The Benefits of Homeschooling

kids doing puzzle at library

kids working outside art

The last time I blogged about homeschooling, I was only teaching my twelve-year old son. Now, I’m instructing my fourteen year old daughter who is above average, a grade ahead and sharp as a whip. She alone, keeps me on my toes. She alone, keeps me burning the midnight oil, researching, learning, reading, and printing everything I can to not only maintain her grade level but challenge her as well.

kids studying in dining room

My son is easy. Seventh grade work isn’t as challenging as tenth grade work.

He’s our class clown also. The other day he was dragging his covers to the dining room table where they do their lessons, when I stopped him in his tracks.

“Hey, where are you going with those covers, young man? It’s class time, so take that blanket back to your bedroom,” I said.

“But mom, I’m cold and I don’t feel good. I think I have a fever. Can I just stay home from school today,” he asked?

“No sir, you cannot.” I felt his head, which was perfectly normal. “You stayed up too late last night and you’re wanting to sleep in, and in case you hadn’t noticed, YOU ARE AT HOME! Homeschool, remember?”

I smiled as he drug his Dallas Cowboys fleece blanket to his room in slow motion.

There are days when I am stretched beyond my comfort zone, when I’m teaching my children things I did not learn in school as a child. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time. I’m very grateful for this era of technology where so much information is available in so many formats. I still like taking trips to the library and checking out books, the old-fashioned way as much as I enjoy e-learning through limitless resources on the internet. I’ve taken my children on field trips to science museums, art museums, the wildlife preserve and an awesome aquarium exhibit in Oklahoma. Teaching and learning has never been more fun.

kids at science museum bubbles

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oklahoma aquarium

But the benefits of homeschooling are so much deeper. I’ve listed a few and if you’re a homeschooling parent I’m sure you have a list of your own. If you’re not a homeschooling parent, trust me, it’s more rewarding than you can imagine.

BENEFITS:

Quality one on one time with your children
You get to select the curriculum, so you know exactly what your children are learning
YOU learn new and exciting things too
It’s FREE and/or affordable
You get to set your own hours
You get to provide delicious and nutritious meals (kids are always complaining about school lunches)
The learning environment can be inside the house, on the patio outside, at the park, the library, etc.
Learning can take place any time of the day (I quiz them during dinner, after dinner, while they’re sleep LOL)
You are free to explore your child’s individual interests and tailor lessons accordingly
The educational field trips and learning adventures are limitless
You’re able to incorporate family and religious values into the learning process
The intimate and very active part you play in your child’s education is priceless

So at the end of the day, I am grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to share in my children’s education. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

home schooling rocks

Love,
Toni

toni beside bed2

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Homeschooling, It’s a New Day!

HOMESCHOOLING JORDAN DINING ROOM Hello wordpress family, I’m back, for today, at least. I’ve been missing in action for several weeks and this is why. . .

I’m the proud new mother of a 7th grade homeschool student! Woo Hoo!

Well, in the beginning it started out, “Mom I love being home schooled, I wish we could have done this a long time ago.” But today it’s, “Aww, mom, this is too hard, I wanna go back to public school.”

Well, that’s not happening, LOL. I’ve come too far and had to fill out too much paperwork and jump through too many hoops to get here, so now we’re going to stick it out until the end! Besides, I’ve started to like this ‘learning with my child’ idea. Not only am I taking a very active part in his education as his primary instructor, but I know EXACTLY what he’s being taught, I’M THE TEACHER, YAY! The challenge may be great, but the rewards are greater!!!

So to every parent who has homeschooled their children, my hat goes off to you and for any parent who may be considering it, please research it fully and if it’s something your child will benefit from, please do it.

Now, I’m only a beginner, but I will have wonderful stories to tell you as my son and I both learn about integers (math), the Supreme Court (history), and how to say apples in French (des pommes – day pom)! What an exciting journey ahead.

Love,
Toni

Reflections of My Soul (Blessed)

brushing teethI was talking to my friend in Oklahoma the other day about how good God is! She was feeling a little down because she was having a difficult time making ends meet. Her job doesn’t pay well and to make matters worse, she’s changing shifts, and getting a pay cut.

“What am I going to do?” she inquired. “I don’t want to lose my apartment and I’m already behind on most of my bills. I am so tired of struggling, when will this ever end?” my friend sobbed.

“I know it gets hard sometimes and there are days when you cannot see your way. But it WILL get better, believe me! I remember years ago as a single mother how I struggled and sacrificed just to make life better for my three children,” I consoled.

“The hardest thing I went through, even more difficult than being homeless, was living with no water,” I said. “Girl, did you know that it takes exactly two gallons of water to flush a toilet, something we take for granted everyday. And if we leave the water running while brushing our teeth for at least 45 seconds, we will WASTE about 1.875 gallons of water. This is mind-staggering.” Remembering those days of going to public restrooms to use the bathroom and brush our teeth and car washes to get ‘free’ water to fill up our empty gallon jugs brought tears to my eyes.

“But God is good. I am a much better person and mother after going through difficult times. I believe like my mother once said, our trials come to make us strong.”

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Today I am blessed, abundantly blessed. I understand the value of life, love and family and I appreciate the simple things in life that I once took for granted.

Love,
Toni

Reflections of my Soul (Happy)

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In 2003 I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy which is a paralysis of the facial nerve, causing muscular weakness in one side of the face. I panicked when I woke up one rainy spring morning, thinking that I was having a stroke. I was taken to the emergency room where the polite (and very handsome AND very short) Asian male doctor diagnosed my condition.

He told me that there was no known cure for Bell’s Palsy but that the nerve would heal itself over time.

Well, it has been ten years and the nerve in the right side of my face has not been restored completely. I still have a slight droop at the corner of my mouth and because of that, I am very self-conscious about smiling.

BUT, my family has been so good to me and their love for me is second to none. My fourteen year old daughter, Erica loves taking pictures with the new Cannon camera her father got her for Christmas. She’s always trying to catch me ‘smiling’ which, the moment I see her handy camera, I usually run away laughing and hiding my face in my hands.

“Stop it Mama,” she’ll demand. “Just let me take one picture without you covering up your mouth, please.”

Well, today I did, and was pleasantly surprised to see the inner reflection of my soul being displayed on my face. It was the look of Happy, which by the grace of God, I AM today.

I may not have everything I want, but I’m Happy. I don’t smile the way I used to but I’m healthy, in love with my husband, raising beautiful and amazing children and I’m Happy! I don’t need a perfectly aligned smile on the outside of my face because the smile I have in my heart and soul is priceless!

Love,
Toni

Author’s Quote for the Day – Family

Of course if you like your kids, if you love them from the moment they begin, you yourself begin all over again, in them and with them. – William Saroyan

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For the love of babies. . .

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Inquisitive minds. . .

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Innocent moments. . .

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Heart-melting smiles. . .

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Children are our gifts from God!

Pictures courtesy of my daughter, Erica, who took these photos of her cousins when we visited Oklahoma in May. Good job Erica Jay!

Love,
Toni

Is it your career, or your calling?

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What are you doing for a living right now?

What type of job do you have?

Do you look forward to going to work everyday, or is it difficult to get motivated?

Do you feel fulfilled at the end of each day?

Is the money good, or are you barely making ends meet?

Do you see yourself in the same line of business the next 10-20 years or until retirement age?

Whatever you’re doing today, is it just a career (a means to pay bills and provide for your family), or is it your calling (the thing you were born to do, your purpose and your destiny)?

There is a HUGE difference in the two. Your career will cause you to move around and switch jobs several times over the years, but your calling will keep you grounded, no matter how hard it gets.

Your calling is the last thing on your mind before going to bed and the first thing on your mind when you wake up. It’s the idea that you can’t get out of your head; it is the idea that drives you to pursue at whatever cost. Your calling will also become more important than a price tag, it’s deeper than money.

CAREER VS. CALLING IDEAS

Career: CEO in Corporate America
Calling: Small Business Owner

Career: Medical Doctor
Calling: Missionary to third world countries

Career: School Teacher
Calling: Bus Driver

Career: Mental Health Specialist
Calling: Writer/Author

Career: Car Salesman
Calling: Preacher

Career: Executive Secretary
Calling: Mother

Your calling is the thing that you were born to do, uniquely crafted by God to do, specifically put on this earth to do and strategically hard-wired to do. Your calling is usually effortless. It will have its challenges, which goes without saying, but it feels like second nature because the ability, the know-how, and the passion is weaved into the fabric of your soul.

So, are you fulfilling your career or your calling?