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Faygo
11-30-2011, 06:55 AM
Self-Check Test for Homeschool Moms

http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2007/10/self-check-test-for-homeschool-moms.html


Self-Check Test for Homeschool Moms by ChristineMM
copyright 2007 ChristineMM

Answer these questions honestly. Your replies are for your eyes only. When finished, ponder your answers and come to your own conclusions. Then feel free to make changes as you feel would be good for you and your family. You are the judge of your own answers, not me.

1. Do you spend more time thinking about childrenís books for read-aloudís than actually reading them to your children?

2. Do you feel strongly about the importance reading aloud to your children? If so, are you actually taking the time to read aloud to your children?

3. Do you spend more time using a curriculum so that your child will actually learn what they are supposed to learn with that product OR do you spend more time shopping for different curriculum for that subject?

4. Are you quick to complain about something you donít like about a curriculum, and not use it, and start shopping for something else---all the while your child is not learning whatever that was supposed to be teaching them?

5. Are you endlessly questing for something that is Ďfuní to do with your children so they learn a certain thing, and as time goes on, they still donít know that simple thing which they could have/should have learned long ago?

6. Is the curriculum really the problem or is it just that you are not diligent enough about actually using it?

7. Is the issue with your complaint about a curriculum or book or product for learning really a problem with the curriculum or is it that your child(ren) are not respecting your authority and just complain about anything you try to use with them to teach them with?

8. Do you spend more time organizing your books and sorting through your stuff than actually using it with your children?

9. Do you long for that new board game when you already own a dozen that youíve still never played with your children?

10. Do you think board games and educational games are great but never use the ones you have?

11. Do you complain you run around too much yet still donít clear the schedule enough to relax and do the things you feel you never have time for?

12. When was the last time you felt you could just relax at home and Ďdo nothingí? Do you feel comfortable doing that, or do you constantly feel like you should be tidying up, or doing some other task?

13. Do you complain that your children produce too much laundry and feel overwhelmed yet still donít have your children helping you do the laundry?

14. Do you complain that your boys make a mess of the toilet (insert any other type of household mess that your children make) yet you donít have them clean their own mess---you do it and feel resentful?

15. Do you feel like you have too many outside commitments? Do you realize that it is you that controls many or all of them? You are in controlÖ

16. Do you spend more time reading homeschooling books, websites, and blogs than actually homeschooling your children?

17. Are you perpetually shopping for books and curriculum, even when you have all that you need right now? How about relaxing and just enjoying life until you actually NEED to buy something (for next year)?

18. Is anything you are doing really being done for the benefit of your child or are you doing it to try to prove to some outside person that your child is superior in intelligence to their kids or to public schooled kids?

19. Is the way your child is learning effective? Or are you spending time doing a lot of busy work or doing work that does not result in the child actually learning?

20. Are you taking the time with your child to let them learn more about their favorite things, or are you instead forcing them to do a lot of other homeschool work that some external person feels you should be doing (a book author, your homeschool support group leader, etc.)? (I am not speaking of the state laws which may influence what content you teach your children. I am speaking of things fully under your control, the content, or how you teach that content which is flexible.)

21. Are there things you are saying to your children that are giving them the impression that they are superior to other children regarding their own intelligence? If so, why do you think that is a good thing to do?

22. Do you know enough about giftedness to definitively state your child is gifted? Is it possible you are making a false assumption?

23. If you feel your child is gifted, are you bragging about it or talking about it a lot with others? If so, why? Is there a real reason to be talking about it all the time or deep down are you just so proud that you want to brag?

24. Do you give homeschooling advice to others that you say is great but that you donít do yourself?

25. When you attend a homeschooling function are you inspiring others or do you say and do things that make the others feel worse then when they arrived?

26. Do you try to push your homeschooling methods, favorite curriculums etc. onto other families?

27. Do you offer advice when it is not asked for, or do you wait for someone to ask you a question?

28. Are you angry that your children are lazy and donít help around the house, but youíve never set up a chore schedule or asked them to actually do anything?

29. Do you get upset with your children or spouse for not doing something when you never actually asked them to do it? (They are not mind readers.)

30. Do you compare your children to other homeschooling children? Why? Has anything good come out of it?


31. Is your homeschooling method really working for each child in your family? If not, why do you keep doing what you are doing?

32. Are you using that homeschooling method because it is working well for your child or because you want to be right about proving that your idea of the right way to homeschool is correct?

33. Should you be making a change with your homeschooling but you resist at least in part because you donít want to face the scrutiny or judgement of other homeschooling mothers (locally or even those you only know through the Internet)?

34. Do you continue to homeschool with that method out of loyalty to your favorite homeschooling author or famous educator rather than because it is working great for you and your child(ren)?

Faygo
11-30-2011, 07:15 AM
I'm definitely guilty as charged. I just started homeschooling in October though, so I am still researching every little thing I come across. Maybe it's time to just stop searching and going from here. Oh....and life skills, I soooo need to be teaching my kids to do the chores around the house. Kudos to you parents who have taught your kids how to do laundry or clean a toilet :) :)

dbmamaz
11-30-2011, 09:45 AM
First of all, the first year you are just getting your bearings and I think its ok to be doing intensive research the first year. My 8 yo doesnt clean toilets or cook, but the teens do. Not only do I think I'm not guilty of most of those, I feel like it basically asked about 6 questions, but repeated some of them in different ways 5 times? uggg

dottieanna29
11-30-2011, 09:58 AM
A quick scan of those questions make me think they will be way too guilt inducing at this particular time so I'm not going to read them any closer. :p

jess
11-30-2011, 11:24 AM
A quick scan of those questions make me think they will be way too guilt inducing at this particular time so I'm not going to read them any closer. :p
Yeah, if you put together a big list of potentially touchy subjects, eventually you'll get one that hits a sore spot for most anyone :)

It looks like a good starting place for people having issues causing them to think they need to stop homeschooling, buy a new curriculum, or otherwise make unnecessarily drastic changes that might be better solved through a change in implementation/priorities, though.

theWeedyRoad
11-30-2011, 01:08 PM
See, to me this person sounds like they are bitter from spending time on one particular forum that I visit occasionally (don't post though). On THAT forum, every child there is a prodigy (it's nauseating), EVERY child is doing like high school/college algebra and reading at college level by 8, curriculum hopping is huge there (as is repeated statements that 'the curric just isn't working'.) The claim there is that they follow one particular method... although the majority seem to be eclectic to me. It's pretty depressing to visit, to be honest, because you walk away thinking your child's beautiful story or poem can't hold a cande to what their (much younger) children can do. If people ask about problems with a child grasping math or reading, they are sent to the special needs board (which is kids who have severe disabilities), instead of an acknowledgement that kids CAN be behind in something just as readily as they can be ahead in something else. Disagreeing with their philosophy is tantamont to declaring war.

Back in the rest of the world, I think most of those things are issues we all deal with from time to time. Who hasn't felt pressure/interest in following a certain philosophy? Who doesn't feel like their kids have to measure up from time to time (especially in the beginning)? What mom (even non-homeschooling ones) feels like there is enough help for housework or that her schedule runs by someone else's clock? Tada! That's what being a mom is about.. we are the glue that keeps the machine running. It can be exhausting or overwhelming, but that doesn't mean we are doing it wrong.

Gabriela
11-30-2011, 01:48 PM
We're just finishing up our first year. A few months ago I stopped investing so much time on researching.
I went kind of crazy the first months, and actually got most of the basics we'll need all the way through high school.
But it was necessary, and I learned SO much. I feel like next year will be very different, and I'll have more time to relax just because I'm so much more organized now.
I'm a freebie hunter, so I don't complicate myself too much with curriculum. If it looks good and it's free, we'll give it a try. If it works, we stick with it, and I've made pretty good choices so far.

I've got my boys (dh and ds) down on the helping for sure. I don't consider myself a housewife, and in any case we're a housefamily.
It's just the 3 of us, but we all do our part. My son washes the dinner dishes every night. It's a big help, especially since after dinner I'm fried (and we don't own a dishwasher).
He's also completely responsible for keeping his room tidy and feeding the cats.

Anyway, I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about how much time you're spending researching.
I would be lost if it weren't for all the hs families out there who generously share what they do on their blogs.
It'll just come to a point where you start running into the same stuff - ideas, curriculum, advice...
and just naturally stop looking outwards and start focusing more on the actual teaching. I think it's normal.

Marmalade
11-30-2011, 02:50 PM
See, to me this person sounds like they are bitter from spending time on one particular forum that I visit occasionally (don't post though). On THAT forum, every child there is a prodigy (it's nauseating), EVERY child is doing like high school/college algebra and reading at college level by 8, curriculum hopping is huge there (as is repeated statements that 'the curric just isn't working'.) The claim there is that they follow one particular method... although the majority seem to be eclectic to me. It's pretty depressing to visit, to be honest, because you walk away thinking your child's beautiful story or poem can't hold a cande to what their (much younger) children can do. If people ask about problems with a child grasping math or reading, they are sent to the special needs board (which is kids who have severe disabilities), instead of an acknowledgement that kids CAN be behind in something just as readily as they can be ahead in something else. Disagreeing with their philosophy is tantamont to declaring war.

Back in the rest of the world, I think most of those things are issues we all deal with from time to time. Who hasn't felt pressure/interest in following a certain philosophy? Who doesn't feel like their kids have to measure up from time to time (especially in the beginning)? What mom (even non-homeschooling ones) feels like there is enough help for housework or that her schedule runs by someone else's clock? Tada! That's what being a mom is about.. we are the glue that keeps the machine running. It can be exhausting or overwhelming, but that doesn't mean we are doing it wrong.

Wow. I'm glad I'm not on that board!

I saw this list come up on my reader earlier and figured I second guess myself enough already-I don't need 34 more things to obsess about.

Brittaya
11-30-2011, 03:04 PM
I agree, this post seems way too guilt inducing. Also a lot of those things on the list sound more like someone who is suffering from Internet Addiction to me. Which is actually a real addiction.

Crabby Lioness
11-30-2011, 03:06 PM
Geez what a whiner. I got about a third of the way through and stopped.

I just want to scream, "Make up your mind already!" at such people, but it never helps.

Stella M
11-30-2011, 03:38 PM
Oh dear, that lost me at 'or are the children not respecting your authority'...

For heaven's sakes, who homeschools in a particular way because their favourite author told them to. ?

Hehe, that would mean I was homeschooling because dh told me to.

dragonfly
11-30-2011, 03:46 PM
Wow, this did not apply to me At. All. Does that mean I'm doing everything right? (she said cheekily :p )

I think if I did resemble any of these passive-aggressive questions, I would feel more irritated than guilty though. And, I'd be tempted to ask the writer some pointed questions of my own. (How much time do you spend getting annoyed with how other people live their lives? Do you think this helps you live your life any better? And so on. :) )

Stella M
11-30-2011, 03:53 PM
Yes! You are doing everything right!! Congratulations!!!

theWeedyRoad
11-30-2011, 03:59 PM
Wow, this did not apply to me At. All. Does that mean I'm doing everything right? (she said cheekily :p )



I'm thinking I want to be you when I grow up :p

Gabriela
11-30-2011, 04:41 PM
Cut the newbie some slack y'all.

Marmalade
11-30-2011, 05:29 PM
Oh dear, that lost me at 'or are the children not respecting your authority'...

For heaven's sakes, who homeschools in a particular way because their favourite author told them to. ?

Hehe, that would mean I was homeschooling because dh told me to.

Oooh-I would love to hear how Stephen King thinks I should homeschool.

Gabriella-was this list yours? I thought you were linking to a list off site-one that I subscribe to on my reader...

theWeedyRoad
11-30-2011, 05:31 PM
Cut the newbie some slack y'all.

If I at all offended anyone, I heartily apologize.

dragonfly
11-30-2011, 05:32 PM
I'm definitely guilty as charged. I just started homeschooling in October though, so I am still researching every little thing I come across. Maybe it's time to just stop searching and going from here. Oh....and life skills, I soooo need to be teaching my kids to do the chores around the house. Kudos to you parents who have taught your kids how to do laundry or clean a toilet :) :)

See, I think that, when you are getting started homeschooling, you should spend a lot of time doing the things that the quiz implies you shouldn't. It's important to see what's out there, and to try different things. Maybe this quiz is aimed at those who have been hs-ing for a long time, and still spend most of their time researching, comparing, and trying to make it better instead of, and at the expense of, schooling...? I don't know anyone who is like that, so I'm only guessing. Also, after ten years of homeschooling, I still do my research, but it doesn't cut into school time. I do it on my own time, when I feel like it, because I find it enjoyable. I also engage my son, so he has some input into his schooling, too.

Also, I didn't necessarily teach my son to do a lot of chores, but I don't get angry or frustrated when he doesn't do them, which is what the quiz asked. He knows how to do some things, and when I want him to do them, I'll ask him to do so. No anger or frustration involved. :)

I dunno, I guess the quiz could be a good wake up call for some people, but I wouldn't advise taking it too seriously, especially if you are new to hs-ing. :)

Brittaya
11-30-2011, 05:32 PM
Oooh-I would love to hear how Stephen King thinks I should homeschool.

Not 100% sure but I bet there would be ghosts, a giant spider and possibly a disturbing clown who lives in the sewers.

Gabriela
11-30-2011, 06:16 PM
Gabriella-was this list yours? I thought you were linking to a list off site-one that I subscribe to on my reader...

No, it's not mine. Just jumping in because the responses are quite unforgiving.
OP has only been homeschooling for two months, so I think we should try to be more understanding to what seem like some issues she's having.

Jeni
12-01-2011, 12:57 AM
I don't think the responses were unforgiving at all. I had to stop reading after about five. As others said, it was just making me feel guilty even though I know I am not doing a lot of those things. It's not a slam to the OP, or the list maker for that matter. It just is.

Gabriela
12-01-2011, 07:53 AM
Oops, sorry you guys, my bad.
I thought the list was written by the OP (didn't see the link).
It's so terribly written, I just assumed...

Faygo
12-01-2011, 08:47 AM
Thanks everyone, now I feel better! I read that the other day and felt so much guilt! Not even half of them apply to me, just a few (at least in my head anyways, lol). I guess it is my own human nature to feel guilty about things, especially in parenting. I need to let all of that go and just BE :)

So happy to have found this website <3

Theresa Holland Ryder
12-01-2011, 09:56 AM
Not 100% sure but I bet there would be ghosts, a giant spider and possibly a disturbing clown who lives in the sewers.

Marmalade and Brittaya, I love this! There should be a whole "how would Stephen King Homeschool" thread. The driver's ed section would sure be a hoot! :D

Crabby Lioness
12-01-2011, 09:59 AM
There's a difference between research and dithering. When what you're doing gets to this point, it's dithering.

If you're at the place in the article, it's time to get off the internet and watch your child. Pick a program (at random if you have to) and just watch your child interact with it for a few weeks. That will give you the information you need to better evaluate your overall choices. But anytime you reach such a state, it's vital to take a step backward to see exactly what you need to know the most, first.

Theresa Holland Ryder
12-01-2011, 09:59 AM
I guess it is my own human nature to feel guilty about things, especially in parenting. I need to let all of that go and just BE :)

So happy to have found this website <3

Definitely not dwelling on past imperfect is a healthier way to live, IMO. It's not that you can't take stock and decide what needs to be changed or upgraded, but the beating one's self up-- very counter productive.

dottieanna29
12-01-2011, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone, now I feel better! I read that the other day and felt so much guilt! Not even half of them apply to me, just a few (at least in my head anyways, lol). I guess it is my own human nature to feel guilty about things, especially in parenting. I need to let all of that go and just BE :)

So happy to have found this website <3

Welcome! Glad we didn't scare you away with our smart ass sarcasm. ;-)

I guess a few of the comments outlined what my problem would be with this list. Someone who is just starting out homeschooling WOULD need to do many of the things she says not to do. I could see someone trying the hardest to figure this homeschooling thing out and then reading that list and feeling like they were doing it all wrong. The list isn't worded as an opinion - it is worded like you MUST do this, you MUST NOT do that. yuck.

I'm semi-new (obviously look at the ages I'm dealing with) and I did spend a lot of time in the beginning researching and trying things out. I was lucky that I started when my kids were pre-school age so I didn't feel pressure to figure it out in a hurry. But, I still love researching new things and finding new fun stuff to do and learning about new games and links and great websites. I don't think that will ever stop and I don't think it should - I would hate to miss out on something really great or really fun or really useful because I stopped looking. Things change all the time (sometimes too quickly) including our kids. We can't all stay with things that have been around for 20 years - sometimes our kids do better with newer things.

Wow, that was a lot of rambling. I hope it made sense.

Crabby Lioness
12-01-2011, 10:02 AM
Thanks everyone, now I feel better! I read that the other day and felt so much guilt! Not even half of them apply to me, just a few (at least in my head anyways, lol). I guess it is my own human nature to feel guilty about things, especially in parenting. I need to let all of that go and just BE :)

So happy to have found this website <3

That is why I had such a hostile reaction. I refuse to tolerate people trying to guilt me, especially about things I don't feel guilty about. Instead of guilt, they trip an automatic rage reaction. Which is no more than they deserve.

Airen
12-01-2011, 10:47 AM
That is why I had such a hostile reaction. I refuse to tolerate people trying to guilt me, especially about things I don't feel guilty about. Instead of guilt, they trip an automatic rage reaction. Which is no more than they deserve.

Can I be you when I grow up?

I still catch myself sounding apologetic about things I don't feel the least bit sorry... i.e. homeschooling and paganism. I blame it on my southern raising, but it still pisses me off.

Crabby Lioness
12-01-2011, 11:42 AM
Can I be you when I grow up?

I still catch myself sounding apologetic about things I don't feel the least bit sorry... i.e. homeschooling and paganism. I blame it on my southern raising, but it still pisses me off.

I'm the same way and for the same reason, but I've been rubbing virtual shoulders with too many Brits in various fandoms. Some of them get extremely offended by faux apologies.

Brittaya
12-01-2011, 03:45 PM
I love Stephen king. First lesson, inventing a dead sibling. Lesson two, your name is now Bill and you're a writer. Lesson Three, we're taking a trip to the cemetery and then a haunted house. Actually lesson three sounds like fun.

Stella M
12-01-2011, 04:58 PM
If someone really wanted to unschool and needed an author to follow, I would highly recommend "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell.

A Sherlock Holmes course in Logic and Deduction would be good too.

I personally wished to be homeschooled in the manner of Noel Streatfield's "Ballet Shoes".

MarkInMD
12-01-2011, 11:26 PM
I wonder what a homeschooling dad's list would look like.

Not that we don't have guilt about things, but I have to say, even though this year I'm doing less of the schooling than in the past, I don't know that we have most of the same concerns, or at least not in the same ways. But we HS dads are often forgotten puppies in the great big world of HSing. :)

jess
12-02-2011, 08:00 PM
22. Do you know enough about giftedness to definitively state your child is gifted? Is it possible you are making a false assumption?
This one bothers me a bit.

Homeschoolers are not a representative segment of the population. If you look at the reasons why people homeschool (disregarding those with 100% religious motivation, but even most of the religious people have some other motivation as well), what do you get?

People who value learning and education.

People who have had trouble with the public school system academically or socially, whether for themselves, their children, or both.

People who feel confident enough in themselves and their abilities to buck the system and take on the responsibility of educating their own children.

Is it a surprise that, by nature or nurture, gifted children would be in higher proportion in this particular population than in the general population?

I'm sure this question is motivated by the people from the next question in the list, who go on and on about their child's giftedness with or without any sign that the child is, in fact, gifted. But overall, I see no reason to doubt that the majority of homeschooled chldren fall somewhere outside of "average".