Monthly Archives: January 2008

wordless wednesday

reflections
“As the water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”
Proverbs 27:19
This picture was taken by my daughter Sarah.  She is 15 and our second born.  She is very interested in having a career in photography as she says there are so many ways to capture God’s goodness through the lens of a camera.

Just deal with it

Today is one of those school day’s when my expectations of getting a lot done have already had to be thrown in the trash.  The day started off o’k, we actually got Bible done! WooHoo!  Then I sent them off to finish their individual work.  I noticed that outside the wind was beginning to pick up.  In fact it is down right gusty!  Today is trash day. So, when we set our trash bins out the wind was so strong they just fell over with loose trash blowing away at about 50 mph!  Our trash wasn’t the only stuff blowing around.  I saw a puppy blow through and a squirrel!  O’k, maybe not the puppy.  Anyway, I sent the kids out to try and collect the trash blowing around.  “This is crazy”  I thought as an empty 2 liter coke bottle blew past my face.   

Finally the trash truck came & dumped the trash. So now we had empty trash bins blowing everywhere!  I yelled at my 8 year old as he flew over to grab hold of one and I would help him return it to the right house.

Now, we were waiting for the Recycle truck to come & dump those bins.  I’m frustrated now, because everytime we go inside to get some lessons done we see something fly past the window and everyone has to go out to see who or what it was.  Then I hear the kids yell at me to come quick.  (I hate when I hear that)  Our fence between us & our neighbor was about to snap and fall over.  That is just what I need.  We have a lab that would have to come inside at that point.  That is not good for her to stay in the house.  She is bigger than I am!

I call my husband to see if the wind is as bad at his office & of course since he is a man, their wind is much worse.  While we only have animals & children flying around, he has vehicle’s flying around.  While I’m talking to him the kids come running in to tell me that the fence just broke!  Oh Man! Now, we have to clean everything our lab, Honey, has chewed up in the yard so that someone can come & fix it & no telling how long that will take.

School?  Did someone say school? 

I know what you are thinking. I am a homeschool mom.  I should capture the moment & create activities to teach my kids about wind velocity, direction & what else you can learn from the wind.  Instead I would rather just blog about it.

We got the baby down for a nap, and grabbed our colored pencils and sat down while I read 2 more chapters from our history book. 

 It wasn’t a total loss…Bible & history & God induced science lessons.

Learning to just deal with what God hands me…with a smile on my face.

Should Homeschoolers teach Logic?

 This is a post written by Robin Sampson from Heart of Wisdom.  She has an excellent curriculum and has written a great book on the HOW Approach (my review of that is coming soon).  This post is long so I have linked you to her site where you can read the complete post.  I hope you enjoy!

~Dana

Logic and rhetoric are extremely popular and enthusiastically sought after by those in the homeschool community. But how important are logic and rhetoric? How much weight should they have in our homeschool day?

The words logic, classical, philosophy, dialectic, and reasoning sound extremely intelligent to our Greek ears. Homeschoolers immersing their children in the study of formal logic have well-meaning motives; it is understandable that homeschoolers want their children to become critical thinkers. We want to be able to defend the Gospel logically. We want our students to learn to evaluate their beliefs and the beliefs of others before they take on a course of action.

But logic and reality are not the same. Logical consistency does not always mean truth.

Sample of Man’s logic:

Now they said: Come now! Let us build ourselves a city and a tower, its top in the heavens, and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth ! ( Genesis 11:4 )

Sample of God’s non-syllogistic logic:

God said, Nevertheless, Sara your wife is to bear you a son, you shall call his name: Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as a covenant for the ages, for his seed after him . ( Gen 17:19 ) Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set-time of which God had spoken to him. ( Gen 21:2 ) He said: Pray take your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and go you forth to the land of Moriya and offer him up there as an offering-up upon one of the mountains that I will tell you of. ( Gen 22:2 )

Human reasoning is limited by human experience. Eve trusted her reason over what God had said and logically concluded that eating the fruit of the forbidden tree was the best choice for her and Adam. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did ea t ( Gen 3:6 KJV).

 

Read the rest of the posts at the Heart of Wisdom blog.

Page Protectors Live On!!!

 Here is my tip for today!

I love page protectors!!  I have learned to use them for so many things. I always have plenty because I can reuse them.  Once someone gave me a sack full of unopened packages of page protectors. I  was so excited & I know they thought I was really weird.  Afterall, who in their right mind dances for joy over page proctectors?  I DO!!

Here is an example of a few things I use them for.

1.  Subject Dividers – I will print on the edge of a piece of cardstock what subject I need labeled. Then just slide it in and put in my notebook & I don’t need the dividers that you have to buy separately.  My little ones will decorate theirs to add a little pizzaz to their notebooks.

2.  Preschool worksheets – I have workbooks that I have picked up from Wal-mart & such to use as busy work for my little ones.  I got tired of having to buy new ones since I always had little ones coming up.  I started putting them in page protectors & then giving them the little vis-a-vis marker (and being highly supervised) let them connect the dots or whatever it was.

3.  Math Drill Worksheets – My kids love math drills and racing against the clock, but I can’t afford to keep up with the printer ink & paper, so I put the pages in page protectors, kept then in a notebook for easy access and we are set.  After grading their page I can record their score (if that is really important to you) in my record book.  So easy!! Fine tip dry erase markers work really great.

4.  Menu planner– I keep a menu of what we are eating for the week.  I put this in the page protector and keep it on the frig. with my little marker close by.

 5.  Art Portfolio – I have some budding artist and just don’t have a frig big enough to show off all of their art so we started putting them in page protectors in notebooks after they have been displated for a day on the frig.

I could go on and on, but would rather you share any ideas with me that you may have about getting even more creative with page protectors than I have.

Mock Election for Students

The Polls are open to homeschoolers thanks to Homeschool Estore.  For the first time ever, Homeschoolers are invited to make their voices heard and take part in HomeschoolEstore’s Non-Partisan Mock Primary Presidential Election! Homeschoolers ages 7-17, who are United States residents, will learn about the election process and the 2008 presidential candidates when they cast their vote, anytime between now and February 4th. Results of the election and exit polling results will be available, real-time. Final results will be posted on Monday, February 4th, the day before Super Tuesday. You must have a free HomeschoolEstore account in order to participate. Click here to make your voice heard! Mock Election

Don’t miss this opportunity to choose from great discounts on political and patriotic curriculum now at HomeschoolEstore. Discounts up to 50% off, now through February 4th.

http://www.homeschoolestore.com/catalog/election_sale.php

Homeschoolestore is the only retailer of homeschool notebooking pages, unit studies, work books, testing material, mp3 audio and more, all in immediately downloadable, digital format, and all up to 30% below retail prices! Thousands of great titles to choose from, all from the most popular publishers. Plus, a new FREE title, every week!

HomeSchoolEStore

Homeschool E-store

Review: Passionate Housewives

 

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God
  Authors: Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
  For more information or to order:
  www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

  — 

  “You deserve a break!”
  “Why should you have to do all the caring for the kids?”
  “You’re wasting your life being a stay-at-home mom.”

  These messages and others are the voices of feminism that seek to
  undermine God’s high calling of being a wife and mother.  These
  messages, whether spoken or inferred can be discouraging – especi-
  ally for homeschool moms who are not only mothering, but committed
  to teaching reading and even chemistry if needed!  It can be easy
  to fall into a “woe is me” attitude that breeds discontentment and
  selfishness.

  In this refreshingly honest and down-to-earth book, two godly women
  sit down to put forth a fresh vision for homemaking.  The message
  of ‘Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God’, is one of HOPE!
  The authors are real, and scattered through this convicting and
  encouraging book are stories and glimpses into their very real
  lives.  They are quick to dispel the “perfect housewife” myth.  You
  know the one – the 1950s happy homemaker vacuuming in her high heels
  and pearls.  Instead, they take the reader straight to the Word of
  God, for fresh insight and pearls of truth.  Be prepared to be chal-
  lenged – I found myself switching between this book and my Bible,
  highlighter in hand!

  Both of the authors have a lot to say and they say it quite well.
  The book begins and ends with the fictional account of the life of
  ‘Carol’.  It is kind of a before-and-after glimpse of her life as
  she first gives in to the message of feminism that permeates our
  society (and sadly, the church), and then as a woman set free by
  God’s Word to be all that He created her to be – completely ful-
  filled in her service to Him by serving her family.

  ‘Passionate Housewives’ is not a politically correct book!  The
  concept of dying to self, of living to serve your husband and
  children as unto the Lord, is not a popular ideology in our society.
  You may not agree with every doctrinal position these ladies and
  their husbands hold, but you will, however, be blessed with truths
  that transcend denominations – and timeless wisdom desperately
  needed in this day and age.  This is not a “how-to” book.  You
  won’t find ideas for successful home management, or picking the
  right homeschool curriculum.  Here’s something else you won’t find
  – authors who expect you to be just like them.  Oh, they hold firmly
  to their beliefs about many things, but when it comes to what a
  “perfect” wife and mother should be, well, they are quick to remind
  you to lay aside those thoughts of perfectionism and to be wary of
  comparing yourself with others, including them!

  This book addresses so many issues of the heart, it is difficult
  to describe the breadth of coverage and the amount of hope and
  encouragement one will find in its pages.  As I read, I had many
  “Aha!” moments and there were definitely places where I was con-
  victed of falling for the message that I am somehow “missing out”
  on life by serving my family.  I was challenged to realize that
  I can be home with my kids, but not really “be here” in my heart.
  I have found the really good books are the ones that do more than
  cheer (although this book definitely inspires).  The books that
  I put at the top of my “must read again” list are those that make
  me a bit uncomfortable, that cause me to examine my heart and
  propel me into the arms of God.  ‘Passionate Housewives Desperate
  for God” is one of those books.  I highly recommend it!

  —

  Reviewed by Cindy Prechtel
  http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Here are the authors & their families.

Stacy and Family

James & Stacy McDonald & family

Jennie and Family

Matt & Jennie Chancey & family

Not About Curriculum

 

We are in the midst our 12th year of homeschooling.  I don’t feel like we have been at it that long.  It has just become a part of the way we live.  I have learned a lot over the past 12 years about how to use my materials and about buying curriculum or not buying curriculum.  I have learned how to use the internet for free worksheets, unit studies, e-books and games.   I have been blessed by others who just give away books that they don’t want & it is exactly what we needed but I could never buy.   

We have 10 kids and my husband does not make a lot of money.   He had a different job when we first started schooling and did make more money, but that job ended and his new occupation has not proven to be a big money maker.  So, just about every penny he makes goes to pay our bills (which are not much at all), buy food & the occasional pair of shoes or clothes that are needed.  After all of that there usually isn’t anything left for school books.  At least for the past 2 years anyway.  I have learned how to homeschool our kids with out spending much money, if any at all.  What surprises me most is that they are still learning even without all the fancy books & programs I thought they needed.  Of course there are still areas of study we haven’t been able to do yet that I want to do, but God is making it possible in his time for us to learn what HE wants us to learn.

Through this whole journey I have learned how our school is not based on what curriculum we use anymore.  And I think that is how God wanted it to begin with, but as long as I had planty of money to spend on books and fancy programs I couldn’t get that message.  Our school is based on our relationship with the Lord and with each other. 

  Now instead of depending on a phonics program to teach my little guys to read, the older kids are practicing with them and we are reading together more. 

 No more early math curriculums, now we play games & drill each other.

For history, we read about the real people, dress up like them, cook their food and recreate important moments in their lives.  This year I really want to work on building timelines that can unfold and stretch across the room, then fold back up & fit back into my filing cabinet.  I want to try lapbooks!

Our science lessons happen when ever I clean out my refrigerator, or the boys find another critter in the yard  or the baby swallows a dime and it comes out in his diaper.  Have you seen that one?  Wow, talk about a great lesson on the chemical reactions in our digestive system. 

There are a lot of things I would love to do with my kids, but money just won’t allow it, but I am learning that maybe we just don’t need to do those things.  It would probably take away from our time with each other or maybe it just doesn’t fit in with God’s purpose for our family. 

So, I’ll go back to my lesson planning.  Planning out how to teach new things to my kids with out spending money, but realizing the huge investment it is in their lives