Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Inappropriate Opinion on "Lazy Homeschoolers"

I've gone over it and over it in my mind - how can *I* write this blog post and be coherent, calm, and rational.  I've finally decided I can not.  Oh, I am still writing, but I am not worried about calm and rational.  I am not even concerning myself with terms like 'fair', 'non-judgmental', and 'tolerant.  Screw it.  I have had more than my fair share of 'judgmental and unfair' thrown my way lately and I'm just going to give in to an old-fashioned rant.

Who the hell do some people think they are?  I read a blog post this week entitled:  "An Open Letter to Lazy Homeschooling Parents".  I read it not because I thought it would apply to me but because when I saw the title I thought surely this would be a fun, satirical read; a blog post that I myself could have written.  Boy, Oh Boy was I wrong!  This woman was serious and she was condescending and insulting.  I'm not linking her blog, I won't promote it that much, but if you are so inclined google the title and read it for yourself.  Feel free to comment on it even, as you are free to comment on my post here.

This woman feels there is a serious enough issue within the homeschooling community that she had a heavy heart and felt called to speak out.  I could give her the benefit of the doubt and say that her heart was in the right place, but I'm not in the mood.  I do not really care what her motivations or intentions were.  I am just going to speak my peace.  Get the hell out of other homeschooling families business.  Just get the hell out.  It does no good to 'call out lazy homeschooling parents' because if there are those that meet your description, trust me, they aren't searching the internet for articles or blog posts that are written about them.  The expression "stupid is as stupid does" comes to mind and so logically it follows that 'lazy is as lazy does' and lazy homeschoolers aren't surfing the internet for your wisdom on the matter. 

One concern listed was our need, as homeschoolers, to produce a superior
product than the public system produces.  Yes, our children apparently are products.  I do believe that is how the public education system sees them.  I will be damned if I will support the idea of the homeschooling community seeing them the same way.  If *you* see your children as a product that is *your* business but get the hell out of my homeschooling experience and home.  Punky is a human being and my goal is for her to grow up happy, healthy, and filled with personal, meaningful purpose.  That is my goal so that she will be an adult who pursues a life that is happy, healthy, and will with personal, meaningful purpose. 

Another point was the concern that our homeschooling rights could be taken from us or more heavily regulated if we don't produce a superior product.  Homeschooling is a right in all 50 States in the USA.  That right is not going to be revoked because the 'community' MIGHT produce a few children who, as that blogger suggested, "enter the workforce without a proper education".  Homeschooling does get blamed, at times, for all sorts of things.  Just recently it was blamed for the death of a child in Ohio.  Ohio proposed much stricter homeschooling regulations and within mere days the homeschooling community put that shit to rest.  Go Ohio Homeschoolers!  Woot!  Woot! (As an aside it was not just the religious homeschoolers who affected the change, but several secular homeschoolers including some from the Inappropriate Homeschoolers homeschooling group).  Homeschooling is not the reason children are abused or neglected, any form of abuse or neglect, anymore than children are the reason they are abused.  Children are abused and neglected because the primary caretakers in their lives are mentally screwed up.  Looking to homeschooling as the problem is absurd.  If public schooling was the answer to child abuse then there wouldn't be more than 3 million reports involving 6 million children in the USA each year, with approximately 4 deaths PER DAY.  Why do I say that?  Simple math.  The majority of students who are school age are public schooled.  That means that they enter the halls of a public institution five days a week for 36 weeks and yet.....child abuse is an ongoing and escalating problem.

Now let's turn to the recent statistics of college graduate.  A 2011 NY Times article reported 22.4 percent of college graduates cannot find jobs and another 22 percent are working jobs that don't require a college degree.  Oh, on top of that, the average graduate is roughly $25,000 in debt upon graduating.  That means that almost half of all college graduates are not benefiting by being a 'superior product'.  After all, college is *the* way to became a superior product, for the majority of mindsets, right?.  My point?  Getting into college and graduating is no longer a guarantee that one will have a successful, well-paying job.  Now, more than ever, students need to find a way to acquire the skills they need to pursue their career goals.  Yes, that may mean going to medical school, but it can also mean schooling in the real world by hacking their education.  So, producing 'superior product', as was described by the blogger attacking lazy homeschoolers, is not only insulting but an outdated definition of success.

It was pointed out that spending the day at the park, doing arts and crafts, doing household chores, or spending time with friends is NOT homeschooling, in fact she called it 'cheating'.  I wonder at what age she has determined one needs to turn away from parks, arts, and social activities in order to be properly educated?  Oh sure, she means those that ONLY do that.  So at what age is it okay to do that ONLY and what age does it become wrong?  My answer would be, that's your fucking business not hers.

She says it is our business because there are high schools who are requiring their drop outs to register as homeschoolers in order to make 'themselves look better'.  I know that state laws vary, but  sixteen is the eligible age in most states to drop out and I'd say that if one wishes to leave high school and register as a homeschooler, so be it.  I'm not overtly concerned with a statistic that shows a child failing in public school for 16 years and then leaving to homeschool.  That doesn't make me want to 'tiger mom' my daughter's education any more than the uber-homeschoolers make me want to do it.  I know very strict, traditional homeschoolers and I know a few who believe in religious education first and foremost over anything else.  Neither works for my family.  I do not even agree with one of those options, but I am damned sure not going to say that if we do not force those families who educated and involve themselves differently than we do in our children's lives we have the right to call them out for it.  Beat your kid up, neglect your kid, starve your kid, sexual assault your kid.....there are laws in effect to handle that.  Educate your child in the manner you feels is best for your child, yeah, that is not going to raise any warning bells, be they homeschooled or public schooled.

She called 'lazy homeschoolers' cheaters.  She said they were not homeschoolers but merely truant.  Who decides what is lazy homeschooling?  When I was first thinking of creating a blog I gave serious thought to calling it 1) The Lazy Homeschooler or 2) The Unmotivated Homeschooler or 3) The Inappropriate Homeschooler.  We all know where I landed.  Inappropriate could include lazy and unmotivated as well as covering my ass for my sarcastic, obnoxious opinions, so I went with that.   I think this woman needs to butt the hell out of other folks homeschooling and I think folks like her are more of a problem for the 'face of homeschooling' than any 'lazy homeschooler' could ever be.  Why?  She's creating a problem where one doesn't really exist.  If there are those who are spending their days eating bon-bons and watching Doctor Who with their kids as their only activity what the hell do I care?  If their children grow up to be 'less' than successful - you know who she means - all those laborers who aren't college graduates who merely pick up our trash, deliver our packages, fix our cars, transport our goods and services, install our cable, build our homes, etc, then so be it.  I, for one, am glad there are those in the world who are working to pick up our trash, deliver our packages, fix our cars, clean up our public buildings, and so on.

Basically, I just want to tell this woman to shut the hell up, mind her own freakin' business, and worry about her own children (the ones she later admits she uses ipads and television as a distraction and babysitter for her kids).  Hey, I say that without ANY judgment, but I bet there is someone out there that would tell her how wrong that is to do to her kids.  We are all pots waiting to meet our kettles.  Seriously.  Everyone just stop telling everyone else how to do what they do.  As long as a person's choice isn't starting a war, ending a life, or denying someone their liberties......back the fuck off.  I blame insecurities for this shit.  It was the same way in the mom's groups when the children were littles.  And so it is in the homeschooling community, insecure women who are not nearly as confident with their choices as they'd like to be having to get all high and mighty telling others what choices to make and how to homeschool.  That's part of the reason homeschoolers do not feel as supported as they should be......other homeschoolers.  It's not only the naysayers of homeschooling, but those within the community themselves deciding that their choices must be the only right choices and so everyone must follow their example, that create discord.

Perhaps I am wrong, after all she has a Ph.D. and I merely a Master's.  So, clearly she is more successful than I.  I will say this in closing, if I wanted to follow the mainstream example for child-rearing and education today, my child would be in public school and she'd be wearing a tank top with pants that say 'Sweet' across her ass.  Ok?  So, back the hell out of my business and everyone else's business.  Put down your blog pen, go turn off the television, and spend some damn quality time with your kids.  That's not a judgment, merely a suggestion, because I do not really give a shit what you do.

~Mari B.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Inappropriate Homeschooler's Top 10 Reasons to Love Christmas

The question was floated around the Inappropriate Homeschoolers group last week about why non-religious folks, such as myself, "bother" to celebrate Christmas.  At first I found the question a bit ignorant - given the fact that long before Christmas became associated with the birth of Yeshua, the Christian Savior, the holiday was strictly of Pagan origin.  There is plenty to love about this time of year that has nothing to do with religion.  Everything I love about this time of year is totally secular, with one exception. 

The Inappropriate Homeschooler's

 Top 10 reasons for loving Christmas!

# 10
Funny Christmas memes.  Seriously.  Who needs Christmas cards with all the memes, from the beautiful to the hilarious, that are on the internet!  

# 9
Delicious, fattening treats that aren't available any other time of year, both the home-made (Hello, Rum Balls!) and the store-bought (Chocolate Covered Cherries)!       

# 8
Christmas lights!  Driving around, all over, looking at the beautiful lights is a favorite tradition for our family!

 Christmas Movies!  From the hilarious, 'Christmas Vacation', and 'Elf' to the heart warming, 'It's a Wonderful Life' and culminating on Christmas Eve with 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' and 'The Polar Express'.

Christmas Trees and Ornaments!  I love decorating the tree and I love searching each year for that year's special family ornament! 

The Music!  Here's where I enjoy the religious as much as the secular.  If it's Christmas music, I love it!  I do not care if it's secular or sacred, I love it all! 

The Christmas Day Meals!  It's the only time of year where certain dishes are made and enjoyed for both breakfast and dinner.  I look forward to both all year!  

Presents!  I love to think of just what to get my family and then there are the 'surprise' finds.  After the wrapping is complete, seeing all those beautiful packages under the tree, even if there are only two or three, makes me smile! 


 Christmas Morning!  The excitement of Punky's excitement is my greatest joy at Christmas!

As one of my favorite Christmas carols goes, "“In the air, there's a feeling of Christmas.” The feeling of Christmas!  It's an intangible, of course, but I feel it still, every year and it is powerful stuff. 

One does not need to be celebrating for religious reasons to experience the magic and wonder of the Christmas season!

Merry Christmas!
~Mari B.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Humanist Ten Commandments for the Modern Age

1) You should strive to promote the greater good of humanity before all selfish desires.

2) You should be curious, for asking questions is the only way to find answers.

3) Harm to your fellow human is harm to humanity. Therefore, you should not kill, rape, rob, or otherwise victimize anyone.

4) You should treat all humans as equals, regardless of race, gender, age, creed, identity, orientation, physical ability, or status.

5) You should use reason as your guide. Science, knowledge, observation, and rational analysis are the best ways to determine any course of action.

6) You should not force your beliefs onto others, nor insist that yours be the only and correct way to live happily.

7) If you govern, you should govern with reason, not with superstition. Religion should have no place in any government which represents all people and beliefs.

8) You should act for the betterment of your fellow humans, and be, whenever possible, altruistic in your deeds.

9) You should be good to the Earth and its bounties, for without it, humankind is lost.

10) You should impart your knowledge and wisdom gained in your lifetime to the next generation, so that with each passing century, humanity will grow wiser and more humane.



~Mari B.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

Why the Homeschooling Community Needs to Get Over Itself

I am no fan of HSLDA, prior blog posts have made that clear.  If you wonder why, first I'll say:  I am a SECULAR homeschooler and HSLDA is a Christian group promoting Christian homeschooling to the degree that it seeks to have only Christian homeschooling recognized as 'legitimate' homeschooling.  Then I'll say, go through the archives and read what I've written before regarding HSLDA.

I'm not a fan of Christian homeschooling groups.  Again, read through the archives.  (Personal Note:  I have several Christian friends who have no problem with me not being a fan of the religion and I have no problem with them because they are the folks that are living their faith - which includes recognizing that my spiritual belief system is my business.)

Here's what I *am* a fan of - homeschooling.  I'm a HUGE fan.  I'm such a huge fan that I could be classified as being in the closet because I don't go on and on about how much I'm a fan.  I'm such a fan of homeschooling that I personally believe everyone CAN and SHOULD homeschool. 

I'm enough of a realist to recognize that not everyone's life is set up in such a way as to support homeschooling.   Women have to work or want to work.  Men have to work or want to work.  That's the reality and the 'stripped down to the core' reason why everyone doesn't homeschool.  Both parents have to work or choose to work.  Other reasons that some give like "I can't teach my children" or "I couldn't spend every moment with my children" are superficial reasons that are based in insecurity or fear.  But I'm digressing big time. 

So, here's the thing - because I am such a HUGE fan of homeschooling, I totally and fully support anyone who homeschools no matter how they homeschool or why they homeschool.  Whatever reason you have for keeping your kids at home, under your care and tutelage, is a legitimate reason.  Whatever method you choose to educate your children while they are at home with you is a legitimate method.

Guess what?  THAT is how we should ALL feel toward one another.  Support homeschooling no matter what and for the love of all that is holy, support every parent who chooses to homeschool no matter HOW they do it.  Otherwise it's a slippery slope folks.
Now what the hell is this all about?  I'll tell you.  A fellow homeschooler posted yesterday that their children are not 'allowed' to attend an open homeschooling event - a Halloween party - if they are virtually schooled, i.e. Connections Academy or K12.  Why is that, you wonder?  Why it is because the HSLDA and OCHEC have adopted a policy that virtual schooling isn't legitimate homeschooling and the group who was hosting the Halloween party is following their leadership and guidelines.  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

Now this lack of solidarity annoys the ever loving shit out of me.  People wonder why I'm so 'anti-Christian homeschooling groups'.....it's because they are usually the ones who show a lack of solidarity in the homeschooling movement.  They discriminate.  To a certain extent, while I don't like it, it's understandable.  They do not want your science loving, evolution learning child to poison their Jesus loving, Creationism believing kid.  Fine.  That is one thing.  It is another thing entirely though to discriminate against an entire group of people based on how they homeschool.  It's asinine.  The HSLDA is very adept at using fear-mongering to control their members views on homeschooling.  Making statements against virtual schooling, including their supposed 'reasons' is just more fear-mongering.  You can read their statement here: http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/oh/201206110.asp

Now, is there ANY truth to what they say?  A bit.  Virtual schooling is not the exact same as traditional homeschooling.  In virtual schooling the curriculum is provided by the state and is funded with public dollars so there is to be a separation of Church and State.  Traditional homeschooling gives the power to the parents - or at least as much as the individual state allows - in deciding when, what, where, and how your children learn.  There is more freedom with traditional homeschooling than virtual schooling.  There just is.  However, having said that, let me say this -- your children are still at home with you as their daily mentor, guide, and parent.  They DO NOT face all the same situations that children who attend Brick and Mortar schools face.  If one wishes their child to be at home with them but does not want to buy curriculum or put together their own, or wants their child to earn a state issued diploma, virtual schooling is the ideal solution.  If one wants to avoid the social issues that come with attending a B&M school, yet wants their children to receive a public school curriculum education, virtual schooling is the ticket!

Discriminating against children and their families because they don't chose the SAME method of delivery for their education as you do hurts the whole movement a hell of a lot more than the supposed hurt we could suffer by confusing our government representatives about what homeschooling is.  Here's something that homeschooling WAS but is no longer:  a strictly religious movement.  Sorry if that upsets some, but it's the truth.  More and more parents are choosing to have their children educated at home, via some method that works best for their family, for reasons that have nothing to do with religion or spiritual beliefs.

Here's how we should recognize homeschoolers as it pertains to allowing them to attending homeschooling events, functions, or field trips:  Are you home during the day as opposed to being locked in a B&M school?  Do you have the freedom and flexibility to attend events, functions, or field trips outside the home during 'normal school hours'?  If the answer is yes to those two questions - Congratulations YOU ARE HOMESCHOOLING!

Christian homeschooling groups can turn people away for not subscribing to their proclaimed religious beliefs, but to turn kids away because of the method they use to school in their home is the most asinine form of discrimination I've ever heard!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, secular homeschoolers need a national alliance to work for the betterment of ALL homeschoolers and I'm rededicating myself to making that alliance a reality.

In the meantime, the homeschooling community, as a whole, needs to get over itself and embrace itself - the totality of itself.  The more labels and limitations we place on each other inside the homeschooling community the more tacit permission we give to outsiders to label homeschooling and limit it.  No one should want that. 

~Mari B.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lessons Learned From a 5K Run

As some of you know, I began training in June with the goal of getting into better shape and losing some weight.  A month later I incorporated weight training as well.  I don't know how in the world I finally got the gumption to do this, and then stick with it, but I did - with help from my friend who was my training buddy  My goal was to run 3 miles in under 45 minutes and lose 25 pounds.  For three and 1/2 months I trained.....diligently.  I reached the point where I was clearly seeing muscle definition and feeling increased strength from the weight training and I was able to run 3 miles in just over 45 minutes.  I did not, however, lose a freaking pound.  It nagged at me mentally and emotionally and I had to fight to keep that from discouraging me and I will admit it became harder and harder to find the will to keep going.....but I did.  Then 'life' started happening.

Seven weeks ago Punky began rehearsals for her first major role as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Counting driving time, our entire evenings, from 6:30 until 11pm or later were taken up with preparing to perform and then performing.  I was no longer able to make it to weigh training class - which is only offered in the evenings and I was exhausted in the mornings and getting up to run was more of a struggle than ever.  I did keep training, working toward running 3 miles in 45 minutes or less, because my training buddy and I had decided to register to run our first 5K marathon - Run of Dye.  I was determined to run and not die.

About four and a half weeks before Marathon day, I did something to my left hip while running.  Whatever it was that I did it hurt like a son of a bitch.  I was already battling some pain from my left knee (I tore the hell out of it in a bicycle collision when I was 15) and swelling and pain in my left ankle, which I had severely sprained Spring of 2012 in a bad fall.  Did I mention that I have fibromyalgia?  Training became more and more of a struggle and I really missed my weight training - which really had helped with the 5K training.  I went from running 3 days a week to 2 days a week and then only here and there.  The day after a run my hip hurt so bad I could barely walk.  Finally one morning while running I 'blew my hip out'.  I say that because that is exactly what it felt like.  That was my "hit the wall' moment because I was never able to run again.  It took several days before I could even power walk and the last time I power walked the pain in my hip didn't disappear until a day before the marathon.    I didn't run again.  At all.  I couldn't.  To tell the truth I wanted to skip the 5K marathon all together.  I was still walking with some pain and a slight limp.

Yesterday was the marathon and I didn't skip it.  I did it.  Not only did I do it, but I actually met my goal.  I finished in 44:57.  That's a 14.37 minutes mile.  That's my best time ever.  While I'm not surprised I finished, I'm a little surprised I finished in my goal time.  Why,  I wondered, was I able to do that?  I hadn't run, or even walked, for weeks.  My hip had only JUST stopped aching every day and I have been so busy with Punky's schedule, having company, and preparing for hubby to get home for his two week R&R that I *never* thought it was even possible to finish within in my goal time.  On top of all that, when we arrived at the marathon we discovered that the terrain we were running on was more like a cross country experience than what I was used to doing - running on pavement/sidewalks.  The area had been mowed down but it was the most uneven terrain - roots sticking up everywhere, slopes and holes, etc.  I had to keep my eyes on the ground to avoid tripping or worse crashing to the ground like the giant in 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.  True story.

So, today I'm still wondering:  How did I do it?  How was it possible?  After some thought I have a few answers and I realize that they don't just apply to my 5K run. 

1)  Set a goal and work to achieve it.  You might fail, you might have to stop and start again, or you might just might succeed.  It's worth the effort to set the goal and work to fulfill it.  Success or failure notwithstanding.  The journey really is the most important part.

2)  Don't do it alone.  Find a buddy who understands you, wants you to succeed, knows when to push and how to push you and when to back off.  Most importantly find a buddy that will truly celebrate your success and support you when you don't.

3)  Realize that what you do today has a ripple effect in your life.  If you work hard for days at a time, weeks at a time, even months at a time and then become derailed remember that all that hard work you did isn't for nothing.  It *does* pay off in the end and maybe in ways you didn't expect.  It becomes a part of who you are and helps you along your path - one way or another.

4)  How you meet your goal may not end up being how you planned to meet your goal.  Putting in your best effort and working toward your goal matters more than following a detailed list of HOW to meet your goal.  Flexibility is necessary because life is always in a state of flux.

5)  There is nothing more rewarding that proving to **yourself** that you can do what you set your mind to do.  Nothing.  All the 'way to go', 'good job', comments from friends and family don't mean as much as being able to carry around that bit of pride and accomplishment in your mind from actually going for it!

So not only did my 5K training journey emphasize these life lessons for me, they are the reasons I succeeded.  I set a goal and worked, as best I could, to achieve it.  I didn't go it alone.  The time I was able to work hard and train paid off for the times I couldn't and still counted.  The last quarter mile of the race, when I wasn't going to finish in time, I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and I ignored the pain in my hip, knee, ankle and chest and pushed it as hard as I could and that last quarter of a mile felt like it would be the death of me in some ways, but I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and the pay off was huge.

Of course, I'm not the inappropriate homeschooler for nothing.  There were a few inappropriate lessons I learned doing the 5K:

-  I am capable of being so LOUD that the emcee of the event could hear me yell, "You suck" over the roar of a VERY large crowd and rock music coming from the speakers.  (In my defense he was throwing out free prizes and was totally ignoring the folks in the back, where my friends and I were.)

- When being chastised by the emcee for yelling out he sucked, I resort to language that wasn't appropriate.  It wasn't language that turned the air really blue - more like robin egg blue.

- I'm brazen enough that when city didn't provide any cops to help direct the crazy traffic into and out of the parking area I am willing to take my hat off and use it to direct cars.

So, that's my 5K training journey.

The most shocking thing of all for me though is the fact that I fully intend to get up in the morning and run.  I'm doing it for me, just for me. 

~Mari B.

P.S. - Can you believe the chick in the flexible picture??

P.S.S. - I didn't think it was necessary, but apparently it is.  I KNOW that a 5K is not a marathon.  I know that the proper terminology is 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon.  I know what the distances are for each as well.  I was being IRONIC.  ;-)  The 5K was my marathon.....you know for me, it felt like a marathon.....see it's not as funny when you have to explain the joke.  ;-)

Monday, October 21, 2013

How Scout Finch Changed Our Lives

The Evolution of Punky

Punky has spent the last 7 weeks in a small town in Alabama called Maycomb County.  She has a father named Atticus and a brother Jem.  She's a tomboy with a keen mind and a bravado that only a 10 year old can have.  She's dealt with folks calling her all sorts of names and screaming at her about how her daddy defends niggers.  She's been attacked and watched her brother's arm get broken by the most bigoted, lying scum in all of Maycomb.  She's dealt with the death of one innocent black man and witnessed the death of another.  She's learned valuable life lessons about courage, empathy, and honesty as well as having the innocence torn away from her childhood by witnessing the horrors man commits against his fellow men.

Punky has brought the role of Scout, in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', to life in a way that has astonished me.  More importantly, the leap she's taken in her own growth and maturity matches her ability to breath life into Scout.  Punky's dedication to her craft and her commitment to the part, her cast mates, and the director rival - in my opinion - an adult who is a veteran of theatre.  Somewhere along this 7 week journey Punky became a young woman.  She's only 12 but she has demonstrated the maturity, responsibility, and ability of a much older girl.  Her composure and demeanor are remarkable for one so young.  She's dealt with a few personal issues along the way and there has been a marked difference in how she would have handled those issues 7 weeks ago to how she did handle them.

It may all just be a coincidence, but I personally believe it is not.  I believe that by allowing Punky to reach for her dream - auditioning for the role of Scout, pursue her true passion - acting, and giving her total ownership of the entire experience she grew up these last 7 weeks more than she would have, and in ways she might not have, if she had not had this experience.  The educational value of this experience is equal to a semester in a college theatre program.  The personal value of this experience is equal to nothing I can think of to make a comparison.  Her hard work and determination have paid off BIG for her.  

The confidence she's gained by working hard to deliver a deeply moving performance and  knowing for certain where her joy lies gives her a focus and understanding for her life that so few of us ever know, let alone learn at so young an age.  That is all so much more than any classroom could give her.

Punky has received numerous compliments and extensive praise from family, friends, and even strangers for her performance.  That is what they all see....
her talent, her abilities, her dedication, her commitment, her acting.  It's all wonderful!  It's what I see though that means so much more than all that.  I see the woman she is becoming and that woman, in my opinion, is Oscar worthy.  How does any of this relate to homeschooling you may wonder?  We owe a debt to homeschooling.  If it were not for homeschooling there would have been no Scout audition and without that all that has been realized and achieved in these last 7 weeks would not have been possible.

We made the choice to homeschool and Punky made the choice to go for her dream.  Life is all about choices, good or bad, right or wrong, our destinies will unfold according to our choices.

~Mari B.