### Maybe it Isn't You. Maybe the Questions are Messed-Up.

 Virginia public school worksheet question posted on facebook.  Used with permission.

Wiggledy word problems don't do anything to help children reason and learn.  It isn't even really a math problem.

So. There are 34 students in a given class.  Twenty of them do track and 18 jump rope.  How many do both?

I'm guessing 18 do both because 14 students don't feel like doing any work at all.

1.  Why is Tom even introduced?  Is he a gym teacher?  A child?  Who is Tom?

2.  Don't these people know anything?  One oughtn't begin a sentence with a number if it's at all avoidable.

3.  How many of the possible right answers are acceptable to the real teacher grading this assignment?

1. This is a fairly standard Math problem. Tom is introduced to make the question seem more friendly, kids like to know their teachers names apparently.
The answer? Who knows. 14 DON'T do track; 18 DON'T jump rope. The difference there is 2 so possibly those 2 do both. Or the 18 who jump rope also run track....

2. Unless the gym class is in Fantasyland, the answer is none... since you can't run around a track and jump rope at the same time..... ��

3. Ok, you guys. I keep hearing the answer is four, so everyone is wrong! Or right! Or... under Common Core... you have to "explain" your answer. Any answer with social justice and equity probably would be graded as correct. Oh, and fairness. :)

4. So not four then! Ha-ha-ha!

### Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK.

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series.

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

### Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

### Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap!

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D!

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: