Early plans for next year

I know we just started this school year, but I keep planning ahead in the back of my mind. Do you do that? It’ll probably change a lot before spring ordering but at least it’s a starting point.

The change from Abeka to Christian Light Education was just what we needed to get him back on track. There’s enough variety to keep him interested, and the work load is just right, yet in depth enough so I know he is learning.

We’re also enjoying the WinterPromise American Story 1 and now World Around Me for science. The science is pretty basic but better than nothing. Trying to do it myself like last year was pretty pathetic hit and miss. I wish we had the WAM then. It would have been better since now it is almost too easy.

So that brings me to next year. He will be in 3rd grade and his sister somewhere around kindergarten/first grade depending upon how much she does this year.

We’ll stick with what is working best. That means Math-U-See for both of them. Luckily I can use his old Primer teacher kit and only need to get new student books (and maybe another starter block set) for her. They will both be in Christian Light Education for language arts, reading and Bible. He’ll do third grade and she will be somewhere in Ready to Learn. He will continue with WinterPromise moving on into American Story 2 (civil war to end of 20th century). Depending upon how Karen is reading and the amount of free time I anticipate, I may get WinterPromise Hideaways in History for her. They will probably both do swimming in the spring again.

That’s the knowns. The unknowns are more problematic. I’m not too worried about Karen. She’s just starting so reading and math will be the focus. Anything else will just be extra. He’ll be ready for more detailed science. I don’t have any good ideas there. I’m still not sure about art or cultural awareness. I’ll see how the Artpac goes. Then there’s technology (typing and computer skills).

Any suggestions or ideas for the unknowns will be greatly appreciated. So what’s worked for you in science, art and technology?

Misleading Christian music

I’ve been thinking a lot about music this morning. The subtleties it has. How it can directly and indirectly influence people.

What got me on this is I’ve had a song stuck in my head all morning. It’s one they play on the Christian station. I don’t know the exact title or who sings it but the chorus goes something like “I don’t need the plan in hand. I don’t need the end in sight. All I need to do is follow you and do what you ask me to”

On first glance this sounds reasonable. We don’t need to know God’s exact plan for our lives. We don’t need to know if we’ll be old billionaires when we die or killed in a car wreck tomorrow. We do need to follow and do what God and Jesus asks of us. However, upon deeper contemplation I have a lot of problems with this song.

“I don’t need the plan in hand.” The plan for our lives is the Bible. Not having the plan in hand, how can you follow the plan and do what is asked?

“I don’t need the end in sight.” The end is heaven (we hope). We will all be judged by Jesus. If you aren’t living for that end, what are you living for?

“All I have to do is follow you, and do what you ask me to.” You want to follow Jesus. Great! However, if you aren’t reading the Bible how will you know if you are following what is asked or being deceived by Satan? How will you be able to tell if what you think you’re being asked to do is truly in line with God’s teaching if you don’t have the plan (Bible) in hand?

So if you follow the advice of the song and not read your Bible or live righteously for heaven, you are only deceiving yourself into believing you are following God’s will. We are told to obey God’s word, and not be deceived in many places throughout the Bible. Here are just a few of the more relevant verses which apply to this song.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 1 Corinthians 3:17-19

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: Deuteronomy 17:18-20

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 15

Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off Jerimiah 31:10

That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 2 Peter 3:1-3

Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 12:27-29

The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Psalm 7:7-9

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:15-17

This is just one example of misleading, double meanings in songs. You can see how something as seemingly harmless as a so-called Christian song can be very misleading. So while most conservative Christians would know that the majority of modern music is worldly and poor influence, we also need to be cautious about contemporary Christian music. It’s taking influence from worldly music rather than the other way around. Songs with double or hidden meanings and misleading lyrics are increasing.

I’m not saying not to listen to music, just to be wary and careful not to let something like music trip you or lead you astray in your Christian walk. Pay close attention to what music your children are listening to as well as the songs sung in your church. Are they Biblically sound. Do they lead you closer to God’s truth? Or are they worldly and emotional?

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:32-34

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:15-17

All references are KJV.


Wow! Did hubby ever find a good deal this afternoon. He was driving in town and saw a canoe with a $50 price tag in a yard. He turned around and yes, it was $50 not $500. He left a note telling them we would buy it for that price. She called a few hours later and confirmed the price was indeed just $50. They no longer used this one because they were getting a larger one. After work, he went and paid her then brought it home. It is a red, 15 foot Coleman. We have been muttering about getting a canoe but didn’t want to shell out the $500 or more a good new one would cost. I guess God thought we needed a canoe and sent us this one. Officially it is for Richard but of course we will all use it. It seems to be in good condition without many scratches. Not sure how old it is. Maybe tomorrow evening we will have time to try it out.

About Three finished

Karen is showing a real interest in books and learning to read lately. She has been working in About Three, an activity book for three year olds while Richard does second grade. She does a few pages a day. While we don’t work in it everyday, we do some each week.

Over the weekend, my husband noticed she is really interested in writing. She has learned to write her name in capital letters. He thinks she is ready to start learning to read. We decided to order her Christian Light Education’s Learning to Read program. The only question is when to start.

Tonight my husband and I looked through CLE’s catalog for pricing Learning to Read and possibly the other first grade LightUnits. For the 10 LightUnits (student workbooks), teacher guide w/answers, reader, sound slider and 3 sets of flash cards is $90. Her grandmother said she would pay for it.

I showed my husband the sequence from the Beginner’s Activity Series to ABC Series then Learning to Read. I also showed him the About Three workbook she has been working in. He was pleasantly surprised. I was trying to figure out how much longer it will take her to finish them before ordering Learning to Read. Karen saw the workbooks and wanted to finish it tonight. So we did.

Tomorrow we will start Bigger Steps. Each of the Beginner’s workbooks has 30 pages. I figure spending about 2 weeks per book. There are 2 more after that. She likes to do several pages at a time. It will probably take until sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving to finish this series. Then we’ll start the ABC Readiness Series. She will be 4 at the end of December. I don’t want to rush her but don’t want to hold her back either if she’s ready for reading.

Lights out, saving power

The last month we have been saving power in a novel way, not using any. I don’t mean just keeping lights, radio, and tv off but rather literally turning off the power at the meter for the house one day a week for 24 hours.

It does make for some careful planning before hand. It really makes you realize how many things you depend upon that use power. I plan what meals we will have in advance so we won’t need to open the shut off fridge. Also, the oven doesn’t work since it has electronic thermostat. We draw a pitcher of water since the water pump will be off. Obviously the lights are off so we have candles and 2 LED battery lights (one is a headlamp, the other a small touch light in the bathroom). We go to bed earlier on no power nights.

Our furnace isn’t working. It sprang a leak and Ray has it taken apart to fix. We are currently heating with electric heaters. Needless to say when the power is off, so is the heat. Right now it isn’t so much a problem, but will be by the end of October. We have a wood stove at a cabin that we are going to bring up to the house. It has a glass front door which will also provide light. A welcome thing as starts getting dark earlier and earlier. We shut down the power at 11AM yesterday. This morning it was down to 59 degrees inside (it didn’t help any that the kids went outside and forgot to shut the door several times). Last night was our first frost here. It got down to 31 overnight.

We are enjoying our day without power. After we’ve figured out ways around things like the oven, and ‘fridge it’s not that hard. The house is quiet without all the small (and some not so small) motors running. We do more family activities in the same room. The kids are learning about life before electricity as we use candles, lanterns, and wood stove. Last night we discussed the possibility of increasing it to two days a week.

We won’t be able to shut off the meter once temperatures start going below zero or the lines to the water tank will freeze without the heat tape. What we’ll do then is turn off all the breakers except the one the heat tape is on. It will be interesting as temperatures get colder and days shorter. We won’t be able to rely on sunlight in the evenings for many more weeks. We’re loosing an hour a week of sun now. đŸ˜¦

What are you doing to save on power as costs rise?

Teacher plan book

The programs I’m using have each day planned but it is nice to see everything at a glance since I don’t follow the schedules closely sometimes. However, if you only use one program and follow the schedule closely, a plan book may be unnecessary.

One of the things we were given from teacher training at Christian Light was their Teacher Planner. I’ve seen several plan books and I really like this one for homeschool. It has space for 8 subjects laid out a week at a time. There are 5 lines for writing in each day for each subject plus an additional wider column for notes (or a 6th day if you need to catch-up). One week is laid out on two facing pages. You write the dates in at the top as well as what week of school and grading period (if you keep track). At the back of the book are several lined blank pages for extra notes.

Most teachers use these books to plan out what they will do each day in advance. Since I am using several different programs, I am using it to keep track of what I’ve done. This way I can look back at our progress but am not glued to a set daily schedule. I can also look at what we’ve done recently and decide if he needs more work or is getting overloaded.

I would recommend homeschools having a separate plan book for each child rather than trying to fit everyone onto one book. This can show individual progress and accountability. If you have a very large family you homeschool, perhaps having a separate plan book for each subject then putting in the student’s names rather than subjects for each day would work better.

You could use different colors for student assignments, activities, read-alouds, optional activities, quizzes and tests. I write in pencil so I can erase. I also write the scores in after the listing for the quiz or test. This way I can track if his scores go up or down as the year progresses.

Today, I filled out my planner with Richard’s work completed to date. I have rows for LA, reading, math, history, Bible, and science. In the notes column, I put the weekly themes for history and science as well as any extras I used. I still have room for 2 more subjects. I wrote in what curriculum I am using for each subject at the back of the book.

The science book we were waiting on arrived in the mail yesterday so we started this afternoon. It looks pretty easy. I think it will only need to be one day a week. He will be keeping a science journal again.

Just as I am

When I was in Virginia, I went to revival/tent meetings held by the Mennonites in the area. One thing that left a very great impression was at the end of the meeting, they sang a song called, Just As I Am while inviting people to receive Jesus as savior. It was very fitting and beautiful. At one meeting, I had tears in my eyes from it. As I said in another post, all the singing is done without any instrumental accompaniment. It didn’t matter if you were a great singer or just barely croaking it out. No one was critical, the important thing was voicing your praise in song. With about 300 people in the tent, it was like being in a giant choir.

I found the words to Just As I Am today. It is a very encouraging and comforting song, reminding us that we need not be perfect to come to Jesus. He wants us Just as I am. Here they are:

Verse1: Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse2: Just as I am, and waiting not, To rid my soul of one dark blot. To Thee, whose blood can clense each spot, O lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse3: Just as I am, tho’ tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt, With fears within, and foes without, O lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse4: Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, clense, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O lamb of God, I come! I come!

So are you ready to come Just as you are? I hope so. Bring your doubts, fears, conflicts, and sin to him. He’ll take it from there.