Monday, March 24, 2014

Did you know there are many ways to homeschool?

Many new homeschoolers are very overwhelmed and have no idea where to even start with researching curriculum. One piece of advice I always give because I wish I had done it myself is to look into the different schooling styles. Once you know what your "syle" is it's so much easier to narrow down the plethora of curriculum out there.

My Experience 

When I first started homeschooling Chelsea (my oldest) I honestly had no idea what I was doing! A few months earlier I had said I would never homeschool. You can read more about why we chose to homeschool here. There I was trying to figure out what on Earth the buy to use with her! A friend of mine was going to be using the K12 program. After researching I didn't want to go that route. I talked to some ladies at church and they mentioned things they had used so I looked into those. They looked good and affordable so  went with it. I had looked at other things but honestly had no idea what I was doing, where to start or how most of these things worked!

We made it through that first year. I have to admit it wasn't a very fun one. Many tears from both of us on many occasions. More about all of that in another post. The next year I tried something different but it was still the same textbook/workbook style of homeschooling that we had used the first year.

Finally sometime during her second grade year I read The Well-Trained Mind and after realizing that there are many styles of homeschooling, I began to research.  was amazed and delighted to discover that what we had been using was not fitting the way  wanted to teach or the way my daughter learned best.

TWO YEARS of using the wrong types of curriculum! I guess that's why they say that hindsight is 20/20! Boy do I see it clearly now. We switched for third grade to My Fathers World which is a combination of unit studies, Charlotte Mason and classical curricula. It's hands on, real bofaoks and just what the doctor ordered for my family. We still have our struggles every now and then but school isn't an every day battle any more. The best part? We have FUN!

Schooling Styles

Here's a quick list of some of the many styles out there.

  1. School at Home
  2. Charlotte Mason
  3. Unit Study
  4. Classical
  5. Unschooling
  6. Montessori
  7. Waldorf

This is just a few and I can't say that I know or understand them all! Many people use a combination of many of these as do we. I encourage you to find out how your child learns best. Grab a book like "Discover Your Child's Learning Style" and find out what would work best for both of you. Then grab Cathy Duffy's "101 Top picks" and start browsing curriculum. I learned the hard way that matching your teaching style and your child's learning styles are a must to make a positive homeschool experience. No two homeschools look the same which is the beauty of it all! Now it's your turn to share.

Photo credit
Note: This post contains affiliate links. These in no way change the cost of the products for you, only bless my family with a small portion. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Childlren: God's View vs. The Worlds View

Hi friends! Today I'm guest posting for a blogging friend! Stop by Beauty in the Mess and read my post on God's view of children versus the world's view.

Click here to read the post and have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just 18 Summers: Book Review

As a parent you know how fast time seems to fly! I never realized why adults always said it until I had my own children. Now my oldest is about to turn 10 and it's hard to b believe and figure out where all that time has gone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3 Reasons to Use Online Videos in Your Homeschool

Today I want to share with you one of the ways that we add to our homeschool studies. As I've shared before we use My Father's World as our core curriculum. Of course there's questions kids have or they want to know more information than what I have available in my brain or my book shelves. I have found that online videos are a great way to enrich your studies. Here's 3 reasons why I like using online videos to enrich our homeschool. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wayumi: Tribal Missions Retreat

I want to share an experience my family was blessed to have at a place called Wayumi. A few weeks ago I was busy packing for six people for the weekend. On Friday morning a couple from church came by after we took Hunter and Natalie to my dad's and we loaded into their van for the five hour trip. We left the other two with family because they would have had a hard time sitting through the sessions at the retreat.

Once we got to Jersey Shore PA we checked in, found our room and relaxed until dinner. Then started the real fun! After dinner we had our first session. We learned a little more about the workers and why Wayumi was started. Wayumi is a way for New Tribes Missions to teach people about tribal missions. We also got to hear about the Yanomamo tribe in Venezuela that night and tried a yucca root that they often eat. I couldn't get Chelsea to try more than a tiny bite. As those of us who did try it chatted I heard lots of comments that it tasted like Shredded Wheat which I think is pretty accurate description of this strange looking stuff.

Yucca root.

Saturday morning was spent learning about the different languages and how our culture effects everything we do. We had quite a few laughs imagining eating pie "backwards". A favorite story of mine was when Gary told about having some men over from the tribe and making coffee for them. He invites them in and tells them to sit in the dining table. After some confused looks the men end up squatting on the chairs. I never realized even the way we SIT is effected by our culture! This entire tribe, he came to realize never sits like we do, they squat and can stay that way for long periods of time too!

In the language session we learned how difficult it can be to learn some of these languages. In the Joti tribe the word creation can be said five different ways and each one means something different! They say that English is the hardest language to learn but after seeing some of the examples of things like that I'm not so sure.

Saturday afternoon was the best experience of the retreat and I think many who went would agree.. We had the opportunity to experience going into a tribal village without knowing the language and trying to communicate! We met a Joti tribesman and a woman from the Yanomamo tribe. We instantly noticed the differences in how they acted and responded. It was quite difficult to figure out what to say when you had no idea what they were telling you! After a few minutes with the Joti man we were given a little help with a phrase to use to ask "What is it?" That helped some but we still felt quite lost because he spoke very quietly and we had a hard time catching what was said.

 When we met the Yanomamo woman she asked my husband to sit in the hammock next to her and was outspoken and seemed very friendly. We had been given a few phrases ahead of time and that helped us out a lot!  Her outgoing, boisterous personality helped us relax a lot more. She was helping us repeat the words so we could learn them and we had a lot of fun with her. After meeting both tribeswe were shown some pictures and videos of how these tribes really live.Once everyone had the chance to experience "the village" we tried to remember how to pronounce the words we'd learned and had an opportunity to ask questions.

After dinner we had another session to learn about all of the different jobs missionaries do. They don't all just translate or live in the jungles. Many of them live in the cities and buy supplies, are dorm parents for the visionaries children who go to the schools there, take care of finances, pilots and a bunch of other jobs. My husband and I were both surprised that it's not just the translating and jungle living that missionaries can do!

Sunday morning was interesting with the threat of a giant snow storm! We had breakfast and then got to learn more about the Joti tribe's story. It's amazing how much work it takes to learn and translate and then teach the people! Scott said they started with Genesis because the people had no idea who God even was. They built on that and worked through the old testament and the idea that a Savior would be coming. I'm amazed at the excitement these people have for God's word! They were eagerly waiting for the next teaching and once they had their own Bibles or lessons on tape that's what the people did in the evenings. They'd be listening or reading out loud and just had such desire for God's word that it really makes you think about your own desire for God's spiritual nourishment,

This was an absolutely amazing weekend and a life changing one too. This past Sunday we learned that there's talk of going again in a few years and I can't wait! Wayumi offers open weekends, youth retreats and other events. If you have the chance make the trip to Wayumi! You'll be glad you dd.

Have you had any experience with missions? 

More pictures because I couldn't fit all of them above.

All pictures courtesy of Joy Miller. Thanks Joy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Severe Speech Delays: Chelsea's Story Part 3

Part 3: Where Are We Now? 

I almost forgot to come back and finish up with sharing our journey! You can read the beginning of our story here and part two here.

Like I said before after almost a year, Chelsea's speech progress was quite slow and her therapist was starting to question if the surgery had done the job. After checking in with the surgeon and reassuring her that things were as they should be we kept plugging along.

Several times a week we went to speech therapy and Terry would work with Chelsea, playing games, using a mirror and lots of other ways to try to get her sounds coming. Then one day it just seemed to click. Terry had Chelsea say a work with a k sound and she actually got it!

Excited, she tried some others and Chelsea was nailing every one of them. Finally a break through! After that  day sounds started coming easier and with less effort. Her words were still not extremely clear but there was progress.  I remember the first time I heard her say mommy instead of mama. You can just imagine how that felt!

That doesn't mean she still wasn't struggling because she was. She was still afraid to talk to people and having just started talking at the age of five, she was being made fun of in kindergarten because she basically sounded like a baby to the kids around her. Sometimes I would hear about it from her when she came home crying that kids wouldn't play with her at recess. Another time I heard from a friend's mom that her daughter had stuck up for Chelsea when kids started making fun of her.

A lot of what happened that year in kindergarten led us to the decision to homeschool. Now several years after that surgery she has almost all of her letter sounds, is talking more to people and making friends from our homeschool group and church! We are still working on a lot of grammar issues and still waiting for the "r" sound to make it's appearance but I'm so thrilled with the outcome and how far she has come! I'm so proud of my kind hearted, artistic, loving Chelsea! I know we went through all of this for a reason. God has a plan for it all! I know too that someone needed to read this and be encouraged by our story.

I would love to hear your journey with speech delays. Feel free to  email me at share here in the comments or click on the contact tab at the top of the page.
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