• About,  Homeschooling,  Schedule

    Another new school year!

    It is that time of year again, school is back in session, and like many of you I have been deep in planning mode.

    But before I share all the details of our new year I want to take a minute and rejoice that we will be starting our 8th year homeschooling. I can hardly believe it!!!! Eight years ago God changed the trajectory of my life when He wanted us to homeschool our son. Never! in my wildest dreams did homeschooling fit into the picture of what I had dreamed motherhood to be. I had some weird ideas about homeschooling which most likely came from the interesting homeschoolers I had met. I didn’t have a quarrel with the school district or anyone for that matter. God just started putting this idea into our (I say our because God had to convince my husband first) heads. Little by little and year after year, with the help of Classical Conversations, we have never looked back on our decision. Homeschooling has been the greatest adventure. Our kids are thriving, I am celebrating all the firsts first hand, and I get to be a part of changing the world right here in my home.

    I homeschool for all the reasons you can imagine minus anything personally related to our local District full of amazing teachers. Yes, being able to preach the gospel at all times, in all seasons, when we wake and when we sit is my number one motivation and without the absolute conviction of my role as their primary teacher I would had given up a hundred times over. Homeschooling is a rollercoaster of emotion and some days its exhilarating and some days make you want to puke. Thanks be to God and His sufficient grace to keep me coming back for more.

    Goals

    Both of my children are currently enrolled in a Classical Conversations program. My oldest son, who is 13, is in Challenge B and my youngest daughter, 10, is in Foundations. She would be in Essentials too but we do not have that option this year on our community, so I’ll be teaching her the Essentials program at home.

    Challenge B includes

    • Henle Latin 1
    • Saxon Pre-Algerbra
    • Current Events and Mock Trial
    • Astronomy
    • Lost Tools of Writing and Short Story
    • Intermediate Logic

    Foundations + includes

    • Cycle 1 memory work
    • Saxon 5/6
    • IEW Ancient History writing program
    • Essentials of the English Language (similar to My Mother Tongue)
    • Various novels to read and discuss
    • Piano

    Did I mention I am tutoring Challenge B too? I have tutored or Directed a program for the past 7 years so its almost second nature to keep moving up. Tutoring gives me a first hand view of my sons work and because I am both tutor and teacher I feel more confident that he will succeed.

    Schedule

    With a larger work load in B I have decided that we need to start our morning earlier then normal. Instead of 9am we begin at 8am with a devotion and prayer. This is a sweet time for us and it will only work if I commit to being present during the entire school day.

    This means I will wake up earlier, spend time with the Lord, drink coffee and see how motivated I am to dance by 6am. This may be more flexible as the year progresses and each child finds a rhythm to their work. I don’t envision sitting with them at the table for all six hours by week 12 but I will have to be there in the beginning.

    • 8am Devotions
    • 8:30 Eat your frog!
    • 9:30-12:30
    • 12:30 Lunch/Play
    • 1-3pm
    • 3pm Please be done so you can play
    • 3:30-4:30pm Xbox if all their work is done
    • 4:30-9:30pm various evening activities and bed time

    My disclaimer to all of this is; Subject to attitudes, holidays, birthdays, and weather this schedule can be modified at anytime.

    Subject to attitudes, holidays, birthdays, and weather this schedule can be modified at anytime.

    I pray you all will have a blessed year with your children.

     


  • About

    Gaming. The ideal, and the reality.

    The ideal.

    As a homeschool mom I had visions of what my homeschool and house would look like. I dreamed of long days curled up on the couch reading classical literature and long walks looking for bugs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be competing with games. 

    Now some of you may be rolling your eyes and wondering if I’ve lived my life under a rock to think I’d escape the lure of gaming. Well in all honesty I have never like playing. When I was younger my family had the original apple with games I can’t even remember. My brother had an Atari, which was ok, I was never good at Nintendo and my siblings played so often I never stood a chance. College came around and spending hours on a screen after graphic school all day was the last place I wanted to be. So I dreamed something radically different. 

    I have read all the posts and articles scaring every mother about the dangers of games. Before I had even researched the game in question I was ok casting it aside like a bad drug. My husband and I became vigilant and some would say over protective. We are still vigilant but rather then saying no we, meaning my husband, play too. 

    The reality.

    kids and dad playing while I write this post

    Our two children ages 10 and 13 play video games.

    We started with Minecraft because I am continually amazed at what they are able to build and what they find joy in while building. Later we added the original Xbox because my husband had one collecting dust and we wanted to see how our 13 year old would handle the responsibility, and just yesterday our family was gifted an Xbox One.

    My son was so excited to get his hands on this gaming system and truthfully I was pretty excited to say yes. 

    We have rules in our house like; 

    • school comes first, yes even Latin!
    • our attitudes must reflect who we are trying to become in Christ.
    • we treat each other respectively 
    • we do our part to clean the house
    • we are a family and gaming cannot take place of human interaction.
    • we respect the rules of our friends parents and if they don’t allow gaming we do not either. 
    • the gaming consoles are in the center of our house and monitored regularly
    • never do I allow them to talk to random people online. 

    There is not a perfect solution to the gaming culture we live in but I have found it to be more fun allowing them their space to play then not. We have an environment in our home for learning and this is a huge learning opportunity for everyone.

    We still have our school day more or less how I imagined it to be and video games are the new reward they’ll work hard for. So I am learning to be ok with what makes them enjoy their time off.

    Tell me your thoughts in the comments about gaming in your house. Do you allow it? Why or why not?

  • Family Life,  Favorite Things,  General

    Abide, and sojourn

    Abide:

    To accept or act in accordance with, to bear patiently, to endure without yielding, to wait for, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed and my personal favorite to continue in place-sojourn.

    I honestly think I am the worst abider I know. I have an incredibly hard time doing all of the above, so is it any wonder that I get burned from rash decisions? I speak when I should listen, I run when I should sit, I plan and control everything within my reach without noticing nothing is working.

    Anyone else pick up the phone and call a friend when you really should just keep quiet?

    Have you said yes when you really should have said, I’ll need to pray about that first?

    I desperately want off this crazy cycle!

    Lord I want to abide in you. I want to accept that if I follow hard after you, you alone will be the answer to everything I need or want. Only by your grace can I wait for and accept without objection.

    In John chapter 15 the word abide is used 9 times. Three times a word or phrase is used in scripture and your antenna perks up, but 9 times and I am wondering why is this so important. To begin the chapter Jesus is talking about how He is the vine and that there are branches that can or cannot bear fruit. The branches that do bear fruit are pruned and the others are chopped off.

    How does a branch bear fruit? By abiding in the vine (“abide in me, and I in you” vs.4), and what about this fruit that we cannot bear without abiding? According to Galatians 5:22, “the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.” By this definition I cannot bear any of these without first abiding in Christ who is the vine, and abiding looks very different then what I’ve been doing lately. Here is what I can do.

    • To accept or act in accordance with: I am blessed to be a wife and mom and I am enough in my loving them well.
    • To bear patiently: I have dreams that do not include homeschooling all day long, but those will have to wait for now.
    • To endure without yielding: The mundane of housework can drive a person nuts but by the grace of God I will not trade it.
    • To wait for: My name to be called
    • To accept without objection: This amazing life we’ve made. The great and the not so great.
    • To remain stable: I will fix my eyes on the only one who can keep me stable, Jesus.
    • To continue in place-sojourn: I don’t need anything more or less then what Jesus has given me today.

    What an amazing life this is I get to live! In Jesus name, Amen.

     

  • Family Life,  Garden,  Health

    Fresh eggs opened my eyes.

    Many of you have read my post about becoming a reluctant Vegan for health reasons, and here is the post to say why that decision will never work.

    There are so many decision to make in a day from

    • what time to get up,
    • to shower or not,
    • what to eat,
    • one cup or two
    • cereal or eggs
    • kids TV or not

    and the list can go on and on. As a reluctant vegan, one big decision I needed to consider was between farm fresh eggs in the morning and tofu. The question plaguing my was, “what is wrong with farm fresh eggs anyway!?”

    You see, my parents, have free range happy chickens and we get fresh eggs during the spring and summer. I’ve been cracking fresh eggs for my kids for months and drooling as I did it. These eggs are beautiful and I wanted to eat them, so I went on a mission to discover why eggs were bad.

    Truth be told eggs are bad for you, the ones that come from chickens sitting in their own filth and unable to move are bad. Go figure!! You are what you eat, as my grandma has said before. However the chicken eggs from my parents have numerous health benefits, which you can see for yourself here.

    I didn’t want to stop at just eggs I wanted to see what was wrong with everything else that didn’t seem to add up. How could processed food trump the real deal? What were my grandparents eating? The diet the American people have has never been done before in human history and so far it is killing us.

    YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

    • If you want to eat animals loaded with antibiotics then perhaps you too will need antibiotics to fix whatever they gave you.
    • Low fat means they have put something else in it, and it came out of a factory.
    • GMO is an acronym you MUST educate yourself on. You would never want your kids drinking Deet.
    Kelli over at Groom and Style has written a comprehensive guide on the benefits of grass fed products.

    The Benefits of Grass Fed Products

    She breaks down the mystery behind the term “grass fed” and shares info graphics (like the one below) that make it easier to appreciate the importance of “happy animals” and a healthy body.

    I know for myself I feel better about eating humanly raised animals and my body is stronger for the rich protein and healthy fat from my parents chickens. 

    2013-01-19 11.34.55

     

     

    Here at our house we have been getting 100% grass fed beef from Butcher box, and right now you can get FREE bacon for LIFE! (This is an affiliate link, and I thank you)

  • Favorite Things,  Fitness,  Health

    Lets talk hobbies.

    What is a hobby? According to a Google search it means

    an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
    “her hobbies are reading and gardening”
    synonyms: pastime, leisure activity, leisure pursuit;

    So it would seem by that definition I have a few, and I would like to share them with you over the next week. In the spirit of a new month, and new beginnings I’d like to introduce you to a health hobby.

    Now I never would have considered myself a “dancer”

    but these classes and breakdown of dances lets me think I am, for an hour everyday.

    Dancebody is a live class format in New York City but a few years ago the owner began their streaming program. Every month streamers get access to a handful of new classes that have been instructed right from the New York studio. You feel like you are there in class and with as much Instagramming as these girls do you never feel lost or alone in your own home.

    Their classes have a few levels. Signature class is for those of us less experienced with dance and or new to Dancebody. Full Out is for the experienced dancer or for someone who is very familiar with Dancebody. Each class is about 50+ minutes, 40 minutes of dancing and 15 minutes, or so, of sculpting on a mat. There are classes just for sculpting, which you could do everyday, as they use little to no resistance besides your own body weight, Thera bands, and 2lb D weights.

    Wait I am not done! There are Follow Along classes which are for anyone who is bashful about routine dances and just needs to move. Express has a bit of everything in a shorter time frame, and Level 10 is a mash up of Full Out classes from time past. Not to mention private sculpting classes, stretching, and breakdowns so you too can be awesome.

    Sounds to good be true doesn’t it? Here is the caveat to everything I mentioned, and that is you HAVE to keep an open mind when learning something new. The new dances can be frustrating at times as you are working through them and your butt can burn so bad in ways you had no idea it could but there are so many benefits. One of my favorites is that, because dancing requires so much of your attention you have no head space to think about the laundry, the dishes, whats for dinner, did you return that call. You can push play and literally forget everything for an hour, an

    d to me that is priceless. I know I am stronger both mentally and physically, my tennis game is stronger thanks to the movements in dance, and I look forward to dancing almost everyday.

     

    So when I think of a hobby that I do regularly and for leisure then I believe Dancebody fits that description, for me.

    If you would like to try it out for yourself they do offer a three day free trial at Dancebody.com using code 3DAYFREE. I’d love to hear if you did try it and what you think so please leave a comment or send me a message.

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