Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Provision of God's Word

This was such a blessing to me today, I thought I would share it with y'all!  I pray your day is filled with joy, peace and productivity today!
Lord, I pray that You write Your Word upon the tablet of my heart today.  Thank you for a beautiful, goodly heritage!-Amen

According to Christian  Mikhtam is a writing; i.e., a poem or song.  This word is found in the titles of Psalm 16; 56-60
Some translate the word “golden”, i.e., precious. It is rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning “tablet inscription” or a “stelograph.” The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation; or, as others render, “a psalm precious as stamped gold,” from the word kethem, “fine or stamped gold.”

Psalm 16

The LORD the Psalmist's Portion in Life and Deliverer in Death.
A Mikhtam of David.
    1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
    2I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
         I have no good besides You."
    3As for the saints who are in the earth,
         They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
    4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;
         I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
         Nor will I take their names upon my lips.
    5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
         You support my lot.
    6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
         Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
    7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
         Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
    8I have set the LORD continually before me;
         Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
    9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
         My flesh also will dwell securely.
    10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
         Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
    11You will make known to me the path of life;
         In Your presence is fullness of joy;
         In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Great offer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!

I ran across this great opportunity on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and thought I would share it with y'all.  The editors of TOS have brought back their special subscription sale of $7.95 for 1 year subscription starting with their Winter Issue.  All you have to do is click the link and use the special coupon code SUB795 when you check out.  It's that easy!

If you have read any of my previous posts you might noticed that I have a passion for homeschooling.  About 3 years ago we were new to homeschooling, the idea of teaching our son was very intimidating.  Many times I thought, how can I do this on my own?  Who will help me when I have a question?  Where will I go to get ideas?  Once we got started, a friend told me about TOS.  She told me how informative the articles were and how the magazine had blessed her in her homeschooling journey, so I signed up for a two year subscription.  I am so thankful I did!  There were articles written by parents who were experiencing the some of the same things I was with our son.  Other articles have touched on so many different areas of teaching children at home and have been so helpful.  The TOS magazine is full of information a homeschooling family can use or file away for later on in their homeschooling career.  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has been such a blessing to me and my husband as we have taught our son over the last 3 years.  I hope it will be for you as well.

Are you new to homeschooling?

Are you a seasoned vet?

No matter where you are in your homeschooling journey, there aren't many places you can go to find the kind of information, support, and encouragement that you’ll find inside TOS—approximately 200 pages worth!

Your subscription starts with the fabulous Winter 2009/2010 issue which will be available January 2010! Inside you will find inspirational stories and motivating ideas to lift you up and keep you going on your homeschooling journey. 

Topics like:
·         Classical education: teaching Latin and more.
·         An interview with Andrew Pudewa.
·         Library column filled with great book ideas.
·         World War I.
·         Preschool at home.

·         Top tips on teaching writing; communication theme, including speech and debate.
·         Support group how-to’s.
·         Science and homeschool.
·         And our fabulous FREEBIES Directory.

Don’t want to wait? Start your subscription right now by purchasing the one-year of TOS plus current issue option. You can still use the special coupon code SUB795 and get the current Fall Issue--all for only $12.90! This is a 29.00 value for only $12.90, and they will send you your Fall Issue right away!

Are you an early Christmas shopper? What a perfect time to shop for friends and family? Just $7.95 for an entire year of TOS and your gift recipient will be blessed! Each issue in full color includes current information on homeschooling in the US and abroad, many articles offering encouragement on teaching in the home environment, reviews of curriculum, stories of how others are homeschooling, homeschooling your high schooler and so much more.

The price has dropped! For just $12.95 you can enjoy a one-year subscription to the digital edition of The Old Schoolhouse™ Magazine. It’s the same great content as the print version, but in a digital format. Enjoy the ease of live links to sites, a bookmarking feature, and the ability to share a favorite article or resource with up to five friends! The digital edition is instant, affordable, and interactive. 

4 issues for about the price of one!
Act now to take advantage of one of these great offers!  
You won't be dissappointed!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can I Homeschool My Child?

Over the last several years, more and more parents have considered homeschooling their children.  The reasons vary; different learning styles require a child to have more one on one instruction, school violence, religious convictions, (wanting to avoid indoctrination,) there are many more valid reasons out there.  You may ask, “Would I be able to homeschool my child?”  Some parents may be concerned that this idea is impossible because they do not have training in education or an education degree.  With the number of various resources available this concern can be greatly diminished. 

Look back a couple hundred years ago, the responsibility of schooling usually fell on the parents shoulders.  It wasn’t till the last 50 - 60 years our federal or state government took over the education of our children.  Who knows better how to raise our children, us as parents or the government and an unknown bureaucrat?  I think we all know the answer to that one. 

The Bible states: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)  Your job as a parent is to spend time with your children and to give them the tools they need to head down the path toward their future.  To instill the morals and standards your child needs to grow into a responsible adult.  In order for a child to succeed in whatever he feels led to do, as parents we need to instill a sense of respect and honor for their parents, elders and themselves.  The supplies parents had available to them many years ago may have been meager, but most parents made sure their children had a slate to write on and some chalk.  Some of the reading was done from classics written by the likes of Charles Dickens or Jane Austen, if they were available to the family.  Otherwise, the most common resource available to most families was the Bible.  Consider Abraham Lincoln, according to some historians most of his reading was done from the Bible beside the fireplace at night.

The children also learned basic skills such as wood working, plowing a field, harvesting wheat, growing a garden or caring for animals on the farm.  These were life skills that were taught on a daily basis in order for families to survive but it also taught a good work ethic and a sense of responsibility to children at an early age.

Times have changed since then haven’t they?  With the advancement of technology with both electronic and paper resources a parent considering homeschool has many if not thousands of options, and the ability to research and make an informed decision.  One good source which is a must have is Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.  In her book Cathy Duffy not only gives you the top 100 picks for curriculum choices but she also helps you to identify your child’s leaning style so that you will be able to better teach him/her.

Numerous statistics and studies have shown that "homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects. A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that children who are homeschooled two or more years, score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less." As determined by a 2007 study entitled "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers' Across America."  Another important finding of "Strengths of Their Own" was that the race of the student does not make any difference. There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. These findings show that when parents, regardless of race, commit themselves to make the necessary sacrifices and tutor their children at home, almost all obstacles present in other school systems disappear.

There are millions of families who have been homeschooling for many years and have had children graduate and move on to college.  These families have seen the need to reach out to new homeschooling families and create resources to help parents get started and point them in the right direction.   Rainbow Resource Center is a family owned business with just this idea in mind.  They offer thousands of different curriculums along with reviews of certain products and a detailed description of what the curriculum contains.  They also offer teaching aids, learning aids and quality toys for children.

There are a few things to consider before you make your decision.  The first is to ask yourself, do you have the time to commit to teaching your child?  Your job as a parent is to spend time with your children and to make sure they are headed down the right path.  To get to know your child’s learning styles and encourage them to learn, to help your child reach his or her greatest potential.  Teaching your child will require time and effort from you. 

Another item to consider - is your spouse on board and supportive?  If both of you aren’t together on this, it will not be easy.  Teaching your children at home requires a lot of time, sacrifice and effort.  If your spouse is not on board it could cause a strain between the two of you or your family.   If you have multiple children there may be times that both of you might have to tackle the teaching responsibility.  Your spouse might help you to see things you might over look or help you to teach something in a completely different way that helps your child to really “grasp it”!

Check out your states laws regarding homeschooling.  There are many websites out there that break legal requirements down by state.  This will let you know if you are able and willing to tackle homeschooling from the legal perspective.  Homeschool Legal Defense Association is a great place to start; they have all the current news on homeschooling and the laws for each state.  They also have links on how to get started homeschooling, articles regarding specific age groups, a curriculum market and so much more.  Click this link if you would like to check out their website.  Homeschool Legal Defense Association

Talk to other parents who have or are currently homeschooling in your area.  They can give you guidance and point you in the right direction.  They may even be able to answer questions you may have or make certain recommendations.  They can give you ideas on what to expect, however know that each family approaches homeschooling differently each according to their needs. 

Above all, the most important aspect of your decision is prayer.  The decision to homeschool is not an easy decision.  With a lot of prayer, thought, research and family discussions it can be the best decision you make regarding your child’s education.  

Once the decision is made and you start your homeschooling journey, there will be days of smooth sailing.  Then there will be tough days that you may ask yourself, “Why are we doing this?”  When your child later looks at you and says, “I got it Mom!  I understand it now!”  That’s when you say, “And this is why I am teaching my child!”  So you may ask, “Could I homeschool my children?”  I say, “Yes, yes you can!”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Harvest of Friends Blog Party

Well, my friend Lynnette at Dancing Barefoot came up with this great idea of a blog party. I thought it would be fun to answer these questions and hopefully get to know y'all as well! I've enjoyed visiting some of the blogs from her site and hope to visit more in the next few days! So have fun!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging? Since most of the time I blog in the morning, my big cup of coffee and toast.
2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without? Assuming that family is a given. :-) My Bible and I guess my coffee.
3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice? I have never lived on a farm but would like to try sometime...however Chris and I have said we would love to live in the mountains then travel to the beach often. So I guess I couldn't choose!
4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty? Cleaning bathrooms, not fun!
5. Who do people say you remind them of? Not sure
6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam? I love to get together with family and friends but more often I'd rather stay home with my two guys!
7. What's your all time favorite movie? The Man from Snowy River
8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night? I have to admit that sometimes I am too lazy to remove my makeup at night. But I am definitely ready to get it off by the next morning!
9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it? Yes, to paint or draw.
10. What's one strange thing you're really good at? Hmmm, not sure about that one, I'll have to get back with you on that one.
11. What first attracted you to your spouse? His eyes and his smile!
12. What is something you love to smell? Roses...
13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people. That I can't make up my mind sometimes!
14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it? Buy a farm! (As long as Chris agreed that is... :-))
15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest? I am a loud laugher till someone tickles me then no sound comes out.... Funny stories and "America's Funniest Videos" make me crack up! Click here for one of my favorites, you may have seen this one. "Laughing Babies"
16. Where is your favorite place to shop? Anthropology (Although I have the worse time remembering the name, Apologia, Apothecary...One of those that starts with an A!) and I don't always buy stuff, a little pricey!
17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time? I would sew or make a quilt. I love to sew and would love to learn how to make a quilt.
18. Are you a big spender or frugal? 90% of the time I am a frugal shopper or I try to be.
19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real) Fanny Broadmoore from Tracie Peterson/Judith Miller's Broadmoore Legacy Series. She has a very quiet, sensible, yet strong spirit. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right.
20. Would you want to be famous? Nope.

Well, that's it for me! Thanks for visiting and if you leave a comment, post a link to your blog and I'll be sure to visit you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

There will be days....

We woke up to more rain today. We also had plans to go walk with some friends but had to make a rain check for another day. Which might have been a good thing because Riley also woke up with the sneezes and couldn't shake them! Zirtec to the rescue, but it was moving in slow motion too!

So we jumped into school and got things going so we could get done early and have the rest of the day free (still sneezing along the way...). After Bible, Riley tackled his Phonics test then a spelling test, and did well on both of them! Woohoo! We went over our new spelling list and then started math and that's when things started going down hill. He was trying to write a number on our white board while standing on a chair, but was having difficulty writing it the correct way. I had asked him to line it up under another number so they could be added together. Well, trying to get it lined up took a couple of tries, then he forgot what number he was supposed to be writing. As I was standing over his shoulder reminding of the guidelines I had set for him, the phone rang, he stepped left on the chair and it toppled over and he landed on top of it. It was a chain reaction of events and the results were not good in his eyes. I helped him up and checked him out, thankfully only a little scrape on his leg. After hugs and dried tears, we got back to writing that number and added it to the other one. Victory!!

Later just before lunch when of course we are starving and ready for a break. Our dog Heidi who is a 13 year old German Shepherd, has to be right beside us during school time. You know, she's got to stick with the pack... :-) Riley was trying to walk backwards away from his desk and tripped over a box and Heidi who was laying in the middle of the floor. Boy was that the straw that broke the camel's back, he was so frustrated. He stalked to the bathroom and got a tissue to blow his nose from yet another sneeze, and fighting to contain his frustration. Compassion kicked in and I said, "ok break time." As we went to the kitchen we both agreed some things needed to be put in their correct places, not the dog, but the box that didn't belong in the schoolroom.

When we finally finished after lunch, he said, "Mom, I think I need a rest..." I just smiled and gave him a nod of approval. Tomorrow will be a better day.

It's true that things that don't belong in the picture such as a box in a school room or a dog can really throw a wrench in the school day. There are days that we have to shut the door and not permit Heidi or Flash to come in the school room. Depending on what their motive is and how Riley is that day, the dog and cat can be a great distraction from school. Most of the time Heidi just wants to be close to us, which of course we don't mind.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A "froggy" day!

I remember growing up in Kansas that we spent a lot of our summer evening hours out doors. We would play kickball, kick the can and we also caught frogs and had frog races! Great fun! Thankfully I didn't end up with wort's on my fingers as a result of catching all those frogs! Of course, that could be an old wives tale for all I know.

You never know when you may have an opportunity for a nature study, big or small, keep your eyes open so you don't miss it. Yesterday our day started out a little rough, we woke to a broken coffee maker and our garage had taken in some water from the storm the night before so Riley and I were cleaning up the mess. After we finished cleaning the garage, I decided to trim the grass in the area below our faucet, the grass was so tall. As I tackled the small area something scooted through the grass to get away from the trimmer, so I put it down to go investigate.

Riley came over to see what I was looking for. As we looked and moved things aside we found a fairly good sized frog! At first I thought it was a bullfrog but then decided we should look it up. After looking at some pictures Riley thought it was a Southern Leopard Frog and Chris thought it was a Wood Frog. Y'all look below and see what you think.

We read they like to eat spiders, Moth larva, snails and meal worms. Later, just before we were getting ready to let him go, Chris being much more brave than I, found a spider to pick up on the lid of the bucket. He brought it over and laid the lid down in front of the frog, as he did the spider bounced off the lid and landed about 6-7 inches away from the frog. When the spider landed it froze in place, as if it knew it was in front of a predator! After waiting with the video camera for a few minutes we gently scooted the spider closer to the frog. As we did the spider got within 2-3 inches of the frog, rolled over and folded it's legs up as if it were dead! After it laid there a little bit I guess it became confident that the frog would not eat it because it got up and walked back to the lid it arrived on. Aren't God's creatures amazing?

In our efforts to feed the frog an earthworm wound it's way around the frogs legs and we laid a moth larva in front of it as well. He was not hungry, I'm sure we stressed him out greatly so at that point we allowed him to hop off. With some giggles and jigs as the frog hopped through our legs and under the truck he finally hopped into the grass and burrowed himself as deep as he could go. We enjoyed our little nature study on our resident Southern Leopard Frog/Wood Frog. We still aren't sure which on it is but it was a nice little diversion from the stress of a broken coffee maker and water in the garage!

Friday, October 2, 2009


We were on our last day of our vacation driving back to Orlando from the Gulf Coast and we had had a day of observing God's wonderful creations on different beaches that day. We started out with our own plan but God had something else in store for us that day and it turned out far better that we had planned. Realizing how great the day turned out it caused us to recount the many blessings we had experienced over the last week.

The first blessing was on Sunday, we had spent the day resting at our resort. We all went to the pool and packed a lunch to eat poolside. Later that afternoon we decided to take a drive to St. Petersburg and St. Pete's Beach. As we drove into St. Pete's Beach trying to find access to the beach, I kept hearing birds squawk. It was a squawk I didn't recognize so I kept watching till I saw three parrots fly overhead and land on an electrical wire! How cool was that!? We finally found a place to park and ran to the beach. We got there just in time to feel the sand on our toes, stick our feet in the water and get a few pictures before a storm rolled in. We jumped back into the car and drove to the pier.

As we got there the shops were closing and we were hungry, but after asking around we found out the Columbia was still open! Once up stairs we found a two hour wait, we decided to stick it out and were so thankful we did. While we waited we met some very nice people, locals who lived there and shared bits of their life with us. The wait staff was very nice and helpful, answering our questions about the restaurant in spite of their long day. The food was very good and worth the wait. They had rolled their prices back to 1905 (like when they first opened). So we got an $80 meal for about $16, the entrees were $2.95, the salads were $1.95, a cup of soup was .50, coffee was .50 with free refills, and desserts were .50.

Riley in front of the Nemo fish tank there at the Columbia. I was so proud of him that night, he was so patient and well behaved. Considering our two hour wait and the fact that we all were hungry, he did great and seemed to enjoy himself. Chris, Riley and I were actually the last family to be seated that night!

This is the view of the sunset from the Columbia. That is the St. Petersburg skyline. As I was taking this picture one of the waiters came up and showed me the shot of the sunset he had taken the night before with his cell phone. What a great view! I wish my picture would have came out a little more clear but I'm still learning how to take pictures with our new camera and my 40+ year old eyes are struggling to see the LCD screen clearly! :-)

We were driving back to Orlando later that night thankful for the wonderful day we had and the good food that could have cost us a fortune but didn't! Chris had commented on the way down to Florida Saturday, "I wonder if Alligators are as prolific here in Florida as deer are in Alabama?". Well, Sunday as we were driving back to Orlando, we almost hit an Alligator crossing the highway! I was so thankful we didn't hit it, but it was so funny! The idea of an alligator crossing the road!?

I'll have to finish more later. Till then. Blessings to you.