PLANT, Inc. Blog
Encouraging Parent Led Education
by Wes Koerner
We have done a little of the catch up here and there, and I always plan to get to those extra subjects, but the summers fly by with the express speed of all good things, and although we have a great time and create wonderful memories, we don’t get much homeschooling done. After all these years, my wife still does the homeschooling, and thank God she’s good at it, and I work.
But you know, I’ve found that for me, the homeschooling I’m mostly involved in is the informal stuff, and I guess some of the less formal stuff. The best part of each day is often the family reading time before bed. The books we read together, and the discussions and commentaries by all three of us, are I think an important part of my daughter's education (and, incidentally, of mine and my wife's as well). Our family church time, when we read scripture or theology or listen to a podcast, and discuss theological and spiritual points and viewpoints, is a great learning and spiritual growing time for all of us. Our kickball games we do with PLANT, in which my wife and I coach and ref, are a wonderful social environment for my daughter and her friends, and she has made some good new friends there. I get to be a part of that, and it has been a treasure for me.
This is all, you might say, just fathering, not homeschooling. And you might be right. But it is what I can do, and how things worked out, and maybe that’s the hand of God at work. Life is, after all, very short, and children grow so fast, and, it is said, Men plan, and God laughs. One thing I hope I’ve learned in life is to accept things, and go with the flow. Maybe 'just fathering' is a critical part of homeschooling, and it is a gift we should cherish.
Wes Koerner is a public school teacher, the husband of a homeschooling mother, the father of a homeschooled daughter, and a founding member of PLANT, Inc.
by Mona Koerner
I often hear homeschool moms anxiously questioning whether their homeschool record keeping is adequate. The State of New Mexico requires homeschoolers to track the number of days of school and keep records of immunizations. I have a pile of yearly lesson planners where I have diligently recorded everything we did for 180 days each year. However, these records never inform my homeschool. In fact, I have never looked back on them (until now). It really doesn't help me to know that on October 29, 2013 we did: Daily Paragraph Editing, read 2 pages of Astronomy, wrote a paragraph on Harriet Tubman, practiced multiplication tables with playing cards, did pages 50,51 in Singapore 5A math curriculum, memorized AWANA scriptures, watched chapter 3 of Latin for Children DVD and had a violin lesson. While this may be what the state requires I submit to you that this is not the only kind of recordkeeping we should be doing. We didn't start home educating to please the state so we should develop recordkeeping systems that are consistent with why we are home educating: a desire to raise a kind, generous, thinking person.
by Brenda Conyne
My youngest daughter started homeschooling in 6th grade. We were totally clueless how to start or what to do. We wound up basing our entire curriculum on a recommendation for a math book.
We heard that the BJU Press math curriculum was wonderful, so we decided to do that. After reading the BJU Press catalog, we liked their philosophy for 2 other classes which made it cheaper just to buy the entire curriculum. We thought we would try that the first year and supplement if we did not like some of the classes.
By Nancy Lauser
If we haven’t learned to let our children speak for themselves by the time they are say, 4-5 years of age, the habit will be even more of a problem to break later. As moms, it is extremely challenging to stand back and let our students do their own talking. What if they don’t say the right thing? What if they use bad grammar? What if they say something embarrassing?
By Maclaren Keffer
So your child is ready for sports? Naturally, you begin to investigate different options only to discover you’re required to spend 5 nights per week and hundreds of dollars to launch your child into athletics. As a parent, you value physical pursuits AND having a life outside of sports. And maybe, just maybe, you’d like to get some exercise yourself. Is there no middle ground?
Yes! Meet Running Medicine, a running club organized around the idea that movement is medicine. Running Medicine was founded in 2016 as a part of the Native Health Initiative (NHI), which was designed to “create a culture of wellness through a supportive, loving community.”
By Felisa Palfery
Community. The word itself often invokes a human response. We were made for community. Yes – even those of us that are introverted. We desire community. Yes-even though it might be uncomfortable. We thrive in community. Yes – even though it stretches us. When you think about your own community, how would you describe it? For my husband and I, community is a place of belonging. A place of learning and growing. Over the course of our marriage, our community has changed often. Frequent moves and job demands have fostered a flexible yet necessary desire for community in our home. As the Lord has blessed us with two lovely daughters, our community has once again changed. Amidst the changes, one aspect of our community remains the same – the “why” behind the need for community.
By RoseAnne Gallegos
The most beautiful month in New Mexico is October... no question. Most of us home-educating families, after about two months, being back to the homeschool grindstone, need some reprieve (reprieve - verb, re-prēve: to give relief or deliverance to for a time).
We started attending the CAPE Family Fall Retreat 13 years ago! Every March or April, when we sit down to enter our calendar items for the rest of the year, we always write 'CAPE Retreat' in the October 20 something days. My youngest son enthusiastically asks months in advance if we're going to the CAPE retreat!
By Suzanne Lawrence
As if homeschooling through the high school years is not daunting enough, now your student wants to try out for a public high school athletic team! The numerous reasons for homeschooling are varied and complex with each family, many citing the poor public educational system, special needs, religious instruction as well as distancing our students from the bullying, drugs, worldly influences, political correctness and mean kids wandering the classrooms and hallways.
Why on earth would you want your homeschool student to participate in public school sports activities?
You have come to the conclusion that athletics are great for your student and your student wants to participate in a competitive environment. What are your options in the state of New Mexico? Can homeschoolers participate in public school athletics? What are the pros and cons? Are there other options for my sport instead of public school athletics?
By Isabel McCabe
I started taking classes advertised by PLANT, Inc. when I was in the seventh grade. The first class I took was a speech class. I was not too excited for the speech class because public speaking to me was one of the worst things someone could make me do, but as the weeks went by I started to enjoy it! I learned about the steps required to form a good speech and how to actually give the speech.
After this speech class I took a finance class and a second speech class called Always be Ready. In the finance class, I learned the right way to handle money, and I also learned how important saving truly is. In this class, I had the opportunity to run for president, treasurer, or secretary; I ran for president, which is something I never would have done without this class. In the second speech class, I learned more about speeches, and I even learned a little bit about debate.
By Karen McCabe
I put my daughter in a speech class advertised through PLANT, Inc. which was being offered on the west side. She didn’t really want to be in this class…what kid really wants to get in front of their peers and give a speech? I knew it was important since my experience in high school was one of getting out of giving an oral report in any way I could.
It’s been said that public speaking is one of the top five fears we all have.
When I took over our co-op it was my number ONE fear. By the Grace of God I eventually got over it. There were times others had to come on stage and speak and I could feel and see the anxiousness as they made their way to the microphone.