Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Me and My Fellow Homeschoolers

Shoutout to the hilarious Jordan

I want to close out this semester with some hilarious videos that helped inspire this blog.

Now, Jordan may be pedantic and loud but these are real things homeschoolers deal with.

Yes, I did go to AWANA, I still have my Sparkie uniform and I would go to church 7 days a week even if it was just that my co-op classes were held at my church. I was instructed to be best friends with my siblings especially my sister.... but I'm definitely not shy. 

For an added bonus........

You might be a homeschooler if.....

It's been a joy blogging for you, look for more.

Homeschooled or not, live long and prosper.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Books Aren't Just For Nerds

Why You Should Force Yourself To Read

In this fast-paced world of instantaneous entertainment: humor is king and thrill is queen. Advertisements, shows, even the news, relies on humor or a "shock and awe" element. People seek to be entertained through other people's wit or thrilled by living vicariously through the onscreen adventures that they themselves will never experience.

There are four main problems that arise with onscreen entertainment and four reasons why you should force yourself to read instead of turning to the newest season of Mad Men.

#1 - False World
The world provided by movies and TV shows is a scripted, literally staged, and costumed world that cannot be obtained in real life, yet it is especially crafted to appeal to people and draw them in. It is a let down that is very subtle as people don't realize where the sense of inadequacy stems from.
Books, on the other hand, are an extension of your own world as you put imagery from your life experiences into the narrative of the book rather than supplementing your experiences with fabricated imagery.

#2 - Attention Span
Long attention spans (including mine) are becoming rare commodities. The prevalence of movies, TV shows, and internet memes contribute to the decay in attention spans. As the narrative of someone's story can be portrayed in either a 90 minute movie or 45 minute TV show, it doesn't require the viewer to commit to the experience to several days of getting to know the characters and walking through their thought processes from the inside out like a book does. Forcing yourself to read, is making yourself commit to only looking at words on a page--no multitasking.

#3 - Spoon-fed Entertainment
Movies, TV shows, and the endless pages of internet humor require little interaction with the content. Books, on the other hand, require imagination, reading comprehension, and focus.

#4 - De-Sensitivication
This element not only applies to viewing graphic content but also becoming de-sensitized to the incredible elements that should inspire awe (such as the acrobatics people are able to do thanks to computer graphics). But when people read, their imagery is contained to what they themselves have experienced.

I challenge you to pick up a book and really try to sit down and finish it. I believe that you will see an improvement in your mood and attention span.

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Awaking Imagination Through Sonlight

Bright covers, a smell that awakens the imagination, endless portals to other worlds -- books.

Starting in second grade (or so I think), my family would receive a large box in the mail containing all the books we would need for the year as we followed the Sonlight curriculum. 

The receiving of this box soon became the highlight of my year, second only to my birthday. I could hardly contain (actually I couldn't contain it at all) my excitement as I sorted the dozens of books. Yes, I most definitely judged the books by their covers. To this day, I have a distinct dislike for Wheel on the School because my seven-year-old was instantly put-off by the illustration on the front. 

However, my experience with Sonlight extended past the elation of receiving a stock pile of books: my love of other worlds, whether they be historical-fiction, fiction, or biographies, flourished and is still an integral part of me today. (Future post)

I know other homeschoolers can relate to the stockpile of books a family amasses over the years.
What is your favorite book?
Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Homeschoolers Speak Up

This is an "Oh, you too?!" moment. 

I have an embarrassing reputation amongst my family for rarely being able to pronounce words correctly. From "photo-graphy" to "aminals", I have had issues saying words correctly. But today, I found that I am not alone and this is a common problem that plagues homeschoolers. Watch this video it's good for a laugh:

Find this funny? Let me know!

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Behind the Scenes on Homeschoolers

Welcome to the lair of some Virginia homeschoolers. Now, to those homeschoolers out there, this may look familiar to you.

Books on books on books. 
Art supplies. 
The piano along one wall.
A desk covered in papers. 

This is a family with 6 kids (a common amount) and has amassed this wealth of books, supplies, and curriculums over a time span of approximately 17 years of homeschooling. 

This is what I miss most about doing school at home. Even while I was attending community college, all I had to do was ask my mom a question and she would go rummaging around our bookshelves to find a Math tutorial DVD, history book on Ronald Reagan, or even just a book with helpful and encouraging quotes. This is a common sight in classically based homeschooling.

From children's books in easy reach for the curious young minds....

To the book shelves of the oldest sibling, there is a stockpile of knowledge just waiting to be delved into.

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Angst, Befuddled, Courting, Dating and Encouragement

A B C D E framing the discussion surrounding relationships

5 thoughts on the struggle that is real 

"Can I really ask a guy out to get coffee? Will he think I'm asking him on a date? I just want to get to know him."

"I'm not interested in you that way, but I still want to be your friend."

"Sorry, I'm not looking to date right now."

"I just want to go to the dance with someone. It doesn't have to be romantic!"

"He just needs to man up."

"She's too forward and clingy."

"Isn't it his responsibility to initiate."

"I just don't want her to turn me down."

"She didn't text me back so I knew she wasn't interested."*

Let's talk about angsty 20 somethings and relationships

Now this topic is not just constrained to the struggles of homeschoolers but this blog post hits on the struggles of this topic, seeping into many aspects in our culture, effecting people of all backgrounds.

So, I sat down to write a blog post about people's perspectives on dating and how convoluted they are: no matter whether you were homeschooled or not (but for some reason Christians just make it even more distorted). I poured my heart into a long rambling post as I worked my my crazy ideas out on paper.

BUT then I had a conversation with someone that has been through way more than me--her experience made me rethink how I would share my thoughts with the internet. Our conversation made me realize the amount of grace and tact that this topic should be handled with.

I have read a few of the 3,000+ books that pop up with you search Amazon books for "Christian Dating." I've been to the seminars. I've participated in hours upon endless hours of weighty discussions with my roommates, friends and sister. I've giggled lightheartedly at sleepovers. I've received lectures, advice, cautions, warnings, and encouragements--all on this intangible idea/topic/decision/lifestyle of interacting with the opposite gender in a romantic/friendly/fellow-human way. I have thoughts on this subject and I want to share them.


The definitions the provide the guidelines for any discussion on interacting with the other gender are very vague. What is dating anyway? To some, this term has been tainted with dirty colors and should be avoided and instead the couple should "court". Again, another term - Courting. Then arrises the question: Can men and women be friends? Especially in the situation of NYC where it is common to say "let's get coffee" and then go out one-on-one, is that dating? We are dealing with intangible feelings that the people having these feelings don't even quite understand what they're feeling. It's a mess. The aspect of this discussion that Christian homeschoolers know well is the drama that surrounds the question of whether or not to "kiss dating good-bye".

Terms to be defined:

When you define these for yourself with biblical and virtuous influences, clearly and explicitly set up boundaries (physical and emotional), and take into account your parents wishes - the whole discussion becomes crystalized.  And I did say discussion because once feelings thrown in there it takes way more work to crystalize anything.

#2 - Know You're Fighting a Battle 

Culture is constantly bombarding us--hammering in the nails that were positioned from our youth by the smooching cartoon characters and romanticized books. Culture is throwing ideals at our faces in the the forms of books, movies, PDA, music, Facebook, internet blogs... you name it, it has an ideal of how relationships should operate.But are these just unreasonable expectations that are now deeply engrained? In order to be the heroin in life (Divergent/Hunger Games), stand firm in the storms of life (Nicolas Sparks) or be as elegant as a princess, does she really require her (Disney) prince (or at least have 2 fighting over her)? With the exception of feminist stories, this is the prevailing narrative. I have barely started to understand what that intense undercurrent does to the psyche (even my own) of a person who reaches their 20s single.

#3 - Balance

Balance is key. Objectifying men is not healthy, but neither getting emotionally attached. Seriousness and joy go hand-in-hand. This is the idea of being in the world but not of it. Understand how the world works and operates but hold the the higher standard of virtue everyone is called to. It is so easy to blind yourself into thinking that you can expose your emotions to a guy and expect to not get emotionally attached. But we aren't supposed to be heartless or emotionless. A ship is safe in a harbor but that wasn't what ships are made for.

#4 - LOL

But seriously laugh out loud. The lesson I have learned is that no amount of conversations, lectures, seminars, or books stand a chance when infatuation sets in. Say goodbye to your common sense when faced with the "young man of your dreams," one that actually likes you, says the right things, and the opportunity for sin is there. Yes, I said sin - the sins of lust, idolatry, infatuation, selfishness they're there and they're sins. Here is where the foundations of your beliefs of right and wrongs are tested by the fire of love. True motivation comes out and the trueness of God's faithfulness stands strong.

#5 - God is in Control

If there was one topic that I believe in the sovereignty of God, it's this one. When I look back situations I see His hand of protection. Whether it be a heart-wrentching rejection, my own naiveté, or allocating time for other things--I believe there is an overarching plan that I shouldn't fight. If I focus on glorifying God and walking in the plan He has for me, this life-altering decision will be in His will.

My heart is pained for those who were going about their relationship in a healthy way and it didn't work out. I cry with those who are wracked by the confusion of "does he like me?" or those who are turned down when they become emotionally vulnerable to a person by exposing their feelings. I've seen the frustration as girls clutch their heads as their self-esteem is rocked, or they are just confused as to whether he's asking her on a date or just wants to "hang out" as friends (which never really works out). This is a real battle that has weapons such as texting, snapchat, and people protecting their vulnerability at all costs.

I have never been in what I would define as a romantic relationship with a guy. Where there was mutual attraction and the relationship was defined with a purpose. Yes, I often think something is wrong with me. Especially when people say "I can't believe you're single?! You're so ______" (You name it). I think I'm doing the right things - liking sports, dressing girly, interacting with guys on more than a flirty basis. Yet, I'm still called "boy-crazy" because I admire and allow the other gender to light up my life. I yearn to do what is right in accordance to my own moral standards, God's and my parents; while also being a role model. But, I've come to realize that no matter what you do in regards to having a relationship, people WILL criticize it. You can't please everyone. But God's opinion is the only one that matters.

In the end, people want to do the "right" thing either to glorify God or what seems "right" to themselves. However, no amount of discussion or slamming of the other sex will prepare the young adult for the struggle of infatuation and love that is coming. I find these books very frustrating because they, in their effort to define and formula-ize relationships, will inevitably place undue pressure or emphasis on certain parts of the relationship. People are all different - with various backgrounds, daddy issues, self-esteem issues, needs, life goals, and different favorite eggs (see Runaway Bride). Now, I am not advocating for people to try different relationships out to see which one is their favorite. But I've seen my friends refer to and actually view the other sex in an unhealthy way (only as potential mates or people to impress and not be real around, or dirty pigs) but people are people and the only way to break the system and live with virtue is to put yourself aside and cling to selflessness. Then God's true love will shine through and situations will fall into his will.

This is only opening the discussion. I really want to talk more about this. And if I struck a chord with you I want to hear about it!

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

*I have actually heard each and every one of these quotes.

Friday, April 4, 2014

This Homeschooler Needs You

Have you been homeschooled?

Have you been stereotyped either for or against?

I want to hear about it!

Please comment or talk to me in person (yes, I'm talking to you King's students!)

I know you guys have ideas about what you want to hear about.

Let me know!

My email is

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper,