Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is "School?"

In general, I believe that homeschooling is becoming more accepted, and even if it isn't something you would do yourself, most people recognize our right to educate our children as we see fit. I do still hear quite a few negative comments about my decision to homeschool mostly regarding the quality of their education. For most people "School" is a building you go to 6 hours a day 5 days a week 9 months out of the year. Any learning must be done within these walls, during this time frame and certainly taught by someone with a piece of paper stating they are capable of doing so. Learning must be done out of textbooks only of course and everyone must learn the same thing at the same time. Even though homeschooling is different than this traditional model, that doesn't mean my children are learning less. I think they are learning more. While we only use the occasional textbook (mostly Math) we teach in other ways too. My favorite is hands on learning and reading real books. Learning is not confined to only certain days a week at certain times a day, it can be done all of the time. Children are like sponges, they soak up everything around them. For instance, even though it is summer, when Daddy went to Dallas for work, we found Dallas on the map, talked about what direction we would have to travel to get there, and how long the trip takes. The children also learned quite a bit about reptiles at the program at DeGray Lake, and yesterday did several experiments on how to make a paper airplane fly higher. Think of it this way. When you learned to ride a bike or drive a car was it just from reading a textbook, or did you have to go out and do it? Can you learn to cook by just reading a cookbook, or do you actually have to cook? I am quite certain my children are getting a "quality education" from the comfort of their own home and from a teacher who loves them more than anyone else in the world.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DeGray Lake State Park

Over the week-end we went camping at DeGray Lake State Park with my mom and dad. It was a lot of fun! DeGray Lake is beautiful and there is a lot to do at the State Park such as golfing, swimming, bike riding, boating, fishing, camping, snorkeling, and other fun programs. It was sunny and very hot so we spent quite a bit of time at the beach. Lily enjoyed her first time swimming in the lake. Friday night we roasted a few marshmallows, but it was still too hot to enjoy sitting around the campfire. On Saturday Chelsea, Nick and Alex went to a free program about reptiles with my parents at the amphitheatre. They learned a lot and got to touch a snake and an alligator (well Nick didn't touch them.) The children love camping and can't wait for our next trip next week.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lily and Alex

People often ask me if the children get jealous when we bring a new baby home. The truth is they really don't. Christian (2) does like to be heard (all of the time) but even he has not shown a lot of jealousy towards his sister. They all adore her. They hug and kiss her every night when I tuck them in, they are always playing with her and trying to make her laugh. I have lots of helpers to change her, dress her, and fetch her pacifier. Nick insists on sitting beside her in the van so he can take care of her while we are driving down the road. Art says that the reason she is such a good baby is because she has so much entertainment all of the time. Yesterday, Alex was laying on the floor singing to Lily (she loves his singing you know, it makes her laugh) so I snapped this really sweet picture of the two of them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yard Sale!

I had two big motivations for wanting to do a yard sale. To get rid of some CLUTTER, and to make some extra money to go towards homeschooling supplies for next year. Cleaning out closets to sort items for a sale with so many "helpers" was a little challenging, but we got it done. My next challenge was that I live out in the country, who would come out here for a yard sale? That problem was solved when my friend who lives in town wanted to get rid of some of her stuff too. We had the sale at her house (she has 3 children 15, 8, 6) all the children played very well together for all three days (one to set up, two to have the sale.) It was fun having the sale with a friend and even though we were all tired it was well worth it. I was a little disappointed that I didn't sell more of the baby stuff, but all in all it went very well. I made $186 on things we weren't even using and my friend did even better than that. I will probably try to do another one in a couple of weeks to sell what I have left.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Last week we had a very busy week, making any computer time impossible. We had VBS at our church Mon-Fri from 9-12. I volunteered for the nursery since three of my children were in there. Chelsea was a youth helper and got to work in music so she was thrilled. Nick and Alex had a great time. Their favorite parts were snacks and crafts and every night they would tell Daddy what they had learned that day. Lily, Christian, and Anthony had fun hanging out with me. VBS averaged over 105 kids every day (not bad for a small town) and raised $750 for a little girl with cancer in our community. Every year I am glad we go, but it also makes me appreciate not having to get up every morning and drag the kids out the door. By the end of the week we were all exhausted.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Camping at Lake Catherine State Park

We had a great time on our camping trip this week-end! We left at 4:00 on Thursday and got home at 4:00 on Sunday. The weather was beautiful! Sunny and 90 degrees Saturday and Sunday. The great thing about camping at a State Park (in Arkansas anyway) is all of the fun things it has to offer for only $17.50 a night. We had a large campsite pretty close to the lake which had a lot of places you could fish easily without having to go down a steep bank and it had a great beach with a pavilion, a bath house, and tables up in the shade. The roads were paved so the children could ride their bikes and it had a great playground. The park also offered a ton of free activities and a nature center with fish, turtles, and snakes. During nap time for the little ones I took the three older children to some of the activities. They made a nature bookmark, pine cone bird feeder, sun catcher, and a litter bug. We all went to the movie Friday night in the Amphitheatre. We got to see the Lorax on an old time reel projector. Saturday we had some friends come out to the campsite and we roasted marshmallows and made Sm ores. We are looking forward to our next trip in 3 weeks.