Tag Archives: homeschooling

Docendo Discimus: We Learn by Teaching by Katy Lee

Salve, it’s me, Katy Lee, and today I’m practicing my Latin on you. My kids think it’s only fair if they have to learn it, then so should I. But I have to say even if they didn’t, I wouldn’t be a good teacher for them if I didn’t learn right along beside them. How would I inspire them when they struggled? How could I help them if I, myself didn’t understand? The truth is I couldn’t.

Home educating my children was not something I entered into lightly. I knew it would be a commitment that would stake claim to the nume unus place in my life. Their education isn’t something to let slide like the laundry. They are depending on me for their preparation into the world. They are counting on me for the knowledge needed to make good decisions in regards to their lives.

So…Quo vadis? Where am I going with this? What would happen if I provided them with untruths? Facts made up because I was too lazy to do the research.

I might be able to get away with it for a little while, but honestly, my daughter would take so much delight in proving me wrong that in the end I would be the one with ovum on my face. (That’s an egg, BTW) And I know she’s not the only one. This world is full of people itching to catch someone in an untruth.

As writers we cannot be caught flubbing it. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the Latin word for flubbing) The fact is we need to do the research. We need to take our commitment in teaching the reader seriously. Because isn’t that what a writer is? A magister, or magistra in my feminine case?

Writers are teachers. Whether your main character in your story is a medical examiner or a horse trainer, whether your story carries a moral or aims only to entertain you still have research to do for your reader to get a full understanding. For your reader to learn something. And I can guarantee there will be at least one reader out there itching to catch you in a flub.

Now, I’m not saying you have to be an expert on something before you can write about it. But you have to be willing to invest the time needed to become the go-to person on a particular subject. That means shadowing a professional or interviewing experienced people in your field of interest. Get it from the horse’s mouth. (equus for all you Latin lovers.) The internet is great, and you can get a wealth of knowledge from it, but firsthand experience will be best if you can find it. No one can catch you in a flub if it’s the truth.

The Unlocked Secret: Vincit omnia veritas. Truth conquers all. When your work is backed by truth, you are golden. And not only that, but you, yourself, will be smarter for it because if you can teach it, you know you’ve learned it.

Question: What are your favorite ways to get your facts straight? Who have you had the pleasure of interviewing, and what did you learn?

Voila tout! That’s all!


Who is Katy Lee?

I have been posting now for a few weeks, and I thought this week I would share a little bit about myself with you all.

I wear a lot of hats. And I mean that in a figuratively sort of way. When I sat down to write this, I actually stumped myself on who is the real Katy Lee? Did I want to share about my role as wife to my helpful and handsome husband and mother to my three young children? Did I want to talk about how we fostered and adopted one of them and the whole process of that part of my life? Or maybe that I home educate them and love that I learn something new every day along beside them. Then I thought perhaps I should keep this more professional and talk about my joys of working in the church as a Children’s Ministry Director, where I get to share and simplify God’s message with His precious little children on a weekly basis, and also, where I am an inspirational guest speaker, hoping I encourage lots of people to find their God-given voices.

Do you get the picture yet? Can you see me changing my hats all day long? And sometimes I’m wearing them all at the same time.  I’ll be honest, though. When I try that, it’s not a pretty picture. But still, that image did not stop me from taking on one…more…hat.

My writer’s hat.

I have always been a closet writer. (See Jamie Pope’s post about that) Secretly writing down the thoughts and stories stuck in my head, whether I jotted them down in spiral-bound notebooks or clacked away on my ancient typewriter, and then later on my laptop. I had an all-encompassing need to get them down on the page.  Or I should say pages. Pages upon pages upon pages. But all those pages never left the closet.

Until last year when Melody Mesini started screaming at me that she better not get left in the closet like all those other characters who were still in there. Yes, Melody Mesini is my heroine from Real Virtue. Her story needed to be told to more than just me. Hiding her in the closet would help no one.

So I opened the door to let her out. And I followed her with, yet, another hat.

The Unlocked Secret: With my new hat on, I can say, I am Katy Lee, and I am a writer. But I think I just heard my kids calling. Someone is stumped on finding the area of a parallelogram. So for right now, it’s off with my writer’s hat and on with another.

So, how many hats do you wear? Tell me about them.