"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day...

Since we have the privilege of doing school at home, we don't get the opportunity to have "first day of school" celebrations. We do however, have similar excitement over our first day back to co-op. And today, was that day.

We pack our lunches the night before, lay out our clothes and plan to leave early in the morning. There is so much anticipation to see friends again, learn new things and be a part of our homeschool community. This will be our fourth year doing Classical Conversations and we LOVE it! I even had a spare moment to snap some pictures of the boys before we left. The older boys are holding up a sign with their own grade levels.

I love these guys!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why are the Home-Educated Doing So Well?

May this post encourage all my homeschool friends on their journey to home educate their children. I know it encouraged my heart as we begin another school year!

I recently read an article from The Homeschool Magazine titled "Research Revelations About Homeschooling" by Brian D. Ray.

In the article he cites numerous studies and summarizes the statistics with this quote, "Multiple researchers and their studies repeatedly find, however, the home educated to be developing as well or better socially, emotionally, and psychologically than institutionally schooled children and youth".

So we ask the question, why are the home-educated doing so well? Mr. Ray tries to paint the picture for us with another question for the "professional educator". He says this,
"Ask any "professional educator" the following questions:
1.   How would you like a class size of 3 to 6?
2.   Would you like to be able to individualize or customize the curriculum and pedagogical            approach for each of the students, according to his or her talents, needs, desires, and dreams?
3.   How would you like it if you could essentially tutor each one of your students?
4.   Would you like it if you could depend on the student mastering the knowledge or skill before moving on?
5.   Would you enjoy being able to be flexible and change the curriculum or pedagogy if needed?
6.   What if you regularly had time to stop for the teachable moment?
7.   What if there were essential value consistency between you and your students, or their parents?
8.   Would it be beneficial to have large amounts of social capital-for example, trust and love-in your classroom?
9.   How would you like it if the biggest distraction during your day was, typically, a 7-year-old arguing with a 10-year-old about whose turn it is to wash the dishes?
10.   How would you like it if you almost always had time to thoughtfully and carefully work out, according to a solid and dependable philosophical framework, with each student how to face dilemmas, challenges, issues, temptations, and difficult relationships in life?
11.   What if you cared so much about, loved each of your students so much, that you would teach for free (i.e., no salary and benefits) all next year?"

Now that, sounds like a system that can and does work! There are a million reasons why we homeschool. The list presented, names a few. And it reminds me of how important the work (that I do for free) is!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birthday Boy Turns 2!!!!!

My sweet baby Austin is 2! Even though this is my third time around, I still can't get over how fast they grow up. I remember when I had my first, my Dad said "don't blink because they will grow up that fast". I didn't believe it was true at the time but now I understand why he warned me.

Austin Michael is so precious to us all. He is always smiling (except when he's angry) and snuggles with you like there's no tomorrow. He is anxious to be 8 years old just like his biggest brother and thinks he can do anything. He loves to be sung to (especially Jesus Loves Me and ABC's) and can out eat anyone in a PB&J contest!

6 Weeks Old

2 Months Old

 8 Months Old

1 Year Old

2 Years Old (no way!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fall in Love...

I have really enjoyed being a consultant for Thirty-One. In fact, this month marks my one year anniversary with the company! Woo-hoo! When I joined Thirty-One, I wasn't sure where it would lead me or how far it would go.

In this first year, I have promoted to Senior Consultant, had parties with dear friends and made lots of new friends. By far my favorite part has been meeting so many wonderful ladies and getting to help them as they shop with their friends. I realized this was serious when I started doing parties with complete strangers. It was at that time, I became incredibly busy with something I thought would be a hobby. I quickly had to learn how to balance home, school, family and parties.

With a new season and new catalog at Thirty-One, I find myself reminiscing in all the memories from the past year. So many good times and so many lessons learned. I am so grateful to be a part of a company with so much integrity, knit into a fabulous team with other consultants (who consistently encourage me) and grateful to continue meeting fun-loving ladies.

So here's to another wonderful year with Thirty-One and another fabulous Fall catalog.

(I just love the Fall kit and new prints!)