Saturday, February 7, 2009
The Interview Meme
You put a comment on this post that says you'd like to be interviewed. I get to come up with the questions. I'd love to interview you for your blog! You answer your interview questions, like I have done below... and the chain continues...
I saw this at my friend Laura's blog, the post is at Day by Day in our World
Thanks for my questions Laura. Here are the questions Laura asked me and here are my answers.
(1) What made you decide to homeschool the kids?
Well, the original decision was made sooooo long ago. Rachel is 22, almost 23 now. It was 1991. We did not want to send our precious little girl to Public School and we could not afford to put her in a private Christian school. What would we do? We will homeschool! How did we find out about homeschool? I am not quite sure. I know we did not look it up on the Internet because we did not own a computer until about 1995 or so. Anyway we decided to homeschool because of finances and a small conviction not to put our kids in public school and it grew from there.
I had my teaching degree and had worked one year in a small Christian school (the one I mentioned in my post here.) I knew they had switched curriculum and I liked the Bob Jones curriculum I had taught at their school so I called to see if they still had it and the Administrator said it was in the attic. They sold me K - 3rd grade Bob Jones, complete curriculum's. I think I paid $5o for the whole bunch. I took all the stuff they had, all the extra workbooks and readers and other stuff for K - 3rd.
So that is how we started our homeschool journey.
(2) Have you found your approach changing over time, especially going from teaching girls to boys?
Most definitely! I started out doing only Bob Jones. When Rachel was in about 3rd grade I started doing more unit studies. I still did Bob Jones with Jessica but only for the Phonics and Reading parts. I planned them mostly on my own. I have liked Unit Studies since I planned my own as a requirement for my classes in college on Elementary Education. About this time I also found Diana Waring and started following her guides. You can find her here. I have planned all our units for Science and History since then and love it. I hope to put some of them up for sale on our website that we want to start soon.
When Rachel was in 1st or 2nd grade I joined a co-op. It started as a field trip once an month and then a play day at a park or other place in bad weather and over the years developed into a science co-op. We did nature studies together in the parks in our area and studied plants and animals and survival training for the woods in bad weather. We then branched out to do Earth Science, which I lead one year. We took turns planning the activities for the co-op and fun and learning was enjoyed by all the children.
Over the years I got more independent and got out from under the umbrella school we were under. When Nathan started school in 1999 he did Bob Jones also but was far above where the girls were thanks to the computers we had acquired and the programs he had used since he was very young. Many Reader Rabbit and Jumpstart programs for his "school" while we were doing school. We did the Bob Jones but I did not have to make him do every page and every problem. I was much looser and more relaxed than I had been with Rachel. For Science and History he joined in and listened to what I was teaching his sisters and I got some books, on whatever subject we were doing, at his level. He learned a lot by just listening. It was much the same when Christopher started.
I have changed many things over the years and I changed a lot of things when the girls graduated and I had only the boys. The boys have been very resistant to writing and so when I found Cindy Rushton, and did her Language Arts the Easy Way seminar, I switched to doing Copywork. And I got back to doing more Charlotte Mason in our homeschool. I had read some books about Charlotte Mason but had not been following her approach. You can find Cindy's stuff at her blog at http://www.cindysdesktop.com/ the sale page can be found at http://www.cindyrushton.com/HalfOffSale.html and Language Arts the Easy Way is at the very bottom of the page. I do highly recommend Cindy and have some of her products in my Favorite Homeschool Resource list on my sidebar- check them out too if you are interested. All of Cindy's seminars are online and all of the audios and bonuses and gifts are online forever so even though things like the Ultimate Homeschool Expo happened last year you can still access all the stuff... forever!! Or at least until the Lord returns... LOL It is the same with all of Cindy's resources. She and the resources were a God send to me in a time of deep trial when my dh was out of work because of a back injury... but I digress... that is another post (or two or three) altogether.
At about the same time I learned about Lapbooking and took a class that our Homeschool Support group was having. I loved it instantly!! and just hoped the boys would too. They like the little booklets as long as there is not to much coloring, I think they hate coloring more than writing. LOL The amount of writing in each book is minimal and I try not to do to many booklets each day. They seem to be liking it. We are just starting a lapbook for the Middle Ages and the boys are excited about this one! Knights and Armor ... lots of boy things!! I am hoping to be able to soon afford the writing program I want Writing for Excellence and I hope that will improve their writing skills as well as their like of writing.
The boys are also much more advanced in Math than the girls were... poor girls they really are and were homemakers and artistic types with some writing/reading/history thrown in but definitely not Math/Science oriented. So the boys are one year ahead of where they should be in Math and the girls were probably a year behind and only did the minimum for High School that their dad and I would let them get by with, but they made up for it in Fine Arts, Homemaking, and Reading!!!
Ok on to the next question... that was longer than I thought it would be.
(3) In your quest for health, are you finding particular stumbling blocks (e.g. foods, not wanting to exercise)?
Chocolate is always a stumbling block. So are most other snack foods. Not having the foods I feel that I need makes it hard to stick to a diet. I feel like I need more fruits and vegetables but I save them for my family too and don't eat as many as I should. I also and used to having light mayo and other light items as well as Weight Watchers bread, bagels, etc and desserts, or other low fat low calorie alternatives. We have just not had the money to get those things so I make do. Not having things I think I need makes it easier for me to make excuses to eat things I should not eat. I have an especially hard time not snacking in the afternoons and early evening. I crave sweets and salty snacks too. I try to eat fruit and add more vegetables to my diet but have not done to well with that as of yet. I am only eating 1 or 2 fruits and not every day. Unless I have a salad at lunch, once a week or so, I have not had vegetables except for at dinner. I want to work on that also. I also want to make more Weight Watchers deserts and other low fat/low calorie deserts and snacks to have on hand. I have a few Weight Watchers books and I have the Weight Watchers program for the computer that tracks your weight and exercise and points when you put in the foods you have eaten. It also has little encouragements for each day. I also have two WW Cd's with recipes on them.
Not wanting to exercise is a detriment also, though not as much as snacking. I can usually make myself exercise because I know I should. Though on the days I don't feel like it I have noticed a general lack of vigor in doing my exercise and I get only the minimum done and do not push myself as much.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks is my mind and emotions. I have been overweight for a long time, longer than I like to admit but I see it in the photos and movies we have of the family. I sometimes have a feeling that I will never be thin again and that this dieting and exercise is useless. I also eat when I am stressed or down instead of turning to the Lord for my comfort and strength. That is a real problem I have not overcome yet.
So I persevere, and I have been loosing about 1 pound a week which is not much but better than nothing. At least I am not giving up and
(4) If you could change any one thing since having kids, what would it be?
Our Finances and Consistency in Discipline. The first I can not nor could I then, change. The second I could have changed and am striving to be more consistent now but have many past mistakes to make up for.
(5) Recognizing that people can shape the person we are, who do you think has had the most positive influence on your life and why?
I would have to say my Mother. She is a dedicated Christian woman who studies her Bible. She has been a strong Christian example all my life. I can go to her with concerns and questions and struggles and she tries to give me Biblical advice. She was a strong influence in my marriage not by her meddling but by her example during her marriage to my dad. My father died in 1976. I was only 15 years old. He had many physical troubles but my Mom stuck by him. His physical troubles sometimes affected his temperament and my mom tried her best to handle that with grace. She was mostly successful, in my book, though not perfect, of course. She tried to defer to and honor her husband even when his decision making was erratic and sometimes off the wall, also it was sometimes non-existent and so she would have to make the decisions. I loved my dad with all my heart... I was his little girl and ok, I admit it, he spoiled me a little. But, sometimes he was hard for my mom to live with. She was and is a great role model for me. She has served the Lord since she got saved when she was a teenager. She was and is a faithful mother, a prayer warrior for many but especially for her children. She served in many ways in the church over the years and served her family as well. She worked throughout my childhood but she worked in the schools so that she would have off the same time that I was. She was home every afternoon to keep us on the narrow path and was home all summer with us too. She did not take another job until I was in High School and more able to take care of myself. Even in that job she made sure she was home every day when I got in from school and many days in the summer I was with her at the office helping her on cleaning day, we were the only two in the office. I love you Mom you were and are a great example of a Godly Christian Woman and I hope God gives you many more years on this earth.
This was challenging and fun. Why don't you join in by leaving a comment in my comment box that you want me to think up 5 questions for you. If you don't want to do this challenge but want to leave a comment about my post that is ok too.