Friday, April 5, 2013

Hello Agian! I have missed You!

Hello Homeshooling Families!

I would like to re introduce myself to you! My name is Matt and I now live in the Great State of Indiana, along with my wonderful wife Pam and three beautiful children.

When I started my blog, we were living in North Carolina, and I was teaching at a local community college. Since that time, I have changed employment and moved twice to different states and changed positions within my new company three times.

So I am here with my hat in my hand, asking for your forgiveness for not posting since October 2010.

And like with any family, we have grown and experienced many new things, since our last post. My oldest daughter is signed up for nursing school and will be starting in the fall. My youngest daughter has become quite a wonderful cook and baker, and my son is an amazing builder of all things lego!

I have over the last couple of years had a building passion to dicsuss with young people the opportunities of career development opportuinities within an industrial and manufacturing sector, and will be creating a new blog related to that topic that I will share the links here as well.

For now, I just want to Thank You for your time spent reading this apology for my unexcused abscence, and look forward to serving you and your children interesting articles and information that may be helpful in their future career plans.

Thank You again from Matt at Dad's Homeschool Garage!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Cub, The Wolf, and The Popcorn !

Welcome!  Recently my wife and I decided to let my son join the local Cub Scouts. As a youth I had not had the opportunity to join and participate with the local scouts. So off to the first meeting we go! I was glad to discover many other children in the pack with my son!

I was really impressed with the quality of information that was presented, and had the opportunity to meet several other homeschooling families! My wife's brother was a member of the Scouts and worked all the way up to Eagle Scout, and was thrilled when my son called him to tell him he had joined!

So far we have been able to participate in two "fun" activities and helped sell Boy Scout Popcorn at a local store one Saturday morning. While my wife is recovering from surgery this week, her parents came down to help watch the kids, and before they could get into the house, my son was rushing to show them his Scout book and telling them all about scout things!

Honestly, as I learn more about this organization, the more I want my son to enjoy the rewards of meeting new friends, and earning the merits, but most of all participating in a larger group. As a dad, I want to become more involved with the group not only for my son, but to help with all the boys of the pack. I think this will be another avenue to bond with and have fun with him as he grows up and I grow old!

I would love to hear from any other homeschooling dads that participates with the scouts, so please drop me a line and share your stories with us! I will definitely have more about the scouts as we get in to it, including some pictures!

Well, so long for now! May God Bless Homeschooling Dad's the world over! Meet you again next time in Dad's Homeschool Garage!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The fishing pole!!

Hello Dads!

I know that it has been a while since my last post! Sometimes it seems as if life just gets in the way of things we want to do! And such is the story of the fishing pole. My son got a fishing pole with a reel for Christmas 2009. It has been lodged in a corner of our living room, serving much the same purpose as the exercise equipment in our bedroom, none!

Finally, the weather relaxed it's fiery grip on summer and actually cooled down to the lower 90's a week or so ago. Excited, my son and I rushed to the local store to purchase some sinkers and fishing line to put into the good ole Zebco 33 reel, because I know that is what we needed....right? Wrong! We came home got our line, our sinkers, our pliers, and outside we went to start this new chapter in this father and son relationship!!

And wouldn't you know it!! The reel was pre strung with fishing line!! We proceed to thread the line through the loops to the end of the pole, and tie our little metal sinker on the end. Now we are ready for that magical moment. I, as father, master, and commander of our universe...proceeded to "show" my son the finer points of casting the line, as if I, a guy that had been fishing once when I was 8 years old, knew anything about it.

 But that's the joy of being a dad....the bluff!! I held the rod straight out in front of me while "feeling" the button and grasping the handle to orient myself to the rod began to say "Son, the first thing you do" as the sinker falls onto the ground in front of me. I recover quickly and start swinging the rod over my head to cast and....the sinker falls to the ground. I reel it back up and once again I am going for the classic casting position and .....the sinker falls to the ground.

I look at my son...he looks at me...I'm thinking...this button is sticking....he says "That's good Dad!" "Good Job!" "Can I do it?"  I say "Sure" you hold this and I'll be right back", as I head to the house to Google How to cast a Zebco 33. Then I hear...BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! I spin around, as my son starts reeling in the sinker that just went 40 feet on his first cast. He giggles, I yell, "that's pretty good son, try it again!" This time, BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, as the sinker leaves our yard and sails into the neighbors yard...accross the street! He giggles again, I cry!

I get my son, my youngest daughter, the pole and off to the local park we go to "practice" some more. We get to the park, and he cast twenty more times beautifully, then my daughter wants to try it. I'm thinking, I'll be here all night, when I hear BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Yep, her first time touching a fishing pole and casting, and she beat his distance 15 more feet! She giggles, I cry!

I think we have much more to learn about fishing, but as my kids taught me, sometimes you just learn by doing, and relaxing and having fun. This will be a great chapter that we are about to write, and I'm sure that as my kids get older, one day they will be sitting around saying....You remember the time we taught Dad how to cast a fishing pole!

May God Bless Homeschooling Dads and families the world over! See you next time in Dad's Homeschooling Garage!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who's on your lunchbox?

Hello Friends and Welcome Back!

Back in the day when I was in elementary school, we were always excited and depressed about the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. For my brother and I, it meant a little relief from the small farm chores of haying, building fences, and chasing cows.

Now came the getting up extra early and walking ALL the way to the end of the driveway to catch the bus, which didn't seem nearly as long a walk if I were going to my friend's house to play! Also came the cool stuff that we "had" to have for the new school year, new glue sticks, yellow pencils, three prong folders, and if you were lucky, a new pencil box. But most importantly, I really needed that "Six Million Dollar Man" lunchbox if I were going to be successful "readin, writin, and doin rithmitic" that year!

Fortunately for me, we were one of the first to be picked up by our bus and were able to pick the best of the seats. We even had enough time to switch a few seats to find the one we liked best before anyone else. We just had to make sure to strategically place our lunchbox to get the most visibility for Lee Majors in the passing glances of the other bus riders, especially the girls.

Now we live in the day of phones that can text, facebook, twitter, google, webserf, calculate, play movies, get directions,  tell you the weather in Newfoundland, and get can even talk to someone verbally live! And how could we live without the MP3 or Ipod player that holds more songs than have ever been written, or more pictures than have ever been taken, at least seems that way to me?

Yes, times have definately changed, and so has the cool stuff. And while I try to convince myself and you that our "homeschooled angels" go through the grades without the bias and pressures that we all have faced, being free to pursue that pre-ivy leauge education, well let me convince myself first, and I'll get back to you.

 From chalkboards to touchscreens, we all are faced with the competiveness of the workplace, family, society, and school.  How will our angels respond? Will they be sensitive to the less fortunate? Will they understand the value of the education that you are working so hard to give them? Or possibly act like other kids, which by the way, they are!  Let us teach them these lessons well!

In closing, if there were a "homeschool bus" that picked up the homeschooling kids in your city, what would they be noticing as they walked past the lucky ones who were first on the bus? A glimpse of Dell or Mac? For this is truly the cool stuff of learning, and yes it even beats your Star Wars lunchbox!

May God Bless Homeschooling Dad's the world over! I'll meet you back in the Garage soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You want to be's how!

Hello Again! I would like to share a short story with you and encourage you to follow suite! About four years ago, or so, my wife attended her first large scale homeschooling conference. Of course, I was working and could not attend. The kids were with their grandparents for the few days it was going on.

The conference was about two hours from the house, so she stayed in a local hotel. Wow! The first evening, we talked on the phone, and she just kept saying, next year you are coming! When she came home, she was so excited! We talked...well actually, she talked and I listened!

What was it that excited her so much? Was it the great breakout sessions she attended by leaders of the movement or the hall full of vendors? Of course that was all well and good, but the most exciting part was simply the realization that she wasn't "alone" as a parent trying to homeschool, as she felt she was.

The next year I was in! Thanks again to wonderful grandparents, we were able to go alone, and it had changed venues and was twice as large. I could not believe my eyes! Everything she said was so true! Thousands of homeschooling parents, hundreds of  product vendors, and many wonderful sessions on various topics! No matter what a persons particular desire to learn about, there was probably a seminar  about it at the conference. Organization, disciplining, theories of teaching styles, teaching tips and techniques, just to name a few.

But like her from the past year, I felt a sense of encouragement from just seeing so many people that were blessed to be able to homeschool their children, and had been blessed enough to be able to attend. Imagine going to a major league game and EVERYONE in the stadium loved the team! Just being able to fellowship and and participate by meeting other parents from all over the multistate area boosted my spirits and left an impact on me that is almost indescribable.

Last year we went again and took our oldest daughter. She has already said, that she was coming with us next time! So men, if you have never been to a homeschooling conference, or if your wife has never been to one, do yourself both a favor and look for one near you, and you will leave with a renewed sense of passion like you haven't had since you started homeschooling!

Thanks for stopping in, may God Bless all the homeschooling dad's around the world, and I'll see you next time in Dad's Homeschool Garage!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Remember When.....


Remember when you and your family made the decision to begin homeschooling? Like anything that you do in life, it probably was not the easiest decision you made. If you  had a friend or family member that was homeschooling, you should consider yourself lucky to have the resource to get information first hand and not from a book.

There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are to not to homeschool. Maybe you decided to homeschool due to your religious views, the condition of your local schools, the educational quality of your local schools. Maybe because you have a budding Olympian that must practice many hours a day, or for your child's health or dietary reasons. To me, all are valid reasons, and I salute all that have decided to take on the challenge.

No matter what the reason, the bottom line is giving your child the best possible education, isn't it? Have you ever questioned yourself as to if you had made the right decision? Did you ever catch one of those "feel good" news stories on TV about how a group of high school kids are helping feed the homeless, helping to clean up a neighborhood, or starting a recycling program at the school that they attend, and wonder just a little what your child would be like if they had that opportunity? 

 I have! And my conclusion is this, I have NO regrets! We are closer as a family now than we have ever been. My kids now value the things that they get more (usually), and I value the things that I am able to give them (definitely). For each kid that is doing good works from the constraints of public education, I am sure they are hundreds that are barely making it through.

Oddly enough as it turns out, now when I see the "feel good" news story about a group of public schooled kids doing good things, I truly am happy for them and the community in which they live. I also wonder, what if those kids that are doing the good things had the same opportunity that my kids have, what other awesome things would they be doing? And what if the kids that are barely making it through the system, had the love and support of a homeschooling parent on their side? Just imagine the difference in our world.

May God Bless the Homeschooling families and dad's around the world! See you next time in, Dad's Homeschool Garage!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Welcome to the Garage!


I have wanted to take the time to sit down and do this for quite a while now. There is always 10,000 things that are yet to be done, and I keep putting off the things that I want to do for that rainy day. And since I think that we have had 0.02" inches of rain this year, at least it feels that way, I figure it is best to get started.

I choose the title Dad's Homeschooling Garage, because I think most men like their garage if they have one, or want one if they don't. Right now I don't, but I used to. I found that it was a relaxing place, when it was clean and semi organized. It is where I always wanted to have an old couch and sit with a friend and talk about stuff. Some dad's are great at sports and pass that along to the kids, I'm not, I was that sick kid with Asthma back in the day when in school. Some dad's are great at fixing up old cars or motorcycles, I'm not, I just wanted to drive the General Lee, not fix it up! But I love my kids with all my heart, and I would do anything for them!

I am not wanting to do this to give advice, but rather to seek advice. It is no secret in my household that my wife does 110% of the homeschooling activities, and manages 99% of the household things that need to be done. Please don't consider me to be the lazy type, I'm not, but I am resolving to step up and take more of the load off of her in ALL the departments that she works in here.

2009 was the toughest year of our marriage. The loss of my job with two weeks notice, just one month before losing my father who had been getting progressively worse since falling on Jan 1 of 2009, and there are other things.

We are Christians, have been trying to find a home church here for a while, where we feel that we all "fit". If you have ever moved 9 hours from your comfort zone, then you know how hard it is! We visited one today that we have a  good feeling about, we are praying about it.

Well that's my first entry. Must get some sleep before going to work tomorrow! May God Bless Homeschooling Dad's the world over! I'll meet you back in the Garage soon!