Saturday, June 21, 2008

HIM Ministry End of Year Program

The program was beautiful. Everything from the performance of each grade level to the graduation of Kindergartners and Seniors. It was a true blessing to witness. I am going to post some video footage once I get it off of Matt's phone. I forgot my camera and video camera in the rush to get everything done in time. We left around 10ish and went out for ice cream afterwards. What a great way to end the school year. (In a traditional sense) We are going to miss the classes, but have promised to keep in touch over the summer with our homeschool friends. I am off to take the kiddos to a carwash benefit for their camping trip with the church.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top 20 Advantages of Homeschooling

Not sure where this came from originally, it has been passed around a bit...Too funny not to share!

Top 20 Advantages to Homeschooling
20. Your kids never tell you that you're a lot dumber than their teacher.
19. If you can't find matching socks for your child first thing in the morning, who cares?
18. Cleaning out the refrigerator can double as chemistry lab.
17. Your kids have good reason to think they might get spanked in school, but no reason to think they'll get beat up by a gang.
16. If the principal gives the teacher a bad evaluation, she can stick her icy feet against his legs at night.
15. You can post the Ten Commandments on your school room wall and won't get sued.
14. You never have to drive your child's forgotten lunch to school.
13.Your child will never go to their 20th high school reunion, meet an old flame, and recklessly abandon their marriage.
12. You get to change more than diapers, you get to change their minds.
11. If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you're having a PTA meeting.
10. It's better to be slightly concerned about socialization than very concerned about socialism.
9. Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.
8. The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.
7. You never have to face the dilemma of whether to take your child's side or the teacher's side in a dispute at school.
6. If your child gets drugs at school, it's probably Tylenol.
5. The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.
4. Your kids recognize that this list is numerically in reverse order.
3. Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you have on your car.
2. If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.
1. Some day your children will consider you to be a miracle working expert and will turn to you for advice.


Not meant to offend anyone...just find it funny! Unfortunatley many people have made it a battle between "worlds" of Public School and Homeschool. This is why I wasn't going to post this cool comic find. I do not want to start a debate. With that said I think every family is unique. I do find that I relate more to other homeschoolers because they "get" me. Now, that doesn't mean that I look down on Public School families. It is a choice and I feel strongly that you are lead by God either way. Now let's all get along people. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer To Do List...

  • Learn to sew (more than a simple seam or button)

  • Make final preparations for Fostering

  • Actually sit outside and enjoy the weather

  • Reduce my busyness (So far I do not see this happening)

  • Try a few summer dessert recipes I clipped LAST year

  • Lay on the ground with the family at night and watch the stars

  • Go camping for a WHOLE week

  • nightly strolls around the neighborhood

  • college hunt with Matt and Cassie

  • Continue friendships that edify God and lift me up (Sometimes God puts people in your life for a reason and a season)

  • Watch the kids play and have fun with their neighborhood friends

  • Go to a few ball games and a couple car races

  • Eat LESS hotdogs

  • Catalog all my clipped recipes

  • make a few scrapbooks (I want to make a recipe scrapbook for Maggie and a photo one for my mom)

  • Look into investing in a pool...even if it IS a cheap rubber one. :)

  • Take my time to really investigate and purchase my curriculum for the fall

  • Not go to so many barbecues and parties. I think one or two a month is great! But when you get to the point when you DREAD getting another invite-enough is enough! I love my friends and family don't get me wrong, I just miss some of the quite moments of life.

  • Send out a few personal cards in the Mail. Just a Hi and thinking of you notes. Sometimes you loose touch with people when you are a busy family. I value my friendships but my family IS my first ministry. However, I do not want my "old" friends to feel unloved.

I know some of this is unrealistic being that I am a mother of teens. However, I do want to try to recapture what summers are meant for...relaxation and rejuvenation.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Descision to Homeschool Year Round

Well it's that time again...End of year reports, planning for next year's curriculum and scheduling our homeschool days.
This is what we decided: To homeschool year round. WHAT? you say. Hear me out. I am not talking about hours on end of book work. I am talking about short lessons and educational fun! No lesson planning, no paper work. This also does not mean the kids are stuck with mom "doing school" all day. If everyone loves the read alouds and bible study-why should we stop for the summer-jut because everyone else does? A 10 minute math lesson won't "kill" their fun either. What it WILL do is keep the lessons they learned fresh for next years curriculum. We won't have to waste 6 weeks to review LAST years lessons. A daily journal for writing and grammar will only take 20 minutes-also great to read back to the summer's adventures. We do ALLOT of fun stuff. We do exciting science projects and many fieldtrips! And guess what? They still have time for friends and social time. Book work from 9am-11am will keep them structured and fresh. Also a benefit of schooling all year is that we can take mini breaks throughout the year. We are only required to school 180 days. We go WAY beyond that. Remember,school doesn't have to be boring and dull. In fact, my teens LOVE our read aloud time together. So to summarize the benefits of all year schooling:

  • Keeps lessons learned fresh

  • Allows us to take a SHORT break every 10-12 weeks long breaks every few months.

  • Keeps kids balanced and continues a somewhat structured day

  • Allows for unstructured days when needed

  • Quality Family time ALL the time

  • Fun projects and fieldtrips with out the guilt

I know there are more benefits, however, these are the tops for us. So, before you yell at me for my insanity try to see the REASON behind it. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Breanna's Spiderweb

Well my little bug hating girl has come along way~Homeschool Style! Tylor and Breanna were fascinated by a huge spider on it's web OUTSIDE. (Thank Goodness) They fed it mosquitoes and watched the spider wrap them up and inject her venom and suck out the guts. Gross? you bet! She "ate" one and saved one for later. Breanna then came inside and googled spiders and learned the whole process. THEN she decided to make her own web. Here is a photo. Now that's learning homeschool style! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Our Day at a Glance...

Our Day at a Glance

I am sharing this section with you because often I hear questions from people on what the structure of our day looks like and how I handle all that needs to be accomplished in a day.

6:00 to 7:00 – Everyone wakes up, mom is first and kids follow. Everyone must dress, make their beds, comb hair, etc…

8:00 to 9:00 – The Children check the chore chart board and complete their morning chores. (We use the chorganizer program)
I use this time to organize some of the days extra activities/resources. I also use this time to do laundry and tackle my daily to do list. I refer to the days menu and take out meat from the freezer or start the crockpot for the day.

9:00 to 10:00 – Bible Study: We use a daily family devotional that requires the children to memorize as verse and asked character/though provoking questions. They use bible study comps for this. I also read the illustrated Bible in chronological order. I also may read a chapter from History stories for Children by Christian Liberty Press. Matt is involved if he hasn’t left for the day. I have to tell you, something “happens” when dad participates. The children always love bible study and they are on fire for the Lord, but our day seems to go much smoother when Matt joins us for bible study in the morning. Cassie and Tylor also have their teen devotionals they do on their own in the evening. I still read Breanna’s to her before bedtime.

10:00 to 12:00- Seat Work: Cassie usually goes off to do her work on her own. Tylor and Breanna do their daily grammar, spelling, writing/journaling and vocabulary at this time. Breanna is also using handwriting without tears for learning cursive. I will begin lunch preparation at this time. They work pretty independently during seat work.

12:00to1:00 Lunch
1:00to2:00– I work with Tylor in Math while Breanna does silent reading for most of the hour. Breanna usually finishes her Math independently.(once a new lesson is introduced and explained) I am currently using Diane Craft’s multiplication cards with her and Tylor also,

2:00to3:30 –Science or Social Studies rotation. While Tylor reads independently I will work with Breanna and Visa Versa.

3:30to4:00 – Afternoon Chores and homeschool clean-up.

4:00to6:00 –The children usually go outside to play with their friends while I prepare dinner. Occasionally they will help. I like to give them time to play and relax after a long day. I also do allot of thinking and reflection while I cook.

6:00to 7:00- Dinner as a family at the TABLE. There have been studies that prove how important family meals are. (google it) 
The children help me set and clear the table. Cassie and Bre help load the dishwasher while Tylor takes care of the dogs.
7:00to8:00- Finally time to relax!!! We like to have a game night once a week as a family.
8:00to8:30- Breanna gets ready for bed and nighttime devotionals/ story. Bed by 8:45pm

9:30to 10:00- Tylor gets ready for bed. Does his nightly devotionals. Bedtime is at 10:15.
10:00-10:30 –Cassie does her nightly devotionals. Bed by 10:30.

Now, not every day goes like this, but these are considered the good days – LOL I leave one day a week for music and piano lessons. On that day, we get about half the normal school work done. On half days, I require math only and time spent reading, and study spelling words and this type of thing (just the basics). Usually there is another day in the week were we go into town and run errands and do our grocery shopping and again it is usually just a half day worth of school work. However despite the half days we seem to have no problems finishing our Saxon math books each year along with all English lessons and my children are voracious readers and read lots of classic literature for history and read books from the library on science topics (these become the topics of their weekly reports).

We have also taken an occasional *Break* for a day. If everyone is grumpy and I can always tell it will be “one of those days” we take a day off for FUN stuff. We will put a lapbook together or play a game…. Or something. We may just go to the library find a neat book and go to the park for the day. This does not happen all the time…however if you think everyday is going to run perfectly structured and do not allow for unsettled days, you will quickly burn out. It has taken me awhile to accept this. I now have no problem calling up a friend and asking if she needs a *break* also and we will get our kids together. The next day we are refreshed and ready to go. The kids know this isn’t to be taken advantage of.

As for Discipline, I use two methods: Change of Heart time. (child in question will go to their bedroom to think on his or her behavior and come back down with a changed heart.) This may take 5 minutes or 25 minutes. It’s up to them, when they return. I usually ask them why they have a change of heart then we go to the board. I use Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman. I LOVE it. I use it after the change of heart because I want them to “hear” what I am saying. The chart is fantastic. It first list the behavior (such as complaining) Then Heart Probing (questions) Then the Reproof (A Scripture regarding particular behavior) The comes the Encouragement ( Scripture) and finally there are additional verses if you feel more needs to be learned. You can buy her chart here: for 4.00. I have o tell you, this works better than anything because it gets to the heart of the matter. 9 times out of 10 when a child is punished they do not KNOW or understand why. By getting to the heart of the matter it TEACHES them from the word of GOD. We have never really spanked our children. (maybe a few times when they were younger) and they are not wild and crazy heathens. They are well mannered and love Jesus!

Ok, with all that said I cannot say that it is always pleasant and my house ALWAYS looks clean and everyone is ALWAYS happy. We have our “bad” days and sometimes even a bad week. That usually happens when I OVER schedule outings and fieldtrips. Alright, I think I was only planning on summarizing but hey there you go. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

FAMOUS Homeschoolers

Cassie's Homeschool Prom

As you can see she had a fabulous time! We are so proud of the beauty she possess from the inside out~

Update for the past few weeks!

We have been busy busy busy...I am not going to write about it because it would require too much brain cell activity. :) I will post pictures though! FUN FUN FUN! At LEAST three field trips and some hiking!