A Bumpy 3rd Week of School

boy on chair, hiding face

We survived week 3, but it was a rocky one.

Okay.  So last week started out just awful.  Monday I told the boys that their spelling books were going to arrive on Tuesday after being on backorder.  Last year, spelling took us about ten or fifteen minutes per day.  No big deal.  Tuesday the FedEx truck pulled in and they cried.  I told them to put their noses to the wall (our version of SuperNanny’s naughty spot).  They cried again when they discovered that the spelling list is in cursive even though they learned that last year.  Then I got complaints like “this is awful” and “nobody is helping me” even though I was sitting AT the table trying to read through the list with them.  Hello!?!!  What am I, chopped liver??

They were like that Monday and Tuesday.  Suddenly schoolwork that had been easy and fun was now torture and suffering.  Tears, avoidance techniques, the works.  Yet there was NO difference in what we were doing between the end of week two (when, as you recall, I was told “I love doing school with you, Mom”) and those days.  I was not a happy camper, let me tell you.

Wednesday the hammer came down.  I told them in no uncertain terms that any and all crying, complaining, or whining about school would result in a nose to the wall.  For a long time.  Usually I let them off the hook after a few minutes.  Now, we were going back to a minute per year of age.

It took a few times of me insisting that I really meant what I said, and more than one boy standing nose to a wall, but they pulled themselves together pretty fast.   Suddenly, boys could listen to the story and answer questions.  Assignments were finished correctly and with (at least) faces that weren’t all dark and frowny.  We were totally done – even with the addition of the dreaded spelling book – in less than 3 hours.  By lunchtime, boys were playing cheerfully.  Well, what do you know?

The rest of the week was about the same.  On Thursday, Hubby’s folks came to visit.  They arrived after we were done, but the boys were anxious for the arrival (read: staking out the road with binoculars) so focus was a little down.  I understood that though, and didn’t make a fuss.  Friday they managed to do their work with grandparents present, which is quite a feat.  Plus they knew we were packing for a trip, so I’m pretty happy with them finishing their work under those conditions.

All told, what did I learn this week?  That I can expect boys to make a focused and cheerful effort at their assignments. That I’m not killing anyone by insisting that they do their best.
Now, I know that some will disagree with my being tough on the boys.  And that’s totally fine.  Disagree away.  I know that my boys need structure and expectations, or they just sit.  Like lumps.  In front of the biggest screen they can find…TV, computer, whatever.  They’re not self-starters when it comes to schoolwork.

This week, we haven’t done a lick of formal schoolwork.  Instead, we drove down to Jamestown, Virginia to see the sights since this is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestowne Colony.   But more about that in a few other posts.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who struggle with homeschooling.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

View all contributions by

{ 18 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment


six − 5 =

CommentLuv badge

  • nan September 26, 2007, 5:58 pm

    Oh yes! You have to keep their noses to the grindstone! You are absolutely right, and your method is obviously working. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Sounds like a good balance of WORK and FUN to me!

    Reply
  • PandaBean September 28, 2007, 7:59 am

    I’m still surprised at how many people seem to equate “discipline” with “child abuse” or some such nonsense. Obviously child abuse is real and is a problem, but some people apply the label far too liberally to even the smallest things. A child needs their parents to give them boundries and limitations early on; then they tend to grow up into well adjusted adults! I’ve even heard some parents have said that they feel obligated to serve and submit (my words) to their children because the kids didn’t ask to be born! How silly is that! Yeesh!

    God Bless!

    Reply
  • Jenny December 6, 2007, 10:05 am

    Oh gosh, I read this and felt so sad for your poor boys! It sounds like they are miserable with this schoolwork, and you just won’t take a hint!

    Imagine being completely powerless about something that literally brings you to tears, and then being forced to stand with your nose against a wall as punishment for being unhappy! A nose to the wall?? How humiliating!

    I’m not as mean I sound 🙂 We are homeschoolers too and I’m just here to tell you it DOES NOT have to be like that!!

    Reply
  • Stephanie December 6, 2007, 3:13 pm

    Are you happy with this way of life? Do you know there are other options? Are you interested in peaceful and joyful living and learning? I’m only here becasue someone I know found your blog and shared it. If you don’t want any oter options that’s fine with me I won’t ever come back but I have to tell you there is another way even if you don’t care.

    Reply
  • Amy December 6, 2007, 4:19 pm

    Obviously we’re coming at the whole school thing with different belief systems. I’m guessing you’re in the ‘any formal work hurts the child’ camp. Which is fine. I respectfully disagree.

    And yes, to be honest you do sound mean. You seem to think that I am mean as well. I hope that we are able to work through that little wrinkle, and at least agree as friendly women to disagree on some points. I wouldn’t paint you negatively if I learned that you were teaching your children in a way that I don’t. It’s your family and you’re doing the best thing for them. Please understand that the same is true for me, and that different doesn’t necessarily mean wrong.

    Once the boys actually start any one activity they do fine and none of it is difficult. Most things are a matter of minutes to do. In addition to the language stuff I mentioned in my reply to your other comment, there is also a pretty strong belief on the part of the older boys that if they just delay long enough they won’t have to do anything at all.

    Let’s face it: as humans we all tend toward the path of least resistance. They want to play and don’t want to do anything that requires extending effort. I feel that way frequently. I’d rather play with my sewing machine than wash clothes or keep dishes clean. But the reality is that work has to be done. The good Lord created us for work, and right now I expect my children to do their part by completing the activities I put before them.

    I’m stealing from my bragging post again, but today both the older boys wrote a story. Each on his own. I was floored. I sent them to get a book for silent reading time, since that’s been going so well lately. One asked if he could use the time to write instead, and I said “By all means! Please do!!”. So then the other one wrote as well. Now, if I hadn’t insisted that they learn to form their letters on paper independently, neither one of them could have done that.

    As I’ve explained to the boys many times, we have to do the work to build their foundations so we can do more advanced and fun stuff later. Is penmanship the most fun thing on the planet? Nope. But they gotta learn to write. Or type. I’m fine with either one. We can’t skip the skill though. And today the advanced stuff came into play. Each boy had a really great time reading what he wrote to me, and I can’t wait for them to show off to Hubby tonight!

    One final thought: your comment comes across as pretty disapproving, and that can be very discouraging. I started this blog because I was struggling with homeschooling and when I did multiple searches online, looking for someone else who was also saying “yes, some days are hard and I’m not perfect and I think about quitting but I’m not going to” there wasn’t much out there. So I decided to be the one saying it.

    I believe there are other folks out there struggling to do their best and having bad days. There’s not much out there in the way of support. There’s plenty of disapproval and discouragement though. I know of homeschoolers who quit because they felt like total failures since no one else was saying “Yes, this is hard somedays. Parenting in general is hard, and then taking on the schooling as well…that can be hard.” Maybe some people never have bad days. Yay for them. But let’s be supportive of those of us who do. Okay?

    Reply
  • Amy December 6, 2007, 4:49 pm

    Stephanie,

    Yes, I am happy with my life. 🙂 That doesn’t stop me from having bad days, nor does it change the fact that some things are hard for me to do. We do have peaceful and joyful days here too. 🙂

    And yes, I’d love to know more of what you’re talking about-you’ve piqued my curiosity.

    As I said in one of the other comments to Jenny, I started this blog kind of as a support or encouragement for other moms who are having trouble homeschooling. I know of families who quit because no one out there was being encouraging.

    Ultimately we each have to find our own way and figure out what works in order to keep going with it. I am confident that we’re on the right path here, but I’m always happy to hear new ideas. And if what you have to say helps someone else, even more wonderful. You’re welcome to add it in comments here, or send me an email. Perhaps even a guest post would be in order. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply
  • Stephanie December 7, 2007, 12:50 pm

    Since you already said you disagree I’m not sure why I’m writing 🙂

    Instead of my explaining my beliefs I’ll just jot down a few websites that you can check out if you like. I’m not trying to tell you that you are doing it wrong, I was just thinking that if you could relax a bit and give your kids more choice in how and what they learn you may not get frustrated. I do not have frustrated homeschool days because we are unschoolers, we live and learn and follow our interests, one thing flows to the next, but that takes a lot of deschooling and most people are not willing to do that. It doesn’t mean that you can’t relax a bit with the pushing of bookwork though.

    http://www.holtgws.com
    http://www.joyfullyrejoycing.com

    Reply
  • Amy December 7, 2007, 2:36 pm

    Relaxing a bit over time is definitely something I have done. No doubt about that. Honestly, I have tried so many different ways to make learning more pleasant. And I really truly have spent hours in self-examination and prayer. I’ve held myself up to others for help and advice, and in many ways that’s still what I’m doing with this blog.

    If there are ways to present materials that maybe are more appealing, I’m always open to consider them. That’s why I responded to your offer of a better way. I have no intention of moving away from the classical curriculum as a foundation for subject matter, but I am already far removed from the way the book suggests it be done. Of course, you can’t see that because I haven’t written much about how I actually do things.

    I offered you the chance to tell more about unschooling yourself so that the view would be here on the blog. The offer to write a guest post sharing how it’s working for you personally still stands. Or if you already have something like that on your blog let me know and I’ll link to it. I’ve already seen the sites you mentioned, along with several others. I linked to some of them in my how to start homeschooling series.

    You did not appear to be telling me that I’m doing it wrong. I can’t say the same for other things that I’ve been told over the past few days.

    There is a basic philosophical difference in our approaches…in fact there are several base assumptions that I think we’d disagree on. I have said publicly and will again when I blog specifically about unschooling that I believe it can work. Some aspects of it are wonderful and I do incorporate them into my daily approach. A good deal of it won’t work for me and my family. When I’ve tried more unstructured things, I’ve had kids in tears. Why would I keep doing something they don’t like? I agree to disagree with unschoolers on those assumptions regarding education and discipline. And I do it without being hurtful or mean or attacking their parenting skills.

    The frustration that you read about – which is from a September post, by the way – was the culmination of years of trying everything I could to make the experience more palatable only to be met with yet another brick wall. On Friday I’m told that “I love doing school with you Mom” and on Monday I’m the wicked witch because I’m asking them to do the same basic thing. Basic philosophical assumption here: There comes a point when the boys have to make a contribution to their own learning and to the family. Right now, their job in life is to learn. By practicing responsibility, cooperation, and some self-discipline they’re well on their way to being wonderful adults. That is what Hubby and I as leaders of this family expect from the children.

    I’ve learned through trial and error that if I insist on them just pushing through and doing it, they get on board and we have a great time. Really.

    The more time has passed, the more successful and confident the boys have become. I apparently haven’t done a good job of portraying that here on the blog, based on the observations offered this week. I’ll work on it. Some of the stress from outside things has subsided, and I’m getting to where I can think clearly and more positively. When responsibilities allow, I’ll get some of those posts up.

    Reply
  • Jenny December 7, 2007, 3:32 pm

    >>> They want to play and don’t want to do anything that requires extending effort.>>>

    Aha!

    If you (and others who think like that) could examine this line of thought, SO many things would change for the better!

    Play IS a kids’ work!!

    Do they *really* never want to do anything that requires effort? What is their very favorite thing to do, more than anything else?

    Here’s some of my kids’ favorites: Dancing. Playing pretend. Singing. Coloring. Various crafts.

    Lots more, but those are some of the Very Favorites.

    Guess what? ALL those require effort! And thought. And skill. And creativity.

    Maybe consider looking at your kids’ pursuits a little differently. It sounds like you’re saying, “You like to do This, but This isn’t important or worthwhile.” Surely they pick up on that!

    Consider trying to find the Importance and Worth in their playing.

    Reply
  • Amy December 7, 2007, 4:07 pm

    You’re not understanding the whole picture here. The ONLY play that they wanted to do up until just recently was to sit in front of a TV or computer screen. Listening to a story? Nope. Pretending? Nope. Coloring? Hated it. Crafts? Once in a while, but if I offered more than once a week they were gone. Singing? Forget about it.

    The very FIRST time I ever heard the older boys want to sing a song…any song…was in September of this year when we went on a driving trip and they got hooked on the opening song to Chicken Little. The love of song is now developing, and they have been enjoying an especially rude version of Jingle Bells, along with the current fave which is “God is Bigger than the Boogie Man”.

    Are you suggesting that I should really let them sit in front of screens all day long, stopping only to eat when I insist? Because that’s what they would do. And in case you’re wondering, I tried using educational games to sneak in learning while taking advantage of their love of the computer. Failed miserably. The only time that ever worked was with a toddler program. After that they refused to do any part of a game that looked remotely educational.

    On top of that, the more time boys spend in front of screens, the grumpier and more argumentative they become. After the 457th argument over who touched the remote or sat on the couch funny or breathed in the wrong direction it’s hard to be real patient or understanding. If I throw them out of the house and insist they spend time in the fresh air, there’s a noticeable difference. They come back smiling and getting along with each other and me. Any attempts at communication are much more successful. Which tells me that they need kinesthetic components to their day. If The Mercenary is grumpy I can often challenge him to a “Who can jump and hit the archway” contest. A few minutes of jumping around and suddenly he can understand the questions again.

    One time a couple of years ago, we were at the church office and the little boys got out the toy kitchen and started pretending they were cooking. I quietly motioned the older boys over and asked “What are your brothers doing?” I got a blank stare and then they said “Nothing”. The concept of imaginary play was foreign until about hmmmm, a year or so ago. Now they’re getting into acting out stories they’ve read or heard, but that was not always the case.

    Yes, they really have, over the course of their lives, never wanted to do anything that required effort. That too is changing. I mentioned the jewelry company that they are working on, and we recently bought a bunch of electronic stuff for them to play with wiring up switches and batteries. I did say that they weren’t allowed to burn anything (including their own hands). There are various wired gadgets around the house now that they spent a great deal of time perfecting. And no, I did not for one second consider interrupting that creative flow to do something else. That accusation is and has been unfounded. The only thing I interrupt to switch to schoolwork – ever – is screen time.

    The fantastic thing about the jewelry and the electronics is that we can learn soldering and use it for both areas, which will also springboard them into robotics. They’ve expressed an interest there. The soldering opens the door for welding later in life. Something they are not old enough to learn yet.

    I have never ever told them that an interest or pursuit was not worthwhile. Anything they have asked to do, we have done our best to accommodate. I don’t know where you got the idea that I was squashing their dreams.

    Tonight I looked out the window and caught The Mercenary and TechnoBoy out shoveling the neighbor’s driveway. Her husband had to leave the state for employment and this is the first winter she’s had to manage without him to clear the driveway. Those boys shoveled a driveway that’s roughly a hundred feet long. What a kindness, to make such an effort! I’m very proud of their sweet hearts.

    Reply
  • Jenny December 9, 2007, 7:49 pm

    >>>> Some aspects of [unschooling] are wonderful and I do incorporate them into my daily approach. A good deal of it won’t work for me and my family. When I’ve tried more unstructured things, I’ve had kids in tears. Why would I keep doing something they don’t like?>>>>>

    These statements indicate you don’t really understand what unschooling is.

    I don’t say that unkindly. It took me at *least* a full year of actively pursuing unschooling, reading about it, asking questions, debating things I didn’t think made sense, etc, til I felt like I started to truly understand it.

    I’m not saying you need to start doing that; I’m just saying that it can be a hard concept to get, even when you actively *trying* to pursue it!

    Your above comments are sort of like if somebody said, “Yes, I’m a very devout Christian, even though I don’t believe Jesus was really raised from the dead.” It just doesn’t make sense.

    Unschooling is not “unstructured things.” If you care to give me more examples or what things you were doing that had your kids in tears and what about it seemed like unschooling to you, I could try to clarify and elaborate a bit more.

    But since unschooling, almost by definition, is letting the child decide what, when, and how they learn, it just doesn’t make sense to say your kids wouldn’t like it. It’s like saying, “I don’t want my kids to pick their favorite food prepared their favorite way for dinner tonight, because they’ll think it tastes terrible.” Huh?

    Also, unschooling isn’t something you do a little of sometimes. Although maybe that’s not what you meant; maybe you just meant that there were certain principles that you believe unschoolers have that you try to use.

    But I’ve heard people say “we unschool in the summer” or “we unschool everything but math” or “we tried unschooling for a week” and those are not correct uses of the term or its philosophy.

    I do wish Stephanie would take you up on your offer to write a guest column; that would be kinda neat.

    Reply
  • Jenny December 9, 2007, 7:59 pm

    I’m a little confused by your above comments about your kids.

    You first said, “They want to play and don’t want to do anything that requires extending effort.”

    Then, when I said playing was good, you said, “The ONLY play that they wanted to do up until just recently was to sit in front of a TV or computer screen”

    and “Yes, they really have, over the course of their lives, never wanted to do anything that required effort.”

    So … do they want to play or not?

    Are you saying they want to play NOW, but spent several years never playing?

    If they ARE playing now, then, “They want to play and don’t want to do anything that requires extending effort” doesn’t make sense — or really, it simply isn’t true.

    If they are NOT playing now, then “they want to play” definitely doesn’t make any sense! 🙂

    Then in the same post you said:

    “I have never ever told them that an interest or pursuit was not worthwhile. Anything they have asked to do, we have done our best to accommodate. I don’t know where you got the idea that I was squashing their dreams.”

    yet in the same post you said they didn’t want to play or do anything, ever, other than watch TV. So … it sounds like they don’t have any interests or pursuits or dreams. Or … is TV watching their biggest interest, pursuit and dream?

    And if it is, it would be interesting to ask yourself if you’ve done a lot to show your kids that it’s worthwhile, and if you’ve done your best to accomdate them pursuing it.

    Reply
  • Amy December 9, 2007, 9:38 pm

    Ok. The word play in this situation has two different meanings. When you and I are using it, we’re thinking about things many children do: run around, build things, draw, make up imaginary scenarios and act them out, interact with toys, read, write, and the like. Up until recently, a good deal of that WAS an effort for the boys. Pretty much anything that has to do with processing language they avoided. It was an effort for them and they refused to extend themselves in any of those areas. Are they retarded in any way? Nope. Normal intelligent boys in every other way. But serious late bloomers in language. Even now, there are very unusual uses and pronunciations of words that are curious. The little boys are completely different in this regard.

    When the boys used the word play, yes they were referring to sitting in front of a tv or computer screen. When the comment is made “But I just want to plaaaaaay” they mean only computer games. The first thing they head for when they can is the computer. If one boy is playing the other(s) will sit and watch rather than do something else. And then they’ll claim that I should only count screen time for them when they’re actually in control of the machine, believing I should disregard the watching time.

    In the summertime when I say “go outside” they are willing to ride bikes or jump around in the pool. Then they head back inside and go to the screen. If I don’t insist that they go out they can spend even the most gorgeous day inside. Now that we’ve got snow on the ground they are willing to go out and slide down the hill. Then they’re back inside, heading for the screen. Any other play that takes place is because I have to be the bad guy and turn off the screens.

    You should see them when they get to play on friends’ little hand-held games. The level of attention to that and only that is a little scary. I do worry about addictions with these games.

    Using the adult definition of the word play, yes they have spent several years not wanting to play but now I’m seeing some serious developments and blooming in those areas.

    The whole squashing dreams thing came out of your comment that I was tearing them away from something wonderful to insist on drudgery. Which is not true. And yes, we’ve gone a long way in many instances to encourage anything they express even a passing interest in. I’m not going to list long examples so you’ll have to take my word for it. 🙂

    As for the other comment about me not understanding unschooling, probably there is some validity to what you said. Especially in terms of living it and understanding it. However. 🙂 One of the major philosophies in unschooling is Constructivism. The process of letting the child lead the learning and follow their interests is very Constructivist. Ironically, it’s the poor application of Constructivism in the public schools that has caused a lot of the academic problems they face. Some use of Constructivism happens in my home. But not in everything.

    My worldview strongly influences my approaches to parenting and teaching. The same is true for you. I have a big post planned on the subject.

    A big difference between us thus far has been that you have been critical and insinuated that I am hurting my children while I have not done that to you or any unschooler.

    Your particular understanding of your Christianity has led you to make the choices you make. I invite you to consider that the same is true for me; that I can justify my choices with Scripture and sound reasoning. Just because you and I disagree doesn’t mean one of us is wrong. As I mentioned to Stephanie, there are foundational assumptions that each of us hold-and are not likely to let go-on which we seriously disagree. So let’s disagree and work to better one another rather than tear down.

    Being told that I’m self-centered, unforgiving, mean, thoughtless, fake, etc. hurts. And serves no good purpose. I wish we could have gotten to this kind of conversation earlier, where we’re actually talking rather than doing the attack/defend pattern. This is better, more of an ‘iron sharpening iron’ situation. Feel free to answer here, but I really do need to spend my time on regular posts, so perhaps we’ll talk more on future topics there.

    Reply
  • Deanne December 10, 2007, 8:42 am

    “A big difference between us thus far has been that you have been critical and insinuated that I am hurting my children while I have not done that to you or any unschooler.”

    I think your following comment to me shows differently.

    “However, I’m done feeding trolls. Comment away, knowing that I will edit very little and your words are going to be out there for the world to see for as long as this site is active.”

    “I tried using educational games to sneak in learning while taking advantage of their love of the computer.”

    This speaks to one of the basic premises of unschooling, namely that learning happens naturally and joyfully when one is motivated and interested in something. It really doesn’t matter what that something is, because our minds will seek connections and understanding in whatever we do. Some things definitely take more effort, but when one is internally motivated, that effort is not an obstacle.

    Why do you think children learn so much in the first few years of life? Surely you don’t believe that children need lessons in rolling over and sitting up, walking and such, or they would never do it! There is an inborn drive to experience and learn about our world. This is where unschooling goes beyond mere “constructivism theory”. We recognize that we have the potential to learn from every experience we have in life, be it self-initiated or not. A healthy Christian understands this well when they are able to persist in the face of difficult life events or suffering.

    What unschoolers routinely question is what exactly are our children learning from their life experiences. We seek, and find, that our children oviously learn from the computer, the TV, outside play, reading books, cooking, helping with housework, etc. We also question what “lessons” our children learn from our relationship with them. We question whether what we do as parents will facilitate our children learning and thinking independently, or whether it is fostering their self-doubt. Every time you “insist” that your children stop playing on the computer, you send a clear message that you think what they are doing has no value. If the most important people in their life don’t value what they do, children will begin to question themselves about what is important. Continually having to conform in ways that others deem valuable leads to insecurity about one’s own desires, and the dependence on others for approval and direction. It leads to inauthentic living, as well as the potential for being abused by those in authority.

    Reply
  • Sarah December 10, 2007, 11:18 am

    Good morning, Amy. I appreciate your bravery here, opening part of your life up to total strangers. I don’t know if I would’ve lasted thus far. Nonetheless, I don’t have much to offer but highly recommend two loving homeschooler sites to you as informational resource–sandradodd.com and joyfullyrejoycing.com. In both, you may find valuable perspectives on kids watching TV and video gaming. We don’t have TV service for years, but enjoy the luxury of viewing selected movies/shows/educational programs online with our kids–thanks to YouTube, Veoh and alike. DD#1 is learning to play guitar while DD#2 is refining her artistic drawing skills via TV/computer. I too tap into the unlimited resources via YouTube to expand on my non-creative plane. Thank you, Amy, for an opportunity to share my limited input. This has been a thought-provoking thread and even prompted my own musing of Appreciating the Differences among People on my blog. I look forward to your future posts as your homeschooling journey evolves. Blessings, Sarah

    Reply
  • Hilaree December 10, 2007, 11:22 am

    Hi there Amy and everyone,

    What an interesting discussion! It’s so refreshing to read everyone’s thoughts and to be ENCOURAGED that there are other mommies like me who take an extraordinary amount of time trying to do the absolute best for their families, including examining every thought (captive to Christ). It seems there’s some discord still here, and while I agree with the unschoolers posts, perhaps a different line of thinking would be valuable here – to get a fresh start. I’m not suggesting to abandon where everyone’s going with the discussion, just maybe jumpstart things a bit. Amy, I don’t think you’d be responding so wholeheartedly to the unschooling posts if you didn’t actually want to keep going with this. So…what about everyone meditating a bit on something like this quote from Max Lucado’s new book, “Cure for the Common Life” – “Don’t see your child as a blank slate awaiting your pen, but as a written book awaiting your study.” And a second, related quote, “The greatest gift you can give your children is not your riches, but revealing to them their own.” Good stuff, huh?! What does this mean to everyone? I’ll be posting about it on my own blog if I ever get around to it…but I thought that maybe a redirection would help lift the conversation a bit. Be proud, mamas, of who God made you to be, and who God made your children to be!

    Reply
  • Amy December 10, 2007, 1:14 pm

    @ Sarah: Thank you very much. It’s been bruising, to be sure. I will definitely check out those sites when I can, and I look forward to reading your musing.

    @ Hilaree: Actually I am planning to bring the discussion more to the forefront on my blog…right now the only folks who are seeing it are those who subscribed to the comments of those posts in the first place, a few friends I’ve mentioned the controversy to, and the unschoolers from the Yahoo group. 🙂 I’m very interested in continuing, but doing it in the comments is super difficult.

    I didn’t want to post about it on the front page so soon because then I open myself up for even more accusations, etc. showing what an awful person I am. So far I am mean, unforgiving/unmerciful, false/inauthentic, self-centered, insensitive to my children, lack creative thinking, and the list goes on. Much of what I say is interpreted in a very negative way, and I’m not feeling like I’ve been on the receiving end of much grace. Why add to that? Better to go back to my main business on the front page and get to this when things have cooled a bit. I’m still responding to new comments as I can, but I am a person who chooses words very carefully and it takes me a long time to answer things as well as I can. As a result, I haven’t finished any of my front page posts. 🙂 There’s only so much time available.

    Love the Max Lucado quote. I’ll put that book on my fast-growing-out-of-control list of books that need to be read.

    Reply