Saturday, March 5, 2011

Learning Update

As a homeschool mom, I am in school right along with my children. While that is true of motherhood in general, it seems to be even more true in my life because I homeschool. I look to make every experience a learning experience for my children. And God is always looking to teach me throughout my day, with my children and in many other little ways.

I have really enjoyed how the subjects have been integrated this year. The science recently has been physical science, like energy and forces. The discussions included sources of energy. The interesting connection was that some of the states covered about this same time were West Virginia (we had talked about and looked at pictures of coal mines) and Nevada (we had looked at and talked about the water from the Hoover Dam). Along with traveling west by wagon train as more states join the Union, we learned about Abe Lincoln and touched on the civil war and more about the American Flag. Olivia really enjoyed reading about Abe Lincoln. He is a great example of honesty and hard work.

Our name for Jesus right now is The Good Shepherd. Our read aloud is Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates and it is about Peter, his family, and their sheep and the story begins at the time of lambing. When we discuss the biblical concepts of Jesus as Shepherd and us as sheep, it adds to our discussion so much when we read a book about the same things in the natural world. Olivia is like a sponge. She has such a gift for memorizing scripture. I hope that those life giving scriptures are hid well in her heart as they will serve her well every day of the rest of her life. She asks the most wonderful questions. Sometimes, I get tired of the "20 questions" but then her desire and love for learning really is a blessing. She is being taught by her creator God and she is asking questions to know him better. I am doing the same.

As a side note, I decided to add Carolina's Courage (also by Elizabeth Yates) to our read aloud list. It is about a family that packs everything they had into a covered wagon to head west as pioneers. It was an excellent addition to our curriculum. In the story, the little girl Carolina has to chose ONE toy to take along. This sparked a very interesting family discussion about our possessions. Olivia said she would take her stacking dolls along because it was really 5 dolls in one. She is a smart one. :)

The other day, as we were riding in the car, Olivia said, "Mom, there are two kinds of flowers. There is the blossom flower and flour you use in a cake. But they sound just alike." What a perfect introduction to a spelling and grammar lesson. :)

I have been reading, discussing and thinking about how to make learning a lifestyle and how to teach to the whole child. I really want it to be my goal that there is not much if any specific "school time" that is not integrated into the rest of our daily lives. God is always teaching us as long as we have our eyes and ears open. I want to teach my children to be aware. I want to give them the desire to learn and to always have their eyes and ears open to what God is teaching. Because, of course, he is the ultimate teacher. Also, I could drill all kinds of "book knowledge" into my kids but it would be of little benefit if they lack character. The bible calls us to "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6".  I think God is always teaching us, both in big lessons and small observations.

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