Sunday, August 2, 2009

Homeschool... Year 2 here we come!?!?!?Updated.

*** As I am starting my new curriculum, I am realizing it will be great but I will use it as a 'springboard' and expand on the lessons... not as a complete curriculum.
We will continue to use God's Word as our main curriculum and learn as we go (supplementing as I see the need). I am so excited about this year!! I learn as much as they do! The Word of God is so exciting. We are in lesson 5 and still in
Gen 1:1. I think that one verse has enough information in it to get us through the whole year! The Bible truly is unsearchable. You cannot contain it. It is alive and active and sometimes I think I can see mine breathing. ;) As we study astronomy and all that God made, I am blown away by His BIGNESS and my smallness!!! What a gift homeschooling is.

I got back from my first homeschool convention last night. One of my sweetest, closest friends and I headed to Atlanta for the weekend. We spent most of our time at the convention but lots of time at the Pottery Barn Outlet, Restoration Hardware Outlet (OH MY GOODNESS, THEIR NURSERY STUFF IS GORGEOUS), and the Lennox Mall. We went out to eat and talked forever about what God is doing in our lives.
We talked lots and lots about nothing at all and just had fun being child-free. She has 4. Our hotel was gorgeous. I slept until almost 9 on Saturday! :)
I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go because of nausea/health but I was determined. I was scared because I have heard how overwhelming these conventions are. I was also nervous about it because I really feel like I don't belong in this group of amazing/smart/capable/organized moms. I am an outsider that has no clue about anything in this world of homeschooling yet.
I have thought a lot about if I was physically going to be able to do it this year. I have wondered if putting them in school would be best and it was so very tempting. But, I believe with all my heart God is calling me to homeschool. I know it is not for everyone but it is for us... for now... I don't know how long but... for now.
I know there are so many stigmas with homeschooling families and, believe me, some of those are right on! The first family we saw was a pregnant mom who already had 7 or 8 children with her and they were all carrying violins. Kristy and I were thinking, "uh oh". There were hippie moms, jumper-wearing moms with 12 kids, cute/trendy moms with darling haircuts, moms who had body odor, and every other type of mom you could imagine packed into a huge convention center. Then there were hundreds of boothes with sales people telling you why their curriculum was best.
One of my biggest hesitations about going was because basically all I used last year was the Word of God and loved it and I was afraid of buying any curriculum that would take us away from that precious time in Scripture. So, I prayed for God's leading and the best plan for my boys.
They had tons of speakers there talking about organization, de-compartmentalizing your life, unit studies, Charlotte Mason approach, My Father's World, teaching gifted children, teaching your children to Dream Big, etc. And then I saw this one..."How to teach everything using the Word of God". Hello!!! Just what I was looking for! :)
So, I went and heard a lecture from a man who has spent the last 24 years creating a curriculum that goes line-by-line, verse-by-verse through the Word of God teaching biology, psychology, sociology, history, and even physics! There weren't many people in the lecture as this is a very different approach than most out there. It is VERY simple. Seemingly too simple. Could it really work? How would the kids do on standardized testing? Well, he addressed all of that. And I spent time asking him questions and telling him how I had already seen the power of God's Word to teach in my 1 short year of homeschool.
For example, last year as we memorized Psalm 1, it says...
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (verse 3)
In that one verse, not having any outside curriculum, we learned about
1. trees
2. streams
3. water
4. fruits
5. seasons
6. leaves
7. withering

That was all in 1 verse.
I know this approach works and my kids have learned so much. SO HAVE I. I want my kids to think through Scripture goggles. To evaluate everything based on the truth of the Word of God. To see the beauty of Christ in everything. You don't have to homeschool to do this. I have just chosen to. I don't think less of people who send their children to public school. We might do that one day. I am just trying to take advantage of these early years and teach them as much as I can about the Bible.
I will be adding some Math and Writing to this certain curriculum but other than that, it is all coming from God's Word. I started it with them this afternoon for fun.
Here is a lesson we did...
"In the beginning..." Gen 1:1
What is the beginning? the start of time.
(Then it has its lesson on time)
What does Jesus have to do with time? He was here in the past. He is here now. He will be here in the future.
"Jesus Christ... the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8
What are the 3 parts of time? past, present, future.
What book tells us about the past, present, and future? The Bible.
How can time be measured? years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds.
Who created time? God.

Fun! I am really looking forward to this. I can't wait to go line-by-line through the book of Genesis with the boys... learning so much as we go. I am going out on a limb as none of my homeschooling friends have ever heard of this-much less used it!
I will let you know how it goes. I just love our school time everyday. We pray together, memorize, and now we will GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD together! (Col 1). I also love being with them! I would miss them like crazy if they went to school. And, I just could not separate my older two. They are best friends. I don't know what they would do without each other.
My approach is still very simple and is based on this verse...
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matt 6:33
or here is another translation of the same verse...
"and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."
I was also very challenged a word in these verses. See if you can find it...
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them DILIGENTLY to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deut 6:6-7
I want to do my best. I want to be diligent in teaching the Word of God to the boys.
Again, you do not have to homeschool to do this. I think there are so many ways to do a great job teaching your children and I may be doing something totally different next year. Please don't think I think I have this figured out. I have no idea what I am doing but I am determined to honor the Word of God and watch the chips fall into place.
The boys have been in camp a lot this summer. Sports camp and Art Camps and next we will be starting soccer. I want them to get as much interaction outside of home as possible so they won't be socially awkward (one of my biggest fears about homeschooling! please tell me if we get really weird and I don't know it!!!!).
My nausea seems to be getting a little better. It just comes in waves now instead of ALL DAY. I have a little tiny belly already and am eating everything that is not tied down. I have eaten more in the last 8 weeks than in my lifetime. I have been so hungry and eating would help stop the nausea for a moment. I am going to pay for it on this next weigh-in. I actually dream about food almost every night. From sausage balls to freshly baked cinnamon rolls. It is really out of control! I don't ever remember being like this in my other 3 pregnancies. I am nearing 12 weeks now. I still cannot believe God has given us this child.
Have a great week!!
May you have the power... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ! He loves you so much.
Ephesians 3:18


Angela said...

Oh, I am so glad you and Kristy had fun!!!!! That curriculum sounds amazing, and right up your alley, girl! Yay, God!
I go to see Dr. B for the first time on the 12th for Baby #3. So excited!!!!

The Hollimans said...

That curriculum sounds awesome! Is there a website for it? Glad you guys had fun this weekend.

LeslieTummel said...

You know that Josh and I will let you know if you guys "get weird and don't know it." I love ya too much to let that happen. ;)

Keri said...

Hey, Steph. I would love to know the name of that curriculum, if you don't mind. I would like to look at it, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Scotty says you guys have always been weird - that's why we love you so much :)))))) that cirriculum something that you could use as a Bible Study or morning time with the boys? I would love to have something structured to do with them in the morning as we have "quiet time" - ha - with 2 boys you know its not so quiet!


Jill said...

I am so glad you had a great time at the convention...and that curriculum sounds awesome. I have a friend who uses something very similar. We started our new school year today and I do love being given the chance to train and guide my little lovelies. Keep eating, you can afford it and just think of all those cells that are growing into another person! WOW!

Tara said...

I have never been to a homeschool curriculum convention, but that's definitely the way to do it...good friend, food, nice hotel - love it!

I had to giggle at your mentioning the homeschool stereotypical moms...jumper-wearin with 8 kids who all play violin & b.o - lol. The first homeschool encouragement meeting my husband and I went to (we've been homeschooling for 12 yrs) was similar to this. We sat down and my husband looked around and then looked at me and said, "you look terribly out of place, here." LOL I took it as a compliment. Here's to homeschooling and stayin' hip!

Love your Bible curriculum! And glad to hear the nausea is letting up a bit!