Saturday, April 30, 2011

Home School Book Fair Next Week

I don't know about you, but I get so excited about the Home School Book Fair every year. I love walking up and down those isles seeing all the new things there are and the old things that have lasted through the years. I usually have at least an idea of what I want to get. Last year I found the BEST curriculum EVER. It's called Trail Guides to Learning. They include every subject except Math. Which is fine for us because we have been using Math U See for the past 5 years and don't intend to stop now.

Back to our core curriculum. This school year we did Paths of Exploration. We enjoyed it so much. This kids and I both learned a great deal. I started homeschooling in 1997. I can honestly say this curriculum worked best for the kids and for their teacher. Next year we will be doing Paths of Settlement. They are coming out with the next in the series in August called Paths of Progress. Each set goes up a grade. They are planning on continuing all through high school, which thrills me to no end.

I have to be honest and say we only did a little over half of Paths of Exploration. But we are going to finish it up at the start of the next school year and then continue on with Paths of Settlement. I love homeschooling because of this very reason. We can always do more later if we do less now. Or we can do more now and less a little later. We just enjoy the learning process and keep it fun.

This year we finished Math the last week of March. Can you believe that? I can't. We were scheduled to finish in April but they just decided they would finish it up even earlier. I am not one to say no to doing more work that I require. Less, yes. But more? No way. Go for it. This next year JC will be doing PreAlgebra. Needless to say I am NOT looking forward to that. But I love this program so it is my hope that it will help me help him. It has so far.

I will be buying two years worth of school supplies because it is our hope that we will be sent overseas during this school year. I want to be prepared so that we can take it all with us instead of having to order it.

Although we are done with our basic school for this year I have added some things to finish out April and work through the summer. They are learning basic household duties and scheduling. It isn't running totally smoothly as of yet but it is a work in progress that I hope to carry on into the school year and beyond. We have a set schedule for laundry, what days we do what color clothes, and alternate which child does them that day to completion. We alternate who does the dishes each day and who helps cook the meals. I am teaching them how to make complete meals on their own.

We are bumping up our reading for the summer. They are having to read larger books in a shorter amount of time. We discuss the book as they are reading it and not just at the end of the book. It helps them to understand what they are reading and remember it. It is my intention to teach them how to do a book review like the ones I do on my writers blog. That will help them take the meaning out of the book that the author intended them to find.

We will be going on a HUGE "field trip" in June to East Africa. We are so excited about that. You can find out more information on that by reading our cross cultural ministry blog. I can't wait to share pictures from that trip.

I will be uploading pictures and information about our homeschool book fair trip next week. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mission Trip Information

We would like to share with you an opportunity that we have as a family to join in a mission trip to East Africa June 9- July 3. Equip Disciples is a Christian ministry working in east Africa that equips local churches for ministry. An important aspect of this trip will be to test drill water wells in the area. Many of you may know that John has been learning the technology for providing low cost water wells for the poorest of the poor who have no clean source of water. We recently spent one week training in West Texas as a family.  You can learn more about our ministries and the water wells on this mission blog. You can sign up for updates on this blog. Check out these pictures of what actual water well drilling in those countries looks like and how happy the people are to have fresh water.

This area of East Africa is a half-Muslim area. Many of the local church leaders have not had any formal education. They have limited study resources. Yet there are many unreached villages and unreached people groups in need of a Christian witness. This mission is sponsored by Equip Disciples, which focuses on discipleship and building up the body of Christ for the work of ministry. Terri will be helping with the adult and children’s conferences. Jonathan and Jennifer will help lead the children’s conferences. John’s primary mission while there is to gather supplies and work on the test wells. There are several churches that are interested in bringing it to their villages.

Finally, as you might imagine, travel to Africa is quite expensive, and each volunteer is primarily responsible for paying their own way. With a family of four it is  great deal of money for airfare, passports, visas, food, lodging, travel insurance, immunizations, etc. We are trusting God to provide the resources we need.

Thanks for your friendship and your prayers.
In His Service and Love,
John & Terri