March 29, 2013

They get out

One thing that I was asked about when I would tell someone we were homeschooling was about not sheltering the kids. Or, you know, the fear that they would never be around other kids their age and erither not have friends or the ability to play with children their age.

So here is the life of our sheltered children:

Sunday- church- we go to a church that currently has more children than adults. We have a wonderful lady that puts together the children's teaching time and they sing, learn Scripture, make things and put on skits/performances every few months to show us what they are learning.

After church- we head to my mom's for a homecooked lunch with my parents, my grandmother, my sister and her family which brings the total to 7 children ages 12 to 3, not to mention lots of generations at one table.

Monday- the afternoon is usually some outdoor play with the neighbor boys.
                6:30pm, Sarah has t-ball practice

Tuesday-  we spent quite awhile at the library and made a quick grocery stop ;same with the neighbors, this coming week we have a baseball game for Alexa

Wednesday- shopping day; we went to two stores, they played in the afternoon, then they had ballet at 6:45

Thursday- we were at home most of the day, they played with neighbors, Alexa had a practice game at 7:30 during which my other girls met some other kids and had a big time in the dirt pile.

Friday- the oldest is home from school. We will do our Bible lessons, color eggs, watch the movie about Jesus, do some baking, laundry and so on.

Saturday- family gathering for lunch followed by Easter egg hunt, and Sarah has another practice that afternoon, but we may not make it.

So, we get out, we see people, they do things not in a classroom setting. They aren't stuck together with the same group of people for hours a day; they can choose to play with each other or alone, play with the neighbors or not, practice baseball for a few hours a week with girls they are getting to know and that are learning to play as a team. Good stuff.

March 24, 2013

Our Bible Homeschool

     During spring break I really got a leading from God to spend our homeschool time looking deeply into Passover and the last week of Jesus' life, His crucifixion and resurrection.I got really excited too.

I enjoy learning about different cultures and people; their history, language, food, customs all of it- I like to savor each morsel, ha,ha.

I especially enjoy learning about the ancient Hebrews and the Jewish customs. My husband, me, and a friend are all very interested in the Hebrew language too, and have spent a little time on our own learning it. I think that by looking into it more, I get a better understanding of the Bible, especially into the life of Jesus.

And so, last week we spent all our homeschool time on Passover. First, I found a free lapbook resource, and each day we cut out the parts we needed and each child got to pasted them together. We read our Scripture portions, discussed it, and then moved on to our unit study of Israel. We did things like watch videos of Israel's famous places, spelled their names in Hebrew, made a map and so on.

The first day we learned about why the Israelites were in slavery and about Moses. We continued on with the stories until Thursday, where we finally got to the actual Passover part. Then, we got to learn about the Passover lamb and it's significance of Jesus the Passover Lamb. It's soo soo amazing, God is so awesome.

Doing this has been so meaningful to me. I feel like I'm walking each day with Jesus. This year celebrating His resurrection is so much more to me than in times past. Now, the girls did do other things too. They did some spelling words that I took from the Bible, they did some copywork from the Bible and they did math. But the main focus of our day was our Bible studies. I really enjoyed it.

Then, on Friday, we started with learning about Palm Sunday. We looked at the website Experience Israel, and I described to them what it would have been like on Palm Sunday. I printed them a coloring page that they did while I read the account in the Bible, also showing them that this was prophesied in the Old Testament as well.

My husband also wrote an AWESOME song and performed it at church today. He painted a beautiful picture of Jesus, as if you were looking over His shoulder while He was carrying the cross, and the Lord gave Him a song about it.. He spent the past two weeks using my synthesiser keyboard to record individual instruments and mixing them, it oh, it was just awesome. My daughters have been completely immersed in the Word of God and of what Jesus has done for them.

Tomorrow we will continue with 'Holy Week' as it's called. We have another great free resource available to help me with this. I plan to end our study on Good Friday with making 'Resurrection Cookies' and watching King of Kings- The Passion will have to wait awhile, I can barely watch it.

I saw a statistic that 52% of North Americans attend church on Easter Sunday, almost more than half of the percentage that attend weekly. I think that is wonderful. Easter may have some pagan elements, but if it gets people into a church, then God can work with that. He can plant seeds, water them and harvest them depending on where a person is spiritually. We glorify Jesus, and we also color eggs, and we are at peace about that.

March 19, 2013

Sarah's Art Party

I'm posting pictures of Sarah's birthday party. Remember she wanted it to be about art? The children and adults enjoyed it and it was very colorful! Most of these pictures were taken by our 9 year old daughter Alexa.

This is on Sarah's actual birth-DAY, March 3rd. I made a blueberry coffeecake for her breakfast. I also knitted her top and crocheted her headband :)

Food set up, yes, the cake is HUGE! I wasn't planning for that, but oh well.

The art supplies 'cake'- I had a battle making that thing! It's still here, mostly disassembled, I refuse to do it myself though. The girls enjoy taking it apart when they need something :)

Making pet rocks.

Cake time! Those candles were supposed to be sparkler ones, but they barely sparked!

Me, trying to slice the cake! And I managed to squeeze in some tye-dyeing and it was fun and easy!

The cut cake. Rainbow!


I took a video of the gift opening time, but I'm not gonna upload that, she got plenty of stuff, most of it art related :) And that was that, lots of work, lots of cleaning and messes, a LOT of cake, but it was fun.

March 18, 2013

Still around

I realize I've been silent for awhile, for various reasons.

Part of it was because I was still kind of formulating my plans for school and stuff, and just couldn't focus on anything else to blog about. I thought about showing pictures of all the things I've been working on, but I just got busy all of a sudden.

But, we had spring break last week, and it was SO nice. The Saturday before was Sarah's birthday bash, and so I was really in need of some REST after that. The trees are budding out and blooming, the daffodils and tulips have bloomed and gone, the pear trees have bloomed and are turning green, and patches of green are getting bigger and bigger each day. We have several dogwood trees that I am happy to say are loaded with buds- finally! The past few years the trees haven't bloomed much.

So, through various sources, I felt the Lord leading me to a particular idea for our homeschool.He popped the idea in me, about why not just use the Bible as our curriculum? I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I ran across a perfectly timed book, that led me to a blog where a mom has already done that, and posted all her free resources on how to do it . Still, I wasn't totally sure because this is March not August, and I didn't want to start at the point she did.

But I had all of spring break to think on it. One day last week I decided I really wanted to teach my girls about Passover, how and why it was celebrated and all that. I did some searching and found a lapbook for it, awesome. Then I also wanted to focus the next week, also called Holy week, on the last few days of Jesus' ministry, His crucifixion and resurrection.  I found a unit study on that as well as one on the nation of Israel.

Cool, so excited! I am really interested in Israel, the Hebrew language, culture etc. I can't say exactly why, but I am so drawn to it. I've already learned on my own the Hebrew aleph bet and can read the letters, but that's about it!

So this week's plan is today we learned about where Israel is, how it got its name, the language, what the girls' names look like in Hebrew, how the Jews got to be in bondage to the Egyptians and how Moses came to live in Pharaoh's house.
Tues- learn more about Israel in our unit study, Moses killing an Egyptian and running away, His calling, start the plagues
Wed- short lessons as this is our grocery day
Thurs- Passover, make unleavened bread
Friday- learn about Palm Sunday and Old Testament prophecy

Now, Passover is next Monday at sundown, but I want to also do a lot of things about Jesus next week, so I have to do this in advance and then i'll remind them about it next week. We color Easter eggs and get visited from the bunny, however this is how it will work.
Next week we learn all about the Last Supper, His trial, crucifixion, resurrection. On Tuesday we'll make resurrection eggs that tells the story, on Friday we will make resurrection cookies which I think is really cool, and then dye eggs. That night we'll watch King of Kings, Saturday we do Easter egg hunt at my mom's, Sunday we celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Our girls do get a visit from the Easter bunny on Saturday night, and I really don't see a problem with it. They know that it's Jesus that is the focus, and that we can have fun with other traditions too. To many that probably seems as if I'm mixing Christianity with pagan rituals, but all I can say is nowadays, Easter is definitively Christian in our culture, and fluffy pastel bunnies and chicks, and gorgeous candy and frilly dresses and all that don't necessarily take the focus off of Jesus. It's just stuff, we think it's fun, but we'd have a great time of celebration without it. I am a girl, and a mother to four girls, we like pretty colors and fluff and frills and chocolate. Need I say more? LOL!

I am making them all dresses out of vintage embroidered pillowcases and a little shrug thing to cover their shoulders. I bought them hats at the Dollar Tree and my mom bought them some spring shoes. So yes, we do make a big deal out of Easter, but I like it. Anytime we can celebrate, we do it big.

And, our girls are also signed up for softball this year. So, on Monday they both practice back to back, Wednesday they have ballet, and Thursday one of them has another practice. Been a little busier than usual, and if I have free time I generally like to use it reading books or making something :) So, bloggie here goes to the bottom of the list. But I'll try to do better!

March 1, 2013

Still letting things go out of my hands

I have been quiet here I know!

I am still in the process of letting things go. For various reasons, typical homeschool like we were doing hasn't been happening. I ran out of books on our list and need to order more, or our printer has not been working right at all, or one of us has been having allergy symptoms, or we have to make a trip to the city and so on.

So we have been unschoolers. I really feel the Lord leading me to this place and making me stay. It is hard- I have to battle emotions and the need for feeling in control. I think He is trying to deschool ME. My own self imposed rules and goals and requirements, my own pride. Yes, it took awhile to get down to the core of some of the issues, but I got to it, and it was pride.

Not wanting to lose face or admit that I made mistakes; not wanting to look like I don't care about the cleanliness of our home, the quality of our meals, our appearance, our clothes, our school curriculum and so on. I have  made so many of my choices based on pride and I didn't even know it!

Like I said, it has taken some serious praying and searching to figure it out. I don't think of myself as being prideful, and compared to a lot of people I am not. But it was still there. Having once been berated for some things that I may not have done like that person, I guess I developed a fear of not pleasing others. For example, at the grocery store, I used to have pride in the fact that we didn't eat processed foods or use chemical cleaners etc. If for some reason I had to buy something like that, I would try to hide it in my cart so no one could see it. LOL. And then stand there and compare my cart contents with others. How silly!!

And, if we are going somewhere, our girls MUST look nice. I feel so embarrassed if their hair has tangles or their clothes aren't matched, but I've really had to let go in this area and allow them to be individuals. The only exception is that Sunday morning, I will fix their hair like I want and it will have a bow, even if they melt down about it.

If someone were to drop by unannounced it's quite humbling if I happen to be in my worst clothes or  nightgown and the kitchen isn't cleaned up from breakfast or lunch. But one thing I've noticed is that I am SO much harder on myself than others. I for one don't notice the flaws in them or their home or their kids unless I'm spending a lot of time there or with them. Even then, I'm full of mercy and grace for them. But when it comes to myself, wow, judgmental. So, we (as in me and God) are working on this. I am loved because I am who I am. I want my children to remember me as an example of love and kindness, not as someone who was perfect and demanded perfection from them.

So, I am still letting go. Learning to trust Him with it all, all the time, like every moment of the day being led by the Spirit.