Sunday, August 31, 2008
So, tomorrow is day one. We start fresh. We will take it one day at a time. He is on a sort of probation period. The local middle school has to finalize their rosters by October 1st. We will watch the next 17 school days (we are on vacation next week) and see if he is trying to cooperate and get his work done. He has been doing well in the trying department this past week, but their has been no school. We will continue to pray he will grow in maturity and wisdom with his Heavenly Father.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Today was step one in visiting Jones. He would go to school from 8:00-4:00pm and have at least one hour of homework four nights a week. He would have to get up at 6:30 am and walk to and from school (one of us would walk with him). That means he would see Andy about 30 minutes in the evening for three nights. This upset Andy more than anything. He would also start school Sept. 4th, which means no beach vacation for him. This is more upsetting as we really enjoy spending time together as a family at the beach. It would also mean no Disney vacation for him as we are planning to go in May (my mom is taking us) and we have decided that if he goes to school we will not be pulling him out. In talking with the teacher who toured the school with us she made it very clear it would be a huge adjustment for him. It would be tough. She was almost discouraging us from considering the possibility. I really felt she wanted to say - STAY HOME! But wasn't allowed. We are praying.
Our second option is Cedar Grove Christian School. They give a pastor's discount that would help and if I got a part-time job we could swing the cost. I called this afternoon and the sixth grade class is full. God has closed that door. It has been my prayer that things would be abundantly clear as to what we are to do for our son's education. This was pretty clear!
Our third option is PA Charter Cyber School. They have virtual classes that he would have to sign in and listen to/ watch on the computer and then do the course work. He would be completely responsible to the teachers teaching the classes, I would only be a go to person if he has questions. We are researching where and when there is an informational meeting we can attend. Again, we are praying.
We are also still considering our "normal" homeschool. On the way home from Jones we talked with Matthew about how he was feeling. He obviously does not wish to attend Jones - that's a lot of time away from home. We expressed to him our reasons for homeschooling, one of which is that we realize the short amount of time God gifts us with these children. We desired to spend as much time raising and growing them as we could. God had blessed us with the opportunity and affordability to homeschool. At this point Andy shared how much he enjoys going to his parents house, because he misses them - even at 39 years old! This was also the point at which Andy started to tear up. I have seen Andy cry only a handful of times, it takes a great burden to cause tears to fall. This affected Matt tremendously as he realized how much we would miss him. I believe he is getting a glimpse at how we are all hurting and the effects of a disobedient attitude. I do not know how all this is going to turn out. I do know there needs to be change. Please pray with us and for us that we would do what is right for our family and what God desires for our son.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Today, I pulled out the Tall-Stacker Pegs and Pegboard by Lauri. I have managed to save these for this year. He was so excited to have something new to use and play with. He had a blast! First he built a tower with all 25 pegs! He had to have a little help from his big sister to put the top pegs into place. We then went over colors and categorizing them into groups.
The last thing we did was to find the peg that was "different" from the others. This was something new to him and he now loves saying the word "different"!
The next thing we took out was the Fit-a-Space puzzles by Lauri. Today was the first day he had seen these as well. He isn't too much into puzzles, so I wondered how this activity would go. He LOVED these small "cookies", as he called them.
What shocked me when we were putting them together was his statement and question "I need an oval. Where is an oval?" and then proceeded to find the oval and put it into place! I knew he knew the basic shapes, square, circle, triangle, but I had no idea he knew an oval! I wonder what else he's hiding in that little brain of his!
We also read a few books: Guess Who's Coming, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom, Summer Is Summer by Phillis and David Gershator, Flora's Blanket by Debi Gliori. I love the bunny books! He enjoyed it because it's about a blanket and he LOVES his blankee!
It was a good day with Daniel. The other two are another story. I feel it's going to be rough year of homeschooling. I know God has a plan, but as of right now I cannot see the big picture and it frustrates me. The constant circle of arguments we get from Matt are already tiring us out. To think we have 163 days more is daunting to say the least. We are praying and hanging onto God for his wisdom and strength.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The program allows you to use any book of your choosing from one of the nine genres. I decided to start off with Biography as that seemed to be the one he would probably dislike the most! I also chose the book, a biography of George Muller. Matt has enjoyed stories about George Muller since he was in preschool - a long time! I thought it would be good to get to know this man a little better. Today I was shown a glimpse as to why God lead me to this program. On first glance of the title, I believed that the program was to get kids to enjoy different types of reading and draw them into the enjoyment of literature. Now I realize it is also to be used to work on the child's heart. Today's lesson was to go over four character traits: responsibility, diligence, initiative, and cautiousness. We had to come up with examples of our own lives for each area. I have to say he had a difficult time coming up with something for a couple of them. It opened his eyes and heart a crack as to what kind of character he is developing. We had a good discussion about how we can work on this aspect of his life. The other lesson we did (he was a couple of days behind), focused on coming up with questions to ask of George Muller. I could tell the past few days that something about this book has been bothering Matt. Today, after much discussion, I discovered what it was. One of the questions Matt came up with was "Why did you have to sell all your stuff?". 'Things' are important to Matt, it is an issue we have been working on for a while. I feel God is working on this issue as well. Matt was almost to the point of tears as he struggled with the fact that God sometimes calls us to do difficult things - like give up our stuff. It was good to see the struggle going on within his heart. I was beginning to get a bit concerned as the past few days have been difficult with Matt. His heart has seemed to be hardening instead of softening towards God. But God is faithful and I need to keep praying and keep listening. Please pray for Matt, that he would allow this work to take place in his heart and allow it to soften towards the things of God instead of focusing on himself.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I packed up the school supplies on Sunday afternoon. Here is a picture of all the supplies prior to being packed.
Thanks to so many wonderful people, Pat, Rachel, Aunt Louise, Mom Schultz, Mom Lewis, Mom Hunter, Bethany E.C. Church, Bethal Chapel, Laurie, and I am sure many others who have slipped my mind right now, we were plenty well stocked to fill 65 backpacks! Here is a picture of what each kid is receiveing along with their backpacks.
1 plastic binder, 6 2-pocket folders, 2 spiral bound notebooks, 1 pack notebook paper, 1 compostition book, 1 Crayola Broad markers, 1 Crayola Fine Line markers, 1 Crayola Colored pencils, 1 8ct. pencils, 1 pencil box, 1 pack index cards, 1 24 ct. Crayola crayons, 1 2ct. pink eraser, 1 scissors, 1 2ct. glue stick, 1 ruler, 1 pencil sharpener, 10 pencil top erasers!!!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
A replica of the boat Penn would use to travel to Philadelphia - kinda tiny!
The above picture is of the barn. We were allowed to roam around after the tour and go into building that were open. We walked into the barn and were greeted by a honking goose! It was quite irritated that we were entering into its domain! There were also peacocks (considered a living lawn ornament back in Penn's days!) with their little peacocks and a HUGE turkey! It was the turkey that caused us concern. He jumped down from the wall and circled around us rather closely. Sarah had escaped back into the barn - terrified it would attack! Daniel, however, had picked up a stick and was unfazed by the turkey every bit as big as he! We walked out of the barn and the turkey followed us! It kept circling us and was getting a little too close for comfort when Daniel, with his stick, decided to chase it back to the barn for us! Our little turkey wrangler saved us and received the undying love of his sister who was crying at the thought of this turkey attacking! Andy and I were laughing so hard! Daniel was a riot! He is such a fearless boy!
We ate a packed lunch at the picnic tables provided. It was such a great way to start our school year! We really just had a fun day together.
Our first day in the schoolroom was Monday, August 4th. We are only doing our morning schedule this week as Andy has a group in from Clover Hill Baptist Church in Richmond, VA doing a VBS from 1:30-4:00 pm. The actual classwork hasn't gone as well as the field trip, but we are learning to deal with the drama that comes each day. Andy and are being firm and requiring the kids to adhere to the schedule and do their work properly, not something they are enjoying, but will get used to. Andy and I were listening to Kevin Leman on Focus on the Family the other morning and he made us realize that we have been too lenient with the scheduling of our kids and allowing them to pick and choose different things - such as what subjects to do when they feel like it, etc. We also realized we were not making them follow through with proper behavior, how they speak to us and each other, keeping rooms picked up, etc. So we put our heads together and have initiated Kid Clean-up! Along with that goes Parent Clean-Up - keeping in check how we respond to them on different behaviors and keeping up with them, not slacking when we need to be parenting - even when we are tired (which is often!). Please pray with us that we would be what we need to be when we need to be it!