Do you interact with your kids?

Crazy Busy New Year

That title definitely describes my year so far!  Crazy Busy!  Homeschool is started back up, ballet is going again, plus Cheerleading and going to the basketball games to cheer!  Family lives closer, Bible study is starting up and my homeschool group is getting back into the swing of things.

Busy but blessed!

Here are some pictures of our little cheer princess!  We love her so much!

cheer 5

For a little introvert she is loving her time cheering!  She has amazing coaches and an amazing group of girls to cheer with.  I am thankful our church (Living Water) has chosen to use Upwards Sports as a way to reach our community and to bless our kids.

What have you been up to since school has started back up?

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool! (part 2)

Yesterday I wrote about how we came to the point where we felt we needed to do something different than school.  During the time of wondering how I could possibly help my daughter I was pouring my heart out to someone and they mentioned homeschooling.  I must admit when I first heard her speak of homeschooling fear overcame me.  “I am not qualified to teach daughter… I don’t even know how to start… My daughter would drive me crazy or I would drive her crazy… What in the world will happen to my daughter if I choose to do it?.. Won’t my daughter be scarred for life?..”  On and on the fear-filled questions went.  And I must also admit that those questions still come from time to time.

But as I researched the subject, literally spending hundreds of hours going to dozens of blogs, dozens of websites that were for and against homeschooling, and dozens of curriculum websites, not to mention speaking to people in person, I have found that everyone who makes this decision goes through the same kind of stress and worries when trying to come up with the right decision for their child and family.  That was a comfort.  What has been more comfort are the statistics I have found while doing my research.

Homeschooling with a View!

Homeschooling with a View!

If you look at the education aspect alone, homeschoolers test much higher on average than traditional school kids.  They transition into the non-school world much better and high ranked colleges are now recruiting homeschoolers because they work better on their own, have more original ideas and are more self-motivated.  They know how to learn and love it.  That was enough to get me to thinking more earnestly.

Then the next thing that I researched was how it would affect my family and its dynamics.  Would we get closer or would it drive a wedge between us.  That was exciting to read about as well because blog after blog, story after story, book after book all I found was that the bond between children and parents and siblings was strengthened and sealed on a deeper level than ever before.  It was a lifestyle, not just school.   I wanted that too!

Then there was the social aspect.  I have been asked many times, “How do you socialize your kids?”  Asking as if I have my daughter locked in the closet until it is time for school then shove her back in there after it is over.  Most homeschoolers are very social and very active, quite a bit more than the normal family.  And their activities revolve around kids of all ages as well as adults and people of all different lifestyle backgrounds.  In regular school, kids are stuck in a class of kids all the same age from the same area of town… homeschooling seemed to be better at teaching your child how to communicate and have fun in all kinds of situations (unless you of course locked them in the closet all day except when homeschooling).  😉

My daughter has learned how to play nice not only with kids her own age but older kids and younger ones.  She has learned how to have fun with seniors and adults of all ages.  She has helped feed the poor and do other kind things for people.  Not saying that kids in school don’t learn these things as well, just that homeschoolers do too and it can often be the focus.

When I started to see all the opportunities and possibilities, far more than I could share here, I started to get excited… very excited!  It wasn’t how I ever expected to feel when the word homeschooling was ever mentioned.

During this whole time we asked the Lord to weigh in on the subject.  Because without His leading where would we be? We knew that if we listen to God, researched wisely, made no rash decisions that we would be able to come to the right decision for our family.  God knows what is best for us, and He will guide our every path during this decision.  God has also given us very strong command to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.  It is our responsibility to make sure our kids learn, even and especially if they go to public school.  Homeschooling puts that responsibility square in your lap, and that can be a very good thing for our kids.

We have been homeschooling for just over a year now.  It was the best decision we ever made.  Our daughter is flourishing in school, she loves it!  She has friends, family and faith to fill her life.  And she can play in the snow all she wants, because I am the teacher and when I say schools over, it is!  Even if it is only 10:00am  😉

If you are thinking of homeschooling, remember that other people’s experiences are vital.  Research is a must.

Knowing your family is imperative.  But if you do not consult the Lord through it all, then you are flying by the seat of your pants.  You may end up doing the right thing, but not without a lot of stress, heartache and bumps that could have been avoided along the way.  I pray you are able to make the right decision for your family with God’s help.  If I can ever answer any questions I am more than happy to do my best.

Thank you for listening to our story.  God bless and have a wonderful New Year!!!

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool (part 1)

Wow, life brings us to strange places, places we would never have expected to be.  Some are good and some… not so much.  We have a beautiful eight year old daughter and if you would have asked me 8 years ago if I would ever consider homeschooling the answer would have been a resounding NO!  Be careful, because those things you say no to could end up being maybes, then they might just turn into a great big old yes.   And that yes just might come to you louder than the before-mentioned NO.

I have often been asked why we chose to homeschool.  And if I am not asked why when they find out I get this sideways look as if I am one of the strangest creatures on earth.  What is going through their head???  Do they think I am crazy for homeschooling or are they fascinated and just too afraid to ask?  I will never know and just smile and move on.

Well, some things did happen to urge me and my husband to consider homeschooling.  First, it was incredibly painful for me to leave my daughter all day long at school with someone else.  I love my daughter, surely I was meant to have more time with her!  Right???  I remember crying daily after I dropped her off wondering if I would be able to handle her being gone every single day.  It took years to get pregnant, and I felt as if I was already being forced to give her to someone else.  It was painful, as most parents, I love my daughter deeply.

She loved school to begin with and had no problems for the first couple of months.  Then it started, she went through a lot of teasing for being small, which is of course something you can help your child work through even though it is painful to see their tears.  Then came the bullying.  Two boys got physically abusive with her.  One was a minor situation that was handled and taken care of immediately never to happen again.  But the other boy caused much more trouble than the first one.  He was choking her on a regular basis and ended up picking her up throwing her down on the ground on her head which resulted in a neck injury.

Now through all this we were “working” with the school to get the situation resolved and were assured more than once that it was being handled.  The boy was being watched and wasn’t going to be allowed anywhere near her without supervision.  But clearly that was not happening.  By the third semester when I would pick my daughter up from school she would get migraines and as we would drive home she would scream, cry and hold her head because it would hurt so much.  The joy of going to school and learning was gone.  She didn’t love learning anymore, or being at school.  My baby was miserable all day, everyday… except on the weekends when she would let her guard down and feel free.

And before you ask, yes we did take her to the doctor and his diagnosis was stress related migraines.  Remove the stress, they will leave.  How do you remove a stress when you are not there to make sure it doesn’t happen?  It was all I could do to take her to school and drop her off and often I sat in the parking lot waiting and praying for her until the day was over.  Many prayers went to heaven over this situation!

Like many other parents though, I felt I had no other choice.  Children HAVE to go to school.  It is the law.  Many tears flowed.  And that is when my search began … what was I going to do to protect my child and get her to love learning again?  What was I allowed to do???  Check back tomorrow to see more of our journey!

What was your journey to homeschooling?  How did you come to the decision to take your child’s education and happiness into your own hands?

Let it Snow!

We have had snow twice this year already!  So exciting!  We started school up again today since we took most off the month of December of due to helping the grandparents move from out of state to here and just lots of things going on.  So my Muppin was crushed when she saw it snowing and had to do school work.  LOL

However, I am not that hard a task-master 😉  She has played in the snow three times today so far!  She is a happy camper.  See with homeschooling, you can have snow days and school at the same time!

Happy Snow Day!  Blessings to all of you!

Here is my little Muppin!

Here is my little Muppin!

The Child Training Bible (CTB)

I am excited to be able to provide a review on the amazing new tool to help parents in bringing up our kids with Godly wisdom.  I just received my Child Training Bible (CTB) chart set a few days ago and have been acquiring the other tools I have needed to set up my CTB.  I was excited to start my set up yesterday.

I have to admit that I was expecting a long tiring time of finding all the Bible verses and placing the tabs in just the right place.  However, the opposite is true.  I did the top tabs in a little over an hour while also helping my daughter with her language art and spelling homework at the same time.  So I wasn’t able to just sit and focus the whole time on the Bible.  To me this process seemed to go very quickly.

The only complaint I have so far is the markers.  I purchased the very inexpensive black pew Bible because we have several other versions already and I didn’t have the money to spend on another expensive version.  The Bible is perfect, however the darker colors of the marker bleed through to the other side of the page.  You can see in the picture the color is great to see the Bible verse on the page it is intended for, but I didn’t like the bleed through.  So instead of using those markers for the rest I used the Sharpie Pens… NOT Sharpie Fine Point Markers… they are different.  I use the pens to underline my text.  You can find them on Amazon herehere.

I use the Sharpie Pens in my good Bible every single day with no bleed through so I love them!!! A LOT!!!  🙂  And they come in all the colors I needed for the CTB.  If you are going to use a nicer Bible for this I would recommend testing the marker on a page in the back to see if it bleeds through or not.  If it does, then the Sharpie Pen is an excellent option!

I plan on finishing my tabs today so that I can get started right away on using this with my daughter.  I have one word of caution!  As you read the Bible verses that you are underlining, you may be convicted on your own behavior 😉  God is good, all the time!

Keep your eyes open for more about the CTB in the very near future.   In the meantime to check out their website please go to the Child Training Bible or you can click on my picture above to watch a tutorial on how it works.  Also keep your eyes open for a future giveaway!

If you have been using the CTB I would love to hear your feedback.

Disclaimer ~ I received the Child Training Bible Chart Set for free in order to provide you with this review.  However, all of these thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own and have been given with all honesty.  Thank you!