Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Value of Traditional Family Values

These are all headlines in my local news for today:

"Macon Grandmother Accused in Death of 11 Year Old Granddaughter"

"Augusta 11 Year Old Admits to Killing Dad's Girlfriend"

"Cops: Ga Man Forced 7 Year Old to Smoke Pot"

"Georgia Teen Arrested After Explosive Devices Found"

All of this on today's local news.  Never mind what is taking place in other parts of the country.

I don't know about you, but it makes me feel sick, sad and hopeless.

Lately the Christian faith has been under attack for espousing traditional family values. Traditional family values doesn't just mean marriage between men and women, but a value system that supports the family.  I personally believe that if more families took the time to embrace some of those values, today's headlines would not be so hard to read.

Parents- take time with your children.  Have dinner together as a family.  Be interested in what is going on in their school.  Monitor their internet activity and the media they see and hear.  Evaluate their friendships, and prune the unhealthy ones when necessary.  Let them see you pray.   Love your spouse.  Be gentle. Be kind to everyone you meet.  Discipline them when they do wrong, praise them when they do right.  Have integrity.  I mean, isn't that what Jesus told us to do? 

 I can't help but be convinced that if these children were raised in homes where they felt safe and loved the outcome would be so different.

Above all, pray for today's children.  They need it now more than ever.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Raising Kids in an Overly Sexualized Culture

One of the main reasons I homeschool is to filter influences that affect my children.  Call me over protective if you wish...I really don't care.  Has anyone spent any time at all watching television, on the Internet, listening to the radio, reading a magazine?  If you have surely you have seen or heard the bombardment of sexual content that is being hurled at our children.

"According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American child spends more than 38 hours a week on video games, music, TV, reading and their computers — nearly the equivalent of a full-time job. And the report notes that 68 percent of the material the children watch contains sexual content." (ABC's GMA report: Children Overly Exposed to Sex)

I don't know about you, but that is an alarming statistic. As much time as they spend in school, they are being exposed to damaging stuff.  Heck, even *in* school they are potentially exposed to damaging stuff.   A fellow homeschool mom sent her son to middle school so he could play sports.  His first year in public middle school he was exposed to pornography.  Needless to say, he was very quickly brought back home to continue homeschooling...by his own choice.  Pornography addiction is a very real problem in society today.  And both girls and boys are encouraged to have 'exclusive' relationships with the opposite sex. Why?  When  you are 12, WHY do you need a boy/girlfriend?  It only adds fuel to the hormonal fire.

It's everywhere.  Clothes shopping for little girls shouldn't have to involve the 'squat test' (my own term) to see if, when my daughter has on jeans or shorts, her bottom or underwear is exposed because of the low cut nature of the clothes. T-shirts are cut very narrow and expose every curve.  Bathing suits are sometimes teeny weenie bikinis. 

And the music.  Don't get me started.  Seeing little seven year old kids singing along with Lady Gaga and the like, singing suggestive lyrics.  The images these celebrities portray...skimpy costumes, suggestive dance moves.  Just watch an episode of 'Toddlers and Tiaras' sometime.  You'll see what I am talking about.

Television.  You can't hardly go to a 'family film' anymore without some sexual references thrown in. 

Internet is no place for a child unless strictly supervised.  Especially the social media realm.  Have any of you seen some of the pictures posted by tween aged girls?  You all know the look...pouty mouth, camera angle to show her body.  And some of the comments ...wow. 

Sometimes my kids ask why 'they' don't have a smart phone, or Facebook account,  or have this album or that outfit.

Here is my answer: You can borrow my phone to call friends.  You can play on games on the Internet that I approve and have saved on my 'Favorites' list.  No surfing the net.  Because there are so many things that, once you see them, you can't UNsee them.   You need to respect yourself and wear clothing that honors you as a person and that honors God. No self respecting young lady exposes her body for everyone else to see.

Maybe I am 'uncool'.  Maybe my kids will be social pariahs because they don't have access to these things.  I don't care.

They have the rest of their lives to be exposed to the ugly things in this world.  Right now I just want to fill up their minds and hearts with what is healthy and good.

But, boy, is it ever a battle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Curriculum 2012-2013

Not sure about all you other homeschool moms out there, but I am finally getting ready for the year!  We are keeping some old favorites and branching out with some new and fun things. 

Here's the grand tour...

Old Favorites:

Saxon Math...

 6/5 for the daughter.  Since my son also did 6/5, this will be familiar ground.

Algebra 1/2 for my son.  Can I just say my memories of Algebra in my school days is enough to give me the hives? I am trying not to let that attitude carry over to my son. 

Easy Grammar!  It's easy. It's grammar.  Enough said.

The only spelling book you'll ever need. Yay!

Okay...we started this last year and let it fall to the wayside due to overscheduled lives.  We are going to stick with this this year! The kids enjoyed learning Latin and Greek words and roots last year...hopefully we will be speaking in sentences this year.

Now, for the New and Exciting...


The Time Travelers series from Homeschool in the Woods. Basically you get a history lesson and then project ideas that correspond. For each lesson you prepare an addition for a lapbook that will be finished at the end of all of the lessons. I am so excited to do this!  The lapbook templates are amazing in detail and not childish at all.  AND we are reading LOTS of historical fiction.  That will have to be another post, as there are too many to include here!


Noeo Science is right up my alley...not a 'textbook' based curriculum, but rather interesting books and it includes a teachers manual and <drum roll> a physics set from Thames and Kosmos and an electric circuit kit. Yay!

This seemed fun.  The book gives a scenario and the kids have to finish the story with their own imaginations. I think it will be well received.

Another 'new-ish' addition...more notebooking!  Lots of notebooking.  Writing across the curriculum and such.

How about you?  What is the one subject you are looking most forward to this coming year?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. I've had friends on the brain, so to speak.

This past year I have experienced a blossoming in my relationship with Christ.  So many things have touched my heart in ways that have brought me closer to the Lord.  I've even gone so far to pray, "Lord, what do you think about my friendships? Are they pleasing to you?"

God has been revealing some things to me, particularly in the realm of relationships.

1.  I need to include more people in  my life that encourage and support my faith.

2.  God 'does' care whom I allow close to my heart.  I'm not talking about the person you see once in a while for lunch or a movie. I'm talking about the ones who could influence me and my behavior.  Because if you don't think that the Enemy will send someone into your life to try and get close to you in order to pull you in the wrong direction, you are mistaken.

3.  Be wary of friends who try to 'keep you in your past'.  Guess what?  I wasn't always a Christian.  I've done some wild and stupid stuff along the way.  But that was years ago, and I have been forgiven.  Anyone who keeps trying to present me as the person I was 25 years ago is not someone that is spiritually healthy to have in my life, because I'm not that person anymore.  A true friend respects the changes and choices you make if they have made your life happy and healthy.

4.  Friends can be in our lives for seasons.  There are friends that may only be in your life for a little while.  They teach us more about ourselves and themselves before they move on.  Be grateful for them, even if you are sad to see it end.  They were put into your life for a reason.

5.  If someone is offended by my faith or my beliefs, its usually not wise to form a close relationship with them.  That doesn't mean I have to 'cut them off' all together, because they could gain so much from exposure to Christ.  However, if they truly have a negative reaction to something that is my heart and soul, I just can't see how I can form a true bond with that person.

Letting God take over has not been an easy task.  Sometimes I think * I * know better.  I want to follow my feelings and as we all know, feelings are fickle and can't be trusted. 

God knows my heart, and cares about whom I let in it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things I Dislike About Homeschooling

In the spirit of  'keeping it real'...and running the risk of inviting all kinds of negative comments, I thought I would branch out on the not-so-fun side of homeschooling today.  Because so much has been said about the benefits, it's only fair and honest if someone exposes some of the things that are not a joy.

In no particular order:

1.  Being around my kids 24/7.  Don't get me wrong. I love my kids more than coffee ice cream.  But there are days when we all just get tired of looking at each other.

2.  Wearing the Mom Hat, the Teacher Hat, and the Principal Hat all at once.  Some days it is tough to be Teacher Mom and give the bad marks on the writing assignment when at the same time, Loving Mom wants to be nice and give you a better grade because I saw how hard you worked on it. 

3.  Negotiating 'friend time', field trips, lessons, etc.  There are times when I wonder if the amount of gas I have used hauling them around would pay for private school tuition.

4.  Nagging self-doubt.  Do I really need to explain this one?  Even in small doses, it's always present.

5.  Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices out there.  Especially since high school is coming down the pike.  Veritas?  Classical Conversations?  Two Day a Week Co-op?  Private school?  Online public school?  Umbrella School?  Aye aye aye. It makes my head spin.

6.  Lack of  money.  Obviously one needs to be a stay at home mom to homeschool, or at least a part time employee.  Sometimes I think "Would life be easier if I had a job with some extra income to pay for fun stuff?  Or not even fun stuff, but great field trips, science curriculum, etc.  And yes, I tire of saying to my kids "Sorry...we can't afford that."

So there are a few reasons why homeschooling can be not-so-fun. 

Not that I would consider any of them big enough reasons to stop homeschooling though.  The benefits far out weigh the negatives.  And lets face it...homeschooling is a finite schedule.  One day I will have all the time, money and gas I could ever want.  Until then, I am keeping my eyes on the prize!