A little side Job

I often  forget to talk about this side of my life. I have a friend and when I talk about my plate full she always reminds me, “Don’t forget, you have your job too.”

How do I forget this?

Maybe it starts with not really looking at it as a job. I talk to Moms and Dads. The kind that love their kids and sacrifice. The kind that know how to “Do Hard Things” and then take it that next step to push their offspring to follow suit. These parents inspire and encourage me. Often I find myself at my desk researching more, reading one more article, understanding one more detail about critical thinking, CLEP tests and  how to make it all work because I want to better serve these amazing, inspiring parents.

I’ve been doing this little side job since 2008.  It’s such a pleasure working with CollegePlus! and CollegePrep!. I play several roles in the community and I’m currently training for two new positions. It’s crazy in the most fun, energizing and creative way.

I wrote an ebook here recently. It explains the details of Dual Credit. It’s a hazy world this high school/college stuff and when you throw in the homeschool dynamic, well, it can make your head swim and palms sweat. My goal with this little book, put hearts & minds at ease. I want to thank all those who’ve read. I pray you have been encouraged and maybe some of mystery of academia has been lifted.

If you’d like to read please download a copy here.

If you have read I’d love to hear your comments. Like I said I’m always digging to know more and hearing what I’ve left unsaid or what inspired you is HUGE to my always learning brain.

How to Drive a Stake Part 1

In days of B.C. (before children) The Man would jokingly say that each child birthed would receive a pick axe and a shovel as their welcome into this world. To this day when they begin the incessant questions about birthday gifts this is his go to response. It drives the kids crazy. I just laugh.

There are tools my children really need. Some of these tools I’m just now learning to wield.

When we hurled ourselves into the whole ‘spearhead your child’s education’ thing I felt lost. I researched the bazillion books and conventions, blogs and websites that offer insight. Frustration ran deep as the more insight I researched the more questions I had.

Answers started coming with my first read by John Taylor Gatto. I felt misgivings about the education I’d received. I partook of a ‘Top Notch’ education including private schools, an Advanced Diploma from a top rated high school and several years in a prestigious private college. But, I still felt the education I’d received left much to be desired. To me it seemed I received pieces of paper (diplomas) almost just for showing up. Gatto put all my thoughts and concerns in black and white and stamped them as valid.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

While Gatto called out today’s educational system and exposed its rotting foundation, I found in Oliver De Mille’s writings hope and a game plan I could implement in my children’s education.

He describes three major types of schooling:

Conveyor Belt

To be truthful the United States education system is filling two types well. The Man and I have been trained by the school system in Conveyor Belt and Professional. We have been told how to think, what to think and when.

Don’t believe me then get a hold of this video on textbook writers:


You can watch a bit of the video here (segment 2):
(check out Youtube to view other segments)

Education woes in the U.S. are due in part to it’s missing group, the one education model that has been sorely neglected, Leadership Education. (The neglect has been purposeful but that’s a post for another day, or start the research on your own with Gatto’s book The Underground History of American Education or start reading at his website).

Leadership education in America is nearly extinct. This model of learning’s primary purpose is teaching how to think. It prepares one to lead. Lead in their homes, towns, businesses. Become Entrepreneurs, Problem Solvers, people who instinctively know the right thing to do and have the ability to follow it through to completion, doing it well.

At the heart of Leadership Education is Freedom:

…leadership preparation, which has three primary goals. First, its purpose is to train thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and statesmen–individuals with the character, competence and capacity to do the right thing and do it well in business, government, church, school, family, entertainment, research and other organizations.
The second goal is to perpetuate freedom, to prepare people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it, and who exert the will to do what is required. These two goals are accomplished by the third: teaching students how to think. Those who know how to think are able to lead effectively and are able to help society remain free and prosperous. Those who know only what to think or when, no matter how valuable their contributions to society, are not capable of maintaining freedom or leading us to real progress without additional leadership skills.
~A Thomas Jefferson Education By Oliver De Mille

It is Leadership Education that creates great businessmen, statesmen in government and it built this Republic we call home. This is how Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers were educated. This is the education I want for my children.

A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century

Having an education background in the models of Conveyor Belt and Professional I find training Leaders a sort of dual enrollment. I learn right alongside my students. I cannot instruct my children in the ways to drive a stake through the vampire of the American Dream if they do not know how to think for themselves.

Understanding education, the different models, and how they groom people to specific purposes is the first step in educating my children to live a Radical life. It is a tool I give them and side by side we are learning to wield it.

Mardi Gras Parade

Today, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, we celebrated with a party and we learned all about the Lenten Season. We called  it a school day. I did a lot of research and found some wonderful resources that made our event a School Day Success. Everyone went home with daily activity sheets leading us to the Cross.
Arts and Crafts For Lent by Jeanne Heiberg,
What We Do in Lent by Anne E. Kitch
We decorated our abode. I still can’t find the significance of Mardi Gras traditional Purple, Green and Gold but it makes for beautiful decorations.

Even The Beast got Tricked out for Fat Tuesday. He looked Gangsta with his big Crown Charm. He’s really a beast, all 18 inches and 6 pounds of him.

We baked a King Cake. It created quite a creepy sight in my oven as our babies tried to escape.
 The Boy loved the King Cake Babies. He turned them into tops and had the babies wrestle each other.

Polish celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Paczki and how delighted was I when I found a big display of them at our grocery store. Then, of course, we ate our King Cake. YUM!
Alleluia Banners
Alleluia, from the Hebrew word Hal-e-lu-Yah, meaning ‘Praise Yaweh’. Allelulia is  ‘The Song of Heaven’. We created Alleluia Banners and will bury them tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, where they will remain until Easter Sunday.
Each Family made their own banner. Burying the Alleluia for 40 Days is a symbolic way to remind us that without His sacrifice we would never participate in the ‘Song of Heaven’. 
Each family will Resurrect the Alleluia on Easter Sunday. 
We will wake up and sing  the ‘Song of Heaven’ with our Alleluias.
Gamaw and Papa never miss a party.
A few more shots of our Mardi Gras decor.

Now on to 40 Days of Lent. I’m ready to draw near God, excited to prepare my heart for the overwhelming reality of His love given on that Beautiful, Scandalous Night.

Very Valentine

I love, Love, LOVE Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of no expectation. No, it’s a day of less than no expectation and blessing someone on Valentine’s Day has proven doable. I love that! I can bless and show love to folks who just didn’t expect it and I do it with silly, simple things that I make.

This year I created a minion of birdies (the beast enjoyed knocking all the birds off their boxes, he did it in running gazelle like leaps and he would wait til I set them back up to leap again).

I first saw these little birdies at The Nesting Place.
She had received one as a gift from Denise at Living Life Creatively.

title decoration

I fell in love and had to get my hands on Denise’s pattern to make my own birdie army. People just smile when I give them one of these flightless friends. You should check out her website and then go straight to her Etsy site to get the pattern or your own handmade birdie. I made my Birdies from dishtowels in Target’s dollar section and sewed away in front of my most favorite BBC mini series. I love making stuff to give. I pray for the receiver as I create (in between watching Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy). The creation brings me such joy!

We’ve been celebrating Valentine’s day for years this way, the kids and I. This is what homeschool families do in lieu of a class party. At least, that’s what I tell myself. It started when they were mere babes. I would make up little love packs and dress everyone up in red and pink. We’d stay out until all the goodies were gone.

When we moved far away and didn’t yet know a lot of folks we would send them off. Now we do a combination.

So, we’re off to be little cupids. I pray your Valentine’s Day is full of unexpected blessings!

Valentine Counts:

Story of the mis-gendered rabbit.

A Valentine Gift for me. 

A day of rest.

Experiencing ‘Footprints’ all over again through Girlie #2’s eyes.

Chats with Mom over hair colorings.

A dozen red roses and his ‘proud as punch’ face at his offering.

It’s a Swap

While perusing The Homeschool Post I came across the Homeschool Swap Post. There’s another one coming up February 12th so head on over to get in on the swapping fun. Don’t know what in the world I’m talking about well….

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!

It’s simple and fun!
It’s a great way to meet other homeschool families without ever leaving your home. I emailed back and forth with my swap family and of course got to stalk her blog. 
How does it work?

Everyone who wants to participate fills out the questionnaire and then they assign you a family. Each family stuffs their box of goodies within the price limit and off they go.

We got to know The Kelley 8. What a delightful family.

We received a fun box full of Gummy Tarantulas, Hello Kitty Jelly Bellies, Word Finds and Scrapbook Pretties.

Jelly Belly Gummi Pet Tarantula, 1.5-Ounce Packages (Pack of 24)

Thanks so much Kelley 8. We’ve loved getting to know you!