Friday, August 31, 2007

blogging bits

good to be back home with my girls
heard their violin practice this morning for the first time this week
was amazed at what teacher can do in one lesson
almost cried as i was listening to laRae play Massenet's Meditation from Thais
if you've never heard it, you've just got to--breathtaking
rachelle's Gounod Ave Maria is coming along beautifully too

had to check lots of papers this morning after being gone for three days
chelle was so excited to have a real study guide for her science test today
she was bitterly disappointed to miss 1/2 a point and not have a perfect paper : )
of course, we talked about it
she's satisfied now--she did her best
human beings are NOT perfect
thankfully, we're not required to be
we have worth in seeing our self the way God sees us
trusting Him

enjoying a little cooler weather, but need rain

got bills paid and napped this afternoon
curt needed to, but couldn't
he'll sleep well tonight
the farm show was dusty and windy
we're both suffering from allergies and weary bodies
it's tough on a body to sit or just stand still for three days!

the girls are going to clean their daddy's office tonight
they have their first job now--cleaning once a week
saving for the future

gotta get back into the cooking mode
eating-out spoils me

curt and i have started reading The Great Divorce (C. S. Lewis)
reading together
that's one thing that keeps our relationship fresh and new
something that gives us new things to think about--
valuable things of real substance
Hollywood has it all wrong
i'm glad He who made us knows what it takes to keep relationships vibrant --
it's just our responsibility to seek His wisdom

looking forward to a long bike ride on monday
there's a great trail in southern IL
we'll probably go to breakfast and then bike
it's a beautiful area

happy labor day, everyone!


  1. :D looking good! glad for update! miss you all. take care love you!

  2. I'm not sure it's possible to hear "Meditation" without almost crying. It is one of my favorite pieces of music. It moves me deeply every time I hear it. You also mentioned another favorite, The Great Divorce. What a great read (every time). One of my favorite memories of that book is reading it aloud on a long car trip with my brother. It's a great discussion starter!! Blessings!

  3. I also love "Meditation"...and now I need to listen to it again!
    Like the new look!

  4. I enjoyed your "bits" very much! You have covered a lot of ground in recent days! The decision has been made for this school year: we just received all our Abeka materials and will begin on 9/10. I am both relieved and somehow still feel as though I've "cheated" somehow by going with an entirely packaged program. Am I crazy?!?

    ANYWAY...enjoyed the post! Blessings!

  5. Tara,
    When I write on this topic, I find it hard to stop! I'm so committed and believe in the value of it. Sorry, my comment is long.

    First of all, I remind myself often that our generation of home-educators is a generation of pioneers. We are doing so much more for our children than our parents could even imagine in their day. Be encouraged that you are doing a wonderful thing for your precious little flock. The bond you are building will prove to be deep and meaningful. You are learning together! When they see Mom enjoying learning with them, even if you’re reading your own book, while they watch their DVD and do their work pages, you are mentoring them in a love for learning. As you check their work and discuss with them the things they are learning, you are mentoring them.

    Being able to watch over our children’s' daily interactions with one another as well as their individual attitudes and motivations is valuable-beyond words. We are shaping their habits, behavior, and hearts after the teachings of Jesus (discipling them.) We are laying a foundation in a way we simply could not do if we sent them away eight hours a day.

    As you know, I have used combinations of the freer style Konos, Sonlight, Delight-directed “Unschooling“, Classical, Thomas Jefferson Mentoring, and the Traditional textbook/video A Beka pattern of learning . In any of those, if a child is going to be truly educated, he must be willing to educate himself. He must apply his mental capacities with discipline. He must choose to be contented in "whatsoever state" of life he is. He must focus, concentrate. And he must respect his mentor, Mom. Those aspects are our top priority (I know that is where your heart is too.)

    After all that, the actual procedure we take to teach them facts they need to know, help them connect why things are the way they are, and then eventually help them learn to synthesize and express what they think and why, can be done in numerous ways.

    I think one key is that they have a variety of input. Feel free to "fast forward" the DVD when one of your children "has the concept mastered". Don't get caught in the trap of thinking that every last one of the problems in the math book has to be answered. A Beka, like any thorough text book-based company, gives the slowest student out there lots of repetition. You'll get a feel pretty quickly for how much repetition each individual child needs. Every year, for instance, in grammar, A Beka begins with basics and adds on new concepts. So, even year by year, the kids are getting review. As you streamline the A Beka program to meet each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to free up time to add other things. For instance, if in one grade you find they are given an excerpt from Little House on the Prairie, you can have an interested child read the entire series and go to a living museum, make candles the old-fashioned way, learn to sew a prairie outfit, etc.

    Just give yourself some time to get a feel for the program. Especially in the grammar stage, ages five to ten or so, A Beka offers wonderful drill of facts. That's just necessary in the early years. It saves you hours and hours of time. I would venture to say that few moms drill their children as much on their own as you will find the DVD does. It just takes so much time. Maybe they do, but something else is going to have to get less time for sure.

    I wish you the best, Tara. Be encouraged; your kiddos are going to get an unbelievable amount of information in the coming year. As you can find ways to help them connect that information to other information they already know, they will surely learn more than you can imagine, and as you enjoy the process, they are bound to as well.
    Good to hear from you.

  6. This info was SO helpful and encouraging to me, Laura. My biggest concern has been that I wouldn't be able to tailor the curriculum to fit our specific needs. I'm glad to hear that's not the case. You are well-spring of knowledge here! Thanks for taking the time to share some of it with me!