Homeschooling ABC’s: V, W, X, Y and Z

Mosaic alphabet letters V, W, X, Y, ZHello Readers!  Today’s blog post is the last installment of my Homeschooling ABC’s series.  Like the others before it, it contains some serious thoughts, and a bit of whimsy.  I hope you enjoy it. 

V is for Virtue: I know the idea of being virtuous is old-fashioned and outdated.  But I also know that when virtue becomes passé the civil/moral society unravels.  And that is certainly what we’re seeing in our culture today.  In fact, this has been going on for the last several decades.

So to inculcate virtue into your children you must realize as parents that you are swimming upstream.  But I suspect many of you (us) are homeschooling our children, at least in large part, for this very reason.  Because we want to install our values and morals into our children.  We want them to be virtuous.

And while that may be difficult given the current state of things in our society, it is possible.  I have three grown children who are living proof that it is possible to raise virtuous children in spite of the many obstacles in our way as parents.  And I know many other young women and men who were homeschooled who are also living virtuous lives.

So don’t give up.  Keep in mind the Scripture verse that I consider my “homeschooling life verse” – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we faint not.  (Galatians 6:9, NIV)

W is for Whining: Kids whine.  They just do.  Your kids are going to whine.  My kids are going to whine.  Those people who complain about whiny kids have either never had kids, or they’ve forgotten that their darlings whined too, or they are simply delusional and believe that they (and their children) are perfect.

Because you can’t get around it.  Kids whine.

Now does that mean that I like it when my kids whine or that we shouldn’t deal with our kids’ whining?  Of course not.  But pick your battles wisely, and ignore all the adults who whine about whiny kids and make you feel guilty because your kids whine.

And that’s a good point too because, don’t adults whine?  I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that a lot of adults whine…and no one seems to be up in arms about them.

In any case, I do have a piece of advice regarding whiny kids.  Buy this poster.  Hang it on a wall in your house in a prominent place.  Then every time your child starts to whine about something, point to it.  Just point to it.  Then go take a bubble bath.

X is for Xiphosuran: Most of the time when writers are creating a list of “ABC’s” – whether it’s the “ABC’s of housecleaning” or the “ABC’s of choosing the best espresso” they usually cheat when it comes to the letter X.  They’ll use words like “eXcellent” or “eXciting.”

But not this writer.  No, I go the extra mile for my readers!  So I got out my dictionary.  I was going to choose a word that would blow all those other writers out of the water.

But guess what?  I found that this was easier said than done.  I also found that:

  • Many words that start with the letter X have something to do with the color yellow.
  • Also, many words that start with the letter X have some kind of scientific origin.

I found a lot of interesting words.  But I really couldn’t relate any of them to homeschooling UNLESS you consider that science IS a subject that most homeschoolers are really good at engaging with, even if science isn’t their particular interest or even if, as is the case with me, they are more inclined to study science informally as opposed to following any particular curriculum.

But I had to choose a word that started with X so I chose “xiphosuran.”  It means “of or belonging to an order of arthropods comprising the horseshoe crab.”  I don’t know about you, but I think horseshoe crabs rock.  So there you go.  I did the best I could!

Y is for Yelping, Yowling, and all those other noises kids make: Remember how I said before that kids whine?  Well, they’re also very noisy.  Again, nothing you can do about this, most of the time.  You might be able to curtail it somewhat, or establish a “quiet time” during the day where naps and quiet reading are the order of business.  But you might as well accept that kids are noisy, because fighting this will prove futile.

Especially if you have boys.  And I have three.  I rest my case.

Z is for Zone Defense: When I think about zone defense, I think about football.  Yes, I’m a woman who, unashamedly, loves football.  As a matter of fact, during football season we just keep the TV on all Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and if I can’t actually sit and watch I will at least poke my head in the family room now and then to check on the scores of whatever games happen to be on.

My football fandom started when I was quite young, in large part because that’s what was also on the television every Sunday at my house growing up!  I still have vivid memories of my dad yelling at the TV, trying to get Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula to call out the right plays.  And I still have vivid memories of the “glory years” of the Miami Dolphins, i.e. 1972 and 1973 when they had a perfect season (’72) and won back-to-back Super Bowls.

In case you’re not familiar with the term zone defense (whether in football or other sports) I’ll explain.  Zone defense means that a player defends a certain “zone” on the football field, as opposed to man-to-man defense, which involves a defensive player having the responsibility to defend just one offensive player.  The debate over whether zone defense or man-to-man coverage is preferable will likely continue to rage on as long as there IS football, I imagine.

But what does that have to do with homeschooling?  Well, in this case I’m thinking more of a parenting play call, particularly if you have a houseful of kids, and especially if you have a lot of little ones.  In that case I think zone defense is probably a good way to go.  What do you think?  🙂

I hope you found my Homeschooling ABC’s series to be helpful and encouraging, and maybe, at times, it even made you laugh.  Just a reminder: if you’re on Facebook you can follow Homeschooling911 by clicking “like” in the Facebook box in the right sidebar.

I’ll be finishing up this year by publishing a round-up of holiday posts in a few weeks, and next year I expect to be publishing my first homeschooling e-book.  When it comes out, I’ll be sure to let you know!  So stay tuned!