Saturday, December 24, 2011

And Then There Were Two....

In May our oldest child graduated from home schooling. Yes, home schooling can be done successfully all the way through high school. She is currently doing quite well in college, majoring in English just as I did. The nine years I had with her at home, teaching her and watching her grow, are so precious to me now! She's off on her own, although still living at home, forging her own way on the collegiate scene. One advantage she has discovered in living at home is that she has a live-in proofreader and discussion partner for her papers. So in a way the home schooling continues.

So I have two children still attending Salt & Light Christian School full-time. It seems odd to only have to keep track of two kids and all their work. As I have done in the past, here is a summary of what we are doing this year for their schooling.

Mary is in 9th grade this year. Through our co-op she's taking Physical Science, Spanish 1, Art-Mixed Media, and Art-Drawing. She currently has an "A" in every class. At home she also studies Geometry, Geography, Health, and Language Arts.  For Language Arts this year she is doing Easy Grammar 9 and four Progeny Press Literature Guides (A Christmas Carol, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fahrenheit 451.) She has completed the first two so far.  The Progeny Press guides cover reading comprehension, vocabulary, literary terminology, literary interpretation and criticism, and writing everything from short answers to long research papers. In addition to the assigned books, Mary is constantly reading books from the library, and about 90% of her Christmas wish-list consisted of books. Mary is also still working on writing left-handed; she can already print very neatly and is starting to learn cursive. I never knew that someone could decide to be ambidextrous!

Bobby is in 7th grade. At co-op he's taking Art-2-D (taught by a former home schooler who is a junior at SCAD,) Critical Thinking, and a middle-school level Human Anatomy & Physiology. At home he adds to these: Pre-Algebra, Sonlight World History and Literature (what used to be Core 6 and is now Core G,) Jump-In Writing, and Daily Grams 7. The literature in the Sonlight Core G is not really challenging him this year, so we are supplementing with lots of books from the library.

I asked the two of them recently what they would like to be doing more of, or learning, that we are not already doing. Mary said that she would like to be doing more community service (at the Humane Society and America's 2nd Harvest,) and Bobby said he would like to study Middle English. Their personalities, likes, and dislikes are so different! Mary's request is pretty easy; we can just schedule in time to do that.  Bobby's seemed a little daunting until I discovered that you can study Middle English online. He has always loved all things Medieval, and now he can learn to read Chaucer in the original. How about that!

Next post: what I'm reading in all my spare time!

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Have We Been Doing?

I haven't written on my blog since July. I've had several people ask me why. I figure the best way to explain is to write about what we are doing these days in our family, since I actually have a few minutes to sit down and write on here.

Eric is working about 65 hours a week at J.C. Bamford here in Savannah. They make skid steer vehicles, and he inspects them as they come off the line for defects. He's exhausted pretty much all the time. And yet he makes the effort to hang out with the kids and me in the evenings, and is keeping a good sense of humor about life in general. We try to keep our evenings fairly free so we can spend time with him.

Caroline just finished her first semester at Armstrong Atlantic State University. She's living at home while attending college, and working her same job at Chick-fil-A. I'm proud to say that she got a 4.0 GPA her first semester in college while working 15+ hours a week. Good girl!

I'm home schooling Mary (9th grade) and Bobby (7th grade); more about that in a minute. I'm also teaching 15 piano/1 voice students. I'm also teaching three classes of Spanish (2 classes of Spanish 1 and 1 class of Spanish 2--how's that for confusing?) at our home school co-operative every Friday. I'm also one of the leaders of Mary's unit in the local American Heritage Girls Troop 2007, which meets on Tuesday nights. This all adds up to not a whole lot of free time. It's all great stuff, and I'm enjoying it all, but it just means that time to spend online is limited.

About the home schooling:  a lot of people don't seem to realize that home schooling by itself, if being done diligently, is a full-time job. It involves selecting appropriate curriculum for each child, creating yearly goals, writing weekly lesson plans, and THEN spending time each day helping each child learn: math, language arts, history, science, etc. After they are done with each day's work it must be corrected and evaluated. These things don't just magically happen. A home schooling mom has to stay organized and persevere so that she and the kids do not fall behind. In addition, we have to plan extra-curricular activities so that our kids have some fun along with their hard academic work.

So why haven't I been blogging?  Well, I have a full-time job home schooling two of my kids, and a part-time job (8 hours a week)  teaching music, and another part-time job (approximately 5-6 hours a week) teaching at the co-op. With all of that and keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc....well, blogging has not been a top priority.  And before anybody comments: yes, my children do help with household chores, and yes, I know that they are not toddlers anymore and can do a lot of their school work independently, and yes, I know that many people have extremely busy lives that are much harder than mine.  I'm not complaining about anything here; I really do love my life as it is right now.

And with  that, I'm off to wrap presents!

Next post:  what we are doing for home school this year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home Educating Family Publishing

Home Educating Family

We learned about Richard Kirkland when we visited Fredericksburg National Battlefield. Apparently a movie has been made about his bravery and compassion. Hope it's good!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's a command, not an option.

Yesterday during our house fellowship we found ourselves in Matthew 6.  We are currently studying through the book of Matthew, and when you study straight through books you can't avoid the passages that you don't like....
I have written about being anxious before.  I just want to point out, again, to myself and anybody else who struggles with worry, that we are commanded  in Scripture not to be anxious:
Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [7]28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Philippians 4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Wow. I make supplication to the eternal, holy God of the universe, and He blesses me with His peace. Again, wow.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Educating Family Publishing

Home Educating Family Publishing has a giveaway taking place this week, from June 23rd to June 30th. We get the magazine already, but I've entered anyway. This past school year I used the planner and it was our best-organized year so far. I've already ordered next year's planner, but I figure I can give it away if I won the giveaway. Check it out.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Compared to Whom?

One of the things I've noticed that we women tend to do a lot of is comparing ourselves to other women.  This is especially true in the home schooling community, but I believe it happens in our churches, in the workplace, and among friends.  I don't know if men do it as much as we do, but I think it's a serious problem for Christian women.  We compare ourselves both favorably and unfavorably with other women.  We do this in the areas of looks, weight, house-cleaning, children's academic and extra-curricular success, personality, career, handi-crafts, and I'm sure many other areas.  We either look at someone else and then put ourselves down:     
"She's so much thinner/prettier/more stylish than I am!"
"Her kids are so smart and accomplished. Why can't my kids do all that?"
"She's so nice and has so many friends. I don't know how she does that."
"Her house is like something in a magazine. I wish mine looked like that."
"She knows how to sew/knit/crochet/smock/paint/you-name-it, and I don't."
Or we look at someone else, and then puff ourselves up:
"At least I'm not as fat as so-and-so."
"Her kid can't possible have done all of that. I heard he's failing math."
"She may have lots of friends, but they probably aren't all REAL friends."
"She must not spend any time with her kids in order to keep her house so nicely. At least I spend time with my kids." OR "Her house is a total wreck! What a slob."
"I know how to sew/knit/crochet/smock/paint/you-name-it, and she doesn't."
Why do we do this?  I'm not the only one, am I?  In my case it tends to be more the putting-myself-down side, as in, "I'm fat, my house should be neater, I don't push my kids enough, etc."  

Our culture fosters this attitude.  Just look at the magazines as you check out at the grocery store.  Better still, DON'T look at the magazines, since the women on them are totally photo-shopped anyway.  Comparing yourself to them would be a huge mistake.  But those magazines all focus on making us feel that we must compare ourselves to some man-made standard of beauty, intelligence, or accomplishment.
So, what to do.....
I talked to one of my friends on the phone today, and she was encouraging me to take every thought captive, even sharing with me a circumstance in her life where she has been struggling to take every thought captive.  This really is a heart-and-mind issue, one which gets at the root of our very being.  As a Christian woman, I need to see what God's Word says
about all of this:
2 Corinthians 10:12  Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.ESV
Ouch!  Without understanding!  That rather hurts, doesn't it?  Paul was speaking in the context of defending his ministry and teaching, but I think there is a principle to be applied.  If we are not to compare ourselves to others, then to whom should we compare ourselves?
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  ESV
Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [1] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, [2] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ESV
Over the next days, weeks, and months I'll be concentrating on comparing myself to the only One who really matters.