Saturday, August 29, 2009

What makes me wrong?

I am always making up scenarios in my head. I like to think it's me following scriptures you know where Paul tells us to be ready with an answer for what we believe. I'm just practicing here. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1Peter 3:15
One of my favorite scenarios is where people gang up on me to challenge the way we raise our children. You know one or two do-gooders decides that my children will be forever scarred because they don't __________ fill in the blank (go to youth group, go to children's church, date, go to school, do sleepovers...).
The big question that I pose in my head to these people (who are already talking about me behind my back in real life by the way) is what makes me wrong except for your opinion that I am wrong?

Why exactly do my children have to be "in the real world"? I mean really? Is the real world sex at sixteen (or even younger now)? Is the real world hanging out at the mall all day trying to find a boyfriend? Is the real world sitting in a classroom with twenty other people your age trying to get through Algebra? Is the real world throw a pie at your youth leader night?

Can I ask, what is wrong with having innocent girls? With having boys who are more concerned with their latest Lego creation than with girls? If my daughter goes into marriage innocent and naive because we have protected her is that so wrong? I don't see anywhere in the Bible that says that my kids have to "experience" things to grow up to live good lives.

Isn't it weird that the Bible talks about God sheltering us and being our shelter, but other Christians point out how we are sheltering our kids too much? Just something to think about.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:3

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, Psalm 17:8
Be Blessed!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Third Annual No School For Homeschoolers Day

Every year on the first day of public school I like to take my kids out to do something fun. We celebrate the flexibility of homeschooling. My kids learn again to appreciate the fact that they are not stuck behind a desk all day long. Most of the time we have other homeschooling friends join us. It's a lot of fun.
This year we went to Chuck E. Cheese. I have been reluctant to go there. My memories of Chuck E. Cheese were of loud, chaotic, madness. It was so not that today. The music was a little loud and annoying, but the lights were nice and bright. I had a clear view of the door from our table. It was pretty empty (school being in session and all) and honestly compared to other places I have gone with the same atmosphere the prices (with coupon) were not all that outrageous.
We will probably do it again.

Altogether we had twelve kids, four moms, two dads and a GG (great grandma). Another dad joined us just for lunch before he had to go back to work.
Like a dolt I forgot my camera so you will just have to believe that we had a good time!
I'm looking forward to some more fun outings with these moms and kids.

Do you do anything special to celebrate homeschooling?
Be Blessed!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What would you do...

If you had this?
Would you move it here to set your TV and other electronic goodies out of the way?

Or would you use it to store all of the craft stuff the craft stuff that accumulates with five home schooled kids and a mom who loves to pretend to be creative?

Here's a picture of the inside of one of our craft closets... the other one looks much the same.
What would you do? Would you do something completely different? I'm crying out for help here!
Be Blessed!

Books I'm Reading

Can you guess what I'm planning? :)
I am planning a big one in April when Karly turns 13. That's what started me reading and collecting tea party books. She will be 13, a young lady. I want to make that important step a big deal. She will begin to put away childish things (though not too many too soon!) and learn how to be a godly young woman. We will have a nice tea for all of the girls and women that we know. I am so excited and so is she.

Of course I have decided that we should practice. :) So the girls and I will make it a point to have tea at least once a month while the boys go do a boy thing with daddy. Hopefully we will be able to do it more, but for now I will just aim for once a month.
What are some of your favorite tea party books?
Click on books to go to Amazon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My life as of now..

I am on a new computer and have not transferred my pictures over here so I am stuck using lately. Of course I love it because it gives me an excuse to drool over all the lovely pictures there. :)
I thought I would post a brief update on this thing I call life.
Dh is still unemployed. I can't say it's been all that bad. I love having him home. Today we are heading out to the beach to meet some friends.
He is going to be a part of a program with the unemployment office that will pay for him to be certified in a field of his choosing while receiving unemployment.
We are also working during this time to get our house fixed up so we can put it on the market. Our plan is to put it on market while he is doing this certification program so when he's done we can be ready to go, go, go.
Of course as we all know sometimes our plans are not the plans God has for us, so everything is very tentative. The kids have enjoyed this month of no school. I am planning to start up back up in the next couple of weeks. I have to order some books and finish my schedule. In a stroke of genius I decided to schedule us not using dates as much as days. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.. then I never feel like we are behind and I never push three days into one frustrating me and my children.
I am looking forward to some more structure in the day. The kids are all showing some serious behavior problems and I know it's just the lack of having certain things to do throughout the day.
I am excited to start Ambleside with the kids. I have decided since it's our first year that we will all work on Year 1. I think the books will be challenging enough not to bore the big kids while still easy enough that they can gain confidence in narration and paying attention. The little kids can learn from the big kids and I think that will help them as they get comfortable with narration.
So there you have it a glimpse into my life right now. Hope you all are doing well.
Be Blessed!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


One of the things I like best about having these new floors is that I feel free to open my home again. As I cleaned today and made a salad for some friends coming over for lunch I thought of how much I enjoy just inviting a friend over.
I stirred the lemon aide and hummed a merry little tune. I'm grateful for friends. I'm grateful for a home I can invite friends to share with me.
I need to do it more often. I really do enjoy the feeling of opening my home.

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

I had another quick trip out of town. This time to welcome into the world a new baby. My oldest and best friend became a real grandmother this past weekend for the first time. Because she was a lot like a mom to me growing up my kids call her Grandma Karen. But this baby is a part of her oldest son.
I was thrilled to be there in the waiting room at 3am Friday morning. I loved being there around noon time yesterday when baby and mama came home. I got to snuggle with her for awhile yesterday.
Children surely are a blessing from the Lord! I can not wait for our promised baby. I know it's all in the Lord's timing, but oh how impatient I get sometimes.
For now I will just rejoice with others as they welcome their little ones and I will pray faithfully that the Lord will open my womb up soon!

Be Blessed!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm going box...

First of all I should say that I absolutely love home education. I love being with my kids. I love knowing what they are learning. I love learning what they are learning.
I also really love the flexibility. If something is not working for my kid/kids I can switch it up. I can teach to their learning style.
That being said, I really hate the flexibility that home education offers. I hate finding out something is not working. I hate switching things up. I hate feeling like I am failing in some way.
Remember just a few short months ago when I wrote this post with the utmost of confidence. I'd made my decisions. This is how it's going to be done!
Enter Roy and I's annual field trip to the homesechool convention. Dreaded, dreaded words. WAIT! Before you get onto me for falling for all they hype and grandeur of the curriculum fair I want to say that what I walked away this year was invaluable. DH quickly agreed with my musings which makes me believe it was truly a God thing. Usually he wants to analyze everything to death.

What I walked away with this year was a serious need for my kids to start enjoying learning. To take out the stress that we call homeschooling and build a less stressful (not stress free, though I can strive towards it), more peaceful, fun, loving atmosphere of home education.
My 12 year old daughter is heading rapidly toward puberty. The battles are becoming longer and more drawn out. Ground is being claimed and the peace of our home is crumbling. In an effort not to label my child I will say briefly that she has obstacles to overcome that a lot of kids don't have. Puberty looks to be a time of regression for her in many ways. I have to learn to roll with that. I have to learn which ground to stand on and which to back down from. School is one I have decided to - compromise on- for lack of a better word.
She hates worksheets and having to sit and do a sheet until it's done. Saxon Math is one big battle between the two of us. She needs more interaction. She can't spend more than a little bit of time on a lesson before she quits trying, or becomes overwhelmed.

We are looking at Teaching Textbooks for Karly and possibly even Kelsie. I have to sit Kelsie down for a couple of sample lessons to see what she thinks. I would love Kelsie to be able to do it because it would free up more of my time to work with Tamara and Adrian on reading.
Another thing we are looking at is a more Charlotte Mason type education with Amblesideonline as a "curriculum".
We are not 100% sure yet that's the direction we want to go in, but I think the kids would find it more enjoyable. They enjoy our read aloud and discussion time that I fit in every now and then . I'm also thinking this would strengthen the comprehension skills that I see sorely lacking in all of my kids. I am still pouring over Amblesideonline and my Charlotte Mason Companion book.
I also have a ton of websites marked to look over some more.
One thing I thought I would do is read Aesop's Fables to the kids during the month of August and practice some simple narration. That way if we decided to move this direction in the fall we would have practice.

We are finally enjoying our Mystery of History Book 1 study and Considering God's Creation for Science so I think I will keep both of those and then just let the kids read other history time periods during their free reading suggested by Amblesideonline. We will also incorporate some of the Nature study into our diet as we are hoping to start some simple hiking this fall.

As far as art and composers we have started that and I think we have found a comfortable groove with the fun little books I have right now. We will finish those books in August and then replace them with the suggested studies from Amblesideonline.
I'm a little nervous about the change with my two oldest. I'm sure it will not hurt them, but it will take a lot for me to get out of the groove of having a lesson finished every day. I'm worried about portfolio evaluations most. I want to make sure I have enough work to show to my evaluator in May.
I think Charlotte Mason would be a good fit for all of us. While I'm not ready to commit to it 100% yet, I am definitely leaning more that way.
Of course I could always just switch to a nice, neat, tidy box curriculum. Ahh.. let me dream about it for awhile...
Guess I'll be sticking to a more traditional school year.. this year anyway! :)
Be Blessed!