Thursday, June 04, 2009

When asked what I do and my course of study...

... I thought about it. I could so easily say... I'm a wife, housewife, mother, homeschooler, herbalist and EFT Practitioner... but does that really give my chosen vocation the dignity it deserves? I think not. I started with a blip posted years ago by another mom fed up with being seen as "just a housewife/mother" and expanded on her thoughts a bit.

I am a Research Associate in the field of Child Psychology and Human Development. This particular discipline in my instance also includes a co-major in herbal and nutritional therapy concurrent with acupressure therapy for emotional and physical pain management and resolution. I have a partner Associate who has been involved in the same program since my 201 classes. *see below for details*

My education started with 3 consecutive internships through a volunteer program at the YMCA in San Diego. After 3 years I took a long sabbatical that featured only a few day-intensives.

After high school I entered into a 9 month intensive residential program in pre-natal development 101, ( titled Aaryanna). 6 months of which included group work study in the subjects of adoption, law and grief counseling. After the 9 months I took a one day study on parental rights revocation law.

3 months after the completion of my 101 course I entered into a permanent partnership (titled marriage of Lawrence and Tiffany) and we agreed to be mutually involved in all course work in our chosen field. My Research partner can describe his particular views on the study as I am sure he will bring unique and intriguing insights.

About 5 months later we entered a 201 (titled Garion) course in a residential program in pre-natal development for 9 months. At the end of this course I went on to study neo-natal development and lactation. I stayed with this course of study and observed and engaged in the development of our project subject. My concurrent work in herbal and nutritional therapy went quickly from theory mode to practicum. Practical credits were earned rapidly. Trial and error method was more useful then thesis development at that time.

Approximately 18 months after I finished the 201 course in a residential program in pre-natal development I entered into a 301 (titled Aria) level course. After the resolution of that particular course of study I went in for a refresher course of neo-natal development and lactation. I found the experience much less fraught with trial and error. My learning curve had expanded exponentially.

During the development of our project subjects we were also involved in a continuous course of product quality assurance. A good portion of the QA we were involved in included apparel. There were a great many debates, some quite lively, regarding quality, quantity, durability, style, color and label offers in the apparel section of our study. We were also exposed to a long study of entertainment instruments. This also included quality, quantity, durability, style, color and label offers. In addition there was an added emphasis on decibel safety standards, light emission pollution, environmental hazards and OSHA standards for safe working conditions. Certain entertainment instruments were expelled from the program due to breaches of safety in decibels, light emissions and OSHA/environmental hazards.

One aside to our entertainment instrument study included individual containment and packing units. These containment and packing units were uniquely fascinating to our subjects. Often times to the consternation, amusement or frustration of various project donors.

Shortly after completing my 301 course I took a few units in early American history, the development of American government and US Constitutional law. Fascinating study that I continue to enjoy.

Our project subjects continued in normal development and afforded us the opportunity to move from early infancy into early childhood development. We were afforded the opportunity to explore many units of study during this time. Including art in multiple mediums. A great favorite was manual pigment application on canvas, sheetrock and wall structures. Introduction to basic sculpting and pottery. Basic drafting, sketching and animation were explored using various manual mediums. An ongoing exploration of performance art including a fascinating unit in "life as art" with various animate and inanimate flora and fauna. Basic geology was heavily studied with a curious phenomena of the male subjects having a magnetic attraction to it. These subjects happily left behind many specimens for further examination. The female subjects dabbled deeply in a unit called "cultural costuming". Many examples still exist.

As the four year mark of the completion of my 201 course approached, my Research Associate and I decided to embark in a new focus study of early formal educational systems. This study included local public, private and parochial institutions. At the end of one year of study we discovered that the prospects were not on par with expectations. We changed our focus to individual educational instruction in a domestic setting. This study was much more promising and included a unit in appropriate state and local laws, a variety of curricula and methodology.

As the 6th year of the completion of the 201 course arrived we embarked on a course of early childhood formal education. This period was greatly interesting and we entered into a regular group discussion with similarly engaged Research Associates. We decided to restart the course for the 5th anniversary of the completion of the 301 course. We discovered that the earlier introduction proved to be quite beneficial for the project subjects. During that year I also entered into a 401 (Ebba) level residential program in pre-natal development course as well as a subsequent refresher course of neo-natal development and lactation.

After the completion of the 401 level course we continued with the individual educational instruction in a domestic setting and I added a 501 (Elias), 601 (Germaine) and finally a 701 (Iain) level residential program in pre-natal development, neo-natal development and lactation courses. QA for apparel and entertainment instruments continued to be offered and evaluations given at regular intervals.

The year 2004 I was introduced to the acupressure therapy for emotional and physical pain management and resolution. Research, development and application into this course of study continues to the present.

I now have 19 full years of experience as a Research Associate in the field of Child Psychology and Human Development. My first subject was admitted to a different program than the partnership I am currently involved in, but has graduated from that program quite well.

The 201 level course has become less of a thesis and more of a magnum opus. Encouraged to independent study, career development, nutritional education and critical thinking skills, this subject is ready to begin an independent research course. We intend to stay in close contact to observe how our course of study evolves. In 14 years we will have a total of 6 magnum opera. We expect we will be ancillary consultants to our current project subjects by that point.

And that is how you transform housewife, mother, homeschooler, herbalist and EFT practitioner to a level it really deserves to be equated to.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Free Rosetta Stone!

Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language and has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — and you can WIN the *all new* version 3 Rosetta Stone Homeschool LATIN program… FOR FREE! This is the first year you can get Latin in the brand new Version III update.

This is a $259 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!)
This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever! Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress- I love that!), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this most excellent Latin program copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR link to the contest from your facebook page and/OR email the information to your homeschool support group – Then go to the original page and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post. And good luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Post

So yesterday I came across an article in the Washington Post that 1 in 5 Americans think that the Sun revolves around the Earth! I was like.. omg! Really? So I asked our kids individually if the sun revolves around the Earth or if the Earth revolves around the sun. They all got it right. I asked the 6 yr old first. She just looked at me like I was insane or something and said with a giggle in her voice, "Mommy, the Earth goes around the sun!!!" Subsequently all the kids got the right answer right away. But, then we got into a longish discussion with the 6, 7 and 9 year old about how a solar system works. Using a large candle in a glass and a smaller bottle of vitamins, we discussed how the smaller bottle made it from one side and around to the start before the big glass.. making the vitamin bottle have a shorter year than the jar. (Read the difference between Earth's year vs. Jupiter's year). Then we got into discussing just how powerful the suction cups would have to be on your space boots to be able to stay on the surface of Neptune, which is really windy.. kinda like Wyoming on a bad day. Ahhh.. kids. They are awesome. :D

Monday, November 19, 2007


In our current educational system, almost every school, public or private, relies heavily on certain tools which actually hinder the desired result of education. These include the obvious, overcrowded classrooms, non-standardized curricula, under-trained and unmotivated teachers, the “bad guys” everyone points at. But there are other subtly destructive ideas at work. These include grading, grade levels and homework.

When a teacher gives a grade, be it for a test or a semester, the teacher has admitted his failure. Why didn’t every student learn the requisite materials? The students were there. Every “B” issued is the teacher and school’s way of saying “we taught this student MOST of the materials”. And an “F”? They’re admitting that they haven’t a clue how to teach your child that subject.

Many courses are graded on a “bell curve”, in which a certain percentage of students MUST receive an “A”, a “B”, and so forth. Who determined the percentages? What do you do with a class that is almost entirely “expert”, give some of them “F”s? How about the class that is generally sub-standard, whatever the “standard” may be? Give a percentage “A”s when they can’t sign their names? It happens!

Grades pigeonhole a child. Your student is “bright” or “slow” or “below average”. According to what scale? Who determines the criteria?

What’s wrong with Grade Levels? Children are tossed into a group because they are the same age, and supposedly that alone will allow them to study well together. But what happens is the fastest or brightest students “slow down”, so they don’t soar ahead of the group. Slower students become “remedial”. The “average” student, whatever that is decided to be by whoever is in charge, is the governor regarding speed of study.

And homework? When you, an adult, complete your eight hours of work, and you head home, do you want more work to do? If a school can’t get enough information communicated in a standard day of school, what ARE they doing? When should a student pursue his own interests? Music…theatre…sports? When are they allowed control over their own time, their own lives? Who decided it was alright for a school to become the vast bulk of the child’s activities? And don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s “number of hours spent” that determine an education. It’s not. It’s “amount of information acquired, understood and ready to be used”.

Home school places the control over the student’s education back where it belongs…with the student and their parents or guardians. It allows the student to study in a safe environment…something few schools can claim they create, not with a straight face. It eliminates the need for grade levels, or homework. It allows student and parent to design a schedule the student can succeed with. It allows the student to move at his or her own pace, without comparisons or stigma. It allows the student to avoid grades, when the home school system used is a wise one. And the big “problem” with home school, that much-overrated concern, “socialization”, is readily resolved by extra-curricular activities such as sports and music studies, and the fact that the student will have far more discretionary hours in a week!

Steven Horwich
Connect The Thoughts

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday Evening Post

So, today was a little laid back as far as the deep philosophical discussions. We did learn about how you can power and recharge an iPod with an onion and some gatorade as well as making a high def speaker for under a buck. Yep. Need some aluminium foil, a paper plate, speaker thingy and a penny. Sounded great too! There was also a 'how to power your tv with a AA battery". o.o Now we are watching a Frets on Fire video that hubby downloaded.. one can play Guitar Hero type stuffies.. not only on a PC.. but on a PC running Linux!!! :joy

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Different kind of name maybe, but a fabulous resource for anyone looking for high quailty online courses with no out of pocket expenses. You can use this resource for high school courses, AP courses and lower college courses!!!

Awesome!!! Enjoy!