Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Resurrection Eggs

I came across thesea couple weeks ago and thought they would be a really good way to teach the kids that Easter is more about the Easter Bunny. Each day Seth reads the scripture that goes along with that day's egg and then we open the egg and talk about what is in it. So far we have opened eggs that contain things like a donkey, silver coins, crown of thorns, etc. One the last day, Easter Sunday, the egg is empty. We have been doing it every day at breakfast and the kids have really enjoyed it, especially when it is their day to open the egg.
They are currently on sale at Mardel too if you would like to pick up some for next year!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Schooling...longest post ever

We have made the decision to not send Macy to public school next year, but to home school! Believe me, I never ever thought I would want to do it or actually do it.

I know I had a lot of questions when I started to think about homeschooling, am I am guessing a couple of you do too, so I thought I would try to answer a couple in this post.

Disclaimer-My intention is not to bash public schools in the post, Seth and I are both products of the public school system, I have a number of relatives that are teaches and I was even one myself before kids. I just want to answer some questions that we will probably get about homeschooling and also to make a post that the kids will read someday and see what we were thinking when we made this decision.

When did you decided to home school?

- In the past I have said "I would never home school my kids!", or "I just don't have the patience and skill!" but a few months ago something just hit me one that Macy would be going to school in a few months and I did not want her spending the majority of her day there. Not that I don't think she wouldn't do well in the public school system, I believe that she would do very well. She has zero separation issues, likes to makes friends and can sit and obey a teacher. And it isn't about me being away from her, I have zero separation issues as well. Anyways, it just sort of hit me one day, I think I read something about homeschoolers or something that made me think it really isn't a bad idea to home school. So I did research about it and prayed for about a month over it before I even brought it up to Seth. I thought for sure he was going to say "No chance" and that would have to be the end of it. But thankfully Seth said "You have about a 5% chance of me letting you do this.", so I was excited because it wasn't a definite "no" and he had the chance to meet a homeschooling family and is now supportive of the idea and said we can take it year by year. Although, I wouldn't go buy him a "My Kids are Homeschooled" t-shirt to wear just yet. But of course, I wouldn't do this without his approval and support.

What are your reasons for wanting to home school?

-There are a number of them and here are a few (not necessarily in order):

1. More time to "train them up the way they should go", this was a big one for me. It seemed like it would be really hard to constantly combat certain things, habits and other "worldly" issues they would be picking up daily. Not saying it can't be done, but it seems like it is getting harder and harder as the ability to discipline students is being stripped away in the classrooms.

2. Getting to choose our own curriculum. I have taught in the public schools and private schools and after going to the private schools, I know there is a number of high-quality and challenging bible based curriculums out there.

3. Flexibility. We won't be ruled by the school calendar. This one sounds really appealing to Seth.

4. More time for them to be kids. Kindergarten, for example, should just take about an hour a day. So there is lots of time for playing outside and it is not like they will have a bunch of "homework" since all their work will already be homework. Also, they won't have to constantly deal with the pressures to grow up so fast. They won't have to keep up with the latest TV show, clothing line, etc.

5. More time together as a family.

6. They won't have to take the TAKS test! That is such a huge deal here and it seems like students are taught for the test.

7. No watered down (or all together absent) history or science.

8. Getting to personalize lessons for the kids.

9. Giving the kids a teacher who spends one-on-one time with them. I read that the average teacher in the classroom spends like 10 minutes a day one on one with a student or something like that.

Aren't you worried your kids are going to be doomed to be unsocialized weirdoes?

-I was, I am not now. That was my biggest concern at first, but I did a lot of research and met non-weirdo home school kids. One article that particular helped me really helped explained how the idea of kids getting "socialized" in a class of 30 other students their age is a relatively new one and not really the best way to socialize them. The article also went on to remind me that in the real world, you are never only interacting with your peers, always with people of other ages. Plus, we do plan to let them out of the house every once in awhile. And I am embarrassed to admit this, but even when I was teaching I know I said "We are not here to socialize boys and girls, get your work done."

Macy, Charlie and Emma have never been to daycare, preschool or a MDO program and so far I think they are all well-socialized. Macy is just about the most social child I know. At church, for example, she’s always one of the first to greet visitors, adults and kids.

How can you possibly think that YOU can teach them everything?

-I will be the first to admit that I am pretty clueless in anything involving geometry, chemistry and basically any subject in the 12th grade. But THANKFULLY there are a ton of great curriculums and guides, as well as co-ops, even lessons on the computer, or tutors. And plus the kids have a really smart dad who can easily breeze through any of the tougher subjects.

What about college, how will they be prepared to enter college?

-If we continue homeschooling through High School, they can enroll at the community college while still in high school. I think it would be great to get them in 1 or 2 classes before they go off to college to not only get credits, but also to prepare them to work in a classroom setting, having to work in groups, having different teachers, etc. Also as mentioned above, there are a bunch of co-ops here, but we probably won't join one until all the kids are school age. I know there are home school kids who can't cut it in college but I also know there are public and private school kids that can't cut it as well. I don't think they are at a disadvantage because they are homeschooled. Also, I would ideally want all of them to go to OC or another Christian school, but many universities go out of their way to seek out homeschooled kids nowadays.

What about sports and clubs?

-Sports aren't really an issue until they get into high school and even then they have a number of home school sports leagues here in Frisco that I have found. I have also seen a number of clubs and other activities, including a yearbook, debate club, 4-H, even a prom (sorry kids, we probably still won't let you go to that. :)) and a bunch of things.

I know this is a record-long post, so I will go ahead and stop, but if anyone else is thinking about it, I encourage you to look into it! I am excited about the upcoming school year and will be sure to post updates when we get officially started in fall.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

5 Years Old!

Last Sunday we celebrated Macy's 5th birthday! Wow, I can't believe we have a 5 year old! Both sets of grandparents came to help celebrate Macy's big day. Macy seriously told the entire church that it was her birthday. After church we all went to Babes Chicken (we love Babes!) for lunch. The waitresses sang to Macy and she got to do the chicken dance (hence the beak/cup in her mouth). After lunch, we went back home and opened presents and enjoyed some cake and ice cream. I had originally ordered a cake, but then felt ridiculous spending that much money on a cake, so instead, Macy, Charlie and I made her a homemade birthday cake the day before and had a fun time doing so.
Happy Birthday Macy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The $1388 Pacificer

No, I am not talking a gold, diamond-encrusted pacifier, I am talking about one that gets lodged in your dog's stomach and you have to pay a vet $1388 to cut it out! UGHHHHHHH...

Bailey swallowed one of Emma's pacifiers, whole, with the loop on the back and everything. She has chewed off the tips before, but never swallowed an entire one. She had been throwing up for a few days and I thought it was from a diaper she had gotten a hold of and eaten, but I woke up a few days ago and she had thrown up about 10 places around the house during the night and we knew it was time to take her to the vet. Seth took her, she had a temperature and had lost 11 pounds, so they figured something was stuck in her stomach, so they did an x-ray and saw the pacifier pretty quickly.
Below is one of the x-rays. I know it is a horrible picture, but if you look at the bottom of the light, you will see the tip of the pacifier.
They did surgery that evening and she was able to come home today. She gets to wear the cone until they take the stitches out. Poor Bailey.