Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our Family Album

This post is especially for Nana and Papa.  Just so they can see how absolutely proud they should be of their grandchildren.  Can you imagine what they will be like when they grow up??  This ought to be good!

Chloe - Boredom and a sheet of stickers
Abbey and a rattlesnake...       Permanent marker tatoos -  Wyatt

Haley - whatcha eatin?

Desperate for horses - Jo and Slater

brush those teeth girl... Charis

Wanting to swim in Feb. - Cameron
Josey May and Silas - still too young to be as strange as the others....

Silas and Josey -

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homeschool Math

I am absolutely thrilled with how the homeschool culture is growing. The last decade has seen a huge increase in new homeschoolers, and public opinion of homeschooling is definitely changing.  A decade ago homeschooling was still considered the "odd" thing to do... there are still those who may think that way... but there is a growing positive outlook on homeschooling.  Yet, with all of the positive changes there is also a major influx of homeschooling curriculum.  The options are seemingly endless.  How do we know which courses of study are well designed and will fit what we want for our homeschool?  This problem is probably one of the hardest aspects of homeschooling.  Finding the right curriculum out of the hundreds that are out there is no easy task.  In the next few weeks, I'd like to post the most popular homeschool curriculum based on the responses of many homeschooling families that I know, as well as several articles from magazines such as The Old Schoolhouse.

I will start with the most popular homschool math that is available for homeschoolers as well as some of the curriculum that I have used.

Workbook Based Homeschool Math Curriculum:
 By far the most popular for elementary math and preschool is probably ABEKA. I think almost every homeschooling family has heard of this kit/workbook based curriculum.  They are strong in most all of their subjects, and have had decades of solid performance under their belts. I went to a Christian school as a child, and this is the curriculum that I used through twelfth grade.  I scored well on my PSAT and ACT and had no problem with college level work. 
BJU press is a similar well proven curriculum that also has several decades of strong performance to speak of. I have a degree from BJU and do believe that their curriculum is a fine course of study. We have used the elementary reading series and a science curriculum. The BJU math is very manipulatives based and goes at a slower pace than ABEKA.
Saxon Math is another forerunner in the homeschool arena.  This series has been out for several decades as well and has produced very well founded math students. Saxon math is strong in review... so much review that many homeschoolers just skip some of the review assignments.
Alpha Omega offers a complete homeschool curriculum as well and has also been around for many years. Alpha Omega offers several different options from Lifepacs (workbooks) to computer based learning programs. It is a strong curriculum, and many of my personal friends have used the Switched on Schoolhouse program.
Singapore math is an increasingly popular choice among homeschoolers these days.  I have heard good things about this curriculum. It does not have the long track record of some of these other products, but it seems to be  solid curriculum.
Math U See is a great option for students who have difficulty with typical math curriculums. Math U See is manipulatives based and even has accompaning DVDs to help the parent/teacher.
Time4Learning is a complete homeschool curriculum that offers math. We have personally used this program, and it is a great option. It is a standards based curriculum available online for PreK through 8th grade.
Houghton Mifflin math texts for the high school are what we use for our upper grades math.  I have a degree in math so I enjoy teaching my children Algebra and such but this is not an easy road for everyone. If you have a difficult time with high school math yourself you may want to consider a curriculum that is teacher led and taught. ABEKA, BJU, Alpha Omega all offer individual math courses with an actual teacher teaching the course.

There are many free resources available online for help with teaching math. Here are a few:

Hippo Campus
Interactive Mathematics
Math TV.com

Comment if you have any great curriculum that you would like to recommend!

Ladies Sunday School April 25th

The last few weeks we have been studying through Jude and II Peter. In each of these books we saw how our Lord was warning us of the false religions that were already cropping up in the first century church.  Today there are a myriad of false religions it almost makes your head swim.  We are studying through some of the world's major religions and comparing them to what the scriptures say about each of their major beliefs.

Basic Tenets of the Catholic Faith

1) Catholics believe their faith started with Peter. Jesus appointed Peter the head of His church, and this is their basis for having a pope. Reference to Mt. 16:18. But what else does scripture say about the church and the leaders in the church?
Titus 1:5-9   I Cor 3:11   Eph 2:20  I Pt. 5:1-5

2) Catholics believe in a 3 legged basis of faith or salvation. 1)God 2) Scripture 3) Sacred Tradition. This is a works based salvation. What does the Bible say about this?
Micah 6:8   Rom 10:9-10  Eph 2:8    Gal 2:3   Rev. 22:19
3) Catholics believe a person is saved through faith and works and they cannot know if they are truly saved until they are judged by God. What does the Bible say?
I Jn 5:9-13  II Cor 5:8  Rom 10:13 II Tim 1:9

4) Catholics believe that Jesus spoke literally when He said, “Take eat, this is my body.” And “drink, this is my blood.” It is believed that after the priest consecrates the “host” (wine and bread) that it ACTUALLY becomes the body of Christ and the blood of Christ. HUNDREDS of Christians have been martyred over this point alone. What does the Bible say?
  Mt. 26:17-30  Mk 14:22-24   Heb 10:8-14

5) The Catholic religion teaches that Jesus gave the disciples the ability to forgive sins, and we are commanded to confess our sins to one another if the sin involved others. If the sin did not involve others and was grave then it must be confessed to a priest. They call this the mediation of the priest. What does the Bible say about this?  John 1:29   I Jn 1:9
I Tim 2:5  Ps 32:5 I Jn 1:8-10
Gal 2:15   Eph 2:8

6) The Pope has the authority to make “ infallible” statements to settle important matters regarding salvation. These “ex cathedra” statements are rare but are considered infallible. What does the Bible have to say about a man being infallible?

Rom 3:10

7) Sacred traditions and works are necessary for salvation in the Catholic religion. Here is a list of the 7 Sacraments of the Catholic church.

a. Baptism – infant by sprinkling and typically called “christening” Mk 16:16

b. Eucharist – communion I Cor 11:20

c. Reconciliation – confession  Rom 10:9  Rom 14:11

d. Confirmation – at which time you receive the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit

i. Wisdom

ii. Understanding

iii. Right judgment

iv. Courage

v. Knowledge

vi. Reverence

vii. Wonder and awe

e. Marriage

f. Anointing the sick – extreme unction – last anointing – last rites

g. Holy Orders

What does the Bible say about these seven sacraments?

8) Catholics pray to Mary and to other saints. Who does the Bible tell us to pray to?

Acts 4:12   Phil 4:6

9) Catholics believe in purgatory - a place where men and women go to temporarily be “purged” from their sins. What does the Bible say about this?

II Cor 5:8

10) Catholics believe they are the Universal Church. What does the Bible say about the church?
I Thes 1:1   Col 4:16   II Tim 4:22

11) Catholics believe in worshipping icons in the church. What does the Bible say about this?
Ex 20:3-5, 23   Lev 19:4   I Cor 10:14

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today is Earth Day...

I am sure that today will find many people writing glowing platitudes about "doing our part" to preserve the earth. I understand their intentions, and am sure they sincerely mean well.  Yet, in my mind it is a deeper and more lasting change that I desire to effect in my children.  The character quality of appreciation in our daily lives and applied to every thing is what I hope to instill. People today don't seem to appreciate much of anything, let alone the earth that God gave us. We have abused and corrupted most of the gifts that He has given us.
Genesis 6:11,12 The earth also was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence And God looked upon the earth , and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Genesis 6:6 tells us that it grieved God that He had made man on the earth. Man had so corrupted the beatiful creation both in a physical and a spiritual sense. God couldn't let that continue, so He told Noah to build an ark for the saving of him and his family. God was going to clean up the earth and clean it He did. He gave it a forty day washing, and a 140 day drying.  A clean fresh start.

Flash forward a few thousand years to today, and we view the earth again full of corruption both physically and spiritually. What must God think? If it grieved Him in Noah's day, I am sure He is grieved in this day. So my next question, how much longer can this continue until God says enough? Man's reforms will never be enough to fix it. We can recycle, change our energy habits and water habits, use less papaer, grow organic, use "green" cleaners, and on and on; yet for all we do, there are countries on the other side of the globe undoing it with their careless ways. Don't get me wrong. I do believe we should take care of the beautiful gift that God has given us. Yet, just like in Noah's day, we are powerless to truly "fix" the corruption that is now here. We need God!
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, name calling, and preachers

All right, I know .... I am trying to fit several things in this one post...  but yesterday, was a wonderful day.  We had a dear dear preacher and his wife (Dr. and Mrs. Finnigan) to come to our church yesterday. They used to live here in Georgia for a while, and my family has known them since I was very little. I was so happy they could come.  He preached for us at church, and I wished I could hang on to every word.  It was truly wonderful.  His dear wife is also a great blessing and encouragement. Our church had a luncheon for them, and it was so nice... one of those truly memorable days.

And to put a cap on such a wonderful day...Sunday evening as we were standing around fellowshipping - everyone except the preacher and our family had gone... Jordan came running up saying "Momma, Momma - Chloe just said 'Butthead'." 

Oh     my    goodness     - I could've died on the spot.  One of my fears has always been that one of my dear (big silly grin) precious children would do or say something like that in front of the preacher.  But he just looked at me and said, "Don't worry, I'm deaf in one ear." (Big grin)  This brought back memories of when he and his wife lived here before. One of our little boys in the church used to tease with him every Sunday.  And Doc would tease him back and call him George.  One Sunday the little guy said, "My name's not George!" and then proceded to punch Doc... well... shall we say at the little boy's eye level.   After Doc had doubled over in pain - and the momma profusely apologized... he just said, "It's alright, kids will be kids."  I guess he has a long history of overlooking our little one's silliness.

Jordan... the tattler....

Chloe... the name caller...

Just so everyone knows... we don't allow our children to say words like that... but kids will be kids...

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Just thought I would share some photos with you of our weekend.  It was our anniversary on April 10th.

Investigating the creek

Patiently watching...

All dressed up for church!

Us - before we went out to dinner...
I can't believe it has been 17 years... time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trouble with Disapearing Eggs...

We have an amazing phenomena at our house... my kitchen cupboard seems to eat Hershey's Peanut Butter eggs!  It is really quite amazing. The cupboard ate 5 today! Must have been really hungry...

Here is our mystery - We had 11 Hershey's Peanut Butter eggs in the cupboard on Wednesday - hidden in a grocery sack, because they are Daddy's absolute favorite treat.  But today - there was only 1 left.  We asked the 6 very hungry caterpillars if they had some - a couple admitted to a few... but honestly, the cupboard had to have eaten the 5 that are unaccounted for!  Wow - 5 in one day that's really hungry - or maybe really sick tonight...

...by the way... I am watching the hungry caterpillars to see if one has a stomach ache.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home school Curriculum

It's that time of year, isn't it? Have you been thinking about your plans for next year's home school? I sure have. I know exactly what I am NOT going to use next year! That's the easy part right? Though a few things will get scratched from our list, there are a few things we used this year that quickly became favorites. I guess we could call them "keepers", like Time4Learning, Apologia Science, Rosetta Stone Spanish, The Mystery of HistoryMemoria Press Latin and certain ABEKA subjects.

On the other hand, there are a few things on our list to "try" next year. I have heard so much about the merits of Time4Writing, and with all the struggles we had churning out a few research papers this year, I know it's time for a change. I have also been thinking about trying the "One Year Adventure Novel." I have one daughter who loves to write fiction stories and I think this would be right up her alley.

I have also been thinking about changing the handwriting curriculum that we have been using.  I still haven't found one that I am particularly pleased with - comment if you have one!!

I would also like to find a better spelling curriculum or method. I have four different spelling levels I need to teach... I would love to find something that was sort of "automated." Not requiring a whole lot of spoon feeding from me. I am thinking of using SpellingCity - but I am still looking at options.

I am not finished perusing all of the wonderful home school curriculum catalogs and magazines... so I am sure I will find other items that look interesting.  If you have a particular favorite homeschool or preK curriculum... please share - let us know where to find it as well!

Related posts:
Online Education's Science Curriculum
Online Education's Language Arts
Online Education's Math Curriculum

Monday, April 5, 2010

Last Lesson in Jude

We were able to finish up our last lesson in Jude this Sunday. We had a great time - and God really blessed our group. We are praying that God would help us to keep ourselves clean from the characteristics of these "counterfeit Christians" that have crept in unawares.

vs. 17-18 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
  • Jude is calling us to remember what the apostles taught
  • Warning us of mockers in the last days
  • Walk after their own lusts and desires - not Christ's
vs. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
  • They separate themselves - they can't and don't want to function as a true and genuine part of the body of  Christ - they are joined to the devil, the world, and the flesh
  • They are sensual - dealing in the realm of the flesh - fleshly desires - fleshly thoughts
  • They have not the Spirit - so they cannot be truly spiritual
vs. 20-21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
  • How do we "build" ourselves up? By reading and studying God's Word - this is our spiritual exercise
  • Praying in the Holy Ghost - the study of God's Word must be accompanied by prayer He speaks to us through His Word - we speak to Him through prayer. Our prayers avail much when the are in the "Holy Ghost"
  • Keep yourselves in the love of God - stay close to Him - ask for His mercy to help us - Remember the characteristics of our "first love" - that hunger for Him - that reckless abandon to tell others about the wonderful gift of salvation - desire to be at His feet as much as possible.
  • Encourage one another to stay in the love of God
vs. 22 - 23 And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
  • And of some have compassion - we must watch over one another - be accountable if you will - faithfully reproving and exhorting one another - this must be done with compassion
  • Some we must treat with tenderness - others save with fear - stressing God's judgement
  • Each method must be accompanied by a horror of sin - abhorring the connection to the "old" life
vs. 24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen
  • He alone can keep us from falling - keep us from these sinful characteristics named througout Jude
  • He delights in presenting us to His father... though we have been so vile through His righteousness we can be presented without fault
  • As He presents us this way - His work has come full circle - giving Him much joy
  • We so often act ashamed of Christ - but He is not ashamed of us - He presents us - once wicked and sinful - but justified through His sacrifice - to His Father 
  • Glory be to Him who has done all of this!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Day of Fun....

Just thought that I would share with you all... we have been looking for a good way to get "away" as a family - but not have to actually go on vacation. 

Today I found a great deal  - if you live in the Atlanta area you might want to check this out - the Mailbu Grand Prix - Northside of Atlanta - I believe... is having a special for $10 you can have all day -  unlimited access to bumper cars, pedal boats, and miniature golf.  I don't know about you, but the last time we played mini golf it cost nearly $10 a person itself.  This sounds great - so I thought I would share! 

We hope to take our day "away" real soon!!