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Changes In Our Homeschool

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (1)

Some things I’ve learned in our first two years of homeschooling.

1.  My older daughter can, with very little help, independently learn math and science.

2.  My younger daughter struggles with the busy work of math.  (Truly how many times do you have to do addition drills before you’re confident 2+2 (still) = 4?)

3.  My girls LOVE reading together.  They learn and retain more from the simple act of me reading to them than I ever thought possible.

4.  Science is fun, but too many experiments eventually wear out even the most stalwart student!

5.  We still haven’t mastered following the “rabbit trail” of learning a subject based on the girls interest rather than on a prescribed schedule of learning.  This is an area I really want to focus on this year.

For the past two years we have been using Sonlight curriculum.  It has really worked for us because we love the reading.  I can’t count the lovely hours we have spent snuggled up on the couch reading the enumerable  books included in each year’s curriculum.  At the same time all the busy work seemed to stifle some of our creativity.  Honestly, I would get so stressed about making sure we did everything suggested in the teacher’s binder that, well, let’s just say I would lose my cool, a lot.  So this year I really felt like it was time to change it up.  I didn’t want to change all the reading just some of the busy work and honestly, I needed something cheaper.  Knowing Sonlight is based on the Charlotte Mason method, I began to search the web for our options.  I also spoke with other homeschooling families allowing others to share their favorite methods with me.

After much prayer and planning we decided to use Simply Charlotte Mason.  Simply Charlotte Mason (SCM) was started by two veteran homeschooling families who have been using Charlotte Mason’s methods of teaching for several decades.  They share their wealth of knowledge through a free curriculum guide, ebooks, articles, and countless other tools.  I found the website to be extremely well thought out and useful for our planning and because so much of the information is offered for free it was perfect for our budget!

As for the books we purchased we were able to find most all of them in good used condition.  We did purchase our math, history guide, and spelling new.  In the end we saved ourselves more than $500!  The savings was a huge blessing to our family.

Another benefit of not having the day to day guide telling me exactly what do is that it caused me to diligently seek the Lord for guidance in how to put our school year together.  So I put together a plan and set goals for the girls and our family.  I revisit it often to make sure we are staying on track, but I don’t obsess over it.  We are all much more relaxed.  We are truly enjoying our homeschool year!

The 1st day of school!  Charlie Brown loves that we are home all day!

The 1st day of school! Charlie Brown loves that we are home all day!

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Coming Soon!

A new line of exercise videos just for kids!

Focusing on getting your kids up and moving.  Set to high-energy Christian music, these videos are sure to inspire your family.  Our first two releases are for your elementary-aged kids, K-3rd grade and 4th-6th grades.

The videos will be available for purchase and immediate download to your computer or video capable device, or on DVD from Amazon.

Releasing in time for your Fall 2011 curriculum purchase!


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Yesterday I had the privilege of teaching the young girls at our homeschool group.  We have been working through Jackie and Dede Kendall’s book, Lady in Waiting for Little Girls.  This entire book has been beautiful!  Its purpose is to draw our daughters into a closer relationship with the Lord within the frame work of the mother daughter relationship.  Oh the joy I’ve had teaching these subjects on obedience, diligence, faith, virtue, devotion, security, contentment, and patience!  But yesterday something special happened as we sat around the table talking about devotion and security.  The lesson jumped out of the book into everyday life and touched my heart with a truth I never saw coming.

I asked the girls what it means to be devoted to God.  One of them said, “Spending time with him.”  True.

So I asked the girls if they had been diligent in setting aside time every day to spend reading God’s love letter to us, the Bible.  As you can imagine I got a mixed response.  But I loved their honesty.  One spent 15 minutes a day being devoted, others said no, and still others said things like “I wanted to, but I forgot.”  My mom’s heart kicked in at about that point and I asked the girls if they brush their teeth every day?  Boy, I got some strange looks then!  But again they were honest.  Most everyone brushes their teeth everyday and most twice a day.  That’s good!  As mom’s we’re responsible for training our children to brush and floss their teeth every day.  As mom’s we would never dream of allowing our children to go days without brushing their teeth!  Seriously, after a few days of neglecting their teeth we start to reap the consequences.

Imagine, your daughter or son climbing onto your lap for snuggles or coming in close for a bed time hug and kiss and what do you get but a face full of fowl smelling breath!  Suppose you didn’t take notice and over time your precious child begins to complain about a tooth hurting, but you just dole out some children’s pain killer.  It will be fine.  Time continues to pass and now the child is in real pain as the little cavity has grown into an infection that has spread into the nerves and tissue around the tooth.  Do you continue to leave it untreated or do you take care of it?  I don’t know any parent who would leave their child in pain like this!

Here is the correlation, every day, twice a day, I remind my daughters to brush, floss and use a mouth wash.  I talk to them about the importance of taking care of their teeth, because after the permanent ones come in, well, they’re permanent.  We want to keep them healthy!  And yet, I have to confess, I don’t remind my daughters to read the Bible every day.  Now I homeschool so God’s word is woven into the context of our studies and time together, but I honestly don’t push them to spend time in the Bible daily.  What am I thinking?!?  I’m having them take care of their teeth, but not their heart?  To keep my daughters safe in this world, I have to ensure they know how to be devoted, otherwise, as soon as they leave my nest they have no foundation, but can easily be mislead into the world!

If we’re not filling our hearts and minds with what the word says then you can bet the world is filling our hearts and minds with darkness.  That’s what happens to a heart left without devotion.  Slowly, so that we don’t notice it’s happening our heart gets filled up with things like depression, unforgiveness, anger, frustration, and bitterness.  Those little bits and pieces we should have been flossing out and brushing away have grown into an infection that is spreading throughout our body.

Come on mommies, we have to nurture our children’s hearts of devotion the same way we nurture their habit of taking care of their teeth!!  Daily!  Then, once their hearts are completely devoted to their Savior they will live secure.  Secure in the knowledge of a loving heavenly Father who’s plans for them are good.
Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord.  “I want you to enjoy success.  I do not plan to harm you.  I will give you hope for the years to come.”

Who’s promises are steadfast! 
Psalm 37:3-7
“Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of you heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”

From this day forward, I am committed to encouraging my daughter’s hearts of devotion.  Just as I remind them to brush their teeth, I will remind them to spend time daily reading God’s love letter to them!  Won’t you join me?

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Getting the Garden In!

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (4)

I haven’t written in a while, because I have been completely consumed with getting our vegetable garden in.  IMG_5755This year the girls are really getting involved and we’ve even been working on a garden unit study that has been so much fun!  So let me tell you what we’ve been up to… Read More→