Donna Smaldone
Connect with me: Join me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Watch my videos on YouTube Connect with me on LinkedIn Subscribe to my RSS Feed

Sunday / May 15 / 2011

It’s not all denim jumpers: my sister’s homeschooling gets an “A” in my book

Let’s play word association. I say, “green” you say, “go”. I say, “puppy” you say, “love”. I say, “homeschooling” you say, “um… sheltered?” Ouch. Well, listen up. I’m about to change that dated perception.

This really isn’t a lecture about why you should homeschool. It’s much more about why you shouldn’t judge those who do.

There are many ‘for instances’ I could give you, including my homeschooling Grant in the 7th grade. But attention today is on my baby sissy Debbie, who homeschooled her first grader Lainey Joy for the first time this year. I call Lainey, “Toots” but as as she’s quick to point out, “It’s “Toots” like tootsie pop — not like gas.” Thank you for clarifying.

A few days a go, Debbie sent me a brief recap of her first year homeschooling and it took my breath away. Let me put it this way, in a school year’s time, Toots accomplished about 10x what I did. Seriously. Check it out: Laineys First Grade Portfolio. Note the absence of solidarity and denim jumpers.

My personal faves include the jellyfish pic at Newport Aquarium and the pic of Lainey and her baby sister Caroline with their lil hats at Dorothy Lane Market. I also love the pic of all three girls (American Girl doll included) at the Shedd Aquarium. But most near and dear to my heart is the pic of Toots public speaking — about Poland, no less (our heritage). Double proud!!

I am beyond words proud of my baby sissy and her daughter. What a beautiful first year homeschooling. What a tremendously successful job encouraging and strengthening Lainey’s passions and strengths. All the things an extraordinary teacher would do. Oh, and by the way, my as-of-yesterday-two-year-old niece Caroline (I call her Cha Cha) knows her colors, can do a somersault all by herself, TALKS up a storm and can sing the alphabet.

Good genes or good “Mama”-ing. I’m going with the latter. Homeschooling gets an “A” in my book.

7 responses to “It’s not all denim jumpers: my sister’s homeschooling gets an “A” in my book”

  1. Debbie says:

    awwww…. so touched to come online and read this. Thanks, Sissy!! <3

  2. Julie says:

    So proud of Debbie…. hard to think of her as a grown up Mama… have memories of her brown curls and Laura’s blond ones, chasing us around and bothering us. I adore the fact that I can see her girls growing up on facebook…. even though we are so far away!! Love you both!! ~Julie

  3. Bernadine Hamblin says:

    I really enjoyed this post Donna. The portfolio looks not only impressive, but shows the depth of caring and time that Debbie has for her children. I considered homeschooling my own children but decided against it as my youngest daughter has special education needs. My sister has a son who just turned five and she has considered this as an option as well. Good luck to Debbie for continued success 🙂

  4. Lisa Finch says:

    It’s a Small World!! (Yes, we just returned from a trip to Disney.) My good friend (and fellow homeschooling mom) posted this link on facebook, and when I saw the author, I broke into a smile. Bill and I (Lisa Finch) were just wondering about you guys the other day, and Bill said he should try getting in touch with Skip!! We are homeschooling our daughters in Southern PA, and Bill works in Hunt Valley, MD. Olivia is 7 and Sophia is going to be 5 this summer. Olivia, like Toots, delivered her presentation on Malaysia this year for International Day, and can name all the countries of Asia and Africa (as well as most of the rest of the world)! Tell Skip that the girls are little singers, like Bill. Olivia took part in the Children’s Chorus of Maryland, and Sophia was in their “Crickets” group. We also have enjoyed many trips and activities with our field trip group, as well as taking part in Community Bible Study (CBS). If bet your nieces and my girls would be fast friends if they met! Thanks for the encouraging post, Donna! I’m so glad my friend “liked” your blog! Lisa Finch

  5. Lisa Finch says:

    Hi Donna, it’s Lisa Finch! I amazingly came about your blog when my friend “liked” your blog and I saw it on Facebook! We, too, are homeschooling Olivia, age 7 and Sophia, age 4. Tell Skip that both girls are little singers, like Bill. Olivia was involved in Children’s Chorus of Maryland this past year and performed at the Gordon Center. We also are involved in a field trip/special events group. Olivia gave a presentation on Malaysia for our “International Day” and she can name all the countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the list goes on. I think my girls would be fast friends with your adorable and smart nieces. It is great to see home schooling highlighted in this way. It is neat to read you are back home…..a beautiful place to live….I’ve been to Saranac Lake with Young Life a few times. Congrats on your new jobs and it was really great to read your blog. Say hello to Skip for us. It is too funny, for when we were driving to Disney last week, Bill mentioned something musical that he said “Skip would like” and we were wondering how you guys were doing. When the Disney brass band was playing on Main Street, again we thought that Skip might like this “gig”! I hope this comment “submits”, as I tried earlier and I had trouble. Take care and thanks again! Lisa Finch

  6. Sara Mannix says:

    Oh Donna, this makes me wish I were a homeschooling mom. I admire your sister what an awesome mother!

  7. Kelly Moore says:

    Debbie us such a huge encouragement and inspiration to me as I start the homeschooling journey. She’s amazing! Thanks for recognizing her! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *