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?

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