Monday, December 29, 2014

What Homeschool Has Taught Me.

I was that C average kid. The one who always dreaded taking the report card home; hated watching everyone always getting those stupid honor student bumper stickers knowing, once again, it would not be placed on my desk. My older brother always had straight A's and took trig and calculus to try and get a challenge in school. My younger brother was diagnosed with dyslexia and with a learning plan set up for him started to achieve B's and A's.

I did well in elementary... where they did everything on the board with you, but as I moved on to middle school I started to falter. As my 10th grade year came around I was beyond discouraged. I felt I was stupid. I didn't want to go back to school. I begged my parents to homeschool and they consented. For the first time I excelled. I felt smart. There was no competition, no students to roll their eyes that I struggled on yet another stupid algebra problem, no bumper stickers. (Although I've found some great bumper stickers!)

In fact, my year at home was the best year of my schooling life. My mother worked at the local Salvation Army and I went with her almost every day. I would help there and within no time I could run the front desk/phones/computers, give tours, pack food boxes, handle loads of clothing donations, and help organize holiday givings. All while accomplishing a day or more of school work.... AND I actually understood my work!! In fact, homeschool worked so well, I was able to work a head and skip 11th grade and found a private school that placed me in 12th, allowing me to graduate a year early.

Fast forward a lot of years... yeah we don't need to count.... and now I have a son of my own. I didn't take me long to decided homeschool was his option. And boy am I grateful for that option! I have learned so much about myself through schooling him. The biggest thing being I'm not stupid or slow at learning, I just learn in a way that is not typical to the public school ways.
The joy of knowing he has a fair chance in life.
I need to see the problem done while the one teaching talks through the details. A mix of audible and visual. My son is the same way. The more focused I have been this year, the more I have seen this. Am I grateful that all those years ago my parents took the time to homeschool me! If it wouldn't have been for their sacrifice, my son would not have the privileged he has today. Knowing the struggles that I faced in school, I know my son would have fallen to the same fate. But, seeing how we both learn, I am able to work with him to insure the best chance for him academically. And in doing so, I have been able to lay rest all the doubts in myself. I see it as freedom for the both of us. And it feels good knowing my little love can and will be able to excel!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Opinion on Racism and Entitlement.

At some point in time we all need to learn to let the past be the past. We need to learn to not let someone elses' hurts reflect our hurts. The color of our skin, the religion we choose, the indiscretions against us... these things should not dictate how we treat another. If we desire respect, we should show respect.

Growing up, my family was particularly close to two families... one was black and the other Hispanic. I am grateful that I had that growing up. For me, I don't see the color of ones skin. I see the person. I see the qualities and attitude a person present.

I am very much so blessed with some of the most amazing people in my life at this time. There are these amazing siblings. We play worship together in the best little barn band the world has ever seen and can also manage the most intense, competitive game of uno! They are some of the best single friends I have!!!
This pic makes me smile every time!
Like wise, this beautiful duo is also dear to me. They are my girl friends and my mom friends. We can let the kids run and play while we talk about life, God, parenting.

We are a very serious bunch!
I don't know what I would do with out them. ALL of them. Even the ones that I don't mention on here. Each person in my life is valuable to me. I don't tote around the fact that I have friends that are black, white and hispanic. It just so happens to be a fact. No, I hold pride in the fact I have been greatly blessed. I have people in my life that I can laugh with, cry with, pray with, not be completely embarrassed by blonde moments with, and be serious with.

To sit back and see the blessing my life has been by the people around me and to know the love I have for those I encounter in life, it greatly hurts me when I hear the news and read fb posts some people make- racial riots, being white is simply bad, all cops are evil, the government wants to destroy America, to be proud of the country you were born in is racist, the list goes on and on. It is all hate. Yes, there is an element of truth. Any stereotype has an element of truth, but it doesn't mean it is true for everyone. Yes, some cops abuse the power, BUT not all cops are evil.

Racism probably grieves me the most. Any one who calls themselves a christian, yet holds any level of racism... yeah. Colossians 3:11 In the new life there is no difference between Greeks and Jews, those who are circumcised and those who are not circumcised, or people who are foreigners, or Scythians. There is no difference between slaves and free people. But Christ is in all believers, and Christ is all that is important. This has become up there in my favorite verses. I wish we could see each other as equal. Give each other an equal chance in life. 

Entitlement. This one gets me too. I remember how hard my parents worked to make ends meet when I was young. We are not due anything on this earth. So many people hold a level of entitlement because we are taught if you want it then just get it. I am a single mom with a part time job. I could get food stamps and help with living expenses. I don't have any of that. This path of life was my choice and I believe I need to work hard to make ends meet for my son and myself. I have sold stuff online to make ends meet. I have taken a job that has me up and out the door before 5 in the morning so that I may be home a few hours later, before my son awakes (I live with my parents, he is never left home alone). Yes, I know some people have to get government help, BUT some use it as a crutch instead of trying to make it in life, instead of bettering themselves and their children. How many young people have crazy amounts of debt, yet run out to get the newest phone or gaming system? I have first generation American friends and I see the respect they have for their families, how hard they work in school/work. I greatly respect them for it and hope to instill similar values into my son. That he would know things are not free, they require work and perseverance and respect for others. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 is pretty straight forward- When we were with you, we gave you this rule: “Anyone who refuses to work should not eat.”

Earlier today I read this article about New York's Representative wanting to mix slave "reparations" into all the rioting chaos. I agree slavery wasn't the best time in American history, BUT let's get the facts correct. Blacks and whites both owned slaves.... black and white slaves/indentured servants. Why, the first slave owner was a black man named Anthony Johnson. By 1830 there were almost 4,000 black slave owners. Slavery was not a white on black racist issue. It was white on white, white on black, black on white, black on black. But our history books do not teach this. Slavery is not new to world via America. It goes back through the generations, through the centuries. 

All that said my opinion on Mister Anthony Johnson is this... his life is one to be used as a teaching tool. He came as an indentured servant, worked his years and became a free man. He didn't wait for things to just happen for him. He worked for it. He then went on to grow tobacco and have his own indentured servants. But, this is where he went wrong.... and history doesn't tell this side of the story... when one John Caser finished his time as an indentured servant for Anthony Johnson, Mr. Johnson would not let him go on his merry way. Through a series of events they ended up in front of the court where Caser was not consider a free man, but a slave permanently owned by Mr. Johnson. And so you have the first legal slave owner of a black slave is none other than Anthony Johnson.... a fellow black man. 

Don't believe me? Do a quick search on first black slave owner or look up Anthony Johnson. I believe it is important to know facts before we get all up in arms. But as I said before, it is important to give respect if you want respect in return. It is important to view each other as Americans... One people, one group, one nation. 

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