Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

The Homeschool Family. *snap* *snap* May 9, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,educational,Home Schooling — Addicted to Yarn @ 7:25 am
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Okay, before I get to the exciting pictures, I have to share this video my sister-in-law posted on her site. This is absolutely hilarious. And as she says, “This very funny video highlighting some great homeschool stereotypes.” Without further ado, here it is…


Aaaaahhhhh February 28, 2008

You know, it is just amazing to me what a good night’s sleep will do. Life is so much more handleable today. We are supposed to have “abundant sunshine” today so we should be able to play at the park after Story Time. Tuesday was raining, last Thursday was raining and we were sick the Tuesday before that and the Thursday before that our friends weren’t able to stay and play. So, after three weeks of trying, Brodie and Jael and Isaac might actually get to play at the park together.

I am so glad that we have decided to home school Jael. Brodie just turned two. Isaac is about a year and a half. Jael can play fine with them. There is a little girl at play group who is a year older than Jael and she can play just fine with her. We went to one of Israel’s co-worker’s son’s birthday party a week ago and she played fine with the six and seven year olds. Yay for not being peer stratified!

I read an article last night about a teacher who has been verbally abusing the children in her class, calling them stupid and mean and threatening them. One of her students came to class with a tape recorder in her backpack. The student’s mother had put it there because she was concerned that the teacher might not be acting in an all together healthy manner. The mom’s fears were not unfounded. When presented with this information, the school board admitted that they’d had to discipline this teacher the year before for slapping a four-year old child. The discipline consisted of, get a load of this, one day suspension without pay.


A whole day with no pay! You mean, she took a day off and didn’t get paid for it? The horror!

Seriously though, there are a ton of problems with this situation. I’m going to start with the slapping because if that had been handled correctly, this second story wouldn’t have happened. The teacher should have been ordered to attend intesive thearapy and if she was unwilling than she should have been fired. My husband and I believe physical punishment has a place in a parent’s discipline regime. However, we don’t slap her. Slapping is a reaction and not discipline. We don’t ever spank her when we are angry. We don’t discipline based on how we feel about her behavior. We discipline because she has disobeyed and must be taught that there are consequences to disobedience. Slapping is reactive and is not thought out. So, not only was the teacher disciplining in a way reserved only for the child’s parents (corporal punishment), she was doing it badly.

Four year olds should not be in school. I’m an ardent supporter of homeschooling and we’ve started some with our four year old but only as much as she’s enthusiastic about. We’re considering not starting formal education with her until she’s about eight based on research showing that kids who don’t start formal schooling until 8 but are allowed to explore their world and learn through play, catch up with their conventionally schooled peers within six to twelve months. The “late starters” have better social and creative skills than their more heavily schooled peers.

Then you have the yelling at kids. What makes someone think this is okay? I mean, yeah, maybe your parents were verbally abusive but why would that make you think it’s okay to speak to other people’s kids that way? Don’t they cover the proper way to speak to kids and control behavior issues as a part of the “becoming a teacher schooling”? If that isn’t covered, than why in the hell are the masses letting these people spend eight hours a day to “professionally” teach their kids?

My husband has worked on cars since he was about eight years old. He worked as a Ford mechanic for about a year and has much experience working on a variety of cars in his personal time. He’s fond of saying, when presented with a car problem he’d not encountered before, “Why send my car to the dealership to have them screw it up when I can screw it up at home for free?” I ask the same thing about school. “Why send my kids away all day to be screwed up by a stranger when I can do it at home?” And of course, hopefully avoid some of the screwing up.

After ranting about strangers for a bit, I am feeling downright happy.

And I just cleaned off all (well most anyway) of the horizontal surfaces in my house (well, kitchen at least). I also swept the kitchen and vacuumed the house. No, I’m not manic. Israel asked me to clean the house today. A totally reasonable request but one I resented anyway. Until I got started and then it was so nice to have clean surfaces and a clean floor that I didn’t mind being reminded of my wifely duties.

Jael and I are off to Story Time.

Until next time…


The Business of Being Born February 24, 2008

Last Tuesday I watched a movie which I’d been waiting for for over four years, although I didn’t know it.

Six years ago, I began researching birth, labor, and everything else those two subjects entail. I began this study because I wanted to have a homebirth and my husband was not convinced. He asked me to convince him that it was safer, healthier, and overall better than a conventional hospital birth.

We were both surprised at how the evidence stacked up. Homebirth or midwife assisted birth was by far the safer and healthier option for most pregnancies and births. Indisputably so, though of course, many did dispute it. My husband was even called a murderer for risking his wife’s and child’s life for such a hedonist act. And yet study after study supported homebirth advocates’ claims that homebirth was the better option.

While reading books and articles from medical journals, I would experience feelings of rage and impotence as I realized the magnitude of the average person’s ignorance in things of birth. The American medical establishment purposefully misrepresents information or simply does not give information to expectant mothers. The information they do give them they present in such a way to inspire fear. Fear of this. Fear of that. Fear. FEAR.

The end result is the majority of women are afraid. They are afraid of the pain (which, while in fact painful, is not insurmountable, and I know; I was in labor for over two days). They are afraid of themselves dying or their babies dying, both of which are less likely in a midwife assisted birth than in a doctor assisted birth. They are afraid their baby won’t be healthy (higher apgar score from midwife assisted births than doctor assisted births).

Basically, the less the hospital, doctors and interventions are involved in a birth, the better the outcome and yet, no one know this. When I would tell people we planned on a homebirth, not only were they adamantly against it, they were completely ignorant of the issues involved. I could site sources until I was blue in the face but the simple fact is that most people do not understand or believe things unless they see them on their TV.

Fast forward four years from my daughter’s birth. A friend tells me of this movie called “The Business of Being Born” (for those who can’t run their trailer, here’s a YouTube link) and asks if I want to see it with her. We drive up to Hattiesburg where it is being shown on a college campus for free.

The movie was phenomenal. There were some technical difficulties with the movie and the equipment in the auditorium but we got to see about 95% of the movie. The movie is a lot more about women having choices in the birthing experience than an apology for homebirth. There are no judgments made. They simple state the nature of the problem. The U.S. has the second worst birth stats of industrialized countries. Midwives attend between 70 and 80% of the births in the other countries and the U.S. “stands alone,” having only about half of a percent of births attended by midwives. And yet more babies and more mothers die in the U.S. from birth related causes than anywhere else. Why?

The answer is simple. Money. What costs more, a simple birth with no interventions and no medications or a traumatic birth that results in days and weeks of hospitalization? A healthy baby or one that requires a day or two in the ICU? A routine vaginal delivery with no interventions or a surgery through the abdominal muscles and the uterus and the subsequent days of recovery?

“But…but…but…,” I hear you cry. At first I don’t believe this. Insurance companies wouldn’t stand for this. They want the cheapest labors and births as possible, right? Wrong. They want it complicated and expensive for mothers or else they wouldn’t keep paying the insurance companies. If birth was simple and at home, most mother’s could afford to pay their midwives out of pocket.

The insurance companies, the hospitals, the AMA, and doctors themselves have a vested interest in birth being traumatic, hospitalized, and filled with interventions. It’s job security. They are fighting for their continued existence and these are the people most women trust to tell them the truth about what they need for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Yikes!

(I can cite sources for all these claims but see no reason to look the info up again if no one reads this or cares. If you want to know, just ask and I’ll provide the source documents. Also, I realize there are exceptions to this. There are doctors out there who are great advocates of natural birth but they are the exception and not the rule and hospital policies do not generally support these doctors.)

Okay, I happened to run across this study while researching other things relating to home birth and I thought I’d post it. It confirms everything I’ve said here, regarding home birth being as safe with fewer interventions than hospital birth. While it is only one study it contains links, in the references section, to many more studies.