Living Loving Learning

Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

Dear Future Husband (Part 2)

In Family, Homeschooling, Marriage, Parenting on Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Letter from our youngest daughter, Katie….quite the prophetess!

Written by Katie Meadows Mansour, April 29, 2002.  13 years old

Hey future husband!

I’m writing you because, well, because I’m so excited about getting married and I can hardly wait to start a life and family of my own with you.  I know you must know that God has to be the cornerstone of our marriage, because if you didn’t I wouldn’t have allowed myself to marry you.  What I mean by that is God has to be in everything that we do—decisions, goals, most importantly our relationship.

Right now I am 13, almost 14.  My wishes/fantasies are to get married in about six years on July 12 (my Grandpa, Grandma and Mom and Dad’s weddings were on July 12).  That is two days before my 20th bd.  I will almost be done with college, getting registered for nursing.  I really want to just be a mom, but until we are set financially, my career will be nursing……(she goes on to tell the number of children, boys and girls, complete with names and name meanings)

….I know my wishes and fantasies will change and I’m glad because I want you to have every part and every say that you desire.  I know God has set you apart for me and I can’t wait to meet you!

Your future wife,

Katie Sara Meadows

Eph. 5:22-24

Eph 5:33

——————————

Katie met Alexander when she was still young, 15, and actually did marry him on July 12, 2007, in the very same church as her parents’ and grandparents’ wedding, even though it was a Thursday evening wedding!  She was two days shy of turning 19.

This May she graduates from University of Central Oklahoma with her degree in nursing.

Finding this letter blessed me so much.  The thoughts and desires expressed on paper set a direction for Katie and she stayed with it. It’s hard for me to believe anything other than that the Hand of God was directing her hand, as well as her heart. Alexander’s desires match Katie’s desires, and God is the cornerstone of their marriage.

My hope and prayer for you is that you will be encouraged that God has a plan for you, and for your children. Keep pouring His truths into them. Someday, when you see them grow up and live it out…..well, that’s just an overwhelming blessing!!

Next, I’ll share some of Anna’s thoughts and dreams from her letters to her future husband.

~Robin

Advertisements

Dear Future Husband (Part One)

In Homeschooling, Marriage on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I’ve been cleaning out some old stuff and discovered a small gold mine of Katie and Anna’s old spiral notebooks. The notebooks we used for their schoolwork.

One of the prized writings I found was a letter Katie wrote to her future husband…..when she was only 13 years old!

I remember giving Anna and Katie the assignment. I don’t remember if I offered any suggestions as to content, but I do know the things they wrote must have helped in giving them direction for the qualities and character they were looking for in a young man. They chose well!

Anna recently shared with me that she saved the letters written to her future husband and presented them in a book to her to-be husband, Cody Light, the week they were to be married, August 7, 2009. Wow! Wish I had done something like that!

So, if you’re single, consider doing something similar for your future husband. And really, I guess it’s never too late to start writing letters to our husbands. Think I’ll give it a start!

I’ll post Katie’s letter to her future husband next blog. She’s quite the prophetess. Come back and see what her 13 yo heart knew even before she married Alexander. Maybe Anna will share some of hers as well.

~Robin

Give Me Your Light

In Family, Homeschooling on Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Our son, Kody, recently completed a music innovations class offered by Paul and Jennifer Colley at their recording studio in Oklahoma City. 

The class came along at a time we were praying for more open doors and opportunities for Kody’s abilities.  Amazing how that happens, huh?  You’d think Someone was guiding and directing us!

This is a song he wrote and recorded during the class.

Enjoy the audio,  “Give Me Your Light”. (he especially likes the guitar solo towards the end of the song)

3097_68219263415_596453415_1615543_7493167_n2

 

~Robin

Vegetable Gardening + Learning = Fun!

In Gardening, Homeschooling on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Having a small garden plot (or even growing in containers) is an excellent way to teach many traditional school subjects, but with a hands-on approach.

You can show your children that carrots actually look like this

fal2007_touchon_carrots

Not this

baby-carrots-01

Your kids can learn that potatoes grow underground and that tomatoes grow on a vine. 

You can do all sort of math projects, like measuring your plot, weighing your production, counting seeds and seedlings.  And the science:  Everything from labeling plant parts, the biology of reproduction, to measuring the pH of your soil! 

Entomology—good bugs and bad bugs in the garden

The vocabulary:  decomposition, organic, pollination, germination, etc.

Geography, economics, nutrition.

And the greatest for me:  the scriptural application and Truths found in dirt, seeds, plants, vines, water, giving, receiving…well, you get it.

And then there’s just the good old hard work, not to mention the yummy good taste and high nutritional value of fresh vegetables. 

So? What are you waiting for?  Think it’s time to start growing some veggies of your own?  Experience is the best teacher of all!

 mom4

 

Robin

When Just Enough Hell Breaks Loose

In Homeschooling, Moms, Scripture Thoughts on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 12:01 am

Yesterday was one of those days when just enough hell broke loose to make me doubt just about everything I was doing. 

No need for details.  We home educate two teen boys….enough said?

After a hard day of trying to press through, I finally had time to do my Bible reading.  I know.  It’s supposed to be the first thing you do…but it didn’t happen.  And even if it had, I’m not sure I would have heard the same message that I heard later in the day. 

Ps. 94:18-19

I cried out, “I am slipping!”
  but your unfailing love, O Lord , supported me.
 When doubts filled my mind,
  your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

 

My doubts didn’t go away, and my feelings didn’t exactly change, but I’m hanging on to His Truth….His unfailing Love will support me.  I can have renewed hope and cheer, because

 

HE IS IN CONTROL

mom4

 

 

Robin

Stay Home….Do Family

In Homeschooling, Moms on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 9:44 pm

For many years I have been very protective of my time.   I rarely plan things on Saturday, especially, because that’s my day with my husband.  Even if we’re not together all day because of our tasks, I still make myself available to him.  I think he notices it.  I know he appreciates it.

 

I am protective of our school hours too.  The myriad of activities, opportunities, and requests has to be sifted through, and carefully considered, or our time could be spent doing everything and anything else besides education.

 

Now, our last children at home, boys, are 16 and 14.  Our time together is running short before they head out on their own.   I’m making sure that I don’t fill my days and weekends with extra activities, even though my guys are perfectly capable of caring for themselves.  I want to be available to them and to the many friends they have coming to our home. 

 

So, if you don’t see me at functions, or if I turn you down when you ask me to keep your children, or if I ask to meet with you another time, it’s probably because I’m at home, doing life and family. 

 

It’s my calling…it’s what I do.

 

Maybe your life is different.

 

Are you protective of your time? 

 

Is it difficult for you to turn down requests and activity opportunities? 

mom4

 

Robin

This is School? A Look at Unit Studies

In Homeschooling on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

I teach a 3 and 5 year old at home (ok, sometimes it ‘s more like attempting to do activities with my 5 year old while the 3 year old is either jumping off me or the walls – take your pick).  What I’ve discovered works well for this varied age group, and makes it fun for me too:   unit studies.  We even did some of this with my 9 & 6 year old nieces this summer and the same “study” worked for all ages. 

 

I’m not a creative person by nature.  More like a copy-cat-gone-crazy, i.e., I come across an idea that’s a starting point, then I can “go crazy” with ideas.  One of my “copy-cat” resources is Five in a Row.  Also, along the same copy-cat lines, this wonderful home schooling mom, Deliese,  was doing FIAR as well and began with Night of the Moon Jellies.  Therefore I decided, “what the heck?”, I’ll start there too. 

 

 So this is how our unit study looked.  It took about 3 weeks to get through this since we only spend about 3-4 days a week sitting down and only 30 minutes to an hour with actual structured school time each of these days. 

 

 We read Night of the Moonjellies.

 

We talked about everything in this book from the setting (New England), to the structuring of a restaurant, to ocean things.  Of course my little guys were most fascinated with the ocean part, so this was our area of focus. 

 

We got several books at the library about jellyfish, looked at the pictures and talked about them.  We made paper plate and crepe paper jellyfish.  As they were cutting and gluing the tentacles we counted them and engaged in different addition and subtraction-type games with tentacles.  We wrote the letter “J”.  We talked about what other types of words start with “J”.  We talked about how many syllables were in the word jellyfish and how many other words had three syllables as well.  We talked about other words that rhymed with “fish”.

 

 

We made paper sack and crepe paper octopus’ another day and did many of the same math and word games as above.

 

 

 

For a science experiment we made a bowl of saltwater and tested different objects to see whether they would float or not.  They loved this one – anything involving water and young boys is a hit!

 

 

 

 

 

Other activities included painting sharks and whales, tracing fish and making “scales” with the end of a pencil eraser and an ink pad, drawing what they thought the beach looked like from the book, and a discussion of the book’s setting in New England and the fact that this is where the pilgrims came from in leading up to things we will be doing for Thanksgiving.

 

If you are looking for some ideas and struggling with teaching several levels at once, unit studies are definitely worth a try.  Any subject could turn into a unit study.  Just think of a subject that interests your children, think of what goals you have for their learning, and “go crazy” with ideas all focused around this subject.  And don’t be afraid to copy-cat.  There are tons of resources for people like me 🙂 that just don’t want to have to come up with everything from scratch.

Have you ever tried unit studies?

Are you a naturally creative person, or a “borrower” like me?

Erin

Eyes Wide Open—A Review

In Homeschooling, Lifestyle on Friday, October 3, 2008 at 9:16 am

 Eyes Wide Open: Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity by Brienne Murk

This book talks about giving your heart away, too much, too soon, and ways to avoid that happening.

 I know, the title is a little dramatic. But, this is a book I highly recommend if:

 *you are a parent of kids around age 10 and above

*you work with kids that age

*you lost your heart at an early age and want to know how you may have avoided the emotional pain you experienced

I purchased three books.  I have my boys (14 & 16) reading it right along with me, and we discuss what we have read. (well, I  talk, they listen….kinda) 🙂

My boys roll their eyes, and think it is “stupid and unnecessary”. They don’t see the value in learning how to guard their hearts.   But, I do (and I get to choose the subjects we learn….so….).  I think it is extremely necessary, and I know they are learning some important truths, whether they want to admit it, or not.  I’ve heard them talk about the futility of the boy/girl relationships of some of their young friends. 

Here are a few tid-bits from the book:

  •  When we don’t guard our hearts, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line on an emotional connection.
  • We can become entangled in emotions when we follow our hearts instead of our heads.
  • I have the choice to live according to what is true or according to how I feel.
  • Building a relationship on feelings-no matter how exciting they are- is a recipe for disaster.
  • Whoever controls your emotions controls you.
  • There is no such thing as “casual dating”.

We’ve even been discussing how dating casually is like practicing for divorce and how easy it is for girls, particularly,  to become emotionally connected to guys. 

I don’t totally accept and agree with all the premises and thoughts in this book, but overall, the message is full of the truth that if you’re not aware of how easy it is to lose your heart too soon, it may just happen to you.

 As in everything we teach them, I don’t really know the choices they’ll make.  I don’t know if they’ll choose to guard their heart, or  if they’ll wait to date until they believe the relationship will be for a life-time.  But, Dirk and I do want them to be equipped with the truth and we pray they’ll choose what’s best. 

For now, we’ll press on and continue to read and discuss. (well, I’ll talk…) 🙂

 What do you think about dating? 

Did you ever suffer emotional pain from giving your heart away too soon?

 

Robin

One Chart, Two Chart, Red Chart, Blue Chart . . .

In Homeschooling on Friday, September 5, 2008 at 8:34 am

. . .  black chart, blue chart, old chart, new chart.  Some are sad.  And some are glad.  And some are very, very bad.  Chart, chart, chart, we love our charts!

 

Do you chart?  I chart.  I chart quite regularly actually!  Charts rule my schedule . . . ahem, I mean help guide me through a productive day.  Well, I have a new chart that will rule  . . . I mean guide the Simms family house this year.  Check it out!

 

My little guys are so excited about their new chart that they actually can’t wait to do the next thing on the list.  Kids like to know what is expected of them.  I have found that charts are one way to give them some structure.

 

I have a friend that has done a chart for potty training with a reward system and another friend who had a chart for her three kids for their AM routine before going to school.

 

If you’ve never tried a chart and you have an area with your kids (or yourself) that could use some improvement, try a chart!  They’re super fun to make, they’re super cool to have hanging in your house, and if followed correctly, they will help your day be more productive.

 

So join me now . . . Today is gone.  Today was fun.  Tomorrow is another one.  Every day from here to there, charts, charts, charts are everywhere!

 

 

Erin