Friday, February 3, 2012
I really just wanted to check in and let you all know that I have fallen off the face of the earth! I haven't forgotten to blog, I have just been so very busy. Tackling a honey do list when your honey isn't around isn't exactly easy. But it's nice to know that the list will be smaller by the time he gets home.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I am starting a few new blog memes this year which I am really excited about! I am going to be approaching Tackle it Tuesday a little differently this year. On Tuesdays I will share a list of things I would like to tackle in the coming week as well as share how much I actually accomplished from the previous week’s list. I will also post a tip or share how I tackle specific things in my home and family. I hope you enjoy reading these posts and that they help, encourage, or inspire you to tackle something important to you!
Since I don’t have a last week’s list to work with, today I will share something else. If you have been reading my blog recently, you know I have recently returned to college to earn my BA in English, as a first step towards becoming a college professor. Over the holidays, I fell into the temptation of procrastinating many things, including my own schoolwork. This resulted in less time and effort put into my work, which I promised myself I wouldn’t let happen (hey, we are all human after all).
With the new year, I am determined to get back into my previous routine of finishing my work at least a few days before it’s due, taking notes on my required reading, and putting forth my best effort. That started this week (my school week runs Tuesday through Monday).
Last night I read half of my required chapter and copied and pasted the most important sections into a Word document. Most of my class texts are Ebooks, so this makes it a little easier on me in the note taking department. This morning, since I had to wake up before eight to babysit, I finished my chapter and my study notes before 10am. I also chose my topic for this week’s writing assignment, and completed some prewriting. The paper is due on Monday. This evening, before I go to sleep, I will write my required discussion responses, which are due Thursday, and study for my quiz which is due Sunday. I plan on having all of my classwork finished before the weekend so I can get started on next week’s work Saturday. This will get me back to my starting schedule of completing my work the weekend before class.
In addition to catching up on homework, these are some additional tasks I would like to tackle this week:
- Help the boys get their room organized (again, I just did this a month ago)
- Make a dent in Mt. Laundry
- Finish reading one book I’ve started on my Kindle
- Bathe the dog
I know that doesn’t seem to be a very ambitious list, but with homeschooling, babysitting four days a week, and this writing class, I don’t have much time for extra stuff this week.
Leave me a comment and tell me what YOU are tackling this week!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Coming from a very loosely regulated state (and not yet having a college education) prompted me to find out what options were available to me to complete the required course. Most of what I found required attendance at several seminars and quite a sum of money. Then I found Barb Shelton's correspondence course, which was a perfect fit for me. I signed up, paid my enrollment fee, and purchased the required reading materials. This all started a couple of months before we moved, as it was my goal to be prepared legally once we arrived.
Of the many wonderful materials I studied, the writings of Marilyn Howshall are what stuck with me the most. Marilyn's writings are not based on a method, rather on a lifestyle that is at it's very root centered around the Bible. Although I was only required to read a few of her books, I ended up purchasing and devouring everything I could find written by her. When even that wasn't enough, I ended up finding a Yahoo group, as well as a Facebook group called Home Educated Mom. It was here that I got to know the heart of what makes a Lifestyle of Learning unique from every other method or approach I had ever encountered. This post will be my first in a series discussing her writings, and the impact they have made on my life.
In her book The Two-Pronged Educational Myth, Marilyn talks about the way our society views education versus the biblical meaning of education. The world says that if we fill our children with subjects, topics, and information then they will be prepared for life. However, the Bible tells us that relationships are where we should begin. The heart-level attitudes, intentions, and motivations (what Marilyn refers to as AIM in many of her writings) of our children will show through in the fruit of their relationships. And where do our children learn to relate to others? From the relationships within the family! Marilyn says:
"A biblical model of education and discipleship combines principles of learning for a whole-life education. Children are instructed in right-relating practices within the family and with their own learning process."Here's an eye opening thought - God actually cares deeply about the discipleship and education of our children! He doesn't just want our kids to get any old education, He wants them to have the BEST possible education - one that is biblical! Which means that discipleship and education (not meaning only academics) are equally important in shaping our children's lives.
Ok, you may be thinking, so what does that LOOK like? What makes this different than what I have already been doing? A biblical Lifestyle of Learning means that learning happens in the middle of everyday life. Our children will learn using specific tools (which I will discuss further in a future post) and specific principles will influence all activities and relationships. Our children will work toward developing individual scholarship. Take note: individual here means so much more than independent, the two words do not mean the same thing at all. One aspect of a Lifestyle of Learning I truly love is the use of living books and notebooking. We have used both of these wonderful learning tools in our home for years and enjoy them so much more than workbooks and textbooks, although these have their place as well. Individual discipleship between a parent, who's aim is to be led by the Spirit, and their child will result in relational fruit (as well as all-around happier household, in my own experience). The parents must be committed to following the leading of the Holy Spirit in all matters (educationally AND relationally) and show constant interest in those things their children are interested in. A true LOL (abbreviated from here on) means taking the time to observe, talk to, and encourage our children to help them develop their interests, as well as their gifts, bents, traits, and abilities. And last but not least, a LOL means putting relationships first, resulting in family purpose and meaningful relationships between all family members.
Ok, so what about content? Skills? Academics? I won't dig too deeply into these issues until later posts in this series, but instead I will leave you with this quote from the author:
"When the acquisition of knowledge serves character formation, skill will always be found to be a by-product of the process."A LOL requires much more of the parent, but not in the same ways many traditional methods and curriculum do. There are three major areas in which the parent must first begin to change before they can make changes within the family.
- Devote time and energy to personal scholarship, as led by the Holy Spirit, in order to experience true growth and change,
- Allow the Holy Spirit to to disciple you (through your conscience) in order to address your relationships biblically,
- Embrace the process of bringing your children into right relating practices with you as the Lord leads you to do in your own relationships.