Entries in Homeschool (115)

Monday
Jul122010

Budding Scientists

Mrs. G. homeschooled long enough to know that science can be a challenge to the homeschooling mama. The mess of experiments! The dry textbooks! The endless scope of the subject!

The good news for the parents of small fry is that children are natural born scientists; they’re naturally curious—what parent isn’t familiar with the steady backseat chorus of, “But why, Mom, why?”

Unless it’s an overt ploy to escape bedtime and horn in on your one hard earned hour to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watch Law & Order , never pass up an opportunity to answer one of these “why” questions. If a child is interested enough to ask the question, chances are she is not going forget the answer. Mrs. G. kept a small notebook in her purse and when a question came up and she didn’t know the answer, she would cop to her cluelessness, jot the question down and assure her kids the answer wasn’t far away. Back in the day, there was no Google, so when Mrs. G. and her kids headed for their weekly library trip, they would revisit the questions and set out to search for answers. By all means, take advantage of every opportunity to teach your children how to access information, how to answer their own questions and satisfy their curiosity. Let them see you learn.

When her kids were young, Mrs. G. fought the siren call of those shiny, impeccably organized grade school textbooks and focused on introducing broad concepts and hands-on activities. The one high end item Mrs. G. can’t recommend enough for the young (and older) scientist is a decent microscope. She picked one up at her county’s public school surplus store and it was used regularly for over ten years. In fact, it rarely left her kitchen table.

Mrs. G. is no brain trust, so she needed help identifying age appropriate concepts and experiments; she found no frills, straightforward guidance in these resources:

 

 
 

This book is filled with good (affordable) ideas, but a word to the wise: never refer to your kid as an Emerging Einstein. People will avoid you.

 

Mrs. G. and her kids created many an ecosystem in recycled pop bottles. Fruit flies no extra charge.

 

 

Is there a kid alive who doesn’t want to explore the neighborhood with a jeweler’s loupe? Nah.

 
 
This series offers an easy to understand, brief, just the facts ma’am approach to many interesting subjects. At $4.95 a pop, Mrs. G. filled an entire shelf with the Rookie Read-About Science Books.

 
Other tried and true, much loved sneaky science lessons:

~Grab some popcorn, sleeping bags and a star chart and head to the backyard to identify constellations and other wonders in your night sky.

~Dig into fractions and basic geology while whipping up this (sweet mercy) volcano cake. Never, never underestimate the scholarship of baked goods.

~Consider raising some sort of creature—tadpoles, garden snakes, bunnies (great fertilizer), guinea pigs, butterflies…whatever you can tolerate or house. Mrs. G. considered telling you about how her children talked her into bankrolling their cockatiel breeding business, but sometimes it’s just best not to look back. If you are absolutely dead set against allowing an animal into your home, Mrs. G. feels you. Just sit your kids in front of a live zoo cam and remind them you gave them life. Actually, zoo cams are good clean fun.

These are just a few ideas to help you spark the interest of your (ahem) emerging Einstein. Keep it fun, keep it simple and follow your kids’ lead. The textbooks can come later. When they’re young, expect to bust a move to keep up. Keep the library bag full, answer all the questions you can and study up on the ones you can’t. If you must have benchmarks to maintain your sanity, this series can help ease anxiety.

Mrs. G. wants to take a minute to respond to some of the readers who’ve sent emails expressing their insecurities about teaching certain subjects to their children. First and foremost, relax. Mrs. G. is a right brained English major. She took the required amount of math and science classes and not one whit more; yet both of her kids have transitioned into high school and college math and science. A little confidence, a lot of backbone, a trusted support group and the tenacity to take advantage of all available resources can carry you through for as long as you and your family choose. A few of you have mentioned being surrounded by critics and naysayers. Ignore them! Mrs. G. isn’t sure why so many folks are skeptical and threatened by those of us who trust we know what’s best for our children, and, frankly, she doesn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it anymore. Live and let live, right? But if you find yourself nervous or scared, write her a note and she’ll set you straight. She and most of her friends have made it to the other side…and envy you your journey.

Really, you can do it.

If you’ve got the will, you’ll find your way.

Wednesday
Apr212010

Homeschooling: A Day in the Life, Part One

catandbatman

For at least a decade, one of Mrs. G's new year's resolutions has been to improve her organization and follow through. In many areas of her life, she is willy nilly—flies by the seat of her pants and lacks a carefully considered plan...or sometimes any plan. This year's resolution was no different. Mrs. G. vowed to use a date book and keep lists.

Mrs. G’s beloved friend, Ann, has been hearing about these date books and lists for the last nine years, and she is a friend every woman should have. She encourages, she supports, she shakes her head in awe of your intentions and then never asks you about them again, because she knows you need to dream big despite the limitations of your organization and follow through. Ann has seen Mrs. G. through not running eight 5K races.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr142010

Homeschooling: Manly Math

Michelle in Oregon asked Mrs. G. what math projects she could do with her boys. Michelle requested manly math--no cookie baking (fractions) or sewing (measuring). Mrs. G. gets the question. All kids learn differently. What hooks one doesn't necessarily hook another. Her daughter loved one minute math drills while they gave her son a nervous condition.

 

 

Without question, teaching math to her children was the most challenging aspect of homeschooling, mainly because Mrs. G. never had the good fortune to be effectively taught and successfully learn math in high school. Her algebra teacher was counting the days until his retirement and her geometry teacher was wound so tightly her hair quivered when she was standing still. Mrs. G's math skills top out at fractions.

 

Sadly, she did not break the cycle of abuse.

 

What she regrets more than lacking the knowledge to teach her children upper level math is passing on her lack of confidence regarding the subject to them. She lied and repeatedly told them that both sides of the family were riddled with math geniuses, but her kids knew the score at an early age; they smelled Mrs. G's fear. There were occasions when math lessons ended in anger and frustration on both sides. There were a few months when Mr. G, more adept at the subject, tried to take over the math teaching. The kids still have flashbacks of his oversized whiteboard and never-to-be-messed-with dry erase markers. Mr. G. still insists that Mrs. G. undermined his teaching. He refuses to accept that the kids (who frequently confirm this at all major holiday dinners) begged her to liberate them from his lessons.

 

 

Mrs. G. lacked the knowledge and Mr. G. was incapable of explaining what he clearly understood.

 

They hired a tutor and signed their children up for classes with other teachers. The Math U See and relatively new, miracle inducing Teaching Textbook curriculums seemed to inspire the greatest comprehension. Both her daughter and son genuinely enjoyed some of the Critical Thinking Company's math workbooks.

 

She is happy to report that they both appear to have recovered from her instruction.

 

To summarize: try not to freak your kids out if you are freaking out. Seek help. If you are talented at math, where were you when Mrs. G. needed you most? Go forth and educate.

 

But projects? Projects Mrs. G. and her kids could do.

 

After a discussion with her son about his not traumatic math memories, she can suggest the following:

 

~Open a special bank account (it could be your wallet) tied to clothing, entertainment or snack food (something meaningful) and let your boys create a budget, spend the money and reconcile the checkbook. Budgeting real money, writing real checks and handling cash involves a variety of math skills and feels important. It's also a good way to teach your children that money is real and spending it involves choices that impact reality.

 

~Create a map of a neighborhood, park, zoo or planet using parallel and perpendicular lines, angles, triangles, segments and rays. Help familiarize your kids with geometry terms without emphasizing they are geometry terms.

 

~Provide a brief overview of the stock market and follow a stock of your kids' choosing. Mrs. G's son became invested in the stock market when Mr. and Mrs. G. purchased, per his request, a few shares of Jones Soda stock. For a good while, he loyally bought Jones Soda with his own money, hoping to increase his investment.

 

 

~Divide and measure the yard into individual territories. This is very popular with siblings.

 

~Spend a million imaginary bucks on catalogs, newspaper and internet items. This can take weeks and requires regular calculations. Don't use a calculator.

 

 

~Research and locate math games for the computer. It varies from kid to kid, but Mrs. G's son responded to the fusion of math and technology. Math Blaster and FunBrain were popular at Mrs. G's house.

 

Here are a few above average resources and activities:

 

~Hands on Math Projects with Real Life Applications

 

~Math Mysteries

 

~Games for Math

 

~Math Games and Activities From Around the World

 

~Math Soduku games

 

~Math dice games

 

~Card games (war, rummy, poker)...Mrs. G. will admit to the occasional wagering with Jolly Ranchers, Goldfish and Skittles

 

~Dominoes, backgammon, Yahtzee

 

Remember the younger the child, the more math should be approached as play rather than relentless worksheets!

 

Be positive and fearless. Ask for help if you need it. It's good for your children to be taught by other people...family members, friends, tutors. Don't stomp your feet, slam doors or cuss. Learn from Mrs. G's mistakes.

 

 

Tuesday
Apr132010

Traveling 

Mrs. G. has mentioned before that she did not choose to educate her children for religious reasons or wrap them in cotton batting to keep them from the educational or social ills of public school (though she does believe her children dodged a few of them by being home) or because she was inspired by the many homeschoolers she encountered in her daily life—she knew only one homeschooling family in her food co-op. Mrs. G. and her husband decided to homeschool because they knew intuitively that it was the best choice for their happy, spirited, confident daughter.

 

But let’s get back to religion. Mr. and Mrs. G. were both cradle Catholics. They went to Catholic schools, attended mass every day but Saturday and followed the church’s doctrines enthusiastically and in good faith. Mrs. G. isn’t going to speak for Mr. G. (who now identifies himself as an agnostic), but Mrs. G. started to question the church around seventh grade. She noticed things like the priests lived in a lovely Victorian house beside the church, where female parishioners willingly volunteered to cook and clean and tend the lovely rose garden in their backyard. But she also noticed the nuns (who taught school all day every day) lived in a little drab, tiny brick compound and did all their domestic chores themselves. She started questioning why there had to be all these middle men (priests, bishops, Pope) between her and God. Therefore, when she left home for college, she also left the Catholic Church. Mrs. G. still believes in a higher power, but she would probably be best described as a religious mutt. She has no beef with any religion.

 

So, when she started homeschooling her kids, religion was still very much a part of their education and every day discussions, but she approached it with her kids, for lack of a better word, cafeteria style. Mrs. G. wanted them to be familiar with all the world’s past and present religions, to recognize the similarities and the differences between them all and to respect the rights of others to worship in their own way. But more than anything, she felt she owed them the opportunity to explore whatever faith was honey to their heart—that lifted them up. Mrs. G, right or wrong, wanted them to be educated and then, as they matured, do the heavy lifting of deciding their own spiritual path. Or not.

 

Here are some books that helped them along the way:

 

 
~The Bible

 

 
~One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship by Mary Pope Osborne

 

 
religiona

 

~Usborne Book of World Religions (World Cultures) by Susan Meredith

 

 
~Children’s Books About World Religions by Patricia Pearl Dole

 

 
~The World’s Religions Series

 

 
christianity

 

~Many of National Geographic’s documentaries on world religions

 

 
religionc

 

Every once in a while our best intentions pay off, and, for Mrs. G, this began last year when her eighteen-year-old daughter began fighting the good fight of launching her own spiritual journey.

 

“I need more,” she told Mrs. G.

 

“Then, honey, go find it.”

 

And Mrs. G’s daughter did. She read the bible cover to cover and each Sunday, her alarm would go off, her feet would hit the floor and off she went to explore a new church—sometimes with Mrs. G. but often alone because, as she told Mrs. G, “This is my expedition.” And Mrs. G. thinks that takes courage and fortitude; she was recently blown away by a piece her daughter wrote describing her still evolving and tested journey.

 

Mrs. G. continues to think that one of the greatest things about homeschooling is the few years of freedom a kid gets to become who they really are—without same grade peer pressure. The few years they get to explore personal passions and follow rabbit holes that aren’t dictated by a school district’s mandated curriculum. Is homeschooling for everyone? No. Should it be exalted? No. Should it be written off as a bunch of nutters gone mad? No.

 

That about covers it for today.

 

Wait…there’s one more thing.

 

No matter where life takes them, Mrs. G. wishes each and every one of your children a safe, loving, challenging and most thrilling expedition.

Wednesday
Dec302009

The Oldest One in the Book 

 

Mrs. G. has been in the homeschooling business for fourteen years and she has taken great pleasure in watching it become more mainstream and garden variety. She can’t visit a Barnes & Noble to this day without stopping by to visit and admire the homeschooling section. Back in the day, Mrs. G. ordered some homeschooling how-to books out of the back of Mother Earth News that were photocopied and stapled. We’ve come a long way.

And yet, Mrs. G. notices that it is still, all these years later, almost impossible to have a discussion on homeschooling without more than a couple of people (usually blood relations) bringing up that one question, the question that has plagued homeschoolers since that first brave mother threw on an appliquéd denim jumper and sent the school bus on its way without her children on it:

What about socialization?

Mrs. G. has dealt with this question so many times that she is going to have to take a moment to whack her head on her desk three times to call herself back to order. Hold on a sec…

She’s back.

What about socialization?

Mrs. G. is going to start out by taking you back to a crisp fall evening in the early nineties. The G. family was invited to dinner by a woman named Linda who was in Mrs. G’s food co-op. Linda and her husband had four kids, ages 7, 9, 14 and 16. The two families sat around a big table eating lasagna and talking. Dinner and conversation went on for over two hours, and Mrs. G. couldn’t help noticing that Linda’s kids, particularly her two teenage boys, were the most polite, interesting and respectful kids she had ever spent an evening with. They were comfortable discussing all the things they were up to (writing and illustrating comic books, gardening, filming high school football for a local cable access channel, playing guitar, dismantling computers) and seemed so confident and at ease. When Mrs. G. brought up how she was looking into kindergarten for her daughter, Linda mentioned that her kids had never been to school though her oldest was off to college in the fall. Mr. and Mrs. G. were slightly scandalized. No school school. They had never heard of such a thing.

Driving home that night, Mrs. G. remembers thinking that she hoped her kids, small potatoes at five and one, would turn out half as likable as Linda’s crew. A couple of months later, she found book of essays on homeschooling at the library and that was that.

Mrs. G. isn’t sure when “socialization” became such an urgent and determining concern in shaping a child’s future, but she’s got to tell you, loud and clear, that she thinks the idea that a public school setting fosters a higher caliber, gold standard set of cultural skills, habits and norms is a used and tired bill of goods. It’s a crock. She’s feeling unusually strident and squawky on this subject, because last night she had to swill a gin & tonic to come to terms with the letter her son brought home in his backpack, yesterday, on week three of his first-time-in-public-school experience.

And just because we’re all friends here and this has nothing to do with the topic at hand and this is the way Mrs. G’s mind works, Mrs. G. is going to confess that she has some serious misgivings about her son wanting to give their local high school of 1700 students a try. She isn’t concerned about the quality of his education. He’s loving his classes and all of the opportunities a huge school has to offer. She’s concerned that his fourteen years of experiencing the luxury of the freedom and time to become who he reallyis is going to be undone by four years in a school where pop culture and cliques rule the roost. Laugh if you want, but Mrs. G. has invested years in raising a young man who is gentleman and she knew exactly what some of his homeschooled girl friends meant when they registered alarm that he was heading to the big leagues of high school. I hope they don’t ruin him, one of them whispered. His own older and wiser sister bit her lip at the news and said, oh lordy, he is in for some culture shock. He doesn’t do the whole crude thing.

Mrs. G. isn’t suggesting that children can’t thrive in public school, because, of course, she knows they can. She did. And she knows that public schooled kids are perfectly wonderful in general. Kids are just plain wonderful in general. She has spent a considerable amount of time living and working with kids of every educational stripe and she knows there is no one formula to successfully raising and educating children, there are infinite formulas. And here’s the rub: she and homeschoolers at large are only asking for the same benefit of the doubt…don’t assume it takes a school to produce a kid capable of successfully functioning socially in the world.

No doubt, the socialization question is the byproduct of not understanding most homeschooled children aren’t spending their days chained to the kitchen table with their fourteen other siblings while their overbearing, oversheltering mothers drill them all day with grammar or math facts, making special efforts to assure they have no thoughts of their own. Mrs. G. can’t speak for all homeschooling mothers, but she has to tell you that along with the work they did at home and the planned and spontaneous field trips they took weekly, her kids took classes, volunteered at the Humane Society or food bank, played with friends, babysat, dogsat, lived at the library, glued things, grew things, the list is endless. At least once a month, Mrs. G. would stomp her foot and say, "We are not going anywhere for two solid days. We need to get some stuff done around here!" Mrs. G. had to occasionally curb socialization.

Mrs. G. isn’t sure when we decided that it was more important for kids to spend most of their time with their peers rather than society at large. She’s got to tell you that in this arena, she thinks homeschooled kids are the victors; they tend to be unusually comfortable and secure in dealing with people of all ages. When homeschoolers get together, you can be sure that there will probably be babies, toddlers, little kids, big kids, bigger kids, moms, dads, grandparents, a crazy aunt… and Mrs. G. loves seeing all of them interact. She remembers many sunny homeschooling play dates at the park where at any given time you might see a group of teens playing football using a toddler as the ball (they never spiked the little cuss) or a group of silly girls teaching someone’s g how grandfather how to braid a friendship bracelet or a couple of seasoned moms giving a young mom a tutorial on how to deal with tantrums at the grocery store. This is life, healthy life—interacting with all people, not just 300 of your peers, 300 kids all trying to grow and figure out life at the same time.

Mrs. G. is going to bring this communique to a close, because she know she’s been all over the place in this post. She’s hotblooded on this subject; she gets worked up. There are some legitimate reasons to be skeptical of homeschooling but the issue of socialization is certainly not one of them.

So let’s review:

What about socialization?

Trust Mrs. G, it’s not a problem.

Monday
Dec072009

Quality Homeschooling on the Cheap

When Mr. and Mrs. G. started homeschooling their daughter in kindergarten, they barely had two dimes to rub together. Mrs. G. was at home with her daughter and toddler son, and Mr. G. was working for peanuts at a nonprofit advocacy group representing a medical disorder that affects their family.

Mrs. G. isn’t exaggerating—times were tough. They rented a small apartment, owned one beater car and possessed very little furniture. Years later, Mrs. G’s kids were flipping through old photo albums and her daughter asked, “Why is there a twin bed in the living room?” “That was our couch,” Mrs. G. explained, “and our dining room table.”

The G. family was barely above the poverty line for five years and they honestly spent very little money on homeschooling curriculum or material that wasn’t gifted by family, handed down by friends, checked out from the library or created by hand.

Mrs. G. doesn’t want to appear to be whining because, hands down, these were some of the best years of her life. Being broke can help you slow down and appreciate what you have, force you to make life an adventure. Mrs. G. sometimes felt guilty that her kids weren’t taking this class or that class or music lessons; they weren’t attending camps. But then she would get over herself and remember that she spent most of her free time as a kid playing in the backyard or roaming the neighborhood on her bike. A big day was when her grandmother would dole out a banana popsicle or drive her to the Magic Market for a Slurpee.

Each week Mrs. G. took her kids to the library and let them check out loads of excellent stuff: picture books, chapter books, nonfiction books, magazines, movies and kids’ books on tape. Mrs. G. thinks public libraries are akin to perfection. Even now, when she goes in to get a book or two, she marvels that she gets to borrow them for free! Get to know your librarians. Make sure they know you are a homeschooling family; occasionally they will extend the due date to accommodate your lesson plans. Have your children draw them colored pictures, occasionally bring them freshly baked cookies and thank them profusely. Librarians can be a homeschooler’s best friend—with one push of the button, they can make fines disappear. Mrs. G. isn’t going to share with you how many heated conversations she and Mr. G. have had about accrued library fines…as if she’s the only mother who has lost a book or eleven two under a couch cushion.

Mrs. G. didn’t have a computer or the internet back in the day, so she would write out math facts on construction paper and create her own work sheets. Thanks to the evolution of technology, there are plenty of excellent sites that now offer this service free of charge. Mrs. G’s daughter practiced basic math skills and counting with poker chips, marbles, dominoes and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

Mrs. G. frequented a lot of garage sales and thrift stores where she found a globe, geography puzzles, maps and games for next to nothing.

Here’s a big one. Mrs. G. rarely threw anything away. She squirreled away frozen juice cans and lids, old greeting cards, used wrapping and tissue paper, shiny candy wrappers, paper towel tubes, ribbon, yarn, paint sample squares—anything that could be recycled into an art project. Mrs. G. wasn’t shy in hitting up her community for freebies. She went to smoke shops and asked for any free available cigar boxes. She went to wallpaper stores and asked for donations of old wallpaper sample books. She went to appliance stores and asked for refrigerator boxes (hello puppet theater, huge robot or doll condo). She can’t recall anyone not being generous and happy to help her family out with stuff they were going to toss in the trash.

Mrs. G. and her kids went on oh so sophisticated field trips to free museum days, pet shops and local dog and cat shows (huge hit!), preview nights (often discounted or free) at children’s theater productions, bakery kitchens, kid’s day at the county fair…they often took the bus to downtown Raleigh, North Carolina and explored vintage and antique shops (history lessons) and ate sandwiches on park benches (first rate pigeon chasing).

There are almost always homeschooling playgroups to join. Mrs. G. didn’t have much luck with groups in North Carolina because, at that time long, long ago, most of them were religious in nature. Mrs. G. loves religion, but she had issues with the contracts many of the groups required you to sign, professing allegiance to very specific biblical passages like submitting to your husband. Mrs. G, in general, isn’t big on legalistic contracts. She’s not sure what they have to do with playtime.

So, as always, let’s review: if money is tight and you have a heart for homeschooling your children, do not for one second feel intimidated or inadequate because you can’t go out and shell out major bucks. Mrs. G. looks at all the curriculum that is available now and feels simultaneously grateful and overwhelmed. Try not to be seduced by the fancy descriptions and glossy covers. Some of it is fantastic and some of it is bogus.

Other Tips:

~Ask friends and relatives to give cool games and art supplies as holiday gifts.
~Ask a homeschooling mom with older children if you can borrow things her kids have outgrown.
~Check out the “free” section of Craig’s List or Freecycle. Mrs. G. just put an ad in offering up five bags of homeschooling books to the first homeschooling mom who replied. A mama with five kids showed up and acted like it was Christmas. Mrs. G. likes to pass it on and she encourages you to do the same. She’ll spare you her Karma speech. Her family has deemed it tired and lame.
Check to see if there is a homeschooling store in your area that sells used curriculum.

Money is nice, no doubt about it, but passion, creativity, love and fortitude will take you to all the right places.

And remember…we do the best that we can.

Tuesday
Sep152009

A Tale of Two Homeschooling Geeks: Mrs. G. and Her Son Continue to Burn the Public School Learning Curve

 

An actual letter sent home from school:

 

Dear Parents,

 

Students are expected to participate in dance behaviors that are appropriate for the public school environment. This means no mimicking or simulating sexual acts, and is more specifically defined as:

 

1) No freak-dancing (two people facing the same direction with the first person bent over and the second person thrusting his/her pelvic area toward the first person).

 

2) No hands under clothing.

 

3) Clothing stays on/No rubbing groin or breast areas (areas normally covered by swimming attire) with hands.

 

4) Stay vertical (no laying on the floor). Keep both feet close to the ground.

 

Students will not participate in dance behaviors that infringe on a student's right to harrassment-free atmosphere. This includes any unwanted sexual advances. Failure to adhere to the behavior guidelines wil result in a student being removed from the dance with no refund. A second offense of this behavoir will result in a student being removed from all dances for the remainder of the year, excluding prom. Inappropriate behavior at prom will result in student being removed from the prom with no refund.

Monday
Sep072009

children are always smarter than we think

One of the reasons Mrs. G. chose to homeschool her kids is because she thinks that our society, in general, tends to underestimate the intelligence of children and, most especially, teenagers.  Do you remember being a kid and getting what all the adults around you didn't think you got? Mrs. G. is absolutely certain that it must happen, minimum, at least six million times a day.

When Mrs. G. attended her tiny Catholic school back in the day, she and her class watched the inauguration of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan along with the burial of two Popes. Not one parent in the parish gave it a thought. It didn't matter what political party they belonged to. These men were our Presidents and we, as small fry and future voters, were expected to show consideration for and set store by them. The Popes, of course, were to be deified.

So Mrs. G. was slightly mystified when she read that thousands of parents were opting to keep their kids home from school rather than allow them to  listen to President Obama's twenty minute speech on studying hard and staying in school. Way more than a handful of parents are concerned that the President is going to brainwash their kids into becoming pint-sized  socialists, worried that he will somehow lure their children over to the Dark Side of the White House.

In twenty minutes.

Mr. and Mrs. G. are Democrats but they have never missed a Republican Presidential Convention in their lives. They sort of hoped their kids would come to understand the political process.

Mrs. G. received the following email form her school district:

The _______ School District curriculum department has decided to tape President Obama’s September 8 speech. It is our understanding that the President will be advising students to work hard in school, persist, and stay focused on achieving educational goals. Following this, the tape will be made available to any teacher who wants to use it in a balanced discussion, so long as it fits within the education objectives of the class.

Mrs. G. emailed the school's superintendent and let her know that she might have to keep her son home from public school so that he can hear the President's speech that is specifically directed toward him and his peers. Brilliant. Mrs. G. is sure that twenty minutes can be better put to use texting in the school hallways.

Mrs. G. missed Law & Order with Jeff Goldblum tonight has sat in front of her computer for over an hour trying to think of some tactful way to address her concerns over some of the current discourse in this country.

Yet, all Mrs. G. can honestly think to say is that some grown ups in our country have lost their ever lovin' minds.

But she's pretty sure their kids are just fine.