The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

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  • Saturday, July 31, 2010
    Two items of interest on the education front today:

    Education secretary calls for 12-hour school days, longer school year

    Fine with me, actually, until they tell me that I have to prove that I'm "schooling" my homeschooled students 12 hours a day and that WE can't take the summer off either...otherwise, I'm happy to let the government schools do what they want.

    And this, via Aubrey, by the very wise Susan Wise Bauer:

    What NOT to look for in an academic department

    via The Well-Trained Mind by susan on 7/31/10

    Here’s a composite email, representing a kind of question that the office gets frequently–and which generally gets passed on to me.

    Dear Dr. Bauer,

    My high school junior is applying to colleges. He’s a strong reader and an excellent writer, and he’d like to study literature or possibly philosophy at a good school.

    Could you help me identify some universities that aren’t completely dominated by liberal faculty and their agendas? We would like him to be in a department that emphasizes reading and writing and discussion but that doesn’t take a politically correct/feminist/postmodernist approach.

    We are heartened to see that you are teaching at William & Mary. Would that be a good place for him to apply? Thank you for any help you can offer.


    Worried Parent

    I dread these emails, because I can’t really answer the question that’s being asked.

    I should say right off that I’m sympathetic to the underlying concern, which is: I don’t want to send my child off to a place where he will be mocked and made fun of for beliefs which may be out of step with those of the majority of his classmates. I’m getting ready to pack my oldest off to college this fall. I too have parental worries.

    But this particular way of expressing that concern has three major problems with it that I’d like to point out.

    1. Failure to understand the nature of academic departments.

    Academic departments, particularly in the humanities, are hardly ever homogeneous. (I’m talking here about medium to large departments at secular, or for-all-practical-purposes secular, schools; the most homogeneous departments around are those at smaller religious schools that require adherence to a confession or creed, but those aren’t generally the schools I’m being asked about.)

    Your typical good-sized department will probably contain one or two observant Catholics, two or three observant Episcopalians, a handful of nominal Presbyterians and Baptists who are for all practical purposes secularists, a couple of militant left-wingers out to make converts, one or two ex-hippies, the odd evangelical, and an array of folks who have never had a religious thought in their lives. In any university, you’re likely to find sympathetic faculty and hostile faculty, Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians, gay faculty and straight faculty, faculty with kids and faculty without kids. Universities are kind of like real life in that way (if in very few others). There will be many different voices and many chances to hear them.

    2. Failure to understand the terms.

    What does “liberal” mean? Votes Democrat? Has different views on sexual morality? Doesn’t go to church? Will advise your child to ignore his parents from here on out?

    These terms (liberal/ politically correct/ feminist/ postmodernist) tend to be used as general scare-words, not as representations of particular points of view. “Liberal” and “conservative” are almost empty terms at this point; they’ve got to be defined. Particularly in certain homeschooling circles, “feminist” FAR too often means “Everything that’s wrong with the twenty-first century in my opinion.”

    (Hint, people: that’s not what the word means.)

    Perhaps you have a particular definition in mind. You may indeed find it worrisome that your child will be taught by Democrats. (See Point #3.) Fine; you’re entitled to your worries. Just be sure that you define those terms clearly for yourself if you’re going to throw them around.

    3. Failure to understand the purpose of higher education.

    Eighteen and nineteen-year-olds should be mature enough to take classes from faculty they disagree with–or else they’re not mature enough to be at university.

    Higher education isn’t just about absorbing information; it’s also about learning how to listen to someone with whom you largely disagree, pick out what’s valuable, and figure out how to respond to the rest. It is also –and this is even more important–about allowing yourself to be challenged. If you go into university unwilling to even listen to opposing perspectives, you’re not likely to benefit a great deal. You’ll be so busy defending yourself that you won’t be able to entertain the possibility that, in some areas, you might be wrong.

    I myself have had a very frustrating time teaching students who come into William & Mary primed to resist the lies of “liberal faculty.” (That includes a lot of home educated students, who register for for my classes because they think I’m safe.) Every time I say something that strikes them as possibly “liberal,” all of their defenses go up and they tune me out. I can’t play devil’s advocate or dialogue with them–they immediately put me on the list of untrustworthy professors and stop listening.

    And at that point they become unteachable.

    I’m often asked how home educated students stack up against others in my classes. My overwhelming impression is that they’re more fragile. They’ve got little resilience; I can’t push at their presuppositions even a little bit. Maybe they’re afraid those presuppositions will shatter.

    See why I can’t answer the questions in those emails?

    What should these parents be asking instead? How about: How can my student find a group of likeminded peers, a religious community, a church, to support them as they study? In my opinion, that’s far more important than finding faculty that agree with you. How can I find a Dean of Students office that thinks parents should be partners in education, rather than telling them to bug off and leave eighteen-year-olds to their own devices? I think the most destructive attitude to encounter in university staff and faculty is the one that says: They’re grown-ups. Pay your tuition and get out of their lives. Do you know of a faculty member in literature/philosophy/biology/history who is thoughtful and trustworthy and willing to mentor? One or two close relationships are important; a whole faculty that agrees with your entire belief system is not.

    [Aubrey's note: Notice, near the end: "(homeschooled students) are more fragile". Just what I dont want my boys to be!]

    [And Kristen's note, on reading this: Great insight! I want both my daughters and sons to be strong enough to hold their own, not be hand-held through college.]

    What are your thoughts?

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    has spoken at 12:15 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    For those of you studying or interested in the sea...
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    I have long been intrigued by Stonehenge and othe...
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    37 years ago today, my personal fairy tale began. ...
    STOP and read before you sign that card!
    My recent commitment to read (and in some cases, r...
    The Never Enough crowd...
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    Granny used to say...
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"