Sunday, August 12, 2012


That would be the sound of the brakes in my homeschool history planning.

My plan for the year was to use TruthQuest History and focus on Ancient History. I was planning to jump on and download it today for my prep week coming up.

Well, then I started perusing my book shelves and remembered that I had the Diana Waring history set from Answers in Genesis that my parents had given me. However, I had a couple people tell me that it was really boring. So, I was thinking maybe I would just use it for some background info while doing the TruthQuest.

As I pulled it off the shelf and looked it over, I got more excited. I love the structure of the book. The 9 months of the school year each have a 4 week unit progressing through ancient history from Creation to the life of Christ.

The first week you lay the foundation and study the facts. Week two you research an area of interest within that time period, work on the timeline, and other exploration related activities. Third week you dig in with hands-on activities, and then wrap up in week four with presentations and final products.

(click on the image and scroll down to see it on their website, a bit more readable)

I do wish the book was written in a little more engaging format, I can see my kids getting bored during week one when we read all the background info. But, it's only 5-6 pages and does an efficient job of presenting the material.

And, we're going to add some living books in everyday as well to keep the scenery fresh and to help them really picture the people and places we are studying.

Okay, now here's what made the light bulb go on and clinched it for me. In the intro to the teacher's guide she has a section about worldviews. She shares a critical comparison between anthropologists and missionaries. Anthropologists enter a society with the purpose of scientific research. Missionaries bring life through compassionate ministry.

She explained that this is the difference between darkness and light, "the difference between secular humanism and bibilical Christianity; it reveals how godless man looks at cultures and how God looks at people. Seeing with God's heart will prevent bigotry and hate, replacing it with outreach and compassion."

That is something we need a lot more of in our world today. I look forward to this school year as one of continual life change for myself and my kids, even while studying ancient history.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curriculum for 2012-2013

Not Back to School Blog Hop
The new year!

We have a couple weeks yet before we begin. August 22 is our official start date at this point, but at least we know where we are headed. 

I made myself a master list like the following but just with the generic subjects listed and then a box for each day of the week. Then I won't forget what they should be doing each day. And, I can use it to record their grades for each assignment in each subject which will make record keeping so much easier. 

In the past I would pull out their individual notebooks and pull their grades off the top of each graded assignment. Now, I will just record it all onto my master sheet throughout the week and just have one paper of info to put into the computer on the weekend. That will make my weekend job a 15 minute one rather than an hour long one. 

Lots of the same. We know what works for us and what we love, but some new stuff, too. Of course, since we don't really follow the regular school calendar, many of these books and subjects they are already in the midst of.

I am streamlining a bit this year and doing history all together. Obviously their homework and their interaction with the material will be quite different over the 8 year age span, but we will all be in the same time period and it will tie into our Bible time as well. Science for all 2-8th will be the same as well. My 8th grader already finished Physical science and General Science so she gets to have fun with us this year as she isn't really ready for high school science yet.

I am mixing up grammar this year. We love Rod & Staff, but it gets a little repetitive year after year. So, I am going to switch every other year and pepper in Shurley and Easy Grammar. We gave both of these an introductory run during our summer school and they seem to fill the need well.

High School continues to stretch us, but mostly in a good way. This year we will tackle Spanish and Advanced Mathematics (including pre-calc) together.
Nathan -- 2nd grade
First Language Lessons (mostly oral)
Saxon Math 3 (already half way through)
Handwriting without tears -- big focus!! Trying to improve his pencil grip and penmanship this year
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History (Beginnings -- ties into Bible)
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology 
PE -- baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op

Brooke – 3rd grade
Rod & Staff English 3 (half way through)
Saxon Math 5/4 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History
 Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
A Reason for Handwriting T (half way through)
PE -- soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op

Faith – 6th grade
Easy Grammar Level 1
Saxon Math 8/7 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
 Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE -- soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op

Paige – 8th grade
Shurley English 7
Algebra 1 (half way through)
Puppetry (Co-op)
IEW Level B (Co-op, I'm teaching)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE -- soccer, gym and swim
Blake – 10th grade
Apologia Chemistry (Co-op)
PE -- baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Spanish 1
Advance Mathematics (Saxon)
IEW Level C (Co-op, I'm teaching)
Truth quest History

Full days, but wonderfully full. I look forward to another year of exploring life and our amazing world with my kids. In between it all we continue to enjoy the antics of a two year old who breathes new life into everything. Thankful to God for another opportunity to live life in the midst of my family each day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Verse of the Week -- Exodus 14: 31

God continues to teach me through the life of Moses. So much of his journey I feel parallels my own as a homeschool mom.

The sometimes relentless desert experience (although mine doesn't last 40 years).

The murmuring of the troops.

Lack of faith and spiritual motivation from those placed in my care.

The need to continually relearn lessons.

Serious doubt of my own ability and worthiness to carry this role.

As I read his life I continue to pull out truths and practical practices that can help me become a more godly  guide in our homeschool journey and as an everyday mom.

This verse claimed my attention today, "Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses." Exodus 14:31 kind of wraps up where God had brought his little chicks.

God saved this immature nation from definite dismantling and slavery. They had just been eye witnesses to the 10 plagues and they still doubted his power. But three steps helped their faith inch forward.

They saw, feared, and believed. I see those as clear stair steps that must come in that progression.

They saw actual physical evidence of God at work (they had no Scripture or written historical record as they were living out the early years of the Pentateuch). They saw his miraculous hand on their nation. They saw the protecting cloud. They saw the destruction of their enemies. They saw an impossible trap turn into a miraculous escape. Of course, to see you must be looking.

You can see, but still not take the next step. As they processed, they feared. They feared God's awesome power. His firm judgement. His clear sovereignty. His unquestionable authority. 

They couldn't help but take the next step and believe. They trusted God. They trusted Moses. They had evidence, experience, and a growing personal and corporate faith to back it up. Yet, they will continue to struggle and grow in the chapters ahead.

Take it home . . . My kids need that same experience. I need to keep leading them to God. Help them see, fear, and believe, and do it all again. Even in my own life my faith grows along these steps.

Praying that God would make Himself all the more real in this year ahead. That we would see Him with greater clarity, fear Him with greater reverence, and believe Him with greater confidence.

Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down! (Isaiah 64:1)

Looking to the coming school year with great expectancy.

Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
~Exodus 43:31~