Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TMT (Talk to Me Tuesday)

It's Tuesday!  That doesn't really mean much to most of the world, but here in the land of blog it means I will be doing the Q&A part.  I did have a couple of questions submitted which I will answer, along with questions I get asked on a regular basis.  Again, if you ever want to see me answer a specific question, please e-mail one to me at artyler@mail.com, leave a question in the comment section of a blog post, or leave me a facebook message.

Grab a coffee and let's sit and have a chat. :)

1)  Are you guys going to have more kids?
Haha...I get this one all the time.  To keep it simple, the answer is "We will be glad to have whatever children the Lord sees fit to give us."  We do not use birth control, and we have entrusted this area of our lives to the Lord.  He says children are a blessing, and blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.  If the Lord thinks it's a blessing, then I am all for receiving it!  We do have times where we practice abstinence- right after having a baby and certain times when I am having health issues (I have a chronic condition- will get more into that another day).  This is something we constantly are in prayer about...it is not about being legalistic and it is not a contest to see how many kids we can have.  It is simply being open to the blessings of the Lord, and truly believing that they are in fact blessings.

2) What homeschool curriculum do you use?
Right now I use Abeka, and plan to use Abeka for K-2 with each child.  When the kids hit 3rd grade, I plan on using Abeka for math, the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) for Bible, and for the other subjects I will be trying something called Switched On Schoolhouse. It is a curriculum which it done entirely on the computer.  The child has his own desktop and every day he/she signs in and all the days work is up and ready to go.  It is very independent and the computer compiles the grades and sends you, the parent, reports and updates.  It is very parent friendly, in that you can control all settings and be in touch with your child through e-mail type messages.  We plan on switching because as the kids get older, I will need to make sure we are set up to run independently.  The reason I will be doing Math and Bible differently, is because I do want to be involved in their education...I don't want the whole thing being done independently.  Abeka is very strong in math, which is something I want to make sure they learn thoroughly.  And as for Biblical teaching, I believe Bible and spirituality is the most important thing I can teach them...I want to be the one imparting spiritual knowledge to them, and have the opportunity to teach and lead as the Spirit directs.

3) What do you do with the other children while you homeschool?
I honestly think this one is easier for me than for smaller families (probably the only time I can say I have it easier!  lol)  I am a bit of a throwback to older generations in that I have always believed that my kids need to learn to play independently and with each other.  In other words, I am not their primary playmate.  This may sound harsh, but I want my kids to grow up not just as family, but as friends.  Sometimes the best way to do that is to make it so they must turn to each other for amusement.  Not to mention that I am quite occupied keeping the house running!  With that said, we really don't have a huge problem during school. The kids not being schooled are either napping (the little ones) or given designated areas in the house that they can play in quietly, and they are responsible for amusing themselves- and they almost always play with one another.  This is not shocking to them, because as I said, I am very big on encouraging sibling play.  And on those days where everything is going haywire, I put on the tv.  No shame in doing what works. ;)

4) Why do you homeschool?
I could write a book on why, but let me try and be concise.
-First and foremost- in our house, we serve the Lord.  There is nothing greater I want for my kids than to have a solid, personal relationship with Jesus.  I want them in our home, learning and experiencing the Lord on a constant, daily basis.
-I want to be with my kids.  I enjoy my children and want to have a good relationship with them
-I want them to have a good relationship with one another.  I don't like the idea of them being off all day in different places, with different friends, in different classes/schools.  There are times where our kids are separated, and they do have activities/things they do apart from one another...but those are limited, they are not all day every day.  The more separated they are, the more they will naturally draw away from each other.  On the other hand, the more time they spend playing and learning together, the more of a chance they have to foster relationships with each other.
-I do not approve of the secular teachings, nor do I like them being taught things without my knowledge.  Just read news articles and you will be shocked at the things that get taught and then later apologized for.  The problem is, you cannot undo something that has already been done.  A teacher has a lot of influence over a child they see for 8 hours every day.  I want to be that influence, and I want to make sure Jesus is that influence.
-I don't want my children influenced by ungodly things.  To be a light in the world you first have to have a solid foundation, and a small child does not have enough solid foundation to withstand the constant badgering of worldliness.  When you plant a seed, you have to take great care in protecting and nurturing that seed because if you don't, then it will not survive.  But if you do, then it will have a chance to grow deep, strong roots and then will be able to withstand even the fiercest storms.
-Socialization.  I want my kids to have a wide variety of people that they socialize with.  I don't just want them to learn how to interact with kids their own age, but I want them to learn to interact with people all ages, races, occupations, etc.  homeschooling gives you the freedom to bring your kids to different places and expose them to a lot of different things.
-Ability to work at my kids' pace.  We all know the school system was not designed for individualized learning.  Kids learn in many different ways, and I want to be able to accommodate that and help them to learn and grow the best way they are able to.
-Home and family.  Again, I truly like being with my kids. I love having our family together, and I love having the freedom to do what we want as a family.  For example, we have an opportunity to go visit some friends in Niagra Falls.  We are able to go without having to hesitate or worry about school schedules.  My kids will get to meet other children, see Niagra Falls, and just have a wonderful time.  I LOVE the freedom to be a family.
I am sure there are many, many more reasons, but this is long enough and I think you get the gist.

  I will say this once- this blog is my own life and my own opinions.  You need to really seek the Lord in all decisions you make, because you are the one who needs to live out your decisions.  This is not a debate, nor is it a forum for argument...everyone is responsible for their own lives, and answers to the Lord, not to me.  This blog and all future blog posts will be written based on my own life and opinion, and I will not give a disclaimer every time I touch on what may be a "hot topic".  I am saying it now so you know my heart.  I have no desire to judge anyone or to tell you what you should do.  I simply hope my life encourages you to think, to be encouraged, and to just seek the Lord on all matters.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

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