Monday, August 31, 2009
As you'll see above my header picture has changed. Same location different picture, and different time of year. The cliff in the picture is where we released the ashes of our son Jonah, who would now be seven years old. I visit that cliff each time I return to the Island. It is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. It is one way of remembering, acknowledging and embracing Jonah's life and the grace that it brought us.
I am finishing up school organizing this week, as well as, having my two nieces visit for a few days.
I leave you with a sunset I enjoyed from my time on the Island. My soul finds such peace and refreshing in the solitude and beauty of nature.
The city just doesn't cut it for me!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Every year until this one I have spent HOURS planning our year out in great detail. Part of that is my personality and partly because I wanted to make sure they were getting all they needed in an education. This year, well, not so much. I am planning some. The more I do this the more I am learning to relax and take it not so seriously. Okay, now I know your thinking I am going down the wrong road here but give me a few more sentences to explain myself.
One of my best friends said to me the other day (Hi, if your reading!) that I am overly diligent. We're pretty honest with each other and I think we could all use a friend like that. Anyway, at first I thought wait a second...no I'm not. Then as I thought about it, yes I am. Being diligent is a good quality but being over diligent is like watering a dead plant. A dead plant doesn't need attention so move on to what does. I can plan all I want and should but really being prepared is about consistent training and being present with them. I also tend to have great expectations when I over invest. Not a good thing in most cases. So I have a plan for this next year for both my kids. But more then anything I have priorities. Something will inevitably come up this year and change what lesson we are on for a particular week. We will have to rearrange things which is okay. The last 4 years of this thing called homeschooling has taught me to stick to the priorities and not so much the plan.
This years priority is my son Isaac. We are facing many challenges only many fronts. So when all gets crazy this is where I will camp out. It is impossible to do it all, everyday with all your children, every year. If that is your expectation I'm pretty sure you will be disappointed. Now bare in mind that I am not going to send my 9 year old to the neighbours and leave the baby in his crib all day :o) in order to focus on Isaac. We will work toward the goals we've set out but I'm not pushing my son into a meltdown to get history done with my nine year old. Peace will carry much more value now and in the future then will knowing what year WW II started.
I am learning more and more that home educating isn't so much about ALL that they learn. It is more about learning how to learn, how to think and how to love God with all their hearts. They have a life time to learn whatever they want but they are only with me being guided and trained for a short while. May God give me the wisdom and grace as I endeavor to do that this year. Simplicity and not being militant mom pushing the schedule goes along way to help create opportunities for learning that you'd never find in a textbook.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"I question whether we can talk about 'development' of any sort apart from the unique biblical perspective. Does 'the historical process' teach us about development or progress? Certainly we can look back over the past ten millennia and see certain signs of increased technical competence. We have moved from hunter-gatherers using sharpened stones as tools to bureaucrats communicating around the world electronically in seconds.
But is that progress? Or is it merely change? What is the goal toward which human society is tending? Or are we too, like our 10,000 year-old forbears, only wishing to survive as long as possible with a maximum of comfort, pleasure, and security? In fact, the idea of progress is dependent on the idea that our Creator has a goal for us, outside of ourselves, toward which we humans were made to progress and against which our progress can be measured. Give up that truth, and 'progress' becomes a chimera."
Such a clear focused definition of what progress should be. Advancement of any kind is based on the Creators goal and plans for our lives, country, community and nation. I love how he points out it is a goal outside of ourselves. I find that outside myself part a daily battle in my small corner of the universe. The measurement must be HIS big picture not my own assessment distorted by my feelings and present circumstances.
There so much more to this related to our culture and the "progress" of society as a whole. Are we really progressing or just making ourselves happy and fat.
What are your thoughts on this?
I must admit I had to look up the word "chimera".
I had not clue what it meant :o) Now this word girl has one more in her arsenal.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This is his new favorite thing to do. Push his bum up and stand on all fours (and his head). I personally think he is teasing me by showing me he could just get up and walk. But alas, he is sticking to his nature of being nice to his mama and doing one thing at a time.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Your love of nature and the outdoors keeps the rest of us healthy. If you can be outside you will be. I long one day to see you have fields to roam to your hearts content. To fill your treasure box with all the things you'll find on your outings.
I so enjoy your loud belly laugh that gets us all going. Your love of cooking and baking. It's helpful that you like to cook considering how you like to eat!
Though this year has been full of change and growth for you and us as your parents. You truly are a gift from God.
Happy Birthday Isaac!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The real love for me this year is their Grade 1 Reading and Phonics Program. I taught my oldest to read with library books, literature and a few readers. She was reading at 4 1/2 easily. She is very left brained, orderly and responsible. This year I am teaching a very different learner to read. He is a very right brained, spatial, picture based, hands on learner who is on move. He needs short fun lessons. At first I was a skeptic about R&S for reading, thinking it was just another workbook. I have discovered that it uses whole language and phonics combined. Some thing my memory based learner needs in order to read. The straight phonics just doesn't click with him. I also love the discussion all based around a biblical theme. It also has cut and paste activities that go with each lesson. If he can use his hands he will learn! I just discovered today they use a Blending Slide. The consonant is at the top where you then slide down with your finger and collide into the vowel to make two letter blends. This is right up his alley. Colliding anything including letters is a favorite.
I haven't actually used it so I could be all excited for nothing. Still in the planning stage for next year but wanted to share as I make my plans. I love finding something that I think will work for a particular child. That's our job after all. To train and teach them on every level. I'm grateful for how R&S is serving my family in doing that.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Today Eli John was plopped in the chair for his monthly photo except he would not sit still. He has become the squirmiest on the move little boy. I am not sure I got a decent still picture of him but adorable non the less.
He has cut four teeth this past month almost simultaneously. Poor guy has been a trooper. Even though he was a bit grumpy (and rightly so) during the day he continued to sleep at night.
Each time I put him on the floor I fully expect him to simply crawl away. He does every other move but actually put out his hand and go forward. Once he figures that out there is no turning back. My 9 year old has already offered her baby chasing services...at a price of course :o)
Still amazed that this little miracle has graced our life and feel so grateful to watch him grow up.
The pudgy fingers get me every time.