You know a woman by what’s in her purse! Like mother like daughter! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! AbiNoelle has been proof of those sayings we’ve all heard. If you want to know about me and what’s in my purse, well, just take a look at our big girl and her purse. Last week we celebrated turning the BIG 5 and with that came some BLING and SPARKLE for the BIG girl – a little black purse with some shiny gold sparkles. But proof in point was what was quickly added to the inside after a fun shopping trip
– coupons – 40% off coupons! AbiNoelle thought it was so important of her to put those coupon papers in her purse for safe keeping.
Yes, we love coupons, sales, and discounts! The cheaper the better, you might say. Right? We’ve become so accustomed to our fast-food, easy-gratification society, that we tend to expect much for less in every area of life. It seems that the lines of discernment have even become blurred in the homeschool world as folks choose curriculum as they might buy a $1 store pack of pens instead of an executive, museum quality writing instrument. No doubt, it is possible that a great leader could be educated through books from the dollar store or even freebies at the local library. Our family has certainly enjoyed the benefits of hand-me downs, library borrowing, consignment and exchange programs. However, as we choose materials, we try to analyze the material based on the Biblical philosophy of education that we established for our homeschool and not fall prey to the easy catch-phrases (excuses disguised as reasons) of the day. True, this may result in more work for us as teachers and parents and even more financial sacrifice; however, some “reasons” are worth avoiding when making educational choices:
- “It’s cheaper.” Don’t confuse reason with benefit. What is your reason for choosing a certain curriculum or book? Notice, I didn’t say, benefit. A savings or discount can certainly be a wonderful benefit, but a discount should never be a deciding factor for something as important as the teaching of our children. Cheaper doesn’t always equal quality. Of course, if one does not hold to the Biblical duty of parents to teach their children, then he may not place the highest priority and importance upon the teaching and training of their child. Therefore the financial investment, or lack thereof, in education only proves that belief.
- Extravagance doesn’t equal quality. Certainly, the Christian parent should seek to fulfill his call and duty in the best way possible. In contrast to the “it’s cheaper” excuse, financial extravagance, doesn’t necessarily equal quality. In our travels, we’ve witnessed several occasions when no expense was spared and every item a curriculum publisher offered was purchased, yet the daily follow-through of utilizing the best of the best was poor, if not totally missing. The best material can be at the finger tips, but if it is not effectively employed, the education becomes equal to the cheapest.
- “It’s faster.” If your goal is to teach and train when “thou sittest, walketh, liest, riseth,” then your goal should not be to choose a curriculum because of it’s lack of time constraint or requirement. Many times, we’ve heard it said that a curriculum was chosen because little Joey could get done so much faster! Speed doesn’t always equal quality. In fact, many times, the speed of the curriculum simply indicates sub-par learning.
- “It’s easier.” I’m definitely not a proponent of school being hard and hours of independent work after hours of teacher-led instruction. School should be full of fun, exciting, and efficient learning with time left in the day for family time, personal projects, and enjoyments. However, once again, many times a sub-par curriculum is chosen to ease the burden of the parent-teacher and satisfy the poor attitude of the student. When an aspect of the curriculum becomes a significant challenge, the solution should not be to scrap the good curriculum for the sub-par, but to work with the student to increase ability by offering further instruction, effective incentives, and adjusting the work load to lessen the burden during more challenging times.
- “It’s not challenging enough.” Should your original choice of what was the best curriculum meeting your Biblical philosophy be cast aside when your student excels and the work load becomes too easy in certain categories? Lack of challenge in a curriculum should never be a reason for accepting material that doesn’t meet your philosophy guidelines. Surely adding more writing assignments, experiments, computations, spelling words, artwork or whatever isn’t so difficult that a whole new curriculum that conflicts with philosophy has to be chosen?
Rejecting these excuses, we continue in our choice for AbiNoelle and time is flying by through a whirlwind of fun learning.
Our homeschool group provided a fun day of roller skating (although regretfully it does appear that AbiNoelle is taking after her mother’s lack of athletic ease).
What an exciting day when Reading Circles and Seatwork started with Mrs. Reese. AbiNoelle loves to complete beautiful paperwork and is doing a great job learning to read.
How Fun! – We took a quick trip down to Grandma’s to celebrate her birthday!
An important day! This was AbiNoelle’s first package of papers to be shipped to “Mrs. Reese” (A Beka Academy) for grading. What an accomplishment!
Field trip time at the Biltmore – what a BIG Christmas tree!
It’s Birthday #5 – love that new purse!
The grades came in – it’s AbiNoelle’s first report card!