Ruby’s Baby Brother-Book Review


Ruby’s Baby Brother.

by Kathryn White

A little girl’s imagination takes flight to help her process all the scary things about a new brother being brought home for the first time. She gathers her resources together to prepare for his arrival: a magic wand for safety, a space rocket to send him far away.

Suddenly, the unexpected happens, she falls in love with his soft tiny hands.

Imagination changes purpose. Now it brings play and protection into both their lives.

What a fun book this is. The imagination can soar with adorably warm and funny illustrations that Miriam Latimer creates with every turn of the page.

A big added bonus for breastfeeding advocates is a picture of mom nursing her little boy. This image is hard to find in children books.

I love that the publisher of this book, Barefoot Books, started as a home business back in the early nineties. They have an ambassador program where parents can have their own independent business selling books. Check them out here.


Homeschool-Home Sweet Home

My daughter, Raina, wrote this essay for her English paper. I think it was worth posting.

Home Sweet Home

Most children in the United States wake up each morning and hurry to do a routine they have done, what feels like, a billion times before. They get ready for school. There is a growing number of children that are not part of this routine and don’t prescribe to the lifestyle that schools set up. These children are homeschooled. Popular opinion is that conventional schooling is the most effective form of educating children, but the rising opinion, in the present time, is that homeschooling is the best way to educate children.

There are a large number of people who would like to say that conventional schooling is the only way children can effectively become educated. Conventional schooling includes being taught in public, private, or charter schools. The main reason that these people feel that conventional schooling is better is because the children are taught by teachers with a degree and homeschoolers are taught by their parents. The other arguments that they propose is that homeschooled children have low standardized test scores, low college acceptance, and are socially hindered. All of these beliefs are convincing, but they contain errors and can be disproved.

The growing number of people who have found errors in these beliefs have turned to homeschooling and realize that it works out amazingly. Homeschooled children don’t actually suffer with the issues that the people who are pro-conventional believe they do. The main argument for children who are homeschooled is that they have intrinsic motivation to learn and educate themselves in what interest them. They have fewer distractions, above average test scores, high college acceptance, closer family ties, and they are not socially awkward. These children will excel at the career path that they choose because they have had the educational freedom to develop and become skilled at what interests them.

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Unschooling, Response to ‘Momslikeme’ Post

ABC, Good Morning America did a segment they called Extreme Homeschooling.

It was about Unschooling. I wrote a post on April 21, 2010 about this. This post is a continuation of this subject.

I was on the  Moms like Me. site and the discussions there  inspired me to write this.

jeffersonAngel ask if unschooling isn’t illegal and was wondering if parents shouldn’t go to jail for this.

There are many details left out of this whole story and therefore this subject should not be judged so quickly. Like most things, people have a tendency to judge very quickly without obtaining the facts, they think a news channel will do this research for them when in reality the news is often bias.

Unschooling is a very loose term. It is describing a type of learning that does not follow the conventional school method. This is America and we are suppose to be free. Free to make our own decisions. We also need checks and balances to make sure that freedom does not cross the line and be harmful to others. Children are particularly vulnerable. Regulating this can in itself be tricky. Who gets to decide what is crossing the line?

Most states allow unschooling. The way they regulate it is by doing evaluations by a certified teacher on a yearly basis to see that the child is not staying stagnate. If a parent lets their child watch TV all day every day then that parent/child would not pass the evaluation. That parent would have to change what they do on a daily basis or risk breaking the law. You must show that you are putting in the proper hours toward learning and that the child is advancing in what he is learning. You have to keep a daily log to show this. The parent keeps a log and so does the child. Unschooling children have to do this as do home schooled children. This piece of information was missing from the ABC report.

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ABC, Good Morning America did a segment they called Extreme Homeschooling.

It was about Unschooling. It was edited with much bias.

Too bad as there is so much good happening with children that are unschooled.

Here’s a comment I posted at end of post on ABC’s  web page.

Unschool does not mean no school. Please read on:

I have four children whom I unschooled (UnS) all for most years of their education years. I have a son who is in his last year of getting his PhD as an electrical engineer: he interns with NASA. Another son who just got excepted to UCF and my daughter is now in high school, an honor student, class president, cheer leader, the list goes on. Another graduated from culinary school.

Here’s an example of how it works. You have to pay attention to your children, see what interest them then present things that support that interest: books, movies, documentaries, field trips.

Not all UnS  have cable so all day TV watching is not even an option. People get hung up on this all day TV watching topic. Kids are naturally curious and watching TV all day is not the desire of children who are taught that tactile experiences are more fun. How are they taught this? By going on field trips, by playing with soil when they are planting gardens, by smelling foods as they stir up a batch of cookies or muffins.   Most parents that keep their children home all day do so because they want their children to learn more healthy than what a school classrooms can offer so those parents are going to be very involved in their childs lives.

Not everyone can UnS so calm down everyone. The reason they can’t is because you have to be around your children to pay attention to them. For many parents this just is not possible economically. Too bad because UnS children are usually such balanced, social beings.

Home School Info for Florida



I ran into a women a few days ago. She was asking me about home school. I told her I would email her info. I decided it would probably be helpful to many so I included it in my blog.  Keep in mind it is for South West Florida. Every state is different but usually not by much.

Here is the info:

SWFL HSF (South West Florida Home School Families. contact Lynda Rowley 239-352-2002 or a volunteer-based home schooling support group serving the area of SW Fl, including Lee and Collier.

FPEA- Florida Parent Educators Assoc. Regina Hicks, Director 239-770-8893 or

They have a list of 6 home school responsibilities.

1. Submit a Notice of Intent to your district school superintendent.

2. Maintain a Portfolio of records. This consist of a log containing educational activities, These are whatever you choose to include. Can be list of reading you used, worksheets and books, samples of writing material by child. Can be ticket stubs of places of interest you went to. Field trips are great learning tools. Diary’s are great. Nothing specific is mandatory. You just need to show you are paying attention and the child is participating. You decide on what you are participating in. You do not need to imitate the public school.

3. Make Portfolio available for inspection by Superintendent. Notice to inspect portfolio must be done in writing 15 days before date of inspection. You can request someone else attends with you. Someone you pick. Your child does not need to go and probably should not go.

4. Submit an Annual Evaluation to them. This can be done a number of way. This is just to show that the child has improved from one year to the next. They can not tell you what you should be learning. There is no list for this. They are only deciding if improvement of some kind is being made. Ask me about this if you still have questions.

5. Preserve Portfolio for 2 years. I recommend holding onto it longer.

6. Submit letter of termination when you end home education program for your child within 30 days.

You can use a program to help you, We used Oak Meadow. I like their learning philosophy. I did not like Calvert, It was too rigid and too much busy work and not enough time for creativity. I like the Saxton Math books. I started out strict, trying to do like the schools do. I eased up gradually. The more I learned from others the more relaxed I became. Over the years I finally decided to Un-school. That is where we pay attention to the child’s learning desires, steer them in the right direction, get out of their way and then let them learn. Trust… after they decompress they will start to find there way. Schools tend to tell them what to do, when to do it and how to do it. You loose your natural ability to learn, it becomes forced and many find people just don’t retain things when they have no interest in them.

There are so many books on the subject. John Holt is the most famous author about this subject but There have been many well written books since. Home school has come a long way. It is really respected now but it was not always so. Many have come before to pave the path.  

That’s all for now. Don’t hesitate to ask me any question, I will try to answer it. 


What fears did you have when you first started Home School?

Home schooling at 48!

Their discouragement

“You just love to complain about that stupid computer when you could be doing something different.”— Starbo

“Come on mom, is that all you do?”—Kids

“You need to get a new hobby.”—Everyone

“Get out of the house today and live.”-Brian

“You need a job.”—Everyone


My reply

“This is my job.”

“Pretend I am paying thousands of dollars for a college degree. I am learning a new career: writing and blogging.”

“I just rode my bike the last hour”

“I just did 1 ½ hr yoga session, what did you do?”

“I just walked the dog, drove to store, picked Raina up, went to the bank, took the kids to a movie and dinner and shopping.”

“I sat down for half hour then the phone rang, I ran the vacuum, did a load of clothes, cleaned the bathrooms, made dinner. Need I say more?”

see, I'm spending quality time with my son, that is his arm:)

see, I'm spending quality time with my son, that is his arm:)

Class President 2012

Made posters for 3 days. Wraped cookies and brownies with vote notes. She won class president.Yeh!

It was a lot of work but really fun. It’s good to give yourself plenty of time so you don’t rush at last minute. Did we do this? Of course not. Her father and I worked till 3 am, she stayed up till 1am. That is late for a girl that is in bed by 10pm at the latest every school night.

We made brownies and put “Vote Raina for President” strips in each plastic wrap, along with wraping two oreo cookies with a ribbon marded “vote Raina”.  She wanted Oreo’s for a reason; she is black and white and proud of it, she says.