Monday, May 31, 2010

Am I big - or still your baby?

"Am I a big girl?"... Chloe asked me this morning with her sweet blue eyes shining.

" Sure sweetie", I replied. "You are growing every day, you are three now!"

It wasn't but a moment, and she was climbing on my lap. "But mommy I'm still your baby!"

Oh... my... goodness....moments that take your breath away!

..... if only I could just keep these precious moments fresh forever!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Day of Rejoicing....

Most of you know that I have my own business as an educational consultant/tutor -as Reach Educational services. I tutor many different types of people from high school math to adults in college.   Well, yesterday was a day of rejoicing for me in that area in many ways...

One of my long term students a young Vietnamese woman came yesterday for her session.  The week before I had given her the book "Ultimate Questions" by Jeff Blanchard... only it was in Vietnamese.  I had spoken with her about the Lord several times, as I know her husband had as well.  But yesterday when she came she was almost glowing - she said she had read the book and she finally could understand what her husband and I had been telling her about Jesus.  She said as she read the book - she wanted to be saved and stopped and asked the Lord to save her and cleanse her from her sins.  She told me yesterday that she was concerned about finding a church to be faithful to and to be baptized in. Praise the Lord -  She even told me that she was worried about her mother in Vietnam and called her to tell her about Jesus... but her mother quickly told her that she believed in Buddha.  Join me in praying for this young lady and the desire she has to serve a LIVING God.

Also, yesterday four of my previous students graduated from high school!  What a joy to have been a part of their lives and to have helped them reach this goal!! Congratulations to Kenny, Lyndsey, Josh, and Jared. I wanted to go to the graduation, but I came down with a strange allergic reaction and have really strange itchy hives... well I guess that may be too much info....

Praising God for many things today!! ( even though I'm itchy)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homeschool Resources

I wanted to post about some great homeschool resources that we use.  These are free internet based sites that offer a lot to augment your child's homeschool education. Take a look at what I've listed, I am sure you will find a "goodie" to take with you!

Are your children having trouble remembering the various vocabulary words – such as homophones, antonyms, synonyms, prefixes, suffixes, and root words? Try this Free Vocabulary site that has all levels from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade. This is fun and educational – your children will love it!!

Here is a great site that offers free educational games for children.  These are actually pretty fun - you need to try 'em!

Try Spelling City - they have a paid service but also some free resources.

Lesson Pathways also offers free lesson plans that are cross curriculum and organized by grade.

Looking for something specific...Education bug is a great site to begin when looking for anything homeschool. They are a forum based site with information on almost everything that has to do with homeschooling. If you need it – this site will help you find it!

If you are a homeschooling parent who likes to be organized you can find all kinds of great organization tools here. Check out the planner …. I love it!

Are you needing a report card to be able to “show off” your child’s progress this year? Here is one that may help… remember there are lots of places that will give your children free things in return for a good report card.

Do you want legal help in protecting your right to homeschool your children? Check out the Homeschool Legal Defense Association – this is also a great place for other homeschool resources – and to find out what is going on in your state.

Are you looking for a place to connect with other homeschooling parents? Try a parent forum or a Homeschool forum. You will enjoy the camraderie and encouragement.

Are you into notebooking or lapbooking? We do it with science and history, and love it! It really connects the material for the student. Try these free notebooking pages in your next project!

Homeschool blogger is a great place for you children to start "Journaling" on the computer.  I started my older children with this and they took off... they loved the creative side of blogging and I loved the fact that they were writing... on a daily basis!!
If you have any great FREE resources that you would like to share - please comment and let me know about them...
Until next time…

Related posts

Friday, May 21, 2010

Christian Homeschool

Homeschoolers are cool... by the way! - or at least we think so!

Easter 2010
I can't tell you how many times I have been somewhere and gotten "looks" or have been asked if my  six children go to school.  When I answer, "No they homeschool", invariably I get the "Ohhhh" response. Why does the public respond so negatively to something that is different? Homeschoolers are just good mommies and daddies who want to have an active part in their children's education. The public also assumes that homeschool parents are just uneducated people who think they can do it better than the government.  That is so wrong - some of the most educated people I have ever met are Christian homeschool parents. Most of my homeschooling mom friends were actually teachers in their previous life ( :) before children.)  I taught for 15 years and even earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction, yet still choose to stay at home with my children.  People should be more open and accepting to this type of parenting. But instead, most people think that the parents who are thrilled that their kids leave every day are the "normal" standard of parenting. 

Anyway... off my soapbox... homeschooling is on the rise and acceptance of the homeschool lifestyle is becoming less offensive to our "modern" thinkers.  (Though it really doesn't matter to me whether they think it's ok or not.) Yet, it is kinda funny how most people have a predetermined "idea" of what a homeschool family looks like... you know from the blue jean jumpers and tennis shoes to the unsocialized 6 year old rocket scientist.  It's crazy - every homeschool family is different. (By the way, I don't own a blue jean jumper... and my kids surely are not rocket scientists... but they ARE definitely socialized!) Most homeschooling families are just "real" people trying to do what they think is the best for their children.

The Homeschool Family

This video from Tim Hawkins - is hillarious - depicting what people THINK homeschool families are all about... I laughed so hard - I cried....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Language Arts Home school

There are a ton of great language arts home school things out there. You can definitely be picky in this area! Here are a few of the ones I hear the most about!

As I have mentioned before, there are the well known homeschool options such as Abeka, Bob Jones University Press, ACE, Alpha Omega, and Sonlight. Each of these are available as a complete curriculum... meaning you can get each subject for an entire grade from one source. This is often the choice that beginning home schoolers make. Then as they gain confidence in their abilities - they branch out to different types of homeschooling resources. I pretty much did the same thing the first year we homeschooled.

Each of these resources listed above as well as the ones listed here are workbook based curriculum. They are well designed and comprehensive. There is also the Character Quality Language Arts series from Training for Triumph, and Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. Shurley English series is really getting a lot of attention in the homeschool community these days. I haven't used it myself, but I hear very good things about it. Another workbook and standards based curriculum is the Jensen's Grammar. I used this series in my first year of college.  I felt it was very challenging.

This year we are using the Abeka Language Arts books with other supplements. We use Abeka spelling lists with Spelling City to help us review, practice, and test the words. We use Time4Learning as a supplement to both our language arts and math curriculum. It is so fun - the kids really don't think they are doing school!

A few free resources include Grammar Bytes, Lesson Pathways, The Web English Teacher, Rainbow Resource Center, Kid's Place by Houghton Mifflin, and Fun Brain.

Some people enjoy teaching their children language arts through a literature based program. This means that they use fiction or non-fiction trade books to teach their children language arts skills. Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola incorporates this method as does A Journey Through Grammar Land.

We typically also incorporate Latin into our Language Arts program. This year we used the Prima Latina for all of our children. We do it all together at one time, and it just takes a few minutes each week. It helps the children to understand the roots of our English words as well as the parts of speech.

And last but not least we use the Brian Cleary books on the various parts of speech. These books are so fun and colorful - all of our children like to read these.

This is defintiely not a comprehensive list of the available resources for homeschooling language arts, but it should give you a good start. If you come across some other well made homeschooling curriculum, please comment and let us know!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spelling and Vocabulary Help

Spelling tests made fun!

I finally found it - a great spelling program.  You have got to try it... it works real simple, but can be customized to your needs. I am still using the ABEKA word lists... but this helps make the "interest level" go through the roof!!!

Go to Spelling City
Make an account
Enter your spelling list - you can do a whole year at a time if you like.
Add children - so that they can access their own account.
Their personal accounts will track how they practice and test on each list.
All you need to do is check their accounts to see how they are doing!

I love it... and they love it... what more could I want?

You need to try this site too - great FREE site for practicing vocabulary such as root words, suffixes, prefixes, etc.

Give it a try - and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Map

I recently finished reading the book entitled The Map by David Murrow.  Definitely an interesting book, but written with men in mind.  The author takes us on a journey to discovering the real purpose of growth in a Christian's life. The Map tells us that there is a journey that we all embark upon once we are saved. The journey is typified in the example of Jesus' life. The Map develops an interesting story line as the character stumbles upon an ancient secret regarding a map from Old Testament times. Twists and turns in the plot add a little mystery, but the finale brings home the point.

I enjoyed the book, but since it was created more with men in mind I read it from an outsiders point of view.  I thought that the analogies made to the Christian life were fitting and beneficial, and I enjoyed the bit of mystery that was thrown in. I would say this is a good book to share with a friend.

The Little Things...

I know everyone is thinking about mothers today... me included.  All day I have been thinking about a conversation that I had with my mother last night. She called to thank me for the "World's Best Nana" t shirt that we sent her...I know... but I was tired of the same old flowers. We designed it ourselves... so it was pretty cute! Anyway - She was excited to tell me that she found a little box with several little mementos in it from me to her on mother's day.  I was rather suprised... because if anyone knows my mother - she is the queen of organization and cleanliness. 
But though I was a bit suprised that she had kept these things... I really wasn't.  You know of all people in the world - mother's tend to hang on to the little things.  You know... those little things that make you think - - "I wish I could hang on to this moment a bit longer." The sweet smile.. the precious note...or even powder all over a room....

Just like the sweet old ladies in the grocery store that come up to you and tell you to enjoy every minute with your children because they grow up too fast... I have always felt our time with our children is so short... but more so these days when I think about how those little blonde curls give way to big girl hair....and dollies to high heels... and those little cars and trucks that are everywhere on the floor ....Well, they will be gone before I know it.

How can we hang on to it longer? Sadly, there really is no way -  for time is not meant to stand still, but God gave us amazing memories which can hold so many dear moments, and we can savor the time we do have and hang on to the little things.... the little mementos that one day will be so precious to share with your grown up child...  and maybe... just maybe you'll help them to see that the little things... the little moments....the little cards and notes... the children...need to be enjoyed and treasured before they are gone.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ladies Fellowship

This past weekend was a busy one - that's for sure!!  I felt like I could've slept all day on Monday... but not with six children running around. This past weekend was our church ladies' fellowship. We had a really special time together and God really blessed. Our dear sister Sheila came and spoke to us about depression. Wonderfully encouraging... and hopefully will help us today and in the future. She always seems to have the right "word" for the ladies of our church.  I am so thankful for her! We went on to have a very Southern lunch at the Bulloch House, and of course, ice cream from Warm Springs Hotel. Aside from the weight gain from the excellent food, I believe that the ladies went away blessed and encouraged in the Lord. Yet, as always, it was hard to say goodbye to Sheila again.  One of these days we will get her for good! :)

Sunday - was our first Sunday of the month fellowship dinner as well... we had a great time. Good food good fellowship - around the Word - what more could we ask for! Except for some rest...
Looks like I was trying to get a start on that Saturday... Thanks... Cammy...