Monday, July 31, 2006

An Article Well Worth The Most Thorough Study You Can Give

"Elder Ezra Taft Benson," in Conference Report, October 1970, 21-25. Elder Ezra Taft Benson Of the Council of the Twelve
As a people, we have three great loyalties: loyalty to God, loyalty tofamily, loyalty to country.I come to you today with a plea to strengthen our families.The family unit It has been truly stated that "salvation is a family affair ... and that the family unit is the most important organization in time or in eternity."
The Church was created in large measure to help the family, and long afterthe church has performed its mission, the celestial patriarchal order willstill be functioning. This is why President Joseph F. Smith said: "To be asuccessful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successfulgeneral or a successful statesman ..., " and President McKay added: "Whenone puts business or pleasure above his home, he, that moment, starts on thedowngrade to soul weakness."And this is why President Harold B. Lee said only yesterday, "The Churchmust do more to help the home carry out its divine mission."Temptations and pitfallsPresident Joseph Fielding Smith has stated that never "in the history of theChurch have there been so many temptations, so many pitfalls, so manydangers, to lure away the members of the Church from the path of duty andfrom righteousness as we find today." (Take Heed to Yourselves, p. 127.) Andhe has also said: "This world is not growing better ... wickedness isincreasing." (Ibid., p. 207.)
Never has the devil been so well organized, and never in our day has he hadso many powerful emissaries working for him. We must do everything in ourpower to strengthen and safeguard the home and family.The adversary knows "that the home is the first and most effective place forchildren to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control;the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life.Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and noother success can compensate for failure in the home." (President David O.McKay, in Family Home Evening Manual, 1968-69, p. iii.)Undermining the homeAnd so today, the undermining of the home and family is on the increase,with the devil anxiously working to displace the father as the head of the home and create rebellion among the children. The Book of Mormon describesthis condition when it states, "And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." And then these words follow-and consider these words seriously when you think of those political leaders who are promoting birth control and abortion: "O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths." (2 Ne. 13:12.)
And let me warn the sisters in all seriousness that you who submit yourselves to an abortion or to an operation that precludes you from safely having additional healthy children are jeopardizing your exaltation and your future membership in the kingdom of God.
Responsibility of parents
Parents are directly responsible for the righteous rearing of theirchildren, and this responsibility cannot be safely delegated to relatives,friends, neighbors, the school, the church, or the state."I appeal to you parents, take nothing for granted about your children,"said President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. "The great bulk of them, of course, are good, but some of us do not know when they begin to go away from the path oftruth and righteousness. Be watchful every day and hour. Never relax yourcare, your solicitude. Rule kindly in the spirit of the Gospel and thespirit of the priesthood, but rule, if you wish your children to follow theright path." Permissive parents are part of the problem.
False educational ideas
As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief meansof misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educationalinstitutions. President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideasas one of the three threatening dangers among our Church members. There ismore than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend collegesclose to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It givesthe parents the opportunity to stay close to their children; and if theyhave become alert and informed as President McKay admonished us last year,these parents can help expose some of the deceptions of men like SigmundFreud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Karl Marx, John Keynes, and others.Today there are much worse things that can happen to a child than notgetting a full college education. In fact, some of the worst things havehappened to our children while attending colleges led by administrators whowink at subversion and amorality.Said Karl G. Maeser, "I would rather have my child exposed to smallpox,typhus fever, cholera, or other malignant and deadly diseases than to thedegrading influence of a corrupt teacher. It is infinitely better to takechances with an ignorant, but pure-minded teacher than with the greatestphilosopher who is impure."Vocational education, correspondence courses, establishment in a familybusiness are being considered for their children by an increasing number ofparents.Propagation of atheism
The tenth plank in Karl Marx's Manifesto for destroying our kind ofcivilization advocated the establishment of "free education for all childrenin public schools." There were several reasons why Marx wanted government torun the schools. Dr. A. A. Hodge pointed out one of them when he said, "Itis capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has theright of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to betrue, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least,and then he that believes least must give way to him that believesabsolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists oragnostics may be. It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it isconsistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, theUnited States system of national popular education will be the mostefficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which theworld has ever seen.After the tragic prayer decision was made by the Court, President David O.McKay stated, "The Supreme Court of the United States severs the connectingcord between the public schools of the United States and the source ofdivine intelligence, the Creator, himself." (Relief Society Magazine,December 1962, p. 878.)Does that make any difference to you? Can't you see why the demand ofconscientious parents is increasing the number of private Christian andAmericanist oriented schools?
Today, Brigham Young University is the largest private school in the UnitedStates. Parents from far and near are looking to Brigham Young University asnever before.Supervision by parents. Now, whether your child attends this type of school or not, it is importantthat you stay close to your children, daily review, if possible, what theyhave learned in school, and go over their textbooks.President Joseph Fielding Smith has stated that in public schools you cannotget a textbook, anywhere that he knows of, on the "ologies" that doesn'tcontain nonsense. (Take Heed to Yourselves, p. 32.)I know one noble father who reviews with his children regularly what theyhave been taught; and if they have been taught any falsehoods, then thechildren and the father together research out the truth. If your children are required to put down on exams the falsehoods that have been taught, then perhaps they can follow President Joseph Fielding Smith's counsel ofprefacing their answer with the words "teacher says," or they might say "youtaught" or "the textbook states."If your children are taught untruths on evolution in the public schools oreven in our Church schools, provide them with a copy of President JosephFielding Smith's excellent rebuttal in his book Man, His Origin and Destiny.
Open letter to school principalRecently some parents paid for space in a newspaper to run an open letter tothe school principal of their son. The letter in part stated:"You are hereby notified that our son, _________ is not allowed by hisundersigned parents to participate in, or be subject to instruction in, anytraining or education in sex, human biological development, attitudedevelopment, self-understanding, personal and family life, or group therapy,or sensitivity training, or self-criticism, or any combination or degreethereof, without the consent of the undersigned by express writtenpermission. ..."We intend to retain and exercise our parental rights to guide our child inthe areas of morality and sexual behavior without any interference orcontradiction imposed by school personnel."[Our son] has been taught to recognize the format of sensitivity training,group therapy, self-criticism, etc., as it is being broadly applied,lowering the standards of morality and replacing American individualresponsibility with the dependency on, and conformity to, the `herdconsensus' concept of collectivism."He has been instructed to promptly remove himself from any class in whichhe is exposed to the aforementioned indoctrination and to report to us anysuch disregard of this letter."
Home evening program
The Lord knew that in the last days Satan would try to destroy the familyunit. He knew that by court edict, pornography would be allowed to prosper.How grateful we should be that God inspired his prophet over half a centuryago to institute the weekly home evening program. This is the vanguard forgetting parents to assume the responsibility of instructing their children.An increasing number of faithful Saints are holding more than one homeevening a week and are adding to or deleting from the home evening manual asthe Spirit dictates.Designed to strengthen and safeguard the family, the Church home eveningprogram (one night each week) is to be set apart for fathers and mothers togather their sons and daughters around them in the home. Prayer is offered,hymns and other songs are sung, scripture is read, family topics arediscussed, talent is displayed, principles of the gospel are taught, andoften games are played and homemade refreshments served.Now here are the promised blessings for those who will hold a weekly homeevening:"If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings willresult. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will bedeveloped in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power tocombat the evil influences and temptations which beset them." (FirstPresidency, April 27, 1915, Improvement Era, vol. 18, p. 734.)
Demoralizing entertainment
Now what of the entertainment that is available to our young people today?Are you being undermined right in your home through your TV, radio, slickmagazines, rock records? Much of the rock music is purposely designed topush immorality, narcotics, revolution, atheism, and nihilism, throughlanguage that often has a double meaning and with which many parents are notfamiliar.Parents who are informed can warn their children of the demoralizing, loud,raucous beat of rock music, which deadens the senses and dulls thesensibilities-the jungle rhythm which inflames the savagery within.Said President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.:"I would have you reflect for a moment upon the fact that a tremendousamount of the modern art, of the modern literature and music, and the dramathat we have today is utterly demoralizing-utterly. ... Your music-well, I do not know how far above the tom-tom of the jungle it is, but it is not toofar."These things you must watch. They all have their effects on the children.Make your home-life as near heavenlike as you can." (Relief SocietyMagazine, December 1952, p. 798.)
Holding aloft of standards
Youth leaders, are you holding aloft our standards or have you compromisedthem for the lowest common denominator in order to appease the deceived orvile within the Church? Are the dances and music in your cultural hallsvirtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report, or do they represent amodern Sodom with short skirts, loud beat, strobe lights, and darkness?Will our youth leaders accept the standards set for young John Wesley by hismother? Hear her sound counsel:"Would you judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure? Take thisrule: Now note whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of yourconscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritualthings, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, thatthing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself."Have we, as Moroni warned, "polluted the holy church of God?" (Morm. 8:38.)The auxiliaries of the Church are to be a help, not a hindrance, to parentsand the priesthood as they strive to lead their families back to God. Do anyof us wear or display the broken cross, anti-Christ sign, that is theadversary's symbol of the so-called "peace movement"?
Lack of knowledge"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," lamented Hosea. (Hos. 4:6.)Today, because some parents have refused to become informed and then standup and inform their children, they are witnessing the gradual physical andspiritual destruction of their posterity. If we would become like God,knowing good and evil, then we had best find out what is undermining us, how to avoid it, and what we can do about it.It is time that the hearts of us fathers be turned to our children and thehearts of the children be turned to us fathers, or we shall both be cursed.The seeds of divorce are often sown and the blessings of children delayed by wives working outside the home. Working mothers should remember that their children usually need more of mother than of money.
Family solidarity
As conditions in the world get progressively worse, it is crucial that thefamily draw closer together in righteousness and that family solidarity beestablished. As one has said, "There are too many pulls away from the hometoday. We should seriously consider whether or not too many activities andother interests take too much time and attention from our families, from ourchildren, from those whom the Lord God gave us to love, to nourish, toteach, and to help through life."The stick-together families are happier by farThan the brothers and the sisters who take separate highways are.The gladdest people living are the wholesome folks who makeA circle at the fireside that no power on earth can break.And the finest of conventions ever held beneath the sunAre the little family gatherings when the busy day is done.There are rich folk, there are poor folk, who imagine they are wise.And they're very quick to shatter all the little family ties.Each goes searching after pleasure in his own selected way.Each with strangers likes to wander and with strangers likes to play.But it's bitterness they harvest, and it's empty joy they find,For the children that are wisest are the stick-together kind.There are some who seem to fancy that for gladness they must roam,That for smiles that are the brightest they must wander far from home.That the strange friend is the true friend, and they travel far astrayAnd they waste their lives in striving for a joy that's far away,But the gladdest sort of people, when the busy day is done,Are the brothers and the sisters, who together share their fun. [page 51]It's the stick-together family that wins the joys of earth,That hears the sweetest music and that finds the finest mirth;It's the old home roof that shelters all the charm that life can give;There you find the gladdest playground, there the happiest spot to live.And, O weary, wandering brother, if contentment you would win,Come you back unto the fireside and be comrade with your kin.(Adapted from a poem by Edgar A. Guest.)
Strengthening the family
And so let's strengthen the family. Family and individual prayer, morningand evening, can invite the blessings of the Lord on your household.Mealtime provides a wonderful time to review the activities of the day andto not only feed the body, but to feed the spirit as well with members ofthe family taking turns reading the scriptures, particularly, the Book ofMormon. Nighttime is a great time for the busy father to go to each child'sbedside, to talk with him, answer his questions and tell him how much he is loved. In such homes there is no "generation gap." This deceptive phrase is another tool of the devil to weaken the home and family. Children who honor their parents and parents who love their children can make a home a haven ofsafety and a little bit of heaven.Does this poem describe your family gatherings?We are all here:Father, mother,Sister, brother,All who hold each other dear.Each chair is filled, we are all at home.Tonight, let no cold stranger come;It must be often thus aroundOur old familiar hearth we're found.Bless, then, the meeting and the spot,For once be every care forgot;Let gentle peace assert her power,And kind affection rule the hour.We're all-all here.(Adapted from a poem by Charles Sprague.)God bless us to strengthen our families by avoiding the crafty designs ofthe adversary and following the noble ways of the Lord, so that in due timewe can report to our Heavenly Father in his celestial home that we are allthere, father, mother, sister, brother, all who hold each other dear. Each chair is filled, we are all back home.In the name, of Jesus Christ. Amen.
C 2004 Deseret Book. Printed from

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Math Manipulatives

Like most homeschooling families who have been at this awhile, we have a collection of math manipualtives. We have teddy bear counters, cuisenaire rods, geo boards, clocks, a balance, tangrams and pattern blocks. I have always allowed the younger children to play with the manipulatives. They like to make patterns, sort, stack, build and tell stories with them. They are all over the house a lot of times. I intend to tackle my school cupboard this week and hopeful at least partially control that.

We have recently had a revival of interest by all of the children in the pattern blocks, which are plastic shapes that can be used to make designs. Brennen has taken the rombuses for his babies and has started carrying them around. They sometimes become cars and race around the furniture and room. The other day we were going to run some errands and as he was climbing in the car and I was trying to hurry him into his seat so that I could buckle him he began screaming, "I need to see Daniel! Where is Daniel? Is he all right? I need to check on him." I knew that it would be easier if I stopped rushing him and let him do what he felt was urgent. As we don't know anyone named Daniel I asked him who and where Daniel was. Brennen just ignored me and went to the ashtray on the door and opened it. He pulled out a rombus, began to stroke it and said, "Hi, Daniel, are you okay? Okay." Then he put it back in and climbed into his seat completely satisfied.

Oh the versatility of math manipulatives.

My Order

Money is allotted t0 the families at either the beginning of the year of at the beginning of each semester, depending on the charter school. The parent chooses what they will purchase and from where and submits the order to their ES, who turns it in, it is tagged when it comes in and then given to the families. Somethings are marked consumable, such as workbooks, art supplies, manipulatives, games and anything with many parts that could easily be lost. The rest of the items, which are mostly books, teacher resources, videos, CD's and audios are marked as nonconsumable and must be returned when the family leaves the school or whenever they are done with them.

I order some of the items on my own, ecspecially Christian things as these can't be purchased with school funds. I already have much of what I need for this year, so the list below is only part of what we will be using this year, but I thought I would share it to show the types of things that may be ordered. In addition to these things Aubrey will be taking drama, and Kamron violin with the school funds.

> Rainbow Resource> Blue Math Book 001186 $5> Flower Press 018080 $5.50> Understanding Time and Money, 024975 $11> Hermits Haven 026722 $21.95> Story of The World 3 031188 $43.50,> Good Queen Bess 026688 $13.25> Squanto 018371 $3.25> Linguafun 025460 $10.50> Rummy Roots 007729 $11.95> Latin’s Not So Tough 000736 $12.95,> Answer Key 000732 $3,> Flashcards 003265 $4,> CD 012662 $8> Wagner 002975 $3.50> Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage 005405 $6.95,> Mozarts Magic Flute 014096 $6.95,> Song of the Unicorn 005411 $6.95> LogicLinks 024188, $10.50> quoridor 000703,$25.50> Chanticleer and the Fox, 011784 $4.25> American Tall Tales Audio 026517, $7.50> Tell Me a Story, 010817 $7.50> Hank the Cowdog#1 020218, $3.95,> Children’s Spanish 034847, $48.50> Story of the World 1 025449, $39> Alice in Wonderland 013906 $14.95> Winnie the Pooh 014340 $24At the Back of the North Woods 034244 $13.95> Apples to Apples Junior 008837, $12.75> Dinosaur Mazes 020358. $6.50> Child Sized Masterpieces Level 3 003980, $11.95> Color your own art Masterpieces 023515, $6.75> Natureprint Paper 008774 $8.25> My First Sewing Book 020199 $12.25> Choo Choo Puzzle 012501 $6.95> Betsy-Tacy 026610 $4.75> $519.15

These from Recorded Books
1 - Caddie Woodlawn
Written By: Carol Ryrie Brink No one would accuse eleven-year-old Caddie Woodlawn of being dainty and ladylike. In spite of her mother’s best efforts, Caddie is as wild as the wind...
Unabridged Cassette (94215 - 5 Cassettes)
1 - King of the Wind
Written By: Marguerite Henry Generations of young readers continue to fall in love with Marguerite Henry’s “horse stories.” In one of her most famous, King of the Wind, the author...
Unabridged Cassette $29.75(93445 - 3 Cassettes)
1- Heidi
Written By: Johanna Spyri Orphaned at an early age, the young girl Heidi finds a home high in the Swiss Alps with her reclusive grandfather. There, each glorious day is filled ...
Unabridged Cassette (94710 - 8 Cassettes) $49.95

Horizon Charter School again

So Horizon wrote everyone this week and has reinstated the Rainbow Resource catalog. I don't know if my letters had anything to do with it, but they may have had a small part as I know the main one has been through three departments over there. I am happy with their decision, and my husband and I have discussed it and have decided to leave the children in Horizon. I do really like the classes that are offered to the children, and the resource center is wonderful. I also like my ES. Perhaps also if I stay and continue to be very vocal I can help keep the school on the parent choice track. This must be the feeling that many of the public school parents have when they are doing what they can to improve the schools.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sample Monday Schedule

Friend at breakfast
Clean up and morning chores
School prayer, singing time, recite poem and scripture, read a poem
Music study
Snack and picture books for younger children
Phonics little books
Lunch and clean up
Quiet time
Scriptures and picture books before bed

Sample Weekly Assignments

Here is a Sample weekly set of assignments for my suggested first grade for the first week.

Week 1

Copy 1 letter each day perfectly 6 times lowercase, then do the letters already learned this week 1 time. Do a,b,c,d this week
Work in Phonics Pathways for 15 minutes 4 days a week
Read 4 Little Books until the can be read perfectly
The Bible or Book of MormonListen to Introduction and Chapter 1 in Story of the World, have the child narrate Fifty Famous Stories Retold: "The Sword of Damocles" (Greek)Parables from Nature: "A Lesson of Faith"Aesop's Fables: "The Wolf and the Kid" (pg. 7 in the version illustrated by Milo Winter) and "Tortoise and the Ducks" (pg. 8 in the version illustrated by Milo Winter)Just So Stories: "Whale"A Child's Garden of Verses: a poem every dayPaddle to the Sea: chapters 1 and 2 On map Label and color Lake Nipigon, draw a tiny log cabin on the east side, draw the mountains around the lake. Label and color Canada
Do Math each day
Go on a nature walk and bring home something to draw into your nature journal
Draw in nature journal
Read 4 chapters from Peter Pan
Begin to learn hymn, sing songs the children know
Recite poem and scripture you are learning
Jumpstart Spanish or Spanish video for 15 minutes each day
Daily piano practice. I suggest about 7 minutes of focused time and the rest just playing around on the piano, creating songs and such.
Close your eyes and listen to Piano Concerto 20 by Mozart or get up and dance to it
Begin sewing a swamp creature puppet
Play a critical thinking game
Do 2 pages from either Lollipop Logic or Dr. DoRiddle
Have child look at a painting until they think they know it and then hide the painting and ask them to describe it, keep asking for more details until the child can give no more and then show them the painting and see how much the got, you can look at if you want to extend this study
Read from the Friend
Do something physically active each day
Watch 1 episode from Calvert Melody Lane

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Truthfulness and Exaggerations

I was talking to Kamron last night as I was putting him to bed and he asked me if there were any more miracles today. We had a good discussion and I told him of a few I knew of and then I told him that sometimes miracles are not so obvious. I told him about when my older brother was 19, after he had received his mission call, he and the bishop's son where out riding motorcycles and my brother got shot. The bullet had gone in and bounced back out off a rib and I think it was a type of miracle. I told Kamron that if ever his uncle was swimming he could look at his back and see the scar of two holes. Kamron replied, "Oh, I don't need to see it I know you are telling me the truth. You never lie to me, so I know I can believe everything you say. " Then after a minute he replied, "Mom, how can I be like that, where other people can always believe me?" We discussed the importance of never lying.

The reason this conversation hit me was because I did used to lie occasionally and I used to exaggerate quite a bit. In my family growing up exaggerations were part of our speech. I never thought anything about it really. When I said a million, people knew it wasn't really a million, it was just a lot. Then I got married and Kevin's family had different unspoken rules. I remember once telling my sister-in-law that there was a thousand somethings and her eyes got big and she said, "Wow, a thousand." She had taken me literally. I had to quickly correct myself and say, okay not really a thousand, but a lot. But I couldn't tell her how many. I had no idea really and I began to suspect that I was really bad at visually calculating amounts as I had never done it, I had always just made up a number without concern to accuracy.

Later when I read in volume one of Charlotte Mason's Homeschooling series where she discusses the mother taking the children out doors for the day. After awhile the children begin to get bored and the mother gives them something to go investigate, and then come tell her all about it. The children run and come back with a description of a tree, but can not tell if the bark is rough or smooth or what shape the leaves are. So they are sent again to find out. By this method Miss Mason would have us teach our children to be exact in their descriptions. I have often thought that training would be very good for me too. I have been trying to make myself be more exact in my descriptions and for me it can be hard, but it is a very worthy skill to have. As I get better at this I have found that there is a certain small joy in knowing the exactness of something and what you are able to put into words is really what it is. For those of you who have never been in the habit of exagerration, be thankful as it is not easy to break. I have had to correct myself many times, but slowly I have become more exact in my descriptions and I am thankful that this weak area is becoming more strong. And as Kamron discovered one of the fruits is that people can believe you when you speak, which is a nice feeling.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Matching Summer Dresses

I made this dress for Aubrey and Bitty. Bitty's turned out okay except I used a pattern for an 18" doll not realizing that she was wider and so I had to add a piece of material in the back for the snaps. On Aubrey's it was the first time I had put in a zipper and I kind of got it accept it was not perfectly straight on one side so it bubbled. Also the bias tape around the top is standing up and I couldn't figure out how to get it to lay down. I learned how to do the Peter Pan collar and the sleeves, so I figure even with the mistakes I came out with a few things that I now know how to do that I didn't before.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Sample First Grade Plan

A friend of mine asked me to help her plan a good first grade year for her son. This is my daughters first grade year, but slightly tweaked for a child who is coming in from the public school system. All the prices and order numbers are from unless otherwise noted.

Begin formation of letters every day, copying 1 letter 6 times perfectly four days a week. After all letters can be written start copying a meaningful sentence from one of the books we are reading. Using Phonics Pathways, study phonics ten minutes a day, also read 1st grade readers. Have a free reading time to read easy books. My suggested first grade reading sequence is Fabulous Phonics Little Books, $10.75 014953, Bob Books sets 1-3 $55.95 BOBSET, Pathway Reader Preprimer, $5.75 001951, Bob Books sets 4-5, Pathway Reader Days Go By, 001952 $5.75, Pathway Reader More Days Go By, 005107 $5.75. I would also intersperse any picture books you have that are on the child’s level.

I read aloud to her Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Milo Winters read two a week and have the child narrate, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare Audio version can be found here for $19.95, listen to 3 during the year or read three from Tales from Shakespeare by Mary and Charles Lamb. Blue Fairy Book $8.25 005755, read two a week, Just So Stories listen to audio during tape time 014183 $23.95, King of the Golden River, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Red fairy Book, St. George and the Dragon, The Velveteen Rabbit, Little House in the Big Woods, Brighty of the Grand Canyon most of these can be found at the library or most book stores. Always look for the unabridged versions.

Begin Math-U-See or Miquon Math 001184 Orange Book $5, 001185 Red book $5. Annotations $11.50 001191, Notes to teachers 001190 $5 and First Grade Diary $5 001192. Cuisenaire Rods $14.25 006380.

Work on the beetle collection. Raise and observe butterflies Live Butterfly Garden $17.25 003539 or hermit crabs Hermits Haven 026722 $21.95. Identify during or after nature walks, draw and write names in nature journal ($6.75 001270), of 5 bugs, birds, flowers, rocks, and trees-perhaps pressing (Flower Press 018080 $5.50) and gluing some things. Read The Burgess Bird Book $5.95 024241. If you don’t have field guides you may want the Audobon ones for insects, birds, flowers, rocks and trees. Also a good rock identification kit such as the Rocks and Minerals Basic Collection $14.00 002277 helps a lot in identification.

Story of the World 1 CD, $30.75 025448 this book starts out with the earliest peoples as wanderers/hunters, where we know that Adam and Eve farmed and had flocks other peoples did wander/hunt, also it does get into the belief of gods and idols you may want to introduce this or skip these chapters until later. Fifty Famous Stories Retold text is free and for purchase here, or you can purchase the audio version here for $19.95 Viking Tales is free and here Benjamin Franklin by Ingri D'Aulaire $13.95 003451, George Washington by Ingri D'Aulaire $13.95 003439, Buffalo Bill by Ingri D'Aulaire $12.95 000193. You will also want a large wall map one option is $11.75 031952, also get a globe.

Read When We Were Six, When We Were Very Young, Children’s Garden of Verse and Falling Up all of which can be found in the library or at most book stores. Read 1 to 4 a day.

Memory Work
Memorize 15 poems, 10 scriptures and 15 songs onto memory tape.

Use Jumpstart Spanish, watch Spanish movies once a week (Lyric Language $10.50 027266, Bilingual Baby $13.95 015212, Hola Amigos Set $48.50 034847) and use Spanish phrases (Kids Stuff Spanish $18.95 from here in every day conversation. Know 200 nouns in Spanish by the end of the year.

Continue or begin piano. Play with instruments once a week with a little direction on how to do it. Watch 32 lessons from Calvert Melody Lane found here this kit includes the above DVD’s, a lap harp and music, recorder and music and a triangle. Learn 12 new songs from Wee Sing Sing-alongs and Wee Sing Fun and Folk, sing in primary program. Attend Strauss festival or some other music festival or child friendly concert, study 6 compositions each by Mozart $8.50 016309, Schumann $8.50 016316 and Wagner $8.50 016322.

Sewing felt shapes Lace a Swamp creature puppets $10.50 001212, Sew a stuffed animal kit Puppy $11 030387 or Dolphin and Baby $11 030384, Weaving potholders and other loopy projects $12.50 001729, Leather coin holder $2.15 003435.

Use Dr. DoRiddle $10.99 016244, read riddles books, do Lollipop Logic $9.50 000419. Play strategy games like checkers, Rush Hour Junior, $12.25 005257, Four in a Row or Toot and Otto $6.75 015310 and Set $9.75 008706.

Paddle-to-the-Sea $9.25 012450, Tree in the Trail $9.25 007001 and Seabird $9.25 007003. Have the child color in the area on the map ($16.95 007006) as each place is discussed make a little canoe, tree and seagull respectively to move across the maps as each place is discussed. Occasionally look at the locations on the wall map and globe. Also build a world map puzzle $7.75 017359, and US map puzzle $11.50 029604 sometimes.

Read stories from the real scriptures episodes broken down here Have one on one study time with Mom or Dad studying topics of his choosing or just him reading the Book of Mormon once a week. Listen to Scripture Stories on tape from the distribution center.

Continue with art plan. Study John Waterhouse, Peter Breugal, and Glenn
Olsen by looking at 6 paintings from each, visually memorizing one painting at a time for two weeks each. Purchase a Glenn Olsen calendar the other can be purchased from Angela Zimmermon for $16 a set paypal to or you may print out your own at

Church History
Read children’s biography of Brigham Young, John Taylor, pioneer stories with pictures from Friend.

Physical Education
Swim, bike, trampoline, hike and walk. Take 3 classes through the parks and rec at $35 each.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Feeding the Birds

The bird bit Kevin.
This butterfly was not actually from Marine World, but those there reminded me of this one we had raised one year for science. Kevin did a really neat photographic study of them.

Marine World Trip

Two of my brothers came in from Utah a week and a half a go. The oldest with his wife and four children and the youngest with his wife. We all got together and went to Marine World, which not only had fun rides, but it was a good learning experience too. For the first hour and a half Kevin and I and some of my siblings and a few other relatives went on the roller coasters while the other adults watched all the kids. Then we took our kids on the childrens rides and to see some of the animal shows.

Brennen was very nervous with the butterflies. We went out to eat afterward with most of the family and Aubrey got sick in the restaurant--that was not fun. =). All the rest of us were sick shortly thereafter with some kind of 12 hour flu. But other than that the day was really fun. I do still enjoy roller coasters and must admit that that was my favorite part-how uneducational.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Calvert Music Class

Calvert makes a video based music theory class for homeschoolers entitled Melody Lane, that we have recently been using. My children have really been enjoying this class. Each lesson is only 8 to 10 minutes long and explains musical concepts in a very engaging clear manner. I think it is well worth at least a once a week time slot in the curriculum. It always amazes me how much we can accomplish in all of these little ten minute time slots, added up together they make up a very well rounded education with afternoons still free. Of course, everyone familiar with Charlotte Mason has read about the delight the children bring to their work when the lessons are kept short along with the greater level of attention paid to the work. I have seen it again with this course. The children really enjoy the class as it teaches songs, but also real musical ideas such as intervals, beat, melody and rythm, so that the children have to pay complete attention and think a little bit to grasp all of the concepts. They always ask for one more class, but I have noticed that the attention span diminishes with each consecutive episode. It is better to do no more than one a day. I think ideally we will use this class every other year from 1st through 6th grade. It doesn't appear that they sell it seperately, but you can see it with instruments here,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Response From the Charter

Okay one thing I like about what is going on is the whole thing is working like it should. A school makes a decision the parent voices the concerns, the school changes or does not and then the parent is able to choose to stay or not and there are other schools to choose from that are set up to please the parents and in the long run the child wins and gets the best education. Everyone should have these options.

Below is their response and my reply.

Dear Melissa,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Rainbow Resource. I understand your concerns and want to assure you that the decision was not made in haste or without much thought. In fact, the problems with Rainbow Resource have been discussed for months. Countless staff hours were devoted to solving the problems of inappropriate materials being ordered, received and returned.However, the numerous problems continued and it became necessary to removethem from our list.

I hope that you will work with your ES and with our Curriculum Coordinator to find the materials that you need for your students. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please feel free to contact me at anytime.
LuAnn BooneExecutive Director

Dear LuAnn,
I am saddened by your response, as it shows a greater concern for yourselves than the students and parents. I have also spent countless hours researching the best materials for my students in each subject area and if I would have to find each item I need in a dozen different places it would take me countless more if it could be done at all, and I am not getting paid, while this is you job. But I will let those in the class I teach know along with the Sacramento Homeschoolers list and we will be moving on to a charter that is willing to put up with a little hassle for the much greater benefit of the students.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Horizon Charter School Woes

So the Charter School we homeschool through is starting to get under my skin. After assigning all of the kids essays last year, not allowing children to come to the resource center, charging $125 enrollment fee and frankly having too many layers for the administrators to be affected by the feedback of the parents they took my favorite vendor out of their approved vendor list. I think it may just be the last straw with me. I was pretty upset and I'd still be sad accept I just talked to another independantly owned charter school that just opened last year that offers more money for resources ($3200 a year), no intake fees, a resource center where children are invited and very few layers with their driving philosophy being parent choice. They already approve my favorite vendor, Rainbow Resource, but said if there is any vendor that I would like just ask them and they will try to get them on the list as quickly as possible, including private instructors for violin, gymnastics, swimming and drama. It is like a big removal of a headache.

Below is my letter to Horizon about Rainbow Resource.

I called the school to try to speak to someone about the Rainbow Resource catalog being taken off the approved vendor list. No one knew who made those decisions- they are understaffed for the summer. I am not sure if you make these decisions, but thought you might know who does. I have also written my ES, on this issue. I know that this is your summer vacation, but I feel it is important and so would really like you to consider what I have to say and talk to whomever makes these decisions.

The reasons I got for taking Rainbow Resource off the approved vendor list was because they also sell Christian material and there had been some things ordered that had Christian content and had to be sent back. I do understand that this is a hassle, but I think it is one worth dealing with as the benefits outweigh the cost. Rainbow Resource is a huge catalog, almost 1200 pages this year. They do their best to include everything for the homeschooler. Obviously this is going to include some Christian material, but it also includes much that is not. The amount of stuff that is not is huge allowing the parent to order almost everything they need from one place while still being extremely selective in their choices so that they can have the materials to educate their students in the best way possible. Also every item on my list for this next year that I found in approved sources was cheaper through Rainbow Resources. They have always been cheaper and because of this more supplies can be ordered for the students or the money can be used to take courses at the learning centers. Rainbow Resources also offers free shipping for purchases over $150 and as the Charter School, rightly or wrongly we won't get into, still charges the parents the shipping costs. This amount that they charge the parents, but was actually not charged to them can certainly pay the shipping fee for the occasional book that was mistakenly ordered, by the parent who did not realize it had Christian content, to be returned.

As far as excluding them, because they also sell Christian material, one does not have to think very far to realize the gross discrimination that that is. Also many more vendors such as A Brighter Child would have to be excluded as they also sell some Christian material.

So while I understand that it would take a little more work for the administration to double check and return an occasional item I think the benefits to the students outweigh that. And frankly aren't we all doing this for the students? I hope the people making these decisions can offer a quick yes to that. Sometimes I do wonder if they aren't much more interested in the money than the children.

But let's say they are more interested in the money. From that stand point I will tell you why they should reinstate the catalog. Not only are the supplies cheaper, but most of the other charter schools do approve this vendor. I was discussing this with the Sacramento Homeschoolers elist and found that South Sutter Charter who is set up by the parent company, IEM, that set up Horizon originally before Horizon broke from it, not only does approve Rainbow Resource, but they also give the parents between $1400 and $1700 a year with no intake fee. They also pay their ES's more than Horizon. In other words there are options for the parents and the more Horizon tries to control the set of parents that are working hard to provide a good education for their students the less inclined they will be to stay. And as parents who are working hard for their students leave so will the money associated with them. Of course they will still be able to keep the ones who are homeschooling because they can't make it in public school and this is their last option, but somehow I don't think that most of those students will increase the Charters test scores, enabling them to keep their charter. If that is the case I think it may damage their pocket book too.

I do understand that they are suggesting that we look at A Brighter Child and Home Learners Catalog as replacement vendors, but neither of these had even half of what I need for next year and both were more expensive on every item.

I bragged to my Beginning Homeschooling class I taught about the really good learning centers and fabulous resource center available to parents through Horizon and I really hope the good continues to outweight the bad. Please do what you can by voicing my concerns to the right people.
Thank you,
Melissa Calapp Parent to two Horizon students and Horizon graduate


Burnout Prevention Interview Questions from homeschoolingahouseful elist and my answers.

1. How do you use wisdom and order in your home and your homeschool?
This is a big question, but what I do throughout the year is take time off for planning in detail, organizing the house and training to new chores then it helps me start back up ready to go.

2. How do you prevent homeschool burnout?
I try not to worry about the little things. If my son misses a Spanish lesson today, after the end of 18 years he is still going to come out okay. I also take off school when I feel I need it, so we may school for 12 weeks take off two weeks, school for six weeks take off two, six more, one off etc. I do better without a yearly start and end date. We also just keep going from year to year without waiting for the official start date. Saying that I have found that in between years whenever they fall, the more planning I do the better because mid year I am not as excited by the new years work and tend not to want to do it as much.
I think another thing I do is make sure what we are doing is interesting which is why I love Charlotte Mason, the work is enjoyable and I learn so much.
Also I train the children to independant works as early as I can so that they take the responsibility of it and I am not playing the pushing game. We also instituted a two hour quiet time which is usually followed by a movie and this gives me three hours a day to get the things done that I need to do.

3. What are some of your favorite resources (articles, books, scriptures,songs, groups) for battling back from or preventing burnout?Okay this may sound weird, but I really think a journal is one of the best resources, because you can write down everything that is going well and has worked and the reasons you are doing this and how wonderful your kids are, then you can go back and read it and remember and it is uplifting.I also find elists invaluable, because every question you have someone else seems to have faced and can give you suggestions.

4. How do you remember the reasons for homeschooling when it is hard?Journal. Also keeping up with the news about what is going on in the government schools. I have also done topical scripture studies about my responsibilities as a parent and this has helped to firm up the-why-I-need-to-do-this foundation.

5. What are some ways you use delegation to prevent burnout?I once attended an enrichment where they discussed how to train children to do chores at home. They passed out a list of what children were capable of at what ages and I was amazed. I went home and started teaching my 3 and 5 year old to do some of them and they really were able to help me. Now my kids do all of the picking up, much of the washing (things like doorknobs, carpet spots etc.) and some of the organizing and they are 6 and almost 8. As they get older and the little ones grow I fully intend to pass on the dishes and laundry too.I also occasionally have an older child help with a younger. For instance my 7yos will listen to my 6yod do her phonics lesson or read picture books to the 2yo or my 6yod may be put in charge of playing with the 1yo while I make dinner. I train the children in watching younger siblings. I show them what toys are appropriate and what the child is learning about, for instance my 2yo is learning to count so I tell the older two they can help him learn by building block towers and coutning the blocks. I also explain that the 1yo loves to knock the block towers down and that is just fine and is a great way to entertin him.

6. What are some things you do to fill your bucket to keep from burning out?Scriptures, creating a peaceful atmosphere in our home, reading homemaking and homeschooling books, reading novels, getting outside, going visiting, talking to my husband, planning and playing with the children.

7. What have you done to keep homeschooling during trials or other stressfultimes for your family?I just doggedly perservere and try not to take on more responsibilities then I feel I can handle. I think, to be honest, sometimes it is just my stubborness that keeps me focused and commited.

8. What are some relaxing fun ways you have homeschooled during times ofstress?We read aloud a lot. During one stressful year we actually, dare I say it, dropped math textbooks completely and used part of the time to read math and science books-and guess what, my son now likes math when it was torture the first year. We also use a lot of audio tapes, and some educational videos, games and computer porgrams which helps without me being directly involved.

9. What are some ways you have organized and created order in your home andhomeschool?During my major planning session I go through all of the books in the house, pull out the ones we will need for the year and they go in the 'school' bookcases and other books we are not planning on using now get boxed up. We do the same thing with other school supplies which we keep in a large cabinet.I have also found that a looser schedule works best for us. We schedule by week and I have a rough idea of what I want done each day, but if it all gets done by the end of the week we are good. I make 36 weekly plans during my major scheduling time, but only print out the first 12 as I find that after the first term I often need to tweak things before printing out the next batch.

10. Laundry, Dishes, meals, and housework what are some ways you cope withthese never ending cycles to prevent burnout?I do one load of laundry a day, the dishes once to three times a day. We eat a lot of really easy meals and canned, packaged and frozen dinners-I am not much of a cook. My kids help with the housework and I work on it daily during our clean up time. We also tend to have people over at least once a week which really helps, because we always clean really well before anyone arrives. Also if I am really not in the mood to clean I find that if I read a chapter from a homemaking book (I have a large collection, mostly from the 60's, 70's ad 80's) then I feel encouraged enough to clean. Our spring cleaning and heavy duty chores are either done during a break from school, as extra paid work for the kids or when my husband gets tired of something enough to clean it=).

11. What have you done to homeschool while moving to prevent burnout?I have moved 7 times in 9 years, so I should be good at this. I try very hard to keep up our regular schedule, then I begin packing about 6 weeks before the move so that I can do little bits here and there as I have time. I also do the deep cleaning at this time. The current school stuff is some of the last stuff to pack and we usually continue using it until a day or two before the move. We almost always take the first week or two off in our new place as all my time is consumed by setting up the house. I usually enlist family to help too. The children can begin their independant work shortly after we have moved and then when most things have found a home I'll pick up the basic subjects and slowly add the extras in as things get more organized.

12. What have you done to homeschool when pregnant or with a new baby toprevent burnout?
I have been fortunate here as my pregnancies are not that hard, just tiring. I use quiet times for naps which means a lot of other things have to be done at other times, so we may drop 'extra' subjects for awhile and I may let the children watch more videos or play computer games. I have not found that a new baby throws us off much as we just take breaks throughout the morning as the baby needs me. Sometimes we have done school during quiet time to make up for lost time in the morning or we may skip some of the extras.
Personally, I have found that a toddler throws me off more than anything. By two and a half or three I have enough independant activites for the preschooler to do, or he just joins us. But the ten month to two and a half period is the hardest for me. Not unsurmountable, just much more difficult.