About Our Back-to-school Plan

It’s here!  

The school year has kicked off with enthusiasm and hope.  Actually, we are in our second month of school, being the homeschooling family that we are… Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, we sat the kids down and explained a basic principle.

~Regardless of when we start, the same amount of work has to be done.  We can start early and finish early, start on time and finish on time, or start late and work later into next summer. ~

They chose to get an early start!

The school system we use is 24 weeks long.  We use a classical curriculum and once a week we meet with a large group of students, breaking into age appropriate classes.  We also meet with a smaller group of friends – other moms and their kids going through the same system.  This is the first year we are doing this, and it’s been wonderful!  The best part is we came up with a point system that challenges each of our kiddos to raise the bar in family life.  The kids spend 7 days earning points for specific goals and each time we meet they bring their accumulated points to add to the group’s goal of having a party.

We gave them fun names:

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With descriptions we all agreed on, and each of us tweaked for our specific family dynamics:

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They each get chores to check off daily.  Bigger chores for big kids, little chores for littler kids:

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And chores are explained and posted so there isn’t any misunderstanding:

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Which makes the side of our fridge into our points station:

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So far it’s been a really good start to the year.  I should add that my older two are in a challenge program working toward earning a special incentive trip at the end of the year for mastering all their school material. That’s 24 weeks worth of history, english grammar, geography, math, science, latin grammar, US presidents, and a passage of scripture memorized in english and translated in latin!  This is on top of writing & presentation assignments, memorizing grammar charts and dissecting sentences…

Have I expressed my mommy-pride loudly enough?!

It has been a handful, I have to admit.  I’ve had to become more routine and disciplined than I ever was while we were in a traditional school system.  With a kiddo just starting his school journey, two kiddos entering a new phase of their learning and development adventures, and a toddler enjoying life in the mix, a routine has become our life-line.  So has our support system – the other mommies and homeschool kids who understand both the sometimes intense pressures, responsibilities and amazing freedoms that come with a homeschooling lifestyle.  Gratefully we have both families in our classical system of homeschooling, and families who are pursuing different methods – both are refreshing, adding perspective and creativity I wouldn’t have on my own.

Whatever your schooling adventures are this year, we hope you are having a wonderful start and are full of hope and joy each day, overcoming hardships and enduring through the challenges in order to taste amazing success and victory!

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Finding God

Let us be determined to look for God in all things at all times.” –Joyce

Sometimes the evidence that God is at work isn’t the blessings that fill life, but the struggles.

Sometimes the evidence that we are making progress, spiritually breaking ground and acquiring the victory, is the hours of turmoil; financial stress, emotional heaviness, mental battles and physical calamities that fall at exactly {what we perceive to be} the wrong times, or in those “random” moments.

The Lord said to me, “When I move into action, you will see your enemy’s reaction.

He spoke this to me too, “I tell you this so that you will not be taken by surprise, but be aware and be alert.  For what I AM doing will at first be unseen, before your eyes will be able to grasp all I have accomplished for you.

So often when turmoil stirs up the dust in life, it is easy to only see discomfort and unrest.  It is so easy to focus on how the enemy is reacting that we often forget to look for God.  To look At God.  

There are times when the blessing is that God is at work in such ways as to cause our enemy so much fear that he reacts – seeking to get us so caught up in his ways that we forget Who deserves our attention.

The blessing in these times is that we have an opportunity to express faith.  It isn’t what God is doing for us, but Who God is {what motivates Him to do on our behalf} that is critical.  His greatest desire being that He is known by us, in relationship with us; intimately engaging in knowing us.

As with any relationship on earth, there has to be a willingness to risk faith that a person is who they say they are as we get to know them in all kinds of circumstances.

 

Knowing the God who Created us intimately, being known by Him, will change this world.  It is this that our enemy fears.  He fears this because he knows the truth of who God is.  And, it is this truth that motivates him to manipulate, disguise, disrupt, even destroy, as much as he is allowed to  touch.

My prayer for myself, my family and for you, is that we take every opportunity, every circumstance, every challenge and hour of turmoil to risk faith in God being Who He says He is.  That in this way, as our enemy reacts to His actions on our behalf, we engage in relating with, knowing and being known by the God who created us and then loves us.  That the blessings that fill this life fill every moment, whether in calm or storm.