Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Educational Philosophy

Now, please realize that I retain the right to change my mind but for now I would like to offer this as my educational philosophy. It is short and sweet but workable and for now that is good enough for me.

I want for my children Confidence, Skills, and Inspiration.

Let me elaborate:

Confidence to me means that they have the courage to try new things, meet new people, take intelligent risks, make mistakes and learn from them and to be who they were born to be.

Skills means they have the skills they need to fulfill their purpose in life. Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Cultural and Religious Literacy, Critical Thinking, Communication Skills, Household duty skills, research skills, and relationship skills.

Inspiration in this sense means an ability to hear and understand God's plan for them. I want them to think for themselves and figure out what their spiritual life will be and how they will accomplish the mission God has for them.

I'm sure I will edit and refine this philosophy but for now I am going to work on how this philosophy will be put into practice.


Friday, October 16, 2009

When I Weave, I Weave.....

Today we (all my boys and I) met with our facilitator Mrs. Linda Johnson. Linda has been trying to understand "voice" in each of us and how we nurture that voice. She shared with us the 4 steps to voice.

1. Put information in. In the mind, heart, soul through reading, viewing, experiencing etc.

2. Talk about it.

3. Write or Draw about it.

4. Share it. In some form

She then had us view a great dvd called Celebrate What's Right With the World. This is a documentary by Dewitt Jones a photographer for National Geographic. What a beautiful film about perspective, faith, wisdom, and life. As we watched we drew in our notebooks and wrote words that stood out to us. Then we gathered again and discussed our thoughts and feelings about the film. I was thrilled to hear what my boys had to say. They each took something different from the film and made it a part of them.

The part that I took to heart was the story of the old woman who weaved. When Dewitt asked her what she thought about while she weaved she said, " I wonder when I am going to run out of thread." This shocked him because she had come across as a very wise woman and he had expected something more profound but as he thought more about that answer he realized just how wise that statement was. She was saying, "When I weave, I weave." She was talking about being present. Not worrying about the future or regreting the past just being. Very wise.

And so I will try to weave when I weave, sleep when I sleep, play when I play and work when I work. What a great learning activity. Thanks Linda.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Two More Finished Millions to Go

Books that is. The kids and their dad just finished James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. They also finished The Secret of Nimh two weeks ago. They are reading machines and I am so excited about it.

James and the Giant Peach was especially fun as Clayton put voices to the characters and made the kids laugh with his funny caterpillar songs. I was very impressed. I am so grateful that he has taken such a big role in our homeschool this year. It frees up time for me to give more individual attention and also gives me time to do some much needed cleaning, though I often find myself gravitating to the livingroom to enjoy the readaloud with everyone.

What will they choose next? Clayton should pace himself though. I'm not sure he can top his performance of James and the Giant Peach.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Classic Spot

A classic is something, someplace, or someone that you return to over and over to learn new things. We have a classic spot south of our little town. It is a garden of eden in the midst of rolling prairie. A snake-like creek flows through it and vegetation grows thick because of it. We snapped some pictures today and I thought I would share them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jarett's 7th Birthday

Here are some pics of Jarett's surprise birthday party. He had been hounding me for over a week. He really wanted to know when his "friend" birthday party could be. He had his Witbeck birthday party and his Rasmussen party but he still needed his "real" birthday party. I was partied out so I told him that I would surprise him. It worked. He stopped hounding me and I was able to put together a fun pirate party for him.

The Mighty Volcano

We had a little fun playing with vinegar and baking soda today and we made a MIGHTY VOLCANO. I learned that my youngest doesn't like to get dirty. He said, "do I have to use my hands?", "what if I get my pants dirty?", and "can I take a bath?".

I am going to have to add "mud pies" to our curriculum. Maybe I'll even help. I need to learn that getting dirty is fun too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The kids and their dad just finished Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. A classic story of a loner accomplishing great things. So much wisdom in that little book.

I read this book to Carter and Abby our first year of homeschooling and Carter still remembered it.

Dare to be Different.