Us vs. Them

There are times when I wonder why I even have a blog.

Math was my favorite subject in school.

English was not.

When you write papers about your point of view on something and the teacher marks you down because it doesn't fit with his/her point of view, how can that be fair?

Since this is my blog, I can write things and share things here that are my point of view and never have to worry about what grade I will receive. And honestly, I really never have to worry about what others may think about my point of view either. Because this is my blog.

But one thing I wrote today I feel needs to be shared with a larger audience:

The root problem of all in the world is sin

There is currently an assembly bill being considered in the California Assembly that is attacking the rights of homeschool families in our state.

What concerns me is the 'Us vs. Them' arguments being tossed around when we start to feel attacked.

'They' are not perfect.

'We' are not perfect.

No legislation is going to make anyone perfect.

And verbally attacking anyone on social media is not a solution to any of the major issues we have in our state or in this country.

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments." - 1 John 5:2

Getting Ready for the Next Chapter

Eighteen years ago, we started on a journey I never expected to be on. In the next couple of weeks, this chapter of my life will be coming to an end.

When we started homeschooling our children back in 1999, we were brand new Christians. I was trying to navigate so many new things. Learning to be a stay-at-home mom, learning basic Bible stories, and learning how to be our children's teacher. There were many days I was in way over my head. There were many days I just wanted to quit. There were even a couple of days that I packed the kids in the car while we were all in tears and I would drive to the parking lot of the local public school. I really didn't think we would ever make it this far.

In the beginning of our homeschool journey, I was really impressed with what some other homeschool students were achieving. I had high expectations of what I thought my children could do. I was determined that they were going to do so much more that I had achieved in my own schooling.

Thankfully, God had another plan.

The longer I homeschooled our children, the more I realized I had the definition of what it means to be a successful homeschool graduate all wrong. And this can go for the graduate of any type of school really.

In the beginning, I believed a successful homeschool graduate would enter prestigious colleges and earn high level degrees, then go on to high paying careers.

But now?

I believe the most successful homeschool graduates are those who have a love for learning and love God.

Since we were new Christians at the beginning of our homeschool journey, I spent a lot of time with our children learning how to study the Bible myself. We worked our way through many Kay Arthur Discover for Yourself children Bible studies. God was teaching me during this time, just as much as I was teaching our kids.

We spent many days learning together. Subjects that I never enjoyed in school became some of my new favorites.

And the more time I spent with my children, the more I realized that He has a better plan for them than I ever could imagine.

In just a few short weeks, my time as a homeschool mom will be ending. Amazing to me since I never, ever wanted to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mom in the first place!

my family

Looking back, there are definitely things I would have done different. But overall, I am so proud of my kids and I am so thankful for the many opportunities and experiences we have had together.

Looking forward, I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to create lasting memories with my children as they follow the path God has set before them.



Our Homeschool Plan...for this year

Long gone are the days around here where a lot of our homeschool days were spent on the couch, reading chapter books, learning Bible lessons, and discovering bits of history together.

chapter books

With one homeschool graduate out traveling the country in his new job, there are just two of us home during the day. As much as I would love to spend time with her 'doing school together', she is bit independent and prefers to do her schoolwork on her own.

Since the last few weeks were a bit busy, we are only on our second week of homeschooling (the perks of private homeschooling in our state!). We sat down last week and 'planned' out the year and put together our Course of Study (one of the requirements for our state).

Course of Study

So what grade level are we doing? We always get asked this question while out and about. To be honest...I am not really sure!

My daughter is in high school, but I am not too concerned about assigning a grade level. We have already talked about some of the expectations we have for her to finish high school, but at this point, we really don't have an end date in mind.

Our plan is to tackle each year as it comes and evaluate whether she has finished enough work to complete her high school education. This gives us a bit of freedom to refocus as she learns and discovers new things that are interesting to her.

Curriculum for this year

It seems so strange to me to be at this end of our homeschooling journey. I know we have a couple of years left, but as I look back, it is amazing how very quickly the time has passed by.

So my advice to new and young homeschool moms just starting out?

Enjoy the time you have, create fun learning opportunities, take time for day trips, and spend lots of time reading aloud to your kids. You won't regret it!

My California board on Pinterest

Do you know about the map feature on Pinterest? I knew about it, but really hadn't done anything with it until this week.

Bass Lake in California

Right now, I have 30 pins on my California Pinterest board. This week, I went through and added the location to each of my pins. I have to say, it is really cool to see all of the locations on a map on my Pinterest board. And we have visited each of the destinations at least once. I know there are many more locations I can pin on this board, so if you live in California, or if you plan on visiting California, or if you are looking for field trip ideas in California, be sure to follow my California Pinterest board

Do you have a Pinterest board with a map? 

My Empty Shelf Challenge Update #2

Wow! I just checked to see when I did my last Empty Shelf Challenge Update, and it was back in March! At that time, I had finished reading 12 books. My goal for this year was to read at least two books a month, for a total of 24 books for the year.

So how am I doing? Since March, here are the books I have finished reading:

  • Mission Drift by Peter Greer
  • The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  • Esther by Beth Moore
  • How People Change by Timothy Lane
  • Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson
  • The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan
  • Hope Rising by Scott Todd
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch
  • Chasing Francis by Ian Cron
  • The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Radical by David Platt
  • Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman
  • Me, Myself, & Bob by Phil Vischer
  • Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman

Well, since the end of March, I have read 16 books, which brings my total to 28 books for the year! Woo hoo! Guess I should have upped by goal a bit.

Of course, this does not mean that I am going to stop reading for the year, that just wouldn't be right. So you might be thinking, what is in my book pile right now? Glad you asked:

my current book reading pile

I pulled out our copy of Operation World, so I can really start learning more and praying for the countries where our Compassion sponsored children live. Not really sure if I will read the whole book (it is a really thick one!), but I am thankful for resources like this one.

The Time Machine and I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist are books for our upcoming school year (which we plan on starting next week). And The Best Yes and You and Me Forever are books for me to read and learn from.

Hey, do you have a Goodreads account? If so, you can find me there and follow along to see what books I am reading next.

I would love for you to share what books are in your book pile. Won't you share them in the comments below?