Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Joys of Homeschooling

There are many things I love about homeschooling. One advantage is having more time to work on each child's individual needs. Homeschooling allows you to think outside of the school room box when it comes to education. For example boys tend to be movers and do better when they are allowed to move around a little.

Recently, I was reminded of this lesson. After eight years of homeschooling you think I'd know everything about how to home school. But I don't! At the beginning of this school year I was dreading getting back to the books a little. Why? For one thing, I love summer and hate to see it come to an end. I enjoy the free time to do the things that I don't get to do during the school year. And well... honestly, homeschooling can be quite tiresome sometimes.

As a home school mom, you tend to be very critical of your ability to teach your child well. So inevitably when your child struggles to get a concept and you've tried everything you know to do, but they still are not quite getting it, you can start to panic. Then fear creeps in and you start having thoughts like, "I don't know what I'm doing... I'm not qualified to do this... I'm ruining my child's future!".

It's in those moments that I have to regroup, refocus, and reflect. I need to get alone, have some mommy time and reflect on the Lords calling for us to home school. Usually, what I find is that I have been relying on my own strength too much. I have let doubt and/or fear creep in and steal my peace. So I get into the word and readjust my focus back to the Lord and His calling on my life. That doesn't mean we still won't have struggles, but I can have peace knowing that He is there to guide our steps in this adventure called homeschooling.

Sometimes a solution can be as simple as a hammock! For a while now our youngest has struggled with learning to read well. He could read, but not to my liking. The other two boys took off with their reading, but for Noah it has been a constant thorn. It was a nightmare to have him sit for 15mins to read aloud to me. He was constantly squirming in his seat. I was at my whits end. Until one day I was talking to another mom about our struggles and she told me her sons story. He too did not enjoy sitting still to read until... they bought him a hammock and now he does his reading in his hammock. Later I repeated the story to Noah and asked him what he thought about having a hammock in his bedroom. He went nuts! His begging for a hammock was nonstop!

So guess what Noah got for Christmas?... You guessed it A HAMMOCK! A few months before Christmas we set up an incentive reading plan. When he read 5 books (that I approved of for school) then we would be rewarded with a trip to the bookstore to get a fun book of his choice.(he loves Calvin and Hobbes) Noah is very competitive and likes rewards, so for him this plan was working well...

But after installing the hammock we have seen his reading level soar! He absolutely loves his hammock. He sleeps there. He does his math there. And the best thing about having a hammock for a bed, as he would tell you, is you can make up your bed in about 10 secs flat! Unhook it from one side of the wall and fold it to the other side. DONE!

Although there are struggles there are also many victories. And for that I am thankful and can press on knowing that He who is faithful will equip me for whatever He calls me to do. Lord, thank you for struggles. For without them I would not see my need for you!... And thank you for HAMMOCKS!

Nowadays, you never know where you will find Noah doing his school work. I had a good chuckle the other day when I went downstairs to do laundry and found Noah standing in the corner... reading!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Look Who's Drivin'!

He did it! Yesterday Joshua got his learners permit. He was so excited he wanted to drive home from the DMV. Even though he had never driven the van, he was just eager to drive... and I was okay with that.


okay, maybe i was a little nervous with him driving me and his brothers in our new van for the first time... whatwasithinking!!!

No, really he did great! Mark this down as another "proud mama moment". I still can't believe I'm old enough to have a kid driving.

I sure hope his enthusiasm for wanting to drive lasts... I could get us to being chauffeured around for awhile. Keep up the good work! We are proud of you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Christmas Day... Finally!

I'm finally getting to Christmas Day. The morning came very early. After the boys went to bed Christmas Eve, Mike and I made a sort of maze for the boys to awaken to. We took three skeins of yarn, each a different color, and made a trail throughout the house.

When the boys awoke and came out of the bedroom they noticed yarn tied to the door handle. Then they were told which color was theirs and to follow the yarn trail for a surprise.

Joshua had the red colored yarn. We made sure that the yarn was really tangled together with the other colors!

And yes they even had to go down to the basement.

It was funny to watch them work their way through the crazy maze of yarn.

Joshua found more tangles, but I think he's getting closer to his present.

Lookey what he found... that new camcorder he's been wanting.

Next was Seth's turn...

After working his way around Joshua, following his green yarn, I'm sure he is wondering when this will end.

Seth has made it around his brothers, through the kitchen, and down to the basement.

Well... well... Look what the cat dragged in... a metal detector!

And last but not least, Noah's turn. Right about now he's going in and out of the kitchen chairs.

Look at that sweet sleepy face. Uh Oh, the hats off... it must be time to get down to business.

Watch out Seth! Noah is hot on your trail.

Oh, looks like the excitement is building. I think Noah's getting closer.

Down the stairs to the basement we go.

Almost there!

Just a few more tangles to work through.

by the way this is a great exercise to do with your kids to get them to practice working together with our arguing or complaining. I guess presents are good incentives after all!

I think by the looks of that face he has found his prize...

Yep! Right there in the laundry room... a new skateboard kit.

Well after all that fun it was time to move to the tree and open up the rest of the presents. Here is daddy opening up one of his.

Joshua opening another one of his gifts.

Looks like Noah has gotten in to some of his gifts too. Cute bow!!!

Hey! Seth found a bow too and the pillow he wanted from Ikea.

luuuuve Ikea!!! ahem... okay, sorry back to the presents.

And of course we can't forget about Mordecai...

a new blanket made with love.

Noah has already pulled out his new skateboard. He has wanted a skateboard for a long time. So he was thrilled to get one of his own.

Joshua has been needing a new desk. While at IKEA! I found this cool desk that hangs on the wall. When you aren't using it you just fold the door up and it looks like a cabinet. As soon as I saw it I knew he would like it.

Seth got his first MP3 player. He has really enjoyed recording his own music on to it. I asked the boys to show me their favorite presents and this was Seth's favorite.

This is Noah's favorite. He's dressed and ready to try out his skateboard... too bad it was snowing. It didn't stop him though!

And Joshua's favorite... of course his camcorder. He couldn't wait to make his first video and put it on youtube. You can find it here.

Well, now that I'm through Christmas, I can order MY favorite Christmas present... my blog book, yeah!