Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reason #101.....Why I Love Classical Conversations!


One of the things I struggled with as an independent homeschooler (For the first 12 years of our home education experience) was getting in my science experiments and art projects.  


I would sit down in the summer and make the most amazing lesson plans.  Oh how I loved dreaming and planning the creative side of of our homeschool.  I would gaze lovingly and longingly all the exciting ways we could explore God's creation through hands-on FUN!  My heart would overflow with impatience and excitement to dig in and get-going.  My mind could see my boys faces lighting up with huge moments and aha and joy!  


Then reality would come in and steal my perfect little dream.....


The problem was at the end of the school year those perfect little plans were still sitting on my lesson planner page looking back at me.   All the details it requires to order special little things like magnetic shavings, sunprint paper, cow eyeballs, Tempera and watercolor paint with horsehair brushes, would cause me to procrastinate and finally to resolve that it just wasn't going to happen this year.  I would placate myself by promising we would get to it the next year...and so the cycle went.


Fast forward to three years ago when we joined Classical Conversations.  


At the time I was looking forward to the already put together lesson plans being done for me.  I knew this would allow me to enjoy doing school without being bogged down in the putting-it-all-together phase.


It never occurred to me that another perk to being a part of the CC Community was that we would get to show up once a week for 24 weeks and have someone else take care of all the supplies, set-up, and clean up of art and science.  


It wasn't until a month into the program that I realized this was the first time in twelve years my boys were consistently getting to immerse themselves in the scientific method using experiments to peak their interest.



Today, as a first-time Foundations/Essentials Director I am putting together the science and art supplies for our next school year.  As I gaze upon my bed and see all of the wonderful supplies sitting there, my heart is overwhelmed with the purpose of community and the blessing it brings to set families up for homeschooling success.  


For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.- Col 1:16


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

School Is Getting Ready To Start!




 One of the things I love most about being a part of Classical Conversations Community is that you never have to walk alone.  



Tonight our Challenge A Class gathered together at Terri Ulrich's for an evening of equipping.  As our beautiful tutor she led us through understanding what this next school year's writing program  is going to look like and how it works.


Lots of healthy goodies to snack on


Christa getting ready to enjoy a cup of decaf 


Beautiful mama's.


Lifetime friends coming together to grow in knowledge and understanding for the purpose of knowing God and making Him known.


Let the conversations begin!


"When you seek me with all of your heart you will find me" - Jeremiah 29:11


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Colton's Junior Year!



Today was orientation for Colton's junior year.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday he was learning to walk and now he's this amazing, responsible, caring young man.


I'm so proud of him.



Challenge B, here we come!



Scope and sequence

Each week the students will working on:

  • Writing
  • Latin
  • Current Events
  • Debate
  • Math skills
  • Logic


In addition, they will participate in a Mock Trial and science fair with other homeschoolers.  We are looking forward to watching these students stand before a live judge in a real courtroom arguing different points of a trial.


I'm so thankful I have an amazing tutor who is going to walk them through all of those details.  It allows me to focus on character and academics.



Mrs. Hawkins will be Colton's tutor at Classical Conversations. (YAY!)   He will spend one day a week with this amazing, Jesus-loving, homeschooling mom each week.  She will create conversations with his peers, review important information, and drill new grammar.  Classical Conversations brings depth to all the work we are doing at home. 



I am so grateful that God has partnered me with like-minded friends all working to walk out God's purpose for our lives and those of our children.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Priorities.....




Today I was scheduled to do many different things.  My calendar was busting at the seams.  Doctors appointment, phone calls to be returned, housekeeping that needed to get done, dinner to make, website to work on, and the list goes on...... 


As I woke early and began making my lists I felt overwhelmed and agitated that I needed to drop Colton off at grandma's at 8:30.  I needed to get in and get out to make it to an appointment 40 minutes away.  It was not a conscious thought, but somewhere in the midst of my crazy schedule my grandmother became an obligation that needed to be checked off my to-do list.


As I sat with the Lord I began to feel conviction.  Where are my priorities?  My grandmother has spent her whole life loving me unconditionally.  How many times did she drive from St.Pete to Palm Harbor to pick me up when I was a little girl?  (Every.Single.Friday) I'm certain it wasn't convenient after teaching a classroom full of first graders all day long.  Never once did she make me feel as though I was an obligation or a box to be checked. 


In the midst of my quiet time the Lord sweetly and gently nudged my heart to cancel my other plans and to instead spend my time simply sitting and soaking with this woman I love so very much.


I wish there were words that could paint the picture of pure joy on her face when I walked in and told her I decided to cancel everything and spend the morning with her.  There we sat, cups of coffee in hand, reminiscing, dreaming, sharing our hearts.    



I am so thankful that I serve a living God who loves me enough to convict my heart when I get out of hand and make plans that line up with this world.   I'm overwhelmed at the blessing obedience brings when I stop and listen to the ONE who has planned out every single day of my life. 


"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE!"  Jeremiah 29:11

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Church....New Testament Style!



This Sunday we were blessed by dear friends who sweetly invited us to join them for a time of worship, reading through the Word, and eating.  My heart was inspired as we sought the Lord together through fellowship and conversation.



I am so thankful that Heather's husband asked if I'd be willing to talk with his wife about homeschooling so many years ago.  She is a humble, precious sister-in-the-Lord.  I love walking with her as she parents her six beautiful children in grace and integrity.  She and her husband Tim have been such a blessing to our family over the years. 



We opened with a time of worship.  My favorite part was allowing our children to pick the songs.


Tim opened us in prayer.  

I prayed through my pictures.  Capturing an event or special moment through my camera brings (for me) the entire experience to LIFE!  I had forgotten how much I loved this the past year when my other camera broke.


Tim, humbly led us through a group reading of 2 Corinthians.  We went around the room and everyone (including the children) read directly from the Word.  Tim then read through the chapter one more time and we began to dissect and dig into God's meaning.  It's amazing how much more we take away when we add conversation and others to our learning.  






Then it was time to eat!







 




And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.- Hebrews 10:25
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Community!!!



This Friday our Classical Conversations, St.Petersburg group hosted our first community park day of the school year.  Oh how I love these women!  I am grateful to the Lord for the blessing of like-minded mama's who walk together on a journey To know God and to make Him known.  (CC Motto)  


What is community?


It's a place where you never have to walk alone.  

 

Community is all about discipleship....


Friendships....



 


A gathering place to make new friends.



It's where we meet our forever friends.



It's a place of discovery....


(Even when we don't want to discover "some" new things)


Community is a safe place to seek prayer and counsel.



It's a place to discover who God made us to be.





It's a place of conversations.


Community allows us to encourage one another as parents. 









 

Ultimately, community is all these things.  It's a place of accountability, fellowship, encouragement, and equipping.  


Iron sharpens iron as one friend sharpens another!


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