Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Schooling

Posted by Dannielle McCleary at 11:05 AM 0 comments
When people think about Home Schooling most people think about the Christian side of it. Well we Wiccans have our own side of the story. We embrace differences and want our children to think for themselves versus us telling them how to think. Teaching our children to question everything their taught in the mainstream. Such as the Wicked Witch look. I've heard many stories of pagan children tell their parents that's not how mommy or daddy look.

Home Schooling isn't for everyone though at the same time. We are lucky that we work varying shifts so I'm home during the day to cover my subjects that I teach and my husband is home to teach his subjects.

There is also the stigma that Home Schooled children are shy and not outgoing. This is a total myth. We usually are so busy there is no time to be shy. This is our second year of Home Schooling our youngest daughter. She is quite talkative and probably is adhd or add. It runs on both sides of the family. This to us is an advantage. Because in one conversation we can cover a myriad of subjects.

There are also many different ways to teach a child. There is the old standby of doing school at home, Co-Ops where people get together to teach children on certain subjects, or do a virtual school. Also there is the private school option where you only need to keep attendance records or whatever the school needs you to do.Unschooling is also very popular. Where you teach your kids just by being with them. They learn thru everyday experiences.

Our approach is half and half. We do alot of traditional schooling but at the same time we find education in daily chores and outings. Field trips are great places to learn. A day at Sea World is an adventure in marine life. And learning about the ecology of the ocean. A day at Disney could be used for higher level math to calculate the speed and velocity of how fast a coaster or ride goes. Museum trips show art and history.

If you ever thought about Home Schooling your child do your research in the laws for your state they vary quite a bit.Florida is moderate, New Jersey is very lax and doesn't require really anything, and California it's Virtual School or Regular School. So do your research and have a plan. But remember it's not all seriousness all the time, take time and be silly and show your kids what the world is really about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dog Bite Prevention

Posted by Dannielle McCleary at 9:50 AM 0 comments
I would like to discuss a very hot topic right now especially because it's in the news so much. We as pagans believe dogs are the gods/dess creatures. I never believe that dogs are at fault for bites,mostly I blame the owners. There are rare occasions where the dog is Human Aggressive, and the owners have had signs but have never done anything about it.

So where to begin: First we must teach children to always respect animals no matter what kind.Dogs have a pack order that they must learn to follow.

Two: Children when out at another persons home or out of the home when seeing an animal should never run up to it and just start hugging a strange dog. Always have the child ask permission to pet a strange dog. Don't get mad if the owner tells you or your child NO! I know plenty of people who are in rescue and rehabilitating a dog or the dog is in training for service work.

Three: Tell children never to run from a dog. Small children may seem like prey animals to dogs with a high prey drive. Stand your ground. Some dogs once you stand there and yell will turn tail and decide it's not a good idea.

Four: If the dog knocks you down that is unfamiliar to you roll into a ball and cover your ears.

Five: Always supervise children with any animal.

Six: Don't let your child mess with a dog that is sleeping,eating or caring for pups.

Seven: Never make eye contact with a strange dog. It is a challenge to the dog.

With any household pet you need to teach children and the dogs to respect one another. A child as young as 4 can help train the dog in the home with the parents help. My own 6 yr old has probably been working with our 2 yr old American Pit Bull Terrier since we brought him home at the age of 4mos. At 6 she commands him easily and he listens to her commands as he would everyone else in the home. Some days he decides she is top dog in the house and will let her lead him straight to his house when we have to leave the house.

This is what we have taught our children and this was taught to me as a child. Not to fear a dog but respect them.

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