Friday, December 20, 2013

Long Overdue Homeschool Update

We are in our fifth year of our homeschool journey and I haven't been so good about documenting all the changes and the growth.  So this will be my attempt to condense all those years with a brief summary.

I will preface by stating a little bit of my background so you will get a better idea of the overall picture.

I am a bookworm.
I am a learner
I am a lover of History.
I was a History major.
I was a high school History teacher.
I am now a homeschooler.

So back in 2009 when we started our homeschool journey, I had a school at home mentality.  And while there is nothing wrong with that, I soon discovered it wasn't for us.  The next year although I didn't buy a complete box curriculum like I had done for the first year, essentially the mentality was the same--school at home.

Fast forward to 2013, I am still struggling to overcome that mentality.  Education has to be this way and that way with books and tests.  But it's slowly happening.  I am gradually moving away from this model of education to:

Discipleship

The Lord has been impressing upon me the importance of discipling our children.  It is more than learning for the here and now; it is about the eternal.

And while we do the 'regular' subjects, the way they are done and the extras added have been captivating my attention and heart.

These are just a few resources that we have used or are using that are part of this journey.

1.  Bible
The Bible has always been a part of our schooling as the foundation and the continuing building blocks.  The Lord is just taking us on a new route with His Word (which I hope to blog about soon).

2.  Worldview Books
These are just the ones I had bought long and had not done, but I am definitely looking into buying more of this genre.

3.  Literature
We love to read over at our house but with a full schedule of (sometimes fluff) school work, it was getting harder to squeeze it in.  No more.  These books have been a great addition to our homeschool.  Even though I don't agree with every thing written, they provide great discussions.

4.  Outside the Box
This is the biggest area where I need growth.  Incorporating non-traditional methods (unit studies, lapbooking, journaling) are making their way to our daily learning.

It is so fun to look back where we started and where the Lord has brought us to and where He is still taking us.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: The God Puzzle

In The God Puzzle:  How the Bible Fits Together to Reveal God as Your Greatest Treasure, Valerie Ackermann seeks to "present the Bible as one seamless story and share deep truths in a way kids will understand."  This workbook is targeted for kids ages 7-12.

I will preface my review by stating that I am a mother, homeschooler, and Sunday school teacher.  That being stated, my review is based on how effectively I could use this book in different settings.  

From the start, I can say that this is a meaty book.  There is not fluff or busy work but convicting and challenging topics to stimulate and encourage a child's spiritual growth.  I liked the spontaneity of the presentation of the lessons.  Although each lesson included the read it, talk about it, and talk to God about it portion, the lessons had a diversity of activities to engage the child in the material.  The diagrams and illustrations were very helpful in communicating ideas.  

As I worked on it with my daughter, I enjoyed the conversations it sparked.  The author did an exceptional job  in tailoring it towards children without diminishing the power of the Gospel.  I appreciated the author's understanding that children are capable of understanding the Bible.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading my daughter's responses in the "talk to God" portion.  

Whereas, I enjoyed it immensely as a homeschool mom because it was full of Scripture, as a Sunday school teacher, I question how long would it take me to do a lesson.  Sure I could skip some of the verses, but I would not want to.  I think it would work best in a new believer's class setting rather than for a child who has read the Bible.  

I enjoyed reading and working on the book alongside my daughter.  Although I do not agree one hundred percent with the author's theology (Lesson 18), I would recommend this resource for a new believer.  I look forward to seeing the author's upcoming titles.  

I received a complimentary copy of above mentioned title from Litfuse  in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.