Friday, April 27, 2012

Tiffy's Top Ten...April 2012

 Good Morning!  Blogspot changed up their website a bit for posting to your blog...stuff like this throws me.  I'm pretending that everything is the same, but it's not.  I get comfortable with one thing, and then they challenge me to do it differently.  I don't like change.  Even if they are changes for the better...it still takes me awhile.

Well...I thought I would share my Top Ten for the month of April.  Matt and I went to the Homeschool Conference in St Paul a couple of weekends ago, so I thought I would share the Top Ten things I love about Homeschooling...Here they are:

The Top Ten Things I Love About Homeschooling:

1.  Lots of time with my kids.  Time just goes too fast!  I am always doing the countdown...8 years left with Daisy, 9 years left with Lucy, and 10 years left with MJ.  Yikes!  But, there's so much to teach them!  So many things I want to do with them!...but, time doesn't slow down.  So, I am thankful every day for the many hours that I get to spend with them.  These precious little imperfect beings.

2.  Learning together.  My biggest goal for my kids, regarding Homeschooling, is that they love to learn and that they know how to learn.  These are two traits that I did not leave high school with.  I didn't love to learn, it was more something to quickly check off the list.  And, once I got to college, I realized that I didn't even know "how" to learn.  I'm thankful that we can do many subjects together, like history and science, so we are all able to enjoy knowing about the same stuff at the same time and having fun discussions about these topics.

3.  Mornings in Jammies.  I love that we don't have crazy wild "pack your bags, eat your breakfast, get your shoes on, bye!" mornings.  I did that for two years...I don't miss it for a second.  We usually start meeting in the kitchen around 7:30 and they trickle in until about 8am.  Then we have breakfast while we start school. 

4.  Prayer Time.  I treasure our morning prayer time.  Each morning we work on a memory verse or poem together, the kids take turns (one each day) reading out of their Bibles (the girls are reading the Storybook Bible and MJ is reading the Beginner's Bible), and then we pray.  We write new prayer requests on little slips of paper and place them on our prayer box.   We all go around and pray.  We pray for our day and for the special prayer requests.  Then we put the little slips into the box, and then we know that we have prayed for these and on future days we can pray over the whole box and all the requests in it.

5.  Traveling during non-peak times.  Yep, I enjoy this one.  Orlando and New Orleans in early November.  Mexico for two weeks in January.  It is wonderful to have the freedom to go when we want!

6.  Picking our Curriculum.  I just love love love picking out our books for the year.  I am in the process of planning our next year now, while we are still in school.  I find that if I plan it in August, I have unrealistic ideas about what we can accomplish in a day, so by planning it now, at the end of our year, I know what we can really do.  The possibilities are endless!  There are so many awesome sites and amazing book lists.  I will probably still be homeschooling myself long after the kids leave home:).

7.  Friends.  Wow...we have made some outstanding friends in the homeschooling community!  This, of course, takes nothing away from my outstanding non-homeschooling friends:).

8.  Yep, I'm a Control Freak.  This trait works well with homeschooling because I get to pick what my kids learn and when they learn it.  I'm not a fan of homework for "busy work".  I want only quality assignments that make sense.  I think the Elementary Years should be spent exploring the great outdoors!

9.  No Homework in the evenings.  I think I mentioned this one earlier.  We finish our day around 1pm...and the rest of the day is ours to enjoy.  No stress when heading off to sports, wondering how we'll ever get it all done.  I really love this one!

10.  What is life really about???  Do I want my kids focused on grades, sports, college?  Or, do I want them focused on love, happiness, and Jesus?  Definitely there is a place for grades, sports, and college...but I do not want those things to be our primary focus.  God has created us all for a purpose!  I want my kids to discover what God has created them for and go out and fulfill that work!  Daisy may be a Lego Designer, Lucy may be a doctor, MJ may be a Police Man...if that's what God has planned for their lives, then they will be successful and happy and will make a difference in the world.  But, they may be a farmer, a missionary, and a garbage man.  And, they can make a difference there too.  I really hope for my kids to know what it's like to be poor...to lead a servants life...to be a follower of God...to bring others to God.  I want those things for my life too.  I can see why it is so hard for the "rich" to get into heaven.  We have it all...why do we need God?  Americans as a whole, fall into this category.  We are all so wealthy.  Sometimes I get disgusted with our "stuff", but then I forget about it and I enjoy myself.  I love learning about the rest of the world with my kids.  I want them to know what most of the world lives like.  I don't want them to be content being a "spoiled American".  This is my lifes work...I didn't realize that I would enter this tangent!  More to say, but I'll save it for another time.

I could probably write another 10 reasons...but I really wanted to mention that I don't rip on the public schools at all!  My biggest gripe would be the teachers union and the tenured process.  I don't like that it is so difficult to fire a bad teacher.  Matt and I grew up in the public school system and it made us who we are.  No regrets...well, maybe there are some.  But, I really love the schools in our area, I loved the teachers that my kids had and I am still in touch with them, I love the families that we have met.  Homeschooling is not for everyone.  Differences are what makes the world go 'round.  We are totally in the minority with homeschooling our kids...but, I love being different.  Last night at baseball, a mom asked me what school MJ goes to, I said, "oh, we homeschool", with a big smile on my face.  Awkward silence.  Heehee.  I realize that most people don't agree with homeschooling.  They have their reasons.  They don't know what to say.  Just be honest!  We can handle it!  I love when people immediately say, "oh my goodness!".  Because when they don't say it outloud, they are probably saying it inside.  Anyhoo...another tangent.  I really do love talking about homeschooling.  I better finish up here!  The natives are getting restless and I need to hop in the shower.  

I am ending this post with several photos from the past 30 days.  I just looked through the photos that I have taken and picked a few (eleven).  Had a known I would want homeschooling photos, I would have taken more...but these are just some randoms.

The homeschooled dog, Coco.  We have so much fun with her during the day!  Poor thing.  The kids put on the glasses that I wore home from the eye doctor (I forgot my own somehow).   
 An afternoon volunteering at Feed My Starving Children.
 This week we saw this butterfly in our backyard, got out our butterfly books, and identified it as a Red Admiral Butterfly. 
 We began taking nature walks together.  These have been my absolute favorite times this year so far!
 Investigating the Crow River...just two miles from our house.
 Daisy found a live clam.  We all sketched it in our Nature Journals, watched it for a week and then released it...I hope it did OK!
 My rugged little threesome.
 They love mud.  This has been a learning experience for me.
 The girls writing their papers with the help of their little assistant.
 MJ making a cool-day bonfire.  He put all the chairs in a circle and wanted us all to come out and enjoy it with him.  The problem was, that Matt wasn't home, and I am not a good fire-maker.  So, our fire consisted of wet wood and lots of newspaper.  Did you know that it only takes like 10 seconds for ten crumpled sheets of newspaper to burn?  So, we enjoyed little short bursts of bonfire warmth.
Thanks for reading this long winded post!  Gotta run.  Have a great day!!!

XOXO Tiffany

"A home is a life shared with family, friends, and welcomed strangers - a place to work, rest, worship, play, and grow, a place to laugh and mourn in safety.  It's a place where memories are made".  Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola

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