Saturday, April 19, 2008

Educating the Educator

I just returned home a little while ago from a one-day conference here in Austin presented by Mary Hood, founder of ARCHERS and author of several books on relaxed homeschooling. Oh, and mother of five grown and fully-functional adults. Plus, she used to be in La Leche League! :-)

I almost didn't go to this; I debated spending the money and I didn't know anyone going into it. And I hadn't pre-registered. But I felt an inner compulsion to go, and I realized that this was part of my professional development as a homeschooling mom. My dear husband spent two and a half days traveling this week to a professional conference in Detroit, where he presented his first paper and got tons of networking done, all expenses paid by the unversity and some wining-and-dining industry sponsors. We survived, thanks be to God and some friends, including my brother-in-law, Allen, who is unrivaled in his ability to put my 2 year old to bed, and even my dear father-in-law, who called on his way into town one morning to see if we needed anything. And a friend whose husband is also out of town and was willing to meet at the park for a picnic dinner. And my plugger of a sister. You get the picture.

But I digress. My point was, today was sort of my turn. An investment in myself which was actually an investment in my family (and hey, $30 is much cheaper than the $445 it would cost me to go the scrapbooking "weekend university" I was drooling over a couple weeks ago!). Even though Tim has a big test Monday, he was cheerful about my going, which earned him major points. Thank you dearest!

Mary was GREAT. I wish I could type out all my notes right here, but I'd lose all but maybe one of my readers by the end and get major knots in my shoulders! Her main premise is that your home is a family, not a school, and you're a mom, not a teacher. Dad is a dad, not a principal. And every child is an individual with individual needs. Most everything you worry about, especially academics, takes care of itself as they mature. Before age 12 or 13, she advocates focusing on values, attitudes (including a love of learning) and habits, and saving an emphasis on skills and hard-core academics for when they're older. She even ran through a typical day with us, emphasizing goal-setting, and it sounded totally doable! AND, she shared the little bio of each of her five kids, including a couple who sounded familiarly quirky. :-) Lots of other juicy stuff as well, I know I'm skipping lots, but I also bought a couple of her workshop CDs and ...ta da ... a bumper sticker that says, "It's an HONOR to teach my STUDENT at home." (get it?)


Jenny said...

Sounds great!

Tracee said...

Oh that awesome Hannah! I hope it helps with your anxious feelings about schooling that I've read here a few times. I love the bumper sticker!

Julie said...

hello! I'm a friend of Vanessa's and I clicked on her link to your blog, we live in Florida, meet with the Church in Orlando, I'm a SAHM too of one beautiful 2 1/2 year old boy who we've decided I would homeschool so I hope you don't mind me getting a few tips from you? I LOVE the bumper sticker! Anyway I know I'm a ways off but I'm excited and nervous about homeschooling and I was wondering what if you had any tips that you've learned along the way or books I could get started on that you recommend? Not that your not busy enough already!! I don't know how you do it but from one mom to another God bless you for all that you do! My email is grasshut8@gmail if you get a chance any tip would be very much appreciated!