I've Come Full Circle

After all the time spent trying to determine the right curriculum to use for homeschool, I'm back where I started. The program I intended to buy would've cost about $450 plus we needed to buy another computer (one was not going to work with two boys). I started looking at the cost and thinking this was a bit more than I was ready to bite off. Besides, something inside wasn't really clicking for me.

I picked up a wonderful book called "Homeschooling Methods" by Paul & Gena Suarez. They're the publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Their book goes through the various methods used in homeschooling. They give a brief summary of each method and then various people in the world of homeschooling offer contributions to further explain each method.

As I read Jessica Hulcy's contribution (she's the co-author of KONOS), I realized that we already have what I really want for our family - and it's in the KONOS currciulum. Additionally, the Lord showed me that I need to add a bit more structure and focus more than I've been on the academic side. The other piece that's been missing is godly character training. Not that KONOS doesn't cover it, but we've not done what we should with it.

While I've ended out pretty much with the same conclusion regarding homeschool, I have a different, and hopefully better, perspective.

First of all, it's a tremendous blessing, opportunity, and privilege to homeschool my boys. My ultimate responsibility in training them is to lead them into a life of godliness. They can have all the academic knowledge in the world, but if they don't know the Lord and how to follow Him, it will be worth nothing.

Secondly, I cannot expect the boys to have discipline and responsibility if I'm just flying by the seat of my pants, changing the plans on a regular basis, and have little consistency in my parenting.

And last, but not least, I want us to grow together as a family. I want to see our relationships flourish, not suffer and die from poor choices and bad attitudes.

Following Thanksgiving, we'll begin anew. Our new unit will be on electricity and simple inventions. This is something the boys are very interested in and we'll even be able to tie in their Boy Scout merit badges - engineering and railroading (model trains). My oldest wants to create his own electric train engine.

Thank God that He always gives me do-overs!


Thirteen Things About Me

1. I am madly in love with my wonderful husband. We celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. It's been an amazing adventure and I look forward to many more years of fun and excitement together!

2. I love being a mom. Even though my boys present me with numerous challenges, I love them immensely and wouldn't trade being their mom for anything.

3. I have been a born-again believer in Jesus Christ since March 18, 1990. I accepted Jesus at Calvary Chapel Nederland (a tiny little church in the mountains in Colorado).

4. I am addicted to Dr. Pepper.

5. I have a continual internal battle going on between my organized, AR side and my lazy, procrastinating side. I have to laugh when people think I am organized and have things together. I try very much to be like that, but then my LP side likes to throw that all out the window. I'm forever seeking balance . . . but I only see it as I go flying wildly past it on my way to the other end of the spectrum.

6. I am a Scrabble junkie - along with my Mom and sister. Of course, it's hard to be a Scrabble junkie all by yourself - it's pretty boring.

7. I am a former night owl. I used to be able to live (quite successfully) on just a few hours of sleep a night. However, as I've gotten older, my body disagrees and requests more sleep. If I don't comply, I have to pay the price. At first I felt ripped off by not having as many waking hours in my day to accomplish whatever I thought I needed to do. I've learned to get over it and at least attempt to get a good night's sleep.

8. I would love to be a photographer and a writer. I don't do too bad with a camera, but would love to learn more. I'm not even sure why I want to write, but I just like to. Probably because I love words, I love to read, and I'm a closet editor of everything (of course, now that I've said that, someone will be kind enough to point out my errors, no doubt! LOL!).

9. My favorite food is Mexican.

10. I am a recovering control freak.

11. Most every morning for breakfast I have an iced chai latte and a brown sugar mini bagel (toasted with butter).

12. I am miles behind on scrapbooking, but now that I have a dedicated space, I am able to get more done than I used to.

13. I just entered the digital age last week when I got my very first digital camera! But that still doesn't mean I'll be giving up film any time soon.

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Time to Change Course

I've come to a significant fork in the road regarding homeschool. We have been using KONOS, which I think is a wonderful curriculum. I used it last year with my oldest son who was in 6th grade. This year he's in 7th and my other son is home with us and in 6th. I was really looking forward to my younger son joining us in all the cool, hands-on things that KONOS offers.

We've diverged somewhere along the way between what I envisioned and the reality of the first 2 1/2 months of school this year.

First (and this is no surprise), my boys have very different learning styles. Not only that, they don't like the same subjects in school. While unit studies can be a fun way to learn, we've wandered too far to the unstructured side and it has not been a good thing - for them or me.

Secondly, the boys don't really have the boundaries in their lives that they ought (courtesy of their parents). Sometimes, though, you just don't realize how far things have declined when you're in the midst of it. Fortunately, God is gracious and merciful and does not leave us in an unhealthy place when we actively pursue Him. We need to focus more on godly character development so that we can live productive lives that please the Lord.

The result? We will make a shift to more focused academics (new cirruculum) and at least part of it will be done independently on the computer. There are a couple of reasons for this. With the boys not interacting very well nor liking the same things, it is very distracting and disruptive for me to teach them both together. In addition, if I work with one while the other son does something else, the second son will usually sneak off to play. The program I'm looking at will lay out exactly what is coming up for each son and he will know what's on tap for the day, week, etc. My hope is that this structure will help them (and me) as we'll all know what's expected for the day.


I Am Chinese Food?

Wow - I've really neglected this blog recently. It seems that the more I intend to do something, the more I don't!

While over at A Chelsea Morning, I was checking out Barb's entry that claims she's French food. Of course, she didn't agree with hers either so I don't feel so bad.

You Are Chinese Food

Exotic yet ordinary.
People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

Besides, I personally enjoy Chinese food very much! I don't much think of myself as exotic though. Ordinary probably fits better. So people think they've had enough of me?!? Hmph! Oh well - if you have nothing better to do (probably because you've had enough of me) you can find out what kind of food you are!

Well that's my big and exciting blog for this week or however long its been since I've posted. Guess I'd better get cracking! In the meantime, go have some Chinese food.

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