Friday, September 14, 2012

Homeschooling thoughts...

This morning wraps up week 4 of homeschooling.  It has been a really good 4 weeks.  There have been some tears from both mommy and daughter a couple of times, but overall it has gone really well.  We have a very good routine and we are both getting use to it.  We are using mostly Sonlight Curriculum and I must say I can not see using anything else.  Everything I need is all there and I have really like nothing to plan.  We just head down first thing in the morning and follow the schedule right out of the teachers's really a piece of cake.

Although we have had some tears and some tough days, those tough times lead to really good conversations that led to us being closer and building character in us both!  This is what I really wanted out of it.  I still have some very mixed feelings about it...partly because I live partly in the world and partly in the Word.  Not sure I will ever get around that part.  When I hear my friends saying they did such and such by themselves, that makes me want to send her.  I think that has been the hardest part for me - selfishly giving up things I wanted to do with my time.  I have to keep telling myself that I only have them like this for a short time and only once and one day I will have more time to myself.  The end result is building a Godly character in them so that they can go enter the "real" world knowing how to make good decisions, despite what the world around them is doing.  This is something I need to do for my self also!

Just when I feel down about it, I hear words of encouragement from people I didn't really expect to hear them from.  This week I heard from a guy (who was here looking at properties to place trees) and he told me he wished his wife would home school his kids.  He told me the things (burdens) his children bring home with them.  I heard from another lady that said if she could go back and do it again, that she would home school. I read the following things this morning: that so and so was mortified when someone asked her children what the capital of France was, and they didn't know!.  She was told that "kids can look that up anytime. In the total scheme of things, it is not that important for our kids to know what the capital of France is! How much better that they learn how to get along with one another. . . ."

I have thought about this a lot lately.  How much my kids have been fighting lately is driving me batty and how much easier it would be if Reece was at school.  I hear how kids get along better when they are away from each other and then return...but isn't this just a temporary fix?  I realize that kids won't always get along but shouldn't we be teaching them to get along whether they are with someone all the time or not?  Whether they know someone or not?  Whether they heard bad things or good things about them?  What they wear or what they look like?  We have been talking a lot about compromise, listening to one another, and doing to others as we would want done.  I know that if she can get along with her brother, she can get along with anyone else applying those same principles.

Obeying authorities has also been brought up the past couple of weeks.  I have personally witnessed other children who did not obey me as an authority and that really bothered me.  Then I witnessed my own children not obeying someone else.  I feel that if my children learn to obey my authority, they will ultimately obey God and other authority.  They have not mastered this yet.  The more we work at this with them while they are young, the better and easier it will be for them.  I have heard the saying and do believe the saying that children obey better for other people.  While this might be true, I do believe that is also a temporary fix/thing.  They will only obey for as long as they can, but if those skills aren't built into who they are as character, they will eventually not obey others either (teachers, babysitters, etc).

Those are just some things I have been thinking about lately.  I haven't read about them anywhere...just witnessed them and thought about it a lot.

My personal favorite part of our home school curriculum is the Sing the Word A to Z cd.  How easy it has been for us to memorize key verses that they will always have in their hearts.  We have learned so far "All have sinned", "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved", "Children Obey your Parents in Everything" and "Do to others as you would want them to do".  If they just have those 4, I think they would be pretty great kids.  I constantly find myself singing these back to them when they aren't obeying or aren't treating each other right. My hope is that they will sing these in their head when they are away from home and have decision to make (on how to treat someone, on whether to make a right or wrong choice, etc).

We do most of our school work from 7 to 9 in the morning.  We have even done some on the weekend - for catch up or just because.  One Saturday we did "Science Saturday" where we did 3 science experiments that we didn't get to during the week.  We do our bible story at night.  We have also included our Sparks (Awana) book and cd this week as part of our school day.  She really seems to be enjoying our school time and I am too.  I love watching her learn and ask questions. We had some problems with writing a while back but this week, she finished her writing a day early because she worked so hard!  We have come a long way! She finally realized that if she works ahead, she will have more free time later!

The other evening we were outside, I noticed one of my roses had come back (since the storm).  I remember we need a rose for one of our science experiments for this week so I ran inside and grabbed my book and we did it right there in about 5 minutes or so.  This week we talked about all the parts of the flower, why insects need plants, and why plants need insects...I learned sooo much - ha, ha!!
We also talked about the ground and dirt and discovered that you can find lots of insects hidding under rocks and boards.  We found a whole bunch of ants under a rock and they had hundreds of eggs too.  We inspected an ant hill too.

We have also been talking a lot about sin, (pride mostly), death, and heaven...more on that in another post!

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