Monday, August 18, 2008

MOMMY (Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS #23

Just wanted to check in before homeschool this morning, to encourage you homeschool parents and mentors to keep up the good work. We just started our homeschool back last week, and I feel like we're going to have a very productive year. This is despite the fact that I don't have quite everything that I need for a couple of subjects, but, we're making things work for now. We had a good start last week, and it's amazing how God will substitute or give you ideas for things to fill in the gaps when you don't have everything you "think" you need. Yes, He even cares about matters of our homeschool! Take everything that concerns you to Him; He cares!

This year, we're going Christian eclectic. When I first started homeschooling, I used one core curriculum for every subject, and that's the way it was going to be! That made things much easier to order, the kids knew what to expect and they were used to the flow of one curriculum, when you order in a bundle, it was cheaper most times, and I was pretty rigid, admittedly, (not on purpose) because I thought it was just better this way. Then, I realized that substituting this for that could be even cheaper, that my children had totally different learning styles that I NEEDED to cater to, that God allowed me to find some great supplements that didn't come from the curriculum I ordered, and that in some subjects, in some grades, I didn't have to have what the curriculum offered at all. I could practically do some subjects for FREE!! Thank God for the internet, imaginative thinking, and the library. Needless to say, I've changed over the years, and now, although I try to point everything we do and talk about towards Christ, I used a little bit of this and that to make that happen. I've been satisfied with this since then.

One of the new things I'm trying this year, with English, is the McGuffey Readers. If you don't know about them, they are a set of Prose and Poetry English books written and used about 170 years ago. Yes, that old. William Holmes McGuffey was an outstanding 19th century educator and preacher. He combined both these talents to create some of the longest-lasting and widely used textbooks of his time and ours. These books were used in multi-level, single classrooms with children of all ages, and they all learned and practice their English skills together. Yes, younger children can learn in the same class and environment as older, and the teacher can teach several ages together successfully. While a lot of times today mixing children of a certain age group with older ones isn't a good idea because of today's negative influences, it certainly worked well back then, and it can work well in the home. I use two different McGuffey readers for my girls, but they learn at the same time and the style of the stories and the set-up of the book is the same. In fact, they will trade books eventually.

The McGuffey readers combine reading, grammar skills, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and the proper pronunciation (and recognition of commonly misspelled words) of words all in one book. I loved it right away!! All of the stories in it are Christian-based or have a value, standard, or moral to teach. Okay so now you get your English skills and God's Word and/or great character building qualities at the same time?!! I love it even more. The girls are starting to like it too. Today, they have their first spelling/vocab (we do this at the same time from the same words) test. This should go pretty smoothly because of the way we study them and how they've heard the words many times, in context, in the story itself. How much easier and interesting could McGuffey have made it?! Can you tell that I'm a great fan of these books? I'd like to get every one in the series. So far, I only have 3, but they were all the ones I needed for this year. I'll keep looking for the rest.

Won't you pray to the Lord to teach your children through you? Won't you join me in prayer for our homeschooled kids, that God just loves on them, teaches them, instructs them in His way, keeps them moving according to His plans for them, opens their minds, that they might absorb His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, that they might love Him more every day, that they might take their gifts and talents and use them for the glory of God, that they might have the most successful school year ever? Commit your children and your homeschooling to Him that made them. He can do a much better job than we can. Pray that He teaches and instructs us, as we go, in His way also. Submit to Him, that we might be vessels that He uses to see His precious children to where He has designed and instructed them to go. Pray that we're a help and not a hindrance to our children's growth.

Here's praying for all of you out there who are mentoring and loving on someone else's child, homeschooling your own, have a child in public or private school (I have one there, and I have committed to not only helping him too, academically, but I pray for him in his school everyday, and soon, I will be praying at his school for the school itself, its children, and the faculty), or doing a little bit of all of these. I even pray for you supporters of your ones off to college. I have one of those too. We have one literally in every stage right now, college, high school, middle school, and elementary. Isn't that fascinating?!! But it is challenging as well. I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Have a blessed day in Jesus!!

1 comment:

Linda said...

That sounds exciting about the McGuffey readers.

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