Archive for October, 2006

Entertainment-driven Society

We live in an entertainment-driven society. Everyone tries to add an element of fun to everything, even the church. Somehow we think if we entertain the kids they will learn something while they are having fun. I’m not in this camp!

Dana has a well-written post on just this very thing…check it out! And check out the link to Linda’s post as well.

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October 31, 2006 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

How to think

Chuck Colson has a great entry about how important it is to have a biblical worldview. He points to Dorothy Sayer’s “Lost Tools of Learning.”

Sayer’s says about teaching, “…we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning.”

I believe this so much! I graduated from a public high school with fairly good grades. I feel like I succeeded there because I could test well…not because I was taught to think and learn. In reality, I learned very little. I have learned so much more while homeshooling my children!

If we teach our children to start with the Bible, research, think, learn…won’t they be able to discern if they need to read Harry Potter, watch a particular movie, drink at a party, etc? Which brings to my mind the Southern Baptist Convention this summer. There were resolutions brought before the members on abstaining from alcohol and removing children from public schools, among other things. If our churches were more interested in teaching their members how to think about all of life with a biblical worldview, wouldn’t these kinds of resolutions be unnecessary?

This is why I have moved away from using textbooks while homeschooling. It is much harder to teach your children how to read, reason, think, and write than it is to read the chapter and answer the questions at the end. I am still not sure how to totally teach this way, but I am trying to move in this direction. I have been so pleased with some of the papers that my two oldest have written this year. I usually have to discuss and help lead them in the right direction, but it is great to see some fruit in this area. I guess I should post one…

October 20, 2006 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Home Management while Home Schooling

Trying to keep up with housework, paying bills, cooking, etc. is the hard part of homeschooling for me. Forget that I was never good at these things even when I wasn’t homeschooling…so now it’s much worse.

I’m trying to add little things, one at a time, until I get it all mastered! (if God allows that many days on the earth, I’m not sure?!? 120 years it says in Genesis…not sure I’ll make it 🙂 ) Maybe mastered is too strong a word…until it becomes more of a habit.

So here are a couple of things that have helped me:
First thing is having the kids help. This year I changed my list of chores in for just “Room for the Week.” I have one child that has kitchen, one for the front bathroom, and one for the living room. These are the most lived in areas! There job is to help keep it cleaned and picked up all week. They also have to keep up their rooms and help with their own laundry (not wash, but take dirty clothes to laundry room and fold and put up). This is much easier for me to remember who has what and not have to always refer to a list.

I’ve tried the flylady a couple of times. I still am not a full-fledged flylady…but she has some great advice on keeping organized. Best advice from her that I got…give up perfection! If you wait until you have time to mop the floor and do it perfectly…then it never gets done. So why not do a little here and a little there…at least it’s semi-clean most all the time. Hope that makes some sense–probably should read and check it out yourself. She even has some tips gathered for homeschool moms here.

Planning meals has helped as well. I’ve never been good at planning and cooking so I’m trying to do a better job about it and it has been nice to have so many meals at home. Getting everyone to eat home-cooked food is another challenge we have yet to master! Menus4Moms has been a help in trying new things, the recipes seem to be regular food that at least a few in my family will eat. Check the website and sign up for their weekly menu–it’s free! Another thing that is nice is when I just double my recipes and put half in the freezer to eat in a few weeks. I haven’t done a lot of that, but when I do it is so nice to have that in the freezer on busy days. And I found this nice article from the same website that I thought was great.

October 13, 2006 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

Scheduling update

My son is still using his lanyard with his schedule in it. It does seem to help him stay on task…and not loose the schedule 🙂

You would even laugh…I have resorted to wearing the schedule as well! I have our MOTH schedule in an excel document. So I copied and pasted into Publisher and shrank it down to fit. It is helpful to be able to just look down and see where and what someone is suppose to be doing instead of heading to the fridge to look at the schedule.

Now if we can just wake up on time to get the schedule started on time we will be doing good!

October 11, 2006 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

Help with Spell to Write & Read

I stumbled across something I read quite a while back, but it is great help if you are just starting with Spell To Write & Read. “Getting Started 101” by Liz FitzGerald. It will walk you through setting up your materials, where to start reading, how to start a master learning log, and more.

I set my materials up a little different than her. I keep all my SWR materials in a rubbermaid tub kind of like a letter box. I cut off the spine of my SWR and WISE books had the covers laminated and then coil bound. I laminated my phonogram cards and spelling rule cards and I keep them rubber-banded in the tub. I have a pencil pouch for pencils in this tub, a small personal whiteboard, handwriting paper, learning logs, etc. I find this much easier than a couple of big binders. Although we do have a binder on the shelf to hold the Diagnostic tests, daily quizzes, and tests. So each school day when it is time for SWR I just pull out our bucket and sit it beside us and we get to work!

October 10, 2006 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

Discipline, balance, misc.

God is now working on my discipline and keeping balance in my life. Here is an old article from Homeschool World titled “Controlling Apples” by Lori Harris that I found encouraging.

I’m also trying to figure out how to best incorporate some ideas from largefamilylogistics.net.

Between lesson plans, bible study and two other books I’m trying to get to I haven’t had much time to blog. But I have some great stuff I need to post. Sorry for the delay, I’ll get to it soon.

I just purchased and downloaded a couple of ebooks. Freedom & Simplicity in HisStory from Lisa and me-and-my-house looks really good. I’ve already skimmed the whole thing and am going to start digging in a little deeper now! Hopefully I’ll be able to share more on this soon!

October 9, 2006 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment


Psalm 78:4

We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.