Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Father's Intelligence

An intelligent person seldom misses an opportunity to learn. Sometimes we are blessed to be taught by a master. It maybe through the beautiful example of a Godly lifestyle, but the intelligent person remains a student who learns humbly from educated and uneducated alike. For God gives everyone experiences and knowledge that can benefit the Kingdom.

Learning is far more then academics, not that academics aren't important. The fine tuning of God's will in our life and our willingness to submit should be the ultimate learning experience for us as Christians. I don't believe there can be greater learning then that. As homeschooling Mothers how do we teach our children this? The only way I can think of is to live out loud and to be the child I am in God's eyes. And to let my children see that I'm obeying my Father and his will for me.
Lord I pray that through your grace I will be able to radiate the fruits of your spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self control. (from Gal 5:22-23)Towards my family, church and neighbours. I lift up all my sisters in Christ especially homeschooling Mothers praying for them as well.
Please Father give me the opportunity to witness and to be a Godly role model to all those around me and to mature me for your greater good.
In Jesus I pray

Thursday, July 15, 2010

School 2010/2011

SCIDES for me was a bit of a disappointment. It was basically a brick and mortar school with out the brick. We are registered this year with CHES-estream aka Christian Homelearner's e Stream. I'm very excited the teacher seems lovely, helpful and very open, offering suggestions and she has a good idea about most of the curriculum available.

We decided to use Sonlight, core 1 this year; we are using with Saxon Math, Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)and Explode The Code online. I'm also considering at home violin lessons using The Violin Book. For Bible lessons I'm using Leading Little Ones to God which came with my core 1 package and the Children's ESV Bible

One of the reasons we choose this program is it seemed suited to teaching both children; they will be doing language arts, history, geography, and science together. The only material that they are not sharing is Math and HWT. This past year was difficult having to do to separate programs for kids especially considering they are only 19 months apart and are at the same level in so many areas.

I'm starting this third year of homeschooling with more confidence then I've had in the past but I know this is what God wants for my children and family. I see the fruits of homeschooling daily. One of the sweetest thing is that I have an almost 8 year old son that will still hold his Mom and Dad's hands in public.

An eternal question about children is, how should we educate them? Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art. All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the ancient Greek sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts, soul is neglected. - Thomas Moore

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Been So Long

The last few months have been so crazy busy with homeschooling, scouting, and soccer. The kids and I have been having a good time but throw spring cleaning, studying for my Chartered Herbalist exam and keeping house it's been a bit overwhelming.

The biggest news I have is that I'm going to continue to homeschool and that next September Evamae will be doing kindergarten and Henry grade 2 at home. I feel pretty relieved there is a Mom in town that will homeschooling her little guy for kindergarten too. It's nice to know I'll have Mom close by to throw ideas out too.

We are going to be using SCIDES We had a nice teacher at Kool School in Kamloops but I think for us the Merritt program will be a better fit. Plus it looks like there is a homeschooling group in that area that meets twice a month so we can meet even more homeschoolers, yeah it doesn't get any better then this.

My husband and I are working hard to get my Etsy store up and running, I think I'm still about a month away from that but I'll post the link when it's done. Oh what else it looks like we might be helping out a Mom in town with some child care. The kids are excited by about that.

Can't wait to catch up on some of the blogs I follow.

Blessing to you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Christmas Baking

Mama Svienson's Granola Bars

1/2 c soft butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c honey
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 c Rodgers Porridge Oats
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c chocolate chips

Grease a 9x13 pan, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, sugar and honey till light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla till blended. Add porridge oats and shredded coconut and then mix in chocolate chips. Press mixture firmly into greased pan. I cover the mix with wax paper and use a rolling pin to firmly pack the granola into the pan.

Bake 15 mins then I turn off the heat to let them get golden brown. It might take longer up to 20 mins depending on your oven.

I like to use the Rodgers porridge oats because it's healthier it has added oat bran, wheat bran and flax seed.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Temptations

This recipe I got from the "What's Cooking" Winter 2008 Kraft recipes magazine.

2 2/3 pakage (16 squares) of Baker's Premium 70%Dark Chocolate
1/4 c whipping cream
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 c finely shopped walnuts (I didn't use any)

Chop up 8 chocolate squares and melt in microwave bowl ( I melted it in a double boiler on my stove)Add cream and butter to the melted chocolate, stir until blended.

refrigerate for an hour or until firm

Shape into 24 balls, place on wax paper covered tray.

Melt remaining chocolate. Use fork to dip truffles into the chocolate. Then sprinkle with nuts, crushed candy cane, silver balls, icing sugar, powdered coco (whatever you can think of)

Refrigerate again for an hour. Should be kept in the refridgerator when not being served.

Coconut Delights

6 squares of Dark Chocolate
1 c sweetened coconut
1/2 c icing sugar

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, then mix in coconut.
Drop on to pan with wax paper, dust with icing sugar and refrigerate for an hour.

Keep refrigerated when not being served.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to find inexpensive books

Our library has books sales yearly where they get rid of there older books. They are in pretty good shape and for .25 a hardcover kids book they are a steal. I've gotten many of my favorite titles this way.

Another good place to find books is garage or estate sales. This is usually the cheapest way to buy encyclopedias. Another great place to look for books and get rid of your old ones is Freecycle. Free cycle is a site where you find yahoo groups of people who are giving away for 'free' unwanted and useable items. You can also ask the groups if anyone might be interested in giving away the items you are looking for, children's books is one of those things that people are usually trying to find new homes for.

Second hand book stores are great there are some to that have a really cozy set up so you sit and read a bit if you time to hang out. is another place to look for used books.

If you don't live near a library you could get a group of friends together and start a little toy & children's book lending library. I've lived in a community that had a toy lending library and my kids loved it. You can never have too many books in my opinion.

These are a few ideas if you have any other suggestions for find cheap/free books please comment.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Gender Differences In Learning

I read a great article on 'Gender Friendly Learning' the other day its a few years old (May/June 2002); I found it in "Tree House Canadian 'Family'" an Owl magazine. The information is based off of Michael Gurian book, "Boys and Girls Learn Differently!"

There are nine suggestions on how to make learning easier for both boys and girls. I'll summarize them.

1. Let students use hand held objects that can be manipulated during reading. I've let Henry use a some play-doh while we are working on his reading. That seemed to help him settle down and focus; the example they use in the article is a stress ball. Boys like to work with concrete objects so using differently shaped pasta to represent quotations marks and commas is very helpful to them. Daily journal writing is recommended for even challenged writers because the ritual of daily writing is beneficial.

2. Multisensory reading and writing stimulation , play music or use dimming lights or candles to create mood, while kids have to write a mysterious story.This is helps to improves literacy dramatically in boys.

Overhead projectors are more useful for teaching then verbal instruction alone because it augments the verbal with a visual and spatial stimulant. Boys in Grade 1 and 2 who may not have developed verbal skills appear to be particularly helped by this approach.

3. Read & Draw, , I tried this tonight I read a book while I let Henry draw he seemed quite happy about this. According to Gurian, "Drawing is no substitute for reading, but it can take pressure off children who read poorly but can use aural and verbal stimulation to better code and decode words."

4. Providing visual, tactile objects to help student better see. This is especially helpful to girls. Using manipulative in math also is helpful to boys because they appreciate being able to learn through physical activity.

5. Provide a variety of learning modalities. Gurain has found "that girls in particular shine when they're given different ways to learn, such as tutoring other students, writing in their journals, debating issues, writing & acting out plays that are incorporating academic subjects."

6. Try same sex classes. Gurian found that in school that did this both the boys and the girls did better. "Both boys and girls were more focused and worked harder in class." This was a grade 7 class.

7. "Give extra encouragement this is very important for girls but it's also important for who are highly sensitive and less competitive then their male peers, or who are particularly aggressive, also need special intention," says Gurian.

8. Provide opportunities for physical movement. Very important for young boys. This is probably one of the number one benefits for homeschooling. I can give Henry breaks every 15 mins or so, he just needs to move. They give examples of letting boys clean blackboards or taking notice to the office in a school setting.

9. Wait for an answer, regardless of gender. Give the child a min to pull thoughts together.

I find for boys and even men seem to take much longer to process then women. I think they comprehend the information but it's that they take longer to decide on how they want to articulate their thoughts. This is my opinion and not in the article.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Duck Pond

We had a gorgeous sunny walk today around the duck pond. It's a great walk I guess it's about a 40 min trek with the kids. There is an information board there that goes over some of the flora, fauna, aquatic birds and land birds it's pretty amazing that such a small lake supports such a large variety of plants and animals.

It was peaceful family time. Henry was very excited about trying to break up all that frozen ice. The kids love going for walks it was so mild too despite how cool it looks. These walks are like a mental health break for the family. We get to just relax and enjoy each other; walking and talking it's great for the soul.