The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the tag “school”

Almost Ready

Just a few days to go. School. 2 out my 3 children are not happy. Of course, they would be happy never having school and having unlimited video game time. So, it looks like they will just have to stay unhappy. I am very excited about the new year. Nerd that I am I always enjoy learning new things. We are sticking pretty close to the same routines that we were doing last year. While I do like to try new things occasionally, there is just comfort in familiar things. So here is what our day will look like:

Mornings- Bible reading. Not really following any certain plan. I think we will stick mostly with New Testament and Proverbs.

Catechism- Still using Training Hearts Teaching Minds. I love this book! I cannot say enough good things about it. Amazon has a “Look in this book” for it. If you are even thinking of teaching the Shorter Catechism to your kids, read the intro to this book. Even if your not thinking about it, go ahead and read it, anyway. It might make you WANT to teach your children the Shorter Catechism.

Math- Still sticking with Math U See. I know that there are people who think it is too “simple”. Going through it with my kids I beg to differ. No, my kids do not usually spend 2-3 hours a day on math. No, they do not cry about math being “hard”. That, to me is part of the beauty of the program. My kids are understanding math to the point where  it doesn’t “feel” hard.  They really *get it. They do worksheets every single day that drill it into their heads, but do not kill the love of learning.  It is awesome.

English- Some changes are being made here. Benjamin and Samuel are still doing Shurley. We are doing it not right by the book, though. As a matter of fact, we are not using student books. I really am not too wild about the vocabulary and the writing assignments. We are using Writing Aids for writing and just using vocabulary from out TOG assignments. I still like having the jingles from Shurley. I still like having them classify sentences. I have not seen anything that cements parts of speech like Shurley.  Nathaniel is doing Learning Language Arts Through Literature. That is totally new to us.  It is taking some creativity to schedule it around Writing Aids. It is do-able, though. I love that he will learn to diagram sentences.   (told you I am a nerd)

History- Tapestry of Grace Year 2. Wow. We are studying from the Middle Ages to the American Revolution. That is so much to cover. There are some awesome reading assignments. I think my new favorite book-other than A Tale of Two Cities- is Men of Iron. I have discovered that I really like “boy books” better than “girl books” . Action, adventure, danger, chivalry, bravery- those are the things that to me make a great book.  We are going to be studying a lot of church history this year. To prepare, over the summer I have been reading Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley. I love this book, too. I really love that I got it at the Bible Outlet for 40 % off retail. I think I made the sales woman’s day when Mark held up the book and I literally gasped out loud with excitement.  I am also very excited about the art that we will be studying. During our second quarter of school, especially, we will be doing several art assignments.


Science- Thank goodness Botany is over! If you read my post from several months ago, you might be wondering where all the pictures from our plants are. Well, guess what? Almost every one of them died when we transplanted them. The few that didn’t got dug up or “watered” by our dog. So we are moving on to Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  Nathaniel is going to be doing Apologia Physical Science. He loved his science course last year. I assume the trend will continue.

Latin- Loved Latin for Children A last year. I really thought Samuel would need a year between Song School Latin and LfC A. His reading skills really took off last year and he is ready to move on to “big kid Latin”. So while he is doing that, the big guys are moving on to LfC B. Benjamin was looking at the new Latin History Reader and saying how it looked so hard. He said, “I’ll never get all this!” So I had to remind him that at this point last year he thought that his Latin looked too hard and he would “never get it”. He made good grades, and did not have too much trouble with translation. The boys absolutely LOVE Headventure Land, Classical Academic Press’s fun way to practice their Latin. (technically you can practice Greek and Spanish too, but all we have done so far is Latin)

Music- I made it from grades 5-12 in the school band and never really learned to read music very well.  I can read notes on the treble staff , IF they are not above or below the staff. I can’t tell you anything on a bass clef. So we are using some stuff we found online to learn to read music. Nathaniel has said he wants a cornet. I would like for him to have some knowledge of reading music to make learning an instrument go more smoothly. We are also going to be focusing on composers. I really like Ambleside Online for their links to composer and art appreciation studies. There are several things that we plan on using, just not necessarily the suggested studies for this year, at the time they are suggested. Still studying hymns from The Center for Church Music.

There is a possibility of adding Greek to the mix. Samuel and Benjamin have asked repeatedly to learn Greek. (Well, now that it is almost time to start, Benjamin thinks maybe he has changed his mind) If we do it, will be added after the rest of the year starts. We will use Song School Greek. Judging by Song School Latin, it should be wonderful.


A few things that irk me.

We are learning about the Assyrians in school. They were mean, horrible people.  Or as Tapestry of Grace calls them “the Nazis of the ancient world”.  So Benjamin and Samuel’s reading assignments have been very light. They are not ready to take in Assyria. (Samuel is so scared of Gollum on LOTR if he hears the words “my” and “precious” together he comes unglued)  So I am reading with Samuel in a children’s Bible story book and come across this-

God had a job for Jonah to do. “I want you to go to your enemies in Nineveh and tell them how much I love them and I want them to love me and mend their ways,” God told Jonah.

Uhm…. okay, let’s take a look at what a Bible says, shall we?

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Why is it that people who write Bible storybooks feel the need to change major themes? God is not some big purple dinosaur singing,  “I love you,” to all the world all the time. God told the people of Nineveh he was going to destroy them because of their wickedness! (Granted they repented, he spared them, but you get what I am saying) God did not tell Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people He loved them. He sent Jonah to let the people know He was angry about things they were doing.  Being told how sinful they were and that God was going to destroy their city got their attention.

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

While I understand that small children are not ready to hear the details about what the Assyrians were doing that was so sinful, we do need to teach our children that evil exists. I would not want to see a child’s Bible illustrated with this, but it is important to let a child know that God is holy and does not tolerate sinfulness. We need to teach them that sin is against God.

Now on to another thing that irks me. It drives me batty that some people in the Bible get a bad reputation that is undeserved. Take the Hebrew midwives, for example. They were told to kill all Hebrew baby boys as they were being born. How did they respond to this order?

The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

I have heard this be taught, even by people I respected, that the midwives were justified in their lying because it was for the greater good. Hm…. nowhere does it say they were lying. Could it be possible that the hard, physical life associated with slavery truly conditioned their bodies to give birth quickly? Could it be that in a time before cell phones and and cars it just took people a longer time to find out they were needed somewhere and get there? Or could it possibly be that God providentially caused the Hebrews women to give birth faster? Read Exodus one if you do not believe me. The Bible never says they lied.

Another thing is this passage from John 21

2Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

It usually gets taught that the disciples had lost all hope. They had given up on Jesus being the Messiah. So what did they do? They returned to their old way of life: fishing. But is that really why they returned to Galilee? Is it really that they had given up? Could they have gone to Galilee because they believed that He was the Messiah and he TOLD them to go to Galilee???? Why would they lose hope when they had already seen the risen Lord themselves????

31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’

32“But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

Yep, He told them that He would go to Galilee, ahead of them. Which means that they would go, if they really believed that He was who He said He was. Jesus and an angel both told the disciples to go to Galilee. So maybe they decided to go to the place where they had first seen Jesus. They went back to the place where they had been called. Going fishing was a sign of their belief, not their unbelief.

Why do people feel the need to read INTO the Bible what they THINK it means, instead of  reading OUT of the Bible what it SAYS it means????

Something Really Random

I have no idea why this memory would surface. A few nights ago, I was getting ready for bed and something just popped into my head. When I was in Kindergarten, a gypsy fortune teller came to our school. I am not sure why. She came into our classroom and read our palms. She also had a crystal ball and a spider. It was a big spider that she held on her hand and let people pet. EWWW! My fortune was that I would grow up to be a secretary. She said she could me sitting on my boss’s lap! What kind of person says this to a FIVE YEAR OLD?!??!?!?!?! I really didn’t think anything bad because A.) I was FIVE! Five year olds sit in grown ups laps all the time. B.) My mother watched a lot of soap operas that had women sitting on their boss’s laps. I thought it was normal.

My grandmother had a  fit when I came home from school. I didn’t get it at the time. I really do now.  Why Susan Moore School allowed a gypsy fortune teller to come talk to the kids is beyond me. Why this person told some of the kids the things she did is even more so beyond me. She made some kids cry. This little memory served as a reminder of why I homeschool. My kids are not being exposed to things that God says to stay away from.

Deuteronomy 18:13-15~You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, 14for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

Deuteronomy 18:10~There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer

Parents, we need to be on guard at all times. We need to teach our children what the Bible says about the big things that we feel are important (like salvation, repentance….) and the things that seem a little weird (sorcery, etc…) I didn’t know at that time fortune tellers were doing something that was against God. I didn’t realize later on life that ouija boards were bad. Or that reading books on paranormal and occultist things was so bad. I read almost every book that my high school library had on occults. I could tell you about auras, ghosts, crystals, you name it. It wasn’t until God brought me to a point where He scared the bejeepbers out of me that I started getting out of that and into the Bible. I am so glad He did.


Ahh…. Fall. I think this has the potential to be my favorite season of the year. The leaves change colors, the temperatures drop (but not too much!). There are less mosquitoes. Which is a good thing out here in lake country. However, fall is when allergies hit Benjamin and me HARD. Fall is when Samuel’s excema acts up. This fall, Mark has been sick with an upper respiratory/sinus infection.So things at our house have gone in slow motion. Week 6 of school was actually going to be nice. We were reading chapters 12-50 of Genesis to count as both history and Bible study. Not really a whole lot of other reading. So it was going to be a breeze. Then the Fall started moving in. We are still on week 6. It is going slow, but it is going. None of the boys have done Latin for the last two weeks. We have been working on the same chapters of English and Math for the past two weeks. We are only to chapter 20 in the Bible. But we are still going. This week has gone more smoothly than last week. Mark gets off work today at 12:00 then is off until 12:00 next Thursday, so its nice to know that he is here if my voice goes out again and I can’t teach.  We have been  able to do some of our art projects. Every book we have looked at that contained Mesopotamian art had statues of people with folded hands and BIG eyes. They reminded me of Benjamin for some reason. The big eyes really didn’t look buggy or catoonish, they looked innocent, inquisitive and almost sweet. Like Benjamin. I was tickled that he wanted to make his own Mesopotamian statue:


Samuel made a model of a Mesopotamian ziggurat that he saw in the book Old Testament Days. He stacked boxes and painted them brown, then did a top layer of brown paint mixed with cornmeal so it looked like it was made of mud bricks. DSC_0015

All the boys painted a color wheel recently


Nathaniel got tickled at the end because his pallet looked like a stocking.


Speaking of Nathaniel, he is THRIVING in his Science class. Samuel likes to help him gather his supplies for his experiments, so Samuel’s nickname when doing that is IGOR. I am not sure who came up with that one. Yesterday Nathaniel made little cardboard boats and used different materials as the “motors” (gum, toilet paper and soap) His purpose was to see which one propelled his boat further in still water.


Samuel and Benajmin really like the activities in Old Testament Days. We are studying the birth of the nation of Israel. Abram and Sarai were called to a life of nomadic wandering.  Can you imagine that? Going from living in a house, to living in tents. Samuel read about how they made a portable table out of a piece of leather. It was cut into a circle, then string looped through the edges it could so that it could be drawn into a bag to carry the plates and such around from one place to another. Samuel made one from plastic tablecloth fabric and ribbon. He and Benjamin both love to cook.  Yesterday they read about nomadic people eating locusts (EWWW)! We made fake locusts biscuits. Instead of crushing up dead bugs, we used crushed almonds. DSC_0040DSC_0041

The boys with their biscuts around Samuel's table

The boys with their biscuts around Samuel's table

warm biscuts with honey...mmmmmm

warm biscuts with honey...mmmmmm

So as you can see, we are learning, despite coughs, runny noses(Samuel likes keeping up with the changing color of my nose. Nothing like having kids to keep you humble!) and itchy, scaly skin.  Nathaniel has been working for three weeks on a very special art project that I can hardly wait to share. But I have to. It will be much more special to see it completed than just a bit.  Hopefully next week we will be back to doing everything at a regular pace.

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