Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rainy Days

According to many, it's absolutely dreary outside!  They sky is a dull shade of gray, and it's raining a steady, gentle drizzle as I type.  Even though the kiddos can't take their usual outside break, and are a little on the funky side, I'm glad for the rain. 

We desperately need it in the Ozarks.  Our total rainfall is down for the year.  This gives us crunchy grass to walk on, and because of the lack of moisture, the trees won't have their usual bright Autumn display. 

I love the smell of the rain.  It refreshes and cleanses.  It's deliciously cool and leaves shimmering sprinkles on my arms.

"Living Water, rain down your life on me.  Cleansing me, refreshing me, with life abundantly.  River full of Life, I'll go where You lead.  I will trust in You, I will trust in You, my God."

"There is a Fountain, who is the King.  Victorious Warrior, and Lord of Everything.  My Rock, my Shelter, my very own ~ Blessed Redeemer, Who reigns upon the throne."

Who Can Satisfy My Soul? by Dennis Jernigan.  Album:  Hands Lifted High

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What to Do When You Come Across a Home School Hater

Since we began our home school journey 2 1/2 years ago, I've been encouraged by the support I receive when people find out we chose this lifestyle.  Family, friends, my church family in Topeka ~ even my children's former public school principal and classroom teachers ~ were kind with their words and extremely encouraging.

I didn't realize how blessed I was until a few months ago.  I had my first experience with what I call a "hater".  Sadly, this person has only seen the negative examples of home schoolers.  She was blatantly critical of Kindergartner, saying that she "could tell my child was home schooled because she didn't raise her hand, but just blurted out the answers" in her SS class. She then proceeded to say that all home schooled children don't know "how to behave" if they ever go to public school.

When I shrugged off her comment by stating that when I taught, the teenagers in my classes didn't always raise their hands ~ she implied that I didn't have adequate control of my classroom.  Needless to say, it was quite the interesting conversation, considering that I was brand-new to our church and had never been introduced to the woman or had any kind of conversation with her until that moment! 

Ironically, I taught that same class that following Sunday evening, and NONE of the 4-6 year olds raised their hands in class.  In fact, the ones whom I consider were "just being kiddos" ~ by rolling around on the floor, shouting out answers and jumping up and down ~ were the products of public education!  (Yes, I did control the behaviors as they happened. :)  In fact, just for the record, my former students thought I was far too strict of a teacher!)

Ever since that conversation, she has picked up the most minute of things to criticize Kindergartner over, and shoots me the pointed "look" that says "See?  The child is out of control, and it's because you home school."  Oh, and by the way, did I neglect to mention that she works in public education?

So, how do I handle these situations as they happen?  It's never easy, and I get irked when it happens. In fact, my sinful nature wants to lash out and tell HER a thing or two!   However, that would NOT be pleasing to the Lord, so this what I've learned to do over the past few months:

1.  First of all, PRAY!  I pray for the Lord to help me be gracious and kind to her, even if it's just to smile and say hello. Sure, it's easier to ignore her or run the other way if I see her coming, but I can't do that forever!  Besides, if I'm angry at my sister in Christ, I can't focus on what I go to church for ~ worship, learning, and fellowship.  I pray for her.  There is some reason why she's so anti-home school.  I must become a positive example.

2.  Call me arrogant, but I just don't feel the need to justify to anyone the reasoning of WHY we home school. The last I checked, this is still a free country, and we are allowed to educate our children the best way that WE see fit, NOT how the government sees fit!

3.  Don't bad-mouth to others.  It's tempting.  My mother is usually my sounding board when I like to gripe.  However, when she approached another home schooling mom that used to attend our church about it, I immediately felt convicted.  I had been hemmed into a corner that I didn't want to be in.  When you want to gripe about someone ~ DON'T!  As my former pastor's wife used to sing to me, "It's amazing what praising can do!"

4.  PRAY! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New School Year!

We began our 2nd full year of homeschool on 8/15.  Tweenager is now in 6th grade, Bubby is in 4th, and "Preschooler" is officially a full-fledged "Kindergartener". 

Here's a few pics of the kiddos in action:
Playdoh T's
(From Confessions of a Homeschooler)

Counting the items and clipping the correct number.

Counting the Turtles

There are six!
Writing T's.

Reading her emergent reader, "The Turtles".

Dot-painting I's.

Tweenager in math action!

Tweenager glancing up during her reading time.

Bubby doing place value in math.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Break!

Yay, we're DONE! I'm SO glad that this school year is finally over! I just have to figure grades for my records.

We're still going to continue with some school work here & there. Bubby needs to continue his multiplication drills and summer reading schedule. Tweenager also needs to buckle down and do some serious reading as well. Preschooler is going to continue to her "Raising Rockstars" curriculum and games. I'm hoping to get her some simple readers from the library to help get her started for Kindergarten this fall.

Speaking of the next school year, I've got to get planning! I want to get things prepared ahead of time so that I can enjoy my summer as well! Since we've moved to a new state, I need to find a homeschool co-op, get all my records prepared and organized, as well as get familiar with any differing state homeschool laws. Whew! Gonna be busy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moving and Homeschooling...

...can be summed up in a single word ~ challenging! Between packing, moving, and unpacking, homeschooling during a move is difficult! Fortunately, we're at the end of our school year, so we're just about done with our books. Only a few weeks left in Math, Reading, and Spelling. History, Science and English are almost completed as well as Handwriting.

Our most challenging part is getting back on some kind of schedule. It's tempting to get a later start or wait until we're completely moved in, but the kiddos need structure. I need structure. It's comforting, really. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with schedules, I really need it to bring some sense of normalcy in my life at this time!

We're getting unpacked slowly but surely, trying to find places to put our ridiculous amount of "stuff" (another post in itself!) and getting comfy in our new home. I'll post more at a later time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This & That

Since I'm busy packing and preparing for our move to MO, I'm going to take a bit of a blogging break until we get settled. Looking forward to sharing with you again soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well, my friends, it's official ~ my little brood is headed back to the Ozarks! We wanted to move last year ~ put the house up for sale, the hubs applied for jobs, all to no avail. No one was interested in our house, and the hubs never heard back from the employers. Realizing that the Lord's plan for us was to remain in KS, we took the house off the market and settled in. We were content to wait on the Lord. During this time, I was able to teach a ladies' Sunday school class and direct the Adult choir. I've truly enjoyed studying and spending time it the Word and preparing lessons each week. Directing the choir has been a total blast ~ we're working on some great arrangements for Easter. Then, a couple of weeks ago, we received a phone call from one of the employers from last year. He said the job was still available, even after an entire year! The hubs filled out another application, and passed all the background checks. He's going to MO over the weekend to get his MO driver's license and to take the mandatory drug test and physical. We decided to rent out our house for the time being ~ so we're praying for good renters! We know the Lord wants us in MO and understand that He will put things in order for us to get where we need to be at the perfect time. It's wonderful to know that we're resting in the palm of His hand, and that He's carrying us the entire way. What a mighty God we serve! The way it looks right now, we'll be packing up little by little over the next few weeks. We'll still homeschool during the process ~ the kids are finishing up their books. Thankfully, I had already planned an Easter break during the last week of April. That time will be reserved for packing, packing, and more packing! We're so excited to begin this journey that God's allowed for us!