As I announced recently, we are all about learning the lessons at Breathing Grace. To that end, I thought I’d take a moment to offer an education update. There is a flurry of activity around here.
My older children, as many of you may remember, are enrolled in school. They are eagerly anticipating the start of summer. So am I, for that matter. The older they get, the more school work and activity seems to interfere with the affairs of family life. As high schoolers, they are usually inundated with so much homework, that I have decided against requiring anything of them that is academically demanding over the summer. They need a break.
However, we began a tradition a few years ago. We have a summer book club. We choose a book, buy several copies, and then read and discuss the book. Last year’s book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, was very well received by the girls and they have really taken the author’s message to heart. In fact, they have loaned several copies to various Christian school mates who have also taken the message to heart, thankful for an alternative to the high school dating scene.
This year’s book has been chosen. I made an executive decision and chose a book I thought would be good for them without their input. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it anyway. The book is called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex and Brett Harris. It comes highly recommended by a good friend and I am looking forward to it.
Also on the school front, one of my kids was miffed when her teacher made a derogatory comment about the Bible. Thankfully, she shared the class with another good Christian friend and had someone with which to share her righteous indignation. We talked about the teacher’s comments later and I gave her some food for thought should the subject arise again. I told her to ask her teacher this question:
Suppose all this God, Jesus, and Bible stuff turns out to have been one big hoax. That I have spent my life believing a lie. Just suppose it for a minute. At the end of our lives, who will have the most opportunity to harbor regret? Me, having strived to love others more than myself, to live a pure life, an honest life, a life of giving and a life of honor, or the person who lived a life unto his or herself, never preferring others, running rough shod over anyone who gets in the way of what they want or thought they wanted at any given moment? Who will leave the greater legacy, the person who has attempted to walk the narrow path, or the one who went with the flow of the culture, burning bridges and leaving pain in his or her wake?
I wonder what he’ll answer to that? I am thankful that this season is coming to a rapid end. Now, on to the homeschool front. Advice and opinions are very welcomed since as y’all know, I’m a homeschool novice.
My Lil’ Princess will be 4 this summer. I have gone back and forth over whether she will be too young to begin any kind of formal homeschooling. At the moment, both she and my 2-year-old are enjoying Before Five In A Row. You’d be surprised at the number of spinoffs they came up with after reading Blueberries For Sal this week! And the fact that we found little tin pails at Target for 0.25 made it all the more fun. They were very excited to have pails just like Sal’s!
We will definitely continue Before FIAR through the summer. My quandary concerns what to do as the fall begins since I know that now is the time to place orders in preparation for the fall. This is where you all come in. I will share with you what I am considering, and you will share with me your experiences with any of the materials I am considering.
After spending a fair amount of time reading The Well Trained Mind, I am contemplating ordering two items to introduce along with our current, lightweight, and very fun Before FIAR activities.
The first is The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. Since Lil’ Princess can identify all of her letters and their sounds, and is constantly asking me to read or help her read words any and every where she sees them, I am starting to think that maybe 4-years-old isn’t too young to begin teaching reading. After all, if it proves too much for her, I can always put it aside and revisit it later.
The second is the primer version of Math-U-See, with manipulatives, of course. Math is one of those topics I feel the need to jump in to early. I am one of those math phobic parents. I can do math, but it took me a bit of effort to become comfortable with it, so I want to do a good job of teaching it. For me, that means starting early.
For my personal learning and edification, I am having to break away from my theological research and spend some time meditating on 2 Peter, chapter 1. I ran into references to that passage at least three times in a two-day period last week and as I began to read it on my own, I felt a compelling need to prayerfully dig deeper and ask the Lord to help me see the areas I need to work on and the lessons I need to learn. Not to worry, though. I will get back to my Scriptural study on the basis of reformed theology.
Additionally, I hope to read C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce this summer. After reading Cindy’s two posts examining the ending of the show LOST (here and here), which I watched as well, recognizing several of the spiritual undertones and questions, it seems like a good book to read. Her tying of the show to the book made it intriguing to me. Besides that, I like C.S. Lewis’ writings.
I’d love for you to share what you’re learning and teaching at your house!