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Monday, March 28, 2011

Goal Planning Monday 3/28/11

It's been a rough... while.  And a full month since I've blogged.  A lot's happened since then.  Not all bad, just busy.  Some bad, some that makes me sick to think about, some that just makes me wonder about the future of humanity in general. While pondering the Great Questions of Life, though, I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things, starting with Goal Planning Monday courtesy of Mama Manuscripts!

My Goals for This Week:

1.  Get out of bed BEFORE the kids.  Does wonders.

2.  Recommit a portion of my day to study and meditation on the Word.  I'm so so so very bad about this.  :( 

3.  Blog.  At least every other day, preferably every day. 

4.  Get off of the computer more and walk the kids through their studies, especially with their writing.  

5.  Evaluate and journal about... many things.  Many, many things the Lord has laid upon my heart in the last week or two.  I need to pray and figure them out.  See where He's leading me.  

Lots going on in my head this week.  I'm going to try to get it all down.  Stick with me! 

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal 2/28/2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...   Today is my Daddy's birthday!  Happy Birthday Daddy!  I also found some good friends that I haven't seen in FOREVER on Facebook!  This particular couple introduced my husband and I.  I'm looking forward to catching up with them.  

In our homeschool this week...  We're keepin' on keepin' on!!  We did start purposefully doing memory work this week.  We're using the Scripture Memory System from Simply Charlotte Mason to help us keep track.  We're using it for everything, not just Scripture work.  Took me a couple of hours to set it up (printing off the cards, cutting them out, ect., then copying what I wanted onto index cards), but it was worth it.  :)  

Places we're going and people we're seeing...  Not planning on getting out this week.  Hopefully. ;-)  Didn't get out last week, either.  Some weeks, you just gotta stay home and chill.  I did go to Dairy Queen last night, does that count?  

My favorite thing this week was...  Seeing how much the kids LOVED their new Latin!  They're really picking it up rather quickly, too, I'm surprised.  Right now, it's just primarily vocabulary, so we've added what we're learning to our memory box, just to make sure it sticks. ;-)  

What's working/not working for us...  I'm having my reservations about CQLA.  I'm thinking, though, now that LA time is behind us a few hours, that it's not the curriculum, it's the lack of preparation they have in grammar and writing.  :(  I really feel I've let them down in this regard.  I know that they're young, though, and it's not too late to fix it and catch them up.  It does drive me up a wall when I have to go over basics every. single. day, though.  Like indenting.  Apparently, my kids are allergic to indenting paragraphs.  (((pulling out hair...)))

The other thing we're having, um, "issues" with is computer work.  You might remember my post on it a while back.  Well, I'm still a HUGE advocate, but we're getting to the point where we want to be on it ALL of the time.  Actually, we want screen time, period.  If it's not computer time, they want to watch a movie (we don't have TV, just movies).  So, we're cutting back on it.  Their spelling, vocab, and typing will be just fine until I detox them a bit, and can introduce them back slowly, with the computer being a tool, not a toy. 
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...  There is so much out there.  So many theories, philosophies, ideas.  It's so overwhelming.  Touting one particular philosophy as the gospel truth within homeschooling circles doesn't help, either.  I guess I'm still feeling bad about the kids not doing so hot in grammar.  I feel like I could've, and should've, pushed them a bit more when they were younger, but everyone said to wait, slow down, use gentle learning...  Maybe I could've avoided this.  Maybe not.  I dunno.  

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...  

Do you have one of those kids who, no matter what you recommend, is sure he'll just HATE it?  My 8 year old is like that.  I've been trying to get him to read about King Arthur forever, sure he'd adore it.  He decided that since Mom wanted him to read it so badly, it must be horrible.  I finally put my foot down and made him crack the book.  ;-)  Guess what?  He loves it.  ((sigh)) So... this is for him. :) 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vision Forum giveaway from Modest Mom!!

Great news!! The Modest Mom is giving away a set of the new Family Strategies audio messages from Vision Forum!! These 20 audio messages from Doug and Beall Phillips will be sent directly to your in box for you to listen to, and they include such topics as:

How to Organize Your Home to Promote Family Unity
How to Cultivate a Love of Reading with Your Children
How to Make Mealtime Meaningful
How to Prepare for a Year of Home Education
How to Take Children Safely Through an Airport
How to Involve the Whole Family in Family Worship
How to Address the Plague of “Jive Talk” in Your Home
How to Encourage Masculinity in Sons
How to Encourage Femininity in Daughters
How to Handle a Social Worker Visit
How to Wage War on Sibling Rivalry
How to Use Household Decorations to Teach Character
How to Talk to Your Children about Miscarriage
How to Involve the Whole Family in Hospitality
How to Build an Entrepreneurial Spirit in Your Children
How to Watch a Movie As a Family
How to Cultivate a Love of Meaningful Poetry with Your Children, and Why Doing So Is Important
How to Prepare Your Children to Listen to a Symphony
How to Take a Road Trip with Your Family
How to Select the Best Locations for Family Vacations

If you are a Christian parent living in the twenty-first century, you need to think strategically about your family. Settling for the priorities and practices of the world is a proven formula for disaster. As parents, we must do more than settle. We must self-consciously choose. This requires strategic biblical thinking. It means self-consciously building your family culture. And whether the subject is entertainment choices, home décor, travel, music in the home, or dealing with antagonistic relatives, it means that wise, Scripturally-informed parents must think creatively as they aggressively engage impediments and obstacles to success.

Hurry and join this giveaway, it ends Sunday night, February 28!!

To check out Vision Forum and their other wonderful products, click this link or my affiliate button to the right. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homeschool Snips & Tips Wednesday 2/23/2011

OK, here's my Homeschool Snips and Tips tip for this week:

If you've got a larger than average family, or even if you're just homeschooling more than one, or are thinking about it, chances are you're going to get overwhelmed at some point.  Think about it:  I've got six kiddos.  So far.  All but 2 of them (the twins) are different ages.  All are going to be at different levels at some point.  Try as hard as I did to keep my oldest two on the same "level," they had other plans, and now one is pulling ahead in one area, the other in another... ((sigh))

But, if I tried to plan 6 different classes, for 6 different kids, at 6 different levels--I'd seriously lose my mind.  

I figured out early on (thank goodness) that I was going to have to find something that simplified our school.  I could NOT have 6 different sciences, histories, language arts, ect, going on, and still manage to keep my brain on straight. We absolutely had to be on the same page.

After much, much, MUCH searching, researching, and asking around, we settled on
Tapestry of Grace. It was perfect for us. There are many products similar to Tapestry of Grace out there, but this is by far my favorite. Let me tell you why:

1. I'm an avid reader. I'm the kid who would drive everyone nuts by not letting go of the cereal box in the morning until I had read every. single. thing on it, just because it was there. BUT... I hated reading in school. Reading short stories out of those readers seemed so pointless to me. And, frankly, the stories were boring, and, if they did happen to be out of good books, there was only a snippet of the story. Reading real, classic, wonderful literature, in whole books form, is much, much, SO much better! My kids enjoy reading, and it's not a "class," it's a way of life.

2. A chronological study of history. Let me just say... I hated history. I mean despised it. I told my husband very early on that he would be the one teaching it, since he loved it so much.

I've since changed my mind. ;-)

The way I learned history, and the way most American schoolchildren do, was disjointed. You start with social studies, then maybe jump to American History, then perhaps to modern events, then back to world history, then back for at least another year of American, perhaps a year of government, if you're lucky, and you go to a good school, maybe some political science...

It didn't make sense to me. We jumped all over the map. When I started schooling my own kids, I knew I just couldn't do that.

Eventually, I learned about a chronological study of history. That makes SO much more sense to me!! Now, we're seeing the big picture. It flows, like a story. And children, especially young children, they "get" that.

4. Different children learn in different ways. Some are visual, some are hands-on, some are auditory. Most are a combination of all, but no one is exactly the same combination. Tapestry of Grace provides resources and activities, from Lapbooks to teacher's notes to help you lecture, to video and book resources, it's all there to make sure that everyone is covered. That's really, REALLY important when you've got a houseful of learners you need to teach.

5. K-Mom teaching. Every day, I realize how much I missed with my own education. I have to relearn a lot. Things I either forgot, or never learned to begin with. With Tapestry of Grace, that's expected. They understand, and they've provided a bunch of resources to help you do just that, from the teacher's notes included in your week plan, to Tapestry Teachers Training (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way!!).

There's so much more that I could say about Tapestry of Grace, and I probably will, in another post, but my main focus of this one is to find a curriculum that makes your life easier, not harder. That's what Tapestry of Grace does for us. It's been an absolute lifesaver for our homeschool. Without a doubt, I would crash and burn without it.

You can Explore Tapestry of Grace for free by clicking the link and using a free, 3 week sample. Enjoy!!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Goal Planning Monday 2/21/2011


So, I've decided to participate in Goal Planning Monday though Mama Manuscripts, mostly because I could use the accountability. ;-)  So, here are my goals for this week:

1.  Blog daily.

2.  Get the laundry caught up.  Again.

3.  Finish watching the Tapestry Teacher Training DVDs.  

4.  Read The Core by Leigh A. Bortins (and actually finish it!!).

5.  Get up and have a private, quiet time with God and a cup of something hot every morning.  (I'm definitely a sleep person... this one will be hard.)  Gonna work on this for a month straight, until it's a habit.  

So, what are your goals for the week?  Head over to Mama Manuscripts and link up!  


♥ Daddy and his girls ♥

The Homeschool Mother's Journal 2/21/2011

In my life this week...    I've been incredibly busy.  More on that in a moment, but I know that I've been behind in my blog, and I promise to get caught up this week! 

In our homeschool this week...    We got our Tapestry of Grace and all of our books for this unit in the mail last Monday!!!  ((happy dancing!!))  Which is why I've been MIA on here.  If you use Tapestry, you know that it's NOT an open and go curriculum.  Unfortunately, the kids wanted to open and go.  So, I spent the better part of last week getting the kids used to their new Math U See, lots of drilling, teaching them about CQLA, starting our new Apologia Botany book, and then adding Tapestry into there, too, because they were dying to.  I was quite busy.  

My dear, wonderful, beautiful Katie has decided that the books we get with the Upper Grammar level of TOG are just not enough for her.  :-P  She sped through them at the speed of light already.  For the whole unit.  (Thankfully, I only bought a unit at  a time, or else she'd have read through the whole years worth!!)  So, we're onto ordering (or dreaming about, at least) the alternate resources and the Dialectic level books.  I loving having such avid readers!!  I do wish it wasn't so expensive, though... 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...  We went into Wichita this weekend, hoping to find a used bookstore to help support Katie's reading habit. :-p  We found the most WONDERFUL bookstore, although it's not all used (some is, some isn't) that is just right up our alley!!  Eighth Day Books is a book lover's PARADISE, and a homeschooling mother trying to educate her children with a classical philosophy could just totally and completely get lost in there.  (And did... until her beloved kept texting her to hurry up.  I promised to be back, though!!)  We're going to be there quite a bit, I do believe. :) 

My favorite thing this week was...  Seeing the kids get so excited at starting new stuff!

What's working/not working for us...  Spencerian Penmanship.  Well, for my son at least.  My daughter is doing SO well on it.  Patrick, however, despises it.  DH came and put the foot down, and we're switching back to A Reason For Handwriting.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...  How do you decide when your child's ready to move up into the Logic or Dialectic level?  One minute I think Katie's there one minute, gone the next.  She's definitely in that transitional stage, I think.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

We're learning about Ancient China this week.  Thought you might enjoy learning along with us!