Friday, May 13, 2011

Tid Bits

I had such a great time at my very first Homeschool Conference.  I plan to make it a yearly event!  I was so inspired and encouraged and have never been more sure now.  Brandon took the day off Friday to go and we spent two days surrounded by incredible speakers and amazing curriculum choices.  I knew homeschooling was the right path for our family, but now, have no doubt. I just absolutely loved it.
This book is my favorite purchase from the conference and has inspired me to write one similar using our stories and pictures.  
I wrote down a TON of notes from the homeschool conference I attended last weekend. I wanted to jot down several tid bits from many different workshops that stood out to me to refer to later and to possible help others on the same journey. There were just so many great ideas and words of wisdom shared from families who have gone done this path and have a lot of experience.  The confernece was such a wonderful opportunity to learn more and connect with other families.

Green House:
I love this analogy from the homeschool conference.   Children are like plants in a green house.  We don't throw baby plants out into the open.  We provide them the protection they need until they are ready.  Homeschooling is sometimes misconceived as being overprotective, but it a parent's job to protect and take care of their children until they are ready to go out into the world on their own. Our children will be ready when after the time they spend growing with my guidance so they are strong in their faith, with deep roots that can stand firm against the challenges of this world.  I want to guide my children so they are secure in who they are before they venture out alone.  I get the opportunity to lead them out into the word by the hand and experience life together before they're fully grown.  Before we can throw our children out to the mission field, they need to be prepared for when the time is right. 

Random Tips:
-Education is relational, wired by God with giftings and passions.
"My children have the best program for success, the most indispensable ingredient for success in the world.  They've got"
-God changes us on this journey and blesses our children.
-Don't shoot down stupid ideas... talk about obstacles.
-Modeling is teaching by imitation. Mentoring is teaching through personal interaction.  Facilitating gets in the middle and leads discovery.  Do them all!
-When we compare our success to others, we need to remember that God uses imperfect people all the time.
-Sometimes the characteristics of our kids that drive us crazy are the seeds of who they will become.
-Remember our children aren't here to look like us, but to look like Him.
-Cooperate with the a steward of love to your children, discipline them, accept them, and respect how God made them.
-We are not the Holy Spirit to our children; they will not be perfect, now matter what we do.  We aren't perfect either.  They will need their own relationship with God.
-Choose to trust the Lord with our treasures.
-Lighten up.  A merry heart does good, it's not about's about attitude.
-Best resource for help in parenting...the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.
-Let your children see the grace of God in how you deal with them and allow them to witness how he transforms your important for them to see, along with repentance.  Let them see an imperfect person that just keeps trying.
-Model what it looks like to be a devoted follower of the the Word and prayer and let your children see it.
-God is so excited and eager to work on our life...such adventures are possible.
-Days can drag, but years fly.
-Thank God for every moment, challenge, difficulty- every moment.
-Change things that aren't working.
-We are not here to just have fun and serve ourselves, but to impact the world.
-Education is not something we do to children, where we unzip their brain, pour in facts and then require them to spit out facts on a test.  This basically tests short term memory and is a waste of time.  
-There's a big difference in  knowing about something and truly understanding it.
-Learning is so incredibly relational.  A relational teacher cares, opens the heart of the learner, engages them, honors them, makes them feel special, enjoys them, allows for individual responses, spends time looking at them with a smile on their face and in their heart, focuses on the things they love about the child, leads children to water and lets them drink.  As opposed to controlling teachers where one size fits all, uses force, shame, and manipulation for results,  and doesn't engage hearts or build relationships.
-Our goal is to create active students who are curious, enthusiastic, want to understand and dig deep, ask questions, take personal ownership, can find resources and gain understanding as opposed to passive spectators who do the minimum to get by, exert no energy, memorize for tests, drift with the crowd, and doesn't own his or her education.
-When there is joy in learning, it drives the learning into the deep memory banks- long term memory.
-Tell stories to engage the brain and use works!  Humor builds bonds and sooth tense situations.
-God changes us in parenting by driving us to our knees to Him, stretching ourselves.
-Children don't automatically grow up and accept parent's values and beliefs, they need freedom to accept it on their own and  work it out.  Questioning is good, so don't feel threatened, keep the lines open to mentor.
-Advice given: "Beware of sacrificing the  most important things for vain substitutes.  Sports can be a God in society, don't sacrifice kids on the alter of sports. Beware of being too involved in activities.  The goal is to be servants of God, not well rounded individuals who attend extra curricular activities.  Artificial loyalties can separate kids from families."
-God will provide a means to do what's best for each of our children.
-When homeschooling gets hard, stay the course, persevere, and don't give up!
-Saturate your home with scripture.  Scripture is a purifier and purifies the mind.
-Build a sense of destiny in your child, instil a sense of vision in prayer, and help them visualize how God might use them.
-Build a foundation of character... truly a foundation to living a Godly life.
-The main focus during the early years should be character and scripture...they lay the groundwork for the rest of their lives and builds a Godly frame of reference.
-Those who learn to give honor to others receive honor themselves.  Teach them respect and responsibility.
- Learn to delight in what delights your child.
-Food and learning go hand in hand.  Vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals are so important, opening up pathways in the brain for flow.  Sugar washes these important nutrients away.  Eliminate it through slow detox.
-Toddlers (during school time) need to feel treasured and included, not sent away.  Immerse them.  Learning how to manage preschoolers during school-time with special projects for preschoolers...Tot Tub!
-At night when praying together, thank God for something specific they did good during the day.
-Streamline curriculum and eliminate busy work, which is when children can loose a love of learning.
-Let kids go at own rate in every subject.  The goal is understand and own what they are learning, not finish a workbook.
-Children homeschooled have more freedom to purse creative talents.
-Gear curriculum to personal God given gifts.
-Fill home with valuable learning tools and books.
-Introduce kids to Godly heroes.  They learn to live by examples set.
-Consider spending a whole year on a time period of study.
-Create a problem/solution/bible verse chart.
-God teaches character through scripture.  Use it!
-Train kids to be organized.  Have a daily and weekly schedule, train kids to do chores thoroughly, make instructions easy to follow, do jobs with them to teach,  and be consistent in having them redo with when needed.  
-When scheduling, know that what fits best for you may not work for someone else.  Consider ages, pregnancy, extenuating circumstances when planing routine.  Your time with the Lord may work better for you at night.
-Play "Ifs" where situations are explained and discussion happens on what would be the right choice- a positive training method as opposed to constant corrections.
-Remember that it gets easier and that our goal is to train children for the Kingdom of God.
- "May the footprints we leave lead them to believe."
-Put a lot of time training them in how you want them to act, with expectations, through role playing, games, scenarios, stories, and verses.
- Train children with character stories.
-God gave children to each parent for a reason and they are as qualified as any to teach them.  God is on our side and wants us to succeed.
- Teach your children to be useful servants, benefiting others, as they walk with wise individuals to guide them in the way they should go. 
-Expose kids to the world, take them places to see real people doing real things!  Kids do learn by experience, but this is not the only way.  They don't need to learn they can get hit by a car by standing in the street.
-Kids do need to learn how to face pressure, but not exasperated pressure.  They need to learn to drive as well, but not a five years old.
- The read world is not divided by age.  The real world is home, community, workplace, out in the world...all multi-age.
-Provide intentional social opportunities.  Get kids exposed to all ages of socialization.
-Avoid letting your children participate in things that undermine parent authority, for "no man can serve two masters."
-Homeschooling builds close family relationships where siblings become best friends. Family really gets to know each other instead of meeting each other in the evening.  They help each other be successful in their pursuits.
-There are so many important lifelong impacting decisions made during the high school years. Continue to be their mentor through career and marriage.  Communication takes time and time invested builds respect.  Really get to know your children, be sensitive to their needs, talk through things with them, always be on your toes and in-tuned, and remember some children need you more than others during certain seasons in life
- Foster a love of learning, teach children how to learn, don't try to put child in a mold, and take advantage of the opportunity of individualized curriculum for each child.  
-If we don't use what we learn, we loose it.  
-Teach to passions and interests.  
-Consider doing things in ways you haven't thought about, such as shadowing, interning, and teaching trades as means to achieve their goals. 
-Consider having school done by noon and allow the rest of the day for children to pursue their interests
-Flexibility of schedule allows for ministry opportunities are possible because schedule can be changed.  You can take vacations in September to get great deals, take trips to historical places and museums and places of interest during the day when their not busy, and take a family mission trip or do projects together.
-Strong social skills flourish as children become comfortable with all ages of life.
- Parents can be involved and there, showing their children how to react to situations.
-Children are exposed to what is right until they are ready to go out and discern on their own, as parents teach them to discern right from wrong each day.
-This is an opportunity to pass on biblical worldview which empowers kids by grounding them in making wise life choices.  
-Pass on a a passion to engage with our culture.
-This time equips kids to function as productive servants of God looking to the bible for advice.
-Kids have time to develop a relationship with the Lord like no other time in life and learn to expect great things from God after family led bible studies.
-Flea Analogy- Fleas jumping in a glass bowl with a glass plate over it will only jump so high after hitting the top several times.  They give up.  Take the lid off, get children out of the desk, and see how high they can jump.

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