Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Spank Out Day

Over at the Thinking Homeschooler the challenge is to write a post about National Spank Out day which happens to be today.

Once again I find myself in the minority. I am a person who feels that the occasional smack on the behind is effective. Both of my my children have received a few swats, and I believe when used judiciously they are a good part of a discipline toolbox. I stress that it is just one available tool. In fact I can't remember the last time either of my kids got physical punishment.

Here's an example of when a swat would have handled the situation. At the dance studio where my girls dance, there is a water dispenser. Every week it is a problem for one Mom. Her son (who is about 4) repeatedly goes to it and allows water to spill all over the floor. Every week I hear her say, "Now, E... we don't play with the water dispenser. Then she distracts him for a few minutes, but eventually he wanders back to it and the cycle is repeated. I guarantee that if that child knew that a spanking was even a remote possibility the Mom could say, "If you touch that water dispenser again you will get a swat," and the behavior would stop. Instead we hear the endless negotiation which still ends with a wet floor.

As I said, I know this position is not popular. Many people say that it inevitably leads to low self esteem or violent tendencies. As far as I am concerned that a load of crap. Yes, abuse (of any kind physical or emotional) leads to emotional problems. However, an occasional swat gets a child's attention and says I mean what I am saying. It should always be followed by a conversation to be sure the child understands where he or she went wrong, and I personally always end that conversation with the words "I love you" and a hug. Time will tell if I have created sociopaths with my discipline methods.

As a last note, this conversation always reminds me of the South Park episode on ADD.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Hunger Site

Don't forget that you can fight world hunger (and breast cancer and support rainforests, animal rescues, children's health organizations, and children's literacy) just by clicking around at this site. They also have a retail site where they sell fair trade items.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why isn't anyone talking about this???

Today being Earth Day has heralded more than the normal "green" conversation in the media. Now, truth be told, I am getting crunchier by the second. We gave up paper towels, got a recycling bin, stopped getting bags at the grocery store, etc. I think it is wonderful that being green is suddenly in vogue. All this interest in over consumption, such as "The Story of Stuff" is a great place to start, but...

Isn't the problem of overpopulation just as (if not more) important in this discussion. I haven't heard anyone say, "Maybe we should be teaching all these people living in poverty how to stop having babies." Our world is at its human being capacity. The proof is that we are depleting ALL the natural resources very quickly.

I would guess that many homeschoolers won't agree with me on this. In fact in my circle of friends (both homeschoolers and not) there are as many large families (3+ kids) as there are small families (1or 2 kids). Of course most people will agree that having more children than you can support is unwise. I think a case could be made that having more than 2 kids for a couple is irresponsible.

The question is, "When will all the movie star bring this point up?"


Check out the link for The Story of Stuff. It is a long video but it will affect you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another update...

I wanted to write about why I have been MIA.
  1. My Gramps caught the girls bronchitis. This lead him to stay in bed for days. When you are 91 your legs lose mobility after being still for several hours let alone several days. He ended up falling and had to go to the hospital. They subjected him to every test known to man and determined that his body was 91 years old. Still, he is having trouble walking and getting up. So after carefully weighing our options (and much family drama which I won't go into) he will be attending a rehab center for between 1 and 3 weeks.
  2. Husband has been having trouble with one of his teeth on and off for months. Two weeks ago it got more persistent, and after enduring constant pain he finally decided that seeing a dentist might be wise. Of course there are the normal hoops to jump through when getting a medical procedure done. Finally yesterday afternoon he got it pulled. We are both glad that his pain is over!
So those two things have kept me busy. We have been doing school faithfully,and I will post an update on our Earth Day stuff another time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'll take that as a compliment... I guess...

Today we had a field trip to Jewel Foods. It wasn't really my kind of trip, but in the interest of participating in our fledgling homeschool group I decided to go. I am not sure there was a ton of learning that they don't already get when we grocery shop, but the kids enjoyed it.

Our tour guide was super nice, and as we visited each department she would introduce whoever was working there and then say, "This is a group of kids who are homeschooled. They came on a tour today." Most of the time the people just said, "Hi" or "How nice", but on two separate occasions a worker said, "You don't look like homeschoolers." The first time I though I heard wrong, but the Mom next to me repeated it. The second time I began to wonder if it was an April Fool's Day joke. I mean I know we left our prairie skirts at home, but... to actually say that takes balls. Of course I am the first to admit that I don't fit the stereotype. Anyway, it does verify that that this homeschool group is a good fit for me.