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Homeschooling with a MISSION

Insider Peeks at Mission Academy using A Beka DVD

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discipline

Should we “direct” them?

Is direction needed?

Three, four and… Let the strings begin. Our summer has been filled with the sweet melody (well, most of the time) of beginning violin. Truly, under the instruction of Dr. Jaffe and the Abeka Strings DVD program, learning violin for AbiNoelle (as opposed to Mommy’s first grade experience) has been music to our ears! After over 40 lessons, orchestra rehearsal sessions have begun, even including the wedding march, no doubt in honor of our 15th Wedding Anniversary this summer! With an orchestra, of course, comes a conductor, yet according to Dr. Jaffe, trial and significant error brought today’s view of the man and his baton. Apparently, in times past, the musicians gathered and played somewhat “together” as their own ears directed. Eventually, general concensus called for a conductor to create perfect harmony. Yet still, the conductor needed something that would insist upon a unified tempo amongst the instruments. Hence…..the BIG STICK. Seriously, can’t you just picture today’s finest orchestra playing a minuet to the thudding beat of a Moses-like staff! The turning tide, so the legend tells, is that a conductor, so intently stamped the beat that when he mistakenly hit his foot, the injury turned deadly.

The extreme’s of no direction to the BIG STICK brought us to today’s small but not insignificant baton that can draw a clear path to delightful sounds.

Extremes –

it seems, even in times past, man is constantly gravitating from one extreme to the other.

From the live-as-you-go to a schedule that will make the marines shudder….

From a hodge podge of books at the library to a syllabus listing hours of assignments…

From no make-up to the Jezebel look…

From the composed funeral dirge song time to hopping, swaying, and praising…

From Kentucky Fried to Keto-for-Life…

From couch potato to 5k…

From the “can’t throw it away” to the Marie Kondo’s Extreme Declutter…

Certainly, some ideas have their merit. Nonetheless, extremes are always out to yank us here and there, intending to consume us and many times bringing fatal consequences spiritually, emotionally or physically. I Corinthians 15:58 says, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Philippians 4:5 reminds us to: Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

Thinking back to AbiNoelle’s K5 Abeka DVD days, Mrs. Reese said that “for the Lord” she just wanted to be “the same everyday” – Not meaning that she didn’t want to grow and improve, but simply that she wanted to be consistent not moody or unstable.

In this “extreme” world, this is our challenge for the 2019-2020 school: To be consistent, strong and abounding in our work for the Lord using proven tools in a balanced manner.

With that in mind, we continue on beyond a wonderful summer of travels, Spanish, violin, sewing, playing, book adventures, game time, etc. and welcome a new Abeka Academy school year with great anticipation and excitement.

The “big kid” days are upon us as AbiNoelle steps up into the real elementary-like classes with Miss Heindel. The all-new Abeka third grade curriculum offers excellent history biographies, lots of hands-on opportunities in Science, an adventure around every page in reading, “tons” of math concepts, awesome art projects, and life-challenging lessons in Bible. This biblical approach, high academic standards, and exciting learning method fits our school year goal to a “T.”

After day one, AbiNoelle said, “She’s (Miss Heindel) GREAT!” “I really like Math, but I really like Language too!” She is super excited about giving trial spelling tests a try and can’t wait for art time on Friday. Spanish, violin and sewing continue only in smaller segments, and Tweety-Pie Junior Tutor is full-steam ahead as we edit upcoming video lessons and look for our new book, The Constitution Defender, to arrive from the printer soon!

And, not to be forgotten, AmiJoy thinks she can do anything big sister can. Her busy little self enjoyed the first days of school by singing in Bible time, coloring on the chalkboard, working on her colors, and trying out AbiNoelle’s preschool desk. Her “JOY” interrupts regularly, but is learning to keep her hands busy in her own “school” space.

So….here we go…

not as a lost orchestra

not with the thud of a BIG STICK

but movement by movement directed by THE MASTER CONDUCTOR’s baton.

Life, under His direction, will have its high notes and low notes, yet complete a beautiful song.

Abeka Academy 2nd Grade Cross Stitch Lessons

What an important time! In the midst of life and ministry, we were chugging full steam ahead to finish up AbiNoelle’s 2nd Grade school year. (The beautiful weather was calling us outside!)I was busy and she came running in saying, “Quick, Mommy, I need help finding my special paper…Mrs. Chappell is teaching us cross stitching today.” My head immediately popped up and I turn full view to say, “Cross Stitch? Are you sure? What kind of special paper are you talking about?” My mind was quickly rushing through the days assignments and coming up with NADA for Cross Stitching. “Oh Mommy, you know, in writing, we’re going to take a word and write it down our paper [Light was beginning to dawn on me and a smile was creeping across my face] and then we come up with a word to go with each letter.”

Continue reading “Abeka Academy 2nd Grade Cross Stitch Lessons”

Footsteps and the Cat’s Business

Fun in the snow

Stepping out to a crunch, our breath was deep and clear and soon rosy cheeks matched the sparkle that twinkled from the fresh laden snow to the laughing eyes of us all as we ventured up and down hills, climbed through fallen trees, and flew with the sled over newly made trails. God’s creation is awesome and full of lessons about Him. HIS faithfulness enveloped us as we hiked, pointing out special promises over each footstep. It all started with AbiNoelle trudging along behind us….I’m sure you can hear it now, “But Mommy…”

Family hike in the snow

“Just step in Daddy’s footprints,” I instructed from ahead. Glancing back, a few times, I questioned, “Are you walking in Daddy’s footsteps? It will be easier if you do.” You see, Daddy was stomping down the thorny vines, breaking down overhanging limbs, watching out for rocks and holes that might cause a fall – he was making the perfect path. Just like our Heavenly Father, who knoweth THE WAY long before we can see it all, prepares and directs our steps. If only we would just follow Him step by step, we could avoid the pitfalls of this world that may cause us trouble or harm.

With slight exasperation, she called out, “I’m trying to, Mommy, but…sometimes…his footsteps…well, I just have to stretch so far to reach them!” 

And so it is with our Heavenly Guide. Knowing all that we can handle and are capable of, He purposefully stretches us to reach the place He’d have us be. The challenge of His plan builds our trust and grows our faith in His perfect leadership in our life.

As we weaved through the brush, Mommy and AbiNoelle soon fell out of step with Daddy’s trail and ventured toward a shortcut, but, uh-oh, look-out! Those tangles of vines! We thought we could just force our way through, the vines would brake against our force, and we could rejoin Daddy. But, No-No! Those vines, though brown and dead looking, were strong, thorny, and could not be broken. Back-tracking we went, to Daddy’s steps and the more sure way.

Isn’t that just like us! To think we know the best way and plow ahead of God’s WAY only to find out the hard way that our way was poor and His WAY best.

Porkchop

As we came into the clearing, Porkchop (the family cat), who had previously been crying and pouncing around, wondering what had happened to bring all this white, cold stuff, stopped right in the middle of our trail, in between Daddy and AbiNoelle. So do we like to get all flustered by the unexpected and just flutter around in confusion, crying and worrying, and wondering what we should do. Well, this cat’s abrupt stop, quickly brought a guttural gasp from AbiNoelle as he did his business right in plain view! Yuck! What a distraction from the trail. This ole world daily “drops” distractions into our path, and, sadly, many times, the Devil wins out, we stop looking to the Guide, we fall off the STRAIGHT WAY, and we become fixated on the scene before us.

AmiJoy with Daddy

Once we moved beyond “the cat’s business,” our look forward showed AmiJoy, safe in Daddy’s arms, along for the ride, and far ahead of us. Wouldn’t it be just great if we could remember that we are just along for a ride that can be pleasing to Him, while knowing that this world is not our home and we’re just a’passin’ through. What a promise to rest in the truth that He will carry us even down the toughest of roads.

That sledding sure tires a body out!

As we paused for a rest, Porkchop (yes, the cat) found a dry spot to sit. By this point, AmiJoy’s fun was coming to an end as she began to droop from our trek. We all turned to head home – all but the cat. He had found his dry spot and wasn’t willing to give it up to trudge back into the cold. Oh, how we do the same! We get into that comfort zone and aren’t willing to give it up to follow the Master. “He’ll come home when it’s dinner time,” we told AbiNoelle. Yes, the dry spot will eventually be left, but instead of following us home, Porkchop will now have a colder, lonelier, darker trip home. Many times, our Father does allow us to choose our own way, and even though that journey may lead us home, the WAY was not His plan, His choosing, or His will. Sadly, we missed the best!

The Broken Way (Lots of clean-up required)

Oh, that we might daily see and choose each footstep created just for us, for truly, His way is Perfect.

HIS way is best!

Footsteps and the Cat’s Business

Playtime or School time?

“Mommy, why don’t I have a recess like they do?”

AbiNoelle is such a logophile! You know, a person who likes words! She didn’t realize, that for her, playtime is synonymous with recess! Why, just the other day, from out of the clear blue, she says, “What does the word indignant mean?”

“Indignant? Use it in a sentence,” I prodded.

She gave her teacher a very indignant look. That was what Amy said to her schoolteacher,” she explained.

Then, I knew…

Continue reading “Playtime or School time?”

Never say “No, don’t, stop, or not that way!”

20160909_145818.jpgSo here we are in a local play area as a special reward for completing several responsibilities, munching on our lunch and anticipating the playtime to come, when in squeals a little one followed by his family. Of course, the little boy’s straight path to the slide was followed by older sister’s  yells and mother’s quite colorful language insisting upon his eating first before play. The whole exhibition to follow was mesmerizing to Mommy and AbiNoelle. Continue reading “Never say “No, don’t, stop, or not that way!””

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