Friday, August 31, 2012

It Takes More Than A Textbook.

 I home school the 3 youngest ones in our family. 
The oldest is nearly 21 and completed his education in a public school setting.
I often get questions on how we home school them. 
If you are a homeschooler then chances are you are in a homeschooling group. 
You will recognize the typical conversation that goes on when the group gets together. 
It goes something like this...
"Have you tried Time for Learning? Charlotte Mason? 
We are doing Saxon for Math, Abeka for science, lapbooks for history and Classical Conversations for language arts....blah blah blah blah"
Curriculum. Or more to the point, curriculum choices. Homeschool parents who seem to agonize over every single choice as if their entire life depends on which book they pop open for science. I'm not sure who decided to make this a complicated mess. But it is.
Often I will get the same questions from fellow homeschoolers or from 
people new to the concept of homeschooling.  
'What do you use to teach the child with?'
My answer, "Not a whole lot."
Which is mostly true. I am a hands on learner, I do the same for my children. We learn by experiencing life and applying real life as educational application. 
When the children do do traditional work, I use Switched On Schoolhouse.
Simply because it is all encompassing. I don't have 50 books to keep up with, I don't have to check 3 different children's worksheets or reports. I simply log in my computer and see how they are progressing. But the number one reason I use SOS is because it is child led. Which is why we homeschooled to begin with. Let them learn at their own pace is my motto. With SOS when the child seems to be breezing through the work with not much effort, we move them up. That's right. I stop them in their progress and plop them into a new one. I can hear the cries of teachers and traditional homeschoolers now, "Whhhhhatt? They might missing out on some important fundamental tool!"
But I believe in immersion. I have seen it work with my children and I believe in it.
I have seen a child tell me they do not know the first thing about dividing and 3 hours later dividing 3 digit whole numbers. Immersion people, don't discount it. 
Furthermore my goal is to keep learning a challenge. If the work is easy and not challenging, my children will lose their interest. I have also been know to toss SOS aside for awhile when they have expressed interest as a group in a subject, experiment or idea. We will immerse ourselves in that for a few days or even weeks. 
When my children saw an documentary about farming one year, 
we abandoned our typical school work and immersed ourselves in that topic. 
From viewing movies, to hands on experience to reading about it. 
We let the child's interest lead them in what they learn for the most part. 
So, that will probably rule out the next question of testing. I don't believe testing is the way to gauge a child's intelligence. It just happens to be what they remember on that given day, under pressure and if the questions are worded in a way that will get them to respond. That is not a true measure of their knowledge and intelligence. I believe when I see them using the education freely without thought in a real life setting, they have learned it. There is no paper test that can accurately judge a child's intellect. 
If your searching for a Christian curriculum that can be used as a child led I would strongly suggest that you check in Switched On Schoolhouse. And no, this isn't a sponsored post. Switched On Schoolhouse isn't sending me free stuff for endorsing them. 
This is just me, a homeschool Mom talking about how I educate my children. 
Drop a comment if you home school, if you public school or private school and tell me how you make sure your child is not just educated but challenged to learn. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's why we prepare.

We ended up with little wind, lots of rain and a whole lot to do about nothing from Issac. 
But that is okay. 
We were prepared and that is the important thing. 
We know so many who do not take these storms seriously. They laugh off when we prep. It makes my heart sad because I know if I am right (and on this particular subject, I always HOPE I am wrong!) then their family will suffer for their lack of preparations. 
I understand that prepping is considered somewhat fringe thinking mostly.
But we are not talking about Zombie Apocalypse. 
Mother Nature is unyielding and can change her direction at the drop of the hat.
And I live in South Florida. How does one NOT prepare for what happens year after year?
It boggles me. And then to further make it confusing...those same folks make FUN of those of us who prepare our families and home. 
We don't live in Idaho. We live in a very hurricane PRONE area. 
I guess some of the mentality is that why prep when that's the government's job to care for us when these things happen unexpectedly.
I won't get political here but I will just point back to the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina. There was no help. Anywhere. For quite some time.
Asking someone to care for you when you are able to care for yourself is a failing plan.
Please, I encourage you...where ever you prep for the environment you live in.
You may not live in an area that has hurricanes. But maybe wildfires or snow storms are a problem for your area. Maybe you live in an utopia where Mother Nature does not inflict her punishment on you from time to time. 
Then I would encourage you to look at man made events. Being prepared does not mean you always are digging an bomb shelter in your back yard or storing tuna for 20 years. 
Ever broke down while driving? Are you prepared?
Ever lock yourself accidentally out of the house? Are you prepared?
Ever get stuck in traffic snarled highway in an unexpected incident? Are you prepared?
I could go on and on.
Prepare yourself for life's unplanned but sometimes expected moments.
Always hope your wrong and be glad when your right that you took the time to prepare.
Now, excuse me as I go rotate my tuna cans. ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hurricane Issac

Posting will resume to normal once Hurricane Issac has passed us in Southwest Florida. 
Hopefully if we lose power , it won't be 10 days before we regain it like last time! 
Keep us in mind, send warm thoughts and prayers if your inclined. 
Thank you!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beware of The Green Agenda.

Have you heard this saying?
Apparently, there is a "green agenda" and we should be aware of it.
So I am told. 
There is a school of thought that too much caring for each other and the earth is not a good thing.
Who knew?!
Seriously, an ultra conservative person said to me in my reference of trying to be a better steward 
(remember that word, steward)
that I need to be careful not to be buy into the "green agenda".  They were rather serious.
I was confused. What exactly is a "green agenda"? I had never heard this before.
They explained to me that there is a notion that environmentalism is not all it is cracked up to be.
And that I needed to make sure it is in "moderation". 
I need to be moderately concerned about the earth?
Why, I ask.
'Because anything that comes between you and God is not good.'
But aren't you assuming that environmentalist are putting the environment before God?
'No.' Dead pan.
How so, I ponder.
Because, they explained, 'They put the environment over people. Look at how they value the animals over people. And if we get too caught up in saving the environment, we forget Him.' 
But...didn't God create the Earth?
Didn't He create animals for us, asking us to a STEWARD over everything he created for us?
So, being a steward means to care for, right?
But you think that caring for the things God created is becoming between me and God?
'I didn't say that. I said when we put those things before God, it's a problem.'
 But can't that be applied to anything? Like McDonald's, money, cupcakes - I ask?
Well, why is there not a cupcake agenda?
~blank stare~
Why aren't we warning fellow Christians about McDonald's?
How about the fact most people fight over and get divorced over money...where is the agenda on that?
I wait.
'McDonald's is not that bad.'
Game ova. 

Conservative, Christian, Environmentalist. 
Be concerned people, be concerned. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spreading Sunshine

I have been behind in my posting not only regular posts, but also a very special post. 
Right before I got sick I was given this awesome award from a truly special blogger friend, Sarah from Nature's Nurture.
The Sunshine Award is an award bloggers give to other bloggers "who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."
I am and have been just blown away that Sarah included me in this!
She is someone I find to be so inspiring. I love reading her blog, I am always finding myself learning new thing. So, for her to include me in this is so humbling. Thank you Sarah!
On to the award ...
The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to bloggers.  It’s for someone “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
Okay, so here’s how the award works.
  1. You should thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
  2. Answer the following questions about yourself.
  3. Choose 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post.  Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award.
  4. Be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog! ( I can’t guarantee, nor do I expect, that everyone on my list will also post this on their blogs, but they are truly some of my favorite, most inspiring pages to read every morning!)
The 10 Questions:
  1. Favorite color: Turquoise blue. I adore it !
  2. Favorite animal: Cats. I love love love cats. Any kind as well!
  3. Favorite number: I don't really have one. Never have. Does that make me strange? 
  4. Favorite Drink: Sweet Southern Ice Tea, helllllur.....born & raised in the South!
  5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook for sure. I can't seem to Twitter properly.
  6. Good book or good movie: 
  7. Giving or getting gifts: Giving! I love giving gifts. I love to see their faces when they open it. That I say to my children, is my gift. :)
  8. My passion: To live simple and lightly.
  9. Favorite day: Monday ~ I get to start a whole other week.
  10. Favorite flower: Hydrangea, any color. 
My 10 Nominations:
(In no particular order)
1. Sawdust and Paper Scraps. Truly, have y'all checked her out? She has mad skills! Because of her (stalking her on her Facebook) I decided to no longer buy crappy furniture but build it. I use to do this when I was a young Mom and it fell by the wayside. Now I am inspired to do it because of her blog & willingness to share so much information!
2. The Year of Less. Amazing, that is the word I say over and over when I read this blog. I am so challenged when I read this. Yes, I failed miserably at the no dryer month challenge. But I will do it again, when I am not sick.
3. The Minimalist Mom. Enough said.
4. Naturally Mindful. Stephanie has so much information she shares. I love reading her posts. Her latest post about curbing fleas is one of my favorites! 
5. A Baker's Dozen Barnhouse News. Please take the time to stop by this blog. Out of tragedy and loss comes a story of a large family who are thriving by the grace of God. It will be impossible for you not to be inspired by this family or their beautiful homestead. 
6. A Life Unprocessed. Where does one start? From making your own lacto fermented foods, to caring for your hair chemical free... you will find oodles of information here! 
7. The Nerdy Farm Wife. I adore this blog. I do. I am always enlightened, inspired and challenged when I read the posts. I know you will too! :)
8. Passionate Homemaking. I have read this blog for awhile. I consider it actually to be one of my 'resources'. I refer to past posts often for info and look forward to new ones! :)
9. Small Footprint Family. From social issues to recipes, you will find a great deal of inspiring information here! 
10. Off The Grid at -30. Glo and her blog are one of my very favorites. And if you haven't check it out by now, you need to get your backside over there pronto!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Growing old. Ungracefully.

I'm still here. I promise.
I have been sick. After a long night/early morning to the ER
it seems I need some surgery. Sigh.
Nothing serious. Just my gall bladder is defective. 
Expired. Old. Out of warranty. How ever you want to look at it.
Now I am in a death lock battle to with the insurance company over it. 
So in the mean time until I either lay a golden egg or they come to their 
senses, I am going to be on bed rest and tired.
But I have several posts cooking, so I hope during my bed rest I can deliver them up.
Lots of good information too...
Another series about purging & living simple.
A post about how hard it is to live on less when you make more.
Also encouragement to be paper free in your home is in the works.
And I am working on a special giveaway for you, my awesome readers. 
For no other reason than I love you all. The feedback is amazing I get from you all.
I love it. I love when I write and you all get me. It makes a girl feel special. :)
Until about some pictures?

Christian @ 2 yrs old - Now 20 yrs old.

Josiah @ 2 yrs old - Now 5 yrs old.

Madison @ 5 yrs old - Now 14 yrs old.
Faith @ 4 yrs old - Now 11 yrs. old.