Kid’s Comments

My kids are constantly saying humorous things. I just realized today, that I haven’t posted any of their funny comments in a while. I don’t ever want to get too busy, bogged down, or too consumed in daily activities that I forget to take notice of the cute things they say. In the last couple of weeks or so, I think I’ve also started to get lost in the irritations of motherhood instead of gleaning the inexplicable joy.

You know, life is that way. Both are always there…the good and the bad. However, our experiences truly become more about where we choose to put our focus! Anyway, right now, at this moment, I wish to turn my attention toward some cute, funny moments and give you a glimpse of the good. Won’t you soak it up with me?!

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One day a couple of weeks ago, Kerry came up to me…asking for my help, while furiously rubbing his eye. Kerry exclaimed: “Mommy, my eye is hurting! I think I have an ‘eye-flash‘ in it!”

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Even though I only have two children (and a boy and girl at that), I still sometimes have a difficult time keeping their names straight. One morning, I continued to call Kerry by his sister’s name.

Finally, I said to Kerry, “S-a-r-a-h…I mean Kerry..Sorry, Mommy’s just getting old.”

Of course, like his daddy and his grand-daddy, little Kerry was very understanding and gracious about it.

“You’re getting OLD and WEIRD!” jokes little Kerry. “Hee, Hee, Hee!

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One day, a week or so back, the kids and I were at a local park. As usual, Sarah quickly made many new friends, but Kerry was a little apprehensive and tentative. Another little boy had been trying to play with him, when Kerry suddenly (and ever so “politely”) made the following proclamation:

I don’t know you, kid!! I don’t know you, and you don’t know me!”

The other friendly little boy reminded me of Sarah. He quickly responded, “Hi. My name is Ethan, and I am four.”

From that moment on, the two were instantly pals and got along great!

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“What I Wish I Had Known…

…My First Year of Homeschooling” is the Friday meme for “The Heart of the Matter.” (I found it at Tracy’s blog, here).

The main thing that comes to mind for me is that I think I would have stressed a little less and enjoyed a little more. I actually answered this same meme several months ago (from a different blog host) and this was my reply:

Last year, we started off with a strict, stringent, and early schedule. Of course, it didn’t take long before we were all totally exhausted and extremely frustrated! Thankfully, I was reminded by other homeschool moms about one of the many great advantages of homeschooling. We don’t have to conform to the schedule, ideas, ways of teaching, etc. of the public school system! (Difficult lesson to learn though when a person has been through 13 years of public school education, 6 years of college, and 5 years of public school work!)

Once again, as I’ve stated before, finding a balance is key! Our school has tried at least 4 different schedules in one year! We don’t function well under a rigid schedule, but we can’t be too nonchalant about it either, or we accomplish very little. Yep, we’re still working on that balance thing!

Speaking of balance, the other thing I have realized this past year, is that you truly can “have too much of a good thing.” At times, we would start to get bogged down and exhausted from too many activities. Then, I would have to”take a step back” and remember– that the activities are to “enhance” homeschooling, not to “hinder” or “replace” it!!

Yes, I have learned a few things on this journey, and I know I have much left to learn!

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Rudolph Says “Hi!”

O.k., just give me a chance to explain. There’s this cell-phone commercial where the daddy has to go away on a business trip, and his little girl slips her stuffed animal into his suitcase. Well, remembering that commercial, my Sarah Beth asked her daddy to take along something of hers. When she told me about it that first night (while Scott was away), I was so touched. You see, I recall Scott fighting with that small carry-on suitcase trying to fit a week’s worth of stuff into like the equivalent of an overnight bag! He didn’t want to have to “check” any luggage, and he knew he could only carry two bags on-board (one of which would be filled with equipment!)

Anyway, Scott had to really condense and leave a lot behind. However, when his little girl asked if he would take along Rudolph, he didn’t say a word or hesitate a bit. I’m not sure how, but he managed to squeeze Sarah’s Rudolph into that bag too! In fact, a couple of days ago, Daddy sent Sarah the following email:

Rudolph relaxing on the hotel bed.

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I just thought that was really sweet. Well, Rudolph and Daddy are on their way home today–Yay!! We’re all very happy about that!

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I also have something else to share with you. My daughter Sarah has been asking for her own blog for months, and the other day, I finally set something up for her. She is extremely excited about it. It’s simple for now and is highly supervised by me. Sarah has named her blog “God’s Love.” You can visit her blog from my right side bar and read what she has to say about Rudolph’s adventures, along with a few other posts.

Well, I’d better go for now. I have lots to do! Blessings to all and have a wonderful Easter weekend! -)

Homeschooling “Q and A”

As I stated in my last post, if you are considering homeschooling, you may be interested in the following information (and the remaining posts in this series) . (However, again, please note that individual states differ in their requirements.) In this post, I will do my best to address the following homeschooling questions:

–Are you qualified to do that? What is your (educational) background?

–What kind of standards do you go by or use? How do you fulfill the state requirements?

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The state of N.C. says that parents are allowed to home-school their child or children as long as:

–They have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

–They submit a “Notice of Intent” form to the state once a child turns 7 years old.

–Children aged 7 and up are required to take a state-approved standardized test by the end of each school year.

–Parents are expected to keep student immunization and attendance records on file along with copies of standardized test scores.

–Parents are also requested to submit copies of attendance records and standardized test scores to the state.

–To be considered as a home-school, a school can only involve 1-2 households (no more than 2).

**Note: The above information is “off the top of my head.” For more specifics and additional information, visit the NC Division of Non-Public Education website, here.

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I have a Masters of Science degree in School Counseling and a Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology. While earning these degrees, I did two different year long internships (one in a middle school and one in an elementary school). Once I received my Masters, I worked for five years in the N.C. public school system. I worked for two years as a Guidance Counselor at both an elementary school and a middle school. Then, I went on to work for a different middle school as a School Counselor for three years.

My first year homeschooling (2006-2007), even though Sarah was only 5, I went ahead and took care of all the necessary paperwork. (The state requires that parents do so by the time the child is 7). However, I was also helping teach my 7 year old niece, so I had to submit paperwork for her. (I’m actually glad that I had to do this early, because that way, I haven’t had it “looming over my head.”)

Before starting homeschooling, my husband and I did some serious praying and “soul searching.” Once we had decided, I did some intensive research on the subject. I had already talked with numerous homeschooling mothers, and next I researched websites, blogs, books, etc. Then, I contacted a local homeschooling group; getting more help, advice, information, and support. In addition, I went to a homeschooling bookstore; looked through tons of educational materials and bought most of my first year curriculum (boughtused“–at a wonderful, discounted price!) I also reviewed and made copies of the N.C. Standard Course of Study, which I have on file. (You can view and/or download it from the above mentioned NCDNPE website, here). I now use several different Christian curricula, which meet state guidelines. Abeka is currently my core curriculum, which is used by numerous accredited Christian private schools.

I also use the CAT test to meet the state standardized test requirements. Home-schooled children aren’t actually required to be tested until age 7, and public schools don’t test until 3rd grade. However, I had to have my 7 year old niece tested last year anyway, so I also started testing Sarah (she didn’t want to be left out!) At age 5, Sarah was tested on a first grade level–“Reading.” (Only the directions were read aloud, not the test questions). She scored quite well in reading and math.

This year, at age 6, Sarah will be tested on the second grade level. She will once again be tested in April, along with our local homeschooling group. I will not be administering the test to Sarah. Instead, she will be in a separate testing room with a different teacher, along with a small group of other 2nd grade students.

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Finally, let me state that parents do not have to be college educated or hold teaching degrees in order to teach their children from home. Nor do they have to be quite as meticulous as I have been (it’s more my nature when it comes to such things). Although I do not agree with total “unschooling,” I do believe that education takes place, even without any formal instruction. I also believe that if parents pray, read God’s Word, and follow scripture, that He will equip them with the most important and necessary elements in teaching their children.

Of course, I realize that if I continue homeschooling through high school, that I will need to seek out other resources and help. Obviously, I will need to “brush up” on a few things (just as public school teachers have to do from time to time!) There is such a wonderful wealth of information and assistance out there such as:

–Teaching websites; tutorials, teaching tips, free print-ables, etc.

–Homeschooling seminars and workshops (on teaching methods, various subjects, etc.).

–On-line educational games and teaching tools for students

–Homeschooling Co-ops (where students can take specific courses in addition to their regular homeschooling)

–Accredited Christian schools and community college partnerships for homeschooling

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Well, I know that the above list and even this entire post is in no way “all-inclusive.” (However, this is becoming a little too time-consuming for the moment!) I also realize that I am not a total expert on this topic of homeschooling, any more than I am on each and every school subject (of course, it doesn’t hurt that my husband is a computer geek, “natural-born” English professor, and physics major! ;-) )

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**Note: I will continue this post series next week sometime, so “stay tuned” if interested! Also, if you have anything to add (such as your specific state requirements, your homeschooling experiences, or other homeschooling info), please do so by leaving a comment. In addition, if you have further questions about this post, please leave me a comment (a polite one, of course–I do like for people to use their manners! -) )

**P.S. For other posts in this series, you may click on one or more of the following:

Homeschooling Questions

Thursday Thirteen (13 Reasons For Homeschooling)

Why, Oh Why, Would You Do That?

So, I’m The Expert Now?!

I took the hubby’s advice today (he loves it when I do that!) About 10:30 this morning, I threw on some old clothes and sneakers and headed out to the backyard. I began cleaning up the yard; clearing a path from rocks, sticks, toys, and various other debris. Next, I grabbed some planks of wood and set out some “bases,” while Gracie happily trotted along behind me.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the kids appeared outside; looking on curiously. I told Sarah to go get her T-ball stuff, and she hurried off. She was back in a jiffy, and we were set for some backyard fun…

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I’m now reflecting back to playing with the kids, and I remember thinking, “What, you mean I’m the “expert” on this stuff now?! That’s hilarious!!” You see, here I was giving tips on how to hold the bat, the proper stance, how to swing, etc, and when I was a kid I was horrible at most any kind of sport! However, today, I realized that I’m actually better at some of these things now, than I was when I was a kid! When I was growing up, I was kind of awkward, self-conscious, and uncoordinated. I was also so apprehensive, hyper, and impatient that I couldn’t seem to wait for the ball to come to me. Anyway, it was nice to see some kind of patience come with age! ;-)

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The kids and I had a great time today, and we needed it! We had lots of fun in the sun on this “spring-like” day; playing T-ball (with no T) and kick-ball. (Of course, I may not be able to get out of bed or walk tomorrow, but we sure had lots of enjoyment today!) -D

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**Note: Days like today are one of the nice things about living in N.C.! (However, don’t begrudge us too much! -) For those who like snow, you won’t see much of it ’round here. In fact, this winter, we haven’t had one snow that was hardly enough to cover the ground!)

A Homeschooling Monday

The kids got straight to work on their studies this morning, as we have been planning to go to the park today (it is supposed to reach 70 around here).  Sarah has almost finished one spelling workbook and will be starting on another in a week or so.  She has also started her BJU 2nd grade Grammar.  Sarah’s on the 3rd chapter and has been doing very well. I’ve definitely found Sarah’s favorite way to do math–counting money!  She is currently working on saving, and quickly learning how to tally her change. Kerry is continuing to work on simple adding/subtracting and sounding out letters and short words.

After the kids finished their school-work, they watched a little T.V., while I was working on household chores.  It wasn’t long before the kids were bored, and it’s just as well (they don’t need to watch too much of that “box” anyway!) -)   So, I let them know that if they wanted to go to the park, they might want to help me with the chores, as I needed to get some things done before we left…

Sarah helped with the dishes, and Sarah and Kerry helped with folding laundry.  I started to put some clothes away, when Kerry hit his head on the kitchen table and started crying.  He had been “horsing around” some and had been told to stop, but began again when I had my back turned.

I held Kerry for a couple of minutes, checked out his boo-boo, kissed his boo-boo, and then headed off to find some ice.  Meanwhile, Sarah promptly covered Kerry with a blanket, brought him his favorite stuffed bunny, and put his pirate hat on his head.  I came back in the living room to witness Sarah taking very good care of her little brother.  Sarah tucked Kerry in, kissed and hugged him, and wiped his tears (just as I would do–it was so incredibly sweet!) Sensing that the “situation” had already been handled, I sat down on a nearby couch.  Finally, Sarah got out one of her favorite stories and read it to Kerry.

It wasn’t long before Kerry stated that his head felt much better!  I just LOVE it when the kids are loving to each other like that!  (The last couple of days, it’s seemed like they’ve been fighting more, so this was a real blessing today!)

Well, I’d better go.  I have an appointment with my kids at the park, you know.  I don’t want to be late!

Have a wonderful day! 

I Thank Him…

…for the neighborhood Burger King!

After homeschooling, this afternoon, I was sitting at the local Burger King in the indoor play-place.  I found a great spot where the sun was shining through the windows onto the table.  It was so nice to feel the warm sun, while snug inside; protected from the chilly wind…

Such an outing every once in a while has become a coping mechanism for me!  I used to feel a little guilty about spending the money, but I’ve since decided it’s definitely worth it.  (We don’t even spend that much either–I often just get the kids a snack and water to drink). While the kids play, I’m actually able to have my quiet time in “relative peace and quiet,” and most importantly, without excessive interruptions!

It works out good for all of us.  We all get out of the house, the kids get to play, and I get to have some much needed prayer and Bible study time!  (It works well on cold days, when it’s a little too chilly to play outside much!)   -)