Friday, June 15, 2007

She's all ours

Today we finalized the adoption of our little Annabeth. It's been a long wait, 15 months. I always love the finalization ceremony. It's like a little wedding ceremony. We go into the judge and raise our right hand and "swear or affirm" that everything we say is true. Then they ask us if we realize and understand our rights and responsibilities as parents of this child. Our responsibilities. It's a big responsibility to raise a child, and sometimes I think all parents should be called to remember those responsibilities. I have the responsibility for her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I have the responsibility to train her up "in the way she should go", so she can be a wise, self-controlled and responsible woman. I have the responsibility to be a good role model for her, both as a wife and a mother, so she can be a good wife and mother when she grows up. I look at my little girl. She's barely a toddler, just learning to put two words together, but she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it headlong. What a precious gift God has given us in her. What a responsibility.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Homeschool Convention

Last weekend I went to a homeschool convention with my girlfriend from highschool. We had a great time together and the convention was ok. The keynote speaker was good, but what was really good was being able to get away from the kids and just be able to think a little while.

I went to a seminar, though, about preschool homeschooling. While the content of the seminar was good, and I did take some things out of it, I was really bugged by the attitude of the presenter. There was a little time to ask questions at the end and a young gal asked a question about how to entertain her 4 year old, while she taught kindergarten to her older child. The 4 year old wanted to do the same worksheets as the kinder. The presenter told her to have a basket of other toys for the little one to work on, because "if you get too academic too early, you may damage your child! They need to play when they are young!" Then she made a few cracks about "boxed curriculum" as she put it, meaning A Beka and Bob Jones. When the seminar was over, I turned around and told that young woman not to listen to a thing the presenter just said. If her 4 year old wanted to do worksheets, then give her a purple crayon and tell her to "knock herself out!" If doing worksheets is play to that little one then let her do it. I also asked her what curriculum she was using and she said, "Bob Jones!" I told her Bob Jones was a fine curriculum, which it is!

And then I thought back to my early years as a teacher. I had just gotten out of Teacher Ed College and thought I knew everything there was to know about teaching. My college embraced the progressive philosophies, while my first job embraced the more traditional philosophies. I'm embarrassed as I think back about my attitude and cockiness. My principal was so gracious and really put up with a lot from me. But, as I got older and more mature, and became a mom interested in homeschooling, I realized that it doesn't really matter which philosophy you embrace or which curriculum you choose. As long as you cover the subjects and aren't teaching any sort of heresy, your children are going to get a fine education, whether you use A Beka or Bob Jones, or Sonlight, or Veritas or whatever!