I have a great appreciation for the generosity of other authors and equally want to share with you. However, I ask that you respect that all all images, text, and any other content posted on this blog belongs to Christina Hirst, unless otherwise stated. You are welcome to link back to this blog or use a single image and description, so long as you link back to its original source. You may NOT republish posts without my permission. Also, please do not link directly to a pdf, but to the original post. I, in turn, agree to do the same. :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Socialization: The Internalizing of a Culture or Set of Beliefs

I don't know why this keeps being brought to me, so let me take a moment to address it.

We are not a typical homeschool family.  Not only am I a single-parent (and have been all of my daughter's life), but I also did not start homeschooling from the start.

As a single-mom, I had bought into the lie that I had to work twice as hard as everyone else to achieve stability.

I had my daughter September 2002, at the beginning of my senior year.  I graduated with honors and was accepted into an accelerated-honors psychology program at Abilene Christian University.  I moved out my parents house the summer after graduation, with an infant, and went to school full time (18-19 hours) while working two part-time jobs.  I was both a valet driver and a child care provider at a daycare (that she did not attend).

After school, I worked full-time as a Director of Marketing and Merchandising for a chain of truck stops, convenience stores, and restaurants, while still doing valet part time and was also active in ministry and had my child in extracurriculars like gymnastics, dance, soccer, etc.

I was a busy girl!

I had always liked the idea of homeschooling and had been exposed to it through friends and family as a child, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that is was a possibility for me.

Then in April of 2011 my company was bought out and I was let go with severance.  My child still attended public school, but I took her out of the after-school care program.  After she finished her second grade year, I quit transferring her because the school she attended was not the school zone we lived in, but was near her after-school program.  That proved disastrous, as it was quite a culture shock and psychically and psychologically not as safe as her previous campus.  However, it was the perfect catalyst for us to look at homeschool as an option.

My child doesn't have a learning disability, she does not have emotional instabilities as a result of our situation.  God has been faithful in rearing her into the creature He called into my womb.  Her dad does have involvement even though she has never had us together (as the relationship ended prior to me finding out that I was pregnant).  She is well-adjusted, mature for her age, and an excellent student.  She received awards every year as either being the top student of her grade or the top female student of her grade/class.

But, when we made the switch to the school that she should've been attending all along, we found a drastically different atmosphere.  Children were expected to mirror the behavior or inmates, more than students.  The teachers did not wear smiles, even in the days prior to school even starting.  There was no joy and no love for learning in the classrooms of that building.  The strain and stress that exuded from the staff only tensed the children even the more.  I had never seen anything like it.

Rosalinda, who was by no means shy and naturally a leader, never had issues with other students, especially psychical altercations.  However, from day one, she dealt with children shoving her, trying to trip her, and sending my usually bold and direct child home in tears two to three of the five days that she was forced to attend.  My expectation honestly was that she would've gotten in trouble for retaliating and not standing for the mistreatment, but she retreated into her emotions and became a very sad little girl.

After meeting with staff and principal, my child was removed from the gifted and talented class and placed in the inclusion class, where the student demographic would be kinder.  But the pace of the class was too challenging for Rosalinda, who would finish her work before the teacher began giving instruction and would too often get in trouble for reading while everyone else was doing a lesson because "she knew it already."

So, my child did get mainstream, public education socialization.  She also has always been a part of a church body and part of organized sports.  So she has been surrounded by peers in different settings and "socialized."

*Not going off topic...stay with me*

I was at life group on Monday and we were discussing the difference between intellectualizing and internalizing God and His word.  In that discuss, one of our members said something profound, "Socialization is internalizing culture or a set of beliefs."

Prior to that, I had an animated conversation with a friend who has a toddler and twin infants and is bouncing around the idea of home education.  One of her first concerns was "socialization."

Had I not removed my child from the public system, her socialization would have been the devaluing of others for the sake of lifting up herself.  Those children who bullied her were seeking to build themselves up by tearing others down.  The public system themselves create a culture of cut-throat competition for recognition.  They create a culture of punishment for not fitting the mold that could only fit 1.

  Children who are homeschooled by Christ-directed parents are surrounded by people that create a culture of valuing everyone.  Of seeing everyone as a resource with something to teach.  They create a culture of expressing who God has created you to be.  To be secure in their own abilities and giftings without annual comparisons to others.

So, when you find out that my child is homeschooled (which hopefully you will, since we advertise it proudly), please know that she is socialized.  That she is internalizing a culture and set of beliefs that are very much different from the public and even private school systems.  She is internalizing virtues like faith, courage, self-discipline, honesty, and more to be able to endure the questions and misunderstandings of others as she opposes the cookie-cutter ideas of who she should be, but embraces all of the oddities of who God has created her to be.  To value all as creations of our Creator. I have also seen her unfold in ways that blow my mind.  As she is surrounded by adults, she has began grasping ideas that are beyond her years.  I watch her boldly take steps to grow, even when she isn't quite sure.  Things that would have been stunted or smothered by the restrictions on her individuality in our polluted educational system.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homeschool Extras: Lego Club!

Do you homeschool?  Do you use Currclick?  If not, then you should!

They offer free clubs that we have been thoroughly enjoying for all ages and gender.

I shared our first American Girl Book Club Meeting that we did through Currclick.com.  And today we did our first Lego Club!

How it works
You register through their site (currclick.com) and "purchase" their free clubs.

Then you get access to their class information.
  • The Lego Club has a live online class every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Monday at 3pm
  • If you miss one of the live classes (there are only 100 slots for live viewing), they are recorded and you can view when it is convenient for you
  • You can purchase a kit each month if you don't have a developed lego inventory.  They range from $17-$32 depending on how large that month's project is.
    • You are in no way required to purchase these kits
  • When you view the class (live or recorded), you are given background information (which this Homeschool Mom L-O-V-E-S!).
    • This month they were scheduled to build a Humvee.  
    • The teacher explained the acronym, gave background information on the Army and had her father, who was retired from the armed forces speak of the more peaceful, constructive missions that the armed forces are commissioned for, like building schools and security infrastructures.
  • There is a live chat, but it is monitored by the teacher and gives the kids a chance to interact and express themselves while simultaneously participating.
  • Following the information, she does a live demonstration, as well as uses picture slides to go through each step.

This month we've spent a lot of our history studies in Rome.  In October, Lego Club is building an aqueduct!  I love when Rosalinda's extras line up with her other lessons.  

I receive it as God's blessing our homeschool endeavors. :)

What extras do you have your munchkin(s) in?  Have you used or are you interested in Currclick Clubs?  Let me know if I can answer any questions for you?

*I have not received any type of reimbursement for my personal endorsement of CurrClick.com, but I do however appreciate their dedication to providing great resources to homeschool parents and students (both free and for a nominal fee).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Whatever Girls Weekly Challenge!

Sorry, I'm behind...you can see why here.

Last week's Whatever Girls Challenge can be found on their Facebook page.

Whatever Girls asked moms and daughters what is a Whatever Girl and what does it take to be one?

According to Rosalinda:
A Whatever Girl does what is right according to God and doesn't worry about what others think.  You be the best you that you can be and just keep moving forward even when other make fun of you for doing it the right way.

According to Me:
A Whatever Girl is someone who is intentional in their decisions and actions.  Their desire is to please God foremost and continually endeavor to be who God has called them to be.

What is your definition of a Whatever Girl?  

Post your answer on the Whatever Girls' Facebook page, hashtag it #whatevergirlsweeklychallenge, and be entered for a monthly prize!

The Week We Scrapped School

Last week was a whirlwind!

Our church was offered a great opportunity to work two lemonade stands at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo.  We weren't earning profit, but working as employees, so we had a large, guaranteed sum!

Unfortunately, there weren't many that could work the morning hours due to regular work, so I signed up to work 1245pm-4pm Monday and Tuesday, 1245pm-1145pm on Wednesday, and 545pm-1145pm on Saturday and poor Rosalinda had to tag along.

With us spending our best school hours doing hard labor (yes, those lemonades come at a great physical cost), I had to suspend my dream of doing it all that week and totally scrapped our school schedule.

Instead, for three days, Rosalinda was given notebook sheets and gathered information from all sorts of people.

Did you know that a cow can produce enough hamburgers for a family of four to last them 6 months?

She was also rewarded with a night of fun, after having to watch others play while she was tethered to the stand I was working.

It was a great reminder of what a blessing it is to be a homeschooler!  Learning happens anywhere and with anyone!

When life happens, how do you keep the ball rolling with your school schedule?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Rosalinda!

Today, my 9.5lb, 21 1/2" baby turns 11!

I have been so honored to have been chosen by God to witness the eleven years of growth of this amazing young lady.

She has a tender heart, sharp mind, and beautiful spirit.

I pray that she continues to grow into exactly who God has called her to be and that she continues to receive the revelation of His love for her.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Monday, September 9, 2013

"What About Youth? Will You Go There? Because I've Sent You There Too."

For a couple of week now "More" by Lawrence Flowers and Intercession has been in my spirit.  

My prayers have been consumed with going when He says, "Go."  Committing to living a life that's real and giving Him more because He deserves more!

Sounds great.  Sounds like I'm on track.

Then in the quiet of my prayer I hear, "What about youth?  Will you go there?  Because I've sent you there too."

A few months ago I was asked to help a team revive our youth ministry at my church.  It was openly stated by our pastor that I am not called to the youth like some of those that I am working with.  However, my gifting would still be instrumental in this process.  I accepted the challenge and we started out strong.  However, that was short lived.

Soon we weren't communicating.  Things were being done last minute with minimal effort. And I didn't really care.  The more distance I could put between me and this ministry, the better.


How could I say that I was willing to do any of these things when I was purposely not "going" to places I had already been called?

After some repenting, I'm now on the right track.  I'm playing catch up and trying to bring everyone back together by the leading of the Spirit.  This past Thursday we had a salvation and I think both the youth and coordinators are feeling the shift.

Also, my prayer and thoughts are overrun with ideas for our youth, youth ministry, and leaders.

Now I can be free to exclaim, "Yes, Lord.  I will go where you say go and I will do what you say do."

All I can say is thank God for mercy and grace!

Have you had any convicting revelations rock your world?  What's God been saying to you lately?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Looking Back: August Recap

Can you believe that another month has passed us by?  It's that time again to look back at all the wonderful and exciting things that happened this month!

We opened up August with our mini vacations.  We got to spend time with our family at all sorts of places: a waterpark, old fashioned soda shop, and a lake.

We also got to look through some of the pictures at
my mom's house for a project and found these gems!

Rosalinda's did 2 interviews and was invited to be a vendor at a conference in Washington!

And we had our first week of fifth grade!!!!

September brings a lot of excitement. 

 Rosalinda will be celebrating her 11th birthday with a Lego Party!

So, how was your August?