Homeschooling....Part Deaux

It looks like the Souths have painlessly slid right back into the groove of homeschooling. The boys haven't missed a beat, remembering (and seeming to enjoy) the learning at home schedule (or lack of it) and way of life (read: living in our pj's and taking multiple learning breaks to play in the pool, read, watch a tv show, or play a game).

Together we are strolling through Ancient History with Story of the World and the kids are excited for our Apologia Zoology study to arrive so they can start their study of land animals. We are also doing Bible study together, as we continue to work on a self control unit. We are also concentrating on one character trait per month (this month: self control), memorizing one scripture per week and one hymn per month (this month: He Leadeth Me).

Sissy has already mastered all the short vowels and consonants and is starting to read short vowel words. She has breezed through a math workbook (I cannot stop her -- she wants to do 10-15 pgs a day) and we are waiting on the next installment of Singapore math to make its way here. She is learning to write with Handwriting without tears - the same program Griffin used. She actively participates in Bible and history, and I have a feeling she will be upset when she realizes I didn't buy her a zoology journal to keep along with the boys. Sis has requested to take gymnastics. She is a muscular little thing, so I think she'll do well. We'll keep you posted!

Tucker is flying through math (of course) so I added in a Life of Fred book for extra practice. We are doing Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons level 4 to get him back on track after a wasted year in public school. He is also doing Rod & Staff Spelling (we used to use Spelling Power but after reading multiple reviews over at The Well Trained Mind, I decided to switch). He wants to study Spanish this year. I would prefer Latin or have him continue French (he took it the last 2 years in school) -- so we haven't made a language decision yet. He is gearing up (literally) to play tackle football in a few weeks.

Griffin doesn't seem to have missed anything from his year at public school (thank you, Mrs. Babineaux), so he is motoring right along with Singapore math, Writing with Ease level 2 and First Language Lessons level 2. He is also trying out the new (to us) Rod & Staff spelling. He has the best penmanship in the entire family (no joke) so we will continue with Handwriting Without Tears for him. He will start writing in cursive this year. He is stoked! Griffin has requested to take tennis lessons. With his temper, he will no doubt be the John McEnroe of his generation.

The biggest adjustment is with me working full time. Time is very limited, but so far we get everything done that we need to do. We may have to get creative and do a little school on the weekends, or in the evenings. Who says it has to be done by lunchtime?!

It has been nice having the kids home. While everyone around me can't wait to get their kids back to school, I can honestly say I have missed those huge chunks of time that they are away, learning about whatever it is that their teachers decide to teach them. It's nice to incorporate character lessons and Bible stories and verses throughout the day.

This is, of course, not to say I don't occasionally think about how nice it would be to come home after working a 12 hour night shift and think how pleasant it would be to go to sleep in a quiet house while the offspring are off at school.

But, it is what it is. God has given us this time and has directed us to homeschool for this year. My entire life seems to revolve around issues of obedience. I am learning (admittedly, I am a slow learner) to -- just obey the first time God directs me. Ok, not the first time. I mulled over the homeschooling thing for about 3 months. Or more. But you get the point.

One thing I know. It may not be easy, and it may be difficult for others to understand. But it is the best thing for *my* family at this time. And I know, above all, that God will honor and bless our efforts.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,
so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Humble Pie

I get "Daily Success" emails from "The Institute in Basic Life Principles" and today I was reading about the character quality of "humility". Now, honestly, prior to this slap in the face "personal evaluation", I would have considered myself humble. Definitely with room for improvement, but overall, humble.


Not so.
•When people disagree with you, do you argue to defend your position?
•Are you hurt when those whom you dislike are honored?
•Do you find it difficult to admit you are wrong?
•Do you inwardly react to criticism?
•Do you give your opinions before being asked for them?
•Do you enjoy sharing about your accomplishments?
•Do you talk more than you listen?
•Are you more concerned about your reputation or God’s?

•Do you seek ways to humble yourself?
•Do you do things for praise and compliments?
•Do you accept praise rather than deflecting it?
•Are you quick to correct others when they make mistakes?
•Do you react when you do not receive credit you are due?
•Do you compare yourself with others rather than God?


Character traits can be taught, yes, but the best way to teach them is through example, right?

I have always taught my children "JOY" -- you know, Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last. But I'm sitting here *I* really live that way? Do I really put Jesus first in my life....(not so when I was recently pondering working on Sundays), put others next (did I wake up early to spend time with my kids instead of lingering in bed?), and myself last (the list of examples is too long to write).

The Bible tells me that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And I've been asking God for a whole boatload of grace lately. Grace to work night shift. Grace to deal with the kids. Grace to homeschool.

Today, when Tucker asked for grace in his grounding from the computer, I reminded him why he was grounded and explained that if he would get it through his head that he absolutely canNOT hit his brother, I thought of God, hearing me beg for grace over and over and realized that He extends it to me every.single.time with love. He doesn't remind me of my sins or shortcomings. He just generously grants me grace. Even though my humility score is so stinkin' low.

God's example of parenting is perfection. He quietly, gently, mercifully shows me how to parent my children, how to love my husband, how to respect my co-workers.

Now, in return, I am determined to focus on humility, remembering that everything I have is from God. Every talent and gift I possess originates from Him. My paycheck from Touro? By the strength and abilities He has given me, I am able to collect it every 2 weeks. My family? Gifts. My health? By His grace, I can breathe easily unless I'm going up stairs and my heart beats steadily.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.