Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Blessings are Flowing...Homeschooling is Working

Yesterday was a GREAT homeschooling day. The DeMilles (see tjedonline.com) say that one out of every ten days is a perfect day according to schedule and that's how yesterday was for us. Ever since my baby was born it's been a struggle for me to get my exercising in before our family scripture study at 6:45 AM but yesterday I did it! I woke up at 4 AM to nurse the baby and after he went back to sleep I stayed awake miraculously. It's because I was in bed by 10 the night before.

I had fun exercising while I listened to my Constitution class with James Ure. I am so impressed with his knowledge. I am learning so much about law and government in my leadership education. I passed the AP Government and Politics test in high school but this time around in my study of government I feel like I am actually learning important facts from a Godly view. Then I blogged about my new recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing (see last post). Then we had family prayer and scripture study. The kids did their morning chores diligently and we had breakfast. My husband drove the two scholar phase children off to their youth conference for NSSA and SDLA, the two commonwealth schools of Davis County that they do scholar projects with.

I played the piano after breakfast and sang songs with my children which is something I used to always put off thinking, "There's so much work to do! I don't have time to play the piano." Then I realized that I was neglecting a great blessing, my ability to play for my children, and the gift of having a piano around. I listened to one homeschool mom in my moms as mentors group talk about how singing increases your vibrational frequency. If there's any time of day when I need an increase in my frequency, it's right after breakfast when the load of the day's work faces me. So now I play the piano and sing with my core phasers while the two love of learners/core phasers do the breakfast dishes. We always sing Dr. Seuss' song, "Let Us All Sing" from the Dr. Seuss songbook, a treasure I found at D.I. That always puts me in a great mood! Then we sing Primary songs and Brite music and I just feel ready to conquer the day.

My baby had a terrifically long morning nap. Yay! I helped my two core phasers do their folding of clean laundry and putting it away. I dug into an organizing project of taking care of two drawers full of learning card games. They were all mixed together. My two sons, the core/LOL (love of learning) helped me with the project. One of them did his math schoolwork and actually did it quickly! My two little core phasers, ages 4 and 5, found a Bible card game featuring Bible characters. They were enamored with it! Their enthusiasm for Bible stories was so endearing. We made up a game of finding the character after telling the clues. They loved it and even my core/LOL age 8 joined in, begging to play with us.

The time for the two Core/LOL to go to their Knights of Freedom love of learning class was fast approaching. I didn't want to bundle everyone into the car to drive them since the baby was still asleep and my scholar phasers weren't home to tend so I called and asked my husband to drive them and he agreed.

It occurred to me that my life was flowing beautifully. The blessings are pouring in. Homeschooling is hard, but it does work and it's working for our family. It was four years ago this weekend that my husband and I journeyed to Cedar City to attend our first TJED convention. We had moved to Davis county the previous fall from Provo. I know that God had a hand in the move, to get me to a place where I would be mentored in the TJED philosophy. He brought my dear friend Kelli Poll back into my life (I had met her five years prior when I lived in Provo. That's a story in itself of how I found her exactly at that time, without phoning or emailing her. )

She had just started a moms as mentors group which I was able to join right as she started it. The timing was just perfect. She had friends in her neighborhood, as well as her sister-in-law, who were just starting their homeschooling journey. I was a veteran homeschooler of six years or so but did not do TJED. I had heard about when I started homeschooling in 1998 but did not embrace it. I heard Oliver DeMille speak in 1998 o1999 and slept through most of it. I bought his book and it sat on my shelf untouched. I needed to move to Davis county to find the mentors I needed to put it into my life.

The past two Saturdays I administered an ACT practice test and boot camp with my friend Ann Meeks, who I met eight years ago at one of my Veggie Gals lunches at my girlfriend Becky Edwards' home. Ann is amazing! My son took the practice test with her and got a high score, even though he is only 16 and has not studied for the test or taken trigonometry or finished geometry. Homeschooling works, at least for him. I have to confess though that he was not raised on TJED homeschooling. We started that when he was 13, although he started his TJED scholar projects at his commonwealth school when he was 12. I did require him to do math every day out of a (shhhh!) math workbook/textbook, much before he was in scholar phase. I will have to write more about this ACT boot camp another time. I learned so many things and am so grateful to Ann for putting all these ACT secrets into one package. Ann and Cyndi, teachers of the ACE the ACT course, both veteran TJED homeschooling moms with children either at college or accepted into college, admit that math is the exception to "inspire not require," unless you count using sugar as inspiring.

It was a year ago that I wanted to get my son to take this ACT class and we couldn't afford it at the time. I started fantasizing about him taking it and contacted Ann and found out that if I organized one and got enough people to take it, he could take it for free. So I put the work in and now I am tasting the success of seeing not only my son, but my daughter, as a bonus, take it and learn about it from a mentor. I am feeling so grateful! My son and daughter, ages 14 and 16, are motivated scholars. They like to study and put the hours in. I can see college scholarships in their future. My other children are growing and happy. I have made peace with my two core/LOL over doing math every day. (They are doing it, with some bribery.) Best of all, a blessing I have waited for a long time has happened and I have much greater hope for the future. Praise the Lord! Tomorrow is stake conference and I get to hear Sister Julie Beck and Elder Hales speak. Hooray!

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