Friday, October 28, 2011

Why I Love Homeschooling our kids!

I LOVE homeschooling our kids.  We we had Jocelyn, Sean and I decided that homeschooling would be the best route for our family.  I wake up every morning (probably not early enough) eager to start school.  I can’t wait to see what our day holds. Their minds are like little sponges and I love seeing them learn and have fun doing it!  So here are the 40 random reasons why I love homeschooling our kids.  If you are homeschooling…what do you love about it?
  1. I have the honor of being with my kids 24 hours a day….7 days a week.  The learning never stops.
  2. I get to see my kids learn the firsts.  I don’t have to wait for a report every few months and then be surprised by their progress.
  3. I can move at the pace of each child.  I can spend more time on a topic if the kids don’t get something. I can skip something or move faster if they have caught on.
  4. I can pick and choose what I want to teach our kids.  We won’t be covering everything that public schools covers…because we don’t feel certain things are important. 
  5. I can teach certain subjects when I want to.  For example, I am holding off on teaching some typical first grade topics, until Katelyn is old enough to really comprehend the topic.  Who cares if Jocelyn learns certain topics when she is in 3rd grade or higher?  We don’t. 
  6. We can teach to their interests.  If they are interested in a certain area of study we can focus in on that…if they are not…we can skip certain subjects like Chemistry or Upper Level Math…just depends on their interest.
  7. I can teach them daily life skills with whatever we do; cooking, cleaning, how-to jobs, sewing, helping siblings.
  8. I can teach the kids about the Bible or implement the Bible into daily lessons…and I don’t have to worry about offending others.
  9. If a certain type of curriculum doesn’t work, I can just switch to something else.
  10. It is faster to get things done when everyone works together.
  11. My kids won’t be labeled by others depending on their learning progress or attention span.  They won’t be labeled as “slow” if they are behind a typical student of the same grade.
  12. We don’t have to teach to a test.  We can teach them for comprehension and understanding.
  13. I can teach my kids the way that they learn best…and not the way that the general population learns.
  14. I get to learn right along with them….I really didn’t comprehend much from elementary…and so on…so I am learning new things everyday!
  15. We don’t have to fill out forms to have our kids opt out of certain classes.
  16. We can do arts and crafts everyday if we want.
  17. We can go to the park during the day…and have it all to ourselves.
  18. We can control (and supervise) who our kids hang out with. 
  19. Our teacher to student ratio is 1 to 4.
  20. Our kids will get to socialize with kids of all ages…young and old…not just kids of the same ages.
  21. Our kids don’t have to deal with bullies or snotty girls every day, without adult supervision…they can enjoy that when our neighbors come home…ok…only joking on the last part…still praying to have some nice neighborhood kids here!
  22. I don’t have to worry about a security guard protecting my kids everyday.
  23. We have our weekends and evenings for our family.  School work is done during the day and we have peace.
  24. We have a three day weekend.
  25. We can go on field trips every week.
  26. They learn while they are playing, and don’t know it.
  27. When we go to kid places during the school year….they are empty…if there isn’t a field trip from a school in attendance.
  28. We don’t have to set our alarms….or get dressed if we don’t want to.
  29. We can travel and not worry about missing anything.
  30. We can go to the Y in the afternoon and have the entire place to ourselves.
  31. We can squeeze everything into 3 hours right now…I know it will change, but it is nice.   
  32. We don’t have to worry about snow days.  We can have school every day!
  33. Easton can ride his horse while he does school; Jocelyn can hang out in her bunk.
  34. I know what my kids are eating during the day.
  35. I can take pictures of my kids as they are learning...kind of corny...I know...but I want to treasure these memories (and remember what I covered for the other little ones coming up).
  36. We don't have to go "back to school" clothes shopping.  Ok...our kids have clothes, but we have lots and lots of play clothes:)
  37. We can participate in a co-op with other homeschooling friends during the day.
  38. I don’t have to ask my kids what they learned in school today…and get an “I don’t know” or “nothing” answer.  
  39. Their grade really means nothing...just something for others to understand.
  40. We can pray and have our Bible’s out in school…and not get in trouble.
 On the flip side...I came across this website...if you are curious about reason's why NOT to homeschool your is kind of comical....ok...some won't think that...but I did.

This blog has been linked up to:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kid's in the Kitchen: Caramel apples...yum?

 The kids and I made caramel apples for an evening snack...and we were expecting them to be really yummy!  We used one bag of Kraft brand caramels....for 5 wasn't quiet enough caramel, but we made it work.  We also had this wonderful idea of putting sprinkles on the apples for extra pizazz...however the caramel hardened a bit too fast and the sprinkles didn't stick on...but we attempted...and a few ended up being semi-pretty.   All I can say is...something went wrong.   We put them in the the directions said....we let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes...and then we tried to enjoy them....they were rock solid.  I could barely cut them with a sharp we enjoyed mostly apples for snack and got a bit of caramel here and there if we were up to sucking on it.  Sean thinks that maybe we put the caramel on the apples when they were too cold?  We really aren't sure what happened.  Any good caramel apple recipes out there..or suggestions?
All of the little fingers at work!
The kids tried stirring, but it got too hot for their little arms...
Oh yummy goodness!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Season's of a Mother's Heart: Living with Discipleship

I am plugging away at Season's of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson.  When I signed up for my friend Erin's online book club, I really didn't think I would keep up with everyone.  Lookie here...I am all caught up!  The book is really easy to read and the chapters are really that helps. :) Mrs. Clarkson provides such wisdom to mom's who have little ones at home and are trying to raise them in a Godly manner.  Her grown kids are proven examples of how Christ has worked in one home.  Other's are reviewing the book as well.  To see their thoughts, Erin has a link-up post on her blog every Friday afternoon at: .

Chapter 9:  Living with Discipleship

"Train your child in the way they should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"
Proverbs 22:6

This chapter was about the verse I just mentioned above.  My kids are still young, but the older ones, especially my 6 year old, picks up on everything...the good, the bad, and the ugly.  My husband and I sometimes over hear her trying to "discipline" the other kids...even though she knows she shouldn't...and we sometimes look at each other and sounds just like you (me).  Sometimes it isn't pretty.  As we raise our kids, our goal is to have them model our "good" behaviors.  Unfortunately they see our bad behaviors too...impatience, frustration, stress, etc.  This chapter was an eye opener to me as we continue this long journey of raising our kids. 

Mrs. Clarkson breaks the chapter up into three key points:
  • Discipleship requires a personal relationship with your children:  Without it, biblical discipleship is not going to happen in your home, with your children.  If they learn patterns of relationship from us (Sean and I), it will be an easier step for them to relate to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Discipleship requires a spiritual intent: Going to church, teaching them Bible stories, having them memorize verses isn't enough...I want them to see me (and Sean) living a life with Christ.  Mrs. Clarkson believes that we have until our kids are 12 years old to accomplish in their lives the task of raising them to be disciples of Jesus Christ.  Twelve years, that is not a lot of time!   She believes the windows of their hearts begin to close when they move into young adulthood.  I have seen this happen.  I have seen families lose their children when they hit this age....and never get them back.  A sad, sad, thing!
  • Discipleship requires a living example:  I am hoping to show them how they can serve the Lord, by being witnesses about Christ; by serving others; by thinking of others first over themselves.  If I want my children to someday be a mature Christian adult, then I need to be committed to giving them a living example of what a mature Christian adult looks like.
As usual, there is a lot that I need to chew on, digest, and think about.  I definitely have some work to do!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall fun at Roca Berry Farm!

One of our favorite fall activities is going to Roca Berry Farm.  Our kids love running around and playing on all of their exhibits. This year they had quiet a few new attractions.  We met my friend Nancy and her daughter Sarah for an afternoon of fun.  Sarah is Jocelyn's first local friend (and her mom my first local friend)...we met when the girls where both 1 years old!
Enjoy the pictures!  Such a fun time!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Tis the season for discussions concerning whether or not we celebrate Halloween.  I honestly don’t care what other people do with their families.  I don’t care what your reasons are for celebrating the holiday.  I have heard several reasons why it is alright for Christian families to celebrate the holiday. …it is just a holiday to have fun and dress up…there is no harm in doing this.  As long as we keep it kid-friendly, it is o.k.  Our church does it, so it must be o.k.  Again, I don’t care what you do.  I am hoping you have made the best decision for your family.  For our family, Sean and I, have decided that it is best that we don’t celebrate the holiday.  So I don’t ramble, I am going to break up our reasons in numbered form.

1.      Most holidays that we celebrate, Halloween, Easter, Christmas all have pagan roots.  However with the holidays Christmas and Easter there are some Christian roots…mostly pagan, but some Christian roots and these holidays can open people’s eyes and lead them to salvation.  Halloween…what does that lead one to?  Hmmmm….not sure.

2.   It is all just fun and games?  I love watching my kids play dress up.  I really do think it would be a fun thing to put together costumes for our kids.  I can picture myself sewing a cool costume and showing it off to friends and family.  Taking lots of pictures.  My kids love to play dress up and I am sure they would have tons of fun going out in public in costume…and better yet get a ton of candy.  So what happens when they are beyond that innocent kid stage?  So do we slowly let them go to parties without us?  Do we say…well you are mature enough, go ahead and wear that demonic costume…you can make your own decisions now.  What do you say when they get older?  When does it stop being kid friendly and move over to the demonic, satanic roots of witches, goblins, ghosts, blood, and ghore?  You know it does.  So at what age…10, 11, 12? 

 3.  My parents let me celebrate Halloween.  I think I turned out ok.  So bad example, but let me tell you some horrible things that I witnessed when I was growing up.  My parents read this blog and will be mortified after reading this.  They trusted me when I went over to my friends’ house for Halloween parties.  They especially trusted me when my friends  were from believing homes, but would you believe that some of those Halloween get togethers---at Christian homes-- - involved Ouija boards...involved games such as light as a feather, stiff as a bone…and their parents bought these games and watched us do them.  I did not take part….I was sick to my stomach that my friends did.  I made it through “the tunnel” but some of my old friends have gone down hill from there.  I am talking about things that happened when I was 11 years old.....11!

  4.  The Bible does not speak of Halloween…the Bible doesn’t cover every single holiday out there..4th of July, Thanksgiving, Presidents day etc., but it does say quiet a few things about witches, sorcery, demonic activities:

Ephesians 5:7-12:
Don't participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.  Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

     Leviticus 19:31:  
    “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.  

2 Corinthians 11:14-15: 
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord.

But we should:  Phillipians 1:27—Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.

         5.  Our church does it has to be ok.  I hear that a lot.  Our church doesn't have any type of Halloween one celebrates the holiday, but think about it...most  people do if a church, especially with paid staff, chooses to not celebrate the holiday, and not do would be going against the common practices of their members.  Members = money at most churches.  Members = jobs if their is a paid staff.  Doing what most people are in favor of = members.  So if you church decided it was the cool thing to only wear white...would you go along with it?  I know a silly example, but just because your church says jump...don't ask "how high?"  Think about what it means to your family. Your kids.  Not the common good of your church.

6.   So what is so good about witches, demonic activities, voodoo, skeletons, people dressing up as to what they think Satan looks like, blood, ghore?  I will let you answer that question yourself.  Remember your kids will grow up.

Ok…again, I want to stress…I don’t care what you do.  Well I do kind of.  But I am trusting you have made the best decision for your family, based on your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and understanding of the Bible…or lack of understanding.  If you do celebrate the Halloween, pray that your kids aren’t led astray, especially as they get older.  Pray some more….and more.   It is a tough world out there.  I know it is hard to not do something, because everyone else is doing it.  If you know me…we beat to our own drummer here.  Don’t do things that EVERYONE else does, if you are finding conviction in heart.  I am not ashamed to tell our reasons for not doing something….that is just me.  I know it is harder for other people to explain to others their beliefs…so they just go along.  

Also, don’t feel weird about showing me pictures of your cuties in their costumes…I should take some pictures of my kids in their everyday dress up clothes…oh wait, I already do. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homeschooling co-op!

This year a few of my friends pulled their kids out of public school and started the homeschooling journey.  Our little group decided to start a co-op focusing on character development traits.  We each take a month to cover a character trait with our group of kids and then plan a field trip for that month.  October was my month and my topic was confidence.  There are 12 kids total and 7 participate with grades ranging from preschool to first grade.

I covered confidence from the angle of making right choices when playing with their friends or siblings.  We played a game where I read scenarios of how they should react in certain cases to show they have confidence to make the right decision.  They tossed a ball in the yes or no bowl to answer the question.

We then watched a Veggie-Tale video on confidence.  It was really cute and discussed a situation where three of the veggies, who worked at a chocolate factory, where given the choice to sing a horrible song and worship a chocolate bunny ...if they didn't they would be thrown into the furnace.  They made a bold decision to sing an alternate song and were tossed into the furnace..only to have some friends sweep in and rescue them.  This video helped the kids understand that sometimes people who aren't living a life of faith, or understand what the Bible says about how we should live our lives, might co-erce you into doing something you don't agree with.  I think about how many teens, college students, and adults turn from a life of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior...and somewhere along the way they turn from their faith...I know our kids are young, but hopefully this lesson planted a little seed about how they should stay confident in making the right decisions, instead of caving into their peers sometimes bad decisions.

Of course any get together needs to have food:)  I made fun-da-middle cupcakes in honor of sweet Emma's 6th birthday!

The kids then practiced writing their bible verses for the day.

Phillipians 4:13:  I can do everything, through Christ who gives me strength. 

Hebrews 11:1:  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
This verse means that "faith" is not the crossing of your fingers and "hoping" that something great with is believing in and trusting that by having grace through faith (belief) that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and then rose again we will have eternal life in heaven....we did not see Jesus dying on the cross and we did not see his resurrection, but by reading the eye-witness accounts in the Bible we know with certainty what happened and those who believe this have to look forward to.

This blogpost has been linked up with: