The Days Are Long but the Years Are Short

Shortly after my first born son was born, my pastor said to me, “The days are long but the years are short”. I really didn’t realize the truth he spoke to me in that moment. I wondered why he would say such a thing to a brand new mom. After all, I was a sleep deprived zombie at the time and what I needed was an encouraging word or at least that is what I thought I needed. Wasn’t there a better piece of advice, some piece of wisdom that he could have said?

The more the years pass the more I understand what my pastor had said to me.

Now that my first born son is entering his high school years, this statement is ringing ever so true in my mind. I feel as though there isn’t enough time to teach him all he needs to know before leaving our home. I don’t feel there are enough days much less enough years. I don’t feel ready.

The days are long but the years are short.

Now that I am longing for more long days, I don’t think there is anything more important than that piece of wisdom that someone can share with a brand new mom. You are sleep deprived, you are a walking zombie but hold on because the days are long but the years are indeed entirely too short.

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Our Middle School Plan

I am so excited about our upcoming year! The one thing that I am most excited about is our Bible study curriculum. We will be taking one year to survey God’s Word. God’s written word to us is powerful, it’s sharper than a two-edged sword but if you don’t know where  your sword is, it is useless and you are left without power. The tool we will be using is Route 66 by Positive Action for Christ. Here is a blurb from their web site:route 66

“This study provides a basic introduction to the structure and themes of the Word of God. As students journey through this fast-moving survey, they will discover the truths and applications that God has provided in each book of the Bible. God’s gracious work is clear—from creation to the cross to the consummation of time.”

Now here is a run down of the rest of the studies I have planned out for us to glean from:

American History – Notgrass America the Beautiful

Math – Life of Fred

Spelling – Dictation it is for us! I will be looking for resources for the boys to use first as copywork then the following week that will be their dictation exercises.

Greek and Latin Roots – English from the Roots Up cards plus lesson plans that I found on the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Yahoo! Group.

Critical Thinking for 8th Grade Boy – The Fallacy Detective and Thinking Toolbox

Writing – I am undecided at this point on the exact titles but I will be using the writing resource books from IEW that follow Teaching Writing Structure and Style.

Science – still on the fence with this one. Do you have any suggestions? I am considering going back to Exploring Creation with General Science but it’s just because I already own it. 7th Grade boy tried it last year and found it boring…Maybe if we do it together it will work better?

And because I now have three in the *dialectic level of learning I will be using Teaching the Classics to learn how to have socratic discussions about great books with my boys! Yes, I said BOYS! They will learn how to discuss and digest the material they are reading and learn the reasons behind the verbiage the authors chose. Maybe they will even learn to love great literature! They already enjoy having great literature read to them but now my hopes are that they will learn to love to read it for themselves. I cannot wait to get this started!!!

I am totally excited about this year! I have been back and forth on what we were going to do. I checked out a Tapestry of Grace group, I looked at a Biblioplan group, and I have considered more than a few times, returning to Classical Conversations. However, I have chosen to stand on my own two feet since that is where I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me.

*Do you have an arguing middle schooler? That is because he is in the dialectic path for learning! He wants to know the why’s and the how’s and the why not’s. They want to talk about things, discuss matters and try to make sense of all that is going on around him. So don’t argue with him or immediately shut him down because he questions you or your authority, talk about it with him, and give him the reasons why and why not. That is what he wants!)

 

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Standing On Our Own Two Feet

“My friends are doing it” we would say to our parents and their reply: “If your friends were jumping off a bridge would you do it?” Being young and foolish we would answer with a resounding “YES!”. But as we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realize that the answer is debatable. In order to know for sure if we would jump off the bridge, we would need to know where the bridge is located, how high up the bridge is, is there water under the bridge, and how deep is that water?

Just because your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you should do it.

I am reminded of this as I plan our upcoming homeschool year.

Most of my homeschooling friends and the boys’ friends are a part of one of the four local Classical Conversations’ communities. We were a part of our local CC community up until this past year when I decided I needed a break. I have enjoyed not having to get up early and get the boys up early and packing lunches and heading out of the door by 7-7:30 in the morning. Oh the life of a CC Tutor! I enjoyed my tutoring days and I enjoy being surrounded by like-minded individuals. The accountability factor is a plus and knowing that there were other families using the same materials brought a comfort that we all couldn’t be wrong.

But it was time for a break.

I felt a shifting inside of me our last year in CC. I knew change was coming but I did not know what that change was or what it would look like so I searched. I applied to be a director and I started the interview process. But that door was closed; not because I wasn’t qualified or I didn’t “pass” my interview; the director I was going to be replacing decided she wasn’t ready to step down. The search continued…

After that door closed, our family decided the change meant that we were to follow a dear friend who was starting a new community and most of our friends were going too so that had to be God, right? Our friends were doing it so why not? CC is a fantastic program and offers a wonderful classical education, could we go wrong? Yes, yes we could; by not following the Lord and by halting the Holy Spirit to whisper to our hearts what was best. That is sin folks. The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God.

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.” Romans 8:13-15

As I plan this year and ponder what path we are to take, I am tempted to go back. I am tempted to return to CC.

My friends want me back in their community. Another friend wants me in her community. But it’s just not the right fit for our family.

Classical Conversations offers a true classical education whose focus is on geography and Latin. It follows the trivium: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric learning stages. I truly enjoy the Foundations and Essentials programs but unfortunately the Challenge level (dialectic and rhetoric) does not offer the flexibility to tailor the program to fit your child. You are to tailor your child to fit the program – that’s just not why my husband and I have chosen a home centered education for our family. If you talk to directors and to parents, they will say that mom is still the teacher and you can make the program fit your child but that just is not the case. There are expectations. Expectations of excellence. What is “excellence” in education anyway? When we are looking for it aren’t we comparing one to another? And doesn’t Paul teach us in Second Corinthians that comparing ourselves to one another is unwise?

Just because your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you should do it.

I have searched and met with three other groups; I guess you could say that I’ve been “spying out the land” to see where we fit. The synopsis is, I am trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just doesn’t fit. “If it ain’t fittin’, it jes ain’t fittin'”. Mammy from Gone with the Wind

My husband and I have talked, we have prayed, we have pondered, but it seems that we just aren’t meant for a co-op or group setting again this year. I asked him, “Would God really call us to stand alone? To do this all by ourselves?” I believe the answer is yes. He called Abram out from everyone he knew. Elijah was alone in the wilderness. Daniel prayed alone. Throughout scripture we find that the Lord often called great men to stand alone. We are in good company!

So here we stand, each on our own two feet knowing that we are following God’s way.

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”            Jeremiah 1:7

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Where Can I Find Homeschool Books and Curriculum?

This is part three in my series on Planning for Homeschool.

Part one is strictly encouragement.

Part two is about Kindergarten.

Here is a list of some of my favorite “go to” sites when I’m looking for new curriculum or new ideas. Just so you know, these are all based on my own unbiased opinion and I received no compensation for these recommendations.share-heart-of-dakota

  • Heart of Dakota – is written by Carrie Austin and the company is family owned and operated by her and her husband. I believe her sister, Julie, also has an active role in the company and possibly in the writting also. This curriculum is Christ-centered and would serve as your core curriculum. There are recommendations and lesson plans in Carrie’s guides for math, reading, language arts, and writing (when your students get to that stage, as well as spelling but you are free to choose your own resources for those subject areas. This curriculum lends itself to the Charlotte Mason methodology by using real books and not textbooks for learning. You can easily combine multiple age levels using one of her guides with adjustments to grade level being made for spelling, math, and language arts. Carrie also has a wonderful literature program – “Drawn Into the Heart of Reading”. I am excited about beginning this in the fall with my boys!

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  • Sonlight – is a Christian based company but their philosophy maybe a little bit different than yours concerning religion. They believe that children of all ages should be introduced to world religions and evolution and that may come at a younger age than you are ready for your students to experience. From day one, I introduced my boys to the theory of evolution and it never made sense to them. However, each family has their own way of dealing with such topics so you need to be aware of Sonlight’s philosophy.

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  • My Father’s World – For those who prefer a classical style but appreciate the living books of the Charlotte Mason method this just maybe the curriculum for you! MFW is also offers a Christ-centered education which lends itself to a one room schoolhouse approach. Which means the entire family can be learning together! Some adjustments maybe needed once you reach those middle school and high school years but MFW offers suggestions on just how to do that!

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  • The Curriculum Choice – is a wealth of information! Here you will find reviews, tips, and tricks on using all sorts of different books, games, apps, pretty much you name it!

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  • Cathy Duffy’s – Here is a site packed full of reviews! From full set curricula to individual books, etc. She also has a book titled, “101 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum”.

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  • Homeschool Reviews – here is a site where you may leave a review for a particular homeschool product or read reviews. Most times, the reviews are written by a homeschool mom or dad or tutor and sometimes even a homeschool student that has nothing to gain by giving you their honest opinion. There is also a forum where parents can discuss different homeschool topics.

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  • Christian Book Distributors – have a large selection of homeschool materials ranging from curriculum to books to games to classroom supplies. They offer a free printed homeschool catalog that you may request from their web site.

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  • Home Science Tools – for all your science needs! Microscopes, telescopes and more oh my! They typically run a fantastic sale on microscopes during Black Friday and around Christmas time. This site even offers free science lessons!

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  • Institute For Excellence In Writing – IEW is one of my favorite resources!!! I have watched Teaching Writing with Structure and Style at least 3 times all the way through and will be watching all of them this summer and throughout the school year. Andrew Pudewa makes writing easy and fun. He has wonderful mp3 downloads on helping parents teach writing to their own children, a wonderful talk on “Spelling and the Brain”, and my personal favorites, “Teaching Boys Who Would Rather Build Forts”. IEW offers not only on writing but also on spelling, grammar, and speech and debate. Wonderful, wonderful company!!! I have visited with them at homeschool conventions and they are always eager to help and once when I bought and downloaded three ebooks that I had previously purchased, I chatted with them and they promptly without hesitation refunded my money.

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  • All About Spelling – well the name says it all! We are currently using this in our classroom for remediation for a struggling speller. It is incredible how quickly he is picking up spelling and we are only half way through the first book! Suddenly, things are just clicking for him. The author also has a reading program but I have no first hand knowledge of it but if I needed a reading program this is one I would seriously consider.
  • Reading Horizons – We used this product for reading remediation for our oldest son. He is now close to grade level reading where he was barely at 3rd grade before beginning this curriculum, he is in the 7th grade. I strictly used the DVD based method. It is tedious. He did not always enjoy it but he did it anyway because HE SAW the results for HIMSELF.

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  •  Home Life Academy – HLA is what they call an “umbrella school.  Our family has been registered with HLA for several years and highly recommend them to anyone! They serve families in the U.S. and those living abroad as missionaries. Here is a quote from their web site   “HomeLife Academy is an official private school serving thousands of home educators. Our homeschool diplomas have been accepted by colleges and universities all over the nation, from the University of Central Florida to the Air Force Academy. Our goal is simple: provide support, record keeping, and counseling, coming along side of you — the parent — in order to help Light the Fires of education in your children. As a ministry first and a school second, consider the value of registering with HLA…”

For planners I have used The Well Planned Day and Donna Young’s site.  Donna Young has so much to offer homeschool moms! From lesson ideas to planning forms, household forms to schedules and calendars! There is more than what you will ever need there! The Well Planned Day has been my planner for the past several years. I just love the bright colors and appreciate the beauty that it is! It makes me smile when I see it. There are also great articles throughout the planner to help encourage you on your journey.

Bible curriculum can become tricky! When it comes to teaching our beliefs to our children we find it best to do this as things come up in the day. When a bad attitude arises or being selfish plays a role or greed rears its ugly head, we go to the Word and share with the boys what God has to say about that. This is done in a matter where the child does not feel condemn but loved. God sent His Word (His Son) to save us as an act of love not to point out to us everything we have done wrong. But when we do things His way there is blessing. We issue grace and mercy in our home because we have received much freely so we give freely! But for teaching the Bible there are two resources that I have used at some point in on our journey. Now that the boys are middle school age, we mostly just read the Bible together as a family and discuss.

Calvary Curriculum – offers FREE! Bible curriculum for all ages. It is easy to use and to add in your own personal doctrine.

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Grapevine Studies – this is a fairly new resource to me to use in our homeschool. Here you “stick figure” your way through the Bible. The author offers several different studies for different ages. It is teacher led and as the teacher is teaching, she is drawing a stick figure on a white board or chalk board or whatever and her students are doing the same. It offers daily lesson plans that include a timeline and map work. Grapevine Studies are simple but thorough and can easily be fit into any schedule since it takes about 15-20 minutes on average to complete one day’s lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning For Kindergarten

This is part two in a series about planning your homeschool year. The first part was a bit of encouragement that when we surrender to to The Lord and keep His words before us, He will create a straight path for us. You can find that here Tis the Season.

Obviously when I began researching how to homeschool our first kindergarten son, I sought out advice from veteran homeschool moms and from brand new homeschool moms and everyone in between. I also researched the homeschool laws in my state. Friends led me to FPEA to discover ways to homeschool in Florida along with discovering the different methods, philosophies, etc.

A plan had already been brewing in my head because after all, I went to school so I know how “school” should be done. But because the voices of those who paved the way before me were louder and stronger than my own voice or rather that “still small voice” I followed them. They told me that I didn’t need to buy flash cards and I didn’t need to buy workbooks and I certainly didn’t need a put together curriculum for “just” kindergarten. So I just kinda winged it. We had an okay year but when I look back on this foundational year, I wish I would have laid a better foundation.

Just two short years later, our twins boys were ready for Kindergarten. My sister-in-law had just finished her first K year with her first born son so we compared notes. She shared with me the curriculum she used Heart of Dakota’s Little Hearts for His Glory. I went home prayed about it then ordered it.

I decided to combine all three boys in the same curriculum and we had a fun year of learning together! I quickly learned that my boys are stimulated visually so I did need flash cards for them. I did need posters for our school room. I did need certain things. All of this I say not to talk badly of any of the advice that I received but for it to serve as a reminder that we need to pray about the advice we receive and not take it as “the gospel truth” just because it worked for someone else.

Here are some practical things to consider when receiving advice from others:

  • Consider the source – just because they homeschool doesn’t mean they have the same goals as your family.
  • Do they homeschool just boys or just girls? Girls and boys learn differently. The best advice I have received were from moms or dads who homeschooled just boys because I homeschool “just boys”.
  • Eat the hay and spit out the sticks. Take from the conversations what “hit home” with you.
  • Pray! Before you seek out advice. Pray! Before searching Google. Pray! After your seeking and your searching.

As I look back and compare the two Kindergarten years, I am satisfied with the year that I had with my first K’er and I discovered that I am a teacher who likes a curriculum and who likes a plan so the 2nd K year for me left me feeling accomplished.

“I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

“A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” Proverbs 16:9, Amplified Bible

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Tis The Planning Season

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes goes on to declare to us that there is a season to be born and to die, a time to plant and a time to reap, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time for everything!

Every homeschool mom knows that mid-May through June is planning time. A time to pray, a time to search, a time to discover what is new, a time to make decisions.

I have had local moms ask me how this homeschool journey all began. Where did I find books? Where did I look to know how to do this? Will I be able to educate my children and educate them well?

Yes, you will be able to educate your children and yes! they will be well educated! Who else on this earth has your child’s BEST interest at heart? Who else on this earth desires more than their own success the success of their students? No one but YOU! Absolutely, without a doubt YOU!

You will pray. You will talk to your husband. You will talk to your mom, your friends, your sisters, you will search those crazy, most definitely more organized women than you because they homeschool and YOU will find your way. God promises in HIS word that when we seek Him with our whole heart, He will be found. A friend gave me a card once, I think it was for my birthday and it had this scripture in it,

“I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

And I have clung to that verse ever since! When I’m having a “day” I am reminded of God’s omnipotent words. After I have had a “moment” (did y’all see Mom’s Night Out? If so then you know what a “moment” is and if you didn’t than you in real life know what a “moment” is), I say His promising words to myself, “ALL my children shall be taught by the Lord and GREAT!!! shall be their peace”.

So in this planning season, remember that He who appointed you is truehearted and He will produce a straight path before you. And if it happens for you anything like it did for me, it will be one (faith) step at a time. When we start walking He starts straightening.

“A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” Proverbs 16:9, Amplified Bible

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Alarm Clocks or No Alarm Clocks?

I started a discussion on my Facebook page for my fellow homeschool moms:

“Homeschool Moms (only please) Soundoff: alarm clocks or no alarm clocks for your students. Why or why not?”

The common thread was that a benefit of homeschool is the ability to live our lives by our schedule with no alarm clocks so our students are able to start their day without a demanding alarm waking them to attention.  Though I do agree that a fabulous benefit of homeschool is to live our lives to the beat of our own drum, I feel there is a parental duty to teach our middle school and high school aged students personal responsibility.  I feel that training them to use an alarm clock fits that responsibility to a “T’.

I so appreciate a quote that a friend shared by Ann Landers,

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”

Though I have yet to implement alarm clocks for our boys, I do feel I will be introducing them soon. I’m not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I have lost a year or two and I was hit with a bucket of cold water upon realizing high school for our oldest boy is literally right around the bend!

Some may think it is strange that my husband and I taught all of our boys to trim their fingers nails and toe nails at a young age.  For me, it was similar to instructing them to comb/brush their own hair. Hygiene is a personal responsibility and one that I have taught them from the beginning. I’m sure most moms, in order to get through the everyday drudgery of washing their toddlers hair, sang “this is the way we wash our hair, wash our hair, wash our hair…” from the time her wee little one could sit up in the bath either in one of those cute little seats or all by themselves. To train them to properly wash, I talked through or sang through starting at the top and working my way down ending with their “piggies”.

If we do not take the time, not only to educate our children on the basic 3R’s, but also on personal responsibility, who will? The answer is scary and the answer is simple: no one. It is our job, our duty, our God-given responsibility to train them up. Maybe an alarm clock isn’t the right fit for leading your children into personal reasonability. Growing up I was always up with the sun and down with the sun. It was probably my time at RBTC (Rhema Bible Training Center) that turned me into a night owl. I worked full time and went to school full time. So maybe you have children that naturally wake up early and get going on their day without much prodding. The point is we have a country full of people who do not accept personal responsibility. Shamefully, those who accept the consequences of their actions are few and far between. My dad was a military man who dedicated 24 years of his life in service to this great nation. He grew up in a military family. We were taught personal responsibility from a young age. My sister and I were taught not to expect people to do for us what we could do for ourselves. So it is ingrained in me.

“Train up a child in the way he should, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Well, what way should he go? How do I know what my child will be doing when he is old? Plain and simple. He will do what you have trained him and prepared him to do. No one knows what God has purposed for their child (unless they have received some divine revelation from God which I guess is possible but not probable) so you start with what you do know. You do know he needs to know how to take care of himself. You see, I am a very practical, literal girl. For the most part, I take God’s Word for what it says right now. I do pray for God to lead me into deeper truths and revelation knowledge through His indwelling Holy Spirit, but as I read His truth right now, I take it for what it says. Sometimes we try to make this “walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh” thing harder than it needs to be. God said it, I believe it, Amen. But I digressed…

This is it for me: I train each of my boys to take care of himself and not to lean on anyone else to do something for him that he can do for himself. I have told them that a part of my job as their mom is to serve them and when I do things for them it is because I love them and I am being obedient to what I feel the Lord has told me to do – serve others. So I do train them to take personal responsibility but I also serve them. In my serving them, I hope I am showing them “love in action”. Because LOVE after all is a verb.

What you? What about your family? Alarm clocks or no alarm clocks?

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Stop and Smell the Roses

One of the biggest questions we receive as home educators is, “What about socialization”. Then when we answer their question, people are amazed at how much “social” time our students actually have. But is it really socializing our kids if they are busy in a class? First we have our homeschool co-op then they have music lessons, martial arts, sports, art class, etc., etc. and etc. But when is the time for fun? When do we allow our children and ourselves to enjoy our friends? It seems the stigma of being “unsocialized homeschoolers” has pushed us to the other extreme: Too busy doing “things”.

We need to, as the saying goes, “stop and smell the roses”. Time is short. Our children are with us for a minimal amount of time. I am learning to say no to obligations and yes to living life. Maybe we should put “Smelling Roses” on our calendars and to-do lists.

socialize – to talk to people and do things with other people in a friendly way

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Through My Tears, I Choose Joy

My prayer today, “Dear Lord, help me get through this month.”

April 9th is my daddy’s birthday.

April 30th is the one year anniversary of my daddy’s death.

My stomach has been in knots for days. I have been trying to figure out what I could have eaten to make my insides cramp and hurt so much. Recently, I have switched to a gluten-free diet and until a few days ago I was feeling better than I have in long time. So naturally I think I have missed something and there MUST be gluten in something I’ve been eating. After wracking my brain and checking the ingredients of recently eaten food. Alas, I find no gluten. Then I attribute my ill-feeling stomach to my mom’s health battles. But after what I experienced this evening, that attribution is far away.

I.Am.Grieving.

This evening I leave to pick up dinner for me and my family. I look up and I am now behind a truck that is being driven by a gray-haired man. It is the same make, model, year, and color of that last vehicle my daddy owned. I could not get away from that truck fast enough! As soon as I saw it, the flood gates opened up but fortunately I was able to catch myself before sobbing into an uncontrollable mess while driving. After leaving the restaurant while heading back home with food in tow, I pass an El Camino. My daddy owned an El Camino when I was in high school and that was HIS car! He bought it used and boy was it used! He spent money and time, and elbow grease and love on that car to get it just so. He treasured that car. Another symbol of my dad.

Dear Lord, is there anything else that can come into my path during this brief errand that could send me on a spiral decline for the rest of the evening?

What is the likelihood of me seeing that truck again? You remember the one; same make, model, and color as my dad’s last owned vehicle.  Well I did! This time it pulled out behind me and followed me!!! I was crying and I said, “God this is too much!!!” I pulled into my neighborhood and these words spewed out of my mouth, “OH MY GOD! MY DADDY IS DEAD!!!”. Then a voice inside of me said, “Yes, he is”. I was finally able to verbalize it out loud.

I was distraught. I felt like the devil himself was after me to get me so far down that I would never get back up.

As soon as I returned home, I gave the food to my husband and excused myself to the bathroom. I cried out, “God, why are YOU torturing me? I can’t take it anymore. It’s just too much.” Then He said, “Why don’t you choose to see ME in this? Why don’t you choose to see the joy in this – he is always with you.”

Grief is not for the faint of heart. It hits you when you least expect it and seems to come out of nowhere. One minute your driving down the road when out of nowhere a truck comes into sight and it sends you into a tailspin or you smell the same cologne he wore, or the same cigarette that he smoked or any cigarette smoke for that matter! Your heart is longing to see your loved one again.

This month is not going to be easy for me and I won’t pretend that it will be. BUT I am choosing to see HIM in this. I am choosing JOY. I am choosing to see the gift of my daddy always being with me and when I see that truck or that El Camino again, they will serve as joy-filled reminders that GOD is for me and HE is encouraging me by reminding me that my daddy is with me.

So through my tears, I choose joy.

choose
 (verb) – pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives
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Making It Your Own

start paving a new oneWe are experiencing A New Season in our homeschool. Our gears have switched, our paths have shifted, but we are still home educating.

We have completed a few weeks of Tapestry of Grace. Although most of it has been great, Who am I kidding? It’s been less than stellar! All of us have been on quite the learning curve! ToG is a full, rich curriculum that utilizes a unit study approach while keeping with the Classical model. It incorporates not only history and geography but literature, art/activities, and church history. You have many choices in what to teach in your homeschool and what resources you will use. However, there are some books that is best not to substitute or you may not be able to complete a worksheet or you will need to adjust your reading schedule if the page numbers do not match the ToG written plan.

Like I said, it’s been a learning curve. I love this program so much that I wanted to do it ALL! Repeatedly, in the videos I watched, the author says “no one can do it all” and “no one is expected to do it all”. Somehow, I felt like we would be the family that could do, maybe not ALL, but most. How wrong I was!

It has taken some tweaking and some adjusting and some bending on my part, but we are in a groove now and it feels so good! The boys are happy with their workload schedule and it seems to be the right fit, at least for now.

Seasons change and as they change, we change. God never changes but He is constantly changing us when we are yielded to Him. When things are hard and there seems to be a struggle, it maybe time to step back and reevaluate. Look at your curriculum, look at your students, and talk with them to gain their perspective on how THEIR education is going. Ask them if they like the books they are assigned to read. Ask them if they are feeling more confident with their math or science, etc.

So when you are creating your lesson plans, remember to make them your own. Just because XYZ is written into the curriculum it does not mean that ABC can’t be used instead or that XYZ can’t be used in a slightly different way.

In this new season, I am learning to make it my own.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

**Disclaimer – I am not paid in any form for giving my opinions on Tapestry of Grace. I have not received any incentives and they do not even know I am writing about them. This is my fair assessment and I’m sticking to it.

Categories: Books, Family, Homeschool, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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