How in the WORLD do you homeschool FOUR children while telecommuting? Love, patience and a TON of coffee... Just in case you wanted it, here's a glimpse inside Mrs. Kastner's Klass.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wanna know Wednesday....

What's your Christmas break look like this year?

[Kastners:  we are ALL Mom, Dad, and kids off from 12/24 - 1/2... CAN'T wait!]

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sometimes homeschooling is HARD

I was thinking yesterday about how in a traditional school setting, the teacher gets "prep periods" (oh how fondly I remember prep periods) and how a janitor comes in at the end of the school day and cleans the classroom (oh what I wouldn't give for a janitor!)...  Last night as I laid my head on my pillow finally dropping into exhausted rest at 11:09 p.m. with cooking class still spread all over the kitchen table, math and language all over the counter, and the after effects of PE swirling about my living room, I thought about how HARD this thing called homeschooling is.  I mean HARD!  School seeps into every pore of your life.  There are NO breaks.  You don't get a janitor or a prep period.

But I guess as they say, "Nothing worth having is free."  And this is SO worthwhile!  Who cares about the cooking class all over the kitchen table?!?!  I got to observe the delight over "eating all the broken ones" first hand!  Who cares about Math and Language all over the counter?!?!  I saw the light bulb flashing BRIGHTLY over Noah's head as we got ready to DIAGRAM SENTENCES (she said in pure awe of the JOY of DIAGRAMMING SENTENCES).  Who cares about the PE tornado that hit the living room?!?!  My kids have the best Tae Kwon Do teacher EVER!  (And they don't have to suffer the horror of the locker room after gym!)

So just like I do with the rest of life... when Homeschooling gets tough I remind myself of the GREAT parts... and then it doesn't seem so tough anymore.

Peace out, peops!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wanna know Wednesday...

I decided to start something new.... Kinda a round table "ish" thing...  On Wednesday's I will post a question, I'd love some feedback from other homeschoolers... So comment PLEASE! Cuz I "Wanna know" what you think/do/plan!  (It's on Wednesdays because I'm all about alliteration).  Here's today's question:

I wanna know - what curriculum you use.

Monday, December 13, 2010

SKIP cards

New thing starting today.

Each student who earned an A on Friday's Book Report earned 5 SKIP cards.

A SKIP card can be used to skip ONE drill-type assignment per day:  blog, math facts, spelling quiz.  Only one SKIP card can be used in a day.  SKIP cards never expire and can be saved as long as desired.  (EVERYONE got 5 SKIP cards this morning.)

We will see how this goes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why homeschooling works

Below are my thoughts on why homeschooling works so well... (my DFL - dear friend Lori, LOVES my analogies so she is gonna LOVE this post!)

I believe that homeschooling is like personal training.  If you have the means, a personal trainer is a GREAT way to get in shape.  This person with a TON of fitness knowledge develops a plan personally tailored for YOU.  Are you thick around the thighs and want to slim down???  a little more cardio is on the menu for you.  Are you struggling with back problems???  ab exercises and back stretching may do the job.  Are you a AVID exerciser whose hit a plateau?  cue the variety of cross training.  Is a personal trainer the only way you can get in shape???  No.  Is a personal trainer affordable, possible, attainable for EVERY person??? No.  But would a personal trainer be beneficial to EVERY person???  YES!

Homeschooling is a lot like that.  If you have the means, desire, and ability, homeschooling is a GREAT way to get an education.  This person who is an expert on YOU (your mom... or dad) develops an educational plan personally tailored for YOU.  Are you a student who HATES to read?  enter book reports on your FAVORITE subject.  Are you a student who struggles with math but loves video games?  here comes a BRAND new computer program that teaches you math while you play.  Are you someone who is OBSESSED with the military?  cue the project on the Marines.  Is homeschooling the only way to get an education??? NO!  Is homeschooling possible for EVERY person??? NO!  But would homeschooling benefit every child??? YES!  As an educator, I really truly do believe that there is not a child out there who wouldn't benefit from at least a little time in a one-on-one (or one-on-four) type educational setting which was PERFECTLY tailored to THEIR specific needs.

In my opinion this personal trainer-like quality of homeschooling is why is works SO well.  I just keep trying and trying and trying (not to CRAM the same exact canned lesson into my child's head but) to present learning in a way that makes them WANT it!  I was like that when I was a teacher in the classroom too.  And there are MANY other teachers out there who are like this; however, as I found out the hard way, just ONE year (or even most of one year) under a teacher who is not like this... a teacher who REFUSES to bend her ways to meet a child's needs... can crush a child's spirit and even color his opinion of the whole educational process!

So while I do NOT subscribe to the notion that homeschooling is the right choice for every family and parent, I DO subscribe to the notion that homeschooling would benefit every child if it works for his/her family.

Mkay... I'm gingerly climbing off my soap box now to get started on cleaning my house.  Have a great day everyone!
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