socialization outside the box

rocket1

My boys, now grown, enjoy model rocketry with my grandchildren!

 

It all began during a conversation over dinner one night.

“And so,” concluded Clay, “That is how I started building model rockets when I was a kid.”

“What are model rockets?” both brothers asked at the same time, leaning in with great anticipation.

Clay, in his best Professor of Aerospace Dynamics voice, explained the process, the science behind it, and the amazing results, finding himself promising a trip to the hobby store for supplies the next weekend.

In the weeks that followed, all three of them labored for hours assembling, gluing, painting, and balancing their miniature rockets. The first launch came and went; rocketry enthusiasts had been born.

As with all children who have discovered their newest passions in life, the boys were excited to talk about it. Hurrying into Awana one Wednesday night, they described model rocketry, with much detail, to the elderly couple that led their Pioneers group. Later that night when I picked them up, they declared, “Mr. and Mrs. Tuckey were so interested in our rockets that they want us to be model rocketry teachers at the special needs school!”

I was skeptical at first, but after speaking with Mrs. Tuckey and hearing about the school’s need for volunteers to teach hands-on skills, I helped the boys plan out a schedule for working on a project with her students with the goal of Clay overseeing a launch in a few weeks.

Each Thursday, we arrived at the school building and while I attended to the baby, the boys and our daughter worked around the room with individual students, patiently answering questions and helping those who struggled with fine motor skills. Every Sunday I heard a report from the Tuckeys and as they enthusiastically talked about our project, many of their elderly friends from the church were also intrigued. My sons soon started answering their questions, too, and one WWII veteran, who had been an airplane mechanic, said he wanted to come to the launch.

Apparently he wasn’t the only one.

On the afternoon of the launch day, as we pulled into the remote park area, perfect for sending and retrieving rockets, I was dumbfounded to see not only the school bus full of the students, parents, teachers, and the school principal, but the Tuckeys sitting in their green and white stripped lawn chairs, surrounded by another 50 or so elderly people and one of the pastors and his wife from the church.

We walked through the crowd, greeting all we could, as Clay prepared the launch pad and the boys began instructing the students on the safety procedures. “Ooohs” and “aaahhhs” were offered after each lift off, followed by applause as the students warmly received each accolade when it came their way. The school principal and the Tuckeys publicly thanked the “teachers” from Homeview Academy who volunteered their time for the students!

As I remember that sunny fall afternoon in the park, I think fondly of each of those people who contributed to our beginning years of homeschooling. Nearly all of those older church folk have gone on to be with the Lord. The principal has long retired. Occasionally I see some of those students around town and, of course, my children have grown up and are building model rockets with their own homeschoolers. The value of what we learned in that process still inspires me:

Great passions often occur when we share them with our children. Our boys loved science because Clay did!

Sharing our interests as homeschooling families can be contagious. Others see our joy of learning and find their own passions!

Offering service to others will be multiplied and bring many further opportunities for ministry. Our willingness to embrace an unexpected invitation opened other doors to be a blessing, especially within our church family.

Stepping beyond your comfort zone, whether it is in outreach to your local school, elderly people, or those with special needs who appreciate your friendship can bring great joy and a sense of life purpose. This one experience opened our hearts and minds to new ideas and new people, which I still see in practice in the adult lives of my children.

Homeschooling families need to experience life outside the four walls of the home with a variety of ages, not just peers. Let me encourage you to look for ways to integrate academics, friendship, and service as part of your homeschooling lifestyle. What a great way to bring true meaning to “socialization!”

 

rocket2

(This article was originally published in Family Magazine, 2014.)

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

the God who keeps His promises

red bud trees

The intense July sun beat down relentlessly as we huddled under a faded green cemetery tent. Surrounded by simple grave markers, each one bearing the name of a little child, we sat in silence, wondering who they represented, how their lives had ended, if their moms and dads had been able to go on.

Since my children were small, I had daydreamed about the important and anticipated milestones in their lives: birthday parties, graduations, weddings, the births of their own children. I used to hold their tiny hands while nursing, imagining wedding bands on those sweet baby fingers! And I pictured myself during those events, too. I was the young mom decorating the Star Wars cake, the proud mama standing next to a smiling young man in cap and gown, the mother-of-the-groom, clutching a lace-trimmed hankie. But not once, in any dream, was I the grieving grandmother. That morning, I felt overwhelmed and unprepared. There had been no dress rehearsal for this moment.

The past few days had been painful. Instead of learning the gender of their new baby during an ultrasound, my son and daughter-in-law were given the heartbreaking news that their much-loved baby had died. Labor was induced and a perfect but tiny child was delivered into the arms of his grieving parents. I boarded the next plane and three hours later was greeted by both details of funeral arrangements and excited little grandchildren who were happy to see me. We talked, we cried, we tenderly held the tiny hospital treasures that had been tucked away in a special box.

So my mind raced as I sat under that tent. If I was not prepared for this time, how had I equipped my son? In all our years of homeschooling, there was no curriculum package that covered how to properly lose a child, how to comfort a grieving young mother, or how to explain the realities of life and death to little ones. Honestly, my perfect writing program and my award-winning math textbooks, once so seemingly important, didn’t even come to mind.

Slowly, a long white hearse wound its way through the field and stopped at the end of a narrow walk. My son carefully lifted the baby-sized white casket and brought it to those of us who waited. I could barely look at this dear young man; his heart was broken, his life would never be the same. I looked down to see, inscribed on the side of the miniature coffin, the words from Job 1: “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.”

It was then that the Lord gave me the precious gift of a memory from long ago. I pictured my wiggly and exuberant children gathered around a paste-and-crayon-covered table. They were memorizing Scripture from their Awana workbooks, serious but silly, engaged but daydreaming. I wondered how anyone could learn Bible verses, let alone understand them in the midst of such chaos. On the floor next to us was a giggling toddler and my own pregnant belly allowed me to barely reach the table. Loving and honoring both a sovereign God and His unchangeable Word was the greatest priority in our home. Loving one another, born and unborn, were simply part of who we were, day in and day out. These were the organic threads that held the tapestry of our lives together.

In those early years of homeschooling, I claimed a promise from Scripture. I didn’t pray for my children to achieve success as the world knows it. Rather, I prayed the truth found in Isaiah 55:10-11: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” ~ Isaiah 55:10-11 (NASB)

In that moment, sitting in a dusty field and overwhelmed by grief, God showed me that He had, indeed, answered that prayer!

(This article originally appeared in Family Magazine, 2016, Issue 1)

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

the “yes” face

My cousin Mary Edith, my grandma, me, and my horse, Blackie, when I was in my Zorro phase.

Looking out on a lawn full of freshly fallen snow this morning, I am remembering how much I loved snow days as a child. They often meant that I could pack a bag and spend the day with my grandma, enjoying her undivided attention, not to mention the bottomless cookie jar.

My grandma owned a “yes” face. From the moment I walked in the door to the time I had to leave, she was a positive person who looked for ways to tell me “yes” about life. Never one to stifle creative thought, I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t encouraging or positive about my ideas or my projects.

One afternoon, while I was going through my hairdresser phase and dreaming up all sorts of new ways to arrange hair, she agreed to be my live model. She pulled out all her supplies: combs, rollers, clips, and a wonderful treasure trove of hair accessories. While she sat patiently in a chair at her dining room table, I curled and teased and bouffantted to my heart’s content.

As I stood back to admire my creation, sort of a salt and pepper colored version of Marge Simpson’s upsweep adorned with small felt bows, a literal tower of hairsprayed loveliness, the doorbell rang. Not hesitating for a moment, my grandma said “Excuse me, honey girl,” her special term of endearment for me, and opened the door to Mr. Simmons, the chairman of the church deacon board. Then I heard her ask, “Won’t you come in and join us for tea?” A bit taken aback by the sight of this woman in front of him, Mr. Simmons uttered a “Thank you, don’t mind if I do.”

My grandma took me by the hand into the kitchen to arrange three tea cups and saucers and a plate of cookies on a tray. No one mentioned her hair, though poor Mr. Simmons had a difficult time diverting his eyes. We had a lovely visit with enjoyable conversation and my grandma sported her new do and her “yes” face for the rest of the day, smiling and telling me that she just knew I would be the best hair stylist ever when I grew up.

Sadly, my growing up years were full of many people who wore “no” faces. There was the older lady who glared at children from the choir loft, her voice conveying disapproval even when she sang about the glories of heaven. There were the two third grade teachers who made Matilda’s Miss Trunchbowl look like Miss Congeniality contestants as they stomped around in scary black shoes and thumped disruptive boys on the head with their knuckles. There was the Sunday school teacher who refused to let any of us do our own crafts for fear we would make a mess in “the Lord’s house” so we were forced to sit perfectly still as she cut, pasted, and glitter-sprinkled, ever so carefully, while we longingly watched. There was the woman who worked in my dad’s hardware store who scrutinized every customer who came in the doors, pronouncing only a rare soul as “neat and clean,” and always examining my clothes for wrinkles or spots. There was the junior high principal who brought his “board of education” into the classroom upon occasion, slamming the 3 inch thick paddle on the desk of some innocent bystander and warning us we all deserved to meet with that board personally. I would be certain that all of these poor souls wore the “no” face as they entered their eternal rest, their pursed lips and scowls frozen forever in time.

I have several trophies in my Hall of Shame and one of them is engraved with “The “No” Face Award ~ She Said No Once Too Often and Didn’t Even Have to Open Her Mouth.” If I could climb into a time machine and wend my way back to 1975, the beginning of my mothering gig, I would try my best to not win that prize. I would say “yes” far more often, hand out supplies to make lots of messes, put away school books and pull out the roller skates. I would serve more cookies and even allow someone to make me look like Marge Simpson. I would enter the race for the “yes” face gold and I would win.

(This article was a originally posted in January, 2011.)

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

becoming a true friend

cousins 1

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” ~ Charlotte’s Web

 

I have always loved this sweet exchange between Wilbur the pig, and Charlotte, the ingenious spider who saved his life. E.B. White’s insight was profound: true friendship is a treasure.

Often we consider what attributes we are seeking in a relationship and purpose to find someone who will meet our needs and match our requirements for friendship. But what is most important is to become a friend who is worthy of someone else’s affection. Obtaining the qualities that will shape us into true friends should be our goal.

True friendship reveals itself in times of crisis. We once had a terrible house fire that put us out of our home for seven months. During that time we were amazed at the people who came alongside us and offered to help us in so many ways. It inspired and humbled me, challenging me to be more aware of the true needs of others; it allowed me the privilege of knowing what true friendship looks like.

True friendship expresses itself through kindness. Each of us has rough edges that need to be polished off as we grow in grace. Genuine friends will welcome those foibles, seeking to confront and encourage each other to change while always doing so in a kind way. Cinderella’s admonition to “have courage and be kind” is never more apply applied than between friends!

True friendship always seeks the best for another and never allows jealousy to rule the day. So often we are tempted to not only want what someone else has but we also do not want them to have it. Beauty, success, and talent can become snares that will keep us from enjoying the other good gifts God gives to us. Scripture warns us that Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4)

True friendship will bring us together with another person on a number of levels but for a Christian, the deepest experiences will be with those who share a spiritual connection to us. While we can enjoy relationships with all sorts of people, those things that matter most in life can only be truly shared with another person who is also committed to Jesus.

True friendship is a gift orchestrated by God. While we can work toward the goal of becoming women of character who can be wise and dear friends to others, we must remember that God, in His sovereign plan for our lives, is the one who places true friendship in our path. C. S. Lewis said it so well: “In friendship …we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” ~ The Four Loves by C.S Lewis

(Originally published in Dear Magazine, 2015)

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

looking at Abigail Adams, homeschooling mom

abigail

Abigail Adams

A few years ago I spent time researching the lives of mothers who had raised and home schooled extraordinary children and considered what traits I saw that created fertile ground for learning in their homes. My favorite was Abigail Adams! The wife of our second president  Abigail is still an inspiration to me today.

Take some time to listen to these podcasts.  I know you will be refreshed!

Here are some lessons I learned about Abigail as a homeschooling mom and some thoughts on what we can apply in our own lives. I would welcome your own thoughts as well!

  1. Abigail learned to persevere through trials and sufferings, keeping the big picture always before her.
  2. Abigail made the study of the word of God a top priority and her children were forever grateful for that discipline.
  3. Abigail knew that, after training her children in Scripture, she needed to also do whatever she could to instill godly character in their lives.
  4. As her family had done as she was growing up, once a wife and mother, Abigail opened her home and table to those who would expose her children to great thoughts and ideas.
  5. Abigail used every opportunity to teach her children, especially in the midst of world events as they unfolded around them.
  6. Abigail taught her children love of country and the need for self-sacrifice.
  7. Abigail Adams was known as a woman of principle who was passionate and articulate as she stood firmly for those things which she most honored and cherished.
  8. Abigail was also the first to recognize that her own education had some gaps in it and purposed to become a life-long learner, forever studying and researching those things that she wanted to know that she believed would make her a better partner to her husband and a better homeschooling mother to her children.
  9. Abigail, though she missed her children terribly, rose to the occasion to allow her children to gracefully and gradually grow up and become adults and patriots in their own right.
  10. Building on the solid relationship she had with her children when they were younger, Abigail continued teaching and influencing them all their lives through letters that she wrote to them.
 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

it needs to be said ~ relationship driven goals and objectives

crew

 

In the olden days of homeschooling, circa 1980s, our first exposure to homeschooling was actually one workshop that was offered as part of the Central Illinois Sunday School Convention. A couple who had been homeschooling for a few years talked about their convictions and offered a very short list of books and magazine articles to read. The 15 or so of us who attended chatted about homeschooling and the resources we had found available, mostly Christian school curriculum we would have to adapt for home use, and we each went our separate ways. A room full of novices and dreamers, we were.

As time went by, a local support group was formed and began hosting an annual small local conference. Over the years, they brought in speakers who promoted the priorities of building character into children, becoming strong as families, and making the study of God’s Word central to all that we did. The small exhibit halls offered a handful of items to purchase, but mostly the speakers were there to encourage and cheer us on; few had something to sell or promote other than the value of homeschooling. By necessity, we had to creatively find ways to teach our children the things we believed they needed to know, and, in the process, learn some things ourselves.

Today, the possibilities are endless and the resources are awesome. But perhaps it would be in our best interest to consider how a more minimalist influence in homeschooling, not only in curriculum purchases but in lifestyle, is needed to bring us back to the basics of why we educate our children at home.

In recent years, homeschooling has become curriculum driven rather than motivated by the individual needs of real children, often ignoring what is necessary to create opportunities for them to explore and discover themselves. This was really confirmed to me a few months ago when I chatted with a mother of preschoolers who was intent on purchasing a curriculum package for her two preschoolers, both of them boys. As I asked her about their interests and about the type of learners they were, I encouraged her to not push an intense reading program on boys at too early of an age. It became obvious to me that her agenda was to purchase and proceed through a curriculum rather than to assess her children individually, considering what would be best for each of them. I smiled and nodded, my suggestion of reading Better Late Than Early by Dorothy and Raymond Moore quickly rebuffed, and I was told, “Oh, I have heard of the Moores and we would never be interested in what they have to say. We believe in early childhood education.”

This is exactly why I think entire curriculum packages can be so counterproductive. They make it so easy to believe that learning and education are somehow equated with formal school and seatwork. They promote doing formal schooling in your home, assuming that all children learn in the same manner and that it must come from textbooks and worksheets. These packages can further the false notion that if a book is completed during the school year, learning and education have occurred. This is the reason both moms and children, especially boys, often burn out in the early years.

On the other hand, real books from the library, a tub of art supplies, being read stories rich in vocabulary, a variety of good music, the daily discussion of God’s Word and how it relates to the world around us, and the attention of a loving parent who includes them in all the activities of real life are the secrets to a great learning experience for children. Winston Churchill once lamented, “My education was interrupted only by my schooling,” and how very true that can be, even for homeschooled children.

Along with this notion about curriculum comes the illusion that the more money that is spent on teaching children, the better educated they will be. I remember hearing a homeschooling conference presenter once admonish parents to spend the same amount of money on home education as they would on tuition in a private school, telling them how vital this was to provide an adequate education for their kids. I can only imagine how discouraging that statement was for many, and how many families ultimately decided that cost would prohibit them from homeschooling.

A few years ago I attended a local school board meeting and tediously witnessed the bureaucracy that is the public school system. I sat in amazement as teachers and principals talked about their various programs and the need for money to fund them. I kept thinking about the emperor’s new clothes, watching as school board members and parents nodded one by one in support, clueless as to how unnecessary much of this funding truly is and forgetting that they, too, are the taxpayers who pay for it! Why is it that one-room schoolhouses were able to provide a far superior education to our grandparents than our grandchildren receive today in school districts around the country, and all on a shoestring budget?

Another concern I have is that filling days and nights with activities outside the home is now equated with a “well-rounded” homeschooling experience. How often I have heard homeschooling moms lament how busy their weeks are and how much time they spend in the car rather than at home. One mom told me how their family gives one day each week to her co-op and that it takes her at least one other full day, and sometimes two days prior to their class day, to help her children prepare. Other moms have four or five children to taxi to various lessons and practices each week, and, when added to church activities, family meal time and free time to just live in the world around them is often compromised.

Having older children who desire fellowship and friendship is a good reason to get involved in occasional outside events and classes where particular skills can be honed. But the subtle pressure to provide “enrichment” for our children can often turn into an endless list of outside pursuits that steal away the hours of family living. I love the way Laura Ingalls Wilder describes the beauty of simply living life together: “As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

Any time spent away from home should be measured by the benefits. Does it leave time to explore and learn new things on our own? Does it inspire creativity and further study? Does it promote a healthy lifestyle or does time outside the home mean that fast foods provide frequent meals for your family? Does it require younger children to spend endless hours strapped into car seats while older children are taken to one event after another? Do you find yourself looking for ways to offer your children all the amenities of the public school system, or do your children have time to serve others? Do your children spend most of their time with people who are a variety of ages or mostly with peers? Are you the one providing most of their Bible instruction and discipleship or does your church do it? Do your children know that you always have time to listen to them and pray with them every single day?

We need to be able to discern the true goals of a real education. One of the common concerns often expressed to us over the years about homeschooling is whether or not we could possibly teach our children everything. My answer is always “no,” followed by the correct observation that there is no teacher or institution or family who could possibly teach everything. And it shouldn’t even be a goal! The vast amount of information, especially technological information, that is generated increases exponentially each year. Rather than worrying about knowing it all, our goal as homeschoolers ought to be to raise, and to become ourselves, lifelong learners. This is accomplished first by providing an environment rich in life experiences and then by giving our children an introduction to ideas and concepts outside of those experiences. By teaching and training in research skills, and allowing our children plenty of space to study things they are curious about rather than simply uploading them with information, we have given them the tools to be successful no matter where the Lord leads them!

 

(This is taken from the chapter Relationship Driven Goals and Objectives from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home)

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

the quilt

gift1

 

My grandmother was an amazing woman. Born in Missouri in 1897, at the age of 16 she traveled to a tiny little place in the middle of the Illinois prairie called Uniontown to become a hired girl for the Tasker family. Each morning she would get up with Mrs. Tasker and together they would fry bacon and eggs, peel and boil potatoes, stir up and roll out biscuits, and bake a half dozen or so pies. While the Tasker men were busy milking cows, caring for livestock, and walking behind a plow, my grandmother was preparing meals for not only the men who lived in the household but for the farmhands who would be there for the day.

Once the men were fed, the kitchen was cleaned up for the morning, and the wash was run through the wringer washer and hung out to dry, Mrs. Tasker would sit my grandmother down and teach her how to sew and mend the clothing. Overalls were worn until there was almost nothing left but seams and pockets, so there was a never-ending parade of clothes to sort through and repair. All-cotton shirts and dresses were sprinkled and ironed and the womenfolk had to wear a fresh apron each day, a habit my grandmother kept even past her “in the kitchen” days.

On Sundays, my grandmother went along with the Tasker family to the Uniontown Baptist Church. As one of the boys rang the old bell, calling all of the community into worship, she was preparing for the two most important events of her life. My grandmother had not come from a Christian home. She had not been told of the most miraculous event of all human history, of God becoming man in the flesh through His son, Jesus, so that man might be redeemed and restored to a right relationship with his creator. These were marvelous truths to my grandmother, and by God’s grace, she trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord.

God’s sovereign plan for her life was revealed as she faithfully attended church every week and also went to prayer meetings and Bible studies. While there, she met a dashing young man five years her senior, and after a sweet time of courtship they were married. Over the years they were blessed with three sons, nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and, to this date, 20 great-great-grandchildren! God’s plan for the life of this one hired girl was not so unusual, but also not so ordinary.

As I was growing up, whenever I visited my grandmother, one of my greatest delights was seeing the latest quilt in the old walnut frame in her front parlor. She belonged to a group called the Busy Stitchers and each month they would travel to one member’s home for rich homemade desserts and a quilting bee. The beauty of these quilts, these works of art that were at the same time so random and yet so intricate, intrigued me. Looking closely, you could see the variation in stitches, as each woman had her own lovely and unique touch.

One day, when I was 16, my grandmother asked if I would like to see all the quilts she had made through the years. With much anticipation, I watched as she pulled from her cedar chest one glorious quilt after another. I oohed and aahed as she tenderly unfolded them, one at a time, each more incredible than the last. Proudly, she told me their names: there was a striking red and white Lone Star, a delicately embroidered Sampler, a common but beautiful Nine Patch, and her magnum opus, the Ribbon, made up of thousands of tiny one inch blocks strung together to look like miles of calico ribbons. I was amazed at the hours it had taken to design and sew such masterpieces. I marveled at both her skill and creativity. I smiled when I saw bits and pieces of dresses my mother and I had worn in years past and leftover scraps from many of her own aprons.

When the last one had been brought out, she explained that there was one for each grandchild and each daughter-in-law and she asked which one I would like to have one day. Without hesitation, I chose the Garden Path, an appliqued pattern of brightly colored daisies, all sporting buttery yellow centers and looking amazingly like her own flower garden! Each block was pieced together with a tiny rosebud print, and a scalloped edge finished off the glorious quilt on all four sides. It was exquisite!

Excitedly, my grandmother turned it over. There, in one corner, on the back, was my own name already embroidered in her handwriting! Of all the dozen or more quilts she had lovingly stitched, she knew which one I would want and had chosen it just for me!

As homeschooling moms we get so caught up in the tedium of daily living that we often forget the incredible privilege we have of being called to love and mentor our children. Our hearts are prone to wander away from what really matters in the grand scheme of life. We neglect people and don’t make them a priority over things. We fail to practice the one anothers and daily need to hear the Gospel message of grace. We have past hurts and failures, present struggles and disappointments, and future fears and burdens that make up the scraps of who we are. And yet, God is sovereign and has a plan He crafted for us from before the foundations of the world, choosing us as His own and weaving together something beautiful and unique in each of our lives, in each of our homes.

Isaiah 49:16 tells us this about who God is: I will not forget you. ’Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.’” Like my name embroidered on my grandma’s beautiful quilt, God has already written not just my name but me on the palm of His hand! He has called me to serve Him and bring glory to Him in the work He has given to me and will provide all I need for the task. Be assured, He is doing the same for you!

 

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

Sir Ken Robinson teaches what homeschoolers already know

YouTube Preview Image

 

I have recently been reading books by Sir Ken Robinson and am amazed at how well he is making the case for old-fashioned homeschooling without even realizing it. I love his insights and find myself cheering often as I read. He is saying what needs to be said about creativity, the importance of the arts for all learning, and the need for outside-the-box education! But I cannot see the public education system being able to pull any of it off! In fact, I am really concerned that many homeschooling families are blindly following the government system down the same foolish path. Robinson lists three key aspects of public education that is killing creativity and certainly not preparing all students for bright futures:

Schools are heavily weighted in the area or academics over any other aspect of learning or life preparation.

Schools practice a hierarchy of academic subjects that places the STEM classes above others.

Schools rely on testing to measure success.

Almost always the first question new or potential homeschooling moms ask is “What curriculum do you use?” Let me encourage you to listen to the various Ted Talks done by Ken Robinson and to read his books. There is just so much great thought here for this generation of homeschoolers who rely on curriculum packages and are determined to recreate public school in their homes. We need a fresh approach and Robinson is spot on in his assessments.

 

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png