Friday, February 1, 2013


I know there are a lot of you out there who read this blog. I am flattered really. I write this blog for myself, my family who live far away and for my few blogging friends.

I further know, that very few of you comment. That's okay. I don't comment on all of the blogs I read either. But here's the thing... I have some questions that I would like your opinion on. Things I wonder about and wonder what others think about them. I am not one easily swayed by others opinions. Just ask my poor husband how stubborn I can be. I am, however, one who likes to look at all sides of a situation before making a decision AND I am not afraid to change my mind if I see a better way of doing something.

I would ask a favor of you to answer as many or as few of the questions I will ask below, even if you have thus far never so much as typed a word here before. Thank you in advance for your words.

1. How much time do you allow your child to be on screens on any given day?

2. How often would you think it is optimal for your child to play with other
   children each week?

3. Do your children participate in extra-curricular activities? How many?

4. How important is it to you which books your child reads or is it good
   enough that they are reading at all?

5. Do you live in a city, small town or in the country? How far away are you
   from the nearest city?

6. If you home school, what is your top reason for doing so? And if you send
   your child to public school, what is the best thing about that for them?

7. What is the best website you have ever been to for recipes? For home    school resources? For homesteading/ simple living?

Again, these are the things I have been thinking about and I look to you for your words. Happy Friday folks. Enjoy your weekend!

(Eeek! Did I mention I have a new granddaughter!)


Tara said...

Congratulations on your new grand baby!!

That is a long list of questions, but I'm up for answering a few.

First, Owen has "screen time" or gaming time before and after our hs day. He gets up early enough to allow himself time to game. If he oversleeps, he has to wait until 3pm.

Owen is not typical in the amount of time he wishes to connect with friends or in the amount of extra curricular activities he wants to be involved in. He enjoys our homeschool group which meets weekly, and has a best friend who visits regularly. Owen enjoys more of a solitary existence than other kiddos his age, and after countless failed attempts at joining everything from karate to boy scouts, I have accepted his true nature, and honor it.

I care which books Owen reads, but I do very little editing. If something is inappropriate in content I ask that he wait, but that happens rarely. I encourage Owen to pick out books at the library but I know his interests well enough now that most of the titles I choose, he enjoys.

We are ten minutes away from the city....

We homeschool because Owen has some special needs that require he have a learning environment, less noisy, stressful and structured than public school. My boy also enjoys immersing himself in topics and interests for a long period of time, something public schools don't seem to appreciate.

My best source for homeschooling materials are places like Timberdoodle, Fat Brain Toys, Currclick, Amazon, the local library and reading homeschool blogs!!

Hope this helps...

Sarah said...

1. My goal is always an hour max (play-screen time; school doesn't count), but I admit that when I'm not on top of my game, they get more than this. This week I haven't been well. They've been getting (a lot) more than that. :(

2. Couple of hours, max. I really see a decline in my kids' behavior when they spend too much time with other kids. I think an afternoon or two is nice. More than that? Nah.

3. Yes. Kind of a lot, but we live in a city and my husband does all of the shuttling. Each of my kids does one physical activity (Irish dance or TaekwonDo), my girls have a music lesson (piano), and then they all do this homeschool partnership thing for one whole school day a week, which is pretty much all extra-curricular stuff (baking, art, P.E., science fairs, etc.). I don't think all of that is necessary. It just is how we are doing things right now.

4. It is critically important to me WHAT they are reading. I don't subscribe whatsoever to the "at least they are reading" mentality. I think the fare they nourish their minds and hearts with it is as important (if not more!) than what kinds of food we nourish their physical bodies with.

5. We live in the suburbs of a city. I would like to get a few more miles out, toward the country. We'll see. We need woods- my neighborhood makes me BATTY, and we have terrible outdoor space here.

6. To nurture relationships, to bend their hearts toward Truth, and to keep them from the political agenda that seeps into every part of American education. Blech.

7. Pinterest? :)

And another HUGE whooooopppeeeeee!!!!! for that new grandbaby of yours!

I love your blog, Michelle. Happy weekend.

Dawn said...

Yay for the new grandbaby! :)
1. I don't like it when my kids have more than two hours of screen time a day, but it happens.
2. My son used to play with friends for a couple of hours a day, more in the summer. I loved it because they would play so creatively together. Sadly, now it's not like that. Our neighborhood has changed. Some kids moved away, some are now in so many activities that we never see them.
3. My daughter does ballet, all the time, and my son does basketball and piano. That's plenty busy for us.
4. Somewhat important. I assign books for their "school" reading but then I let them read anything (within reason) during their free time.
5. Suburb, about ten minutes from two big cities.
6. I homeschool so that my kids can each get an education that is uniquely suited to their learning styles and needs. I'm not opposed to public school.
7. I like Pinterest for resources.
Have a great weekend Michelle!

Madcap said...

When my kids were younger, I limited their screen time to about 2 hours/day. In their teens, I didn’t do that anymore. They’re both very involved in “real” life, in their disparate ways, so it seems to have worked out fine here.

Re friend-time – depends on the kid. I have one who’s destiny seems to be some kind of social convener. She’s on her own now, and spends huge swathes of time with huge crowds of various-aged people (mainly under 30), pretty much ALL the time. The other never has any desire to see anyone his own age, and really hasn’t since he was a toddler. He wants to be with adults, or more often, alone. This is who they are. When they were younger, to some extent they each had to temper their preferences to fit in with what the rest of us were doing.

We’ve lived on this acreage outside a tiny village, over an hour from the City, for 4.5 years now. It’s been mainly fine for my son, my daughter hated it, and I, for various reasons of my own, have run out of any love for it. I want to be within a half hour of a city, or perhaps in one. This is way too far, for us.

We unschooled because it was the best fit for us, and for the strengths/weaknesses of our children, and for the situation we found ourselves in. I’m not particularly against public school, but I definitely don’t think of it as a first-choice option, and it makes me seethe when public school is held up as the model against which homeschooling is compared. If someone wants public school, fine. But don’t tell me I need to choose it or replicate it at home. My kids, at 16 and 15, are so happy they didn’t have to go to school, and always were. My daughter tried public school out for a few months and hated it.

I gave up on trying to find resources for my kids several years ago (they find their own interests very handily), but Brainpop was a big one for us when they were young. Ted Talks gets a lot of play in our house, still.

Jaunt, Geared to Get You Out said...

1. None Mon. through Thur. Fri they can have an hour or so after school, and Saturdays and Sundays a couple hours each day. This is computer time, or iPad time, as we don't have t.v.

2. My kids go to public school, so they see kids at school. After school is family time, and weekends we may see family friends that have kids.

3. They each get one activity in addition to Wed. night church. 10 year old son is into tae kwon do, and 6 year old daughter is into ballet or art, depending on the season.

4. Some books are pure junk. We don't do Wimpy Kid and such. My son brought home a book from the school library last year that had horrible murder scenes and we didn't allow it - he is years above his grade level in reading, so it is sometimes difficult to find quality books. He luckily likes non-fiction.

5. City, population 250,000. Would prefer a different locale, but this is where we are. California - has it's gangs, crime, pollution, etc. But, it also has art, performing arts, university nearby, and proximity to ocean and mountains.

6. Kids are in public school. Daddy has been home the last year, now starting a business. Public school is great for my son - he thrives in all the enrichment the GATE program offers him. My daughter is a homebody, and asks if I can home school her (I can't, I work, teach 2nd grade in public school, not at their school).

7. Fimby, for all of number 7! Love Renee at Fimby!