Preparing for Homeschooling

Amazingly, it is August already. August. And already the second day of August. So…

Time to prepare the best I can. Time to clean up the study spaces and work and craft spaces. Time to get books ready to go and accessible again. Time to neaten and declutter and prioritize. Time to get a new calendar and figure out field trips.

I was dreading all this prep stuff but now I am getting excited. I so love teaching my children! I feel so spoiled being able to homeschool them! Praise God for this gift!😄❤

Homeschooling Joys

After 4 years of homeschooling (we took off some time during year 3 to care for and then bury my daddy), we have been flowing like a well oiled machine and now that we are on year 5, we are booking. We can do a full comprehensive days work for two grades in 2 1/2-3 hours with no drama and doing PE and piano lessons afterward as a reward. It is fantastic. I love it!! So rewarding. It is not for everyone, but we sure love it. ☺❤

School Preparation

I am a teacher, most of you know. I homeschool our 2 kids. I am also a doctor, mostly retired now, doing private consulting work also. And my teaching experience last year was the first time I had two different grades, officially, and now that it is 1st grade and 5th/6th grade, my greatest preparation is not.booms and supplies, I have those, but it is quite different. During school, I am a servant of God, of my children and their knowledge and growth, still of my husband. There is none of serving me to be had there, no room for it, no need for it. So my preparation is in finishing our story quilt, in decluttering my mind, in preparing my heart and soul for service, in growing spiritually and maintaining my relationship with God who strengthens me. And we will go full steam ahead, in deep worship of obedience to the Lord and humbling of my heart. And that, my friends, is incredibly beautiful!!!! Bring it on! ❤❤❤

On the Return of School at Home

We Homeschool our children, which is very big and well supported where I live. And a teacher’s kid asked me accusingly why I Homeschool, implying that something dreadful must be wrong with my kids or something. Lol It is simple. I want my kids to have a great, well rounded education and not be worried about bullies or persecution for their faith or learning things that have nothing to do with school or testing and stressing about testing all the time. If the school system has failed to even teach basic math for heaven’s sake, much less anything else, and seems more politically agenda driven rather than education driven, time for everyone to withdraw their kids and force reform. But I digress. Simply, my kids need an education and home seems the place nowadays they are most likely to get one. So, we are getting ready for school, as is everyone else. And I feel very good about this school year. We are simplifying and leaving room for serving people in our week. We are going to help serve the elderly, clean up littered areas, help trim bushes or mow lawns of people who can’t and that is a healthy part of education. Also, for home economics, my son will pick one entree to make for the family once a week and will have to make a grocery list of what we need, budget the money to get it, buy it from the store and cook it. Part of teaching our kids is teaching us parents out of a job. They need to know how to live on their own. I think 11 is a good age to get that thinking started. And of course all the other school studies we normally do with Kathleen officially in school now. And my husband retires in a couple months so we can do more field trips and vacations to supplement. So this should be fun and keep us busy. I am so excited.Looking forward to a wonderful school year.

Crafty for Dummies

Okay, so I have a few friends who know that I homeschool. They know that we are artsy and crafty in this house. And some of them wonder how it happens. And I assure you it is entirely not an accident. And if you wondered, as I have been asked a lot, how it can be done in your home with your kids, please read on. Otherwise, probably started the wrong article. lol So, the secret to crafting success is to try new things. That is the philosophy behind it- exploration. So following this theme with a distinctive and necessary lack of laziness and embracing of the new or different, you have a winning combination for becoming a crafty family. Other tools of the trade are much more practical. Thinking outside the box and thinking craft is imperitive. I save little glass jars, cardboard, egg cartons, thread spools, newspapers, screws, beads, string, whatever you are about to throw away, look at it and see if there might be a use. If not, please throw it away or recycle. If, however, you had a sudden inspiration to make said item into an amazing paper flower vase or paper mache template, keep it and put it in a craft closet/drawer/section in the closet. Then use it to make your idea a reality when you have assembled all the ingredients. Treat it like a recipe and making a cake, also fun to make with paper. Sometimes we take a hike and a bucket with us and collect interesting mosses, rocks (for painting of course), twigs, feathers, leaves, wildflowers, whatever we find and assemble it into an object, like a bird or hot glue onto a wood or foam board in the shape of a ship or the woods you hiked through, whatever. The only end to a project is your imagination. And supplies. So be sure to keep a supply of paint, brushes, paper towels, water cup, glue, scissors, hot glue, tape, construction paper, qtips, cotton balls, whatever is usually needed when inspiration arises. Be proactive in seeking out projects. There are also a lot of ideas on Pinterest, the internet, book stores if you can still find one, magazines, the library, wherever to show you other people’s ideas to get you started or kits you can buy at craft or hobby stores. But we found the funnest crafts were ones the kids thought up in their heads and we did it. It gives them a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of seeing their idea turn up in reality, built by their own hands. Boosts their brain cells and grows their ability and sense of pride in work. So it is well worth the effort. And last idea is use what you find where you are. We recently went to the beach, so we brought back some shells, some of which are painted already. Others will be glued onto a picture frame which will house a pic of our trip. So many options if you keep your imagination open and willingness applied. Craft on!

Socialization and America aka For Kids’ Sake

I have good kids. They are human and still kids, so of course they are not anywhere near perfect but we are working on getting them as close as we can by the time they are doing life as adults. Being homeschooled, people ask me the question of whether the kids can handle social situations. And one clear difference is certainly there. My kids make friends easily, but when they are asked to do something wrong or questionable, they will say no most of the time now and get picked on or bullied for it. I don’t see this as antisocial behavior they are being harassed for but rather anti-socialized behavior, aka having a mind of their own and obeying what they were taught. If this is termed as “antisocial behavior”, than I am quite pleased at it and am proud that I am “antisocial” as well. Nothing worse than millions of Americans being puppets on a string with no voice of their own. Are we communists? No, we are Americans, the people who bucked the “social nor s” of society in favor of freedom of thought and expression and vote. I am not digging being slammed down for teaching g my kids the right way to live and respond to terrorism (bullies). And we as Americans must continue to voice what is right, even if it against the “social norms”. Right is right and as long as we aren’t making up our own right that serves ourselves (as many of those we have elected are electing to do) and our right is based on truth (the Bible), we must stand for that right. The effective way to deal with bullies of all shapes and sizes and scopes of power is by standing up to them. This country that I love has not stood against these injustices, the I justice of being bullied, the injustice of abortion, the injustice of abuse of any kind, the injustice of being harassed for being followers of the Creator God through Jesus Christ. We should not cower and put up with and cow tow before these villains. We have done so misguidedly thinking it is the Christian way. It is not. Yes, we love, Yes, we exhibit joy and peace and freedom. But we do not let someone remove our rights to inflict their demands upon us in stark co trash to our beliefs. We go then from being a light set on a hill to all the world to being willingly snuffed out because we don’t want to offend or stand or be inconvenienced or do something. Antisocial is okay if social is against the truths we live by. Those who imply it is not okay have their own agenda or guilt they are dealing with and are terrorists/bullies on some level. That is just my thought. Radical, I know.

Bread as Teacher

We made bread today. We learned several things from this process. The first was that it is amazing how cheap bread is in the store. It doesn’t taste like homemade but the process still must be followed. Making bread required arm strength and endurance as well as time. Lots and lots of time. So buying bread in the store does not taste as good but is worth every penny. Secondly, we worked on math. We discovered that we only had enough flour for a half batch (1 loaf) so we worked on fractions for measurements. Thirdly, we learned a little science as I taught about the yeast/ warm water/ temperature/ sugar interplay and why dough rises. Fourthly, we learned economics in that if you don’t have bread in the house and don’t have money to go get bread, you can make it yourself. And it tastes better! And lastly we learned that good things come to those who wait. And every person on earth needs to be reminded of that now and then. So, the kitchen is a great place for teaching children all sorts of things and talking about life as you wait for the dough to rise or food to bake. Making lessons out of life is what Christ did and we feel closer to Him when we do the same, I think. At least I do. Hope you had a great day too!