Archive for April, 2009

Standing by you.

Lately I find myself feeling a bit jaded when it comes to the Internet, having come across more bad than good on it lately.  And ya know… now that I think about it, it’s not that the stuff I’m running across is BAD. It’s more that it’s just MEAN. Mean in senseless, petty ways that remind me of being in middle school. Mean in ways that reassure me that homeschooling is a worthy project.

But then, someone who you know has got your back finds something like this, and posts it out where you’ll find it just when you need it most, and you feel renewed somehow, and more hopeful in spite of the gray skies and chilly rain.

Rough day?

Here ya go. This should help:

For more information about this project, visit www.playingforchange.com

Another winter gone.

young-deer

On field trips.

So… when you think “field trip”, what places come to mind?

Zoos. Aquariums. Police and fire stations. Museums of all sorts — science, art, history, childrens. Music halls. Nature centers. Amusement parks. Orchards and farms. For older kids you could visit national monuments, historic sites, government centers and capitals. Etc, etc. etc. I could go on, but you get the idea. Places where there’s cultural enrichment, educational and inspirational opportunities. Like, if we’re studying Astronomy, it would make sense to take my kids to a planetarium, wouldn’t it? And if my child were so inspired by the day that she delved deeper into the possibility of Being an Astronomer Someday, well then… that would be fine with me.

That’s a field trip that Makes Sense to me.

But lately on the homeschooling community message boards we belong to, I’m noticing this odd trend of planning and taking the kids on field trips to places like supermarkets, and restaurants, and large retail crafting stores. At first I thought it was just some over-zealous homeschool moms who’d gotten so tired of the science museum that they’d finally said: oh to hell with it, let’s just tour the Super Walmart and have done with it. It’s so close, and then I could get my grocery shopping done while the kids were taking the tour. But then, last week, I heard one of the karate moms talking about the field trip her son’s kindergarten class had taken to a nearby supermarket.

It was pretty interesting, she said, but her eyes weren’t alight with wonder or anything. They took the kids on a tour of all the warehouses in the back, and the butcher section and everything. Then even let them use a register to ring up some items.

Oh… how nice, I said to her. Because what else does one say to a story like that?

What I wanted to ask was if the deli-counter manager had given out hairnets to the kids as souvenirs. Because you just know that’s what ALL the kids want these days. Hairnets are IN, baby. To hell with the fact that the Zoo gift shop is now stocking Webkinz, man! It’s really all about the hairnets!

And I wonder what kind of speech the store manager gave to the kids at the start. Was he all: Well, hi there, kids! And welcome to the Acme! I know you’ll love our tour today. In fact, when I was a kid not much older than you guys, I wanted to be a fireman! But then, one day, while on the run from some bigger kids from the middle school, I slipped into the back warehouse of a Woolworths, and I knew from that moment on, my future was in shelving and inventory!

Can you imagine a duller afternoon than that? Seriously? I do everything in my power to avoid going into a grocery store. And when I’m in one, all I want is to be done shopping and get the hell out. To agree to spend an afternoon in one even though I’m not currently low on milk seems not just boring, but kind of crazy.

But I’m just weird like that, I guess.

So, I guess it’s not just bored homeschool moms looking to streamline their schedules that have started this odd new trend. It’s more like homeschool communities are going out of their way to mimic the latest trends in public school field trips. And I’m all like: whatever happened to Raising the Educational Bar?

I haven’t taken the kids on one of these new-fangled field trips yet. And I seriously doubt I ever will. Because I can’t imagine saying to them: Now girls, you need to calm down and get your Latin done or else you won’t be able to go on the field trip to Dennys next week, and you’ll miss out on the inside look at Your Exciting Future Career in…

retail.

With thanks to the cowgirls and their gentle nudges that I really need to be posting…

You know who you are. You cowgirls, you.  And you know you totally ROCK, don’t you?

Thanks for the reminder that I need to keep on posting. I’ve got a few things brewing, but it’s too late to get them written tonight, so until I find some spare time tomorrow, here’s a little post from the past, to tide you over.

(Fair warning: Before you click that link, make sure you’re not trying to sip your coffee or anything. You might accidentally inhale your beverage while reading.)

When PMS Strikes on Easter Weekend

Hope all your Easters were better than Reggie’s.


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