Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This morning I woke up to find that I was charged almost $200 in overdraft fees for being a few hours too late with the paycheck covering about 5 or 6 outstanding debits/checks. I called the bank and the woman said she couldn't do anything about it. I was actually crying because I knew that was our food money that went to those charges. So, a few hours later I called again (hoping to speak with someone more sympathetic this time) and let them have a whole big sob story and I got all but one of the charges removed. Yay!!! J and I dropped W off at school, went to another bank to withdraw our savings and put it into the checking account. Then we went food shopping where I spent $100 on a week's worth of groceries. I rock! Our dinners this week include pork chops/stuffing, ravioli/spinach salad, chicken breasts/green beans/Lipton rice mix, and tater-tot-casserole/broccoli. I also got lots of produce, staples, lunches, and breakfasts. I may even start doing my coupons again and go to the double coupon store. I once saved over $118 in double coupons and sales!

With all the running around today, J didn't get to her schedule again. She doesn't mind and knows she's learning so much throughout the day anyway. She was full of questions today, too: What is charity? How do you lose and win money gambling? What is claustrophobia? How did languages start? How do you file taxes? And on and on. I love it.

I'm also loving Guerilla Learning (G. Llewelyn and A. Silver). I'm only on page 20 or so but it's so right on. Here are some quotes from it:

"...homeschooled kids - many of whom did few or no traditional, 'schoollike' activities at home - learned faster, more easily, and with more joy and enthusiasm than most other children. They remembered what they learned. They couldn't wait to learn more".

"For real learning to take place, the information must occur in a world...The relationship of the information to reality - its context - must be apparent. People can be asked to absorb a certain amount of meaningless data in good faith, on the promise that eventually it will be related to a larger world and transformed into information. but most people can't absorb meaningless data on good faith for twelve years."

"...a homeschooled child learns everything in a meaningful context. The context is automatic: It's the child's world."

"In contrast, unfortunately, most schools work on the opposite assumption. They remove information from its context. They present no relationship to the child's world beyond the abstract world of the classroom. Subjects are artificially separated from one another. It's as if schools believe that if you give kids one tree at a time, year after dreary year, the kids will save the trees up and eventually make a forest out of them."

"...test scores and grades don't actually predict anything much. (Can you imagine if kids knew that secret?!) Higher-level skills such as critical thinking are neither taught nor tested in most schools. Artistic ability, mechanical ingenuity, interpersonal strengths, musical talent, and gifts for synthesizing information are disregarded (if not disparaged). People who can quickly memorize meaningless data and deliver it on demand are rewarded, while poor test takers with other strengths are penalized...And the greatest opportunity children have to develop their strengths, cultivate self-discipline, and find their calling - is ignored in favor of the effort to teach what can be measured".

"School can sap kids' interest in learning, confuse them with so many meaningless 'trees' that it takes years for them to recover and begin to see the 'forest' again. School can simply eat up so much of their time that there's none left for real learning, for spontaneous exploration, or for free play, which is the real work of childhood. At worst, school can cause true emotional stress: anxiety, depression, and crippling self-doubt. Instead of discovering their unique gifts, talents, and place in the world, many kids will learn to see themselves as mediocre, as 'disabled', or as losers if they don't keep up with the traditional school system's standards of measurement. Even the 'winners' may one day awaken to wonder why they spent their youths chasing after external approval, meaningless incentives, and other people's purposes - 'gold stars' - to the exclusion of what they loved and cared about".



Peach said...

Thank you SO much for what you shared from your book. I need to get a copy for myself. I've been struggling this year so far, as this is our first homeschooling experience, to decide what kind of homeschooler I am. I've read your blog since February or March, and I have loved watching you develop your "style" of homeschooling with J. We are trying to do that too, and the book you are reading sounds awesome.

Again Thanks for the encouraging words!

On His Adventure~ Pam

Patrice said...

I think it's what I needed. My sister was very much like K--good in school, popular, etc. I was too until JHS when my Mom wanted to find alternate routes for me (the spirit was willing but she had to work, so PS it was) and I became an underacheiver. I don't want that for my kids and since I am able to stay home, I'm so pleased. In fact, my oldest was sorta set to go to a Magnet school (I was set with homeschooling, but tried for a Magnet school just for choice) and we decided against it--thank God, cutbacks and it's slated to be closed. Oops, now I'm rambling. But I'm so glad the kids are not in school. My oldest just wanted to go to Kindergarten for the kitchen set that was in the class she wanted anyway. hahaha.

Patrice said...

BTW, I can't believe you got the overdraft removed! Whoopee! That happened to us so many times--and those bank fees are wicked--esp the hidden ones. Ick

NYCitymomx3 said...

Pam ~ You're so welcome! It's a great book so far.

Patrice ~ I'm glad we're homeschooling, too. I wish I knew about years ago, though. LOL about the kitchen set!

Tammy said...

I love your blog. I'm sitting out here on the opposite side of the country fretting over what to do with my son next year for 'kindergarten'. On the one hand, we have a unique bi-lingual program in our local public school and my son is very social - loves his preschool (which is co-op by the way and us parents are in the classroom A LOT).

On the other hand, some kids I watch after school come home with these annoying 'behavior cards' each day - green, yellow or red, depending on how they behaved (or, in my opinion, what the teacher's mood was that day). The cards don't SAY anything on them, it is, I guess, just supposed to communicate to the parents the level of BADNESS their child exhibited that day.

Then, the kids come back with candy - dished out at school by the teachers for 'good' kids and for finishing up their seat work or tests QUICKLY, no necessarily correctly, just quickly.

Plus, they've now instituted breakfast in class for everyone in school. They used to have a before school breakfast plan that you could choose to go or not, and of course it was subsidized for those that need it, but now EVERY kid will start school at 8:00 and EAT breakfast, served by the school in class.

I think I need to get that book.

Tammy out in Oregon