good tree has gear!

i got the idea when i saw two girls
at the botanical garden for earth day.
their shirts read:
i’m homeschooled
i’m socialized
i had class today

good tree montessori homeschool tote bag

good tree montessori homeschool tote back

good tree montessori t-shirt

i got the tree image from istockphoto
and did the rest with a little photoshop.

not that anyone would buy them,
but they are not for sale to the public.
it’s an exclusive thang. [smile]
only members of
good tree montessori homeschool
can buy them.
also, it’s a unity thing,
like for outings and what not:
we love homeschool.
yes, we do!
we love homeschool.
how about out you?

sometimes you just need the paper

i’m homeschooling,
but thinking and planning ahead, see.
it may be the case by the time my children
want to go to college
— if that is indeed what they want to do —
or apply for some job
that they just can’t get around
a requirement for a high school diploma
despite any displayed talent, natural ability or actual experience.

here are a few institutions
that allow you to get that paper
while still giving you the room
to tailor your child’s homeschool curriculum:

home school legal defense association

i’m on a yahoo group where a woman — an american citizen living abroad — posted a question about homeschooling in germany where homeschooling is illegal. a replier to the post shared advice from the home school legal defense association saying that as a US citizen she did not have to comply with foreign homeschooling laws AND because she was living out of the country, she didn’t have to comply with even US state law. now, who would have known THAT with HSLDA?

the Home School Legal Defense Association or HSLDA “is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms…members receive legal consultation…are represented through negotiations with local officials, and…are represented in court proceedings.” HSLDA advocates on capitol hill, in state legislatures and in the media.

founded in 1983, HSLDA “employs over 60 staff members in both full and part-time positions” and all nine attorneys are homeschooling dads. after the initial, affordable membership fees there are no other cost even if you have to go to court, although most potential problems are resolved without any court action.

if you’re not sure if you want to join, sign up for their newsletters via email — called their e-lert service — so you can get a feel of all they do legally for the right to homeschool.

home school legal defense association
check them out:

how does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

it’s probably old as the internet, but i found this online and added a few green edits:

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks all the books on electricity out of the library. Then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison, and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices. They decide to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs that save electricity as well as the environment. They figure out how much change they’ll get back if they buy three bulbs for $3.99 and pay with a ten dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Alexander Hamilton as his picture is on the ten dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.

swim lessons

sanaa and rahmah started swim lessons last monday
at the m.l.k. jr. natatorium
on boulevard near the king memorial.
m. l. king jr. natatorium

it’s a good deal:
7 weeks, 2 times a week for $30.

it is a diverse group skill-wise,
some kids served as someone for my newbies to look up to,
while others were on the verge of tears.

rahmah left the first lesson
after only a few turns in the water.
i’d left to go get the goggles i’d forgotten
in the rush to get there on time,
but ishaq told me
she’d started screaming and ran away from the pool to him.

a nearby mom said all her children cried for weeks
when they first started swim lessons.

we might move her to the saturday aqua-tots class.

sanaa almost strangled the poor instructor
during her turns in the water.

today is the second lesson
and both of them are excited about returning,
despite the challenges of the last lesson,

blowing bubbles

from the matter and energy section
in basic montessori by david gettman,
this is one of the exercises that help to
“make a child aware that air is an important part of the physical environment,
and to demonstrate some of the air’s properties.”

plus it’s fun.

“we have air in our lungs.
when we blow through the straw
we blow air.”

blowing air

blowing air

kids probably do this anyway.
but done with explanation
— and a little dish soap and food coloring for fun —
now it’s a science lesson.

blowing bubbles

blowing bubbles

blowing bubbles

blowing bubbles

even aya got in the lesson a bit:

blowing bubbles