Monday, March 31, 2008

Profiling Home Educators

Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?

We are a Christian homeschooling family of five.  My husband, James, is the leader of our home as God intended for him to be.   We will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this summer.  He has entrusted me with the education of our girls.  I do the research and decision making for what curriculum we will use.  I always run things by him, especially price, before I purchase.  He trusts my decisions in this area though and usually says go ahead a buy it. 

Lulu is eight and finishing up 2nd grade.  She is a very bright little girl.  She started reading at four with very little instruction from me.  It just clicked with her.  She loves books!  She also enjoys art -- drawing, painting, crafting, whatever.  When it's warm outside you will find her camping, swimming, and riding her bike.  She is very sensitive and loves to please others.  Lulu is also very good with Lil.  She watches out for her and gives in to Lil's demands way to often.

Monkey is six and finishing up 1st grade.  According to her age she is actually ahead one year in school.  She loves math and science.  She improves daily on her reading skills.  Like Lulu, Monkey loves all forms of art.  She is right next to Lulu when it's warm: camping, swimming, riding bikes, swinging, etc.  Monkey is a very determined little girl.  She knows what she wants most of the time and also how she is going to get it.  She is not easily swayed from her opinions.  I see now this as one of her strong character traits. 

Lil is a very active, very vocal, and very curious three year old.  She is always into something.... sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  She is very sweet too!  Her little voice and eyes will melt your heart when she sings and dances.  She loves to be moving and has a hard time sitting still.  She wants to do school like her big sisters but only lasts for a few minutes at a time.  Like Monkey, she is very determined and independent.  I began to see this as a positive in Monkey around age five.  I prayerfully only have two more years to begin to see it as a positive in Lil too! 

A "normal" day for us is somewhat structured.  We have a basic daily routine that we follow without time scheduled in.  Most days we get ready, eat, and do our chores before starting school.  The bulk of our schoolwork is completed before lunch (if we get started early enough).  After lunch Lil takes a nap and any unfinished work is completed.  The girls has computer time most days.  They are very excited about recently starting their own blogs.  (Lulu, Monkey)

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling for us is the ability to be flexible.  There will always be another day if something does not get done today.  If today is a hard day and tears are being shed, stop.  Go outside and play.  Come back and try again later.  Or stop for the day.  The world will not end if my lesson plans are not checked off on the correct day.  My girls will still learn.  And we are all happier learning without tears....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Looking Back

Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

Before I became a homeschooling mom I worked at an equine adjusting company.  It was a fun job and very interesting.  I was able to assist on claims for animals belonging to Joe Montana and Michael Jackson.  I had horse claims come across my desk worth millions of dollars.  When I was home there were no thoughts of curriculum, art supplies, schedules, etc.  I would sit down at the computer and think, “What can I look up?”.  Now my list of things to “look up” never seems to end. 

Since I have to name something that I miss I will say the interaction with other adults.  I am so thankful to have a great co-op, but once a week is not the same as every day.  I suppose I should say I miss the extra paycheck.  But in reality we spent it all anyway.

My family and I have gained so much more than we miss by making the choice to homeschool.  We have gained being with each other.  I love being with my girls.  I would not change our lifestyle for a six figure income. I would not change it for fancy clothes.  I would not even change it for a bigger house.  For some of you, I know that is hard to believe.  You know how much I desire a bigger house.  But all of those things will one day pass through the fire and be burned up.  The time I take now to sow into my girls’ lives with never burn up.  God has promised me in Proverbs 22:6 that if I train them in the way they should go, when they are older they will not depart from it. I stand firm on that promise. 

Oops…back to what we have gained.  We have also gained so much knowledge.  I am excited about the things that I am learning…again.  It is so rewarding to be able to watch the light bulb go on in my girls’ minds.  I also really love being home and having the time to keep the house picked up, being able to greet my husband when he comes home from work, being able to take the day off if something comes up at the last minute…  The list could go on and on.  But the main point is the gain far outweighs the loss.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Home Education Week

Dana at Principled Discovery is having Home Education Week March 30 - April 5.  Here are the details from her blog.  I hope you will join her.
Please consider the following as writing prompts, not assignments. The ideas I list aren’t meant to restrict the topic in any way, but only to offer a starting point. Feel free to participate in as many or as few of the prompts as you like! I’ll have a Mr. Linky thing set up with each of the posts to make it easier for everyone who chooses to participate to share their posts. Also, since I can easily write most of these posts ahead of time, I will likely set them to publish the night before around 9PM central time.
    Looking Back Sunday, March 30
    Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.
    Profiling Home Educators Monday, March 31
    Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?
    April Fool’s! Tuesday, April 1
    And we have likely all felt the fool in one way or another. Share your greatest challenge. Or one of those terrible, horrible no good, very bad days where the only thing there is to do seems to involve moving to Australia.
    Recipe for Success Wednesday, April 2
    It is also National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! So share a recipe…figuratively, as in two parts love, one part creativity, or literally, as in a super quick, nutritious meal your kids scarf up. Think about what you do in the day, what helps keep it organized and you sane (or how you got past that need for organization and saneness!), and curriculum materials you find effective.
    Show and Tell Thursday, April 3
    Show off those talents. Share a story, a special moment, a piece of artwork. Any accomplishment, great or small, is fair game.
    In Their Own Words Friday, April 4
    Share your children’s home education experience in their own words. What have they said about their education? What are their likes and dislikes? Share some stories, some quotes, or turn your blog over to your children for the day.
    Looking Forward Saturday, April 5
    What are your goals for home education? What do you hope to instill in your children? Are you planning any changes to how you educate your children?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

We are SO ready to be doing this...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sweet, sweet memories!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Since the Cutting of the Cord

Probably not the cord most of you are thinking about......

We have decided to put out a garden this year.  One more of our feeble attempts to "homestead" in town.  We are very blessed to have a big backyard.  We have been saving up compost all winter.  James began tilling last Thursday.  Unfortunately our cable cord for our internet was also "tilled" in the process.  But we are up and running now !  Instead of doing several posts, I am going to do one long post.....

First up is our snow pictures the weekend before last.

The girls had a blast, until one got hit in the face with a snowball and one got cold.  Our little trooper, Lil, would have stayed out all day if Daddy and I had.  I could not believe the other two wanted to go in so quickly.  When I was a kid my Mom had to make me go inside.

The girls painted water bottles to keep their water in.  Their Daddy has a new halogen bottle and they always want to drink out of it.  James thought if they had their own special bottles they would leave his alone .  We will see how well that works.  The bottles look great though.

Next up is an afternoon at the park.  Always great fun!  The weather was so nice.  We finished up our school work early, packed a lunch and headed out.  This is one of my most favorite perks about homeschooling.  When we want to pack up at the last minute and head out...we can! 

Add a birthday party in the mix for pure excitement.  A friend at church was having a super hero birthday party.  There is a newer show on PBS called "Super Why".  Lulu went to the party as Princess Presto and Monkey went as Alpha Pig.  Lil went as Super Elmo...not a real super hero but, hey, she's 3.  It was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately these great friends of ours are moving out of state this weekend.  We will miss them.

And finally (in photos anyway) we end up back where we started....the garden.  The girls are really excited about planting our own garden.  I hope this will encourage one of them, ahem Lulu, to eat more vegetables.  They worked hard and, as always, there's more where that came from.

I also wanted to say what a blessing Nancy Carter is!   She came and spoke at our homeschool group recently.  She did awesome!  She spoke on grace in our homeschools.  Her humor and sweet spirit is a delight.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet her and listen to her speak, you will not want to miss it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Our sweet boy, Annakin!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Homeschooling Under Attack

There was a court case recently in California involving homeschoolers.  The court ended up ruling that homeschooling was illegal in California.  HSLDA was not involved from the beginning because the family was not a member.  HSLDA heard about this case after the ruling.  It is being appealed.  They have a petition on their website that ALL parents, especially homeschoolers, need to sign.  Please click here and sign the petition.

If you read my blog because you know and love our family personally, please go sign this petition in support of Lulu, Monkey and Lil.  I have heard it said before, "As goes California, so goes the rest of the U.S."  Parental rights are under attack in this country.  There are many people in Washington that want to be able to tell parents how to raise their children in every aspect of their lives.  And the really sad part is that it all has to do with money.  If our children are not in the public school system they are losing money. 

So.....please sign the petition!  You do not have to be a homeschooler for this to be important to you as well.

Wordless Wednesday

The price we pay for beauty....

History and Science Fun

In history we have been looking at the Wars of the Roses.  The Lancastrians (red roses) and the Yorks (white roses) were part of the same family in England.  They fought over which family would sit on the throne of England.  When Edward IV died, his 12 year old son became king.  Edward V was too young so his uncle Richard was to rule in his place until Edward V was old enough to rule on his own.  Of course, once Richard III assumed the throne he did not intend to give it up.  Long story short, Richard III put Edward V and his younger brother in the tower of London.  They eventually disappeared and there was no threat to the throne.  The boys' bones were found many years later but we still do not know for sure who had them killed. is a project the girls did while they were learning about all of this.

Now for science.....while studying two of the gas giants, Neptune and Uranus, we did an experiment to make clouds.  The girls filled the jar half full of hot water, I struck the match and dropped it in the water, and the girls covered the jar with a bag of ice.  The water vapor rises and cools when it hits the colder air that is coming down from the ice.  This cooling causes the water vapor to become liquid again, creating a cloud.  This is the same process that happens on the gas giants.  The girls really enjoyed this experiment.