Saturday, April 25, 2009

"To do" list for moving...Step 1- education

OCD? Yeah, I tend to function a little better when things are lined up, in order, and prepared.

First on my list of priorities is researching the laws for the state of Washington regarding home-schooling. Oregon is a low restrictive state, meaning one must notify the school of your intent to homeschool, and take standardized acheivement tests on required years (3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade). No number of days required or hours per day required.

Washington appears to be of medium restriction (border line high, imho). This could cause a normal person stress, lol, but I tend to find several things amusing.


notify w/ intent to homeschool
180 days minimal
5 hours per day
mandatory 11 subjects
AND (4 options here)
*Teaching parent must have 45 college credits
*Student to report 1 hour weekly to a certified teacher
*Parent must take a course in home-based instruction at a vocation/technical school
*Parent deemed qualified by super-intendent of school district

I will look into the third choice, although I'd like to think I would be 'deemed' qualified after so many years home-schooling, running a successful daycare (of many ages), years of working my own preschool program, having taught many levels of Sunday School, being a successful mentor to teenagers, and 20+ years of parenting. :^P

What I find so amusing is the wording they use in the "by-laws"...
"The state hereby recognizes that parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction..." Is it me? or do they make home-schooling sound like a disease? I think it more fitting to use the word choose, and do believe I will write in to the state officials about that.

Another thing that amuses me is the daily/hourly requirements. Home-schooling is not an institution but rather a life style. To minimize life into 5 hours seems absurd to me. It is not about "schooling", but rather "learning". My dear friend Tonya explains it well here :
The Road Less Traveled

Just today, Fred, Joe, & TJ went fishing. They caught a Large Mouth Bass. We turned it into a "lesson" without them really knowing at first, lol. We looked up the anatomy (external/internal) of the fish, watched dad disect it, named all the parts, Nick took photos, TJ will journal about the experience of Joe and him crossing fishing lines and catching the same fish, they will observe how to fillet it, cook it, and is the classic lesson on "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime"... all in a fun-filled Saturday morning!

Nature Studies:
Choose any living creature or thing.

Last week...
they are quite fascinating to learn about, and is adaptable for all age groups.

Keyboards Guitars, toy drums, maracas, and a tamborine!
This would be considered 'music appreciation' in our home.
I wonder if classical music at bedtime counts?

... stenciling, painting, card making, wall murals, draw an illustration for a report. We also study a famous masterpiece per week (Mona Lisa, etc..)

Ofcourse you cannot have a well rounded education without Physical Education! Sports are the biggest hit, as is field trips out (such as bowling) or games played at home (such as 4-square or wall ball). Physical activity is a must in this house!

These are just a small sample of our daily living, along with the usual "book" work such as math, history, and English. Then include Bible readings, scriptures memorized, and the weekly study of character traits.

My favorite is Social Science... isn't living in a home with so many of us, with different temperments, talents, and time schedules considered the Art of Socialization?? ;^D

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Isn't spring a lovely time of year?
To reflect the beauty of a new and fresh beginning....

We have beautiful flowers blooming all around us, birds chirping cheerily in the early mornings, and creepy creatures (worms, bees, & ants, oh my) coming out to greet us.

Bryson is very fond of the outdoors. Not so content when stuck in his exersaucer... Sadly, I do not yet have shoes for the lil child. With our front yard at such a slope, he prefers the street to play in.

Tis the season of yard work... most our days consist of gray, drizzly rain that I prefer to refer to as "liquid sunshine"... but on a rare occasion such as this day, we embrace what we can.
I do not enjoy weeding, but will plug away at it slow and steady, wondering if I really am making any progress?? The younger kids are playing in the fresh mowed lawn, having quite the blast of rolling down the hill. Gotta love spray-n-wash, eh?

Did I mention new beginnings? Ah, yes, it seems to be the season for that.
No... I am not pregnant (for those who know us well, lol).
I am excited to announce
that our family will be moving this summer up to the Seattle area. There are many positives for this change...I just wish it wasn't so painful to leave behind the people in our lives we have grown close to, and quite frankly, I adore the little town we currently live in.
We do not have much details as of yet. Looks as if July is our target for the move. We will, by choice, be staying at my m.i.l. (Michele)'s home for a couple of months. Fred's sister will also be in the picture, as she has currently been room-mates with mom already. This will be of condensed space, but I am optimistic that as we settle up there, options and opportunities will fall into place.
I feel our biggest challenge will be to find a new church. We all, as believers in Jesus Christ, are of one church body... yet it is of our best interest to find a place to worship our awesome God. Church buildings seem to be a dime a dozen, so we really want God's direction in this part of our journey. We have put so much time, energy, and heart into our current home church (and community for that matter); however, we are aware that God has a plan for us, so please pray that we are lead by His will.
A lot of changes will be taking place the next few months, so I will be sure to share our journey as I find time. I am now thankful that the boys' school testing came early this year. Setting school aside for a summer break will be much needed during this transition in their lives.
Until next time, may God bless you and yours!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UPDATE; just incase you thought we disappeared ;^)

I think of things daily to ponder about here:
Some things are of deep thought, others are of light jest.
We are a bit school driven 'round here for the next 4 weeks, as the boys state testing is a tad earlier this year (May 8th!). Needless to say, Nick & TJ are excited for their summer break to begin early... focus boys, focus!

Mostly I am just stalling w/ the anticipation of pictures from Nicks camera!
Yeah, we are not the most brilliant of computer wizards here, so together we are in the process of figuring out how to get those photos downloaded to our computer. The new camera in itself is of endless entertainment for our 2nd oldest son; therefore, becoming a priceless joy to me.
Photo targets in the first week:

*Baby Bryson comes in 1st as he is full of new victories on a daily basis.
*Birds- they are currently in abundance around these parts. I may encourage 'journaling' about the different birds he has photos of.
*daily tasks (ie dishes, cooking, playing a board game) in frame-by-frame shots.
*typical moments such as Katie drawing, TJ reading, Bryson napping, etc...
*week-end w/ Grandma Michele & Aunt Chanelle for Easter, although I don't think we got any Easter day photos?? Oh yes, cept the one Auntie Chanelle took of ALL of us, which I will post when we get a copy...uh yeah, baby crying, Andrew screaming, dog piled on us...that one oughta be entertaining, eh?

to be continued....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

SPRING BREAK of sorts...

Our spring break was last week, but my oldest nephew, Cody (10), is staying with us this week for his spring break.
We ventured back to "Out of This World" Pizza. It was so much less crowded!

Baby Bryson
is unstoppable... They have a 'baby' area; with mats, and cushions, and toys; but oh no, Bryson aims for the big kids area

Thankfully, TJ, is a great helper! He took Bryson through the play structure. I think the slide was probably the favorite of both of them!

Then I have a faceless disciple whom patiently hangs out with me!

"All men will know that you are my disciple if you love one another" John 13:35

Nick displays an incredible amount of patience when inundated with younger siblings all day.

*He will focus on driving while there is endless chatter of the littles in the back of the van.
*He will quietly finish his chores without a notice of anyone.
*He plugs away at his school work without complaint, even in the midst of commotion.
*He is up (showered, dressed, and ready to go) on Sunday mornings before the rest of us have even opened an eye.
*He is my extra set of hands, eyes, & ears around the home; not as a burden to him, but as doing what is good & right.

I can praise him endlessly, yet he will just roll his eyes (much like his father's humbleness) I mostly just smile...
and know he is storing up treasures in heaven.