Reading an Hour a Day Every Day

An hour a day…that’s what it takes. An hour a day every day. From the time the children were very small, I read aloud to them. When they became readers themselves, I began requiring each of them to to read for half an hour. As soon as they were reading chapter books, that stretched to an hour a day. No need to keep on with reading lessons. They learned comprehension as they read. They narrated to me. It was clear by their narrations whether they understood what they read. They became more fluent as they read.
I now have a young adult and three teens. One daughter recently took a college entrance test and received a score in the 99th percentile for reading.
An hour a day… all of my children love to read.
I think it’s working.
~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

 

Why We Homeschool

Image

Someone recently asked me why we homeschool.  This is what I told her.

I was trained as a teacher in college.  I didn’t find a position right out of school, so I went to work in insurance.  When my first son was born, after much prayer and many discussions with my husband, we decided that I’d be a stay-at-home mom until he started school.

As school age approached, I became aware of homeschooling through Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program and through some books that crossed my path. After research and prayer, my husband and I became convicted that it was God’s will for our family to homeschool.  My son also had some special needs that we felt could be handled best in a home environment.  We’ve been homeschooling since 1995.

So, here are some of our reasons:

1.  We believe that God gave us, as parents, the responsibility to teach and train our children.

2.  We believe that we are to protect the innocence of our children as well as physically protect our children.

3.  We believe our family is closer because we live life together on a daily basis.

When our family grew, our little school did as well. I’ve found that there are some advantages:

1.  Learning takes place at each child’s pace rather than trying to keep up with a class or wait for a class.

2.  Children thrive with individual attention.

3.  Negative influences from peers are limited.

4.  I can teach them truth from God’s Word as absolute truth.  All other subjects, especially science, are viewed from that biblical perspective.

5.  My children are better socialized than school children.  They know how to interact with adults and children well.  Homeschool groups and church provide playmates.

6.  They have more time for following individual interests.  One of my daughters writes worship songs and participates on our worship and dance teams at church.  One of my sons is teaching himself to make knives and raises animals.  My youngest enjoys sewing and crafts.

7.  They’re not afraid of speaking in front of people.


8.  Homeschooling works well for families that have fathers who work unusual hours as well.

These are some reasons we homeschool; but, ultimately, we homeschool because that is what God called us to do.
You can find more information about homeschooling at http://hslda.org. That’s the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

Laura

 

This is reprinted from my other blog, Harvest Lane Cottage.

A Lovely Snowy Morning

20Good morning!  We’re having a lovely snowy morning here in Southwest Missouri.  I was planning to go to my Quilting Circle today, but the snow has made other plans for me. ~smile~ I do love a snowy day, but wish I were with my quilting friends.

So, what shall I do?

~ Sort and organize books for homeschooling next year

~ Sew a bit

~ Some read aloud

~ Soup for supper

Oh there are so many possibilites on a snow day!

26

One thing’s for sure, it will be a day to keep the old wood stove going!

Laura

Happy at Home

Abundant Provision!

Just Saturday:

1. $5 Bag Sale at the Thrift Store. I’m really good at packing a bag! I spent about an hour and a half with my little kiddles searching for clothes for the family. We filled the brown paper grocery bag full! When I went to pay, the lady said, “It’s taken care of. It was the Lord.” After I realized what she was saying, I just felt overtaken by God’s grace and provision! Wow God!

2. We got the notebooks, pens, and pencils we need for the year at Walgreens for less than $5! Wow God!

3. Lowell went to Redeemed, a used bookstore that sells homeschool books and traded a couple of boxes of books that someone had given to us for the three readers that I need for Amy. He came home with $163 that I can use for other school things we need and the fees for Matthew’s enrollment at the community college! Super-Wow God!

4. Matthew got a job! Wow God!

5. When Lowell unpacked the bag, we counted 23 items including three nice dress shirts for him and something for every family member including Grandma! Wow God!

6. A free movie from Redbox for hubby and I to enjoy after the kids were in bed last night! We watched Inkheart. It was a good action movie. It was also funny in places. It’s rated PG. I do not recommend it for children, however. Too scary in places and a swear word in an early scene that was inappropriate in a PG movie were enough to keep us from allowing our children to view it. Teens and above would be fine, however.
Wow God!

And I thought it was just going to be another rainy Saturday!

Thank You God for your abundant provision just when we needed it and when I needed encouragement!

Laura

It’s July 1st…

Happy New Year!


July first in Missouri is officially the first day of the new school year in Missouri. If you’re a public school teacher or parent, that probably doesn’t matter one iota to you. BUT, if you’re a homeschooling parent, you can start recording all of the educational activities your child does on July 1st.

If you’re new to homeschooling, or just considering it, know that it is so worth it. You can find information about homeschooling and your state’s requirements at the Homeschool Legal Defence Association website.

So, happy new year homeschool families!

Laura

Tying Up Loose Ends

It’s the end of June. Time to tie up loose ends around here.

Lowell is finishing up the Joplin Tri-State Shepherd’s Guide. It’s a great directory of Christian businesses. This is a new book to the Joplin area; but, Shepherd’s Guide has been around for years. Click on Shepherd’s Guide to see the on-line version. There may be a guide in your neck of the woods. I really love the idea of having a list of Christians to go to first before I check out the yellow pages.

I’m finishing up the record keeping for homeschooling. The school year in Missouri goes from July 1 through June 30. So, I try to get it all wrapped up in June. We’ve been on a break for the last few weeks. In July, I usually start easing back into school a bit. This year we’ll probably start on our Language Arts and Math in July. We’ll continue reading. We’ll add other subjects as we get closer to Autumn.

I’ve also got to finish my painting project. I’ve been away from it for a few days.

Well, it’s really late, or early, so I’m off to bed.

Happy Today!
Laura

Marveling at the Wonders of New Life…Spring Chicks!

Marveling at the Wonders of New Life….

Our latest family project is raising chicks. We bought our six little chicks from my Friend Joyce’s young sons. They’re making a little business of it. We’ve had the chicks for a week and a half now and all are healthy and strong. I recommend buying from someone locally.


We’ve got the chicks in our garage now that it’s getting warmer and they’re getting bigger. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown in such a short time. These photos were taken when we first got them. It’s another great hands-on homeschooling project. I hope the little critters will reward us with some eggs, too.

They are a “straight run” meaning that there are girls and boys. The girls will be our hens. They should start giving us eggs in about 6 months. The boys will be the roosters. At 8 weeks, they’ll either be in the soup pot or sold.

My Friend Nancy told me that I could hold them by the head for a moment and they would either pull their feet up or put them straight down. The ones who pull their feet up are hens and the ones who put them straight down are roosters. We tried it and found we had three of each. Nancy tells me that the test is 99% accurate. We’ll see, won’t we?

Well, that’s enough for tonight. I’ve got to be up bright and early to work on a mailing for the Shepherd’s Guide.

Blessings to you!

Laura
Adding a Few Feathers to Our Nest

Trapped…and Released

“Based on the information available today and the terms of the contract in force today, benefits will be available if the service is medically necessary.” Ten, twenty, thirty, forty times a day I would repeat that phrase. I was a customer service correspondent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I answered the phone all day long, explaining benefits, helping with medical claims that weren’t processed correctly or were misunderstood. I couldn’t answer the phone, fill out a form, or sneeze without putting a tally mark on a piece of paper so that my employer would be able to keep track of every moment of my day. I felt, with my headset attached to the phone system and my computer in front of me, like a dog on a chain. I was trapped. I must admit that for the most part, in the almost 18 years since I’ve been home with my children, that I’ve either forgotten or blocked out most of what it was like to be stuck in a job that I didn’t like, making too much money to quit, but not enough to get ahead. I was so young I didn’t appreciate the medical benefits except for maternity! I still remember the day, January 18, 1991 as my emancipation day, the day I was released! ~smile~

I think it’s good for me to remember, to appreciate the freedom I have now in comparison. No. I don’t have money to buy things I want most of the time. No, I can’t do all the things I want to, unless they’re free. Yes, it’s worth it. Being home with my children has been a wonderful privilege that my husband, God, and my willingness to go without have offered me. My children are different than they would have been if I’d been at work and they’d been at school. I thank God that I’ve been there to instill our beliefs, our faith, and our values in their lives as well as to teach them.

I also think that it’s good for me to reflect on what I would have been like, what I might have done, if not for Jesus, and on what I did do before Jesus. Our Pastor spoke Sunday about a man who killed many people at a Christmas party last week. He said that apart from Christ and the Holy Spirit in him, he could have been that man. Any one of us could have been that man. If we didn’t have Jesus, we would be at the mercy of whatever the world and Satan enticed us with. Desperation, fatigue, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, as well as a host of other pressures and sins would assail us.

Thank God for Jesus Christ and the work of salvation that he did at the cross. We have the opportunity to be reconciled to God, to have a clean conscience and a clean slate before Him in spite of our past sins. We have to choose to accept Jesus’ death being the payment for our sins and believe that he is resurrected, at God’s right hand in Heaven. Then, we must wash ourselves by reading the Word of God, the Holy Bible, daily, asking for God to fill us over and over with His Holy Spirit.

I need to remember what I was and what God had done for me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I need to press forward, focusing more and more on God’s word and what He wants to do in me, my family, my church, and my community.

I ask God to bless you all as you think reflectively upon these things.

Laura
Thankful to be home and His

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without Advent Candy

One of the books that I really enjoy using at Christmas is the ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. She writes about the meanings of various Christmas practices and symbols and ways to reclaim them for Jesus Christ, God’s son.

Sunday evening, as Advent began, we read about Advent Wreaths. There was an activity called Advent Calendar of Kisses. The idea is to take a long piece of plastic wrap, fill it with a chocolate kiss for each day leading to Christmas, and tie ribbons between. A child’s kiss is then exchanged for a candy kiss each day until Christmas. I thought that was sweet, but didn’t have kisses or curling ribbon. Here’s my Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without version.
On Monday evening, we went to our small town’s Christmas parade. As with all parades, the children came home with way too much candy. Hmmm…that takes care of the candy part.
We had some plastic wrap, but no curling ribbon. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without…what do I have? I had pieces of fabric that had been torn in small strips. I had a little thin gold cord that I bought at a yard sale years ago. My daughter had some leftover yarn. I had enough scraps for the project! Don’t you just love making do with what you’ve got? It teaches our children resourcefulness.



A wonderful activity, memorable moments, homemade make do fun, the focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have.

Got creativity?
Laura
Blessed with Resourcefulness