Monday, August 31, 2009


From Richele at Barefoot Voyage an inspiring list of goals for each subject.

Home School Goals By Subject

Of first importance

Andrea writes in her post Learning at Home about her older son's desire to learn reading and writing before she had even begun any type of formal homeschooling with him. However it was this paragraph that caught my attention and seemed to resonate with my thoughts and concerns for our son.
It's amazing to me because I decided long ago, when he was really little, that my goal with them wouldn't be to teach them how to read at a young age, but to focus on manners and attitudes. Because, I always thought, who cares when you begin reading as long as you get it some time. But manners are something that can easily be over looked in the frenzy of early childhood education.

As I have been diligently praying for our homeschool plans for the year ahead of us, I have been reading and re-reading the book of Colossians, specifically the third chapter. No matter what relational aspect of myself I'm considering(daughter, wife, mother, friend) the words starting in verse twelve sink deep into my heart.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (NLT)
Of more importance than any academic study is the teaching and training of our children's hearts. Jesus made it clear in His ministry that the heart determines what a person says and does.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (Luke 6:45 NLT)
I'm seeing that training my children in godly attitudes means continually going after their heart with the message of Christ. And there is no spreadsheet, workbook or lesson plan that will do the job adequately. That's why prayer is my best plan. Be devoted to prayer is what Paul writes later in the letter. Tall order, but anything else falls too short.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

holding it together

I wrote this more than two weeks ago but thought I'd go ahead and post it anyway. Baby L would have been less than two weeks old.

I purposefully kept our six year old son with me today even though he had been invited to play with his usual playmates. I needed to see how the day would go with just the children and I alone together all day. My plan was to spend some learning time with my son in the morning while the babies slept. The summer has flown by and we have not sat down together to focus on his reading or writing at all. His reading is progressing great but his letter writing needs some extra practice. We spent some time working on a Bible notebooking page for the story of Joseph which we had completed reading before Baby L was born. We then reviewed the various Psalms that we have been memorizing. So far we have learned Psalm One Hundred, Eight, One and now we are in the middle of the Twenty-third Psalm. Moving onto our Phonics book we reviewed some of the lessons learned back in the spring. He is a bit rusty on some of the rules, like when to use the hard and soft sounds of "c" and "g". They are a bit tricky. The last bit of time was spent arranging some handwriting practice. His letters have gotten sloppy and he is using upper and lowercase letters randomly.
But he loves books and routinely hauls books around the house to read and look at. So despite our hit-and-miss schedule, he seems to have continued to be interested in reading. It was a good day despite the hectic moments. Thankfully Daddy can readily come home from work early on occasion to help.

Friday, August 21, 2009

thinking about

Prayer: why we struggle (and how not to)

Convicted. But am I willing to change?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

what is meant to be

I found this post from Apple Pie helpful as a young mom attempting to home school our first child. But really, her thoughts can apply to any one of us as Christians.
In becoming organized, the first thing I must do is the hardest. I must lay it all down. Every scrap of it. Every word on my planning pages. Every day of my year. Everything I want to accomplish, however noble and good. Is it mine, or is it His? If it's only mine, then changes must be made.

I must be still and quiet every morning. I must ask, Lord what would you like to accomplish today? This month? This year? Then I must be still. After a few minutes, ideas will come. Yes, they will. Not because I am a spiritual giant, but because my Heavenly Father loves me. I should write them down so I don't forget. On days when there are no impressions, I know to move forward with what seems best. But on most days, there are ideas that lead me to change course, set aside something I wanted to do, attend to something I hadn't thought of, or teach a subject in a different way.
I should offer myself to Him as His servant in this unique role of homeschooling mother. I am not my own. I need to remember it. He is a God of order, and the first part of order is to order my heart properly, to re-set it, like an inner clock. Every day. There is no substitute for this. I will not outgrow my need for it. Rather, as time passes, I understand more and more that to venture out on my own best guess -- without even stopping to ask the Lord about it -- is a slippery slope.

I was designed for fellowship with Him. Partnership, actually. I should be doing this with Him, rather than alone on my own with my own agenda and impulsive ideas. He is, after all, Emmanuel, God with us. That was his intent from the beginning.

But He will not do for me what only I can do. I must decide to stop and listen. If I do, He will meet me. I will know what I need to do, how I need to change, which adjustments I should make. He will make me sturdy, wise, and patient. He will help me craft, out of our days, a home that is all it was meant to be.

Read the whole post here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

life in the big city

A few weeks ago, I was running some errands which included buying groceries. Our son asked where we were headed next and I replied, "To the grocery store, Food Basics." After a moment, the question came. "Is that one where all the people with brown skin go?"
Laughing out loud, I knew exactly what he meant.

Sunday commentary

On Sunday evening we headed out to church for the first time since Baby L was born. From the back seat where he is flipping through the pages of his Bible, our son asked, "Why didn't Goliath duck when that stone hit him in the eye?"
Before I could think of a response, he continued, "That guy had no sense. I guess he wanted to get hit in the eye and die."
Commentary concluded, the conversation was over before I could figure out what to say.
I mean, really Goliath, you should have ducked. :)

Monday, August 03, 2009

baby doll

Laura Hope
July 31, 2009
6 lbs. 3 oz.
beautiful gift