Monday, September 26, 2016

Bishop's Palace

Our co-op recently visited the Bishop's Palace, also know as the Gresham Castle. The house was built from 1887 to 1892 for Colonel Walter Gresham and his wife Josephine. Nicholas Clayton designed the house and today it is one of the finest "Broadway beauties" in Galveston.

Constructed of steel and stone, it survived the Great storm in 1900. Three stories over a raised basement level, with steep roofs and long sculptural chimneys. Typical of Clayton, he used a combination of simple geometric forms in bold massing to create an additional dramatic effect. The house includes abundant stained glass, wood carvings, and decorative plaster ceilings and walls. It is truly a beauty to see.

Located at 1402 Broadway Street in Galveston, TX 77550. Cost is $12 per adult and $9 per child 6-18, children 5 and under are free. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Transitioning from Public School to Homeschool

Many families are withdrawing their children from public school to homeschool. If this is you, then you have a greater challenge than those of us whose children have never known anything else. To give homeschooling the best shot, consider these three realistic expectations.

#1 The older the child is, the more time it will take to acclimate him/her to homeschooling. Give your children time to adjust and during this time maximize the opportunities homeschooling offers - freedom to control your schedule, apprenticeships, field trips, etc. If you merely recreate school at home, minus all the fun, your children will likely be resentful. They need to see the benefits of homeschooling in a tangible way.

#2 You need involvement in a support group or co-op. Your children are going to miss their friends at school. They need a new network of friends. Start networking with your homeschool community right away - attend activities before you withdraw your children from public school.

#3 Be strong in the Lord! Joshua 1:9 commands us "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be though dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Having worked with and observed children in many situations, I am convinced that strong leadership always brings the best behavior.

Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maps, Globes, Graphs - Level E

I used this course with my girls when they were in 5th grade and it is a great way to teach geography. Maps, Globes, Graphs - Level E is published by Steck-Vaughn. This course focuses on directions, symbols and legends, scale and distance, route maps, physical maps, special purpose maps, grids, latitude, longitude, the earth and sun, time zones, and graphs.

The workbook is consumable. The workbook is very colorful, and attractively laid out with maps or graphs on every page. Throughout each chapter, students will answer both simple and thought-provoking questions, fill in the blanks, and do map and graph work. Each section ends with a skill check.

Shop for the workbook and answer key.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cultivating a HEART for Missions

Jesus sent forth his disciples with these words from Mark 16:15 "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." As a homeschool mom, I place Bible above all other subjects because we are first call to disciple our children and then lead them into their academic studies. But it takes more than Bible study to cultivate a heart for missions.

H - Host a missionary. Open your home to a visiting missionary and let your children enjoy firsthand stories of God's work in another country.

E - Be an example. What you believe about the gospel, people, and missions must be visible. Show your children that missions are a priority by the way you spend your time, money, and talents. I am the treasurer/secretary to our missionary in Spain, so my children see me working weekly to prepare deposits and reports; and they are rewarded with a candy every time we make a trip to the bank. I also allow my children to help me when we have reports to mail, they help fold letters and stamp envelopes; and this is just one way we can all serve and further God's work in Spain.

A - Affinity. Build a personal relationship with a missionary. Connect with a missionary family that has children of similar ages. let your children become pen pals with the child closest to their age. This is a great way to keep up with current events and prayer needs in their part of the world.

R - Read the missionary letters. Read about the country they serve in and get to know the geography, culture, and people. But don't stop here. After reading, pray for the missionary and allow God to use you to help give to those in need.

T - Take a trip. Take a short mission trip close to home with your children - empower them to impact their world in ways that are relevant to them. My youngest daughter has been in the hospital so much and throughout all her stays, she has come home with many gifts. Our family wanted to bless others in return and now we take gifts to the children in the hospital at Christmas and we share the gospel by placing a tract with each and every gift. There is no better way for children to cultivate a heart for missions than to be a missionary!