Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

I decided to visit my blog today. I haven't been in a while - just haven't had the time.

I read through several posts that were never published (which is probably a good thing ;)  ). Sometimes I just like to get everything out and written down without telling the rest of the world...my way of venting I reckon.

School is in full swing and has been for about a month now; lots of changes taking place this year. 

My daughter is taking competition dance classes at a Christian dance academy. We are SO thankful for Steps of Faith. If it wasn't for this academy, she probably would not be dancing anywhere. The music, the costumes, the movements, etc all bring glory and honor to God. 

My son is in band again. The intermediate band he was in year before last fizzled out. He plays the trumpet. He is excited, but he wasn't thrilled about starting over in a beginner band. It will be good for him especially since he needs the practice after not playing for over a year. His band instructor is great and very experienced; she can meet each child where they are at regardless of skill or experience.

We let go of MFW (for now) in order to try out a fairly new fine arts academy that includes history, art, music, and drama. Letting go of MFW was REALLY tough for me, but I didn't let go completely ;) We plan to add in several of their recommended read-alouds for the 1850's to Modern time period this year. The kids seem excited about Artios Academy - my daughter more so than my son, but I think it will grow on him. If not, we'll change gears and try something different for next year.

We changed math curriculum. We are now using Dive in conjunction with Saxon - so far so good. The work load has doubled (and the kids weren't thrilled about that, but they are adjusting). It is a more thorough curriculum than what we had been using. It gives my daughter the continual practice she needs on past skills and challenges my son to do more difficult problems.

My daughter will also be in an art club this year. She absolutely loves art! I can't really draw, nor do I like to (probably because I'm no good at it), so it will be nice for her to get some solid instruction from an experienced artist.

Then there's 4-H. We are trying that too this year. I know, I'm on overload this year! I'm still trying to figure out how we are going to juggle it all. People who say home schoolers have socialization issues must have never home schooled before because my kids have SO many opportunities to be out and about and around all people groups and walks of life that we have a hard time finding any down time nor can we fit everything in that we'd like to do or be a part of. Anyway, this 4-H group is more for my son. There are TONS of boys in this group, which is awesome, because it is hard to find groups with many boys. They have rocketry, robotics, shooting sports, fishing (possibly), and lots more. There are plenty of things for my daughter to participate in as well, but her plate is already so full that she may not do much outside of the once-a-month club meetings.

There's also AWANA on Wednesday nights at church. LOVE AWANA! The kids memorize Scripture, play fun games, and hear Bible and mission stories. 

They also have an opportunity to be in children's choir, although they are signed up, we haven't made up our minds completely about it yet...just don't know if we can fit it in with everything else we have on our plates :/ We'll just have to see how it all goes. 

We dropped a few mission activities the kids and I had been doing during the day and replaced them with activities we all (including dad) could be involved in. We are looking forward to doing missions together as a family this year as well as focusing more on the people right around us...like our neighbors :) 

Everything kicks in this month...dance, 4-H, Artios, band, etc... This month will be a trial month and we will make the final determination of what ultimately stays or goes. I don't want to be so busy that we don't enjoy anything and just feel like we are running from place to place. If it all works out the way I have it planned out in my mind, it will be fine. 

Ha! We'll see...


Monday, August 11, 2014

Why I LOVE Homeschooling!

Oh, there are so many reasons...where do I begin?

I'll start off with a quote I came across a few years ago. I absolutely LOVE it and it sums it all up in a nutshell. Of course, I'll add my own reasons below this as well ;)

"In short, I homeschool because I can’t. I homeschool because He can. I homeschool because “in my weakness He is strong” (1 Cor. 4:10). And I homeschool because “He is able to do immearsurably beyond what I can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). I homeschool because it gives me a front row seat to the miracles and faithfulness of a mighty God." 
-Rachael Carman-



I love having that front row seat... Every. Day.



1. Flexibility - We can take off from school when my husband is off from work and with a husband who is off every other Friday, this is awesome! Need time off for a surgery, an illness, a family getaway while all the other kids are in school? Easy-peasy!

2. Schedule - Rearrange each day according to your family's needs. Most days, we'll stick to the schedule and start school in the morning and finish just after lunch. But what if you need to go to a doc appt before you start school? Not a problem. Do you need to run a few errands in the middle of the day or gather that last item for a science experiment? You're covered. Do you need to drop everything to go help a friend or relative? Done :)

3. Control - I know exactly what my kids are learning. I get to pick from some of the best curriculum out there. If something isn't working, we can change it :) I know exactly who is teaching and discipling my kids. If a group, club, or instructor/teacher does not line up with our spiritual values or meet our needs, they can be removed or changed.

4. Opportunities Galore -  My kids have so many options of things they can be involved in 
that we have a hard time picking and choosing. It is amazing just how many extracurricular activities there are out there. Plus, lots and lots of mission opportunities!

5. Togetherness -  Let's face it...this world keeps up pretty busy. I love that I can spend a good part of the day together with my kids. For the most part, my kids get along really well together because being together is an everyday thing for them. Don't get me wrong, we have some knock-down-drag-out sibling rivalries as well, but that is not the norm.


6. Biblical Worldview - I love that the Bible can be woven throughout every single subject all throughout our day. 


Those are just a few of my reasons. What about you? What do you enjoy most about homeschooling?