The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Read Aloud Challenge–July 23, 2011

     Debra at Footprints in the Butter hosts a weekly Read Aloud Challenge. This has been a really fun, thought provoking challenge for me to follow.  Reading out loud is not only educational it is also a lot of fun.  Debra puts up her Read Aloud Challenge post on Thursdays.  Today is Saturday. So, yes, I am late this week. But I thought better late than never.

     How did we do reading aloud this past week. Well…..I read aloud 0 (yes, zero) times.  So obviously I did not do very well on the challenge this week. But, I do have extenuating circumstances to excuse myself. We moved last weekend.  My kids have been so excited to live with Grandma for a couple weeks they have not wanted to let me read to them. Although they do read to themselves everyday.

     Even though I did not have time to read aloud this past week, I would like to tell you how my kids have still been able to listen to books and stories being read aloud. When Matthew turned 18, he received a new i-pod for his birthday. His old one got passed down to Sarah, who then gave me her old one. Since I have an i-pod and I do not think Ben and Rebekah are ready for their own yet, I took it and thought about what should be done with it. Since I knew that moving 1100 miles would be a long car trip, I came up with what I can say was one of my better ideas, which worked perfectly. I sat while our packers were packing and downloaded all the Adventure in Odyssey CD’s into i-Tunes. Then I put all of them on the old i-pod we had. So I ended up with an i-pod that only has Adventure in Odyssey and Hank the Cowdog on it.  This was a lifesaver for the trip.

     My surprise on this trip was that Matthew was just excited about this “new” i-pod as Ben and Rebekah were.  Whenever he was driving he would have me turn on another Adventure or a Hank. He kept telling me how neat it was to have all these Adventure in Odyssey’s  in one place.    I love it when I can find something  that makes my oldest son happy!

     Don’t forget to visit Debra at Footprints in the Butter and find out what she has been reading . And thanks Debra for hosting this challenge, which can really make you think about how important it is to be reading a book  or two out loud.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Read Aloud Challenge July 14, 2011

     I completely missed last weeks Read Aloud Challenge hosted by Debra at Footprints in the Butter. In the busyness of moving some things got overlooked. So before my internet is shut down, I thought I would join in again this week.

     We are still reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins. This is such a funny book. Ben and Rebekah are who I am mainly reading to, but it is amazing how Matthew makes sure he is close by to listen if he is home. I was outside reading while the furniture was being packed and realized Matthew was laying on top of the Suburban laughing along with Ben and Rebekah at the descriptions of the penguins putting on their shows.

      Since starting this challenge, it has brought home to me just what an impact reading aloud can have. Matthew is 18. He reads extremely well and has since he learned to read around age 6. He also has loved toys like Lego’s, K’Nex. He used to go to the library and not only get books, but books on tape or CD as well. He would tell me that since he can’t read and play Lego’s, he could listen to a book and play. To this day he still likes audio books. If you check out his i-pod it has a lot of music, but also audiobooks, especially Hank the Cowdog, one of his favorites. Two years ago, when we moved to Idaho, he and I drove together and listened to At Home in Mitford. He enjoyed it so much that the next vacation we took he asked to listen to it again.

   Make sure and visit Debra over at Footprints in the Butter. You can read what she is reading aloud to her kids and then visit others to see what they are up to.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homeschooling Myths

     Moving is never easy. There are many details that need attention, there are many things that are out of your control. Having to handle the unexpected during a move is normal. And then something comes up that is a little more than the normal moving woes.

     The last thing I expected during this move was to debate on our family’s decision to homeschool. Yet, I found myself in this position earlier this week.

     I have been homeschooling since 2001. It has become a way of life for our family, all the way to my oldest graduating from high school (yes, still at home)  this past spring. Most comments I hear when people find out we homeschool are along the lines of: “Oh, Wow! that is so great for your kids.” or “Oh, I don’t think I could have the patience to teach my own kids.”. These are fairly benign and easy to dispel myths.

   But…every now and then someone comes along who is a little more persistent. I came up against that this week in a very unexpected place, my own home. We are in the process of our last move with the Air Force.  When the packers came to our house, the head guy was not shy about his feelings on homeschooling. He wanted to know why we homeschooled. Pretty easy question I am used to answering. Then he became more persistent. He began to ask things like, “What is wrong with the public schools?” ,” Why don’t you want your kids in them?”  “My kids want to be there, don’t yours?”, Who authorized your son to graduate?” and my very favorite that crops up, “Well, kids need more socialization than at home.”

     While my general policy is to politely answer questions without trying to disparage their decision to use the public school, I quickly became annoyed with this guy’s questions and running commentary.  So I did what I do best and retreated. I let my “obviously” under socialized 18 year old son deal with him. Then I went up to my computer and wrote out a little paragraph of what I would say to him if I were ever brave enough.

To the guy who is packing our furniture. You came in to pack our household goods up, not debate with me on the educational choices of my children. I have not questioned your decision to send your children to public school, please refrain from making disparaging remarks on our decision to keep them at home. And that 8 and 9 year old that sat on the couch conversing with you about the estimated weight of each box and showing you exactly on the globe where they and their family and friends live, are in obvious need of more social skills. Your offense of our family is neither warranted nor called for. You are here to do a job and be a professional, please stick to your job and I will do mine.

     The stress of moving without my husband here to help, I am sure contributed to my perceptions of this man’s comments. I was not emotionally prepared to deal with obvious disdain over how I teach my children on the day my furniture was being packed in boxes. All I can comfort myself about this whole situation is that I did the right thing by not arguing back. I let my children’s actions and words speak for themselves that we have made the right choice for our family.


Here are my “unsocialized” kids socializing for a birthday party for Rebekah this summer.