Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seasons of a Mothers Heart - Chapter 8

I am reading Seasons of a Mothers Heart by Sally Clarkson and linking up over at Home With The Boys. Remember you can also follow tweets about the book by using hashtag #momsheart.

I am getting caught up yay!

Chapter 8 - Freedom from Guilt
I know I have guilt and LOTS of it. By biggest guilt is that for 5 yrs I worked outside the home and was not able to truly be the mother I had always hoped. I am trying to get over this guilt daily despite now being at home. The biggest reason this guilt is holding on is because of the discipline issues which I feel stem from the fact that our kids were being raised for the most part by others.

The second guilt I am carrying around daily has to do with me quitting my job to be at home. CRAZY right??? Considering I wanted I wanted more than anything was to be at home! Since being at home I have been feeling very guilty about not being able to provide for the children like I want. Going down to one income has been difficult for us and we are constantly telling our children NO you cannot do that or NO you cannot get that. Because we are now having to provide 3 meals a day instead of 1 or 2 we are not eating as well as I had envisioned. I was hoping that when I was home full time I would be able to actually cook healthy well balanced meals but that has not been the case. Even Christmas is going to be much lighter than normal (thank goodness for my luck at winning giveaways because that is where most of the presents are coming from).

Despite carrying around the guilt's above I am so happy to be homeschooling our children and despite negativity from some I have not experienced guilt when it comes to homeschooling because I know it is right for our family. There are days that have been rough (again dealing mostly with the behavior issues) but because I have a wonderful network of friends both online and not online I am provided daily encouragement, help, affirmation and prayer to raise me up. We started out our year (we are now 12 weeks in) with a routine and schedule of what each day would hold. But over the past 4 weeks that routine and schedule have fallen to the wayside. Because I realized that my children are enjoying learning and learn something new everyday. I have learned that they don't need book and worksheets work everyday to learn. They just need guidance and support. They are each individuals and they will learn differently and at different paces than their peers. We have been doing a lot of reading lately and the children have been choosing to some degree what they want to tackle for the day. If they seem frustrated with something that I have placed before them we move onto something else.  

My Life:
Definitely going to give this a try! Personal application: In your quiet time this week, ask God to show you and burdens of guilt you may be trying to carry unnecessarily. Whatever their sources, use 1 John 1:9 exercise to cleanse your heart and give  you a fresh start on living by faith. 1 John 1:9 exercise: Write down on a sheet of paper any known sins in your life including areas of self-condemnation, judgement, or failure. Then write 1 John 1:9 on the top. Next wad it up and throw it away, claiming the forgiveness and freedom in Christ. 

Quotes and Scriptures that really hit my heart:
-The good news is that you are free in Christ and do not need to be under the Law- or under the yoke of someone's Christian Law. - pg 158
-If homeschooling is indded God's will for our lives, then it is "good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2, NASB) - pg 160
-We tend to carry around man-made rules and regulations because we have been told they will enable us to please God. It is a heavy and unnecessary burden to carry. - pg 161 

Do you deal with guilt? If so how do you get past it?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A week in the life of homeschoolers - Week 12

We had a good week even though it was a very off week due to preparations for our move next weekend. The kids learned and that is what matters most! We will probably be taking off next week because of our move. Most of the homeschool books and supplies are packed and we had to return ALL of our library books.

So here is our week in the life of homeschoolers update week 12!

Monday: We started our United Kingdom Unit Study (click the link to read our review). Gwyn really seemed to enjoy it especially since it is a place her Mommy visited in 1999.

Watching UK YouTube videos
Tuesday: We continued our UK Unit Study and then met an ex co worker for lunch at Applebees. Gwyn learned that they do not sell apples or bees at Applebees.

Drawing favorite Beatrix Potter character.
Peregrine Falcon fact book.
Coloring Peregrine Falcon.
UK books.
Entering Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station codes from book 5 and 6 to unlock special surprises.  Gwyn and I have been reading the series for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for a review in November.
Wednesday: We worked a little on the UK Study but then the kids decided they wanted to do some other stuff. They did color by number, learned a little bit about Native Americans, made Native American headdresses and played educational Wii games. Also Gwyn finished her Zoo Academy workbook and Rowyn did some workbooks.

Filling in places on UK map.
Rowyns color by number. Number and color recognition.
Gwyn's color by number.
Rowyn did some opposite and shape workbooks.
I cannot remember what happened but Rowyn got angry for some reason
and went to his special place under the bed.
Gwyns Native American drawing. We just finished reading Imagination Station - Problems at Plymouth.
The kids made Native American headdresses Gwyn even made Pixiedust one, lol.
My little Indian Chiefs.
Wii schooling. Gwyn played Elmo Adventures, I Spy, and some other mystery guess who done it game.
Thursday: Day off. I had too much to get caught up on with packing, cleaning, etc. Sot he kids built forts and did a lot of imagination play.

Friday: Field Trip Day!!! We went to Yahoo Pumpkin Farm in Jasper, GA. This was the first ever group field trip that I arranged. There was about 30 homeschool kids. We had a blast and the kids got to see some of their best friends. The kids got to experience a hayride through the pumpkin patches, corn maze, pumpkin wagon ride, bounce house and petting zoo.

Kids on hayride.
One of two pumpkin patches. This farm raises a variety of unusual pumpkins.
Peanut pumpkin.
A dear friend paid for Gwyn to ride the pony.
Pumpkin Wagon ride.
Getting lost in the corn maze.
Gwyn posing with my favorite flower.
Gwyn and her best friend smelling a flower they found on the ground.
Saturday:  After Rowyns soccer game (homeschool PE), we went to Michael's to do The Knack craft.

Rowyns coach telling him where to kick the ball.
Making spider t-shirts.

And that is another week in the life of homeschoolers!  Thanks for stopping by!

Seasons of a Mothers Heart - Chapter 7

I am reading Seasons of a Mothers Heart by Sally Clarkson and linking up over at Home With The Boys. Remember you can also follow tweets about the book by using hashtag #momsheart.

Well I am a bit behind with this post. I totally forgot about the introduction to each chapter and thought I was done but then when I went to start chapter 8 I realized I wasn't. I have caught up and read chapters 7 and 8 and now just need to get my posts written. I will warn you now my chapter 9 post will also be delayed because we will be moving into our new apartment next week and there is much to be done.

Chapter 7 -A Touch of Sympathy

Wow I feel like this book was written just for me, lol. We have really been struggling with discipline in our house and both my husband and I tend to react quickly with harshness and punishments. We have tried everything: taking away privileges, reasoning, time outs you name it. But after reading chapter 7 I  have found that we have found that we have not been using the language of sympathy.

Sympathy is a word that comes from Greek and literally meats "to feel with."  Sympathy is simply the willingness to understand and validate your child's thoughts and feelings. In order to show sympathy to your child you must accept and affirm their unique personality that God has given to them. And this is were I have the trouble, especially with my dear daughter. Her personality is very much like mine with the exception of her primary love language (The 5 love languages of children).  She is anxious, artistic, creative, controlling, caring, competitive, OCD, outgoing, perfectionist and talkative. Her primary love language is physical touch and so is my husbands which is a hard one for me to express (visit this link to read more about love languages). I know that providing her daily with sympathy as well as speaking her love language will greatly improve her behavior but boy is it HARD. I am still not 100% sure about Rowyn's personality. He is much like my husband and brother. He is creative, shy, stubborn, teaser and pessimistic. 

I feel that working outside of the home and not getting to spend much time with my children for the last 5 years is one reason their behavior is hard to control.  So we hope that by me now being home it will slowly start to improve once we discover what their needs are, use their love languages and show them sympathy.

All of our recent changes me being a stay at home mom, new job for Ben, finance struggles and an upcoming move have really been taking a toll on us and we are all still adjusting. I also know that Ben's and my stresses rub off on the kids. It is my hope that over the next several weeks things will get back to normal and slow down so we can really start focusing on our family. I know I certainly want our children to "always find a sympathetic mother who is ready at any time to listen, affirm, comfort and guide." pg 144 

My Life:
As always I love these ideas. And I am definitely going to give this a try in the next few weeks. Create a questionnaire that probes likes and dislikes, preferences for living and learning, and hopes and dreams. Make copies and personally interview each child with questions. Summarize any discoveries you make about their personalities.

Quotes and Scriptures that really hit my heart:
-Sympathy is the key that lets me into my child's heart - pg 138
-We don't use their personalities to excuse unacceptable behavior, but we do respond to the behavior with personality in mind. pg 139 - This really spoke to me. Because Gwyns love language is physical touch she loves to be near me all the time, cuddle anytime I sit down on the sofa and constantly hug. Often I react harshly if I am busy trying to get something done or not in the mood to have her hang on me. And I know that is not the way to respond to a physical toucher. That type of response makes things 100 times worse and sends a bad message to her.
-With that wind in their wings, you'll set them free to fly. - pg 141
-Sympathy - This language is made up of words that express interest, tenderness, gentleness, confidence, loyalty, and love. - pg 142

Recommended Reading:
Educating the WholeHearted Child - find out if your child is a Doer, a Helper, a Mover, or a Shaper

 If you have read the book please feel free to share your thoughts!

Passport Geography - United Kingdom - Review and Discount Offer

When I was contacted
by Unit Studies to do this review for the Passport Geography United Kingdom I was so excited because in 1999 I had the opportunity to travel to England, Ireland and Wales with People to People Student Ambassadors. I also visited Australia in 1998 with People to People. We will definitely be doing the Exhibition Australia as some point and who knows maybe Amanda will do a Passport Australia??

(make sure you read the entire way down for a discount code offer)

Here is our group outside of a castle. I am the one in the middle
front row with the puppets, tongue sticking out and silly jester hat.
My children are 4 and 5 1/2 so we reviewed the Scout Level. We are not quite finished yet with the Unit Study because it takes us about 2 weeks to get through them and we are in the middle of a move right now. But we have done enough to share our thoughts. This Unit Study is packed with information and once again covers all areas of learning: math, reading, writing, science, geography, history, art and more. I loved how each day is broken up into categories: scripture, map it, hit the road, VIP, get some culture, see the science, creature feature, family fun project. This new layout made it much easier for us to have a stopping point since one day normally takes us two. Another addition I liked was family fun projects, because of our move we haven't had a chance to do any YET, but we will.

Gwyn working on filling in her UK map.
The kids are REALLY enjoying the videos and we added a few as well like The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter. There is an amazing list of books in the beginning of the Unit Study. My children really enjoy reading books so we did check out several from our library, below is a picture of the books we checked out. And of course the kids watched my personal videos and looked at the hundreds of pictures I took. I highly recommend a map or globe (even though there are several maps included in the Unit Study). The globe helped me to teach them about the time differences and using a flash light (for the sun) they were able to get a visual of how the earth rotates and better understand the time differences. They also enjoyed learning about the different types of food, like fish and chips (eww mommy they put it in newspaper) and scones (need to make a trip to the  store so they can try some). 

Gwyns favorite parts (5 1/2 yrs old):
-Prince and Princess wedding video.
-Learning about the different types of animals. Like Hedgehogs (especially since she got to pet one last week at her Zoo Academy class).
-Learning about castles.

Rowyns favorite parts (4 yrs old):
-Learning about castles.
-Bells at Westminster Abbey ringing.

There are a couple of items I wish were included in the Unit Study like information on the city with the worlds longest name which is in Wales, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (click the link to hear how it is said). And information on the historic Tower Bridge. Also would have liked some information about Shakespeare.

The kids checking out my pictures from the UK.
The cool thing about the NEW Passport Unit Studies is there are two options K-6 and 7-12. Click the link below to take a peek inside the Scout Level.
Take a peek inside the Scout Level (K - 6).

Discount Code: 
For a limited time Unit studies by Amanda Bennett has offered my readers a 50% discount on the purchase of Passport United Kingdom K-12 COMBO PACK, with the code GetUK31 now through 10/31/2011.

I highly recommend any of the Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett. This is the 3rd Unit Study we have done. And we have over 47 Unit Studies, the teacher guide, journal guide and unit studies 101 guide ALL which have been won via giveaways and the Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett Terrific Tuesday on Facebook. If you haven't liked her pages on Facebook or followed her on Twitter I recommend you do so right NOW! You can also sign up for her email list to be notified of special sales. Don't worry she doesn't overload your inbox.

See what other reviewers are saying:
*Disclaimer - Unit Studies generously provided me with a copy of this Unit Study in return for my honest review.Many of the links found on my my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

October 3 in 30 Challenge - Week 3

Well it wasn't a bad week as far as my goals go. Next weekend is the move!

1. Pack, pack, pack - Here is picture showing my progress.

2. Clean, clean, clean the apartment (so we don't get charged any fees from property management company after leaving) - Got more cleaning done but I am going to have to wait do the bulk of it after we have everything moved out. So on Halloween guess what I will be doing most of the day while the kids are at Grandmas and Grandpas.

3. Wake up earlier - Goal time 6:30am-7:00am - Don't even want to talk about it, lol 

View my past goals.

Any encouraging words or suggestions are always appreciated!

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 3 in 30 Challenge - Week 2

Overall it was a pretty good week. I was still driving Ben to work which really cut into our days but I am happy to say his car is fixed so I have a mode of transportation again, yay!

1. Pack, pack, pack - I got about 6 boxes packed.

2. Clean, clean, clean the apartment (so we don't get charged any fees from property management company after leaving) - Got some cleaning done even though I am sure it is going to have to be done again because it is hard to keep things clean with 2 little ones.

3. Wake up earlier - Haven't really been getting up at my goal time of 6:30am-7:00am unless I was taking Ben to work. So no quite time for this momma.

View my past goals.

Any encouraging words or suggestions are always appreciated!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A week in the life of homeschoolers - Week 11

Wow 11 weeks already time is really flying. This week was an off week again because of chauffeuring my husband to work and trying to get things ready for our move in 2 weeks.

So here is our week in the life of homeschoolers update week 11!

Monday: After taking Ben to work we searched for a playground to kill some time at before Rowyn's speech class. GPS's are so much fun, we found a quite park in Canton where the kids played for a about 2 hours. We enjoyed a little nature hike and tried and failed to find a geocache. 

Prior to picking up Ben we read these books.
Tuesday: We learned about Columbus day some more, continued our Fall unit study and made some crafts. The night before Gwyn and  I finished reading Showdown with the Shepherd by Adventures in Odyssey (I will be doing a review on the books at the beginning of November). During the book they discussed catapults so I gave Gwyn a quick lesson on catapults explaining why they were used, when they were used and how they worked. And then we built our very own working catapult.

Trying to figure out what type of leaf it is.
Its a Yellow Poplar.
Practicing his cutting and gluing and shape recognition.
Building a catapult.
Yay it works.
Coloring and decorating a pumpkin.
Learning about catapults.
Apple tree life cycle.
Practicing his name yup he is using two pencils.
A multicolored Christopher Columbus.
The Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria.
Wednesday: It was Homeschool Academy Day at the Zoo for Gwyn. She learned about animal diets and now knows what a Carnivore, Herbivore and Omnivore is. She even got to pet a hedgehog (I was so jealous). While she was at Zoo Academy with her friends Rowyn and I walked around the Zoo with ours. We got to see the new Joey, the Elephants being fed and the Lions (finally).  I think we have seen all the new baby animals at our Zoo now. After the Zoo we visited searched for a playground to visit while we waited to pick up Ben from work (again I love GPS's).

Petting Zoo.
Check out the new Joey. Isn't it cute?
Rowyn and his friend.
Mom I love this new playground.

Thursday: We took the day off so I could pack and clean. Mission accomplished I got 3 boxes packed and got lots of cleaning done.

Friday: We had a SPECIAL field trip. My wonderful husband was able to get FREE tickets at his new job to the Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream show (including FREE parking). It was a total surprise to the kids they had no clue what we were going to see until we were actually in Philips Arena. The kids had a great time and so did I. The show is amazing and if you have a chance to go see it I highly recommend you do. The Rapunzel story was my favorite part. Gwyn liked the end were all the Disney princess's and princes come out. And well Rowyn liked the smoke and pyrotechnics (he is all boy).
Gwyn, Me, Rowyn
Princes and the Frog
Cinderella going to the ball.
Cinderella and her prince.
Rapunzel swinging through the air on her hair.
Finally with all the princess's and princes.
Art lessons with daddy. Learning how to draw faces.
Thanks for stopping by!  
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