Friday, August 25, 2006

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Lib!

This is my entry for the mad lib contest at mamma 1420.  Our family likes mad libs.  It’s lots of fun.  I was surprised to see some of the words fit in quite nicely here.

    An amusement park is always fun to visit on a hot summer flood. When you get there, you can rent a vacuum cleaner and go for a swim. And there are lots of original things to eat. You can start off with a hot dog on a/an expert with mustard, relish, and chimneys on it. Then you can have a buttered ear of laundry with a nice overdue slice of watermelon and a big bottle of cold sweat juice. When you are full, it’s time to go on the
roller coaster, which should settle your mud.  Other amusement park rides are the Dodge-Em which has little entrails, that you drive and run into other catalogs, and the Merry-Go-Round where you can sit on a big tent and try to grab the gold curriculum as you ride past.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Piece of My Mind on Why I homeschool

My parents and some of my friends wondered (may still wonder) why I want to stay home and teach my kids.  They think I should make use of my education (I have a master’s degree in marketing, speech communication, and psychology; one degree in 3 integrated studies), establish a career, and make lots of money.  Well, that’s what they think.  Here is what I think: my children are precious blessings from the Lord and they mean more to me (and my husband) than any career and money.  I love my job, "wife/homeschool mom" :) .  God is my Boss and He is the best Boss one could ever ask for!  And the fringe benefits are incalculable :) .  By the way, my husband is very supportive; he is our math teacher on call and the most wonderful principal.

Why do I homeschool?
" My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3 That’s the main reason but there are more :) .
  • I homeschool because…it gives me the opportunity (everyday…all day long) to teach & train my kids, and instill Biblical values in them. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 My kids are taught about priorities in life: GOD first, family second. My kids are taught to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" and to "love your neighbor as yourself."
  •  I homeschool because…my kids and I can pray anytime, can read the Bible anytime, can praise and worship God anytime, can quote Bible verses anytime, and can discuss about God & His Word anytime. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on YOUR CHILDREN. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
  • I homeschool because…I want my kids to realize that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."
  • I homeschool because…I want my kids to see that Jesus Christ is our ultimate Role Model!
  • I homeschool because…I want to help my kids embrace eternal perspective/Biblical perspective and a heart for the Great Commission.
  • I homeschool because…I want to equip my kids so that (in hopes that) a. they will always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks them to give the reason for the hope that they have, b. they will boldly proclaim the Gospel, and c. they will faithfully serve the King of kings.
  • I homeschool because…I enjoy spending time with my kids. I treasure every moment (good and bad). They grow so fast. I love to witness their different stages. I love listening to my kids talk. I love hearing them laugh, joke around, and encourage one another.  I love watching them "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
  • I homeschool because…I get to know my kids more and more each day. I get to know and appreciate their likes, their dislikes, their interests, their talents, their learning styles, and their unique personalities.
  • I homeschool because…my kids are safe & secure and are learning in a loving, non-judgmental environment ("home").
  • I homeschool because…at home, my kids are free to be themselves…to be who God wants them to be. Free to question, free to explore, free to discuss, free to pursue what they’re interested in, free to sing (make a joyful noise in class), free to lie down on the floor while studying, free to jump up and down or play basketball while doing spelling tests (orally), free to have snacks while reading, free to get mom’s hugs anytime they want :) , etc.
  • I homeschool because…I love it when my kids ask me questions and show the desire to know more. I love seeing their enthusiasm/love of learning.
  • I homeschool because…we can be flexible with our time management. We don’t have to rush (go..go..go) in the morning. We can take breaks when we need or want to. We can take our vacation during the school year. We can go to places during the school hours and find empty parking spots. Yeah!
  • I homeschool because…I don’t want my kids to be exposed to all the awful things that are going on in public schools and even in some Christian private schools (drugs, swearing, immodesty, violence, bullies, inappropriate talks/discussion, cheating, lying, name-calling, bad manners, disrespectfulness, defiance against authority, peer pressure, bad influences, etc.)
  • I homeschool because…I get to learn right along with my kids. It’s a lot of fun!
  • I homeschool because…I love to see my kids help one another out and look out for one another. The older ones help teach the younger ones. They have developed such a strong bond. Precious memories…precious relationship, indeed!
  • I homeschool because…I love my kids and care about them so very much (more than any teachers ever will!)  All my kids want to be homeschooled and they know why we choose homeschooling.  Our family is truly thankful for that choice!
Bonus: I get to make friends with all the wonderful homeschool parents (and their children) like you homeschool bloggers here :) .

Will we homeschool our children through graduation?
Lord willing, yes..yes..yes (each yes for each kid). Why? Why stop a good thing? I don’t want to see all our investments yield negative returns. I am not going to throw my kids into the devil’s playing field on purpose. The devil has his home court advantage in public schools for sure. Even strong players are known to stumble and lose when they play away from their home court. Let’s give our kids home court advantage as long as we possibly can :) !

If someone is considering homeschooling, what would be one good reason/advice I would give?
Guard your children’s souls! Keep them home. Remember that "your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"!!! Don’t let that "someone" be your kid.  "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:36 

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

What We Did…Last School Year (2005-2006)

Resources we used for our daughter (12 yo then):-
Bible Study: Bible/memorization
                     BJU Bible Truths: Learning from the Life of Christ
                     Searching for Treasure by Marty Elwell
Grammar/Language Arts: A Beka Grammar and Composition I
                                            LLATL Green
                                            Easy Grammar (occasionally)
Writing: Put That in Writing by Shari Barrett
Vocabulary: Vocabulary from Classical Roots A
                     English from the Roots Up Vol. 1 Word Cards
                    Wordly Wise Book 4
Spelling: A Beka Vocabulary, Spelling, & Poetry I
               Spelling Power (occasionally used as tests)
Literature: A Beka Of People
                   BJU Explorations in Literature (partly)
                   Tons of historical fiction books, missionary biographies, etc. (too numerous to list)
Math: Saxon 87
Science: BJU Life Science
              A Beka Science: Order & Reality (partly)
              Science Experiments
Health: A Beka A Healthier You
History: BJU World Studies
              A Beka History of the World (partly)
Geography: Around the World in 180 Days by Sherrie Payne
Languages: Spanish: A+ Spanish CDrom, various books
                    Thai: audiocassettes, talking with Mom
Art/Music: Drawing, Acting in plays (at home), Writing play scripts, Piano

Resources we used for our 7 yo son:-
Bible Study: Bible/memorization
                     BJU Bible Truths
                     Olympians (weekly Bible training program at a local church)
Math: Singapore Math 3A, 3B
           A Beka More About Numbers 3 (partly)
Science: Considering God’s Creation
              The World of Insects and Arachnids by Dinah Zike and Susan Simpson
              A Beka Exploring God’s World
              Science Experiments
              Tons of science books (too numerous to list)
Health: A Beka Health, Safety & Manners 3
History: Mystery of History Vol.1
              A Beka Our American Heritage
Geography: various books and games on U.S. maps & geography
Grammar/Writing: LLATL Yellow
                               Daily Grams
                               Creative Writing
Spelling: Explode the Code 6
               A Beka Spelling and Poetry 3
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 3000 B
Reading Comprehension: A Beka Read & Think Skill Sheets 3
                                           A Beka readers
                                           Tons of non-fiction books (too numerous to list)
Critical Thinking: Mind Benders A4
                              A Case of Red Herrings A2
Art/Music: Drawing, Piano

For our 4 yo son, we just did some phonics and games, read aloud, read Bible stories, etc.  Most of the time, he played with toys, played some educational CDroms, drew pictures, put together puzzles, built with Legos and Builderific, and hanged out with the rest of us.

All three kids also attended the local homeschool chess club twice a month.  They have participated in three tournaments (against public elementary, middle-school, and high-school students).  Our homeschool chess club (which consisted of different ages and skills) has never lost yet.  All our kids are great chess players.  Our 7 yo son is so far undefeated (in all 3 tournaments)! 

They also went to our homeschool group’s Friday School (fun activities for local homeschoolers), went on field trips, and attended four Oregon Symphony’s Kinderkonzerts (Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion).

We thanked the Lord for another year of learning and growing together in the grace and knowledgeof our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Homeschooling has been such a blessing for all of us.  It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  We have had our shares of struggles in our homeschool journey/adventure..but no regrets whatsoever!

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Jesus, Be the Centre

At VBS, we learned some new songs.  We also learned sign language that accompanied the songs.  I really enjoy doing sign language while singing worship songs.  Such a beautiful combination!  My favorite song from VBS this year is "Jesus, Be the Centre" (written by Michael Frye).  These are the words that really touch me:

                                                Jesus, be the center
                                                Be my source
                                                Be my light, Jesus
            
                                                Jesus, be the center
                                                Be my hope
                                                Be my song, Jesus

                                            
                                                Be the fire in my heart
                                                Be the wind in these sails
                                                Be the reason that I live, Jesus…Jesus

                                                 
                                                O Jesus, be my vision
                                                Be my path
                                                Be my guide, Jesus

                                                


"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Jesus, please always be the center of my life!  I want none of me and all of You.  I need You, Lord!

I hope and pray that I will never lose Christ-centered focus!  "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’" John 8:12  He is my Guiding Light!

Congratulations, Mr. Joker!

Mr. Joker (one of my husband’s nicknames given by me) is the winner of the July Create-A-Word Contest at CommunicationFUNdamentals! We were to create a word that describes the act of using humor to teach something.  My husband’s winning word is "scholaughticism."  I think his other word, "edjokation" is brilliant, too.  My honey is very clever and funny; hence "Mr. Joker".  My word is "schumoring " Even though it didn’t win, it does have a nice ring to it…don’t you think?

He won a laminated and bound personalized eStorybook titled, "Conversation Correction Patrol: A Story About Listening and Being Humble."  This will be a fantastic, unique birthday gift for our 4 yo son (he’ll turn 5 in Oct.).  We’re so thrilled and happy about this.  Big thanks to JoJo of Art of Eloquence for this fun contest and the very cool prize!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

God's All-Star Champions

This past week (Monday to Friday) my kids participated in a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a local church where one of our friends attend.  My daughter was one of the helpers.  This is her second year of helping VBS at that church.  She decorated the church, set up the props, prepared snacks, counted the offering, etc.  My boys (natural athletes) enjoyed all the sports and games while learning about living and winning God’s way. 
 
The VBS’s theme is God’s All-Star Champions (wearing God’s gear, "the full armor of God.")  My 7 yo son was one of the 3 kids who succeeded at memorizing Ephesians 6:11, 13-18 (putting on the full armor of God).  My daughter already had that memorized so she was able to help her brother memorize the verses.  My 4 yo son managed to memorize other shorter verses.  At home we always encourage one another on Bible memorization.  We try to keep it fun and interesting while reminding our kids its importance and benefits.  "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You."  Psalm 119:11  "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105 

The Bible class’s teacher at VBS complimented my boys for their obedience, attentiveness, pleasant smiles, and great knowledge of the Bible.  That made my day/week.  I praise God for His blessings upon our kids…our family.  I often say to my kids, "Let’s shine for Jesus!"  They do shine!

I’m so thankful that my kids are on God’s team.  They truly are God’s all-star champions!

Friday, August 4, 2006

Walls of Wonderful Workmanship

This evening my handy hubby just finished building me shelves covering another whole wall in our schoolroom/playroom.  He did the same on the opposite wall two summers ago.  Now we have two walls of beautiful built-in shelves that resemble a mini-library.  I’m so excited; I feel like a little kid who’s in front of all-you-can-eat candy buffet.  To me…books are more desirable than candies (okay…maybe not chocolate)! My hubby is so sweet and thoughtful.  He knew how much I would appreciate having all the shelf space for books.  His workmanship is outstanding.  Thanks, honey for your labor of love!!!!!!!  Ummm…more shelves… meaning…more room for…more books!