Welcome to Your New Family!

Dear Parents,

When I decided to start homeschooling our son Jack in 2001, there was little to no support for me in our area.  I had contacted several so-called support groups in the valley and was repeatedly told that I wasn’t able to join because I was a first-year homeschooler; I would take up too much of their time.  I’d most likely be too needy.  They didn’t have time for me, and so on.  Although I recognized the need to have a legal covering and knew there were homeschool groups in our area, it was impossible to find one to accept our family.  To be honest, I was livid; I thought this was ridiculous and I felt labeled like I now belonged to an elite group of high-maintenance outcasts that wasn’t worth anyone’s time.  Undeterred from the mission the Lord put before me, I pulled my son from 2nd grade private school and started schooling him.  It took two years until I found Revival Christian Academy, and when I did, I knew I was home!  I flung myself into the ministry and got involved.  I belonged to a small group of moms, and I forced myself to push beyond my comfort zone and reach out to others.  I somehow knew that to succeed at this, I needed a family to belong to that was doing the same thing.  So I made friends and immersed myself in homeschooling.

You see, I’ve been where you are.  I’ve been unsure, overwhelmed, ill-equipped and just straight up scared!  Scared that I was going to mess my kid up, scared I wasn’t going to be able to teach the concepts he needed to know, and scared that I wasn’t going to teach him enough.  There may be nothing we can say that can remove those feelings for you, but my hope is that by being here with fellow homeschool parents, both experienced and newly baptized into our family, you will find the support and comfort you need to successfully educate your kids as God has called you to do.  You are now part of a family.  A family that has been set apart and a family on a mission.  So welcome  to your school, to your new family and God bless you as you start your homeschool year!

In Christ,

Michelle

Read Aloud Mini Unit Study

This month let’s visit a mom and her young children getting ready to read-aloud from The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. First let’s settle one thing about this young mom. She has set aside time to read aloud to her children each day. She has done her homework and understands the power and influence of a beautifully written novel. This particular mom has strengthened her educational convictions about how best to inspire a love for learning in her children. She often rereads portions of Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook to stay encouraged to keep reading aloud to her children every day. In its eighth edition, Jim Trelease refers to the 1985 report by the U.S. Department of Education that states “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children and it is a practice that should continue throughout the grades” (Trelease 4).

Before she calls the children for read aloud time, she cuts up a few apples for the children to enjoy at the coffee table during read aloud time. She also drags in the blocks for the little one who can play with them during this precious time. If she can, she grabs a few colored pencils and paper and invites the children to draw while listening to the novel. She does not make them draw; she suggests it. She knows full well in the years ahead, particularly in high school, there will be plenty of time to enforce more stringent educational requirements. But that’s the beautiful part of this homeschool journey. By the time her children reach high school she will have read wonderful books to her children and she knows that they will be inspired and motivated in the later years to set their own educational goals.

She is ready to read aloud now! Each time she sits down to read, she shares with her children that there may be new ideas that will spring up in her mind as well as her children’s minds and they will create the projects together! Perhaps, the whole creation of the project will be half of the enjoyment of this special book.

As the mom opens to the first chapter of The Trumpet of the Swan, the children are swept up into a creative story about a trumpeter swan that is born without a voice and a young boy who assists the swan to overcome his disability. But wait, there is so much more in this novel! I reread this book a week ago and began to jot down all the ideas that a young family can participate in while reading this book. I think it is best to list a few and my guess is that if I get to meet you someday, you will add on to this list with your own ideas that will be so inspiring to my heart. A well written book has this effect on all of us. We start getting jumpy over the creativity that a well written story will percolate in us! Here is my list, but again it is not exhaustive! Please understand that there are times a read aloud book is merely just listened to and enjoyed by everyone. However, my intent is to show all of you that a well written novel can create fun projects that are way more effective than workbooks.

 

  1. Pull out your map of the United States and track where the swan lives and travels to!
  2. Look up the capitols and states that are mentioned in this book.
  3. Watch a video about a trumpeter swan and its large nest.
  4. Take a nature walk like Sam.
  5. Go to the zoo and take photos of birds.
  6. Buy a compass and learn about how to use it.
  7. Study the composers mentioned in this book
  8. Learn about jazz or trumpets
  9. Make a short video of each child sharing about his favorite part of the book. Don’t overdo it. Affirm each child and show the videos after dinner. (You might want to film them away from the other children so it’s more fun to watch each other’s videos.)
  10. Finally, suggest…yes suggest … one of the children keep a daybook about his life. This idea comes right from pages 6 and 7 in the novel. I love this idea and may need to do it myself just for fun!
  11. Finally, throughout the novel, Sam the young boy ponders what he will be when he grows up. Gently share with your children that they were blessed with gifts and talents by God and how wonderful it will be to see how God unfolds His plan for their lives. This conversation will be shared over and over again throughout the short eighteen years they are under your roof. It is an exciting part of parenting!

Happy Reading,

Loretta Lambert

 

Works Cited

Trelease, Jim. Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook. eighth ed., Penguin Books, 2019.

White, E. B. The Trumpet of the Swan. HarperCollins Publishers, 1970.

Why I Chose A PSP Over Charter School

I often get asked why I chose a PSP over a Charter, and every time my heart speeds up just a tad before I answer. You see, this topic can be a touchy one, and opinions can be strong about it. I have multiple friends who chose Charter and love it because it has worked best for their families. I still adore these friends, value their opinions, and am still amazed at the work they do in their lives for the Lord. That choice was right for them.  My decision to go with a PSP had everything to do with the convictions the Lord laid on my heart regarding my family. This is my truth, my answer to that often asked question.

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Ways To Discipline Your Kids

Our families were asked in an open forum town hall meeting how they discipline their kids, and here are their answers.

  1. In the case of a temper tantrum, stop everything, sit with your child, and let them know this behavior is not OK and will not be tolerated.  Resume your activity once they are finished.

  2. Get eye to eye with your child and speak with them.

  3. Disobedience=losing toys and privileges

  4. Using God’s word as a positive affirmation of what we are to do and not do.

  5. Pray with your child.

  6. Immediately remove your child from whatever they’re doing.

  7. Let your yes be yes and your no be no!

  8. Use the book Wise Words for Moms as a guide for teaching and disciplining your kids.

  9. Show them their need for Christ.

  10. Use the book My ABC Bible Verses-Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts.

  11. Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

Why Is Private Homeschooling Still A Good Idea?

  • In our world grade is based on mastery, not age

  • We are perfectly equipped to educate our kids

  • You can’t serve two masters

  • Take time off for family crisis

  • We can pray with our kids throughout the day

  • Our right to intervene for medical reasons is preserved with private homeschooling

  • We can have an IEP that is not dictated and enforced by the State but instead by God

  • Public education subjects can be a waste of time. We are to redeem the time wisely Ephesians 5:16

  • Private homeschoolers are not part of government data collection

  • We as parents can limit outside influences over our kids

  • The public school takes away our choices

  • Private homeschooling is a discipleship program for our kids

  • We can teach from a biblical world view

  • Our kids are with the us-the best place to be!

  • Teaching our kids is our God-given right.

  • Kids aren’t sick as much as when they are in a classroom with other kids.

  • Deuteronomy 4:4-6

  • Time to work on character building

  • To develop a love of learning in our kids-not teach them to memorize facts.

  • We have control over where our kids are

  • Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”