Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I want to wish those that read or check my blog, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

We are a little behind on our lessons, but have enjoyed working on crafts, sewing, cooking and making things for others.  We still do Bible Study every day, especially the Advent.  But this crazy, frazzled and unfocused Mama wants a schedule and focus.

I will be working on that and the lessons for the coming semester over the next 10 days.  Once the chaos of Christmas morn is complete, I will have the computer and books out to start working on school.

Christ is the reason we celebrate this time of year and I am glad that I have been able to keep that as the focus.

Merry Christmas

Mama Fry and Family

Monday, November 26, 2012

Advent vs. Christmas

I am not always eloquent in referencing the Bible.  So please bare with a heart who seeks, loves and praises God but does not always know how to do that in writing.  I am not good at quoting scripture, but am working on that.

What is Advent?  Advent is the reason there is a Christmas.  The definition for advent is the waiting on the arrival of something important.  As Christians we are waiting for the day we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.  We celebrate the arrival he has made and the one we anticipate of His return.

What is Christmas?  It is the commercialization that we, and I mean Christians too, have used to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  I have been guilty of taking the CHRIST out of Christmas.  As a child we did not have a lot, so here comes my children and I just want to give and give and give and give ............  I have done a disservice to them, myself, and most of all my Christ.

Without Christ, I would not have all that I have.  This is a time of the year to feel blessed and nothing can buy that.  I have spent the last two years exploring new ways to celebrate and enjoy this season.  With homeschooling, I can do more teaching about our Christ, I can teach less commercialism, I can teach how to do and make things, and I can teach how to give rather than receive.

I am teaching the girls to make special gifts and give to others.  Also, stay within a very minimum budget to buy some gifts.  Most importantly to remember that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

As the month begins I and most of the family will be doing the following:

-  Advent Bible Study at GMG

-  Spend time doing something each night as a family - games, reading books, watching movies, doing something special

-  Make gifts for my family

-  Do "Truth in the Tinsel"

-  Help my girls make gifts for family and friends

-  Make gifts for other children

-  Bake and make goodies for several missions

I am also doing the 12 Days of Christmas with my family.  This is much like Christmas everyday.  I have small gifts that are made and bought inexpensive little gifts that will be placed in the tree starting the 14th, and on Christmas Day (Day 12), the main gifts will be given (staying within a strict budget).  It was a lot of fun last year.  Be intentional with this season.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012-2013 School Year

This is our second year of homeschooling.  Last year was the year to break public school habits and introduce routines and responsibility.

About the Students

With all that, we also ended years of ADD meds on my oldest daughter, Ry.  I believe in the medication when it is truly needed, and it was needed while in public school.  At home, there are times that it would be a benefit, but I am glad she is off the meds.  She is happier, easier to deal with and a lot more joy to be around.  Since being off the ADD meds, the Asperger's is more noticeable, but manageable.  We have to work harder to stay focused but I enjoy this child more than the frustration in the teaching.

So that leaves my youngest daughter, Ash.  She is creative, full of energy, a "little mommy" and overly emotional.  She is also struggling at reading and spelling, which our thoughts are leaning to dyslexia.  She is a natural at math, like mommy.  She is interested in fashion.

About the Teachers

Now you have the facts about the students, let me tell you about the teachers.

Mommy is a former K4 teacher with a degree in Early Childhood.  I can be a little over ambitious, over organized, over-whelmed, a wanna be super mom and desiring to fulfill God's plan for me to teach my children.

Daddy is a computer geek.  He overcame dyslexia, and completed college with an Accounting Degree.  He travels with work and until recently was away from home (except for 24-36 hour weekends) for two years.  Now that he is home 90% of the time, he is involved with the homeschooling.  He is assigned the task of Science Teacher and Geek Teacher (Computer).

About the Curriculum

Last year was a very eclectic creating of curriculum using this and that.  This year I am using some pre-packaged curriculum, old textbooks and creating some of the rest.

Paths of Exploration - Geography, History, Reading, Narration, Writing, Grammar and Word Study
This is good for multiple grades and abilities.  Set up in 6 units with 6 weeks of lessons per unit.  I am enjoying this curriculum because it is written out well and detailed.  I purchased the full package, so I would not have to run around looking for all the materials.

Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways - Phonics and Reading
This curriculum is good for beginning phonics and reading with a kindergartner or for using as remedial help for a struggling child or adult.  It is a little harder to follow, but you can figure it out.  We are just starting but this is to help my struggling reader and speller.

Math U See - Multiple levels
I have bought the full package for Beta and Gamma, but picked up a used teacher's book for Primary and Alpha for having pre Beta and Gamma teaching info.  This is in hopes of moving through it to bring us up to speed then move on.  I have a child struggling with math basics and one that is good at math.  I like what I have seen but we are using a new way of learning math.  This creates a learning time for the program.  The curriculum comes with DVDs for teaching, as well as a teacher's manual.  I will keep you informed.

The World's Greatest Artists and Composers - Art and Music Appreciation
This curriculum is from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We have just begun but I like what I have so far.  The books for reading that are used with the curriculum are found in most libraries or Amazon.  She supplies all the materials for lapbooks and notebooks and lesson plans.  I am using this over a two year time frame.

Harcourt Science (Grade 4 - 2006 edition) and Young Scientist Lab Experiments
I found these books at a curriculum sale locally and the Young Scientist Lab Experiments from the internet.  Daddy is using book and internet to create lesson plans.  The girls are loving what daddy is doing.   I'll keep you posted.

Bible - this is a hodgepodge of various books and resources.
I have found that some of the curriculum out there is confusing to the girls, not teaching them what they need to know as tween girls and either not in-depth enough or too in-depth for them to understand.  I am using 3-5 different things and I will alternate daily.

My main concern is they are Daughter's of God and tweens.  So some resources are from the Lily series by Nancy Rue.  She has a wonderful series of fiction books that have companion books that tie everything together.  There are books about Beauty, Body, Rules, etc.  With this set I am using the More to Be Beauty Pledge.

In-depth study comes from A Faith to Grow On by John MacArthur and Who is God? by Apologia.

Dance Mat Typing - Typing and Keyboard Lessons by BBC
This is a free online lesson class.  I have read wonderful articles from many homeschoolers.  I played with it this weekend and it was fun.  The kids will love this. - math games
This is "for fun" math games to break up a day.

Well that does not include chess lessons, art lessons and baton lessons.

Full plate!!!!!!

I hope not and I hope so.  Having too much free time starts the fight over TV and responsibilities.  Responsibilities and home economics are other parts of homeschool.  I'll save that for another blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

UN-DO, UN-DO, Okay RE-Do

How many of us would like to have an UN-DO button for our life.  I have too many to count, but know that for each UN-DO there is an "OH" moment to follow.  The "OH"'s are what we learn from for our lives.

Homeschooling, mothering, homemaking, crafting, wifing (?), etc. are areas that I find may need an "UN-DO" button sometimes.  Life can not give us an UN-DO button, so let us have a RE-DO.  A RE-DO is a refocus, a re-evaluation, a refresh and a resume.

I have read so many blogs from many of my favorite bloggers that are having a crisis of RE-DO.  So I know that I am not alone.

Homeschooling 2012-2013 has begun, but 2011-2012 does not seem closed.  I believe that has to do with the unfulfilled goals (mommy's) and the papers not filed away just yet.  Those unfinished tasks are weighing on my mind and creating a lack of focus.

I have chosen some wonderful curriculum for this year.  We have a new classroom.  We have a new teacher (daddy).  We have a new start in an old place.  All these should help in feeling we are ready for this year, but so much is still unsettled.

We are not moving to Texas, but staying right where we are.  Husband is working for old company and not traveling as much, so we are learning to be a family again.  The house has been updated and repaired.  Then redecorated by undecorating and then redecorated for a new RE-DO.

Time for prayer and refocus, time for prayer and refreshing, time for prayer and re-evaluation, and time for prayer and resume.  The main thing is TIME for PRAYER.  I tried to do too much too fast in the last few months, but time to let God help me on this one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not Dead, Not Focused, Not Sure

I haven't blogged in a while but still breathing, so NOT DEAD.  Too many things running my mind, life and time, so NOT FOCUSED.  So what am I, NOT SURE.

I am still a mom.  I am still homeschooling two DDs.  I am still in Alabama.  I am still married.  I am still relying on God.  I am still strruggling with schedules.  I am still struggling with too much.

I just wanted to let some of you know that I am trying to restart this blog.  This was such an idea for me to share my experience with my first year of homeschooling.  I just lost track and did not blog much.
Then life changes started happening.  So, here is to a do-over.  This is the beginning of year two, but it is much more a do-over for year one.

I'll keep you informed with this do-over.  Also, hubby is home now and can help me work on this blog which I really need.  Not to mention, he is starting his own blog.  I will bring you along for his adventure too.

Sincerely blessed,

Mama Fry

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is my destiny?

Before you start wondering where the title came from, let us just say that this is the question I did not realize I had.

Destiny, what is it?  Why do we wonder?  God has a path for each of us, a destiny.

Are we following our destiny?  Well, it all depends on who you are following and listening to.  Has that voice in your head starting whispering yet?  It has in me and I am realizing that it's voice sounds too much like my own.

If someone was to tell me that I would be a stay-at-home mom that home schooled, I would have said, "Are you crazy, God has gifted me with a wonderful mind and a pretty good work ethic.  Why would I waste the opportunity to contribute to my family by doing this? "

I have been trying to follow God in what He wants of me.  I have been trying to listen to God in what He wants to say to me.

I am understanding that "my destiny" is different than "His destiny".  Even now as our first year of homeschooling ends, I can see progress in my children.  It is not all academic, which is what I sought.  I see a more loving sister relationship, 2 daughters that are gaining a true friendship, a family that is seeking God more now than at the beginning of the year, a child that is happy and go lucky without medication, and another that is trying to find her own place away from peers.

I am humbled how the Lord is working on me.  I am seeking Him more and understanding that HE is control not me.  HE is changing me and by that He is allowing me to be an example.

I have not been the perfect, patient and loving mother that they should have, but God is changing it.

I may not be able to pull scripture from my brain or tell a Bible story without studying it first, but I am working on that for myself and my children.

FAITH in the LORD.  FAITH is what I seek.  FAITH is all I have to rely on.  FAITH is my destiny.

With this revelation and word from God, I am moving forward and looking forward to our second year.  A lot more structure and curriculum, but not going overboard.  I feel that HIS work in me is the best curriculum I can give my family.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Adventure Continues

Okay, so the interior of the house is done and ready for sale.  The weather, time and work hands have been an issue for CURB APPEAL.  I am resorting to hiring a professional, because with our schedule, my husband's schedule and the need to get this house on the market.  The Lord has reminded me it is His timing, not mine.  I am just so ready to be a full-time family again.  Two years with a part-time husband and father are taking its toll.

Homeschooling?  I believe we are doing good, but not where I had expected us to be at this time.  I have tried to stay encouraged and let GOD lead.  He has been working on me the last few weeks.  He wakes me up in the middle of the night to pray and exalt Him.  Then he wakes me up before the alarm (which is set to give me quiet time to do a Bible Study), to have my quiet time.  I have been very neglectful in this area of my life, but He has put more focus on this.  I feel so much more peace with things going on and their timing.

Please pray for us as we continue with this adventure.