Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Busy House this week as...

we are in the midst of VBS and Swim Lessons. There is one thing that I know about teaching my boys and that is, I have no problem letting someone else teach them how to swim! It helps that there is a wonderful group of students there to teach, and one of them being one of Luk's Sunday School Teachers. He loves Ms. Brittany, and it help tremendously that she is one of the instructors. I wanted to share some of the photos from his swim lessons, along with the wonderful week we are having at VBS. My husband and I have had the opportunity to lead the music this year, and what a blessing it has been. Our church's VBS comes from the publisher Group presenting the "High Seas Expedition."

This is just Day 1

VBS: Day 1 and 2 (wait til you see what he added to his wardrobe on Day 3)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Topic brought up to me...

First, I want to say thank you to those of you who let me know that my blog has helped them figure things out about homeschooling. My main purpose for this blog is to help those that want/need information about how to go about homeschooling, searching for curriculum, co-op programs, etc. So, when I get emails and messages of "thanks," it is pretty encouraging. The most recent message mentioned parents that homeschool for their selfish benefit and not their children's.

She wrote:
"There is one small problem I have encountered with homeschooling (as we are surrounded by A LOT of homeschooling families). And that is the parents who homeschool for convenience sake, and just do what they have to do to get by. These children end up getting an inferior education to what they would have gotten in public/private school."

Reson and I have actually had this discussion, as well. It's a hard thing to swallow, really, that a parent is not watching out for the well-being of their child. There a few ways we can look at this type of scenario: 1) Is the decision to homeschool a calling that you will dedicate your heart to teaching; 2)Are you homeschooling so that you can control everything and keep your child all to yourself, secluded with no real outside living? 3) Is homeschooling just convenient because you don't want to expose the world to your child?

Obviously, the first one is okay. As my friend wrote, "Full-Time" job is now being a parent, teacher, giver of guidance then you are in it for the right reasons. Your life work is dedicated to your children. You know that you want full responsibility on how they learn and experience the world. Now, does this mean control that is mentioned in 2, no. As I have written before, I want my boys to know what the world has, but I don't want them to learn it from an ungodly person. Is sex bad? No, not in the context marriage. Is alcohol bad? No, but if you allow it to consume your heart and you strive on that then yes. Is learning about evolution bad? No, but it should be taught that over time animals do evolve to adapt to the world they are living in, and humans do not evolve from apes. If you plan to control that your children will only learn certain things, control who they talk to, control can be a devastating situation to almost produce abuse.

I would hope that this type of problem is not the norm for those that homeschool. I do know of two people that were taught in one of the "easiest" forms, and as I told the person who wrote to me, you can see it! Those that homeschool for convenience sake usually have children that show it. They usually had social skill issues, they seemed like they just didn't know how to interact with people. They even seem to have attitude problems.
I am not a fan of using social skills as an issue, however when you have parents that are not really looking to out for their child's best interest, this is one of things that is effected.

We see public schools are harboring stumbling blocks to our children; we cannot be that as our children's parents. We have to show them godly guidance, practice self-control, and most importantly that we love them and want the best for them.

If we don't guide but control our children than homeschooling is not going to be what you wanted it to be.  I also have to state that I'm not 100% sure that the education would be inferior than if they went to public school, however I would say that the family relationship will end up being worse than if the child did for to public school.

As I write this, we watch Mary Poppins. Jane writes in her letter, The Perfect Nanny, "If you won't scold and dominate us. We will never give you cause to hate us." Ouch! Think about that from a parent's view point...
In the end, there are always going to be those parents that homeschool for convenience. It may even be so bad that they just stick workbooks in their children's faces all day, or force another home teacher to teach them. Is the education inferior to a public school teachings, I don't know, but I do know that it may give cause to hate you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Unplugging the Thumb"

Well... I have to stop Luk from doing the one thing that really keeps him from being a BIG boy. Luk is a thumb sucker, but I have to say that he is not like an obsessive thumb sucker. He usually only does it at nap time or bed time. He doesn't usually do it just to do it. If you ask him why he is sucking his thumb he will say that he is tired. It is even something that I don't have many pictures of, it isn't stopping him from being a socialite, and it isn't something that is causing him to have a speech delay. I actually found two pictures of him sucking his thumb, both were WAY past his bed time because we were out or because we had family visiting.
It is not even something that he needs to help him stay asleep...
So... after doing some research, I have pick my method of dealing with this last little babyish thing that Luk does. It almost breaks my heart to do because I think he looks adorable doing it, however I have to put myself in the position that I love my son, and I want what's best for him. He is at a healthy age to stop it, he mature enough to handle it, and I know that it is something that he and I can work through together. I don't want it to get to the point to have to use guards or liquid solutions.
Today, I looked at Luk, and I told him that if he wants to be a big boy he needed to stop sucking his thumb, and that he could do it. He said, "Okay, I can do it." He has already caught himself going to do it and didn't. I was proud. He said, "Oh, I can't do that. I was going to suck my thumb, but I'm a big boy," and off he went. =)
If I need to I plan on using "Unplugging the Thumb"
the method is based on your child making the decision to stop, and you helping them do it with you support. Luk is already doing really well with it as of today. Check back in a couple of days for an update on the progress...

Clarity on the last post

I wanted to clarify some thoughts from the last post. It can be hard to read the last BIG reason to homeschool, and I want to make it known to those that do not homeschool, it is still VERY much a personal choice and conviction. You either have a calling or you don't. I was not homeschooled, however my parent's were involved in my life. There can be a balance with students in public school, but the challenge is very difficult when you have everyone else working against what you are doing at home.

One thing my mom told me everyday was that she started (still does) praying for mine and my brothers' spiritual lives. My mom for a short time was a single parent, and she knew this was her needing to pray that we would remember what she was teaching at home and when we were at church. So, I implore you to pray for your children beyond their health. Pray that they may fight the pressure of ungodly environment that they face everyday for 12+ hours. Pray that they may conquer temptation, and pray that they choose friends that will help them with their walk with Christ.

You may not want to believe it, but school is worse than when you were there. Kindergartners are hearing about sexual activity, sexual orientation from peers that are hearing about life through their ungodly parents. Be wise while your child attends, Be attentive to what they ask and need from you as far as knowledge goes.

Just some extra thoughts from my end that I didn't get to last night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Public School, the biggest stumbling block of all!

A friend of mine has given me the pleasure to read one of her old issues of "The Old Schoolhouse" The Magazine for Homeschool Families, and I must say I am in love with this magazine. I love how everything is Christian based. In the Winter 2008-09 issue, David d'Escoto wrote an article called "10 BIG Reasons Not to Send Christian Kids to Public Schools," and I was highly impressed. There was obvious reasons: 1)Public schools do not seek to teach according to your child's individual gifts and callings; 2)more tax money for academics, yet lower tests scores that are causing lower high scores to make the students look advanced; 3)your authority as parent shifts to the teacher, coach, principal, you have no control over sex-ed; 4)family first in Christian life becomes family last in the school system structure; 5)child seeks peer acceptance becomes do whatever you need to necessary against parents to find peer love "The Bible has already forewarned us about what happens to 'a companion of fools'"(Prov.13:20b); 6)the norm for students being grouped in 25-30 kids in a class for 12+ hours a day leads to poor attitudes and low self-esteem; 7)SEX, SEX, SEX, who will teach you child the Biblical way to learn about sex; 8)the Bible is being ripped from the hands of students in schools; 9)the falling away of the Bible, Christian homes are losing their children to Satan at college age and then there is number TEN!

I want to quote this because honestly, I have thought this, but never knew how to word it. I agree 100%.
"Scripturally Unsound" My final point may be the most controversial, but the fact is that public education is causing millions of children to stumble in their walk with out Lord. Can we not logically conclude that it is unbiblical for us to send our children there? Bold words, some may say-I would say they're rather Biblical. Please open your Bible and read Matthew 18:1-6, 1 Corinthians 8 (focusing on verses 11-13), and finally Romans 14:13-23 (focusing on verses 13 and 21). Do you see it? the Bible is making the following facts clear to us: 1)Believers are no longer under law. 2)Believers do have freedom in Christ. 3)A believer's freedom (liberty) in Christ must never ever be used as a license to sin and/or cause another weaker believer to stumble/sin."

Now, I know that many of Christian friends that take their children to public school, and this is not to disrespect their choice, but seriously do we want to force stumbling blocks on our children? Reson has always mentioned that I am not a person that will stay around people that are stumbling blocks to me; so, why would I do that to my boys? When David put the tenth reason into those words above, it just clicked for what my thought processes are for schooling Luk and Logan (and if I am blessed with more, God willing).

The calling to homeschool your child is scary, but in the end it can be the most rewarding thing you could for your family and the highest glory you can give to the Lord. Man, if that doesn't pump you up, I don't know what would... =)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Real Science for Kids

We received our bundle package in the mail a couple of days ago. As I was when I saw it at the convention, I am truly happy with our choice in science curriculum. It is laid out in a way that will help us lead right into the Apologia Science that I want to teach Luk as he gets older. There were a few reasons why we didn't get Apologia. 1) It would have been way over his head. 2) Even though it is structured to start K-6, I think that between 2nd-3rd grade would be a great time to start it. The textbooks are intense with a lot of information, and it will enforce this curriculum to a grander scale.
So, with Apologia in our future, we went with Real Science for Kids. It does not include the Biblical aspects that Apologia offers, however the textbooks are kid friendly, and are filled with information that is worded for a younger child's mentality. I also feel that I am very capable of including the wonder of God's hand in these subjects.
If you look on the Real Science for Kids website, you will see that Dr. Keller recommends that you begin with the Chemistry, however I do not agree with that philosophy. I tried finding a "why" to start there, but she does not say on the site. Well, I will tell you why I believe to start with Biology.
The following list is from World Book Curriculum for Kindergarten, which is my general basis for what to teach when to Luk. He has already by passed what they think he should for Preschool, so we are moving forward to Kindergarten. Here is the Science portion:

-Observation of everyday, familiar things
-Common animals and plants
-Interrelationships of animals and plants
-Classification of living things
-Farm animals
-Care of pets
-Like and unlike plants
-Indoor plants
-The sun: our principal source of energy
-Weather and seasons
-Earth, moon, stars, planets
-Simple measurement
-Beginning experimentation

* Bold: Luk already knows it.

*Bold/Italics: We are learning these things currently through everyday activity.
*Italics: It has been mentioned, and he recognizes it but doesn't understand it.
* Regular: It will be taught in the coming school year along with the rest of the list.

Biology first because it teaches these core things. The Chemistry, in my opinion, should not be taught until the student has full understanding of living things and creation. I think that without this knowledge, there would be no foundation to where these microscopic atoms are. You learn living things, then you begin to understand that a living thing is so complex is has cells chemical balances ---> atoms ---> chemical balances. In the Biology book, it even has a small little introduction to cells.

The Pre-Level 1 Biology teaches:
Chapter 1: Life (studying life, sorting living things, kingdoms, sorting within kingdoms, naming)
Chapter 2: Cells: A Tiny City (creatures, the cell, a tiny city, parts of a cell)
Chapter 3: Food for Plants (factories, how plants make food, food factories, different leaves)
Chapter 4: Plant Parts (below the soil: the roots, above the soil: leaves, stems, flowers, other places plants live)
Chapter 5: Growing a Plant (the beginning:seeds, the middle: baby plants, the finish: flowers and fruit, starting again: the life cycle)
Chapter 6: Protozoa (tiny creatures, how can we see them, different kinds of tiny creatures)
Chapter 7: Protozoa Eat (euglena eat, paramecium eat, ameobas eat, other protozoa eat)
Chapter 8: Butterflies (beautiful butterflies, the beginning: eggs, the middle: caterpillar, the change: cocoons, the end: adult butterflies)
Chapter 9: Frogs (life on land an in water, the beginning: eggs, the middle: tadpoles, the change: tadpoles to frogs, the end: adult frogs)
Chapter 10: Our Balanced Earth (in the balance, keeping the balance, cycles)

So, here is to further why Biology first, I color coded what would be taught in this book in comparison to the Kindergarten curricula. Those not colored are taught by other means.
Farm Animals: He knows them, reinforced through field trips to petting zoo (Hunsader Farm)
Care of Pets: He currently cares for two dogs and a hermit crab.
Indoor Plants: He will be growing herbs with me to see how it spices the food we eat.
Temperature: Daily Weather Chart, Hermit Crab must be in a certain temperature.
Light: Daily living
Colors: He knows them. Primary and Secondary
Senses: I have a unit study for this.
Earth, moon, stars, planets: He will learn this in his Eagle Wings and Bible curriculum.
Simple measurement: Right Start math curriculum is teaching this; I am also going to have him measure the growth of his plants.
Beginning experimentation: There is a laboratory manual that has an experiment every week that goes with his lessons.

I still would like to figure out why Dr. Keller thinks Chemistry first, however I'm sticking with Biology unless she has an awesome reasoning behind her logic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking a small summer break

This week Luk is attending a VBS from a friend's church, and I decided he is doing some intense Bible learning through that so we have left the afternoons open for just some fun time. I am vigorously planning this coming years schedule, and wondering if to plan the whole year or end it in January to see where Luk's level is, and then I would reformat if I needed to. Hmmm... decisions... we will see. Only I can see and know what Luk is capable of as I look at each subject and determine the time frame for each lessons. It is at moments like this that I have to make sure that seek the will of GOd for what I am to do with Luk's schooling. The beauty of planning ahead is that even if he runs slower than I thought than I would add days to the lesson at hand and if he goes fast well it's already planned. I'm a planner so the thoughts are leaning towards getting the year done and adjust as we go. Here is sample of what my calendar looks like.Explode the Code Book 1 (estimated time of three pages for one lesson 10-20 minutes):

2010-2011 School Calendar
Luk's School Year August 2010

PHONICS: Explode the Code, BOB Books, and Phonics Game

Monday Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday Friday
1 2 PRETEST: 3 GAME: 4 LESSON 1: 5 6 LESSON 1: 7
Consonants Flashcards: -at pp.4-6 LIBRARY/STORYTIME pp.7-9
pp. i-iii Beginning Sounds Dominoes Writing the words: sat, cat Word Builders: -at
LESSON 1: pp. 1-3 rat, hat, mat Extending Word Knowledge
Sight Words: on, the, is Sight Words: on, the, is Sight Words: on, the, is
8 9 LESSON 2: 10 GAME: 11 LESSON 2: 12 13 LESSON 2: 14
pp. 10-12 Rhying Word Dominoes pp.13-15 LIBRARY/STORYTIME pp.16-17
Last sounds of: can, fat, Writing the words: bad, Extending Word Knowledge
ham, bad, ran, mat, ram pan, ran, mad, sad Mad-angry, sad-upset, etc
Sight Words: has, in Sight Words: has, in Sight Words: has, in
15 16 LESSON 3: 17 GAME: 18 LESSON 3: 19 20 LESSON 3: 21
pp.18-20 Word Builders from Flash pp.21-23 LIBRARY/STORYTIME pp.24-25
Flashcards: -an, -am, -ad, Writing the words: hat, nap Extending Word Knowledge
Flashcards: -ap, -at, -ag map, tag, gas Challenge: Rhyming
Vocab: tag, sap, pal, cap
22 23 REVIEW: 24 25 REVIEW: 26 27 REVIEW: 28
Lessons 1 Words: Lesson 2 Words: LIBRARY/STORYTIME Lesson 3 Words:
rat, fat, pat, bat, hat, mat, had, ran, tan, bad, pan bag, gas, ban, had, fad,
sat, fan, can map, jam
Make Oral sentences Make Oral sentences Make Oral Sentences
29 30 LESSON 4: 31
pp. 26-28 Word Builders with
it, sit, dim, hip, in, bin, pig Magnets

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Handwriting without Tears Pre-K Book Done

Well, today was our last day doing the Pre-K Handwriting without Tears Book. We only use the workbook and Teacher's Guide. I just recently bought the large chalk board for him at the Convention.

He did his "Check Readiness" pages, and I thought I would share them with you.

Page 1
Luk likes to color, but not all the time. So, it took some time to get him to focus and stay in the lines. It is that method of making sure there is control in the writing. Luk has good control, but after some time gets a bit messy (but don't we all).

Page 2
This is a page that is extra. The book asks that the child be able to draw a person (themself or someone else) and draw ten parts: head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears/hair, body, arms, hands, legs, and feet (note extra parts).
The extras for Luk were the eyebrows, eyelashes, neck, and fingers.
He drew his cousin, Gregory. He was so excited to do this, and asked that I write "I love Gregory."

Page 3
Here Luk did well, I am curious why he has a heard time identifying "R." I gave him a hint by saying the sound, and he got it. I almost wonder if he did just out of being ready for nap. He, also, did this with the number "9." Again, I gave the hint that it is before "10" and after "8." He then said it.
As for the writing his name, the first time he just wrote is after I asked him to. Then on the right I asked that he stay on the line. Pretty good, I thought.

Mommy Thoughts:
I was thinking I would start the Kindergarten Book when I started Explode the Code (since it uses lowercase letters), but I may start him now so that he is prepared when he sees it. Hmmm, we'll see. Those are my thoughts on how he did with the his first "test." Now, to figure out how I want to start the next book.

I almost forgot! We got the Right Start Math Curriculum in yesterday. I was shocked; I thought it wouldn't be in for another two weeks. Now, we are awaiting the Science curriculum. Then to really kick it into high gear the planning of the school year!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Field Trip to Lowry Park Zoo Photos

Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. We have been to this zoo before, but it was a first for our friends.

Komodo Dragon

Lorikeet Feeding Area

Orangutan (he likes to read?)


Water Time

Does this scream trouble in the future?

Water Baby

Baby Time




Toads (my least favorite)

Orange Frog

Feeding and Petting the Sting Ray

American Bald Eagle

Gopher Turles (Luk took this picture) 
We have these in our yard.

Caribbean Flamingo

Barbara, I mean Manatee

Alligator (Luk took this)

Florida Panther

Locust (they were everywhere)

My favorite Baby Siamung Ape hugging on Momma

Can you tell who didn't end up riding? 
Well, he did, but with me.

Camel (Mongo) Ride



Giraffe Feeding 
(Luk has done this many times, so we didn't do it. Our friends did.)

African Penguin Feeding

These guys wanted more...

I will be posting the final search book later this week. For now, we are recouping. =) After the Zoo trip, we made a stop over to Lakeshore Learning. I picked up the finishing touches for the room and the school year. All-in-All, we had a wonderful time. It was a nice laid back time with some great friends that we really enjoy having in our lives!