Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New School Motto

It is so important to plant an idea in your head of what your goals for your children will be. Years ago we decided that the family motto was: "Heaven is our goal, everything else is just gravy!" Having those words in the back of our minds has helped us through many difficult situations. When a decision needs to be made we resort back to the family motto. I know it isn't pretty and we always planned to reword it but for now it is what it is. The kids all know that Heaven is the goal!

One Sunday during Mass sometime in December of 2008 I was inspired to write something down. I don't know where it came from but the words formed in my mind as I grabbed a pen and scripted it onto some scrap paper in the pew. I don't recall why I wrote it or even doing it. So flash forward an entire year and a month and as I was cleaning off my desk tonight I ran into that little piece of paper. I recognized my handwriting and vaguely remembering writing it down. (So glad I did.) I now know what it is and I like it. Our school motto is a little more formal now. I can’t wait to add it onto Diplomas and transcripts. I love it, it fits us. I think it was a gift from Heaven itself.

Pray about this and pick one for your family and a different one for your home school. It is very good to have a motto or slogan that can rally the troops. So what do you think? I love this one, it really does fit our home school.

Our Home School Motto

Where the path to Heaven
meets Scholastic Excellence,
all mixed together with Love of Family.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Started Again

It can be very hard to get back on track when life takes you away from the books. If you read my family blog you know that we had several people were close to pass away in October last year. These were close friends of me and then one of my teenagers. Sometimes God sends us lessons that are harder than we could come up with on our own. There were days that I just didn’t pull out books because we wanted to visit with one of these people or because we were pouring our hearts into a project for one of these people. Some days we were just heart broken and other days we spend comforting someone else that was heart broken.

The experience was wonderful. I could never have taught my children those lessons of caring for your neighbor, the value of suffering, or the joy of heaven without the examples of these dear individuals. We learned how quickly life can change, how short life can be, how age and illness shouldn’t effect how kind a gracious one is. We learned that being Christ-like is often harder that we might think but require nothing more than an ear to listen and a heart to love.

Where to begin after all that I recommend a good read aloud for the family. Wait a little while. Do some school work through out but unite the group with a good story. I allow coloring of related sheets that I would have already printed to help ease the body and soul back into the work. We have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia and I must admit that it was chosen by someone other than me but it is the perfect choice. The series of books were at hand when the idea of a read a loud hit. For other reasons it was the perfect choice, I will post more on those in particular later.

We have used this method before and it always seams to work. It inspired more learning because stories always do. It helps us to turn the TV and computers off to refocus on school. It gives the little ones something to be a part of making them less distracting when the highschoolers sit to do the tougher subject. There is a huge benefit to a family read a loud. Often it unites the family as they journey through the book together. It gives everyone a theme to interact with. Often the stories inspire other stories and other questions. To follow those Rabbit Trails will lead to the child’s true interest.

If you have had tragedy or even the joy of the birth of a child that has cause you get off track. If you yourself need to be re-inspired to get tough again but don’t want to the very first day try this plan. Start with a week of guided read a loud. I find that I need to read the stories to offer the correct inflections. You must look ahead in the book and find characters or images that you can find coloring sheets for. The older ones need the peaceful action of coloring sometimes to calm their minds from all the craziness that happens in the teen years, especially if you have also recently had a major change in life.

Good luck getting back on track. Don’t be grudge what took you off, God sent them for your growth. Now pick up a good book, cuddle with your kiddos and find your new beginning.