Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

Our Family & Home Education

August 9th, 2010

Just a typical homeschooling day {ahem}

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what it means for us as a family to home educate.

What do we want for our children? What are our goals? Why are we doing this? How are we going to go about it?

My husband and I are newbies at this homeschool thing, our children are only 4, 3, and 1 and so our journey is just beginning. However, we have been blessed to be mentored by the Brookshires, and glean wonderful advice from Sally Clarkson and Victoria Botkin (through her Curriculum Advice Volume 1).  It is with the wisdom and discernment of those who have gone before us that we take our first steps into the homeschooling ocean.

Here is our focus in a nutshell:

  • Love for God’s Word – Know Him through His breathed out revelation as given in the bible, knowing Him, loving Him
  • Character – Building into the hearts and spirits the good things we should seek to become
  • Obedience – Learning it is well with our children when they obey; obeying because of love for us and the Father
  • The Good Things – We want to fill our babes up with good things with the hope that they will cling to the good and forsake evil
  • Traditions – Rooting our family bond in the good, the fun and the memorable
  • Celebrations – Enjoying and celebrating one another as those in the image of God – living it up for His glory

You will notice, I’m sure, that “subjects” are not included in my list. There are two reasons for this: 1. It is so important for us to instill a foundation in our children before we get into the nuts and bolts of education. 2. We believe that in the younger years, we can seamlessly weave into our day many of the subjects without them being official.  In fact, most of life is filled with the arts, literature, math, science, etc, we just have to grasp onto it as we walk long with our children. Down the road these areas of study will be refined (we are currently teaching our daughter to read).

Our Homeschooling Philosophies

We are educating our children with a biblical worldview – everything we study will be through a biblical lens.

We believe that ultimately education is about being able to communicate well with others so that we can live with and flourish in our skill sets and callings while glorifying God and being a light to the world.

We are not just raising our children, but we are raising generations. This is powerful to us, and we want to take up the responsibility of doing our very best to pass on a godly legacy to those will never even know. We believe shepherding our children as opposed to outside schooling is the best way to do this (in the spirit of Deuteronomy 11:18-21).

We are quite fond of the Charlotte Mason method.

Textbooks are out, living books are in.

We are very eclectic.  I couldn’t decide on one curriculum if I wanted to! We are taking bits and pieces from here and there…

The Good Things – Something God Has Been Teaching Me About

In the education of our children, in how we do life together, we don’t want to focus on the “no’s” but rather we want to fill them up with the good things first and foremost. For example, I’ve struggle with “shouldn’t my children read the classics like Peter Pan…even though I’m not sure how I feel about teaching my children about fairies yet?” Well, maybe, at some point, but for now we’ll stick with things that instill godliness and goodness and love (thanks for the advice Robin!).  We will fill their minds with good music and good books (as opposed to “twaddle“), and will put beautiful things before their eyes, and delicious smells all around them.  We want to engage all their senses in the magnificent, because our Creator has done all things magnificently.  We’ve opted out of “regular” school not because it bad, but because we have a glimpse that there is so much more to be offered.  The good things…we have a vision for them.

Resources We’re Using in Our Home Education

The Bible – Need I say anything more? ;) (Aside from teaching out of the bible, my babes listen to the bible on CD in the mornings while I make breakfast.)

The Local Library – Hello? Free books! Perfection.  (I am happily surprised that our library carries the Elsie Dinsmore series, which we will be reading throughout the year.)

Educating The WholeHearted Child – Excellent excellent excellent foundation and information for every home educator.

Teaching Character Through Literature Study Guide ($14.95) from Beautiful Feet Press – We are borrowing the recommended books from our library (I did buy a couple books because they didn’t have them available at our library, but I searched all over for the best prices).

Our 21 Family Rules – We have taken these rules on as our own.

Home Economics, Level 1 from Pearables

Classical Kids - We’ve started with Mr. Bach Comes to Call and my babes really enjoy it.

Polished Cornerstones (a great and helpful resource, but don’t feel like you have to buy it!)

For Instruction in Righteousness (same note as above)

Questions & Answers from the Westminster Shorter Catechism (free online)

Free audio books (HOLLA!)

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (not what I wanted to use, but it seems to be best suited to us right now…and it’s getting the job done!)

Well, there you have it, where our family is at when it comes to the education of our children. We will be praying for wisdom and mercy. I’d love to hear some of your families ideas and resources!

Related Articles:

Why I Choose to Homeschool

Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling – Exposing the 7 Major Blind spots of Homeschoolers

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, andyou shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them…”  Deuteronomy 11: 18:21

I am not a natural at organization, so homeschooling does not come easy to me as the teacher.  However, I have His strength to rely.

Teaching Creation

August 9th, 2010

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place.

What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly
beings and crowned him with glory and honor

PSALM 8:4-5

This week I’m focusing on teaching my babes the creation account.  I found some things online to help; maybe they’ll help you as well!

Catechism to Memorize (Source: The Westminster Shorter Catechism):

Q. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Creation Coloring Pages

Days of Creation – A Poem (Source)
Day one brought heaven earth and light.
It must have been so very bright!
Day two God made the clear blue sky.
A place for many birds to fly.
Day three brought land apart from seas.
With all the plants grass and trees.
Day four shone forth moon, stars and sun.
The work of God was not yet done.
Day five we see the fish and birds.
God did all of this with just His words.
Day six God formed all beasts and man
To finish His creation plan.
Day seven was especially blessed,
A day for worship and for rest.

Days of Creation (Source)
(Tune: This Old Man)
lyrics written and contributed by Sharon Broome

On day one God made light
Made the difference in day and night
God just spoke the words and it came true
Wonder what else God will do?

On day two Split in two
Skies above the water blue
God just spoke the words and it came to be
What will happen on day three?

On day three God made land
Then he put plants in the sand
God made herbs and grass and fruit on the tree
This was all done on day three

On day four God made lights
Some for days and some for nights
Stars are dim, but the sun and the moon are bright
Aren’t you glad that God made lights

On day five God made alive
Fish for the waters and birds for the skies
All the things that swim and birds to fly
These were made on day five

On day six God did fix
Animals, mankind and even ticks
God made lizards, cats, and other things that lick
Animals were created on day six

On day seven God in heaven
Rested from all the work he’d done
He’d made the earth, the stars, the moon, and sun
It was good what God had done

This video is fun for the babes…

This one just gives me the chills… Apollo 8 – The First Manned Mission to the Moon


“He counts the stars and calls them all by name.” Psalm 147:4

Like the newness of the whole world, she knew she was a new creation…

Homeschool Planning

August 6th, 2010

Today I’m busy planning our homeschool year, but I thought I’d offer you some FREE resources to help in your planning:

Planning the School Year

Free Online Audio Books (oh the classics!)

Character Qualities

The 21 Rules of This House

7 Rules of Behavior

Treasuring God in Our Traditions (read online)

Perfect for any homeschool room:

Over My Shoulder: Memories Of My Home Education

March 26th, 2009

Today’s guest post comes from Breezy, an 18-year old near-homeschool graduate from Indiana who enjoys drawing, painting and illustrating, music, studying History, writing and reading, and looks forward to someday sharing the joy of catching tadpoles with her children. You can visit her blog “A Bowl of Moss and Pebbles” here. She also has an etsy shop where you find her lovely artwork.
With my homeschool graduation fast approaching, Mom has been making a scrapbook of my life thus far. Returning to memory via hundreds of pictures, we can’t help but reminisce over the many events, and not-so-eventful days, what God has taught us, and where we’re still headed. So poignant and real they’ve become, I’ll try to give you a glimpse.
If I could paint a picture of all the memories, you would see a conglomeration of romps through tall grass and woods, and determination while creating backyard forts and hand-sewn dolls. There’s a furrowed brow over sharps and flats, and soiled but maturing hands reaching to caress the pets of all kinds. The combining of baking soda and peroxide sparked my interest in the mysteries of nature, and I was enthralled with the world of calligraphy.
Good books were constantly read aloud to me and my sister. We heard of brave maidens and pioneer women throughout history, and I longed to one day join the ranks of trial and victory. While listening and dreaming, I drew plans for underground tunnels to save refugees, lists of provisions for the Oregon trail, and careful drawings of the white gown I would wear the day I would begin a new journey with my knight in shining armor. I also remember family devotions around the Bible when Dad would read to us adventures and truth and reveal its Wisdom.
The canvas is deep and textured. But were these “activities” necessary? Was that really an equivalent education to the public schools? I did have book work, read plenty on my own, and yes, there were tests I took (and still have to take). But I have learned that education isn’t how much you can cram into your brain before a test. It is knowing how to learn and loving that knowledge that is the truly valuable education.

Looking back over my shoulder, I see an abundantly blessed life and I am thankful beyond words for the life God called my family to live. I don’t draw secret gondolas for escaping down the Venice Canal anymore, but I have been trained to think “multigenerationally” for my children’s sakes. Will I be ready to safely guide them to scripture as my parents have with me? By the grace of God, yes, and on the memorable foundation laid by my Daddy and Momma.

Homeschooling Is Our Lifestyle . . .

March 26th, 2009

Today’s guest post is by Emily Rose of Simply Vintagegirl. She is a Christian young lady whose goal in life is to give glory to God by enjoying Him forever. He has saved her with His amazing grace and is continually molding her. She is an incredibly talented photographer and graphic designer… she also happens to be my fabulous blog designer! You can find her wonderful creations at her etsy shop.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle . . .

. . . but it didn’t start out that way. We held the view that homeschooling was weird, strange, and only reclusive people did it (a common misunderstanding and stereotype).

My parents intended for both of their daughters to go to public school — we even moved to another town so that we could be in a better school system.

The Lord had different plans for us. In Proverbs 16:9 it says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” God directed our steps down a path that we did not even think would be possible, let alone desirable.

My sister, Breezy, was in the middle of first grade and I had not started school yet. Just two years before, God called Momma out of the workplace. That was only the beginning of the adventure . . .

He laid it upon my parents hearts to homeschool us, Breezy and Emily Rose, then 6 and 5. Transitions had to be made.

My parents removed Breezy from the public school system (letting her stay an extra week so she could experience her promised class birthday party for her seventh birthday).

Home, sweet home

That all happened eleven years ago. Since then, Breezy and I have became the best of friends (and still are). We have been able to spend extra time developing important skills and working on our talents. We have been able to spend extra time together as a family.

Not everyday has been easy, though. There were days where one of us would cry over her math and the other would cry over her art lesson. I’m sure there were days where Momma wanted to cry, too.

Has it been worth all the pain? YES! The problems might have seemed extreme when they happened, but looking back we can laugh at those once upsetting moments.

The school years are the most influential years of a person’s life. From Kindergarten to the High School years we are very impressionable, and what we are exposed to will have an impact on our lives.

When parents are not around to teach their children, things can enter a child’s mind that the parent may not know about. Those things can be misunderstood by the child and not understood with a biblical worldview.

In homeschooling we have been shielded from the wiles of the world that we would be openly exposed to in public school. That doesn’t mean that we do not know what is out there.

Instead of peers with an unbiblical worldview telling us about the evils of the world (many times in an “it’s okay” light), we have been carefully exposed to them with a biblical worldview (when we were mature enough to handle it).

Another blessing of being homeschooled is having delight directed studies. Delight directed studies is where we spend extra time developing our talents (this has been especially important during the high school years).

We are now almost finished with our “formal” home education, but we’ll still be learning because learning is a part of life.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle. It is not a year-by-year choice, but a life decision. It’s something that happens whether it is a school day or a weekend. It’s what I would call a never-ending adventure — and it’s a wonderful one at that!

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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