Thursday, August 29, 2013

Homeschooling Goals and Schedule 2013/2014

I have been reading, researching and organizing for our new year. Two years ago we wrote goals and made a schedule, I found it invaluable. Last year I just kind of coasted through with what we had from the year before but I really wanted to start this year fresh and inspire the kids. 

I have been doing lots of reading to get ideas and inspiration for myself. Some recent favorites. 

I also read Unglued for a second time over the summer to help me set goals on joy and peace! All this investment has paid off because I am felling really encourage about our year. 

 I used Mangers Of  Their Homes format to create a daily Schedule. I decided to not put in times but rather uses blocks of time. That way if we need to be flexible I can just let them know what block we are on. We have already implemented this style and it seems to work really well for us. 

We had a family meeting and had the kids tell us what they liked about last year and what they wanted to change. We all so set goals as a unit and individually, it was a powerful time! 
Here is our family mission statement that I recently put together.

*I got this question list for Abundant Life and found it really helpful in preparing our goals*

Why are we homeschooling?

To be able to influence our kids by having a strong relationship with them and encouraging them to have a strong sibling relationship with each other. Training them in character issues. Freedom to customize our school year calendar and curriculum Avoiding negative peer pressure. Real world learning and life skills. I can observe their personality and be in tune with their strengths and weaknesses.

What are our spiritual goals?

That our children would love Jesus with all of their heart soul mind and strength. They would be able to give an account for the hope that is within them. Moral character rooted in biblical truths.

What are our educational goals? What do we want them to learn? Why?

. A well rounded education of tradition school subjects. That they would love learning and prepared for the future God has for them whether that is college or a trade career.

What life skills do we want our kids to have? What non-academic areas are important to us?

They would be able to run a home or a business efficiently and be able to get along with and love people well.

What kind of environment do we want in our home school?

Peaceful, filled with love, understanding, grace and humility. FUN!

Why does homeschooling provide the better environment for our family? Why homeschooling rather than public or private school?

We are able to spend lots of time together making us each others best friends, most trusted advisers, and confidants. Homeschooling is better for our family because we have the most influence through relationship with our children to train them in character issues and negate negative influences.

Family Mission Statement

That is a tall order, one that is impossible with out the spirit of God. Thank you Jesus I am not in this alone!

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord Almighty.
Zech 4:6 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Home School Rules!!!

Nope, not rules like follow these instructions, like Homeschool is so COOL!

I am really refreshed after our summer break and enthusiastic to stat a new year homeschooling. I had a big burn out at the end of last year and I remember thinking I hope I have some joy and peace by the time our next year begins.

Well the summer was PACKED with lots of fun and travel so I really did not get much rest in. Yet I feel rejuvenated and excited for the new year. I feel this is right were God wants me.

One thing I am really encouraged about is teaching Jadon. Over the summer he had a tutor which I found very helpful. She inspired me in teaching him. Also I did a lot of research and read some books on right brained learning and thinking. Jadon is very right brained. So I am really eager to implement all that I learned.

I am also thrilled about all the kids curriculum. I had time to research and really customize their curriculum.  I read lots of other homeschooling mommies reviews on what they were using and it was helpful in picking what would work best for each of my kids.

LOL I love these kids so much:)!

Another thing I am really looking forward to is starting to teach Shayla she loves learning and while she is not old enough for Kindergarten she is so ready to get her feet wet.

I know it is not perfect timing to have a baby...right after school starts. However I also know that God is so in control of timing and will help me get through. This maybe is the first time I have actually thought this little guy in my tummy is going to come home!

I feel confident in my ability to teach, having one year of high school under our belts is a big encouragement! When we started Homeschooling I thought.. how will I ever be able to teach and grade high school?  God knew and made a way that is perfect for our family. It makes me wonder about my other worries... What a waste to worry over things that God is involved in.

So our first week back we took it slow, cleaning desks, organizing, getting books in. This week we will kick in high gear. Hopefully with a organized, flexible schedule.(I am working on that now:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise
~Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Breathtaking Drive Home

Our Drive home was INCREDIBLE!  We took our time and stopped at lots of lookouts. We also stopped in Pismo for a tasty lunch.
All the Elephant Seals were sunning themselves on the beach so we just had to stop and get a closer look.
It took us over eight hours to get home, we had some traffic in Santa Barbra. We made it all the way to Mam's house before anyone got car sick. Then Joseph's tummy could not take anymore. After the kids were tucked in bed Daddy and I talked for hours about our memorable, spectacular trip.

We had such a wonderful time!!! Daddy is already planing our winter escape to Santa Cruz, he has been scoping out places for rent:) WE LOVE SANTA CRUZ!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
~Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our Last Day in Santa Cruz

On our last day of vacation we had a change of plans. We were supposed to head to San Francisco for a day trip. However we had done so much the day before were worn out and decided to relax and take it easy on our last day. We slept in and then went to do some local shopping. 

I suggested that daddy check the surf which was almost met with a laugh because it had been so flat. He turned down a street to Pleasure Point and low and behold what was in the water...SURFERS! True they were mostly long boards and the waves were small but that would not deter my determined boys from catching some Nor Cal waves. 
The paddle out and daddy and Jimmy on a wave together!
 What is really cool about this surf session is the night before I prayed specifically that there would be waves and the boys would get to surf. Praise Jesus that he hears our smallest prayers and blesses us with the desires of our hearts!

After the surf session (that left the boys smiling:) We hit the pool for some old fashion swim fun!

We finished the day with a walk and dinner at our new favorite local Hawaiian restaurant.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monterey Bay Aquarium and Mavericks

Friday we had a blast at the aquarium in Monterey! It was by far the most amazing one we have seen. There was something for everyone to enjoy. I loved Monterey and could have spent another day just exploring the city. 

 After the aquarium we decided to make the most of the day and head to Mavericks, a BIG wave spot about 45 minutes north. The drive was beautiful and the Redwood Forest actually hit the coast. I wish we had stopped for more pictures but we were planning on going back the next day.
A lighthouse from the car.
So Mavericks is a FAMOUS spot that sports some of the biggest waves in the world. We arrived at super high tide and there was no swell, so it was safe to walk on the beach. I have to say even with the pretty calm ocean it looked terrifying and felt like any minute a big wave could sweep us away.
Mavericks when it breaks, Photo Credit 
What a FULL fun day we will always remember!

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2  
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