Homeschooling, Uncategorized

The ONE thing

We are nearing the end of summer and with that the excitement to plan for a perfect upcoming homeschool year is at its peak. Curriculum companies, authors, speakers etc. are providing the top teaching materials and education theories of 2018 ensuring us that utilizing the suggested resources will equip our children to succeed in the world.

I don’t know about you, but this causes me to go through a rollercoaster-type cycle of school year planning. My initial excitement to start school back up and establish that much needed routine after an adventurous summer starts growing looking as I dig through all the options and elite materials, but then, the inevitable happens….a crash…an overwhelming feeling of defeat lost in a flood of resources coming crashing in from all sides drowning me to a point of desperation. Every year I go through this (I must be a slow learner) and end up loading our book shelves with a library of doctorate level books and our schedules with opportunities that will provide an exceptional resume.

This year, with my oldest daughter starting High School and all the beautiful emotions that come along side this journey, my youngest daughter struggling with security and my son being tossed back and forth between being a boy and becoming a man (I like to be real), I knew something had to change because we were missing something and I started struggling holding it all together. I started praying. 

God answered my prayer in ways that spoke straight to my heart. Not only once, but He confirmed it on many occasions (He must know I can be stubborn).

The ONE thing we sometimes forget when planning our school year, is that we first have to submit it to God. 

We have to remember that we as parents or as teachers are not able on our own. Submitting to God and allowing Jesus Christ to have His rightful authority in all aspects of our life, to include homeschool, is essential in creating a homeschool year that will allow our families to grow first spiritually and then academically. He will equip those that prayerfully seek Him. He will open our eyes, He will make us sensitive to each of our childrens’ needs, He will give us the patience needed to work through trials and struggles,  He will make us aware of problems and provide us with the solution, He will give us grace, He will give us mercy, He will give us the heart and spirit we need to raise and educate our children. We have to listen to the Holy Spirit as He guides us, not the world around us. He will convict us of the changes we need to make and direct us in choosing the right curriculum.

This year, God has convicted me to create peace in our home and to create time for character building and conversations that oftentimes get missed in the chaos of the every day demands on us. In the midst of every day life, we often forget why we decided to homeschool in the first place. The reason our family started to homeschool was our great desire to raise and educate our children in an environment that is driven by our love for God. We have a passion to teach them to serve God,  be independent thinkers and be bold as they stand for truth. Because it is so easy to get caught in the academic side of homeschooling, we started  an annual homeschool meeting with the principle (Dad) to allow us to refocus on why we homeschool. We pick a favorite restaurant, dress up fancy, and bring our notebooks to the table. We discuss everything from our mission statement to successes and failures of the past year. We share the good, bad and the ugly as well. Together, we pray, make a plan and commitment for the following year. Incorporating everyone in this step allows each child to have ownership of their education and gives them a voice. It has changed our homeschool to an environment in which each child is excited to grow spiritually, academically but most importantly walks in the path God has for each of them.

How do we incorporate the ONE thing

  1. Pray
  2. Submit your Homeschool to God
  3. Follow in the Authority of Jesus Christ
  4. Listen to the Holy Spirit
  5. Continue to PRAY IN FAITH and continue to FOCUS OUR EYES ON JESUS

Please consider joining us in our weekly homeschool prayer group by sending us a an email or message. 

Counting it all Joy,

Simone and Kerstin

Advertisements
Homeschooling, Live Event

Live Event – So you are thinking about Homeschooling?

Have you considered homeschooling? Are you unsure which route to go regarding your children’s education? Are you unsure you are up for taking on homeschooling?

Or do you know this is your path but you don’t know where to even start? Your head is spinning just looking at the endless options in curricula, teaching styles etc…

If this sounds like you or anyone you know…We invite to join our newest live event.

————-

So you are thinking about homeschooling? A laid back Q and A session to answer any questions you may have.

————-

We will be streaming live on Facebook as well as YouTube.

Please help us in encouraging other homeschool families and providing resources to them by sharing this event ❤️

Counting it all Joy

Simone and Kerstin

Homeschooling

What to use in your homeschooling?

Reading is a very important part in homeschooling. There are so many options to choose from, such as Kindle, iPads, Audio books or traditional books.
There is a perception that kids read more likely if it is on a digital devise such as an iPad or Kindle. Actually studies have proven that it is not the case.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to talk you out of using the kindle if your child is an engaged and active reader. If that works in your family, then continue what fits your homeschool journey.
Kindle and iPads can come in really handy, especially when you travel. Instead of bringing all the books with you, they can all be stored in one single device. And lets be honest, when Homeschoolers travel, we tend to take half of our books with us. So doing this method is very convenient.
When kids encounter new words, they can simply click on them and find out the definition. That is a big bonus in improving their vocabularies. Kids with visual limitations might benefit as well because the font and contrast can be customized.
But sometimes there are too many choices for our littles ones and too many distracting things on the device that it can distract them.
Now we are in a pickle. The technology and digital world is faster developing as we want to and we need to get our children ready for it. More than 50% of jobs now days require some degree of technology skills and it will rise up to 77 % in the next decade. Finding a balance is the key.
In our house we love the “old fashion” books. The kids still enjoy going to the library and picking out books, but they also appreciate the technology course I included this this semester.
There is something special about real book. From the texture of the pages, checking out the cover to the smell of newly printed pages. Also there are no distractions. It is just you and the story. This furthers the ability to focus and develops a habit. It doesn’t always come natural for kids or adults to focus. It is a practice that develops and over time, especially in kids.
I myself have books on my iPad and I have lots of books in on my shelves at home. And I realized that I have a different connection to them. There is an emotional attachment that you develop holding a book in your hand, flipping each page, writing your personal notes in them. And sometimes when I find an old book I used to read as a child, all those memories come rushing back. Now I don’t know how it would be if I read it on the IPad 25 years ago, simply because we didn’t had any back then:)

Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling, How To, Uncategorized

8 Tips for a Successful Homeschool Co-op

Homeschool Co-op

What is a co-op? A co-op is simply a group of two or more families meeting together to share their collective efforts in teaching their children.

Co-ops can range anywhere from adding socialization and hands on activities to your children’s education to a reflection of a strict private school and everything in between.

Often you personal experiences in your past as well as your desire for your kids future, have part in shaping your idea of what a successful education for your children should look like, to include a homeschool co-op.

For us, being part of a personal co-op has enhanced our academic studies, but more importantly allowed my children to learn alongside others, as well as learn to develop their own ability to think as they are introduced to different views as well as different ways of working through problems. With each teacher specializing in one field, it has greatly enhanced studies in fields that often fall short. It has allowed my children to gain confidence in standing firm on their believes as they are encouraged and shaped by other strong believers.

image7

Here are 8 TIPS to consider before you start or join a co-op

  1. Pray for direction in making a decision on whether to move forward as well as God’s leading as He brings together families of same values and commitment.
  2. Don’t rush it…wait on God’s leading! He may be guiding you towards a co-op but He may lead your family towards a year of peace and quiet
  3. Develop and understand your purpose for building or joining a co-op Socialization and fun, extra curricular activities or in depth studies of a specific subject
  4. Define expectations Refreshing midweek break or high level of additional academics
  5. Define Structure Scheduled classes or flexibility, homework assignments and deadlines or no required additional work
  6. Extend grace We are all human and have our strength and weaknesses, this includes our very own self;)
  7. Develop a culture in which you can openly encourage, share and develop new ideas, but also address problems Problems will arise, it is inevitable: It may be the students not participating, parents expectations not being met and everything in between. If we have the ability to openly share in love, only then can a co-op succeed
  8. Continue to prayerfully give your co-op into God’s hands
Government, Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling

Read, read, and read again!

We have been blessed with a beautiful co-op that encourages each of us to thrive. One of our recent assignments was to read the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and write a critique about it. While we always have put a great emphasize on the importance of reading, this book opened the eyes of the kids on many different levels as well as reminded us parents why we teach what we teach.

Fahrenheit

The book describes a society in which government control is at its highest and the existing censorship prohibits citizens to own or read books. They are flooded with propaganda, entertainment, noise, technology and instant gratification until they are unable to make decisions on their own, stand for truth or even know truth. Disobedience to the law is punished by burning down houses with death not being an obstacle. Ray Bradbury puts it well, when he said: “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

fahrenheit2

If we look around us today, we can see how quickly we can erase history, truth, knowledge, courage, and initiative to thrive. If we stop reading books, we won’t learn about our past or from our past. We won’t understand what the rest of the world is like or why it is the way it is today. We are unable to learn about other ideas. We are not able to enjoy the beauty of various literatures. We have to be able to understand the world of those who walked before us and see God’s goodness and His plan in the past, present and the future. If we don’t read and research ourselves, we are forced to trust and believe what we are told and exposed to.

Today, we can see this trend and its affects on our culture.  Ray Bradbury was pretty close. But rather than dwell in these thoughts, why don’t we encourage our children to read more. Educate them about the importance of reading and influence them to be life long readers and learners.

While our children are at so many different reading abilities and levels, a tracker never gets old. Please feel free to download these punch card bookmarks below we recently created for our children.

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 7.12.06 AM

FREE Printable Punch Card Reading Bookmarks

We printed 2 on one page, which made the perfect size bookmark. There are 20 spots to track their reading for each day of the school week. Each day they read for a specific amount of time (dependent on reading level and age), they receive a punch on their bookmark. If all are completed by the end of the month, they can earn a fun adventure, a special privilege, a treat or another small surprise.

reading

In addition to the benefit of reading to our society, we truly enjoy this quiet time in the day. Often by the fireplace, with a tea and a blanket:)

– Counting it all Joy –