Hello from The 4 Brothers Ranch! Our family has a lot going on and a couple blogs in order to keep things organized. You can find all our homeschooling stuff here! Annissa's regular everyday blog is called A PAGE IN MY BOOK and also there is a blog to update the kids medical issues at MY UNIQUE FLOWERS. Please check those out too!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Worst Arguments against Homeschooling article...

I woke up this morning and saw this on my facebook....  

So ...... I wasn't going to read - it was 6am - I was worried about finding the kittens my cat had during the night, but ..... thought...... nope, I'm curious.....  

I love  this article. (<--- link)

I homeschool AND I send my kids to public school.  We are a split family.  I also homeschool the two that are IN public school.  I homeschool Nathan when he's missing a lot of school and I homeschool Kaedyn because he hates being left out when we do homeschooling stuff.  So a lot of the experiments, art, and of course the field trips include ALL the kids.

I have been through the whole bullying thing even through a school shooting IN MY CHILD'S SCHOOL ...  I have been through good teachers and bad teachers.  There are teachers who are absolutely amazing, and some that just down right sucked.

One of the things this guy said in his email was that "it's parent's fault that the teachers fail" ..... um, scuze me?  How about it's the ... governments fault?  Whom ever it is that sets the guild-lines for what every child has to learn in a year.  Because four hours of "homework" is NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Kids learn at different rates, and to expect every child to be a robot and learn at the exact same rate is ridiculous.  Then there are parents like me.  I have four kids.  Four kids in public school added 2 to 4 hours of homework for each one - yeah... that's setting a parent up for failure.  Sitting down at a table and helping each child at the same time for that time period, who has time to cook, clean, bath their children -let alone give them time to play and be a kid.  It's an evening of frustration, arguments, threats, bribes, and that's after the calm talking, trying to explain, etc and so forth resulting in a note on the homework, "I sat here for hours trying to get this done with him/her and I don't even understand it."  Yep, that's a failure on the parents.  All the parents fault.   Another point is - yes, like I already said - I am the parent of four.  Two of which have medical issues which involves going to countless doctors appointments.  I have to have a certain calender just to keep all the appointments straight.  My weeks are pretty much non-stop.  Sometimes - things don't get done because I don't have time.  Sometimes I have to do things on MY schedule - what works best for our family.  I  may not get home one night until 7pm because we had appointments two hours away -and yet, I'm suppose to keep my child up and do two to four hours of homework?  When my child is crabby and unwilling to work because they are tired?  

So yes, lets blame the parents.  The world is a colony of Stepford Wives, we all do what we are told when we are told.  At least, we should.  (for those who don't understand sarcasm, that was sarcastic.)

I don't have an issue with public schools - per say.  Like I said, I have two kids who are in the "system" ..  I like Nathan's school.  I love Kaedyn's teachers.

But I would pull them out to homeschool in a second if things change.

I am satisfied with their education right now.

I was - however - NOT satisfied with Cal or Noah's education both in Wisconsin and here in Washington.

Calahan - went through YEARS of bullying and it was a vicious circle that continued over and over despite my "working with the school" ..  the bullying happened all through grade school.  It would happen, they would be told, something would happen, it would start right back up.... Cal would stop telling me because nothing was happening... when I threatened to call the cops one day because Cal was followed home by another kid who kept telling him he had a screwdriver in his backpack he was going to stab him with and kill him, they begged me not to.  Dad went and spoke to the parents.  That didn't help.  It all kept continuing.  He gets in middle school and they put him in a different "group" of kids so he's not around those kids that bullied him, but what happens?  Those kids talked to other kids and it ends up being the kids in his group start bullying him.  My absolute last straw was when a kid pushed him up against a wall, put his hand around his throat, and yanked off the necklace he was wearing.  ... I called the school and told them that he would not be returning the following week.  I had been calling the counselor for a month prior - several times, no call back, but after that call - you better believe that counselor called me back immediately and tried to talk me into keeping him in school, then started trying to make me feel like a failure for deciding to pull him out.  There was also the phone call I got from one of his teachers when Calahan got up and walked out of class one day because some kids were teasing him and he wanted to punch them, so instead of punching them, he removed himself from the situation like I told him to.  I was proud of him.  They punished him.

Noah I pulled out to homeschool him when I did Calahan in Wisconsin BECAUSE I was homeschooling Cal and Noah got sick so easily from school it was crazy.

When we moved to Washington I gave the kids the choice to homeschool here or try the public school.  They both wanted to try the public school, so they did.

Calahan started getting teased, not even bullied, but the second he felt threatened, he shut down.  He wasn't feeling safe at school - and it was discovered he has PTSD from the bullying.   He also has anxiety.  So I felt the need to get him out of the school experience where he was currently learning nothing because of the PTSD an anxiety factors from the bullying.  He was learning NOTHING.

Noah .... once we got here.... was okay.  But I had begged the schools here to hold him back.  Not to keep pushing him forward into grades where he was not understanding the curriculum.  However, they always told me NO .... it was "more important to keep him with his peers."  Which I did NOT agree with.  Yes, it can be damaging to be held back - however, it can be damaging to also be pushed forward too.  How?

Noah got pulled out from class for special one on one or small group education.  In 4th grade, he had a folder in his desk in his classroom that had work that was at his level...  he would take it out when discussions were going on that he didn't understand.  Group work, the other classmates would write on his papers (after asking him the answers) and do most the work.  They would carry him.

Noah started to come home saying "I'm dumb" ... "I'm stupid" ... "I don't understand what the other kids understand" .... he was being damaged, deep down ... wondering WHY he couldn't do the same work the other kids were.

I had to stop that thinking in it's TRACKS.  No matter what I said, it wasn't helping.

On top of that, he was missing a lot of school due to being sick all the time.  He would catch everything.

This year, Nathan got sick - ALL THE TIME.   He missed more school than he's been in it.  So next year, it maybe that we might have to homeschool him too.

We haven't made that choice yet though.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Amazing ....

Think Spring!

We wanted to do an art craft that the Grandparents could enjoy.  So we thought doing something fun with hand prints....

Now, two of the kids have major sensory issues......

Nathan was almost in tears from his hands being dirty.. we had to do one had at a time and he had to have that hand washed right away ...  he did three.  One for our fridge, one for Nana & Papa and one for Daddy's Mom.......  we gotta do another one for my Dad and Step Mom - but I had to give him a break.

Noah did all of his ...... and he had more to do, one to send to his bio-Dad, to his Dad's dad, and his Dad's Grandma (his Dad's mom died in 2012) ...   but Noah was "am I done now, can I wash my hands now?" ... LOL...

(Noah's are red, Nathan's are blue)

When Kaedyn got home from school, we did his.... he of course has no sensory issues and loved it!

And then he immediately wanted to paint something ... and Nathan joined in ...



And here is our gallery of art.......

Looking for Curriculum?

I saw this on my facebook today shared by Practical Homeschooling Magazine facebook page, and thought I would share!

The above is a screen caption of what you will see when you click on the link below (or the graphic itself.) ...  you can click on the perspective links to get further links .....


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

We did little interviews today - with the boys....  it was fun :)  We like to do these ...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Found a SLEW of Workbooks at ......

Today I went to the dollar store with the intention of ONLY BUYING a few things, just a couple of workbooks for the kids to do.  Since Nathan has been home so much this winter season I wanted to find some things for him to do.... and Kaedyn too because he gets jealous when Noah is doing homework and he won't let him "HELP" ... ha ha ....

So this is what I found.... not everything is for the Little's though (Nathan and Kaedyn) ... some is for Noah.

This is the stack I came home with ....

And then I found a bag of stuff I had found in the dollar section at Target a long time ago that I forgot about....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Art Project Fail

So I saw this cool project on Pinterest .......

So the whole premise was to use markers - color on coffee filters - and then spray them with water and watch how they change.......

Well, ours didn't work like that ....

This is the first one I did - as an example - to show the kids....

Nathan's first one

Kaedyn's first one ....

This one was done by me and Nathan (Nathan told me what he wanted)



Kaedyn's again

This one Mom did - it was dictated by Kaedyn



Noah's ... he was drawing Pokemon

Kaedyn working on his and showing his favorite (All of them)

Nathan working on his and showing his favorite

Noah working on his and showing his favorite

So we used all the markers we had, including permanent markers ....  big mistake!  HA HA HA ... this is a major dur moment ... .

You would think - thinking about it - permanent markers won't bleed....

But I wasn't thinking (much) I guess....   I laid them all out ...

Sprayed them with water ...... and waited ...

Funny enough, it was the permanent marker that ran on a lot of them, at least a little bit, it was the other (cheap markers I got from the dollar store) that didn't...