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Showing posts from September, 2012

The Kids I Homeschool...

This post is purely a mother's pride, so if you'd like to learn a little more about three of my children, read on! I'll start with my daughter Savanna, who makes amazing things out of polymer clay. One of her more recent clay creations is an adorable Captain Jack Sparrow charm that she made for a YouTube contest. Here's a pic of the little Jack ~

He's pretty awesome, isn't he? You can see more of her work with clay at her website ~ ~ and from there you can visit her YouTube website which has a TON of instructional videos. Her most popular videos have been viewed over 15,000 times! If you are interested in using polymer clay for art in your homeschool, check out Savanna's video tutorials.

Next I'm going to talk about my son Gage, a sophomore at Wheaton College (a fantastic place known as the Harvard of evangelicals). He has worked hard to overcome some calf injuries, and had surgery last fall after his Achilles tendon ruptur…

Schoolhouse Review Crew ~ A Cry From Egypt

Hope Auer, the author of the book A Cry From Egypt, is a homeschool graduate who began work on this project when her family was studying ancient history. Her writing progressed from an interest in Egyptian history to a full-blown book. And she continues to work on future books ~ A Cry From Egypt is the first in Ms. Auer's Promised Land Series.

The book contains a preface, 16 chapters, a research section, and a preview of the second book in the series. The artwork in the book, as well as the cover, were done by Mike Slaton (also a homeschool graduate).

A Cry From Egypt deals with the time period just prior to the Israelite's exodus from Egypt, at the end of their long era of slavery. But the story line isn't about Moses, Aaron and Miriam. The setting is in Moses' day, but the tale is not his story at all!

I began reading the book right away, before giving it to my children to read. I typically try and read whatever they are reading, since you can't be too careful w…

Are We There Yet?

Ever take a road trip with the family and hear that question from the back seat? I think we ask God the same question at times. And His answer (to me, anyhow!) seems to be a gentle reminder to enjoy the journey instead of racing to the destination.

Homeschooling is indeed a long, drawn-out journey. It's days seem to stretch on into infinity, with no end in sight. We can get tired...tired of preparing dinner while grading math papers; tired of last-minute errands to find supplies for science experiments; tired of people asking us about "socialization"; tired of staying ahead of all our children in all their subjects for all their grade levels....oh yes, we can get tired.

But it helps to remember that the journey itself is the real blessing! We will look back with fondness on these days ~ and we will look back with tears on the day we hand our children their diplomas, or the day we say good-bye to them on a college campus. The tiring days are the days that truly matter.


Schoolhouse Review Crew ~ Family Time Fitness (Core Physical Education, Level 1)

Physical education is often neglected in the homeschool setting. This may be due to financial or time constraints, lack of available options, or even the fact that many of us are, well, a little bit on the lazy side. Regardless of the reason for the neglect, physical education truly is an important part of a well-rounded homeschool experience.

Enter Family Time Fitness!

I received the pdf download (otherwise known as an eBook) of their "Fitness 4 Homeschool Core 1 Curriculum" for this review. It is suggested for use in grades K-8, but I used it with my high-school daughters as well as my 7th grader. They do have products designed for the upper grades, which I am sure are excellent resources based on my experience with this level.

The download itself came in multiple modules; there was actually a whole lot more than I had anticipated! (260 lessons in all) There are plenty of regimens that would adapt to suit any homeschool family's needs. Each lessons provides 25-45 minut…

The Importance of Finishing What We Start

We can't do everything; we shouldn't try to do everything. And we all know that. Beyond the enormity of "everything", we shouldn't do all the things that appeal to us. Not all of us understand that.

If you are called to homeschool, then by all means do it well. Work at it with diligence. Continually seek the Lord for His guidance as you educate your children. Do the same with your marriage, in your daily walk with Jesus, in areas where you know the Lord has clearly called you. I really believe that homeschooling moms have this figured out, and are doing a pretty terrific job with our children overall.

But some of us, or maybe even all of us to some degree, can get excited about a new idea - then we take off running at a full sprint to make the idea a reality - and often we run out of steam and fail to finish what we started. This common problem has a simple fix. Well, two simple fixes.

The first fix is to STOP!!! before taking every idea and turning it into a rea…

Schoolhouse Review Crew ~ Math 911

I take homeschooling seriously ~ really seriously. A subject of enormous importance to me is math, especially at the high-school, college preparatory level. It's nothing to mess around with, avoid, or ignore. Every single high school student, home educated or not, needs a solid four years of high school math. Umm, did I mention that I take this seriously?!!?

You've heard me say this before, and I will say it again because it bears pretty heavily on my review of Math911;  my son attends Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college that is ranked as an Ivy League school. For my son to even be considered for acceptance as a homeschooler, he had to take the ACT, SAT and two SAT II subject tests. One of those subject tests was in college math. In the end, his hard work paid off. Not only was he accepted into Wheaton, but he was one of a handful of freshmen who did not have to spend a few hours of their first day on campus taking an extensive math placement test. So as I have …

Homeschooling My High Schoolers

Did your pulse rate jump when you read the title of this blog post? Be honest - did you feel even a twinge of anxiety? Does the mere thought of homeschooling all the way through high school, for lack of wording, freak you out?

No worries, fellow homeschool moms. It freaks all of us out, and it's perfectly normal. In fact, if you were to tell me that no aspect of being totally responsible for your children's college preparatory education in all it's confusing facets worried you, I'd wonder if you weren't actually a robot.

The upside of the anxious feelings that go hand-in-glove with high school education is that it causes you to take seriously the business of homeschooling. And for some of us, we've been taking things easy for far too long. Let that nervousness drive you to ask yourself the hard questions that will make you a better home educator in the long run.

Whatever you do, don't stick your head in the sand and convince yourself that it will all simpl…

Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong (BookSneeze Review)

Some books make you say, "Wow..." And that one little word says it all about the book Running for My Life by Olympic athlete Lopez Lomong. Born in Sudan, given a name that literally means "fast", kidnapped by guerrilla soldiers at the age of six - and that's just the first chapter!

The story of Lopez Lomong's journey to America, and eventually to the Olympic games, will move you. Through smiles and tears, this book allows you to experience life on the other side of the world, and to see the America we take for granted through new eyes. It may even change your life.

I hope you consider reading Running for My Life. It is very easy to read, flows nicely, and is written by a young man who has one of the most positive outlooks on life that I have ever encountered.  I cannot say enough good things about it.

On my 'Page Turner Scale' of 1 to 5, I give this book a 5.

(Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for review purposes.)