- Harold Robbins
- Helen van Slyke
- Arthur Hailey
- Janet Dailey
- Barbara Taylor Bradford
- John Jakes
- Irwin Shaw
- Eileen Goudge
- Cynthia Freeman
- Howard Fast
- RF Delderfield (okay - definitely not recent, but so up my alley)
- Susan Higgenbotham
- Edith Pargeter
- Margaret Campbell Barnes
- Ellen Jones (The Fatal Crown was one of my favorite books ever when I was much younger -- now I can read the rest of the series!)
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey Mommy
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Lisa @ A Rup Life
Beth @ Weavings
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Tara @ This Sweet Life
Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint (Yay! You already found me!)
Alyson @ Family Style School
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Karen @ Tots and Me
Anne @ Upstate Ramblings
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy
Avoiding the Homeschooling Comparison Trap (aka: Homeschooling as a Social Science Thought Exercise)
Homeschooling is growing by 7%-15% per year. That is such exciting news! I love meeting and talking with new homeschoolers, but even as I do so every year, I am slightly concerned. They ask what curriculum I use, what grade my kids are in, what our activities are, etc. I can see the looks on their faces as I describe what we do, and I immediately follow up with, "But everyone is different! Your homeschool day won't look anything like mine!" I can tell that so many remain unconvinced.
There are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschooling families. That point can't be reiterated often enough. I have written on this subject before, but I am going to recap briefly because I think the example is a good one. Stay with me - it makes sense in a couple of sentences.
In social choice theory (economics/social science jargon - not important), there is a (debated) maxim that you can't make interpersonal comparisons of utility. All that means is that you can't make comparisons between people in terms of what they value because people (and, thus, their preferences and the degree to which they value those preferences) are different. Homeschool Mom A can't compare herself to me and feel bad because my kids are learning Latin and hers aren't because I place a high premium on Latin - and maybe she doesn't! Or, and this is more likely, she simply places a higher premium on something else. Maybe it's teaching her daughters homemaking skills. The good Lord knows that that is not something I necessarily value. I'll tell you that it is, but all you have to do is look at my house to know that it's not really true.
That brings us to point #2: everyone has preference orderings whether or not they are conscious of them. Your preference orderings are reflected in how you spend your time and your money. All of us probably place God and family first. After that, we all take our own paths. We teach different subjects and support different companies. Some of us have very neat and ordered homes and some of us...don't (no judgment - I'm talking about myself!). Some of us belong to co-ops and some of us go it alone. Some of us do secular extracurricular activities and some of us only participate in Christian groups.
None of the above choices can be considered right or wrong because each choice represents a complex interaction of preference orderings that is unique to each individual person! For that reason, also, none of us can look at another homeschool mom and say, "I'm doing it wrong and she's doing it right." She's doing it right for *her family*. It may be all wrong for someone else's - and will be if it doesn't reflect that family's preference orderings.
Now, would my husband like a neater home? Of course! So would I! Would he like a neater home at the expense of my providing an intense classical curriculum for our kids? At the expense of their speech and debate? At the expense of my work-at-home job that he knows is important to me? No. (N.B. I'm not saying that there is not room for improvement in my home or that I am a victim of circumstance. I am saying that it reflects the way I prioritize my time. Most people have some wiggle room in their schedules.)
So what's the takeaway for all of us homeschooling moms? One that the perfectionist in me has to struggle to remember every day! There is no wrong way to do it and it is an exercise in futility (seriously - I'm speaking as a social scientist here!) to try to compare yourself to another homeschooling mom. It doesn't make sense on any level. We all need to do what I tell my kids to do every single day: work your program and don't worry about what anyone else says or does. You'll be so much happier and more successful!
Welcome back to homeschool! Be sure to click the banner below to read dozens more blogs that are filled with practical advice about all things homeschool. I promise that few will be as esoteric as this one! And DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY! Want to win hundreds of dollars in cash and curriculum? Click that link above to enter!
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining
Gena @ I Choose Joy!
If you read my blog, you undoubtedly know that I don't do giveaways or anything like that. This one, though, is too good to resist! The prizes available to y'all are unreal. I can attest to them personally because, curriculum junkie and Crewbie that I am, I have used most of them! Have I mentioned that there is cold, hard cash? I would really *love* to see one of my readers win the only giveaway I have ever done, so please definitely enter, y'all!
Back to Homeschool Giveaway
Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have joined forces during our August Back to Homeschool Blog Hop to bring you these incredible giveaways, totaling more than $1300 in homeschool curriculum and Paypal cash!
Grand Prize GiveawayIn the Grand Prize Giveaway, someone will win $765 in curriculum, plus $150 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product. From Home School Adventure Co. -- Philosophy Adventure--Pre-Socratics and Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital editions) From Diana Waring Presents -Experience History Through Music From Writing with Sharon Watson - The Power in Your Hands: Writing NonFiction in High School and Writing Fiction [in High School] From Homeschool Legacy -- Westward Ho I & Westward Ho II Once-a-Week Unit Studies From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine -- One-Year Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com From Shining Dawn Books -- Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Bundle (Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Loving Living Math, Grammar Packets, and Creative Nature Walks) From Memoria Press -- Latina Christiana I Set From Excelerate Spanish -- Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6 From WriteShop -- Winner's Choice of WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C (Teacher's Guide + Activity Pack) From New Millennium Girl Books -- Isabel Writing Bundle From Write Bonnie Rose -- Asia: It's People and History From Home School in the Woods -- Project Passport: The Middle Ages From NotebookingPages.com -- Lifetime Treasury Membership From Victus Study Skills System -- Victus Study Skills Student Workbook & Teacher Edition Bundle From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers -- $150 Paypal Cash
2nd Prize GiveawayIn the 2nd Prize Giveaway, someone will win $325 in curriculum, plus $100 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product. From Home School Adventure Co. -- Philippians in 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Question, and The Wise Woman Print Set (digital editions) From Writing with Sharon Watson -- Jump In: a workbook for reluctant and eager writers From Home School in the Woods -- K-2 Lap-Pak: Knights From Write Bonnie Rose -- Printables Bundle (Writing Prompts About Space Bonus Pack; Revolutionary War Activities: Patriotic Copywork; Revolutionary War Activities for Kids: Puzzles, Games, and Quizzes; Praying Through the Produce Aisle; Summer Olympics and Paralympics Unit Study) From Excelerate Spanish -- Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6 From Memoria Press -- Prima Latina Text Set From New Millennium Girl Books -- Callie's Contest of Courage Mid grade novel and Callie's Contest of Courage Literature Guide From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine -- One-Year Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers -- $100 Paypal Cash
To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., ago 18 and older only. See more Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter.a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you know how a Fitbit works, this will be meaningful to you. If not, just look at the time I spent in bed versus the time it is reported I actually slept. And I wonder why I'm always exhausted. This is a very typical night's "sleep" for me.