Today’s Motivation – Prayer ~ 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop

Dear Homeschool Parent

Dear Homeschooling Parent –

Look around you. Look at each of the faces you guide and teach and journey with. This is your motivation.

Lots of people ask us why we homeschool and we have plenty of answers. Are these precious faces and lives your top answer?

Today, as we begin this week of homeschool encouragement with the Homeschool Review Crew, take a moment to pray.

Pray for each of the blessed children under your care.

Pray for the guidance and wisdom to parent them with love and grace.

Pray for the inspiration to help each of them find their individual path and to walk it with courage and bravery and confidence.

Pray for each of the children – that they will grow in wisdom and knowledge and hope and love and kindness.

Pray for others who are struggling along this path, whether it be for medical reasons, lack of confidence in themselves, or a million other possibilities.

Pray for your homeschool and others you know.

God answers pray. God gives peace.

As we traveled last week, the girls put on a CD titled The Music Machine. One of the songs is about peace and one line in it has kind of stuck with me for a few days now.

Peace, peace, I think I understand.
Peace, peace, is holding Jesus’ hand.

Today, as you journey into another season of education, I am praying for you – that you may be holding Jesus’ hand and experiencing the peace that only He gives. May your homeschool be filled with peace.

Blessings,
At Home.

There are more than 40 homeschool moms writing encouragement posts today on this Motivation Monday. I encourage you to visit the anchor post for the Crew and also some of the ladies’ blogs to gather more encouragment to yourself. You can do that by the linky on the Crew blog or by visiting some of the blogs below.

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

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5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement – Join The Homeschool Review Crew August 20-24

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Next week, the Homeschool Review Crew will be sharing thoughts, advice, and more about homeschool encouragement.

Our topics?

  • Motivation Monday
  • Take a Look Tuesday
  • Work it Wednesday
  • Thankful Thursday
  • Friday Favorites

Each day you can visit the different Crew members who are participating and gather the encouragement you may need as you head into another season of education.

Who is participating?

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Angie @ Run Ran Family Adventures & Learning
Annette @ A Net in Time
Ashley @ Gift of Chaos
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Christine @ Christine Howard
Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
Felicia @ Homeschool 4 Life
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

We hope you will be joining us!

Blessings,
At Home.

Julie Polanco’s book God Schooling ~ a Crew review

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When you are making decisions regarding the education of your children, no matter the course you choose, there are questions and moments when you hesitate and ask yourself if you are making the right one. God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn is a book that will encourage you to continue the endeavor you have chosen if you are home educating your children. Julie Polanco has written this book from her own experiences and research.

Mrs. Polanco and her husband have home educated their four children, with nearly 15 years experience in this realm. She is the author of this book, as well as being a contributing writer for The Old Schoolhouse magazine and the Homeschooling with Heart blog. She is active in her local homeschooling community and the online homeschooling community.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn is an easy-to-read, soft back book that is about 160 pages. It is broken into two parts. First is a discussion she titled “Dispelling Myths.” Part Two is titled simply “Practice.” With information from many experts interspersed with her own observations about how her children learn, there is much practical information.

Book cover 1

The purpose of Mrs. Polanco’s book is to encourage you to continue down the road of educational exploration and child-led learning. While I believe that much of what she does with her own children falls under the umbrella of unschooling, this is not the main thrust of her book. Following the lead of your children’s interesting and taking time to guide them in their learning is where her heart seems to be.

The first part of the book looks at what the Bible has to say about children, education, and parents. She also introduces the ideas of motivation, exploration, and how excellence relates to these ideas.

In the second part of the book, you will find age specific ideas about how to approach learning. There is a chapter about teaching children under age eight, teaching ages eight to twelve, and working with teens in their education and growth. There is information on different learning types, how to encourage them, and some ideas on how to get started. She has a chapter on questions and answers and one on structure and record keeping.

This second part include a lot of readily applicable practical ideas. Many of these are good thoughts to ponder and decide if they might work for you family. Regardless of whether they work for you or not, they have ideas worth considering. Each chapter also has study questions at the end that can help you formulate your own thoughts about the ideas in the chapter and gather them into a helpful structure.

MY THOUGHTS:

I did find that there are many very forceful statements in the book that can be discouraging if you did not choose the same path she did for her family. This can be very off-putting and I struggled to read the book. Not because there wasn’t good information but because Mrs. Polanco seemed to speak as though there were no other decent options that won’t harm children. I disagree; remember, there are all different ways to teach your children and every child needs something different. Take those statements at face value and move on. There is a lot of encouragement to be found in this book for the parent, reminding why you started the road and how to continue along it.

A SALE:

I received a note from Mrs. Polanco just a few days ago informing me that she is offering a sale on the purchase of this book until August 22, 2018. The cost of the book will be half-price until that date.

Blessings,
At Home.

A number of other ladies with a variety of learning styles in their homes have read this book in the past few weeks. I encourage you to go visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog and read what several of the other ladies thought of this book and find out what encouragement their received from it.

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Paddington Bear from Branch Out World ~ a Crew review

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Branch Out World is a company that we were gifted a study from several years ago. So when the chance to review their Paddington Bear – a literature based unit study in their Picture Book Explorers series – came available, I was very happy to volunteer.

Miss J may be in 4th grade now but we never out grow picture books, especially of beloved characters such as Paddington Bear. When we can connect that book to learning across several disciplines, it becomes an even more treasured experience. Branch Out World makes this possible through the studies they create.

Branch Out World is a company that is run by a home educating family. Their studies grew out of their own experiences in teaching and their love of books. Each of their literature based studies has a connection to the UK – author, setting or illustrator – as that is where the company is based. It is fun seeing those connections. They offer the Picture Book Explorer series but they have additional products in their online catalog. From the literature studies to lapbooks, they have much to offer.

Paddington Bear study

About Paddington Bear 

We received a PDF download of the Paddington study and got a copy of the book from the library. I thought we had the book but when it came time to pull it off the shelf, we had a different one. The one from the library worked just fine.

The study is written to cover all subjects in five days. Each day, were you to do all of the activities, would take a couple of hours. The study covers the following topics:

  1. Exploring the Setting – London, Peru, maps, flags and more
  2. Exploring the Words – author, vocabulary, some grammar work, and more
  3. Exploring the Pictures – illustrator, design, architecture, and more
  4. Exploring Science – bears, steam, foam, and more
  5. Exploring Math, Crafts, & More – activities, recipes, numbers, lines, and more

There are multiple activities in each of the sections and it is very easy to pick and choose what works for your learners. This study makes it easy to work with multiple levels of learners, as well. Adaptations occur easily.

For instance, we were working through the part on immigration, doing the work and talking about what one might take with them. Miss J took a look at me and asked if we could make a suitcase for Paddington and keep all the pieces in it instead of making a traditional lapbook with folders. Worked for me so we detoured (or rabbit trailed) and created a bright red suitcase, just like Paddington carried with him to London. Some of our papers had to fold to go into the suitcase but it is now a nice compact record of this study, keeping all of the papers and booklets in one place.

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After that detour, we popped right back into what we had just finished talking about and continued on.

Each day, we did several activities but we never completed an entire day’s work in a single day. We were doing other things and this was a large chunk of time. However, if this was the entirety or majority of the school work we were doing, I would have completed a full set of activities. Again, though, there is no need to complete every single activity, nor will ever single activity fit every child. So pick and choose and make it fit your learner’s needs.

maps and Paddington Bear

What I Think

I really enjoy this series of literature studies. As I mentioned before, we have done the working on a mini bookstudy on I Took The Moon For A Walk. It was a fun read and study and I was very pleased with it. These are great for learners from very early elementary up through middle school, though you might need to add some difficulty or research to it for the upper end of that. It would be easy though – the middle school student could do the research for steam, for example, and then make a presentation to younger learners.

Paddington Bear was a fun study and we were able to make so many connections – immigrants and stories we had read, London and maps we had done before, bears and comparing with Smokey Bear, and lots more.

It is easy to forget how adaptable these types of units are but I was reminded again how much I enjoy doing them.

Blessings,
At Home.

Other families with learners of different ages also reviewed Paddington Bear. Visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read about their experiences.

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Jesus, Thy Name I Love ~ hymn

Jesus Thy Name I Love

This is just a lovely hymn expressing the desire to love Jesus. It is beautiful and the lyrics resonate with me.

This is one of those hymns that I just cannot find a video or recording of in a format that doesn’t include other things than just the singing of the song. But there are some interesting ones out there with other things – such as the video where ASL is shown for the song. The song is sung by the interpreter at 9:30 on this video and it is lovely to watch her interpret as she sings. This is the tune I am familiar with and dearly enjoy singing.

On this next link, it is a different tune than I know but it is interesting and beautiful to listen to. I was able to click “stream” on this page and listen to it in a pop up box.

Blessings,
At Home.

Jesus, Thy Name I Love

lyrics: J. G. Deck (1853)
music: Joseph P. Hollbrook (1865)

1 Jesus, Thy name I love.
All other names above,
Jesus, my Lord!
O Thou art all to me;
Nothing to please I see,
Nothing apart from Thee,
Jesus my Lord!

2 Thou, blessed Son of God,
Hast bought me with Thy blood,
Jesus my Lord!
How mighty is Thy love,
All other loves above,
Love that I daily prove,
Jesus my Lord!

3 Soon Thou wilt come again;
I shall be happy then,
Jesus, my Lord!
Then Thine own face I’ll see,
Then I shall like Thee be,
Then evermore with Thee,
Jesus, my Lord!

Texas Bucket List – M: Mammoth Site ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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Today’s place to visit – the Waco Mammoth Site. I absolutely enjoy visiting this site each chance I get. I will enjoy it even more when they begin additional excavations in the coming year or two. I can’t wait to see what else is uncovered.

The Waco Mammoth Site is part of the National Park Service. It is the site of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. There have been 24 mammoths have been uncovered, as well as a camel and the tooth of a baby saber tooth cat. Most of the mammoths discovered are females or a juveniles. There has been a bull mammoth identified. There is much speculation about why these animals are here and whether it was a single incident or multiple incidents that left the remains in this area.

It is really quite interesting to hear the guides talk about the possibilities and to show what they have discovered.

We have enjoyed visiting three or four times, as it is not a long drive for our family. I recommend a stop by if you have opportunity. See a couple of posts that I wrote about with previous visits and activities we did.

T . . . Talking About Mammoths – Part 1 and Part 2

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – L: President LBJ ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Years ago, my mom and I stopped by a presidential home in northern Texas. (It was the childhood home of President Eisenhower.) I enjoyed the stop and found it really interesting. That has made me want to make a visit to see the sites related to President Lyndon B Johnson.

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I have been very close to the Johnson family ranch, yet have not had opportunity to stop at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

The LBJ Ranch is part of the National Park Service, having been donated to it by President Johnson and his wife. They donated it during their lives with the retention of ownership and use until they passed away. President Johnson died in 1973 and Mrs. Johnson continued to live on the ranch until her death in 2007.

Visitors to the Ranch are able to tour it at their own pace and in their own vehicles. On the tour of the Ranch, you can see President Johnson’s birth place, the Johnson family cemetary, and the Texas White House. President Johnson was born, lived, and died on this Ranch; it truly was his home. The one room schoolhouse, called Junction School, where he attended is still standing, as well.

Education is the only passport from poverty.

– Lyndon B. Johnson

Additionally, you can visit the Johnson family settlement from the 1860s. Johnson’s grandfather and great-uncle started a cattle business on the property. The site and an exhibit on the modern cattle business are available.

There are guided tours available; visit the NPS site for more information on those.

There is a lot to do at the LBJ Ranch and I sure would like to visit sometime. It is always interesting to see what influences our leaders. Perhaps when we hit this portion of history in the coming year, we can take a day trip down there.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

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