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Home Schooling

Home Schooling Kids

even robots go to school

Yes, he just went to school dressed like this. #robot #senseofhumor

I thought I would give you guys a little school update. Basically, after 1 1/2 weeks, my kids are loving school. The above photo proves it. Let me explain.

I know this going to school thing is still new, but I’ve been amazed with the chatterboxes that walk through the door at 2:15 PM. There’s an excitement in their voices as they recount their day and what they learned. They are taking initiative to get their homework done rather than me having to remind them (are these the same kids that fought me tooth and nail over doing math worksheets??). Over dinner, they have a hard time not interrupting each other, because there’s just so much to talk about. Both Jeremy and I have looked at each other in amazement. It’s a confirmation to me that this decision, although tough in the beginning, was the right one.

Oh, and the robot. Yes, well, all this excitement brought on some creativity in my Joshua. The cardboard box had been sitting in his room for about 6 weeks and then the inspiration came to him. Not only did he create a robot, but he went to school that way! I love his creativity and his confidence. I love also the guidance of Jesus that has brought all of us to a happier, lighter, more joyful, creative place.

PS: I have a giveaway for a sweet little Valentine book ending tonight. Be sure to enter!

Home Schooling Thoughts

confessions of a [non] homeschooling mama

my boy

Tomorrow, at 8 AM South African time, my kids will start going to school. It’s been quite the process for me that goes something like this…

The beginning of December I had a meltdown, like a crying I need to take a walk kind of meltdown. I’ve been homeschooling for 15 months, and while there’s been some sweet and fun moments, it’s been hard, real hard. Most days felt like such a struggle to get my kids motivated to do their school work. I feel like I’ve tried so many different techniques, and still felt like I was trudging through mud. I was exhausted and felt like something had to give. Either I needed to lay down several other responsibilities (particularly around ministry) so that I could have the energy to homeschool, or we needed to explore other options for school for the kids.

I asked myself the question, “If I could choose what I wanted to do, what would it be?” The question was the easy part. Answering it bravely and honestly was the hard part, because, given the choice, I would choose another schooling option.

Insert a flood of emotions, guilt being at the top.

A lie started twirling around in my head that I was choosing work over my kids. Tears, deep breaths, and a walk. An inner turmoil was battling in my heart, and all I knew to do was cry, breathe deep, and walk. In those sweet moments of crying out to God, He started to speak the truth.

What was the most loving for all of us?

I started thinking about my children and how Joshua does so much better academically when he’s around peers. I started thinking about both my kids and how they are social butterflies and love the interaction they can get from others. I started thinking about how I’ve struggled to teach academics in a way that they can understand. I started taking comfort in the peace that was engulfing me as God spoke the truth, and I saw more clearly what choosing the highest good for everyone might be.

I remember people saying to me how good I would be at homeschooling and how much I would love it. I think I’ve tried to attain to something that, quite frankly, I am not and something that drains the life out of me. I love discipleship, and that will not change with my kids. I will still teach them about good character as we live our daily lives, but the rest is not for me in this season.

If you’re wondering, our kids are beyond excited to go to school. That certainly helps. We’ve found a small school (only 12 kids) that seems like just the right fit. They believe the arts are just a part of learning as academics. They are also very flexible with us with traveling (a huge answer to prayer).

It’s a new school year and a new season for us. Expect some first day of school photos in cute uniforms soon.

creativity Home Schooling

in the studio :: 3D hands

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! Anyone else so glad it’s Friday? I’m ready for a breather!

Josh's Hand
joshua’s hand

Today I’m showing off some of our homeschool art inspired by something I found on Pinterest. Aren’t these 3D hands so cool??

Emma's Hand
emma g’s hand

Seriously, we were all amazed. Believe it or not, drawing those lines over and over was so relaxing. Pretty sure we’ll do this again!

Jen's Hand
my hand

I wrote about birthdays last week on In The Studio. If you care to see how our hot pink, zebra, dress-up party went, click here! And if you want to get a glimpse into our crazy crew here in S. Africa, check out the Ten Thousand Homes music video! It’s seriously awesome.

Now it’s your turn! Remember your “studio” can be anywhere. Let’s celebrate each other’s creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don’t forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Home Schooling

play dough and earth

blue play dough

Well, we are in week two of the new homeschooling year. After a bit of a bumpy start, everyone is now settling in nicely with the routine. We made some revamps from last go around, and I’m liking it so far.

the earth's core

One of the things I find fun about homeschooling is being able to find interesting activities to go with our lesson. With Joshua learning about the Earth’s core, mantle, and crust, I thought it was a good time to make a new play dough recipe I found using hair conditioner and corn starch! It was incredibly soft, smelled amazing, and provided the perfect “mantle” for Joshua’s Earth. Emma Grace also made some and went a little overboard on the green food coloring. Thankfully it didn’t take long for it to wear off.

green play dough

After making the play dough, I had Joshua (and Emma because she wants to be like her brother) go find a round rock to serve as the Earth’s core. Then they wrapped it in play dough to serve as the mantle. Finally they got it a little wet and sprinkled dirt on it to serve as the crust. The idea was taken from a Science YouTube video that I can’t find the link to.

Fun activity = lesson learned!

Home Schooling Kids

what i learned :: emma g

sometimes, when you want a quick photo at the end of the day, this is the best you get.

I think when I sat down to talk to the kids about their last school year, I had in my mind that they would list all these amazing things they learned from their awesome teacher. The things that stick out in their minds are somewhat comical to me, and then they throw out something like number five in the list below, and you realize that the significant things really do stick with them. Emma G’s list included…

~went on a ferry

~ate a shawarma

~started learning multiplication

~learned to tell time on a (analog) clock

~accepted Jesus into her heart

I won’t lie. Last homeschool year wasn’t easy, but I felt like I couldn’t make a decision for future homeschooling based on the first year. We had a lot of transition going on, and we were all trying to learn the ropes. I’m looking forward to this new school year and the learnings that will take place, both from a book and from travels around the world.

Oh, and did I mention this little lady is now a gymnast? Her extracurricular activity of choice was gymnastics, and she’s loving it!