Monday, June 14, 2010

About That Consistency

We are maintaining a perfect balance with church. We go almost every Sunday and to occasional other activities and BBQ's they offer. Its going so well. The kids have lots of friends there from our home school group and we have settled nicely. I am still having my quiet time each morning with God, waking about 30-60 minutes before the kids and its really improved my life in unexpected ways. I never knew how important that exchange of burdens for strength and counting of blessings really could do for a person each day. I cannot imagine I will ever stop my quiet time. Having that personal relationship my father in heaven means so much to me and my sanity. It allows me time to think, reflect, appreciate, cry, and pray for my family and friends as well as myself and my needs and weaknesses. I am on day 30 of the 90 day devotional book, Becoming the Woman God Wants me to Be by Donna Partow. Chorepacks are WONDERFUL, Heaven sent......love them! Those will be going no where, I repeat, no where. Now for homeschool; we have completed week 6 of Sonlight, but-yes I know here comes the but..... Nate and I have been rereading the Moore's books together (School Can Wait, Better Late than Early and The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook). What does this mean? Well, we just aren't fully convinced our kids should be summonsed to 3-4 hours a day of "school." We have never believed that, but with the trouble with the school district, we became worried and purchased a complete curriculum. Of course we are enjoying the Cd's, Bible, and we have read way ahead on the literature books. The Child's History of the World wins the WORST history book award though. That book is horrific. You are much better off with story of the world or something else. We love doing cool science experiments and working together with different things or adding neat projects to some of the books. The problem is there are a lot of books going at once and some are plain boring. Trying to keep up with the busyness of Usborne History of the World also isn't my favorite and I loose the kids with it everyday. I feel I start reading in vain with certain books. We have decided to throw out the idea of the curriculum and go back to basically unschooling. We enjoy having a block of time each day to read til our hearts are content with no limitations knowing that we have to stop a book we love for several we dread. Its so fun to play/work informally together on projects we come up with and being creative together. The nice thing is that Sonlight has provided us soooo many great books to choose from, great science projects to play around with and Dinosaur books that captivate the boys. The CDs, the kids love so much, they are accidentally learning scripture and memorizing continents and countries that even I have no clue about with our geography song CD. There are so many great resources from Sonlight that while we will not stick with their schedule any longer, we will certainly enjoy the many great resources we have from them. Our family just cannot and will not be slaves to any curriculum. It doesn't work well and we all burn out. This is our fourth or fifth time now in 5 years of homeshooling that we panicked and tried a curriculum for a short stint only to realize that it 'just aint gonna work.' We are using Rays Arithmetic to casually do math. Its great, just a few word problems each day that are very real-life based and only takes a few minutes each day. Despite not using much math curriculum ever, my kids are VERY quick and accurate adders and subtracters. language arts and spelling have been very gentle, using queen homeschool's lesson languages which take 5 minutes a day tops. They have character building, beautiful copywork books with neat quotes and poems and beautiful pictures and they do these because they enjoy them, they are not forced. We also LOVE being outdoors and studying nature. I recently purchased Karen Andreolas book, Pocketful of Pinecones for enthusiasm and ideas for nature walks. The kids are still young and things should remain gentle and fun and allow for each of their God-given talents and abilities to be nurtured. I will certainly keep a log of our adventures, basically a diary I will write in each night for a keepsake/document for my kids in the future as well as authorities if our homeschooling were ever put in question again. Our local old schoolhouse is doing really neat nature activities each Wednesday night we will be attending for the summer along with the summer program at the library, free summer concerts at the park and free days at the local museum and lots of camping. Our first camping trip of the season last week was amazing! We had so much fun.

5 comments:

gretchen said...

Janis,
A lot of us just take parts of different curriculum that we like and make our own curriculum in that way. For instance, I use Charlotte Mason spelling, Houghton Mifflin History, Saxon Math, etc. The kids take piano lessons, golf lessons, and art classes. That works better for me than one big curriculum from a certain company, then I get all the things I like with none of the boring stuff:)

淑慧 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest...................................................................

宛齊陳 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest...................................................................

Tiffany said...

I have tried to leave you comments and finally hopefully it will let me. I was trying to say I found your blog through someone else's blog and I just love it. thanks so much for writing that blog post. I have been really stressing about homeschool lately and worrying about the kids and especially math. YOu made me feel better. I am gonna try and find the math you mentioned as it seems like something I have been looking for. Thanks for mentioning it. visit my blog if you ever have the time. God bless you.

Heidi said...

I'm clearly behind in my blogging, but I wanted to comment anyways!

It's interesting how what works for each family is so unique! For us, the idea of unschooling sounds good in theory but doesnt' work well in practice with our kids. We always come back to needing more structure!

Different personalities, different families, different approaches!

Isn't homeschooling grand?