Blogging Through the Alphabet with Ben and Me
C is for Christ, the Creator and Center of all that we do.
C is for Calling...because homeschooling for us is definitely a calling, a journey not lightly embarked upon. But if you hear the call, please do not hesitate to heed it and embrace it. You and your entire family will surely be blessed beyond your imaging!
C is for Character...the Christian character qualities that we try to develop in ourselves and our students. Sometimes our challenges with our students leads to more development of character in ourselves, and we find that when we have fixed our own character issues, theirs more quickly resolve...funny how that works! One of my favorite sermons explains the character qualities of children expected as laid out in the Bible. It is humbling because I know I am still working on a few of those things...listen and be challenged.
C is also for consistency. Children thrive best in a consistent environment with consistent discipline. That doesn't mean you can't be spontaneous from time to time (see C is for Creative below), but for the benefit of our children we need to work on developing consistency in our plans, our reactions, our discipline, and in our praise.
C is for Curriculum and for the "Crew" which has been a big part of our lives for the last two years. We have all loved being part of the TOS Homeschool Crew and have enjoyed and appreciated all of the wonderful curricula we have been blessed with the opportunity to evaluate. After all, I am a curriculum junkie!! You can check out some of our "Homeschool Crew Blog" where you can find links to posts from experienced homeschoolers who share their thoughts on various homeschooling topics, or where you can read the reviews of the products we have evaluated.
C is for Computers...which have been very important in our homeschooling journey, from our website Homeschool-for-Free, to our own use of online curriculum choices to supplement our learning on a day by day basis, and to help during those times when Mommy is not feeling well. They are a lifesaver!
C is for Christian Literature...because with so many choices of books and media for our kids to choose from these days, we really need to be choosy (also a "C") because there are only so many moments in a lifetime to spend on reading, and we should be selecting the "better" or the "best."
C is for Cooking, which we love to do in our country kitchen. Check out some of our favorite recipes. If you do, you might just find you like one or two...
C is for Challenging...because homeschooling is both challenging to me, as the parent and teacher, and because we need to challenge our children to reach their potential and to develop their God-given gifts, so they can be faithful in their service to the Lord. Some challenges are fun, such as the Read-Aloud Challenge we did over the summer, while others (challenging children, challenging situations, challenging people) are more of a trial. But remember that through trials comes perseverance, so that we may become mature and complete. (James 1:2-4)
C is for Creative thinkers, learners, and doers. Since we homeschool, we have the freedom to allow our students room to process information in a variety of ways. We may have a particular learning pattern, but we can always make room for doing things a little bit differently as the student or situation requires.
I also love being able to "change it up" when there is a beautiful day going on outside. I can tell the kids to drop all our usual plans (after Bible), get on their shoes, and go outside to work on a project, take a nature walk together. or go on a field trip to pick berries. We learn in everything we do everyday, not just between the hours of 9 and 3. What a blessing!
C is for cookies I just can't resist. Don't some cookies and a glass of milk always brighten up your day?
C is for Church...a place to worship, learn, build friendships, and serve. We are grateful to have found a home church that is a sweet congregation with a vision to reach our community for Christ and can't wait to see what wonderful things are in store.
C is for Country...because we love living in the country. It gives us the opportunity to enjoy God's earth and the peace that comes from living close to nature. We have peace of mind that the children have open spaces to roam and the safety of a small community to grow up in. We love the blessing of owning animals who enrich our lives and find their way into our hearts, as well as helping the children learn responsibility and tenderness.
C is for Children...because they are a blessing from the Lord...like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of our youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3-5)
C is for Conventions and Conferences and Curriculum Fairs...which I absolutely LOVE because they can recharge you and supercharge you when your spirits and motivation are flagging...but watch out for those vendor halls because they can really tempt you (and empty your wallet!). You can read my Tips for Surviving a Curriculum Fair for some ideas on how to prepare for your next foray into the wonderland of booth after booth of marvelous homeschooling products. You can also avoid the issue by staying home and "attending" a virtual convention online, or by ordering the MP3 sets of conference sessions after the fact.
C is for Community Service which we expect each of our children to start doing when they are about thirteen or fourteen (on their own). Before then, they can accompany family members to various service and missions opportunities, but as they enter the teen years, we like them to assess their gifts and find something they can do to be of service to others that will also help them develop their strengths and best utilize their abilities. Tex plans to start his community service this year at the library.
C is for Crafty...I couldn't not say that one! We girls (especially) love to do crafty things, like crocheting (I just taught myself how to do that in January), sewing, quilting, making bracelets, and more. Even the guys get in on it when the craftiness involves wood, glue, scissors, and sometimes even power tools...
C is for commitment to homeschooling even through the tough times. Never faltering, always relying on God, continuing even after those days that have you wanting to scream or run away to somewhere warm (or just a little bit quieter). I have been there. The Lord put on my heart that I am absolutely certain that he called us to homeschool, so until and unless He makes it as clear as He did the call to homeschool that we are to put the children back in school (and I can't imagine that happening ever), then we are to keep them home with us, no matter what...even if our homeschooling looks different from what we consider "normal" for a time. Just continue and He will provide.
C is for Cooperation...like the cooperation it took to build our big blue barn. I love it when geerous people come together and help each other to accomplish amazing things. Just the other day, Cowboy told me that "when people work together they can have a good life." That's pretty wise coming from a six-year old!
C is for Christmas, our favorite holiday. Celebrating Christ's birth is always special when you have an opportunity to immerse your family in understanding the real meaning of the season, and that is so much easier when you are all at home together. Advent activities, decorating, Christmas carols, Christmas Crafts, and other free Christmas activities, along with reading many Christmas stories, keep us busy all season long.
C is for Caring for each other and for others, day in and day out. Homeschooling gives us a unique opportuntiy to get to know our children and to learn what they most need. It gives us the chance to discover ways to care for and serve each other, which prepares us to care for others in "the real world." It also gives us time we can share with others on a more generous basis, as the Lord calls us to do so. We are hoping to show our caring for others through fostering and/or adoption, and are in the process of getting certified to do so. What an exciting journey!
C is for Cowboy who is a huge blessing to us all. He is our encourager, our pal, our huggy bear and the one who always lets us know how much he loves us and loves being with us. You will never lack for a smile or a friendly word when he is around.
C is for Ceremonies...specifically, a Blessing Ceremony. We plan to have a Blessing Ceremony for each of our children as they enter their teen years. You can read about Bubba's Blessing Ceremony to see what it is all about.
C is for Counting our Blessings...because they are so many, and they are so very special.
Remember to count your blessings today...you might try going through the alphabet and naming one for each letter...or see how many you can name that begin with the letter "C." You will be surprised at how many you can think of...I was!