Friday, January 31, 2014

New Things

*1*
Got Football?
You'll be finding me Standing with some greats this week-end!
Happy Superbowl to those of you who care!
 *2*
This was a week of new things. I am blasted from it all but it's a happy dance kind of blasted. The kind of happy that is summed up by Stewart in Kate and Leopold when he tells Kate, "Something big has happened. Something that justifies my very existence." Well, maybe not that big, but it's a good, happy, wonderful thing. I'll tell ya all about it soon.

*3*
Tea or Coffee?
I'll take both, please!
 There's still time to sign up for my awesome Organo Gold give-away!
Hop around and check out the other great java give-aways going on!
Reviews and/or give-aways coming up:
Learn Math Fast
College Books
Lila Rose
Mango Languages
and more...
*4*
This week concluded the 3rd Annual Virtual Curriculum Fair. Four weeks of terrific curriculum brought to you by 28 veteran homeschooling bloggers.
Week 4: The Arts

And mark your calendars because I am co-hosting a week-long FB party
The Homeschool Mother's Soiree!
February 12
 at 9:00pm
 until February 19 at 12:00am in EST -lots of great chat, amazing give-aways and more!
*5*
So, school? We've kind of taken an early winter break, since I can only do so many things at once and I'm already at 140%. Did I mention blasted, yet? So, the kids read and read and read some more and read again. And played legos and with Flower's new playmobile, courtesy of her 11th birthday, and her astute ability to shop on Amazon, and studied a foreign language and played MineCraft and did Perplexors and bugged Feeche to death. All good things.

*6*
You knew that, right?  
*7*
My phone grew up. I loved my little notsosmart phone in it's sweet little pink protective case but new things this week included a bigger, better smarter phone, encased in Israeli flag blue. The camera on it rocks and I've actually figured out how to answer it, text from it, photoshop a picture I just snapped and more. It was smarter than me for a few days, but I think I'm back on top of the intelligence curve. Pshew.

How was your week?

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Authentic Christian Marriage


What makes an marriage authentically Christian? Listen in at KDCR's Finding Your Way program as Dr. Dh and Bethesda Christian Counseling Dirctor talk about it. Do you agree, disagree? Thoughts?
 
What Makes Marriage Authentically Christian

January 30, 2014Listen
January 29, 2014Listen
January 28, 2014Listen
January 27, 2014

​“Our therapist at Bethesda is a major reason why my husband and I are still married.”
 
Listen
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

You Gotta Have Art!


What the VCF is (the short version):The Virtual Curriculum Fair is a month-long blog carnival that posts each Monday throughout January (we do skip “New Year’s” week) hosted by my blogger buddy, Susan, over at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. The idea behind VCF is for participants to give other homeschoolers a peek into what they are really doing with their kiddos that works for them and why.
In case you've missed the rest of the months posts, here they are:
Week 1: Language Arts
Week 2: How to Teach Math, Logic and Patterns
Week 3: World Exploration: Social and Physical Sciences

I'm a closet artist, and a crafter to the core and consider art fundamental to real education. We've done lots of art and music over the years; and it's morphed and changed with regularity given how many kids we've had at home, where we've lived and the resources we've had.
Year end recital
While we love music, play it often, look for more, it's taken more or less a back seat in our lives as far as teaching it. Our older girls took piano lessons for years and then we lost our piano in the fire. We recently discovered Adventus, which can be done on-line via keyboard; piano lessons, reading and games. Good stuff.
We've also had the excellent fortune of being part of a co-op that offered chorale taught by serious musicians, which our kids loved. They know zillions of songs, from silly to profound and sing with regularity.
Art, too, has been mainly handled by capable and wonderful art teachers and co-op, who have done taught amazing projects, crafts and art skills, along with our true blue artist friend, who happens to sometimes offer clay classes.
My contribution is always basic and maybe boring, but drawing skills are what I focus on: Draw Right Now Books, Usborne Beginning Drawing, Bruce McIntyre's Drawing Textbook, et al., Mark Kistler's books and Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain. Drawing is the grammar of all art and my kids leave home with the ability to draw- which is learned, just like Grammar or basic math. It's a foundational communication method, so it's a must do at the Gracious Heart Homeschool.
They all have also felt very comfortable with a paint brush in hand and have created some beautiful paintings.
Cartoons and comics are also de riguer around here and teach so much: the succinct telling of a joke, a good punch line, tropes, editing and humor- all done in 3 stills. That's economy, baby. Bill Watterson, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, is a perennial favorite, along with Charlie Brown and Garfield. See how we love him....


















We garden. Which is not so much about making art, though it is profoundly artistic,  as participating in something bigger than ourselves.


We build stuff. Furniture and walls and door frames, etc. (check out the Tear Down posts to see all of the creative endeavors our house re-build has demanded). Art is more than pencil and paper and our kids have learned how to handle power tools, read directions, follow through and clean up on seriously large projects.
They have learned to Build Furniture, using Ana White's site. And they  have contributed to making something beautiful out of this house
from the bottom: Floors
 
on up: house painting
 
We've been involved in dramatic performances for years; from skits and plays
at drama camp to
 the annual 6 days a week 8 hours a day practice, culminating in a a 2 hour production of a Shakespeare! performance.
 
We've done tons of poetry memorization, including Horatius at the Bridge and the Poetry Outloud Competition.
And, not to forget, local homeschoolers gets together twice a month to go ballroom dancing (jr. high and up). The kids come out in force and dance their hearts out, ending in a semi-formal every year, started by, you  guessed it, other fantastic homeschooling parents!
 
I have big plans every year to incorporate a Great Courses Art or Music appreciation course. Really. But until that happens, I rely on Veritas Press History and Bible Cards to give my kids a great overview of world class art. I'm dying to get my hands on the Memoria Press art cards, too!
 
Join in the fun! How do you incorporate art in your life?
Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as they share how they seek beauty in the world around them!

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Love, Baby!

*1*
It's Friday. WOOT! It's been a crazy busy week; all good, right? My blog world has been rocking. First off, have you signed up for my current give-away? At least $20 of Organo Gold Coffee and Tea and other great OG stuff that will rock your socks off. My friends at work are drinking it and they all feel so great that a cleaning frenzy has ensued! My German Grandmother, whose adage was truly, Cleanliness is next to Godliness, would be proud!
*2*
It's been 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials. 89 of us have teamed up to bring you resources and inspiration, such as

And please stop by some of my terrific Crewbies to see what they have to say:
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses (that's me, y'all!)
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
*3*
Why didn't I focus on curriculum you ask, while talking about Homeschooling Essentials? Because every Monday of this month, I've been participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair, along with 28 blogger buddies: 

This coming Monday, we'll all be talking ART. I'm a closet arteest and this topic is near and dear to my heart. Stop back by for some great resources! 
*4*
I'm co-hosting another great Face Book party - February 13 at 9 p.m. EST, along with Sandra at Learning Little Lovies. What started small has grown and we are busy collecting amazing prizes and resources for you! If you aren't on the Golden Grasses FB page- go sign-up so you don't miss anything! 

*5*
In between it all we did get some school done. Famous Men of Modern Times is our current history read-aloud. I'll be sad when the series is over. We might just start it again! Flower is finished with Saxon 6/5 and about done with Perplexors D and First Language Lessons IV. Man, there is just such great curriculum out there these days! Cub finished Learn Math Fast Algebra I and we are going through Saxon Algebra 1/2 to grab out some of the geomtry stuff. LMF Alg II coming right up! I'll be posting my review of LMF Alg I and II, along with a give-away of LMF 1-IV and LMF 5-6 to 2 lucky GG winners!!
Cub has been reading The Flying Ensign- another fantastic read by Bethlehem Books. Flower is still working through The Samurai's Tale and both of them are cramming in Calvin and Hobbes whenever possible.

*6*
I would share my current GoodRead but I haven't read anything longer than a blog post, training manual or magazine article for weeks. I've watched a few movies, but nothing note-worthy. I need ideas for stuff that is solid fluff- both books and movies. Got anything for me?
Feeche is busy reading, writing and doing 'rithmatic. He is a happy, happy, happy man, deep into college classes.

*7* 
Did you know I was multi-lingual?
Lingua-love- we have a Manga Language review coming up! The kids have chosen languages that are  probably not in the TOP10 of spoken languages world wide, but we are excited to bring you another great review! 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Persevere

So, you have decided to homeschool. You've gotten off the wide and tax subsidized path of government education and have high hopes of providing your kids with academic challenge and excellence, great field trips, travel, intelligent conversation, enough rest, privacy, and maybe, at least, a bit of peace. That's your plan. I love that plan. I think I had that plan once. And then reality hits.


Never Give Up
You get sick, or pregnant, or are sick while pregnant, your kids can't decode a, e, or c and don't want to, the field trips are too expensive or too far away, you are getting constant pressure from nosy neighbors and school teacher relatives to allow your kids the exceptional experiences and opportunities that we all had in school, you realize that you don't know grammar, not much history and want, far more than intelligent conversation, to just be left alone for 5 minutes.

What to do?      
 Be clear on your Purpose, gather Your People, discover your Places, and Develop your Program.

Evaluate regularly and don't get so committed to form that you forget the function of what you are doing- Is homeschooling working and effective? Are there better, more cost effective, efficient, enjoyable ways of doing things?

You will find that homeschooling will take you on paths you didn't even know existed, but you will also find that you are probably far afield from familiar paths and places. You will most likely experience a learning curve, over and over again, as you manage the path, or blaze a trail called, "alternative education." Learning curves often leave you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted and like you know nothing. In those moments, where you feel drained and inadequate, it is easy to want to throw in the towel.

And sometimes, based on your purpose and clear evaluation of the situation, you will want to change directions. There is nothing magical about one method of education over another. All of them demand that you show up, on one level or another, most of them have different goals. Which is why its important to know what yours are.

And once you set them, persevere.

per·se·vere  [pur-suh-veer] 

verb (used without object), per·se·vered, per·se·ver·ing.

1.to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Get with the Program




Get with the Program. It's easy to do if you have one already formulated. I'm an event planner from way back and honestly, love the fun and challenge of creating an awesome event. A fresh home school year is just like putting together one big event, right? And what's the secret to event success? You got it- planning! You have to plan your program. Over planning is better than under planning and attention to details is the difference between mediocre and rock out success!

I've written a whole bunch of posts on planning your program that I hope you take the time to read. Each title is a link that will take you to good stuff!

Photo is loading



 





As I explained in the How to Keep it all Straight post I am a front end load planner and then, once we are go for launch, I'm all about flow. I know from the get-go I've over planned and that we won't get it all done. That's o.k.- it allows for more flex in what inevitably ends up being crazy school days.

I make the most of CD's, DVd's, co-ops, class-days and other helps, that create a richer, broader, deeper educational experience for our family. The homeschooling world is so rich right now, and getting richer by the minute with curriculum, programs, camps and classes. It's really a feast, and our job, as we create a program, is to pick and choose the things that fit with our children's needs, our schedules, our budgets and our vision and mission.

Check out the rest of the of my Homeschooling Essentials series:
Purpose
People
Places

It's so much easier to work a program with a tribe. Please visit my tribe of wild and wonderful Crewbies and read what they have to say about Homeschooling Essentials:

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads

In truth, there are 89 of us writing all week long about Homeschooling Essentials. The complete list is here!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tea & Coffee Review, Hop & GIVE-AWAY!



Welcome to the 3rd annual Tea and Coffee Review Blog Hop hosted by A Year of Jubilee Reviews
Each blogger in the hop is offering a giveaway of something to warm you up during these last few months of winter. Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate are just a few of the great drinks that will keep you toasty warm until we hit spring. Each blogger is offering a prize of a minimum of $20.
Be sure to hope around and check up the great line up!

In case you didn't know, I'm a confirmed addict and I'm not ashamed. Hot tea, cold tea, black, herbal or any other way, I'm happy to drink it any which way, just don't make it sweet! And coffee? Bring it. A bit of coconut milk and honey and I'm good to go. Or just plain old bold, straight up and strong enough that a horseshoe can stand up in it (with a nod to NM living and Hildago). Occasionally, I'll live wild and drink a skinny hazelnut latte. But it has to be mellow and not too sweet or I'll give it to one of my ds's to drink.
For years, I've been testing, buying, brewing and drinking. And when I'm not I'm more tired, more grumpy and just out of sorts. Seriously, I drink coffee for your protection.

Until about 6 months ago. And then our crazy, crunchy local chiro kind of changed my life. For one, I can walk, which is a totally different story but let me sum up how I feel about that;  JOY. Not only can I walk, but I am also off all meds. I've been on synthroid for almost 20 years- the stuff for low thyroid. Not that they helped- they just led to more meds and quarterly blood draws. Let me sum up how I felt about that; SNARL.


Well, on the recommendation of the aforementioned chiro I've been drinking Organo Gold Green Tea since April. I get 2 1/2 quarts out of each teabag and drink it hot, cold and lukewarm. I've never liked green tea. But I LOVE this stuff. It's smooth and a lovely color to boot (which totally speaks to my inner artist, right?). Being the frugalista that I am, I started snooping around the internet so that I could get it for less than I could buy it from him. Guess what? I found out that I could distribute the stuff. So, Dr. Dh and I signed up.

Here's the kicker. My dh is a scholar; owlish, outdated glasses and everything. He's fine with me signing up for stuff, but he's not a signer-upper. He is, however, totally behind this. Because he researched it- like peer reviewed medical journal researched it- has seen how much healthier I am (hair no longer falling out at the speed of sound, long, strong nails, awake in the mornings!), off meds and he is using it himself for issues like killer insomnia. I could go on and on but let me just leave you with some information.
Organo Gold is infused with Ganoderma, which is used extensively in Chinese medicine. Some of the studied benefits:
 
Prevents tissue degeneration and in turn avoids the occurrence of various diseases.
Has anti aging properties and is believed to aid in longevity.
Strengthens the immune system.
Has been found to be effective in the fight against various types of cancer.
Aids in improving blood circulation of the body.
Protects and regulates a number of organs in the body, such as the liver and intestines.
Good for those suffering from high blood pressure.
Useful in detoxification of the body and rejuvenation of the cells.
Has antioxidant properties and helps maintain the metabolism of the body.
Oxygenates the body.
Boosts Stamina.
Packed with over 150 all natural antidioxidants.
Promotes youthful skin (Gano-Derma).
Provides more energy.
Promotes deeper and more enjoyable sleep (adios insomnia!).
Promotes sexual stamina.
 

But listen, you don't have to take my word for it. I'm giving 1 lucky winner a whole gift pack of coffee and tea samples and am even going to throw in some other amazing Organo Gold products. Sign up below to win. You can always go my Organo Gold web-site to check out all of the great OG products, or leavea a comment with any questions you might have!



@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Places


A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place. Part of the appeal to homeschool (for me anyway) is the flexibility and freedom it affords. We have room to have a school room, but the reality is that our wide open floor plan on the main floor is where we usually end up. The laptops rotate from kitchen peninsula to living room to dining room table. School books are stored in bins and a huge desk; math is done at the table, science while flopped over a chair, grammar on the couch together; you get the idea. As soon as the weather hits anywhere above freezing, you'll find my kids memorizing timeline cards on the tramp or reading in the play loft, in the great outdoors, riding bikes and taking long rambles.
In addition to around the house we've homeschooled in a hotel (swim school, anyone), on the road, and at the library. Really the world is our classroom, and we make the most of it. Not to discount books and equipment (read more about that tomorrow), we've gathered supplies, resources, ideas and experiences as we go.

In the past we've traveled extensively along with making a few cross-country moves and each place has its own unique culture and opportunities. I'm the original findcoolthingsforyourkidstodo and some of the obvious places to look are:

Parks- national, state and city; We've walked lava beds and discovered ammonites at the Caprock in NM, watched baby octopii swim in the Tide Pools of Leo Carrillo, looked at the burial mounds at state parks in the Midwest...fun times.
Museums -gotta love 'em.
Science centers- our Girl Scout troop had a week-end overnight at COSI in Cincy every year. Still my fav science museum eveah, but Monterrey takes a very, very close second.
Aquariums - MA, NM and TN- we've visited them all over the country and every one is unique.

Living history re-enactments -Plymouth and DeSmet are my two personal favs.
Farms and Fairs -our local county fair is a Mon-Thurs deal every year, billed as "The Best 5 Days of Summer" - yes, it is.

Sports events-- our friends made an ice-skating rink in their back-yard, which is small potatoes compared to some of the big events at amazing arenas. We also have an amazing Outdoor Center that has several cool opportunities for the kids, and local homeschoolers go ballroom dancing, play ultimate Frisbee and volleyball several times a month.
Library events -we have seen some fabulous dramatic performances and puppet shows at libraries
Performing Arts Centers - We've seen the Nutcracker perform across the country.
Book store events -signing and other fun stuff.
Field trips- hospitals, factories -our fav to date was a tour of the Fire Truck Factory
Art shows/Music festivals - we have a couple of local ones every year- nothing like a yearly sunburn from a musical festival at the end of every summer, right?
Camps- Drama and Shakespeare are yearly go-tos for us. Great stuff.
Clubs and Organized Groups- over the past couple of decades we've participated in Boy and Girl Scouts, Awanas, Lego League and more. Our kids have camped at Philmont, skied, and sat in helicopters, and memorized hundreds of Scripture verses because of some of these programs.
 Homeschool Class Days, Co-ops and Park-Days -art, chorale, science, geography, physical science and chemistry are just some of the great classes we've taken because of the generosity of the homeschooling community. Can't find a group that fits what you are looking for? Start one.
Don't overlook the obvious in your own town. Our city has an amazing sculpture walk, with amazing sculptures all over the city.

Where do you find amazing places to hang out at? Parents and city magazines and newsletters, local FB and homeschool groups, the Sunday paper's "events" pages, friends and other homeschool moms.

Where you homeschool is more than just scheduling a field trip or two, it's about creating a lifestyle of learning, where you engage and interact with the world around you, embracing the place.

It's so much easier to trail blaze with a tribe. Please visit my tribe of wild and wonderful Crewbies and read what they have to read about Homeschooling Essentials:

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads

In truth, there are 89 of us writing all week long about Homeschooling Essentials. The complete list is here!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

How to create a Unit Study

A unit study is a theme or topic that you approach from various angles and resources. Content areas such as History, Math, Science, Bible, and the Arts are better suited for unit studies than skill areas like math and English because these areas must be taught precept upon precept. Of course, there are many fine companies that provide pre-made unit studies, such as Amanda Bennett, Hands of a Child and Beautiful Feet, but, perhaps you’d like to create your own. Here’s how:

1.      Brainstorm your initial topic and get it defined to the point that you can create a course description with objectives and goals. (i.e. my 8 year old wants to learn more about horses, my 11 year old wants to learn more about the 1800’s, my 16 needs a great study on the 20th century for a high school lit/history unit.

2.      Do an internet search/ initial research on your topic and refine as needed, (i.e. define it clearly enough so that it is not so broad that it consumes the entirety of your elementary life, or so narrow that there is not information about it).

3.      Create a reading, movie, T.V. list based on your course description and research

4.      Brainstorm activities and projects, for instance:

1.      dioramas
2.      presentations/short skits
3.      field trips
4.      community experts
5.      cooking/foods
6.      games
7.      posters
8.      oral and written reports
9.      maps/geography
10.  memory work
11.  scrapbook
12.  video/ stop action animation
13.  Blog article (or a blog created to showcase the unit/YouTube
14.  Play mobile / Lego re-enactments,
15.  lap books

5.      Fit the activities and projects that you’ve chosen into various curriculum areas:
 
1.      literature
2.      history
3.      science
4.      math
5.      the Arts (music, fine arts, drama)
6.      phys.ed.

6.      Plan your Study (Create a notebook for your study- you might want to do it again!)

1.      Determine the time for the study- how long will it be, how often will you work on it.
2.      Schedule the resources you have readily available- books, DVD’s, people, etc.
3.      Schedule the projects for the unit –allow enough time for them!
4.      Schedule the reading for the unit
5.      Schedule the memory work for the unit
6.      Schedule field trips

7.      Create a fitting close to your successfully completed unit study like a grand finale field trip or a presentation/reenactment for Dad and Grandparents!
Unit studies are fun for young and old alike and can be either simple (the zoo) or complex (the 20th Century). They are only limited by your imagination!
I’d love to hear about the unit studies that you are creating!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials -People


Got Influencers? I've known a lot of homeschoolers who go it alone. That's so not my style. I'm all about gathering info and people and ideas and possibilities; the more the merrier, you know? I've been involved in alternative education for a while now and one of the best things I've done in that time is to get acquainted with the trail blazers. The mavens who have made being part of this tribe exciting. Need help getting started? My always incomplete list of Educational Influencers will give you a brief intro to some of the finest minds in the world of education.

Got Kids? These are essential to homeschooling, obviously. We talk to our kids about their place in the world and who they are connected to; their people ethnically, socially, religiously. Not in any way so that they think of themselves as better or less than, but so they understand the time and place in which they live.

Got Friends? Park-days, co-ops, class days, Mom's Night Out, curriculum and resource sharing, etc. Like I said, I've known many a homeschooler who has gone it alone. While I'm not a true-blue extrovert, I'm certainly no lone-wolf either. Our lives have been richer, broader and far more diverse because of the people that we've engaged with as we've homeschooled- the educators, bibliophiles, performers and travelers, writers, star-gazers and so many others.

Breathe first. You know the old adage- if the plane is going down and you are traveling with a child, put your oxygen mask on first. If you don't take care of yourself, you are of no use to anyone. Take care of your health; build your stamina, discover resources, outsource when necessary or possible, don't believe the crazies that say if you aren't doing it all yourself you are cheating. We've known folks who've had it all handed them. That's so not been our life. So, we hack our way; improvise, adapt and overcome. It often feels like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but then a life of middle class status-quo wouldn't suit us.

The wild ride is so much more fun with a tribe. Please visit my tribe of wild and wonderful Crewbies and read what they have to say about Homeschooling Essentials:

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads

In truth, there are 89 of us writing all week long about Homeschooling EssentialsThe complete list is here! Enjoy! 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Purpose


Why
are you doing
what you are doing?

One of the Essentials of Homeschooling is knowing why you are doing what you are doing- what is your purpose. Let's face it- schools do teach, there are some great teachers out there, government schools are already paid for and we live in a dual income world. Really, reality doesn't recommend homeschooling. So, why are you Homeschooling? Having a sense of  PURPOSE is every bit as important as choosing curriculum, setting a schedule and other essentials we'll be talking about all week. Without one, it is very easy to lose your way.
Without a vision the people will perish.
You knew that, right?

Some common reasons for homeschooling:
Academics in local school lacking - kids are advanced or behind or lost or don't care.
Kids have  hard time sitting still for long hours every day and you don't want to drug them into submission.
Kids have medical issues
Kids don't fit in, are teased, bullied or have other social stresses
Common Core is confusing, concerning, etc.
Religious instruction in government schools is not congruent with your belief system.
Sex Ed in government schools is not congruent with your belief system.
LD or Gifted child not given adequate instruction, challenge, interaction, guidance or time.
Family has opportunity to travel extensively or are expats
Family lives off grid
Child identity is not integrated into family identity when publicly educated
Child identity is not connected into a culture, ethnicity or religious base when publicly educated
Personal and faith values are corroded in public education
Child's personhood (their individual identity) is devalued by peers in public setting in order for them to maintain standards of the group.

Here's the deal:
you can homeshcool in reaction to the system:  by homeschooling we are protecting our child from x, y or z.
Or

you can homeschool proactively towards something great than the average - we homeschool in order to instill in our kid a, b and c.

It's kind of like the whole milk issue. You can say,"We avoid grocery bought milk because we are protecting our kids from ingesting the Bovine Growth Hormone."
Or you can say, "We buy alternative milk in order to build our children's strength and immune system."

Both statements might be true, but one is about avoidance behavior and  fear while the second is reaching towards a level of health that is challenging and responsive. The first reflects fear, the second reflects faith.

Why be clear on your purpose?
Why make sure that it is pro-active vs.reactive?
Photo: Nearly 2 years ago, I did something I swore I would NEVER do, I joined an MLM company, Organogold.  Since then, I've been laughed at, talked about, asked if I've lost my mind, and a number of other things.  Fortunately, I'm thick skinned and didn't let that affect my dreams. Sometimes you need to stand alone to get what you want. If you feel led to give someone advise about THEIR dreams, please know the facts before speaking. We've been able to help people get healthy, wealthy and grow on a personal level, which are all things most want, but don't know how to get. Now some of those that once thought less of me are joining me.  We're in it to win and help others do the same with what has been one of the most rewarding things we've ever done.
Because when you step off the beaten, wide and well-traveled path you become trail breaker. Trail breakers get exhausted, fight wild animals or legal battles, stumble around in treacherous terrain and sometimes lose their way. A Purpose is your guide, your map and your compass. It will remind you, when the going gets tough- because it will- that you, or someone bigger than you,  knows what you are doing and where you are going.

Here's ours to get you started.
We homeschool in order to give our children a firm foundation-
academically, emotionally, socially, spiritually,
 so that they can be carefree during childhood,
pointed True North all of their earthly days and
 in the presence of the One True Living God for all eternity.

I'll be posting all week long on Homeschooling Essentials- come back every day this week for posts about Planning, People, Places and more!

It's so much easier to trail blaze with a tribe. Please visit my tribe of wild and wonderful Crewbies and read what they have to read about Homeschooling Essentials:

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads

In truth, there are 89 of us writing all week long about Homeschooling Essentials. The complete list is here!

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!