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con·tent'ed·ness n.the state of being contented with your situation in life.
"...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content..." ~ Philippians 4:11
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." ~ 1 Timothy 6:6
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Bible in 90 Days - Round 4!
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Tag Archives: homeschool
Last September our family boldly embarked on and successfully survived a 30-Day TV and Gaming Fast (it was great, by the way, you should all try it). This September we are embarking on a <gasp!> one-year activity fast. It all started toward the end of Spring 2011, when our family had reached new heights in terms of activity burnout. All the extracurricular activities our family members were involved with not only depleted our respective energy levels but also, and probably more important, destroyed our evening and weekend family time together. Practically every night of the week, as well as every weekend day, our family was split up in different directions as we attended to various sports practices, clinics, & games, public speaking classes, Aikido lessons, church, and sporadic meetings, as required. We were physically and mentally exhausted from running around and became more and more disconnected as a family. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the “The Family That Stays Together, Stays Together” principle and our family clearly wasn’t living up to it. So one rare, available night last spring during dinner, I suggested to the family that we conduct a one-year experiment beginning in September of this year: for one year, … Continue reading
If you’re looking for a neat way to keep track of the books your kids are reading (or have read) and to inspire them to read more, Shelfari is a great online resource for this purpose! Last year, I got turned on to this online social networking site for bookworms, where you can share what you’re reading with your friends and, in turn, see what they’re reading. It’s fabulous! I get so many great recommendations for books from my friends and, likewise, get to see the not-so-nice reviews of other books! If someone, on or off Shelfari, recommends a book to read I very simply add it to my “Plan to Read” queue. I never run out of recommendations! After a few months of using it, I got the idea to create an account for my elementary age son and started tracking the books he was reading. Previously, we kept track of his reading with a good-old fashioned pen-and-paper reading log but it was sloppy, with ripped pages, and not very pretty to look at. Shelfari is very pretty, displays covers of books on your virtual “shelf”, is convenient and easy to use, and keeps track of how many books … Continue reading
“MOM!!! I finished the entire book!!!” exclaimed our 8-year-old son as he bounded down the stairs at 9:30pm…a full hour after it should have been “lights out”. He was waving his chapter book in his hand as evidence. At first I wasn’t sure if I should reprimand him for not being asleep or congratulate him on the completion of his first chapter book. Quickly, my common sense took over and I hugged the excited boy and congratulated him on his accomplishment. This may not seem like a big deal to most people but our son is a struggling reader, as is his older half-brother and father. I, on the other hand, learned to love to read at an early age and had a voracious appetite for reading throughout both childhood and adulthood. To learn that the reason our son was a struggling reader was a result of being dyslexic just broke my heart. I had awful visions of him preferring to hang by his fingernails rather than read a book, just as my husband and step-son do today, because it was such an unpleasant activity. To deprive himself of all the wonderful journeys that books could take him on was incomprehensible … Continue reading
“So…”, my 75-year-old retired engineer father-in-law begins, “what’s RJ’s report card look like???”. This was a question that took me by surprise in the middle of a homeschool day last week. How do I answer this so that I don’t have to take an hour away from our already constrained homeschool schedule yet do it succinctly enough that he understands? I reply without much pause: “RJ doesn’t get a report card like the public school kids, Pop.” “Well…how’s he doing in math? Is it better than his reading???” Ouch. Was that an intentional zinger or a well-intentioned yet misspoken voice of concern? Within a split second I realize it is my turn to be officially squeezed under the homeschool microscope…a place I knew that I already lived although not strikingly reminded of it on a daily basis. Today was the full frontal assault by a well-meaning and understandably concerned grandpa. His 7-year-old grandson is, after all, having trouble reading. This fact has caused me some level of concern during this past year but I’ve been pretty good about shoving my concerns aside (thanks in large part to the MANY articles I’ve read from other homeschooling moms who have shared how their children … Continue reading
The “Five W’s (and one H)”: in order for a report to be considered complete it must answer a checklist of six questions, each of which comprises an interrogative word: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? This post will be the launching pad to six other posts that will answer each of the questions above from the perspective of our homeschooling family. This is a work in progress (WIP) so please keep checking back! Who…do you homeschool? (WIP) What…is your homeschool day like? (WIP) Where…do you homeschool? (WIP) When…did we first hear of homeschooling? A Life-Altering Moment. Why…do we homeschool? Ask Me Why We Homeschool. How…do we homeschool? (WIP)
Being a self-professed idea thief is bittersweet. On one hand, stealing people’s shared ideas often times enhances the lives of me and my family (the sweet part). On the other hand, it really emphasizes how utterly boring my own ideas are that I have to resort to idea theft (the obvious bitter part)!!! This particular project of mine, the Twelve Days of Christmas Calendar, is actually born out of not one, not two, but THREE stolen ideas. The way I look at it, if you’re going to be an idea thief you might as well be a good one and go for the gusto. Idea #1 was stolen from Mary Ann Eagleson’s article “Calendar Memories” in the November/December 2007 issue of Homeschooling Today magazine. The concept of observing the Twelve Days of Christmas starting on December 26th was extremely appealing to me. It’s true that there’s so much hype and expectation leading up to the day of Christmas…and then POOF! it’s all over with. How depressing! Observing the Twelve Days of Christmas serves to extend the focus, excitement and spirit of the holiday. I love that idea! So for the first time this year, our family will be doing just that…continuing to keep … Continue reading
Today I hosted a playdate with some of the homeschooling families from my church. The theme was “wreath-making”. Everyone was to bring a wire hanger, a goodie to share and mud boots (as it had been rainy the day before and just a tad muddy out on the farm)…and I promised to provide Christmas music, a cozy fire, hot chocolate and an opportunity for the kids to walk our property in search of nature’s bounty for the making of our wreaths. Four moms and eight kids (ages 2 – 7) participated…down from the usual 16-19 participants. The kids absolutely LOVED being outside, playing with our big dopey (and rather muddy) dog, Eli, then chasing the chickens, turkeys & guinea hens as we moms started snipping evergreen branches. After the kids got their jollies terrorizing the barnyard animals they were instucted to look high and low for natural materials with which to decorate the wreaths (berries, nuts, acorns, etc.). To my complete surprise (because the whole chasing of the chickens thing was a tough act to follow), all the kids were rather excited to discover red holly berries, yellow holly berries, blue berries on a cedar tree, various pine cones and gum tree seeds. … Continue reading