Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just a Note

I just finished reading Bartholomew's Passage to the kids for today. I just want to say that where it is a super story (although rather violent at times...there are Roman soldiers) I don't completely agree with all of the devotional aspects. They aren't way off, but they cause me to scratch my head a little. I just wanted to say that. Carry on.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Fun!

I love, love, love Advent. I love preparing our hearts for the coming of our King. I just want to share two books that we are using this season and maybe some of you will find them helpful.

Last year we made a Jesse Tree (I could link it, but if you google it, you'll get a lot more info) very simply. I printed some stuff off-line and we made a poster board tree and simply taped the ornaments on. This year I bought a book called, The Jesse Tree, by Geraldine McCaughrean. It's sort of a story within a story. There is a little boy that finds a grumpy old man working on a Jesse Tree in a church and day after day the boy comes back to hear more of the story and the man's heart'll have to read it to find out. I think we may make our ornaments out of clay. Only a few of them, though. I'm a big dreamer and a small doer, we'll probably color the majority of them. I thought it would be fun if every year we make a few really good ones or find some throughout the year. Anyway...I'm sure you can think of a super fun way to make yours, but I thought I'd share the book.

The other book we'll start tomorrow is called Bartholomew's Passage. The author wrote a book that we really enjoyed last year called Jotham's Journey. Mike and I agreed that it would make a great PG-13's sort of a drama with a lot of live action. Each parent must decide what is suitable, but everyone who was in our home when we were reading this demanded another chapter. We would close it and tell them they would have to come back the next night. The author warns the parent that some sections may be better explained rather than read. It's not a typical Christmas story, but it's good. The author is Arnold Ytreeide. If you have older children, they'd dig it. My kids are younger, but we dig it.

I think that's it. I've got lesson plans to write, a 3 year old in my lap that needs to go to bed...and I think I want some OREOS and milk. Busy night. I pray that this Advent Season finds you making Christ-centered traditions that will bless you and your family for generations to come!

Merry Christmas!

The Amazon link has Bartholomew's Passage and the Jesse Tree

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Enough...

I love what I'm doing. Things are messy. People are starting to raise their eyebrows when we're out. We're learning together. I'm getting FRACTIONS!!! I'm also beginning to understand WORLD HISTORY and see God's hand in it all. I'm listening to Julia read. I'm learning about the Classifications of living things and how to tell a Monocot from a Dicot. I get tired. I get frazzled. HOWEVER...I wouldn't choose anything else given the opportunity. That being said...

Last week we went to the library and then walked out to the park. A woman was there with her granddaughter and struck up a conversation with me. She asked if I was a homeschooling mother and I replied, "I am. I sure love it." She looked as if I had just admitted that I was from planet Mars and here to take over. "Really?" She responded. I told her that I felt as though I was far more efficient with a few kids than with many. She asked if I was a former teacher (she asked since I said that I had "many" and now I have a "few"). I reluctantly told her that I was. I say "reluctantly" because every time I tell someone that I taught they think that I have every right to teach my own children where someone else isn't as capable. I don't think that is true, so I try not to let people find out what I did in my past life. ANYWAY...the next thing she said was, "I think it would take a really disciplined person to do that. Are you pretty disciplined?" I'm not sure if she was just curious, or pointing out some of the "requirements." Here is what I said, "You know, I'm as disciplined as I need to be. God has continued to give me exactly what I need for the stage I am in." I shared that with a woman at the store today who is pulling her children after Christmas and she cried. It was such a relief to her that she was only required to have enough. She doesn't need the discipline required to teach a High Schooler when she has a second grader. We get scared don't we? What will we do about transcripts? What about Calculus? Latin? Parenting a teenager all day??? I'm convinced that God is not a liar. He promises to give me EVERYTHING that I need for life and godliness. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. In His own prayer He teaches us to ask for our DAILY bread. We do not yet need our rations for the years to come. Just today. Just enough.

So, wherever you your laundry plotting against you as mine is? Are your children taking longer to go down for their naps because they are munching their Halloween Candy as mine are? Is your bathroom so raunchy that you feel like "hovering?" I'll not tell you about mine. I'm going to start slow and hopefully by Friday everything will be clean. Until then I'm going to trust that God will guide me to do what is most important and that we will continue to praise Him for being enough.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A peek into my heart.

I was reading through my journal a few days ago and realized that most of my entries start like this, "LORD, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME? HOLY CRAP-THAT IS ME...I AM PRETTY TIRED OF BEING BULLIED BY MY KIDS! OR WOULD YOU PLEASE KEEP MY HORMONAL TIRADES TO A MINIMUM OR GET RID OF THEM ALTOGETHER?" There was one that reminded me of why I do what I do. I hope that it encourages you today.

August 26, 2009
Sweet. Just plain sweet. The days that I spend in our home are like honey to me. The playing, the reading-the joy of being with them. Keep me here, Father. I know that all too soon the Little People will be but a memory. Polly Pocket's plastic clothing will no longer be littering my living room. There will be bigger people with different toys-going places. They will not always live here. They will not always fill my days with endless chatter and mind-numbing clamor. I-SPY Bingo will not always be the first choice game and baby dolls will be put to bed for the last time. Let me not mourn for this time once it has passed. Allow me to look back with great joy and content that I did, indeed, wring out every ouce of life from these days. Then I pray I will turn my face to the future and look with much anticipation to the years to come. Remind me that I do not stop giving my life away when these 3 step from here to where you have called them. Until I see your face in Glory I am not finished. Please remind Mike and I that the harvest field is ripe. Thank you for the absolute blessing that these days are to us. Thank you for a little house that doesn't require much time to maintain. Thank you for using us where we are. You are good and your love endures forever. Thank you for every good and perfect gift that you have given me.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Best Day

So, confession. I borrowed my sister's Taylor Swift CD and it is currently playing in my van. Confession #2, I like it. Confession #3 one of her songs made me cry...twice. I have shared before on my other blog how I like teeny bopper type stuff. I like the Disney Channel movies and sometimes I like the music. Today I was listening to said CD and the song "The Best Day" challenged my heart.

It is very easy to move into and stay in, Command Mom Mode. Like, "pick it up, put it back, bring it here, sit down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton!" You know just barking all day long. "Finish your Language, focus on Math, don't pick your nose (or anyone else's). We need to get this done. Get in the car, buckle up, get out, stay on the white line, follow close, hold the door"...oh my goodness I could go on and on! I know that I need to be training/discipling my children, but this song reminded me of the importance of loving my children well. I am the only person that is with them everyday. Do they enjoy my company? Would they say that any day they have spent with me is the "best day?" Would they choose me or someone else? I know I don't need to be their best friend, but I do need to allow them to enjoy their days.

I asked myself, "Am I laughing with them? Am I singing? Using my words to encourage? Am I seeking opportunities to step into their world? How am I spending our time together?"

As a homeschool Mom, I know that I have a great deal of control. I pray that I would use it wisely and that they would be blessed by spending their days with me, and that I would count it a blessing to spend my days, the best days...with them.

May today be one of "The Best Days" of your life.

The Best Day lyrics
Songwriters: Swift, Taylor Alison;
I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he's better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not a Creature is Stirring...

Today was the first day of our co-op. What fun we had!!! We are members of a Classical Conversations Community here in Augusta and what a gift it is! I am a tutor and it feels good to sort of be back in the classroom again. The only difference is that I only have 8 children, once a week, I'm introducing material, one parent must be in the room at all times and I love what I'm teaching!

God has made me as a teacher. I love coming up with little games or jingles to teach the memory work and it is so sweet to have my very own Julia in my room with me. I wonder what she thinks about me as a teacher. I'm sure she sees a different side of me. She seemed to have a good time. I was whipped to say the least! I slept for about an hour and the kids are still down.

I could cry. Really. When God began us on this journey 4-5 years ago, I wasn't sure how it would look. I knew that obeying God beat disobeying and I certainly wanted to disciple my children. The other night I told my husband, "I see where we are headed and I like it." That is only because of His grace. Surely He can be trusted. Surely His plans for our lives are good. Surely I can look at the future with great anticipation because He is leading us there by His rod and His staff. He is my sweet, sweet, Lord and for whatever reason He has given me these children to spend my days with. I tell my kids as much as I can, that there isn't another way I'd rather spend my days. Really. The laundry, the lunches (I really don't like fixing lunch everyday) the mess that my house seems to stay in because people live's all because of the privilege I have in discipling my children.

So, it's official. We are in a co-op and we are doing this thing! We are really doing it! We've taken matters into our own hands...and placed them in the Father's care.

He is so good. I am so unworthy, my only response is praise.
Thank you Father.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What are we doing???

I am very excited about this year. Anson is officially in a "home study program" and I'm thankful that God has made things clear to us and we'll start this year with some ease. I'd like to share a little bit of what we're using and why in the hopes that it will help someone else as much as other people have helped me.

Anson is beginning the first grade. Many of these selections are higher or lower than that, but that is one thing I love about this homeschooling gig! You can do what you want! So, here it is:

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, the Second Grade section
I love this because I feel as though it covers all the basics in a no-nonsense matter. I can add to it if I want to make it fluffy (which I usually don't). It's cost effective. I paid $19.95 for a hard bound copy which includes First and Second Grade. It is non consumable which means for all 3 kids it's able to be used. We did the First Grade section last year. It is scripted, which I like because I want to make sure I teach the kids all they need to know in this area.

We have been using Sequential Spelling and where I'm not crazy about it, it's getting the job done. I don't give Anson all 25 words a day, we'll probably work up to that, but I like how it builds on words that the child has learned. If he misspells a word, he rewrites it correctly and we move on to the next word. Again, pretty no-nonsense. We did use Spelling Workout at the beginning of last year, but I didn't love all.

Several years ago I read a review on Miquon Math and thought, "That's what I think is best for us." I never changed my mind. We started with Cuisenairre Rods and a super Idea Book last year, and it flowed right into Miquon Math. I lack confidence in the math department, so my husband was invited to help out here and he added Singapore Math. I think we'll be ahead right now, but we're still going to do the easy stuff to be sure that a smooth transition is made and when Miquon is finished (it only goes to the third grade, to my knowledge) we'll have a math program we are used to.

For art, history, science and music we'll be using the materials from our Co-op. This is our first year for a Co-op, but I heard of this one several years ago, and never wanted to look any further. It's academic and LOTS OF FUN!!! The resources are easy to use and everyone has been enjoying the memory CD. Ella's favorite part is chanting the Latin declensions! Seriously! Pretty simple, I think. It leaves plenty of time for making beds, cleaning bathrooms, dress-up, playgroups, parks and of course...LEGOS!!!

So, many people ask me, "What do you do with the girls while you are schooling Anson?" them, too! We don't call it "school" we call it "table time." Everyone bellies up to the table and everyone has something to do. Julia is currently learning how to read using the same book I used with Anson. While Julia is reading, Anson is working on his copywork. (I guess I forgot that. For handwriting he is copying hymns. Just a few lines a day.) Ella is playing with magnets or felt, or whatever I have put in the "table time" basket for her to choose from. When Julia is finished usually the girls may be excused and they play while we're at the table. Some days they'll sit at the table the entire time. If they get crazy, they come back to the table. Ella and I play games and read books. Table time, on average, takes about 1.5 hours.

We're always reading a book. We've been spending time on the prairie with Laura and Mary Ingalls and we LOVE them! I have also been introduced to Little Britches written by Ralph Moody. We'll start that series when we are finished with the Little House Series. I also try to include a biography for the kids to get fired up about missions. We've read David Livingstone and Mike is reading John C. Paton who was a missionary in the South Seas. I have to remember to read books on Ella's level too, that would be easier if I didn't carry a fine at the library!

I think that's it. We are pretty intense about a few things so that our days are not consumed. I know that in time our days will be much longer, and when those days come I know I'll be thankful that I didn't rush them!

This year we may work on a few lapbooks. I've been very interested in them for a while and may get one or two from In the Hands of a Child for the girls to work on throughout the year.

Last year I had the privilege of listening to Leigh Bortins speak and asked her what advice she would give to a new mom. Her response, "The words of C.S. Lewis, ' Teach less, more thoroughly.' " I think it's fantastic advice! I'll try to keep everyone posted!!!

Mike's Garden

I still get nervous being passionate about homeschooling. I know that God has not called everyone to it, but He has called me and I know that if I'm not passionate, I'll never last. I want to share what we're doing this year, our curriculum and schedule, but first I want to share a quick story.

Mike has a garden. He has loved this garden well. At the beginning I got nervous because I thought I was going to have to be responsible for the garden and everything else...not so. It is Mike's garden. He has done a great job. He has learned a ton and we've enjoyed some fresh veggies in the process. One of the main things he has learned about are squash vine borers. These nasty little worms are the larva (or does that need an "e"? larvae) of a moth that lays it's eggs on the vines and when they hatch they bore their way into the vines and eat it. You can't see them. Mike has to look for their "signs." I know when he's about to do "surgery" because he puts his gloves on and then asks when dinner will be ready...he knows he'll be a while.

Alright...for the middle two weeks of July we were out of town and we had our neighbors taking care of our garden. Our neighbors have had their own gardens before and are extremely kind and we knew that they would take good care of the garden. We came home after 2 weeks and everything was still alive and we even had a pumpkin! To the naked eye, all was well. After we unpacked, Mike headed out during the remaining minutes of daylight to inspect his mistress (that's what I call it because when he's not with me, he's with her). There wasn't time to do surgery until the next day, but he knew surgery would be imperative. The vine borers were having Thanksgiving dinner!

The next day, sure as the world, he was with her and digging out so many of these little pests that he says he lost count. I thought, "That is why we homeschool." We entrusted our garden with a very kind man who knew about gardens, but he doesn't love our garden like Mike does. He wasn't going to spend hours carefully removing worms from the inside of the vines. We didn't expect him to, either. That was our job.

I told Mike, we homeschool because our kids have vine borers. There is crud in their heart that is naked to most. We love them and have a vision for their lives that God doesn't just give out to anyone. He gave it to us. We are the ones that are responsible for carefully inspecting their hearts being careful that the sin that can so easily entangle does not have time to eat them from the inside out. We are not crazy. We know there is sin there. We are not keeping them from school to keep them away from sin...if that were the case, we'd have to kick them out of our house cause' it's here too! We are all too aware of their sin and desire to check on them daily. We don't just want them to be alive, we want them to be alive with the ability to produce fruit(or veggies in this case).

So, with that picture before me, we start our year. I'll do that separate...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's Just Too Short...that's why.

So, tonight I had the privilege of being included in a Graduation Celebration. A little boy (now young I nannied for many moons ago finished high school and will be moving on to college. I started keeping Aaron and his sister, Andrea, when they were 4 and 6. I didn't keep them for years or anything, but the time that I did spend with them was sweet, and created a lasting friendship. As I looked at his little pictures and watched him grow through the years I was that much more convinced of what I'm doing.

It was only 13 very short years ago that I spent a few days with them at the beach. It was only 13 short years ago that we pretended my Geo Metro was a racecar and sang Sugar Beats at the top of our lungs. Now, he's finished. Graduated.

My children sat there eating cake and taking bags full of candy from Aaron's grandmother and I just thought...they are next. As we put them to bed I wasn't as irritated with all of the clutter. The baby dolls, the clothes, the Little People, books, socks, random won't be here for long. Anni's bookshelves no longer hold the books and toys that they held when I was there. They hold picture frames and beautiful shells. There are no Lego pieces littering her living room. No pictures of stick figures with "Julia" written all over them. It's all tidy. All clean. All finished. Anni is an INCREDIBLE mother and is in no way "finished" with her parenting. I have learned a tremendous amount from her and will continue to, I'm sure. This summer she is meeting Andrea in Paris while Andrea finishes her study abroad, Anni will meet her there and they'll explore together. She is in a new phase.

I just think of when my house will stay clean. No crumbs on the floor. No trips to the potty whenever we are in a new place. I'm sure it will be a sweet place. A sweet phase of life, but so is this.

When people confess that they couldn't spend all day with their kids, my heart breaks. I don't want to spend my days with anyone else. I want to wring this time out. I want to laugh and cry and sing and dance...with them. Then, when we have a party to celebrate their graduation, I'll be ready for the next stage. I'll be excited. I'll be thankful that I enjoyed it all.

Homeschooling will provide my children with a better education. (Yea, I said it.) They will have amazing opportunities. They will, I pray, graduate with passion and purpose. Those are all great things, but above all of these is Love. I pray that they will love one another. Love Mike and myself, but most importantly Love Christ the Giver of all good gifts. He gave me 3 good gifts (4 if you count their Dad) and I'm homeschooling them because life is simply too short.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Expert...what expert?

So, my grandiose ideas for this blog have been humbled. I have not posted since February 2nd because, well, um...I HAVEN'T BEEN SCHOOLING!!! Now, please understand that we haven't "reported" to the state yet, this was a dry run. I'm not neglecting anyone at all. (Please don't make me brag on how amazinginly ahead my brilliant children are anyway!!!) I have just had to take a breather.

January 19th we had our first day with our godson, Falon. To say that it was a difficult transition would be a gross understatement. I couldn't figure out why I was so in knots everyday and why I just wanted the day to end before my feet even hit the floor. Wanna know why? I had taken on too much! I asked the Lord (FINALLY) what I was doing wrong and He made it clear that I could stop "formally" homeschooling until the summer. What a difference that made. Do you know what we did instead?

We started our days with devotions. Mostly. We read books. We've worked puzzles. We've memorized passages. We've struggled to love well. Adjusting to another person that hasn't grown up with us has not been easy. Are there ever times when you think since it's hard you must have made a mistake? The last several months have been like that. However, the Lord reminds me that He is working out our salvation. He is concerned not only with the condition of my heart, but my children as well. They needed to be stretched beyond themselves. They needed to share their stuff. They needed to share their life. Most importantly, they needed to like it. I told the children we were going to finish this well. We were going to love as Christ would have us to, with His power, and in the end we'll be more like Him. I guess that's some pretty great stuff. Some pretty good schooling, from the school of hard knocks. Learning how to love those that you wouldn't ordinarily love. I guess that's more than Language Lessons could accomplish. I suppose that's character training...more like life training.

So, as I arrogantly consider what a "Classical" education is and why we have chosen to use that method I am reminded of the real reason we are doing this. Aside from God himself making it clear, it is my heart's desire to disciple my very own children. I want to invest in them, share my life with them, the good, the bad and the crazy(there is alot of crazy!). Whatever method we choose, the goal is the same. So, for any of you who happen upon this and you are kicking the tires, please know that the "how" is important, but it's not everything. God is going to accomplish great things if we simply obey(whether we follow our "method" to the T or crash and burn). That's what we are doing. Obeying. I haven't loved every minute of it...but I love what it's doing in me.

Until next time...

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Reason...An Idea

Today was fun. We did the grocery store, Jump City and Chick-fil-A...all four kids...and our super friends the Graham Fam! Julia and Haviland worked out a plan that they could play at Haviland's house, even if all they were doing was folding clothes. As we were leaving Julia says, across the restaurant, "Bye Ella, I'll miss you!" I'm sure that they could have close relationships if they weren't together all day, but I love, love, LOVE to see the relationships among my children grow into such sweet blessings. So, that's one reason why I love homeschooling...relationships.

The next funny thought I had was this; I could totally teach from the J. Peterman catalog! If you have never read it, or think it is a fictional catalog from Seinfeld, you are in for a treat! Here is a little sample. I love the description and the imagery...taken from the Carnival 2009
" Vittorio saunters out into the warm spring day and heads for the office, an outdoor cafe near the Piazza Signoria. Wraparound Fendi sunglasses. Copy of Corriere della Sera. This jacket.

He pauses at the corner to purchase a rose from the ancient gypsy woman, a notorious former pickpocket, inserts it into the buttonhole of his lapel. 'Grazie, signore.' Once he is seated at his usual curbside table, he will pretend to read the paper all afternoon, pausing only to listen silently when an occasional Vespa driver pauses to say a few words to him.

It has been suggested that he communicates back by his eyebrow gestures and the number of cuff buttons he leaves undone."

It might just be me...but I love reading this catalog. It may not make it into the "Great Conversation" but I think it sure makes for great conversation! Not too much meat today, just a picture of what goes on in my head! Anyone know of a co-op looking for an "out of the box" writing program? HA!

If you want to sport Vittorio's jacket, it will only put you out $229.00

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Honestly, yesterday, I would have rather read a book on homeschooling than to actually do it! I don't know if it's the weather, a new scenario in our home (I just started keeping another child) or what...but I just wanted to do something else! This brings me to the name of our school...

Harvest. Classical. Academy. The Classical and Academy just state what we do. We learn classically, but the Harvest part. That is what we are hoping for. There are two passages of scripture that we pull this from. I'll share them with you and explain a little bit about our desires.

The first verse is found in Galatians. It reads, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest of righteousness if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 This is hard work. When I realize that this is it...we are in this for the next several years, some days I could cry. Other days I can't imagine doing anything but pouring my life into my three little gifts. My hope is that in time, there will be a reward. The reward will be that we have trained our children to know, love, and serve our God...and see them do it on their own. I can imagine no greater "graduation present" than to see our kids fired up about giving their lives away to further the Kingdom.

The next passage is found in 3 of the gospels, we'll look at Matthew 9:36-38, "When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" There is a need for godly men and women to be launched into the harvest field. I think homeschoolers get the, "Don't you want them to be witnesses?" To which I think most of us reply, "YES and AMEN!" We are not trying to shelter our kids, we are trying to prepare them.

So, that's what we're about. Training our children to know, love, and serve God so that in time they will be the laborers that Christ asked us to pray for.

A few weeks ago we heard a sermon on the passage in Matthew, and on the way home I said, "Mike, I think those points are our mission statement!" When Jesus saw the crowds his heart was moved with compassion and he then asked for hands that could go and work the harvest fields. I haven't talked to the speaker yet, I'm sure he won't mind if I borrow his's our mission statement:
Harvest Classical Academy
Asking God to give us eyes to see, hearts to feel and hands to work.

Or something close to that! So, that's it for now. I'm reading a super book by Leigh Bortins and I'll explain that "Classical" part soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Journey Begins

"Babe, read this! This makes so much sense. It's just teaching kids the way they naturally learn. Listen to this..." I went on to explain the Trivium. This was roughly, gosh, 8 years ago. We were members of a small PCA church in Valdosta and one of the members was wanting to start a Classical School. Knowing that I was an educator, she handed me the information and asked me to read it and tell her what I thought. I was astounded! My mind was a flurry with all of the information. The words were all new to me and I wanted to learn more. That was the beginning of the journey.

Fast forward a few short years to 2002 and I am now a Children's Ministry Director and the proud mother of one smart baby! The Lord began to refine and define the roles that I would play in my home and I ended up quitting as the Children's Director to be a full-time wife and mother. I knew I wanted to give my life away to my children and my husband. I knew that we would be to figure out what that meant!

Having had the information still floating around in my head, I began to do a bit of investigating. I spoke with other women who were homeschooling, asked what method they used and when they did laundry and grocery shopping...just sort of probed around. I knew we had some time before school would be required, so I settled on the decison to homeschool and enjoyed Anson.

As Anson got older and we got to have more children I needed to figure out what direction we were headed. If you are new to the homeschooling scene, the amount of information can be absolutely overwhelming. There are words and acronyms that you don't know. People throw around names that you've never heard and usually the names are the names of dead people who wrote articles that are published in books that you've never heard of!

One mother knew I was pretty set on following a Classical model and recommended a book called The Well-Trained Mind written by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. I borrowed it from the library and devoured it...well, all of the parts that pertained to's a pretty big book! The explanations were clear, the schedules were helpful, I was sold. Classical it was.

Something began to nag me a little, though. How was I to infuse Christ into all of this. The goal in educating my children was so that they would learn everything as it pertained to Christ. Our desire is that our children would have a Christian Worldview. So, big book number two showed up on our doorstep. Teaching the Trivium by Lauri and Harvey Bluedorn was what I needed. They are a little more extreme in some areas, but their expository on Deuteronomy was compelling and they gave the Biblical Perspective that I needed. So, I landed in a gray area. Jessie Wise is a professing Christian, her book is written for everyone. It's nuts and bolts...what I need! The Bluedorn's have an article on their website titled "Ten Things to Do With Your Child Before Age Ten." It took me a while to work through it, but I found it to be quite liberating. I didn't want to start "teaching" necessarily. This gave me somewhat of a guideline to follow.

So, last year was our first homeschool conference and Anson is in kindergarten, but not really! I took this year as sort of a "test run". This year was more about me learning the balance than it was about my children learning anything. They all have late birthdays, so we sort of get an extra year before they are required to be reported as "in school."

This is a long post, I think the first few will be. I would like to break down what a "Classical Model" is for those that are curious...on the next post. I want to share the story of our name and what our curriculum choices are. I want this to be a place where I can ask questions and be asked questions. I want my friends who are curious to be able to read and not think that I think they want to homeschool...but you can check out what I do. I would also like to help those who are new and fear failing...relax! I heard a seasoned homeschool mom say the other night, "Don't be afraid of already have! That's what Christ is for!!!" I also want our family to be able to check in on us and feel like they are informed and involved in what we are doing. I have asked Mike to contribute every now and then for the Dad's and I think a "What do you do? Wednesday" would be a fun way to share little secrets and tips that work for us and may help others. I just want to share and feel like I'm giving and not just taking, cause there is a lot out there that I've taken from!!! I'm going to challenge myself to figure out sidebars and favorite links and pictures of books and all sorts of stuff...all this while still priortizing my family...God help me!!!

So, you know how we got here, next I'll tell you where here is and what happens next! I look forward to sharing this journey and meeting new families that we can meet and encourage along the way.

Thanks for reading this...I write how I talk...until next time

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Here we are...Harvest Classical Academy...I can't wait to share with you all.