Our Homeschool Curriculum: 2017-2018

Our Homeschool Curriculum 2017-2018

Homeschool “Christmas” in May

As we’re coming up on the summer, many homeschool families have already been busy selecting, ordering, and planning their homeschool curriculum for the upcoming school year.

Our Homeschool Curriculm 2017-2018

Box Day!

I fall into this category; let’s face it, I love looking at anything that has to do with books and learning.

Changes Happen

For the last two years we have been involved in a Classical Conversations Community, and while it was a great fit for a while, I realize with the changes happening in our family, it is no longer going to be feasible for us.

This led me to look at other curriculums that were better for us during this season of life.

After much prayerful consideration, and hours of researching different possible curriculum packages we decided to continue with CC memory work during our morning routine, and begin My Father’s World: Exploration to 1850 as our spine.

There are so many great books included in this session of the family cycle–which, by the way, I absolutely adore how MFW has a cycle that includes the family–and knowing I don’t have to add anything to it, because it is all included in the package, gives me an extra little pep in my step.

My eldest loves to study history, so it is great to see how excited she is to dive into learning about the early years of our country. She’s equally excited about delving into Botany later in the year. It’s going to be a great experience for our family, and will really focus us on things we might otherwise skip.

I personally am excited about the read-alouds and the book basket. These are things we have always done in our homeschool, but this time I don’t have to search for books that coincide with our studies. MFW has done that work for me. *Inserting a happy dance here*

Go With the Flow

While technically being new to MFW we should begin with Exploring Countries and Cultures, we decided to begin during the time period we’d be studying in CC. We’ll then continue on with 1850 to Present. Our plan is when our eldest is in eighth grade we will study ECC. This will bring my son (who will be entering second grade at that time) into it at the beginning of the cycle.

Our Curriculum 2017-2018-Kids-Wellofaith.com

One more reason to love homeschooling. I get to decide what would work best for my children, because I know them and understand them.

At least as much as anyone can understand their children–especially with “tweens” and “threenagers”.

We’re officially finished with school for the year, but since we are year-rounders, we’ve just moved on to something new and exciting. We’ll officially begin MFW the first Monday after the Fourth of July.

Until then I’ll just (im)patiently wait to begin. 🙂

If you’re a fellow homeschooler, what curriculum have you chosen for next year?

 

Blessings,

Sare Signature

 

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Six Things I Learned When I Quit Facebook

Six Things I Learned When I Quit Facebook

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or recieved or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of Peace will be with you.”

–Philippians 4:8-9

 

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This post contains affiliate links. See here for full disclosures.
When I discovered Facebook almost a decade ago, I never imagined it would be something that took on a life of its own. I sure didn’t expect that a social media platform would be something that could ever require the need of a hiatus.
Then one day, not long before the election, I realized I was in desperate need of cleansing myself from the constant updates, notifications, and interactions. During the four(ish) months I was away I learned a lot about myself, and the effect Facebook has on me. Here are six of them:

Facebook Can Bring Out the Worst in People

For every positive post on my feed, I found five negative ones. During the months leading up to the election even those people I counted on for encouragement and a Christian perspective suddenly posted less lighthearted and loving messages in favor of angry, judgemental, political posts.
This negativity while not directed at me, was still affecting my own spirit. There was so much darkness that it started to permeate every part of my day.

Facebook Worsens My Anxiety

Since I have already been dealing with heightened anxiety since the birth of my youngest, it doesn’t take much to push my anxious feelings to another level. Reading all the negative and hateful posts had me in a constant state of anxiety. I was having trouble sleeping–worrying about people I didn’t even know, and things I had no control over.
Six Things I Learned When I Quit Facebook __Well O' Faith

I could give my personal worries over to God, but for some reason, the worries of the Facebook world were never given to Him.

Facebook Made Me Less Social

Given the negativity and anxiety Facebook was bringing to me, I guess it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that it led me to avoid most physical interaction with friends and relatives.

With depression and anxiety comes a desire to be alone–or at least the belief you want to be alone.

After being bombarded by the cares, worries, and desires of those people on Facebook, I couldn’t afford to expend the energy on anyone else. Not even on myself.

I also fell into the false sense that I could be just as social through Messenger as I could in the physical company of a friend.

Though, to be honest, some of my nearest and dearest friends live too far away for me to sit in their presence; in that case Messenger has been a wonderful tool.

Without Facebook I Could Focus

During those months without Facebook, I found a focus I hadn’t had in years. I had removed the Facebook App from my Android devices, and without the ease of single touch, I no longer felt the overwhelming need to check-in several times (or more) a day.

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It was too much effort to actually have to go through the website.

Much to my husband’s surprise I could actually make it through a movie or a show without my attention drifting to my phone. In many cases, my phone wasn’t even with me– a wonderful side-effect for both of us.

I Was Present With My Family

Without Facebook (or my phone) taking my attention away, my family and I had the chance to make more memories. True, they aren’t photographed or chronicled on Facebook, but during those times we were one-hundred percent together.

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I experienced so much joy watching my children grow and change; snuggling with them as we read books, laughing together over the antics of characters in movies, and discussing whatever was important to them. Being able to focus on them without reaching for my phone was by far the greatest blessing I experienced.

I Had So Much “Free” Time

For the first time in too long, I finally had time. I wasn’t rushed, and if I wondered where the day had gone it had nothing to do with getting sucked into social media.

I read books.

Not just a chapter or two here and there, but actual books. Instead of being glued to Facebook, I was able to lose myself in the worlds of great writers and storytellers.

I earned a well-deserved “book hangover” from Killing Patton; and enjoyed an impromptu book club with my eldest as we read and discussed The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

I was creative.

Crocheted blankets, booties, hats, and washcloths were started and finished. And each Tuesday a friend came over and we enjoyed an hour of chatting and crocheting.

I spent time with the LORD.

Six Things I Learned__Time with God-- Well O' Faith

Without Facebook calling my name, losing myself in the Word became easier. I had time to not only read a verse or two, but could actually carve out time to dive deeper into books of the Bible I’d been neglecting.

Finding Balance With Social Media

I’ve slowly began to re-enter the world of Facebook. I still haven’t replaced the app on my phone (and I’m not planning on it).

There is so much joy and living to do outside of social media, that I don’t want to find myself suddenly trapped in old habits again.

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I know there is a balance needed, especially as a blogger, and I’ve learned valuable things about myself these past few months. There is a place in my life for Facebook and other social media platforms, but they no longer have the pull on me they once had.

It’s a brave new world out here, folks.

One where I’m not controlled by social media.

One where it is controlled by me.

Have you needed to detox from social media before? What changed for you? How long did you do it for? I’d love to know.

Blessings,

Sare Signature

SOLD!

Recently my mother sold the house where I grew up. This may not seem like a big deal, and months ago when she made the decision it wasn’t. Unfortunately, like with many events in my life, the true feelings didn’t become noticeable until much later.

Suddenly, today, my heart is breaking all over again.

The house–a mere pile of wood, cement, and nails– where my father and I discussed books over tea in the cool and quiet of the (always partially finished) basement, belongs to someone else.

No matter where I went, or what happened in my life, that man-made structure with forest surrounding it was my constant. I knew it would always be there, and I’d always have a place to return to.

The house already looks different. My mother, sister, and brother, have spent countless hours updating it, fixing it, and making it perfect for the new family to live in. The basement (which is finally finished) isn’t my father’s anymore. His books no longer line the walls, his cat no longer curls up in his chair, and his tea and teacups are no longer on the mini-fridge.

I know it doesn’t make sense, but knowing the house will no longer be the place I call home, feels like the death of my father all over again.

My mother doesn’t need that large of a house, and she’s already purchased her new home. One where she will undoubtedly be happier, and where she can make new memories. It’s funny how I can be happy for her while I still feel like I’m being buried alive by my own sorrow.

Today, turning to the LORD hasn’t been as spiritually lifting as it usually is. Instead of answers I have more questions. Instead of peace, I have unstoppable tears.

Good thing He is stronger than my doubts. His love is deeper than my sorrow, and I know that even though things aren’t clean and clear at this moment, tomorrow is another day, and He will still be there, offering His peace, joy, and comfort.

May God’s light shine on you today, and every day.

Changes in Life

Each new day that dawns brings changes, whether we notice these changes or not doesn’t make them less important. Not every change is HUGE. Not every change makes you stand up and take notice.

Every once in a while, though, a change (or even several) will occur that makes a HUGE and noticeable difference in your life. This year has already been a year of changes, and not all of them have been positive in their nature, even if they have led to positive things.

While each of these major life changes are important to who I am as a person, some of them deserve their own blog post, so I won’t include them here. Today, though, I want to focus on two things that have added a positive spin to my chaotic life.

Not long ago my husband and I contemplated purchasing a home, but as we began the process we quickly realized my student loans were going to be a huge (like $72,000 huge) hurdle. This led to our first aha moment. Even though this wasn’t really a positive thing for us, and it was a huge  disappointment, it came to be a huge blessing.

I started praying for something to come up that would help me use my soon to be finished degree and help me to pay down the student loans before they’re due.

This led to wonderful change number one.

A wonderful opportunity to help service members, veterans, and their spouses was introduced to me, and I have been able to join the team as a freelance writer; creating professional resumes and bios for these members as they transition to life in the civilian world. It has already proved to be exciting, educational, and although not exactly what I had expected, is pretty perfect for me.

The second amazing change to occur happened by chance. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw an announcement about Usborne Books and More. I’d heard of them in passing before, but had never really taken the time to look into them. This time, it felt like there was a tap on my shoulder nudging me to check it out.

It didn’t take me long to realize this was something I could truly get behind. As a book worm with a family of avid readers, I’ve always been a huge proponent of engaging children and adults with good books instead of video games. Joining the Usborne Books and More team definitely fits well with my family. I’m excited that these opportunities came just when I needed them to, and I’m so thankful to have the ability to remain home with my children while I work toward paying off those student loans.

To Journal or Not to Journal, That is MY Question

Pinterest is an amazing thing, and by amazing I mean an unimaginable time-sucking, black hole of inspiration that can either brighten a person’s day, or cause them despair over their own lack of creativeness.

The other day while I was wasting time  taking a break and scanning the latest pins on Pinterest, I came across this post on Bible journaling. Every time I see a post about journaling, it sets a fire inside my heart.

want to journal my Bible study. I need to journal my Bible study.

We’ll forget for a moment how horrible I am about remembering to journal, and instead focus on the small fact I can never decide what I want this amazing, important, and useful study tool to actually look like. I can’t even get past the bare bones of how I want it set up, so there is no reason to fret about actually using it, right?

Some people say that a plain composition book is all you need, while others have a much more aesthetically pleasing idea. I’m pretty sure my inner-librarian (the same one who cringes every time I force myself to hi-light a particularly meaningful verse in my Bible) would have a flat out panic attack if I journaled like this.

I know writing down my thoughts while I’m sitting at the feet of the LORD is important, and it would be a great way to reflect later on what I’d learned and where that knowledge took me. I just can’t seem to get past my own perfectionist tendencies that bog me down in the details instead of the big picture.

Do you journal? What kind of book do you use? Is it a handmade one, a spiral notebook you pulled out of your cabinet or a composition book you picked up at the office supply store? Do you decorate it and make it artistically appealing, or is it just your words and impressions on a white paper?

As always, I will turn to the LORD for answers to this problem, and maybe I should avoid Pinterest before it causes me even more confusion. 🙂

Blessings in the LORD,

Sare

Power of a Positive Mom

Recently I’ve been doing my daily devotions with the book The Power of a Positive Mom. For those mothers who are looking for God’s grace during the stressful times of motherhood, I highly recommend this book. Karol Ladd has made me smile even when I want to cry.

I’m not saying I’m naturally a positive mom. Quite the opposite. I find that I often don’t smile, not because I’m not happy, but just because I don’t ‘think’ about it. Truth be told, some days I can’t imagine smiling, because things just pile up until suddenly I’m lucky if I’m not walking around with a permanent scowl on my face.

For instance, my son has decided recently that his favorite thing to do is refuse to eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s his favorite food, he’ll throw it on the floor without tasting it. Do not pass go. This has been going on for days. Eventually he’ll finally eat, but sometimes the battle gets to be a little too much for my nerves.

My daughter has been actively testing her limits as well. She’s six, and I know that at this age, it is usual for them to start thinking more in terms of me, me, me. That knowledge doesn’t make the moments any easier to deal with. Especially when I know that my daughter is a beautiful child inside and out, and that she is generally gracious, caring, and helpful.

In my devotion this morning I read about the power of a smile and smiling even when you don’t want to. Not an hour after I decided I was going to do this did I fail. Miserably. However, with a lot of prayer for guidance and strength, I know the LORD will help be with this. I know that smiling at my daughter when she walks in a room will lighten her heart, and the same for my husband and complete strangers.

Smiles are contagious, and we should spread them like a very happy and healthy plague.

Like I said, I’m not a naturally positive mom, but I’m not a Debbie Downer either. It’s time to make sure I don’t become one.

Have you smiled today? I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments. 🙂

 

May the LORD keep you and yours,

Sare