year. I think I'll have to go check out where our power comes from now. I think there is a nuclear plant somewhere in Kansas, and I know they're putting up all those giant windmills all over the place. Interesting question.
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