Monday, April 27, 2009

Curriculum Contemplation

Disclaimer: This is a home school post. I'd love input from my friends/family who have an opinion. THANKS in advance!!! As a homeschooling parent, I get to sift through literally hundreds of curriculum companies and try to figure out which route I want to go. I tend to be an all or nothing person, so I enjoy selecting one company, offering comprehensive curriculum for each grade level. The older my children get, the older it is to pick their education. I'm not complaining, but I am saying that it's a bit overwhelming when I consider the plethora of learning opportunities available to me. In the past, I have used Costco's comprehensive curriculum books. Dirt cheap, and easy to understand, everything is encompassed in one book. The problem is, they're not Christian and as my children get older and learn about case studies and various scenarios, I'd like those to be Bible based instead of secular. I have to consider my budget, my teaching style (how much prep work is involved, and if the company offers a comprehensive curriculum - my favorite), my children's learning style (and yes, they're different), and numerous other factors before making a decision. So, for those of you out there who have some thoughts and read my blog, I'd love for you to weigh in. After researching a dozen companies for my 3rd and 1st graders next year, here's what I've determined: Saxon: Excellent, but very expensive Switched on Schoolhouse: Decent prices, learning is via CD-rom, but there's no 1st grade comprehensive curriculum A.C.E.: Perfect for Cayla since she's self motivated, but not ideal for Autumn. Prices are midline LIFEPAC: Excellent comprehensive studies for both grades, midline price, but I don't know anyone who has used it, so I have little info. on it Sonlight: Stellar programs I've heard, but requires a ton of prep work (not my thing) Christian Liberty Press: I'm leaning towards this....the prices are good, it offers comprehensive curriculum for both grades and includes teachers manuals, plus it rolls into high school well Bob Jones U: Again, excellent curriculum, but it's kind of pricey. This year we used BJU science and it was great, so it's a possibility So, that is just one peril of being a home school parent. I know people who select a nice eclectic mix of materials and turn out intelligent, well informed children, but that isn't my ideal, even though it is what I did this year. We have all summer to consider it, pray about it, and see what our budget will allow. I want my children to have a great academic education, Biblical knowledge and a love for being home with mom. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mi Vida Loca!

Things have been so crazy and I haven't taken much time to post.  Are you getting tired of that excuse yet?  Here's a brief run down.  Sort of my personal status report, only with more words than a normal status report :)
  • I've been prepping for my VBS meeting on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to it so I can relax.  Yeah right!
  • The girls are working like crazy to finish up their schooling for the year.  Autumn still has quite a bit of her reading book to finish, but Cayla, my little worker bee, is right on track.  As long as we're done by June I'll be pleased.
  • The basement and the yard are beckoning.  Cory and I need to make a run to the dump, organize some items in the basement, and get the treadmill back in place.  It's surprisingly difficult to use it when it's unplugged.
  • We've decided to go on a health kick.  Actually it's the way we should have been eating all of our lives, but haven't.  You know the drill.....whole grains, lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruit.  In fact, today I'm certain I ate my weight in grapes.  Yeah, it's probably not going to bode well for me tomorrow, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
If I throw in TeamKID and Home school co-op, along with updating the girls' vaccinations, visiting the eye doctor and eking out a little time to take the kids downtown to play, that about sums up my life.  So as you can see, there's very little room left in my brain to have enlightening thoughts, or great epiphanies about topics for blogging.  In the event that a vacancy occurs in my mind, I'll be sure to keep you posted.  You know you're waiting with bated breath.  Don't try to deny it :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lotsa stuff in Italics :)

I have a dear friend who is so passionate about politics she makes me look completely and totally ignorant. She recently sent me an article. Here is an excerpt from it: "Is this the change you really voted for? President Obama has only been in office for two months. Now we have HR 1388.........This bill’s title is called “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education” (GIVE). It forms what some are calling “Obama’s Youth Brigade.” Obama’s plan requires anyone receiving school loans and others to serve at least three months as part of the brigade. His goal is one million youth! This has serious Nazi Germany overtones to it." If you are interested in the link, here it is: I have not read enough articles on the site to advocate it, but I did find this article VERY interesting. Another good friend and I were discussing the end times and she made a unique observation. Loosely (very loosely ) paraphrased she said, "Since Satan does not know when the Lord will return, he has always had to have his man waiting in the wings. That man could have been Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler.......or Barack Obama." I have yet to decide if I'm fearful about the state of our country, although I know that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7, or whether I'm excited that we may truly be living in the end times. Either way, I know our country and our president need all the prayer we can offer up. -------------- Why am I so passionate about this? Because too often "we" as Christians sit back and do nothing. We don't discuss, share opinions, or educate each other on politics, and we're content to remain complacent and allow other people to make our decisions. Hmm? it seems to me that no good can come from this. A couple of familiar Edmund Burke quotes to ponder: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." "Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.” Thanks to Heidi A. and Kimberley M. from co-op, for encouraging and enjoying my political posts :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Trip!

We had a whirlwind weekend, running down to see my sister's new house, and taking a day to visit the science center. The 12 hour, round-trip drive was kind of a bummer, but everything else was a ton of fun. The weather was beautiful, and it made for a wonderful vacation. There's a few snapshots of the girls (in the post below) taken at the science center. They had a great time with all the hands-on exhibits, but we hope to take them back in a couple of years when they can actually understand everything they're playing with.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Snow!

If April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring? It started snowing on April 1. Don't tell ME God doesn't celebrate April Fool's Day! We woke up to a world of white, very very wet, heavy snow. Autumn wanted me to bring some inside like I did during the winter, but it's too wet to play with. Anyhow, there's something about snow that has always fascinated me. When I was a little girl I learned that each and every snowflake is different, and no two are alike. So every year when it snows in my little world, I'm amazed that out of all the snowfalls each year, in every part of the world, there's no duplicate snowflakes. This absolutely boggles my little mind. There are trillions of trillions of brazillions of snowflakes, and none of them are the same. WOW! Awesome!