Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"I'm the Daddy Now!"

My son is something else I tell you...

The other morning, he comes into my bedroom deep in a stretch. He looked just like his daddy. Sleepy eyed. Adorable.


He gazes at the empty spot on the bed next to me and said, "Mom. Daddy said when he's not home, I'm the daddy... I'm the daddy now!"


I laughed at him, not believing these words were coming out of my 3-year old's mouth. He walked to the window and moves my curtain aside. His little eyes were searching the street looking for Alex's work truck. Reassured that daddy really is gone, he takes a deep breath and says, 

"Yep... I'm the Daddy now..."


I later found out the REAL story.
Alex was teaching him that as the oldest boy in the family, it was his job to watch out for everyone while Daddy was away - help mom carry things, take care and protect his sisters ect...

But all he heard is:
"When Daddy's gone, you're in charge!"




Saturday, February 11, 2017

Benefits of Homeschooling #3: Healthy Kids

In case you missed it:

Benefits of Homeschooling #2: Real Life Training




We are usually, in our natural habitat, a late night family. We are "full time ministry" and ministry usually happens at night. Staying up late means that we need to be able to sleep in, which is a fantastic benefit of homeschooling!

I get "full control" over how my kids sleep, eat, and move.

SLEEP: I know they need 10-12 hours at night and three of mine usually nap still. I can make sure they get all the sleep they need to stay healthy. I also can make sure they get extra sleep when they are sick (usually with some educational movies they can chill out with).

Speaking a sleeping!!! Look at these cuties!!!

I know my kids are getting EXERCISE. I can take them out during the day to the park, the lake, a gymnastics class, on a bike ride or a winter walk to the library. I can pop in a pilates video and we can all do it together.

Snow tubing for instance! Yes the kids ditched us for their friends. Alex and I got a nice date time together ;)

I also know they are EATING wholesome foods! Whole, nutritious made from scratch food! All day. Every day. They are learning about what's an appropriate breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and desserts. They know too many sweets are not good for their health. They know they NEED to finish their vegetables completely before getting seconds of something they enjoyed.


Homeschooled kids aren't RESTRAINED TO A DESK all day every day for 9 months a year! My kids spend maybe 2 hours at a table in a day. The rest of the day is hands on learning. Field trips, activities, crafts, free play ect.

Like going to the Winter Carnival on a random night! - Seriously, you want reflected vests with your phone number written on the inside!

This is all physical health. Now let's talk about SOCIAL HEALTH.

I'm AMAZED that people thing homeschooled children lack socialization. I think that public school children lack socialization. They are around other immature children their age ALL. DAY. LONG! They get very little adult conversation in their lives except for the small amount of one-on-one time they might get with a teacher and a few hours (if they're not watching TV or tuned out on an electronic) with their parents at night.


Home Educated kids get much more time around a mature group of people. They're main influence on how to behave and socialize is from their parents. They learn to carry a conversation, look people in the eye, articulate what they are wanting and how to ask approtiatly. They can also be plugged into groups such as Co-Ops, church children's ministries, city or state groups for sports or the arts, or have other siblings they interact with. I've noticed homeschool children are much more well-rounded when it comes to socialization...



SPIRITUAL HEALTH?!? Homeschooling is the prime way to lay a strong foundation for a child's relationship with Jesus. The beginning years of life form a child's world view and moral standards upon which they view the world. It's such a crucial and short-lived window. Why wouldn't we spend it immersing them in the Word of God?


Because we are a full-time ministry family, my children have been exposed to more of the "real world" then most public school children. They've met prostitutes, met drunkards and druggies, been to a homeless shelter, learned about homosexuality, and have met a number of "real life" situations with Alex and I right there by their side being able to explain these situations to them. I wouldn't get this opportunity if their first exposure (or continual exposure) is at a school where they may forget to talk to me about a situation they faced when they got home.

Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to lay a HEALTHY physical, social and spiritual foundation for our children.


Monday, February 6, 2017

PHOTO BOMB







Little man in the house. 
The testosterone is starting to spark.
The hard headedness staring to pop it's ugly... well... head....
The explorer explores the depth of the darkness under the coffee tables!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Benefits of Homeschooling #2: Real Life Training

See previous posts:
Benefit of Homeschooling #1: Character Training

My husband is currently in school. He's finishing up his degree for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning)

He finished his first 3 years of schooling without having a job as an HVAC. In his last year of school now, he is working for one of the best HVAC companies there is. He keeps expressing to me the difference between learning things in school and then learning them in the actual field, actually doing what it is you're studying.

Funny, I hear from many people who graduated college that it didn't do them much good for real life experiences. Schooling gave them the head knowledge, but not the hands-on experience that wisdom is crafted from.

What a different opportunity we have as home educators! 

Unfortunately, many from my generation in America have lost a lot of culture. 

Very few can cook their own food let alone grow or preserve their own food. Many don't know how to wash laundry or care for their homes or possessions. And even more sad, many from my generation can't hold a conversation or look at someone in the eyes while talking! Many can't listen and comprehend. Many can't stay focused on one thing at a time. And, unless it's a celebrity tweeting about something, many can't read anything and understand (or care about) what they read!

Homeschooling our children gives us the opportunity to teach our children REAL LIFE skills they will need to succeed in life. 


Budgeting.
Planning.
Cleaning.
Cooking.
Building.
Managing.
Organizing.
Listening.
Reading.
Working Hard.
Gardening.
Canning.
Keeping Emotions Under Control.
Having a Mature Conversation.
To name a few...





Every daily situation gives us the opportunity to this this!

We may not put to much thought into these things, but if we look at things in a new perspective, every situation can be used as a teaching moment. Reminds me of how Jesus used so many commonplace situations to teach his disciples. 

For example, we decided to switch the rooms up in our house last week. We had to purge, pack, clean, reassemble and reorganize the whole house. The kids participated in decided what was important and benefited our family and what was a burden. They got to help us figure out a plan on what order the rooms should be switched. They got to use their natural-given skills and things they were interested in to help. They got to see the whole process through from beginning to end. Fun parts, and not so fun parts. 


They got to help problem solve and figure out how to move the beds to get them our of one room and into the other. 

No real learning here... just some good old fashion fun!



We got to figure out how to keep the most amount of livable space while still having everything we needed in a room.

We got to label and organize a family dresser.

Alecia has always loved putting things together and building so she helped Alex for hours on the bunk beds.


Even Elias got to use his little tools.


Watching the inauguration was another awesome learning experience!

We got to talk all about how elections work, why people we protesting the inauguration,  what the very first election was like compared to how they are now, the different branches of the military and so many other topics. 


Donald Trump getting sworn in


Even eating out at restaurants is a great opportunity to home educate! Proper manners, keeping voices at a level to respect those around you, realizing you have $30 in gift card money to spend and how everyone can get ice cream with that amount, even teaching the kids to remember where they parked, or how they drove somewhere (which praise the Lord my husband has been teaching my kids! They're better at directions then I am!). 

....Also remembering to STOP eating when you feel sick....







The Real Life Experiences are ENDLESS!!!
This is just the last week at our house...
If I went back over the last month, I'm sure this post would be longer then any sane person would want to read anyway.

But the point is, Home Educating our children allows us to teach our children SO MANY REAL LIFE SKILLS!

Have your kids learn how to put together a meal plan, a grocery list, a grocery budget, follow a recipe, measure out what goes into the recipe, figure out how to double (or triple) a recipe, how long to bake or cook, to freeze or preserve some to give away to someone in need.

Have the kids take on the task of changing the car oil with daddy or switching out lightbulbs.

Put a child in charge of delegating the others in a task and teach them how to properly "rule" over others. 

I hope you're as inspired as I am! 

Homeschooling is AWESOME!!! 




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Benefit of Homeschooling #1: Character Training

There are numerous benefits to homeschooling, but I would say the most important is the ability to do some serious character training.

 INTENSE CHARACTER TRAINING.
Why is this important?
Isn't the ability to read or do math much superior then character?


Let me ask you this.

Your child can read, speak four languages, and do math brilliantly without assistance.
GREAT!

Now he/she can go teach English to a group of second graders? 

WAIT! 

Does he have patience for that endeavor? What about the perseverance to push through when things get hard? Can they handle issues that come up with other coworkers? Or rebellious kids? These are all necessary character traits that will help them succeed.


Now he/she can manage and run a business with those brilliant math skills they required... at least the theory of it. 

RIGHT?!

But can they handle correcting others with a correct perspective and attitude? Can they manage their own time and money well? Can they balance life and work without either suffering?

Do you see how IMPORTANT character is?

Can your 2-3 year old sit and pay attention for a sort period of time (self-control)? If they can't how will they ever sit and listen to a teacher?

Can your 6-8 year old respect authority? If not, how will ANYONE teach them anything?!?


We had the privilege of facing some serious character issues in our children HEAD ON THIS WEEK!! And I am excited to share with you what we do when we do this.

We took the week off from academics (which I do with my teeth gritting together since I hate "falling behind") since we realize that character is FAR more important then keeping on schedule with bookwork.

Contention.
Fighting.
Selfishness.
-------------------------------------------
Firstly we had a study on "contention" "quarreling" and "strife". We determined in our hearts to memorize and apply Proverbs 17:14, "The beginning of strife is like the releasing of water, Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts."



Each child tried to stop the water from pouring out AFTER I had already starting pouring it. 

We discussed walking away from a fight BEFORE we allow ourselves to start fighting.




The second opportunity we had this week for some serious character training was surrounding selfishness. We got to come together as a family and discuss what selfishness is and what a selfish life looks like.



Alex took a garbage bag and cut the bottom off.
This bag represented a selfish life.
The kids tried to fill the bag with toys, but they just fell out the bottom and the bag was still empty at the end of all their efforts. 


We explained to the kids that if they continue down a road of selfishness they will end up with no friends and no one around them. 
They will never be satisfied through being selfish. 


--------------------------------------------
This is just ONE of the many benefits to home-educating!

What an opportunity and unique privilege we have when we homeschool to really mold our children's characters! It's probably the BEST part of homeschooling. I often fall into mistake of thinking the academics are most important and miss those amazing moments when I could be speaking into my children's hearts. 

Not this week! :)

Hopefully not next week ;)