The older I become, the more keenly aware I am of just how much I resemble my mother. I will admit that I have not always understood her or her motivations and often failed to see her own humanity. Some of my teen attitudes and actions toward her make me cringe in regret now. Becoming a mother has a way of setting the record straight and finding new respect for your own mother. The magnitude of the job is hard to imagine until you live through the struggles and joys of the task. And, the realization of how you can change the world through God-centered motherhood is overwhelming when taken on in our own strength. (more…)
This has been a transitional season for our family. Having Devin graduate early and start college has been a huge adjustment for me. It is strange how the dynamics in a home change so drastically when one member is not present. Even though he still lives at home, between school, work, church, and friends, he pretty much just sleeps here anymore. I was in heaven the other night when the four of us actually sat down to eat a meal together. I went all out and cooked all day from scratch and had dessert, because it felt like a special occasion. Truth is, I miss him. I miss all the deep conversations we had as we read books together, spent time in Scripture together, and just had more time to enjoy each other’s company.
So many people warn you when you are young that life is fleeting and to cherish the moments you have. It is so true. (more…)
Some homeschooling parents fret about how to obtain a physical education credit for their kids. For us, the goal has always been to live an active lifestyle. I do not think that you have to be enrolled in a formal P.E. class to fulfill the goal of being healthy, fit, and active. We also want them to love being outdoors.
Over the last 10 years of homeschooling, I have tried a variety of methods to keep the appropriate records. Even though Missouri does not have stringent requirements for documenting our homeschool journey, I wanted to be sure I held myself to a higher standard. And, when it came time to create my first transcript for my son, the records became very helpful and worthwhile. I am a paper and pencil type of girl. I have tried to use computer programs for record-keeping and they felt more cumbersome than necessary to me. One year I tried to use Evernote. I linked to both of the kids’ accounts, but they were not diligent enough about checking off what they had accomplished. For my own personal tastes, I decided to go back to a paper trail. Both of my kids need a clear list of what to accomplish. They enjoy checking things off and feeling a sense of accomplishment as they see the tasks dwindling for the day. They can also manage what needs to be moved over to another day when the items are left on the day’s task list. Other options have included day planners, but I found that they weren’t tailored enough to our specific studies or were just too expensive. Since we participate in a Classical Conversations program on Wednesdays, our week really starts fresh on Thursdays and ends when they go back to class the next Wednesday. So, their assignment sheets were set up that way to keep them straight on the correct days and how to divide the work. Here is a copy of the Challenge grid that we use to write weekly assignments. I can tweak it each year in Word as our subjects change. They just highlight the items as they complete them, and we hole punch them and keep them in a binder.
For attendance, I designed my own school calendar from calendarlabs.com. I customized our school name and changed some of the color coded boxes at the bottom to suit our situation. I just “x” out all of our school days. This helps me keep track of how many days we have worked or still need to complete to fulfill the 1,000 hours. (more…)
One of the very real aspects of homeschooling is freedom. But, with freedom, comes the need for self-motivation. Onlookers often ask us, “How do you stay motivated?” They question our ability to get ourselves out of bed and be productive without oversight. I have come to realize that self-governance is one of the most beautiful results of homeschooling. I believe that if you can raise children that care for the sake of caring, then you have been successful. They should not wait to engage with the world until they are forced to by an outside force. As Christians, we are called to practice Colossians 3:17 which states, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” I want them to desire to grow and mature because that brings them closer to Christ and develops their minds that God gave them. He created passions within them and only He can fully transform them to be able to use it for His glory. So, how do we discipline ourselves to work without anyone lording over us? How do we create an environment that drives our kids to thrive within the walls of the home? And, realistically speaking, how do we keep the dull out of our days when the mundane wants to set in? (more…)