Sunday, October 30, 2016

Be Attitudes from Beatitudes

'Be Attitudes', this is what I thought of every time I heard a church lesson on Christ's sermon on the mount. Mount being short for mountain, who would have thought it? And who would have thought that ever since I was a teen I was hearing 'be attitudes' not 'beatitudes'. Latin is what we need to hear sometimes, its much clearer than our native tongue when you catch the hang of it. Beatitudo is latin for blessed. So when we do what Christ taught we have out attitudes of how to be ! Our be attitudes, right?

And we are blessed for choosing to obey God's laws. We remain happy and free since our choices bring freedom to make more right choices and happiness is freedom (when gotten according to God's natural laws). For those nay sayers out there who think wickedness is happiness, ask one question, Am I happy 90% of the time? Because those poor stupid folks who are confined by religion and only pretending to be happy really are miserable and not free to make their own choices, right? No Way! The anti- God person who does exactly what they want is happy right? he did what he wanted now he's happy. When have you seen that work? Only when he's doing something that he wants to do that's good for him and others, good for the majority or the whole group. Now sometimes the whole group doesn't see something is good till much later, Hind Site is 20/20 right?

So we have two choices. My way no matter what it does to others. OR- follow God's laws and do it according to my own style and spread truth and happiness. We can be individual and follow God's laws. He gave us free agency didn't he? He isn't trying to create clones or drones or cyborgs who don't think for them selves. And if he wanted us cast in a mold he'd have done it when we got her.

Way One:

The 23 year old woman whose addicted to cigarettes and drugs is super free. look at her, wearing the sexy clothes, having a party nightly. She's got the life. But this in only surface. Look deeper in and you see she feels sick every morning, unhealthy from abusing her body, hates her self and suffers from depression. Also, she has no friends because she can't be a friend. Those seeking her company are only there for what they get from her, a place to get high. She can't pay her rent or afford to pay $2 a pound for yummy asparagus. She walks everywhere since all her money is spent on her addiction. Sounds super free does it? What good parts of life is she missing out on because of her choices?

Way Two:

This 23 year old woman politely declines anything habit forming, she's clean and healthy. She always has all her mental faculties about her and consequently she has friends because she can be a friend. She is reliable yet fun and happy and free. She obeys natures laws and contributes to others happiness. If she choose to hike s steep 10 miles she can. If she chooses to save money she can, she is addiction free, she gets to decide her path.

How we get to a beatitudo state of being? :

The other woman looses control of her life and enjoys less freedom with every bad choice. This brings us back to the blessing of a 'be attitude'.

I will be humble, let go of pride. I will be generous and give to others who need. I will be wrapped in a mantel of charity so that I am clothed in the image of the Savior. Luke teaches us that we should love, share, give, serve and help everyone, not just those who serve us and not even those who are nice to us, but to do these things unto everyone, even those who have hurt us. Matthew in chapter 6 and Luke chapter 6 teach us how to behave and what blessings we will receive, please read them and then study them so you can apply them in your life and really be blessed. Blessed with the blessings of earth and heaven, physical and spiritual.

God has shown us the way to happiness and freedom from sin, heartache and undue pain caused by bad choices. He loves us and he has a plan for us here on earth and it is not what the devil says it is. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. God's promise is that if we forgive we will be forgiven. If we give generously our return will be go great we will have to tamp down the bucket in which to receive the blessing. Read the chapters line by line and you're testimony of a loving Heavenly Father will grow beyond your current state of faith. Don't we all need to increase our faith?

These blessed blessings can be ours if we have the right Be Attitude!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Family Exercise

Some options for all ages exercising together or breaking up into appropriate groups so all members get their exercise, including mommy and toddlers!
We live in a warm climate and it doesn't snow here so our summers are hot and our winters are great. The following is a monthly outline of exercise based on weather, ages and variety to keep it so fun. Collect some PE books and ideas off the internet, field games, sports drills often work well for exercise for a family group. What ever you choose to do let your kids help with the game plan, they'll love deciding together what to do daily.
March, April, May- warms up in afternoons so we play at a park or walk or tennis or bike early in the morning, 7 to 8:30am. We may bike ride to the park and then play ball tag on the playground, this is fun for all of us and we play as a family. The kids roller blade, rip-stick, shoot hoops or play tag.
June, July, August- pilates in the living room, all ages can do this from 4 up. Today was hilarious, it was our return to pilates session and they were laughing at the positions and moves, this exercise builds great self awareness of how strong their bodies are. Swimming laps, playing pool games. My teen girl16 will swim one to two miles a day, I swim 20 laps and the little ones swim 6 laps, in a lap length pool of 75 meters. If there is a cooler or rainy/overcast day we head quickly to a park during monsoon season and play in the rain! Floor exercises and weight lifting are also indoor options.
September- splash pads at local parks and play (soccer) and get wet as needed. Sub any sport your family likes, kickball, tag, field games. There are little collapsible soccer goals that are perfect for hauling along. Mine were at Target eight years ago for $30. You can make up games like one on one or mom guards the goal and little ones dribble and pass to each other and try to score on mom. Swimming as the water temps allow. Also, this is a transitional month for weather so if it's really warm in the afternoons we get up with the sun and go to parks.
October- afternoons out to exercise- run sprints at the park with the kids, all ages, assign a goal for how many and how far each child can do. My kids, girl 5, boys 7 and 10 run the same distance, about a 100 yards, straight side of the track length, the boys do 8, they sprint over and jog slowly back and they are encouraged to build up to more and to do them faster. We swim on very warm days or go out early to beat the heat.
November, December, January and February- we hike weekly, the older kids go ahead alone on familiar trails with plenty of water and a watch, they'll hike out for the allotted time and turn around and come back while I piddle along slowly with babies. We do not bring a stroller, we encourage two and up to walk as far as possible. Under two can be carried in a baby backpack by mom or a teenager. The little kids love exploring nature, watching bugs and collecting specimens of plants they see. We also play tennis weekly as a family and then other days the teens run in the mornings or bike ride and I will run with littles ones on bikes by me or they'll run with me, a mile.

Friday, April 1, 2016

A little bit about how we have started Charlotte Mason in our educational program in our home:

After reading many books and websites about or by Charlotte I started by asking my teens what they thought about narration and making personal time lines. We practiced narration, we would read a section in a book we were currently using, like my 16Girl was in a new economics book, and we read together then practiced narration. I worked with my two kids who will be freshman in the fall of 2016 and we read book lists together and decided on which ones to purchase for our literature section to supplement geography, autobiographies, science, music and art.

When the books arrive in the mail we put a label in the front cover that says what grade it goes with and what time period it is about. This helps us keep them easy to use and not loose.

We slimmed down the schedule from and made it lighter to use. So we printed their book list and highlighted on it the ones we decided to buy. We printed their schedule of daily reading and use it as a guide to structure our time, but again, in a lighter version.  So we have an organized list of which book to use which semester and a schedule of reading to refer to. If students want other books they could get them from the library or buy them.

The teens also got binders and hole punched card stock to begin a time line. We divided our time periods and marked the line in the center, doing fold outs so we can view four pages at a time. As they read about a person, event or invention they mark it on their time line. I too made a time line and am enjoying it a lot.

To implement CM with my 10 year old we began with narration, which he hated but eventually got the hang of and now sees the value. He may still dislike it but he sees that his memory is much better and long term.

To add history into our day with a 5girl, 7boy and 10boy we began with the recording of Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall and read by Karen Shallenburg. Charlotte's schools read this aloud to the kids a couple pages at a time from k to 4th when it was completed. There is a free recording on and the history is amazing, simple and interesting. My husband is a major historian and he said, after listening to some of the stories, that they are accurate and sum it up pretty well. As kids get older it will be easy to add to what's missing. Marshall wrote in story form and the kids enjoy the readers voice and we listen to two or three at a time, they beg for us to listen to more. Marshall moves through the islands history from the beginning at a nice pace, she says things like "many years later and many kings later" such and such happened. It covers the main points and everyone can learn much from it.

As a side note: many Americans that have left comments on CM sites and blogs say they are skipping English history, that it is not necessary. I would like to point our that It is necessary for Americans to understand England's history and by default that of Rome where they overlap, we won't understand our government or past if we don't know England's history. It's the basis of our language and our law structure and much more.

So here is the link : island story&search_form=advanced

Another way I am studying CM and using it is to read the amblesideonline summary of each year and I'm organizing it by subject not year, so I noticed that the same nature observation book is used for many elementary years and that other books are used for multiple years also, this made it easier to implement in our educational system, we have home educated for 16 years and needed fun new but easy ways to bring life into our curriculum. The kids are all happy and willingly participating with the changes, subtle yet deeply impacting us all. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

Some of our books that are working well for CM curriculum are the following:

Abeka science for 6th grade, it's a great book and has lots of botany  and tries to work in as much narration, description, biographies and life as is possible for a text book, it is Christian and teaches that God's hand is able to be seen in nature.

Phil G. Goulding Classical Music is one for teens, I took it and marked on the index what historical period each composer falls into. So as the highschoolers move through their curriculum they can study four composers a year. Charlotte Mason has every grade work on artists and composers, knowing their sound or art and being familiar and able to recognize it when seen or heard. Some years it's suggested to do six of each. We are setting the goal at four of each. So this means that in highschool they will learn about 12 artists and composers. This is 12 more than I or my husband learned about in all our years of public school put together! I am so excited to have an attainable goal that is going to show us big time rewards.   
heavy list and overwhelming but useful for  book lists     
 nice summary of Charlotte's teachings, makes it easy to see the goal           
 great for starting home school and to get ideas and questions answered

I will post my cross reference CM book list for the grade levels soon! still working on it

A day where nothing was learned is a lost day - something I read from Miss Mason

Friday, March 11, 2016

Two Thumbs Up for Apologia Science Author Jim L. Wise

Exploring Creation with Biology - is an amazing look at science through Christian beliefs that our Maker is also the Creator of the earth. I have read the first two chapters and then read chapter 8 which is about the two opposing theories, evolution and the geological index of eras, or the theory that catastrophic events form earths features like the Grand Canyon.

I wish I had grown up reading  Mr. Wise's science books! The picture of the evolution of horses in America that was in my text books has always bothered me, I knew God created people and the earth and all other creatures but sitting in school listening to the theory of evolution always disturbed me, I shelved it in the back of my mind since I could not resolve the conflicting teachings between school and religion. Now I'm thrilled my kids can have the truth from the beginning, or as much of it as we and scientists who believe in God have uncovered. In 1979, a year after I was born a leading scientist said that the evolution pictures of the horse in America is a perfect example of evolutionists twisting data to fit their theory and that it was discarded as unsound science. Well, my text books did not discard it, I was taught this untruth for many years to come. I now am happily resolved and adamant that my children's minds will remain uncontaminated from deliberate misinformation. Also quoted in the text book is a quote from Darwin himself saying that the only flaw in his theory were the "missing links"  that presented a problem. Most people who find a flaw in their theory Clam Up and don't share something they know to be untrue. What kind of person deliberately lies to become know?

Why? with all the knowledge we have do the lies get perpetuated for generations and the truth is so hard to dig up? Literally, it feels like digging and tossing aside filth and sifting out truth.

math options

Abeka- expensive for the quality, lower grades are the same as a workbook purchased from Costco. Have a second grade student workbook. Too expensive for what it was.

Saxon- very heavy on the parents side, time consuming. Rote memory and not much of the fun reasons to love math. Spirals daily, meaning it goes over all the past learned skills. Skills are mastered but it can feel painful for some students. Have 5/6 and 6/7 books. Pages look overwhelming to some students, large amount of daily practice.

Investigations- K - 5-  like it a lot, kids like it and master the skills, attain fluency due to how it's set up. there are areas to draw out or solve problems in multiple ways. Only a few problems on each page and it builds as it goes. there are student work books and a hand book. I found that I didn't need a teachers manual for k-3 at all and in 4th wanted the unit manual for some units like the fractions section. It is mental math, showing all the work isn't the emphasis. Knowing how to get the answer is the goal. Also is affordable to purchase workbooks for each student. I got unused but worn copies second hand for $10-15 on line at places like and amazon.

Connected Mathematics- 6-8- written by the University of Michigan and are very science oriented math skills, everything taught pertains to real life situations and the graphing sections are actual scientific data, like the ratio of the femur to the height of men and women. It does not spell out the basics for the parent/teacher. It needs a math whiz to teach it, I am not this. We did really really love the amazing feel it gave us for what math can do, it is great for science minded people. Shows the outside the box uses of math. More reading than in other texts, again about life uses for the concept being covered. Units cover probability, statistics, geometry, algebra and everything else! Most of it was over my head even with teachers manuals. BUT so worth it!

so we were introduced to Math-U-See by a friend, we borrowed the pre- algebra and completed it in 6 months, three kids did this. A girl 16 whose struggled because she went through too many different math curriculums trying to pick a good one. And two kids in eight grade, girl 14 and boy 12. I handed them the teachers manual and student book and they primarily taught them selves, I helped clarify when asked, they also watched the video of the writer of the program teaching the lesson if they needed more help. It teaches the necessary basics quickly and concisely, no hammering it into the ground with too many problems or too long of lessons. it is not designed to take 160 -180 school days or a school year to accomplish. The levels are to be done in order as the student has mastered(tested well) the lessons they move on. Very simple, it is however boring, not creative or shows almost no use in life. (keep a clean copy of the student work book, when the publisher/owner reprints or edits and updates his curriculum he no longer prints old versions of the manuals. The curriculum is $77 for elementary levels and $35 for student books.)

My intent here on out is to combine it with Connected Mathematics! I am going to use Math-U-See as my basic lesson and add spice to it by supplementing with the fun applications in Connected. I will let you know in a couple years how this pans out, I am making notes in Connected as to which Math-U-See lessons/grades to complete prior to doing the Connected Mathematics.

My recommendations are to use one math all the way through, any of these work well for the families we know. Just don't switch every year like I did, searching for the perfect math. They all get the job done in different ways. Stay with one, my top recommendation would be Math-U-See and second would be Saxon. Unless you're a math whiz then definitely use Connected Mathematics for 6-8th and use mathusee with it and for the other grades. Raising a little engineer or scientist would be easy with Connected.