Flexibility, part two

Published June 20, 2006 in Misc - 1 Comment

In my last post, I discussed why flexibility from the standpoint of the student’s interests. Another point to consider is the parent can restructure the child’s schedule in order to address weaknesses that need correcting. Of course, any parent can and should do this, however homeschoolers have an advantage in this regard because how you schedule their time is really up to you.

Flexibility is a virtue

Published June 19, 2006 in Misc - 0 Comments

One of the great aspects of homeschooling is the ability to change course quickly. You can alter the focus of what your child is learning without any reference to what your local school board thinks. You don’t have to ask permission of anybody.

I think it’s sad to see adults who are unhappy with their current careers, but don’t know what do to do to change it. Similarly, it’s disheartening to see people who have trained for a particular line of work, but need to make a change either due to market forces or due to the personal need to do something else.

Don’t be afraid to explore new areas of interest. Here’s what I do:

I go the library and check out whatever I can find on a topic that interests me. For some topics, you may need to narrow this down a little. Once you get the books or magazines home, you may decide not to read every one of them all the way through. But at least skim it.

Next, visit your local Barnes & Noble or Borders and see who is currently writing on the topic.

Point your browser to yahoogroups.com and see what email lists are devoted to your topic. If one looks interesting, sign up. It’s easy to unsubscribe if you change your mind.

And encourage your child to pursue their interest with the same diligence.

Homeschooling? Don’t sweat it…

Published June 16, 2006 in Misc - 0 Comments

Homeschooling can be as “easy” or “difficult” as you want it to be. What makes it “difficult” for many familiies is the drive to fulfill someone’s ideas of what should be done. Give serious thought to what your values are. What do you wish to achieve?

I place a high priority on the love of learning and on discipline. If my kids have those two down before they leave home, I’ll be happy. Of course there are many particular books that I want them to read, and many facts I desire for them to know. But I want to train them to be adults, not (merely) walking encyclopedias.

I once read a short interview with a self-taught engineer. This guy was a subcontractor for Boeing, so he was no slouch. He believes that the difference between a novice and expert is ninety days. Of course, that means studying your brains out for those ninety days. He may have been optimistic about the time period, but I believe the principle is basically sound.

Kerry Livgren

Published June 16, 2006 in Misc - 1 Comment

Most people who have heard of Livgren know that he was the mastermind behind the band Kansas from it’s inception in the early 1970’s until about 1983. While in Kansas, he wrote the wildly popular songs “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On My Wayward Son”, both which are still on rotation at many radio stations. What is not generally known is that he has continued writing and recording music. Check out his website at numavox.com and his current band’s website at protokaw.com.

If you like Kansas’ music, you should listen to the songs available for download from both sites.