WHAT? Two Weeks in a Row!

My goal is to post once a week this year….and I’ve met my goal twice so far – woot, woot!

  It’s so much fun to look back at old blog posts and see how much the boys have grown, the fun activities that we’ve done, and how far they’ve come since we started homeschooling five years ago!

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This week Ryan and I have been reading some amazing allegories from a book called Kingdom Tales.  What’s an allegory you may ask🙂 :

al·le·go·ry
ˈaləˌɡôrē/
noun
noun: allegory; plural noun: allegories
  1. a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Don’t worry if you needed to refresh your memory – I did too🙂 !

I didn’t read Kingdom Tales with the boys back in 2011 because they were so young and it was a bit over their heads, but Ryan and I are really enjoying it so far. It’s been fun trying to find the hidden meanings.

We’ve also been studying the ins and outs of maps, ecosystems, and biomes.  We started Language Arts this week and will add General Science to Ryan’s load next week.  Then he’ll be up to full speed for the year!

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Brendan started classes at Arete on Tuesday (Chemistry and Spanish 3) and had fun seeing all of his buddies.  So far, so good with MFW’s U.S. History to 1877! This week, he is learning about the early explorers and said that it was “actually pretty interesting”  – LOL!

For the next 12 weeks, I have the privilege of teaching Brendan a lesson every Friday from Thinking Like a Christian (helping students to develop and understand a Biblical worldview in response to the culture that we live in). We got to sit on the screened porch this morning since it was so beautiful outside.  I love fall!!!

Here are a few of our activities from last week:

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Learning how our worldview impacts every part of our lives:

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An activity demonstrating that the Bible is as current as today’s newspaper!  It relates to ALL areas of life.

I hope that you all enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

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Here We Go Again (2016-17)!

We have almost made it through our first week of school – yay!!!  Brendan is in the 11th grade and will be completing My Father’s World – U.S. History to 1877 (Bible, Language Arts, and History/Government), Economics (a Dave Ramsey course), Spanish 3, Algebra 2, and Chemistry.

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He is loving his job at Chick-Fil-A and the freedom of driving!  We have a busy fall ahead including three different college visits : Liberty University, VA Tech, and VCU.  Can you  believe it???

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Ryan is in the 8th grade and will be completing Exploring Countries and Cultures, Pre-Algebra, Language Arts, General Science, Guitar, and we are working on a P.E. option.

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For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, this will be Ryan’s second round of Exploring Countries and Cultures.  His first time was in the third grade – he was so little (and super CUTE)!

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As an 8th grader, he will complete the whole program again with extra reading assignments and literature studies, additional science, and detailed research/country reports.

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Since I will only technically be teaching Ryan for one more year (he’ll be mostly independent in high school) and because he wanted a change, our schoolroom is now downstairs:

So far it is working out great!  It’s nice to not have to trek up and down two flights of stairs when doing science experiments or outdoor assignments.

Some of the assignments so far are a bit young for Ryan, but because we are easing into the school year and because I know how much hands-on-learning and nature studies stick, we are still doing some of them!

This year Ryan and I will be specifically studying missionaries and the countries that they serve.  We are SUPER EXCITED to have two sweet friends who left to serve in Lesotho, Africa this past Tuesday!  It’ll be exciting to be able to learn more about the culture and people groups that they will be working with over the next two years.  Tyler and Rachel are an amazing young couple from our church and you can follow their journey also on their blog:  https://glorifyingsteps.com/ . I know they would cherish your prayers also!IMG_9669

Well, that’s it for now.  I’ve got to run and prepare lessons for tomorrow!  I promise that I’ll try to keep up with blogging better than I did last year.  Thank you for reading and following our family’s adventure of homeschooling!

My prayer for the year:

Colossians 2:2-3

 My goal is that Brendan and Ryan 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.

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Time for a “Pick Me Up!”

Do you feel tired? Unmotivated? Weary? Worn down?

Me too!

By this time of the year, I am DONE.  Like “stick a fork in me, I’m done” kind of done.

I’m ready to just sit by the pool, spend time with friends, go to the beach, read books (just for fun), and enjoy summer.

I don’t want to think. Or worry. Or plan. Or do much of anything for that matter🙂 !

Thank goodness for the HEAV convention!

I don’t know how I’d survive without the encouragement and rejuvenation that I get each year. 

And guess what? 

It’s only three days away!!! 

Every year, I am reminded of why we do what we do.  Of how blessed I am to spend the days learning with my kids.  That I have the time to focus on the boys’ passions and can use those to teach different subjects and skills.

  That I don’t have to know everything or how to teach each subject.  There are so many resources out there for homeschooling families!  I love that I can delegate high school classes like Biology and Spanish to teachers who are gifted in those areas.

But most of all, I am so thankful that HEAV reminds my of why  we do what we do.  That God has called our family to educate at home and that he will be with us every step of the way!

Every year I leave convention refreshed and ready to take on another year.  I get re-energized and excited about this amazing adventure of homeschooling.

I am reminded that with HIS help, we will make it through another year…but let’s not talk about that yet- at least not until August🙂 !

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A few notes (and exciting news) about convention:

Stop by the Character Concepts booth in the vendor hall to receive a FREE book, Home Educating with Confidence (a $13.95 value)!!!

The college fair will have representatives from over 30 colleges this year!

 

How to Survive a Homeschool Convention!

You’ve registered for the convention…now what???  Does the thought of wandering up and down endless booths of books, materials, and curriculum make you feel “tied up in knots”?

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Well, it’s time to make a plan:) !

Many conventions are large (including the HEAV convention) and can be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to prepare in advance.  I’m going to share some tips and “tricks of the trade” that I ‘ve learned over the years.

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1.  First, take the time to pray.  Pray about how God is directing your plans.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as you and your spouse make decisions about the upcoming year.  Pray for your children.  Just pray!

2.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking!  Bring a sweater or jacket as many of the conference rooms are chilly.

3.  Take a few minutes to look over the map and schedule after you check in.  Circle or highlight the sessions that you don’t want to miss and plan other activities such as shopping, meals, etc. around those sessions.  Interested in learning about healthy living or dealing with teenagers? This year HEAV has a link where you can search for sessions/topics that interest you!  Check it out here.

 Many times there are way too many wonderful sessions that I want to go to and not enough time, so I usually purchase HEAV’s Convention MP3 while I’m at the convention for a discounted price.  Then I don’t feel rushed or stressed out because I’m missing an amazing speaker!

*Click HERE for the HEAV Convention schedule and start planning!!!*

4.  Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  I actually carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  I also print off my registration confirmation, map of vendor hall, etc.

5.  Bring a  (durable) rolling cart to carry all of the wonderful goodies that you’ll be buying!

6.  Decide on a budget and stick to it!  Try not to make any purchases on the first day (unless you are 100% sure it’s something you need).  Take time to shop around at different vendors to find the best price, or even better – see if you can find the item you’re looking for at the Used Curriculum Sale!

7.  Print off labels with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  Many vendors offer prizes or the chance to sign up for more information…instead of filling out all of those forms by hand, you can just stick a label on it and move on saving yourself lots of time!

8.  Take inventory of what items you already have at home, what products/curriculum that you need, and a wish list a few weeks before the convention.  I usually research items online beforehand and write down prices so I have a basic idea of how much things cost.

9.  Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks to help keep your energy up.

10. Enjoy your time at the convention!  Soak up lots of encouragement, make new friends, be inspired, gain wisdom, feel uplifted, get prepared for next year, and HAVE FUN:) !!!

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Less than FIVE weeks to go – WOO, HOO🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hunting for Treasure

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Ryan and I had the amazing opportunity to go to Morefield Mine last week.  It has been on my field trip “bucket list” for years, but we had never made it out there.  I hesitated for a minute when we were invited, worried that Ryan might think it was too childish…and he did, but only for a minute or two.  Before I knew it, we were both digging and searching for treasures🙂 !

And since then, I’ve been thinking.

It was so much fun hunting for the minerals and gems, anticipating that moment when we might find “the big one.”  I could’ve stayed out there digging all day (if my 42 year old back and legs weren’t aching so bad-LOL).

I love discovering new things and learning.  I can spend hours searching Google for a topic that interests me.

So I wonder why it’s so hard to find that same passion when it comes to God’s word.

I go through ups and downs in my walk with Christ.  Sometimes I love studying my Bible…sometimes, not so much.

I think it’s because of several reasons:

1-Many times when we read God’s word we are convicted of sin in our lives, and that doesn’t feel great.  It makes us uncomfortable.  We may be called to make a change in our behavior or step outside of our comfort zone.

2-Studying God’s word isn’t easy. It takes real effort.  We can’t just Google the answer and come up with page upon page of easily accessible information, pictures, or instructional videos.

3-There are so many distractions around us.  There’s the never-ending to-do list, the “dinging” on our phone telling us that somebody just posted on Facebook, the TV or radio blaring in our ear, the needs of our family and friends, the service or volunteer opportunities…the list is endless!

But check out what God promises us:

 He promises that we WILL find Him! 

That is a guaranteed WIN -what an AMAZING God we have!

I am excited to be  starting a new Bible study tonight: 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ, by Jen Wilkin.  We will learn how to dig deep into God’s word, studying the scriptures verse by verse.

I’m hoping that this new study will put that spark back into my quiet times…that I will truly seek Him with all of my heart.

Here’s to finding true treasure!!!

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