Thursday, June 28, 2012

Synthetic Goodness

Have you ever noticed how we surround ourselves with fake? Man's desire to improve everything natural has taken over. Nothing is ever good enough. We are lazy and we want for much! There have been millions of products created to get better faster results for everything under the sun. The sun. Let's start there.

How many products are on the market right now that uses God's powerful creation, the sun, as a marketing strategy? Laundry products smell like the sun and whiten like the sun. We are spending money to make our clothes smell and look like they were dried in the free sun. I'd like to mention from my own recent experiences that the sun actually works better than the fake products anyway. After discovering the miraculous abilities of the sun I went through my kids clothes and gathered all the white shirts, washed them in hot water, and hung them on the line to dry. Guess what, no more stains, no more dull white color, just bright, new looking hand-me-downs! And let's not forgot those tanning beds! Nothing says synthetic like some lovely orange tinted skin. Again, people spending money on fake when the real thing is free and better. The sun is a blessing and a tool for all of creation.

Here's another one I know most of us can relate to. How much money have you spent on candles, air fresheners, and similar products over the years? We are spending money on giving the impression we've baked some delicious goodies, "sorry Honey there's no pie or cookies; it's just my new candle". I have so many of these products cluttering up my home it's unbelievable and I haven't even purchased anything new in over half a year.

I am finding it more and more wasteful for my family to continue on like this. Don't get me wrong, I will always have a dryer, candles, and my beloved Scentsys but my kitchen and clothesline will no longer be neglected. I will use these blessings for real goodness as often as I can.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012-2013 Homeschool Plan

Homeschooling has been such a wonderful blessing to my family. We are about to begin seventh grade and our third year of educating at home. We first took our daughter out of public school because we felt her heart needed more training and that she was being distracted too easily from her walk with the Lord. The pressure of the world can be overwhelming without a firm foundation. I hoped a few years of homeschooling would help me to provide her with that foundation.

So we planned for a year of school at home focusing on character and serving. We joined a local homeschool support group. I found discounted homeschool curriculum and bought lots of it. I didn't have any idea what I was getting myself into so I figured the more I had, the better. I thought about how nice it would if we were able to afford a packaged curriculum like Sonlight but there was no possibility of that. For fifth grade I ended up with Saxon math, Building Christian English (which we stopped after chapter 3), an old public school social studies book, a random spelling/vocabulary book, & Abeka science. I also started a 50 states notebook (we made it through 4 or 5 states), a presidents notebook (we still have not done a single page in), and a science notebook. We barely completed a few subjects that year.

Our second year, I really thought I knew what I was doing. I knew more than I did the last year, of course, but again my expectations were a little um... high. I bought my first LifePac for language arts. We LOVE Lifepac! We started The Story of the World (also love) & drew a picture after each chapter, continued in Saxon math and Abeka science, and added calligraphy and economics (we dumped the economics after lots of tears). We also continued working on our notebooking from the year before.

This brings us to the present. I can see now that a "few" years of homeschooling are certainly not enough time to build the foundation necessary to stay strong and faithful to God for an entire lifetime. It takes time and hard work to build a firm structure that can withstand the pressures of the world. The last two years have been the most enriching and enjoyable years of my life. I believe I have learned more than anyone and our whole family has definitely benefited from this experience. We are stronger as individuals and as a family. I am confident this year will be even better!

Our plan for 7th grade:

Math U See Pre Algebra
Apologia General Science
Language Arts Lifepac
Story Of The World: The Middle Ages
Reading- Christian Light
We will also continue to work on our notebooks, bible, copywork, calligraphy, outreach & service, art, and character qualities.

Our plan for Kindergarden:

Science- Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1
Phonics, no curriculum
Handwriting with various programs we already own
Copywork, no curriculum
Reading and sight words, no curriculum
Real life math- basic addition, subtraction, measuring, and so on
Character, outreach & service, bible, and art are always focused on. So we will continue to learn and grow in those areas.