Category Archives: Homeschooling

Anything and everything homeschooling

Persecution & Perspective

I’ve always been drawn to stories of persecuted Christians.  When I was younger I devoured the stories of men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale.  In more recent years, I’ve been so interested in Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

From my insulated, American lifestyle, persecution is unthinkable.  We get caught up in “Merry Christmas” wars while a Christian woman is being raped with a cattle prod in China.  We get worried about our kids learning about Islam i school while a Christian couple is sentenced to death in Pakistan.

The unfathomable, backwards mentality persecution of followers of Christ is current.  Its NOW, not in the 1600’s.

I highly suggest EVERY Western Christian educate yourself on the cause of martyrs.  Personally, I’m still praying about what God would have my family and myself to do help.  The first thing is praying for the persecuted themselves and the persecutors.  Here are some great resources to get yourself knowledgeable about persecution; past and present:

TFC Book
Click on the picture for a free copy from Voice of the Martyrs 


B
ob Fu and his wife escaped China when they found they were expecting their first child.  It is illegal to get pregnant without permission (even with your first).

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – John Foxe (free, online reprinting)


I
 first read this as a teenager.  I think its a great introduction for students and teens.

 

 

Time {L}og

I’ve been teetering on the edge of panic and being totally overwhelmed with a nice, hefty dose of guilt this past week.  Let me explain.  As I said in my first post, I just recently started school.  I’m trying to balance housework, studying, homeschool, just being mom, and being my husband’s wife.  Yeah, nothing much happening here!

I’ve been pouring over time management books and websites for that past 3 days or so.  I’m trying to fit everything in without exhausting myself and neglecting the most important people in my life.  Most, if not all, recommended keeping track of your hours for about a week.  Laura Vanderkam has a free printable when you subscribe to her blog.  So that is where I am now.  Just logging my hours and I thought I’d share my yesterday with you!

5:30/5:45 am: Woke to My Husband getting ready for work (he had an early breakfast meeting with his boss), Couldn’t/didn’t want to fall back to sleep.  Got out of bed at 6 am

6:00am-7:00am Read my Bible, checked e-mail, checked the blog, made My Husband’s lunch

7:00-7:30 Reread my notes on Chapter 1 Anatomy

8:00 am – 9:30 Showered, gave the baby a bath, gave the boys a bath – while in tub, I put on breakfast & then cleaned up the bathroom (wiped the sink & floor, put clothes in baskets), laid the baby down for a nap.  Had breakfast after getting dressed & brushing teeth.

9:30-10:15 or so Homeschooled – read about Genesis in The Bible Handbook for Kids,  read 2 chapters of history (a bit edited), made a countdown rocket for math, did a reading lesson for each of the boys, read an Aesop Fable, read son #2 his Bible story & sang song to go with it.

10:30 cleaned up the table, swept floor from the night before, dishes from breakfast & some from the night before

10:45-12:30 Worked on blog- wrote a post, checked stats, moderated comments, read some posts from blogs I follow, commented on a few posts from the A-Z challenge.  Put library books on hold, online banking, Facebook & email.  Checked out a few homeschool pages for ideas – all while listening to talk radio (multitasking 😉 )

12:30 pm-2 pm More laundry- mostly folding & putting away, cleaning up toys, made my bed (started to get to the boys, got distracted & forgot about it)

2 Sat on the couch with my feet up 🙂

2:15/2:30 Impromptu science experiment (mixing oil & colored water in a soda bottle)

3 pm My Mother-in-Law dropped by with a gift for the littlest (it was her 1st birthday!), chatted a little bit

3:30 Switching loads of laundry & folding, texted a friend about a birthday party for the weekend & scheduling a massage

4 pm Fell asleep on the couch while my littlest napped and the older boys played with blocks (I was amazed at how well they played together!)

4:30 Got on reddit for about 15 minutes.  I “fasted” from reddit for a while, I tried it out and realized what a time waster.  Yeah, won’t be back on there!

5:00 Feeling really groggy from my unplanned nap, took me a while to get to making dinner.  I finally started dinner around 5:15 or so.  Did even more laundry (did I mention that this fell on my “laundry day”?), went through the days mail

5:30-6:30 pm made dinner through the cries of “we’re hungry, when will dinner be done, eww I don’t like that”. Made mac & cheese, chicken thighs, & peas w/ butter.  Husband got home, kisses, greetings, “how was your day?” etc.  Cleared table for dinner & ate.

7:30 pm – 9:30pm Baby was wide awake, so I got the boys to bed while My Husband took care of the baby.  Once the boys were down (bedtime is around 7:30), I headed to the library to return overdue movies & pick up a few holds, I went to Office Max for printer ink and then to the gym for a leisurely 35 minute walk on the treadmill.  I hate working out at night (especially at the gym, it was packed!), but its been quite a while since I’ve worked-out.  I just needed the exercise!

9:30 ish – helped My Husband clean up the remains of The Iced Tea Disaster of 2014 (the bottom of a gallon jug broke off), read the intro of a library book I got (he was almost finished and wouldn’t really let me help much),

10:00 pm My Husband asked if I needed to study for my massage class (really code for: massage please!) Put on a movie while I practiced scraping the fascia in his hands.

11:00 pm I gave up on the movie and headed for bed.  Just as I was getting settled, the baby woke to nurse.  Thankfully, she went right back to sleep.

11:30 asleep – but up 3 times with the baby

Mixed in with all of this was nap times, nursings, diaper changes, kissing “boo-boos”, answering questions, hugs, getting the baby to walk (she’s so silly about the whole thing 🙂 ),  cleaning up spills, and everything else that only takes 5 minutes.  The boys were either alongside me or playing alone, or watching a movie.  It was an awful rainy day so not much playing outside!

Have you ever logged your time before?  What “time management” tricks do you have up your sleeve?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education

Before I ever heard that first heartbeat or felt the first kicks of my darling baby boy, I knew I wanted to homeschool our children.  I often get the ,”Oh, why do you homeschool”.  I’ve only ever heard it in the sense of curiosity rather than disdain.  I never have a great response because well, there’s such a long list!  Typically, I fall back on faith.  I homeschool because I want to provide a secure foundation in faith for our kids.  That is absolutely true, but not the only reason why we homeschool.   For the curious (and maybe not so curious) here’s why we homeschool:

  • I already said it, but here it is again – our faith in Jesus Christ.  Government run school  (let’s be honest – public school = government school) is interested in inclusion.  That’s great, but not for us.  I get that you can’t have Christian prayer because not everyone believes that.  I won’t force Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, or anyone else to say a prayer they don’t agree with.  That being said, I’d rather my children’s formative years be at home in a faith-rich environment.
  • Politics.  I’m not trying to make this about politics, but here we go 🙂   I don’t think what is taught in schools ought to change depending on who is in office – right or left.  I think we ought to be learning the truth without political filters.
  • I don’t want someone else raising my kids.  There are certain values we’d like to instill in our children.  I’m not under the impression that we can force our kids to be one way or another, but I’d like to know that we did everything we could to influence their character for the better.  And lets face it, being in a class with 20+ other kids their age with one adult (who may or may not have similar values as us) isn’t a great recipe for character development.
  • I don’t believe that every person need be strong in every academic area.  It isn’t a realistic expectation.  Yes, I expect that my kids will be proficient in each subject, but to expect that they’ll get “A’s” in everything is silly.  But, when we teach just to a test that’s what we’re doing.  I also think that holds a child back in the areas where they are stronger.  We plan to teach to their strengths, shore up the weaknesses and forget the tests.

Well, there you are in case you were wondering why this family homeschools!

 

 

Balance

Balance-
“the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How often am I tiptoeing along trying to keep from falling one way or the other?  Am I pushing my kids too much or not enough?  Do I spend too much time with my kids or not quite enough?  Of course there’s the nature vs. nurture balance.  How much can I really influence my kids to become godly adults and how much is just their personality?

I know as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom that I am not the only one to struggle with this idea of balance.  Quite frankly, there isn’t ever a quick, easy remedy.  In fact as soon as you figure out how to manage, something new pops up to throw you off once again.

My only constant?  Jesus.  Yes, I am going there.  There is only one, unchanging element in my life.  He even promised that if we keep our eyes focused on Him and His kingdom, he’ll provide everything else.  There is the moment that I  have to give up whatever idea of balance I think I’ve attained and trust that His promises for me and my family stand.

So those moments when I am worried that I must have this curriculum or my children’s educational future is at risk or if I need some precious moments away from my kids to spend time with My Husband- I need to focus on the promise that I can trust in Christ  for our futures.   That’s where balance truly lies regardless of your situation.

In what areas do you struggle with balance?

Books! 3-27-14

I felt the siren’s call of new books :).  There was a Usbourne Book display at a local used clothing sale near me.  They’ve been quite popular in my house!  I bought 5 and got 1 of them free.  Here they are:

Picture of Animal Hide-and-Seek
T
his is a lift-the-flap and a touchy-feely book that my almost 1 year old really seems to like.  She keeps flipping through the pages to find different animals she can touch.  She especially likes the woolly lamb.  The boys love lifting the flaps to show their sister what’s underneath

Continue reading Books! 3-27-14