Homeschooling with a MISSION

Insider Peeks at Mission Academy using A Beka DVD


July 2015

What’s hiding in that closet?!?


Has that moment ever hit you?…that moment when you feel like every hair is out of place and so is every other thing in the house. Everything becomes annoying. The little things become aggravating. HELP! – I need help! Well, that moment definitely flooded over me this week. Clothes were piled everywhere as I endeavored to sort and ready some for resale, give-away, and keep. What a mess, and school is to start in a week. And, of course, when you start cleaning out, you just find more to clean out! I was sure when Steve came home and saw all the trash bags, he would be convinced that nothing was left in the house – I had thrown it all away.

The mission this week was clear – Clean out and get organized! For me, there is no better way to start off a school year than to clean out and get organized. How can you learn…How can you teach…when you know that closet is full of junk and a big mess! Well, I can’t. So with a big cup of coffee and some serious determination…down came all the preschool decor, out came the trash bags, and organization came to the rescue (even for that closet!). It’s amazing how quickly things can become disarrayed. I guess that’s a part of being in the faulty world. Imagine Eve’s first days of perfect order. God had designed and created it all with such order, and then – SIN. Someone has said that blame is simply a lazy person’s way of making sense out of chaos. Surely chaos and blame do not follow the intent of our Creator! But let everything be “done decently and in order (I Cor. 14:40).” This is a never-ending work in progress that we strive for continually. AbiNoelle learned Luke 2, the Christmas Story, at age 2, Matthew 28, the Resurrection Story, at age 3, and now, she is working on Genesis 1. God’s desire for orderliness is clearly seen in His creation week. With this thought forefront, we have been motivated to clean, organize, and prepare all K4 school material (more on that in the next blog) so that we can begin next week with a clean slate – literally and figuratively.

What once was…

What fun completing the 18-24 month, two-year-old, and three-year-old A Beka Program.

“Mommy, do I..?”- Well, let me first give an introduction before I tell you what she asked.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that it seems that we have always been homeschooling. I grew up as a homeschooled child, then full-time teaching kept me engaged in education, foster care involved ALOT of one-on-one tutoring, and, since being blessed with our own, Steve and I both have reveled in all of our learning experiences so far. We have exerted much effort since day one to develop a love of learning in her. I think we have achieved that! She has loved her little desk, and is constantly asking to be taught something. Now, the latest conversation revolves around, “Mommy, do I know everything yet?” “No,” I say, “Remember, the more you grow, the more you know.” And that is the goal…to grow and learn…academically, spiritually. Truly, Jesus was the ultimate example as He grew in “wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” He was and is the greatest of teachers, so, no doubt, He places prioritized importance upon education. How sad it is to see the young and old alike at some point decide that they have no need of learning anymore. One, I guess, pet-peeve I had as a teacher was to see the flaunting of mutilated textbooks at the end of the school year. I remember one student bragging that his Dad had told him that he could use his textbooks for target practice. The attitude of achievement and accomplishment was replaced with detest for books and learning. Just recently, one newly retired pastor said the other day that he had no need for reading material now that he was no longer in the pulpit. How sad for him and those that he might still be able to minister to. May we never say, “I’m done learning!” But dig deeper and grow more with the enthusiasm of those young ones during their first days of school!

The Twisted Carrot lesson

Twisted Carrots

As amateurs, we decided to try growing a few veggies this year. Not having a green thumb, we have been greatly surprised by what has grown in our garden this year. AbiNoelle has learned the new word “massive.” We have had massive tomato plants. Massive squash plants. Massive cucumber plants. And massive watermelon vines. Some of the produce has even gotten away from us and become massive itself. However, the carrots have been a different story. Apparently, from the beginning, we did not thin the seedlings as we should have. So lesson learned: dreadful things can happen when you don’t do right from the start. Just like in our life, if we start out with what we might incorrectly term as a little sin, and if we don’t correct that and “thin it out,” we will get closer and more twisted up with sin. SURELY, before we know it, our life will have become miserably twisted by the sin that we did not stay far away from. So today, in growing a garden lesson, we learned not only that it is important to thin the carrot seedlings, but also to stay away from sin, because if we get too close we’ll just get all twisted up in the ugly wickedness of this world. Psalm 34:14

Mail time!

I’m sure you have never seen so much excitement as there was in our house today when we heard that beep beep of the car horn. “Mommy what is it?” “It’s a surprise,” I said. “Can we open it?” “Hmmm, maybe we should wait… wouldn’t it be more fun just to watch and look at a box and wonder what was inside it?” “No, no, mommy, please let’s open it now!”

Excited about box

And so mommy gave in. And the box was opened. “I’m so excited – a kitty backpack and a water bottle. It is so cute! This is so special. I want to wear it. It’s perfect. I can’t wait to show daddy!”

I’m so excited!
Kitty backpack to use as snack pack

Backpacks – invented in the 1950s by a hiking pro. By 1952 his new basement business has sold 29 backpacks in a year for $24.  By the sixties and seventies JanSport had caught on and LL Bean was soon to follow with day packs for school. Look how we have gone from the leather strap holding your books, to a small one-strap bag, to little satchels, to the Millennials and their novelty bags and wheeled carry- alls. Enjoy the days of the backpack! From tablet (paper notebooks) to tablets (all your books on a 10 inch screen) AND handwriting to texting, there will soon not be a need for such fun!

My new school

AbiNoelle being introduced to her K4 teachers.

AbiNoelle has always been excited about school! Just recently she was asked by someone if she was ready for school to start. “Yes! I have a new school … you know, kindergarten … K4 … my teachers are Mrs. Wasser and Mrs. Pintar.”

What a joy it was for mommy to hear this conversation. I know from talking to other homeschool moms, it seems that, many times, they cannot even consider the DVD program because they feel that they would have to give up the privilege of being their child’s teacher. I think I have a unique perspective on this topic because of being a homeschooled child, a teacher, and now a parent of a homeschool  child. I also had the one-of-a-kind experience of working with hundreds of teachers and homeschoolers through my dad’s Ministry.  I even had the opportunity to teach with Mrs. Wasser, who will be AbiNoelle’s K4 teacher on the DVD program.  Now, with all of those experiences in my back pocket, I often take time to reflect on all that I have learned.  No doubt, I received an excellent teacher’s education at Pensacola Christian College and am well capable of teaching AbiNoelle the K4 program myself. However, I know, without a doubt and from personal experience, that there is no way I can make K4 more enjoyable or even as enjoyable as the DVD program can make it for her. God has given us such a precious gift, and I want to, with the Lord’s help, give her the very best that I am capable of giving to her. Therefore, we have determined to make a decision based on what is best for AbiNoelle.

I can’t wait! She can’t wait! But we are waiting – two more weeks – to start school in August.

Welcome to the first post in our homeschooling blog!

When did we first start homeschooling?  Well, she was born on November 12, 2011. Let the training and teaching begin! Since then we have persevered through infant tantrums and toddler potty training and rejoiced in first steps and first words. AbiNoelle has already surprised us as she has taken to learning the handbells and piano, loves singing, and has memorized Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 28. A Beka Book is our educational curriculum of choice, and we have enjoyed completing the two and three-year-old material. Now, we are just days away from the real, big-time stuff! K4 – here she comes. The UPS man has already delivered the books and DVDs and AbiNoelle can hardly wait to get started. If it wasn’t for mommy’s determination that summer is NOT a time for school, she would have already cracked the books! Two weeks to go – got to get the school room ready. Bookbag has been ordered and will be delivered this week. (I know, you say, “What does she need a bookbag for?” Well, you see, mommy thought it would be fun to get a lunchbox and pack a snack in it to eat during break time, but AbiNoelle insisted that the lunchbox was no good because you couldn’t wear it on your arms…so a bookbag it is – she sure does know her mind.) Can’t wait to post a pic of the bookbag she chose. Stay tuned…

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