Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tribute to My Dad (Written by my daughter when she was 14)

I love my dad! I think he’s wonderful. Let me explain.

My dad loves the Lord and strives to do His will. He tells others about the Gospel. He has shared his faith with his coworkers and others. He also loves me, my mom, and my brothers unconditionally. He shows it in his words and actions. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Dad would die for us.

My dad truly cares for us and about us. Not only does he care for us physically but spiritually as well. He does his best to answer our questions about the Bible and God, etc. He is also not afraid to admit when he doesn’t know something. He’s humble. He teaches us to always trust in God.

I enjoy spending time with my dad. He plays sports with us and teaches us how to play better. He’s our personal coach. :) He has also taught me piano. My dad has a great ear for music. One of my favorite things to do is watching movies alone with my dad.

My dad has a great sense of humor! My whole family loves to joke around. Sometimes it can be so funny just talking together about something.

My dad protects us. He always wants to keep us safe. Again, not only physically but also spiritually. He wants to make sure we don’t believe false philosophies or false teachings. He stresses the importance of going to God’s Word to find the truth. He has memorized quite a bit of Scripture and encourages me to do the same.

My dad is diligent in his work. Not only does he work hard outside of the home, he also works hard at home. He does yard work and takes care of the house’s maintenance. Last year, he put shelves on two of the playroom/schoolroom walls. Now we have built-in bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling. He’s good at fixing things and improvising. For example, how many dads can kill bugs with a rubber band? By the way, it’s funny to watch!

My dad is there to help and teach me. From helping me with math to helping me deal with my fears, my dad is there to answer my questions. He also knows a lot more about the computer than I do and has helped me many times with problems that I’ve run into.

My dad is a good steward of the resources God has given him. He has taught me the importance of not living for the pleasures of this life but of making an impact for eternity. (What I mean by that is reaching the unreached with the Gospel and saving people’s souls.) He gives generously to missions and to the poor.

My dad is completely honest and trustworthy. He never lies so we know we can always trust him with everything. He has always taught us to be truthful.

Thanks, Dad, for all you do and for loving me no matter what!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What We Did…Last School Year (2006-2007)

This is a way of record-keeping for me.  We’re so thankful to the Lord for another year of homeschooling. 

All kids:
Bible Study/Prayer Time: Bible/memorization
                                           You Can Change the World Volume 1 and Volume 2
Character-building: A Child’s Book of Character Building Book 1 and Book 2
                                 A Child’s First Book of Virtues                   
Others: The World of Tools and Technology (Great Science Adventures Series)
              Unit study on 50 States using various resources and games
              Science experiments using various resources
              Postcard exchange with people from other states and countries
              Package exchange with other homeschoolers around the world
              Chess Club

Our daughter (13 yo then):
Math: Saxon Algebra 1
Accounting: LifePac Accounting
Grammar and Composition: A Beka Grammar and Compostion II
                                              Creative Writing for various contests
                                              Producing a monthly newsletter for family and friends
Literature: Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL-Gray)
                  A Beka Of Places
                  CLP Studying Christian Literature
                  Tons of books (eg. The Gift of the Magi, Across Five Aprils, Jane of Lantern Hill, Hind’s Feet on High Places, Christmas Carol, Bronze Bow, The Courage of Sarah Noble, The Midnight Test, Johnny Tremain, A Life of Faith series, Christian Heroes: Then & Now series, etc.)
                  Co-op class
Vocabulary/Spelling: A Beka Vocabulary/Spelling/Poetry II
                                    Vocabulary from Classical Roots B
                                    Rummy Roots
Science: A Beka Matter & Motion in God’s Universe
               BJU Earth Science (partly)
Health: A Beka Let’s Be Healthy
History/Geography: A Beka America: Land I Love
                                  A Beka Geography Studies and Projects of the Western Hemisphere
                                  BJU The American Republic (partly)
Spanish: Co-op class
Speech: Co-op class
Logic: Co-op class
Art/Music: Piano, drawing, studying about famous artists and famous composers
P.E.: Basketball, hiking, biking, badminton, etc.

Our 8 yo son:
Math: Singapore Math 4A, 4 B
          A Beka Arithmetic 4 (partly)
Grammar/Language Arts: A Beka God’s Gift of Language A
                                            Daily Grams
                                            LLATL  Orange
Composition: Writing Strands
                      Creative Writing and Poetry Exercises
                      Correspondence with a penpal
Reading Comprehension: A Beka readers
                                          A Beka Read & Think 4
                                          Lots of books (non-fiction and fiction)
Penmanship (Cursive Writing): A Beka Penmanship Mastery I
Spelling/Vocabulary: A Beka Spelling, Vocabulary, & Poetry 4
                                    Wordly Wise Book 1
Science: A Beka Understanding God’s World
               BJU Science 4
Health: A Beka Developing Good Health
History/Geography: A Beka the History of Our United States
                                  BJU Heritage Studies4: Doors of Opportunity
Typing: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing CDrom
             E-mail pal
Art/Music: piano, drawing, painting
P.E.: Basketball, football, biking, hiking, badminton, soccer, etc.

Our 5 yo son:
Math: A Beka Numbers Skills K
          Saxon Math 1
Phonics: A Beka Letters and Sounds K
               The Writing Road to Reading
Reading Comprehension: A Beka readers
                                          Lots of books (read-aloud and silent reading; he’s a good reader)
Science: A Beka God’s World
               CLP The World God Made
Social Studies: A Beka Social Studies K
Art/Music: piano, drawing, painting
P.E.: basketball, hiking, biking, soccer, etc.
Others: Lots of play time, hands-on activities, making "little books" on various topics of interest, educational CD-roms

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Homeschool Open House

Tiany is hosting a Homeschool Open House from Aug. 1st to Aug. 15th.  Please visit her site for details.  What a wonderful opportunity this is to encourage one another and learn from one another in our homeschooling journey/adventure!  Welcome, everybody, to Children of Light Christian Academy!  "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord."  Ephesians 5:8-10 

Who are we?  We’re Christ-centered, Bible-based, mission-minded, family-bonding, character-building, & life-long learning homeschoolers.  We cherish our togetherness; we enjoy learning and growing together as the Lord leads us.  Last year, I wrote a post about why we homeschool.

We homeschool our three precious blessings: 14 year old daughter, 8 year old son, and 5 year old son.  We have been homeschooling for over 8 years now.  We mix and match our resources to meet our kids’ individual learning styles and interests (you can see what we used last year here).  Grade level is not emphasized.  Their skills and abilities are taken into consideration more than their ages.  We have flexible structure/routine.  We take time to dig deeper when there’s an interest.  We read (a lot), research, create, experiment, write, memorize, analyze, apply, explore, investigate, practice, work, sing, and play all sorts of sports & games.  Hopefully, we also learn and retain some knowledge, wisdom, & valuable/useful skills along the way :) .
We homeschool in our schoolroom/library/playroom, in our kitchen, on our couch, in our bedrooms, on the floor, in our yard, sometimes even in our van :) .  We’ve also participated in a co-op once a week at a church nearby during the school year.  And we enjoy field trips.

Each night before school days, I write out the schedule (aka "flexible guideline") for each kid.  They can pick the order of which they would like to do first and they check off each subject that they complete.  My daughter does her schoolwork independently at her desk in her bedroom most of the time.  I spend most of my time teaching/ overseeing the two boys.  We have our Bible study/prayer time together. We also do science experiments and unit studies together.

My "top ten tips" are:
1. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6,
2. Pray, pray, and pray continually,
3. Instill in your children love for God, passion for His word, and desire to please & serve Him,
4. Focus on building your kids’ character, training their attitudes, and tying heart strings,
5. Lead by example; walk the talk; be real and humble;
6. Stay committed to homeschooling; be enthusiastic about learning/acquiring wisdom & knowledge,
7. Don’t sweat the academic stuff :) ; embrace "eternal perspectives", 
8. These (whatever struggles you’re facing) too shall pass;  
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:23

9. Enjoy your time together (kids grow up so fast),
10. Pray, pray, and pray unceasingly.
"Educating our children includes more than arithmetic and spelling; it includes building character.  No educational pursuit can replace the deep need for a generation of children to be brought up first in the ‘nurture and admonition’ of the Lord."  Rick Williamson 
                     What Have I Taught?
                  (By Betty DeMers Parkes)

If my children can quote Shakespeare
with feeling and understanding,
but think only of themselves,
then what have I taught?

If they can spell scientific words,
and write 16 page reports,
but have no compassion for other,
then what have I taught?

If they can work algebraic equations,
but do not think of how their words or actions
may affect someone else,
then what have I taught?

If my high schooler gets into Harvard,
but doesn’t have a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ
then what have I taught?

If my children are in the 99th percentile rankings
on all their standardized tests,
but resent being with their family
then what have I taught?

If my nine-year-old reads Tolstoy,
and my seven-year-old knows all the times tables,
but they cannot play together
without hurt feelings and tears,
then what have I taught?