Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School

I never realized how little parents of public school children know about the laws regarding schooling.  As a homeschool mom, I know the homeschool laws inside and out, I know how it is regulated, by what General Statute, what agency oversees homeschooling, who works in that agency, and how to contact them.  If I have questions I ask.

When I was at the dentist with my son a few weeks back, the hygienist had finished cleaning his teeth and we were waiting for the dentist to come in and do an exam.  She asked Phillip about homeschooling a bit, then turned to me to chat.  She asked what grades the boys were in, so I explained that Dallen, my oldest, is not of compulsory age anymore so he is not in school, he has "technically" graduated.  She was surprised by that and asked about it, since he is only 17.  Her thought was that you had to be in school until you were 18.

Well, no, in North Carolina compulsory attendance is from age 7 until 16, so the day Dallen turned 16 he could "graduate" from homeschool.  She was shocked that the minimum age was 7, thought every kid had to start preschool at 4.  Well,, preschool is not a requirement, even for public school children.  AND you do not have to enroll your child in any school, public, private or homeschool, until they reach the age of 7.  Now I don't know much more about public school law, as the laws regulating public school are different from homeschool, but compulsory age applies to all children in NC.

She was also surprised that when a child turns 16 they do not have to attend school.  So I did clear that up a bit....unless they want a driver's permit they have to be enrolled in school somewhere or have a diploma showing graduation.  But if the driver's permit is not an issue, attendance is optional after they turn 16.

So why don't public school parents know the law?  Are the schools trusted to be abiding by the law?  And should these public school parents put that much trust in the public schools?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Lake James Swim Area

This post is for all my friends joining me at Lake James on Tuesday, and anyone else that would like to join us.

I had not been to the new swimming area, so today, after a hike with the family, we took a short "self guided" tour, and I hope I can answer your questions.

First off it is about 4 miles from the old swim area.  For me coming west on I-40, I take exit 94 and approach Lake James that way.  I come out onto 126 off of Benfield's Landing Road.  Instead of taking a left to the old swimming area, take a right and it is just up 126 a bit on the right.  There is a lot of parking space, much more than at the old area.  And a large changing room concession stand.  I didn't go into the changing rooms but from the size of the building it HAS to be bigger, LOL.

You get to the beach area by going through this building.  The beach area is much bigger.  Much larger swim area.

This picture is 1/2 the swimming area.  To the left of the swimming area is a path that leads to the picnic tables.  As with the other swim area, the tables each have a grill and some are near the water, although there is no swimming by the picnic tables.  Easy to walk to the swim area and back to the tables.

In the picture above I am just a bit down the path, you can see a few picnic tables to the right, the beach to the left.  I didn't get a great shot, but didn't want the people at the picnic tables to think I was a stalker, LOL.

They also rent canoes here.  You can see the canoes in the picture above, to the left.  Further down just a bit is a large picnic shelter they said we could use if it was not reserved, and, as of today, it was not rented.  But I think if we get a couple of tables near the water and bring a few camp chairs it will be nice.  Below you can see a pic of a couple of the tables to the right, near the water. I am facing with my back to the beach taking this.

This is a pic of the picnic shelter.

 Picture above is near the end of the pathway looking back toward the beach, you can see it isn't far at all.  There is also a walk way from the end of the picnic table path back up the parking lot.  The picture below is back up at the parking lot, you can see the picnic shelter from the parking lot side, and in the distance just a bit you can see the changing area, concession stands.

 And another set of bathrooms down at the end, the bathrooms are in the picture above.  The last two pictures I just took one picture toward the picnic shelter and turned around and took one toward the bathrooms so you could see the distance a bit.

Hope that helps you see what the area is like, the water looked wonderful, I can't wait!  The directions on the web site are correct but if you click on the "google" tab for directions, that will take you to the old swim area.

You are looking for the Paddy's Creek Area of Lake James State Park and the signs do say "Paddy's Creek Area".   There will be no Lifeguard on Tuesday, and the swim area is free that day.  Parking is free.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I wanted to take a minute to share my gratitude.  As a birthday gift a friend gave me this beautiful journal.  Now I am not one to write in a journal much, I take notes, make my numerous "todo" lists, but actually sit down and write my thoughts out on paper, no.  But this one is just so beautiful, it begs to have something profound written on its pages.  Although I don't really have anything earth moving to write, I am using it as my gratitude journal.  And I am doing pretty well keeping up, generally writing at least 4-5 times a week.  Amazing all I am thankful for!

So for today I am thankful for:
~Friends I can count on, that support me, accept me for exactly who I am
~My boys and their sweet words
~My slow cooker, that has been a time saver for me
~A bountiful garden that feeds me body and soul
~A wonderful conference finished for yet another year!

I am so grateful and so blessed.