Friday, September 17, 2010


I got beeswax awhile ago and tried to use it but found it tricky so I set it aside. Then recently I needed a duck for a story and did not have one so I thought of the wax. My hands bother me sometimes so I was reluctant to try to mold the hard wax, but to my delight as I got going with it it became warm and pliable. Then as children do, my daughter wanted to make something. I think her projects turned out very well.

For a good video on creating with beeswax see .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Montessori Work

Seth has been asking for "activities" lately. My Montessori materials are not all set up yet, but I have a few that he is able to use. Of course when he does them the other children want to also. It is interesting for me to start over again with these activites. Logan worked through them and Seth is only my second to start at the beginning. He has a hard time following them through to completion, but I get to see that focused attention peek out every once in awhile. When he spills beans for his pouring activiy he immediately stops to pick them up. I find the order within the Montessori activities is very enjoyable and calming even for me as I teach them. Now I just need to get everything organized for the rest of them.

End of Summer Adventures

We went to Fairy Tale town with my sister and mother-in-law. Then for Brennen's birthday he wanted to go to the zoo. He said it was the greatest birthday ever. It was a lot less work than having the 13 boys over to have a nerf gun war for Kamron's birthday, but they also had a blast. Kamron was so excited to have so many of his friends together at one time.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mother's Are the Heart of the Home

I know that my position in the home is powerful-I know I am the heart of the home, and sometimes I feel like since this is so my home must be on its deathbed. We are having an unorganizational heart attack currently and I am grumpy, which makes for unhappy children and husband. I wish I could say it was a mild unhappiness, but it is not-I have seen my kids look a little insecure, which is the absolute opposite of what a home should be. But I am going to repent and get organized and learn to pick up my own stuff so that my kids can at least visualize what it is and my section, which is an awfully large part of it, will be clean.

Today I am caught up with all of my work, work and have no appointments until Wednesday. Tonight I am going to fold the mountain of laundry and clean, and tomorrow I am going to create a memory with my children with a nature walk and outside game, making yarn dolls and a mathematical puppet show, because that is the subject that needs the most spark right now. Did I mention that I just had my kids tested? The three older are all above grade level in reading and language arts, two are not doing so hot in math, so we are going to declare Tuesdays math days and pull in puppet and chalk stories, Montessori manipulatives and good old fashioned drill to see if we can get them to understand numbers more intuitively, so that when asked what 2.3 and a half are they would never choose 24, because it simply doesn't make sense.

After all that study, I am going to organize something-not sure what yet. It all needs done, except the kitchen, which was done last week. And while I am doing all of it, I am going to pray and repent and pull those rhythms in to create that structure and security that is non-negotiable for our family to function.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Philosophy of Education

I travel and work with families who homeschool. One mother asked me what philosophy I follow. Umm, well I pull a lot of my book choices-what I read to the kids, and what I offer them for their own reading-and ideas from Charlotte Mason inspired programs. At one point I was pretty close to a purist with this method. My younger children do a lot of Montessori type things, and some Waldorf. Our handwork is often very Waldorf inspired. Aubrey,10, and Brennen, 7, are going to a Waldorf school one day a week for handwork, wet-on-wet watercolor, spanish and eurythmy and Kamron, 12, is going to a TJed Lemi trained co-op one day a week for Key of Liberty and Shakespeare, very excitedly and all of his own accord I might add-just how the TJed philosophy says he should. So what philosophy do we use? We use what fulfills my goals and my children's goals. I find that many of the philosophies overlap and so I use parts of several of them. For instance, you will find that handwork is a key part of Charlotte Mason, Waldorf and even Montessori. CM and Montessori ask that this work be practical and teach real skills. Waldorf asks that this work fill the need of mastering something difficult and be beautiful and natural. All ask that the hand be trained. The ideas dovetail and work well together. All three teach the skill of attention-just in different ways. They each respect the child as an individual, in what they take from what is offered, so does TJed. Perhaps, this is the philosophy I follow-one of respecting individuality, but with very high expectations. I like to know about all philosophies and help my little ones take whichever parts will best meet their needs.