It Didn’t Stop the Help

February 21, 2012 | Comments Off

By: Rebecca Miller
The Sandwiched Homeschooler

It Didn’t Stop the Help

My sister dislikes that I homeschool my kids; and the exact reason for her dislike of our homeschooling—or the homeschooling idea in general—I am not sure about. She smiles when she talks to me about homeschooling, but it’s the kind of smile that someone gives you when they are just trying to be pleasant during an uncomfortable topic’s discussion. I don’t think that I have ever asked her directly about why she dislikes homeschooling; it’s one of those “gray” life areas that you know is a problem, so you “don’t go there”.

I think she worried over the years, as any good and caring Aunt would, that I was teaching my children the school subjects that they needed. And that they read a variety of materials. And that they were having interaction with other kids. These are, of course, the usual concerns from people who look at homeschooling from the outside.

Some of these concerns she provided assistance to me with in the form of suggested material (via websites) in emails that she sent, always ending with “I hope this helps you”.

This morning I was cleaning out some of my old computer files—going back to 2005—and reread some of her old emails. Many of the links that she sent to me from then we still use; and they were a help.  (I know; I should clean out my old emails and files more than once every 5 years!)

Even the websites to which my kids “out grew” the information, I kept those links in my “favorites” to pass on new homeschoolers I met throughout our homeschooling journey which may benefit from those websites in their own homeschool program or homeschool co-op.

Our involvement with Scholastic Books was through my sister saying, “You should call them to see if you can do group book orders for the homeschooled kids like a teacher would for her classroom. Then you can get some books for your kids.” For years, my kids looked forward to a Scholastic Book order arriving each month.

Let me share with you some of the websites that she’s shared with me over the years. Even if the link takes you to a specific location at the website, odds are that there are more interesting areas also. So check out their homepages before leaving the link:
Scholastic Books (Parent, Teacher and Student Sections
Easy Test Maker
English Grammar 101
Discovery Education
PBS Kids Zoom
Ben’s Guide
Paper Toys
Suggested Summer Reading Lists
Virtual Telescope
YouTube—Beautiful Minds: Stephen Wiltshire  (YouTube videos for interest and educational purposes, such as this one about Stephen Wiltshire [a young man with Autism but a photographic memory] who painted Rome after a 45-minute air view])
Education World lessons
Dictionary: Etymology
Education Resources Information Center (Ask ERIC)
Dolch Word List
Sea World Animal Section
A to Z Teacher Stuff
Education Oasis

Kinder Printables now Crayon Box Learning  (both sites have material)
Kinder Site
Starfall
The Electronic Field Trip: The National Weather Service
(20 minute video)

And the last one I will leave you with today:
The Scoop on Poop (one of those sites an adult finds gross, but kids find very interesting)

And even though my sister may not care for my choice of homeschooling my children, it didn’t stop the help that she has tried to give me over the years to continue with it. I will be thankful for her interest in our homeschooling—even if it is primarily in the form of emails which include suggested websites for me to review.

And while she may not know it, I hope that she helps you, too.

–Rebecca Miller
The Sandwiched Homeschooler

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