Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day - Heart of Compassion Experience



Happy 1st day of school!  


I shared earlier that I wasn't ready to start school when I had planned.  I had the best of intentions and even ordered flowers to be delivered to the girls on the first day of school.  Ironically, the flowers didn't arrive on time either.  Despite all the little setbacks, better lessons unfolded and our hearts were filled beyond any other first day that I could have planned.













We took a field trip, out of town, to embrace heartschooling and partake in the Compassion Experience.  It was beauty full and just the perfect start a new school year.  We stepped inside the classrooms of those in foreign countries.  I watched as the lessons unfolded and the hearts were touched beyond just words; the sweet tender hearts and salty tears that stung the eyes.  "This is sad," whispered my youngest daughter.

It was over 105° on the blacktop, and while Compassion tried to cool things off with fans and such, it was sweltering.  It was deeply humbling.  We take for granted the places we can go to escape the heat and this very experience reminded us and grounded us in the blessings we don't deserve.  The lumps grew in our throats.

There was a message of compassion, a message of need, and a message of hope that gently spoke through the headphones with the each story of a life changed.


Years ago when we started sponsoring through Compassion, I had this mind set that we could make a difference in their lives.  Little did I know then, that they would greatly change our lives.  We've connected over the years with these beautiful lives through their letters and drawings and they've stretched me and grown me in ways that I cannot explain, but after this experience, I pray and hope that I can find the right way for these lessons to unfold for my daughters, as they did for me.


My girls helped write letters and draw pictures.

The lessons unfolded . . .

God can lift you from nothing to something.  


And, that was the end of our first day of school!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A 'lesson unfolded' in Scripture



a lesson unfolded - wisdom tucked into scripture to embrace in our homeschools. . . . 
Philippians 4:8-9

 whatever is:

true - Bible, Scriptures, Hymn Study
honorable {noble}- Character, Habits
just {right} - Mathematics & Logic
pure - Health, Physical Education
lovely - Art & Music Appreciation, Handcrafts
commendable {admirable} - History
excellent - Languages, Literature, Poetry
praiseworthy - Science & Technology


. . . learn & receive, hear & see, and practice these things

 "and the God of Peace will be with you!"


Memorize and meditate and whisper these Words and may peace abound in our daily homeschool lives.  We are called to HeartSchool His gifts entrusted to us.  May I be reminded of these verses every day - the good days, the hard days, the fun days, and especially the days I fall to my knees in despair.  "The God of Peace will be with" me.  ~amen

{Blessed by Alle for sharing this encouragement.}

Friday, August 11, 2017

Our School Year Planned


Our school year has begun!  Each year is similar, but a little different because I've gained wisdom in each year as a homeschooling wife and mom, and I'm still learning.  I've tried different schedules and planning methods and tried year round vs. traditional and found that we need a visual schedule of sorts, but need flexibility more than anything.  The true beauty lies in this very special freedom. 

 lessons unfolded- I am still learning and planning is something I
 love + do + think about

How did I plan this year?

  • I started with a school calendar and chose the August - July which resembles our private ISP.
  • I then outlined all days that I know we won't be doing school.  Some of these dates are birthdays, holidays, family vacations, etc.  I also try to respect our local school district's calendar to try and avoid any issues.
  • Using a highlighter, I started highlighting possible school days.  We must have 180 days, so I count to make sure that I have 180 days highlighted.  We started on Friday, August 4th, and our targeted end date is by the last day of May 2018.
  • ... and without the girls knowing it, I have a few fun "just because we can" days planned!

The flexibility comes to play in knowing that these are only "planned" and not absolute.  {For instance, we've already had a rough week of school which took us to Urgent Care twice and a diagnosis of mono for our daughter.}  We must be flexible!!  I have no idea what the days ahead will bring, but I now have a few options -- one we can add some additional highlighted days for our missed days and extend our school year into June, or we can cut some of our planned days off, or I can just mark them as "absent" from school and do make-up work just like the public schools.

It's visual, doable, and fits the flexibility to do school over a full year, if needed, as life tosses out things in the homeschool adventure ahead.

Let the 2017-2018 adventure begin!


{School Calendar is from FiveJs.com}

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I'm NOT ready for school to start!


I woke up this morning and looked at the calendar.  The date, August 1st, was circled as our 1st day of school.

 I'm not ready for school to start!


Yes, the books are ordered and are here, but things are not in order.  My heart is nudging me to accept the beauty of homeschool and move our starting point a little later -- like maybe Friday instead of Monday.

My Bible time is not in order and it needs to be.  I haven't been reading the Word like I should and I know it causes the shift of peace to chaos.  My goal today, is to pick up my Bible and find a time slot, just for me, to do this special Bible time.  I'm not a morning person, but as I get older, I'm not the night owl I used to be either.  I'm finding too many things taking up the few good hours I have each day, but something has to change.  It got me thinking about the hours in a day.

I realized that homeschooling hours have to change.  They have to be more doable and relaxed, yet scheduled/focused enough so that the pages turn and the work progresses through the school year.  After much thought, I came to the idea that trying to fit in every subject - every day, was NOT working and dragged on our days and school year.  I had one of those light bulb moments and a bit of wisdom came to mind - I should schedule it like our Five in a Row days!  Block Schedule the subjects and give the days time slots to one particular subject.

Thinking out loud in a visual chart format . . .
I wanted to keep our days to under 4 hours, have light Fridays, and have a time slot to allow for any unfinished work or even projects that we may want to do.  I think I've accomplished all those goals and love that we can start our weeks off with Bible, Hymns, and Character training on Mondays to apply throughout the week.  We will do Language Arts, Math, and P.E. every day, and then use the blocked time schedule for the remaining subjects.   I plan to really try to stick to the allotted times rather than try to lesson plan out in detail -- example:  if Lesson 1 in Math only takes us 30 minutes, then we will move on to Lesson 2 in that hour and go as far as we can.  And, in reverse, if Lesson 1 is dragging on beyond the 1 hour, then we just stop at the hour mark and pick it back up the next day.   Beyond the schedule, the girls will be reading independently (that correspond to our lessons)  and I need to pray about adding in the library days, field trips, and the fun "just because we can" days!

Things I still need to do:
  • School Calendar - (re-do with new start date)
  • Teacher Prep - (Pin It! Maps, organize books, & supplies)
  • Organize home
  • Write out ideas for field trips & "just because we can" fun days

It looks good on paper, so far, and I feel one step closer to being ready to start school.  Implementing it, is an entire other ballpark, but that's where my heart and my Bible time, will need to stay prioritized.

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