Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So Many Topics, So Few Complete Thoughts

From the "what's boiling in my brain that I want to formalize but need to get a lot more time to think about" files:

The context is missing and if you have already read the posts to which I refer, it would help a lot.

From Rational Jenn and Amy Mossoff: The rewards debate. According to the way Jenn reports it (not having read the book myself, and not likely to), Kohn describes rewards as I've usually seen bribes defined--going so far as to include grades and salary. I have always thought of grades and salary as having a feedback aspect. You know you are doing your job well as defined by the people who are in charge of making sure things stay on track (those who have a larger context than yourself) based on what grade/salary you receive. I was thinking of behavior charts and tokens of achievement (rewards) in a similar way lately. The goal is set and charting how well one is doing towards achieving that goal in a concrete, perceptible way is a tried-and-true way of knowing how well it is going as one works to a larger goal. A lot of behavior therapy uses these kinds of techniques.

I'm still trying to figure the whole thing out (with a pen-pal, thanks!), but that's a little part I've been playing with at this moment.

Manners (Amy's "The Little Things" again): Why have rules that curtail children's fun indoors? So the kids don't break themselves or valuable/dangerous items. I added recently: also because I want my children to be able to have good manners in most situations they find themselves in and to have those manners be automatic, not a constant struggle.

Homeschooling: No longer. From Leonard Peikoff's lecture on the Philosophy of Education: "Education is the systematic development of the conceptual faculty." Systematic being the keyword here. I found my schooling took a serious hit once I became the mother of a toddler. I always knew it was a possibility, but I was unable to continue schooling in the appropriate manner and nor could I parent my toddler well when I was consistently brushing him off to see to the educational needs of my two school-aged children. I could have gone on floating from one thing to another and taking much of our education in a catch-as-catch-can manner, but it wasn't really educating. It may have been learning but it fell short of the definition I was trying to abide by. There are so many other reasons, but that is the first and foremost.

Those are some of the things I have floating around in my brain. I would like to blog about my decision to stop homeschooling (for myself as well as any curious bystanders). The rewards issue is going to wait until I get some more thinking done and feedback.

And this post is a perfect example of why I haven't blogged in a while. It's a bit like my brain right now--disjointed and full of incomplete thoughts.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


It's been a while. Tersely, my computer crashed with the science pics I was going to post and then I got fed up. There. And I wanted more of a real life. I find that I am a slow enough writer that composing a blog post that was not just hit-and-run was taking a lot of time--usually very late in the evening.

Now that the computer is put back together (grateful to hubby for his work), I want to post an update. I am no longer homeschooling both of my school-age girls. About a month ago I decided to enroll my 10 1/2 year-old, Hanover, in public school.

I would like to discuss how that decision happened, and the results in later posts. In short, I am comfortable (for now) with the outcome.