Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Feast

The days pass quickly and I am really trying to limit my time on the computer. Combine those two things together and the blog is neglected. I have much to share today, therefore the title "Friday Feast."

First, as I type this I'm listening to a play list of one of the bloggers that I follow. Make sure you visit Heather at A Place of Quiet Rest. Her music choices are wonderful.

May was a busy month for us as the kids finished up AWANA for this year. My little guy will move up to Sparks (I won't have any more Cubbies, sniff, sniff.) And my 8 year old will move up to T&T next year.

Bethany participated in the History/Science/Art Fair that our local homeschool group hosted. Her project was owls and she did a great job!

Here in the second picture you can see her "Kaya" bag. She made this from a kit supplied by my friend who has taught her daughter and Bethany in "American Girl Club." They read the entire series of Felicity and Kaya books throughout the year, discussed them and did activities pertaining to the books/and time periods. She enjoyed it greatly.

My little guy participated in a soccer camp of sorts, an hour each Saturday in April and May. He had a fun time! The last day was this past Saturday and they asked the parents to play for the final 15 minutes. T was so excited!! He looked over at me and said, "Mom, when the other team kicks the ball, you've got to run like the wind!" =) So cute!! (My oldest daughter edited this photo.)

This evening we will honor a good friend of ours who is now in the presence of Jesus. He had a love of all things garden and I'm thankful to have learned at his side. He loved talking about his plants, canned jars all neatly lined up on the shelves, and techniques that he had perfected over the years. I'm praying for his dear wife of 59 years and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all who knew and loved him. He will be missed. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Lastly I want to share with you a feast of different sort. In three different ways, God has reminded me this morning of His sovereignty and faithfulness. I pray you will be encouraged and refreshed as you look at these links.

A short, 2 minute video entitled Why is there suffering if God is good?
Today's Our Daily Bread devotion called, Our Times--His Hands.My last God reminder is JJ Heller's song "Your Hands."

How is that for a feast? Thank you God!

I'm linking this post to Home Sanctuary's Company Coffee Girls. You probably know by now that I don't drink coffee, however I love tea. So grab a cup of your favorite tea and visit other friends. Thanks for visiting me and have a lovely day! (note: the picture of the rose at the top of the post was taken and edited by my oldest daughter.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hero and The Crown

The girls Literature Club read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley this month. It was an interesting book--at some points hard to read, other times I didn't want to put it down. You can easily find summaries of the book at sites such as this one:

What I had a difficult time finding though were discussion questions, so I thought I'd post a few of them that I came up with and maybe it will help someone else.

The girls are middle school aged and all home educated. We meet once a month and at the beginning of the year, I give them a list with all the books we are going to read as well as the role they will fulfill for each book. Some of the roles include: biographer, geographer, connector, literary chef, literary luminator, vocabulary enricher, props and character representation, and illustrator.

We always start out talking about our overall feelings about the book. Then we move into a summary with each girl adding to the discussion. I try to have several questions that require deeper thinking or evaluation in addition to the ones that are more straightforward.

Discuss the main characters and their personalities.
Define a hero.
What is the Newberry Award?
What does it mean to "tack up" a horse?
In chapter 6 as Aerin is trying to figure out how to handle the horse bridle, reins and her sword, she talks about holding the reins in her mouth. However if she holds them in her mouth, she won't be able to belt out her war cries such as "Victory!" and "For Damar!" Where else do we hear such war cries? (My thought was in the Narnia books)
There were several rumors about Aerin, what were they? How did these rumors hurt Aerin? In groups of two, search the Scriptures using the concordance for verses on gossip, slander and overall what our speech should be like. (I loved this...the girls did a great job and I pray that they will hide God's Words in their hearts. I shared with them that down through the ages women have struggled with their tongues--men too, I'm sure. But women are notorious for being gossipers. So these verses are going to be good reminders on how we should use our tongues for good and not evil."
What was special about Gonturan?
Aerin expresses her dream to Teka, saying "Someday I shall be famous in legend and story." Teka's quiet reply was "I have never doubted it, my dear." What do you dream of (what are your goals) and who are your encouragers?

Lastly we were sure to discuss that the book suggests that Aerin spends the night with Luthe, no other details are given, however I felt the need to say aloud what God's plan is for them as single young women.

As I read the book, I was thankful God brought these and other questions like them to my mind (and I promptly wrote them down). They made for good discussion and prayerfully things were discussed that the girls will recall in years to come.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shelley Noonan--Mentoring Your Daughter

At the convention, I also went to hear Shelley Noonan talk about Mentoring Your Daughter. She was also inspiring (despite this was the second session that I had to sit on the floor--the rooms were THAT full!) So, I ignored my back, and took fast and furious notes. To be sure, I feel as though I am mentoring my daughters (and my son) however it was so encouraging to hear her perspective and ideas on this extremely important task.

She said that mentoring is to "teach with purpose on purpose the morals and standards we have." She went on to discuss 3 main reasons we don't mentor--lack of time, lack of confidence and lack of skill.
Lack of time--plan to spend time with your daughter. Put it on the calendar!
Lack of confidence--Pray that God will guide you as to what to teach. Talk to your daughter about goals (goals you have for yourself and her, goals she has for herself, goals for your time together.)
Lack of skills--we haven't had good examples, go back to prayer and God's Word; He is our example.

Mrs. Noonan had a great acrostic for mentoring: TIME:: Transparency, Intimacy, Making it Meaningful and Enjoyable

I'm really looking forward to implementing some of her ideas into our routine. While at the convention, I found a book for Bethany and I to work through together called "Just Mom and Me having Tea" by Mary Murray. We started it this week and we are having a sweet time together.

Well, I hope you are enjoying my little snippets of the convention. I'm enjoying reading through my notes and processing what I learned further! And did you notice that in my last post about Inspired Learning Rebecca herself actually commented?? Now that brought a big smile to my face! She is a neat lady and I'm so thankful that I was able to meet her. Make sure you visit her site: to read and find out here. And Shelley Noonan's site: Pumpkin Seed Press is a winner too.

Stay tuned: next convention recap--Jeff Myers speaks on Rites of Passage: Rituals that Make the Passage to Adulthood Unforgettable for Teens.

And a side note--I'm not sure if you are picking up the theme or not, but as I went to each session, I was amazed how the theme of studying our children, spending time with our children, making goals with and for our children, etc. were repeated over and over again. God, The Grand Weaver, wove beautiful reminders and encouragements into my heart. {sigh, I'm so thankful!}

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rebecca Kochenderfer--Inspired Learning

My favorite speaker of the weekend was Rebecca Kochenderfer. She spoke on "Inspired Learning." Oh, wow, was it good...and inspirational! :)

One of the first things she said:: Relax more. (Go back and read that again!) She said that they did a survey of veteran homeschool moms and asked them the #1 piece of advice they would give new homeschool moms and it was to RELAX MORE! Don't get stressed out about academics and pouring information into your children...make learning meaningful.
Learning is more memorable when it is meaningful. When it's something that interests them, they will learn it and remember it. Stoke the fire that is under your child. {Don't you love that? God has gifted them, given them talents, abilities and passions, learn those passions and stoke the fire!}

She talked a lot about having dreams and goals. Each participant in the session received her book, Homeschooling and Loving It. I'm looking forward to reading it this summer and going through the questions and exercises. For example, she has you write down goals and dreams you have for yourself. That's right, Moms, we need goals and dreams!

I really enjoyed her and was inspired!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Help, I Fell Off My Lesson Plan

This was the title of one of the sessions I went to at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. It was given by Carol Barnier and despite the issue with poor sound, I gleaned some good ideas.

First things first: Homeschooling is efficient! We are doing more than we know each and every day. So when you have a day when things are going well and you aren't going to be able to do what you planned: make the most of it.

Be creative: do an art project, make a mini book (favorite animals, favorite plants/flowers, etc.), create your own opera, sewing or baking day
Be playful: play a board game, backyard Olympics, math game, freeze tag (have them answer a question correctly in order to get 'unfrozen'), have a 'backwards' day
Be inspirational: Movie day (historical, compare historical accuracy), "Heroes of the Faith" Day--dress up like the person, act out his/her story, watch a movie about them, Nature walk with sketch books

So, when you fall off your lesson plan, pick an idea and have fun!