Homeschool Workboxes And Settling In

I finally feel like we are settling in here in TX.  I started back up with homeschooling a couple of weeks ago and I have been swamped with that and the housework ever since.  I’m finding that a smaller space is much harder to keep up with and not having a dishwasher makes for twice as much work, though I don’t hate it.  I’ve been busy most days from morning till night going and going.  It’s not all work though, we do spend a lot of time at the park. 

I also discovered “Workboxes” about 2 weeks ago.  I heard another mom on my homeschool email group talking about it and couldn’t resist looking it up.  The whole idea has changed homeschooling for me in a very positive way.  I may have mentioned a few times that teaching can be overwhelming, while I love it, there is a huge amount of information I have to keep in lists or in my head, I have to be able to direct one of my children to work on an assignment while I’m working with the other and keep prompting them with what is next.  The workboxes idea has cut that down to half, at least.  I saw the best presentation of different workbox ideas at this website http://www.squidoo.com/workboxes  I went with the roller carts which I will explain in just a moment.  The idea is to enable your children to work independently and have their entire day’s worth of assignments arranged in one place.    This is how the idea is working for me;  Each assignment or project is placed in a different box (drawer in our case) and a removable number is attached to each drawer with work still in it.  Once the child has completed the drawer, turned in the work and put away the book/supplies, the drawer is finished and they get to take the number off the drawer and place it on a chart that holds all the numbers.  When all the drawers are empty they are finished for the day.  Some people, I noticed, placed snack time or play time in some of the drawers.  I have found that I might put some “went to the park/Library/Field trip” cards in a spot where they can exchange them for work in the drawers if our day gets interrupted (which happens often) so for example if we decide to go to the park, I can allow them to skip an assignment since the time got cut short.  On the top of the roller carts I have a file box where I prepare all the work a week in advance so that I can simply fill up the boxes each night without a lot of  prep.  So far this is working very well.  The first week, I assigned too much work in my enthusiasm.  This week is going much better now that I have a  sense of how much work is realistic.  The kids seem to like it too because they know what is expected of them.  Picture number 3 shows the file box where I put all the work.  Picture number 2 shows a couple of assignments in the drawers.  We do a lot of work on the computer so I often just have to put a note in the drawer.  Picture number 1 shows the workboxes about half full with the numbers and charts.  I hope this all makes sense.  The Workboxes idea has made my life SO much easier!      

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Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Moved!

It started to feel there for a while like we would never get moved but it has indeed happened!  It was a crazy experience with lots of pouring rain and general mishaps but we are all moved into our temporary home in Texas.  We are renting a double-wide trailer in a mobile home park that is just down the street from Patrick’s base.  He has started classes already and is enjoying them.  I have started back with homeschooling too.  It’s nice to be back to a routine.  I really like the small town atmosphere and everything is green and beautiful this time of year.  I’m told that it will get very hot soon, it’s already warm and after a Utah winter, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

So glad to be in Texas!

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Unbreakable Promise

 

I have not placed my hopes in fairy tales or wishful thinking but upon a promise made to me by Someone who has proven to keep all of His promises.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ which was first proclaimed by women, which no man who wanted to make up a story in that time period would have admitted to and then witnessed by crowds, written of by men who all died torturous deaths, proclaiming it till the end and never denied it though they died separately from all the others, these men who were afraid and shattered at His death made sudden turnarounds in courage and boldness as though they had seen something which gave them such confidence in life beyond the earth, that they feared nothing.  A resurrection that both the Romans and Jews could not bring evidence against though they searched and searched.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a promise that because He was resurrected, I will be too.  God has never broken a promise and I believe Him. 

John 20:26″ And after eight days again the disciples were inside, and Thomas with them, Jesus came, the doors having been shut(they were hiding), and stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here you hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, ” Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed”

1Thessalonians 4:13 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep(have died), that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep(died) in Jesus (believers).  15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep(died). 16 For the Lord Himself (Jesus) will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and then we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:51 ” Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep(die) but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death Is Swallowed Up in victory. 55 “O Death, Where Is Your Victory? O Death, Where Is Your Sting?”

Philippians 3:20 “for our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Romans 10: 11 “For the Scripture says, ” Whoever Believes in Him Will Not Be Disappointed”

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Boxes

The house is filling up with boxes.  We have just over 2 weeks till the move.  I’ve been too busy to write much but wanted to give an update.  We are also taking a break from school so I can focus on packing, painting, and cleaning.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Royalty Training

We have been studying about the believer’s position in Jesus Christ.  Just where do we stand?  It’s a really cool subject.  The believer is said to be seated “with Christ” in God’s throne room(Ephesians 2:6).  He(in his humanity) is said to be seated  “at the right hand of the Father”(Ephesians 1:20).  This is the highest rank available.  Believers are also said to be “in union” with Jesus Christ both in his death, because our sin natures died with Him and also in His resurrection life where He is right now seated in the highest rank that exists(Romans 6 :3-5).  We get everything He gets, we have everything He has.  We don’t earn or deserve it we simply receive it because at the moment of belief, God the Holy Spirit places us in union with Jesus Christ.  It’s called baptism and has nothing to do with water.  We are identified with Christ, we become inseparable from Him.  We are in Him, He is in us.  We are granted a spiritual royalty. 

Ok, so spiritually,  in the eyes of God, everything that God loves about Jesus is in me and that is what God sees, my position.  Now, on earth, we don’t automatically know that we have this position.  We have to learn about it for one thing and we also have a sin nature that is positionally dead still working in our bodies.  So, sinless perfection is not something we experience here and now although we own it positionally.  Mind boggling!  I absolutely love it. 

I’ve had this analogy floating around in my head of a King who found a scrawny wretch of a young beggar woman and decided to marry her.   It took some time for her to believe it was real because seriously, who would do that?  Anyway, she accepted the proposal, now instantly, she was granted the status of royalty but had no skills either in manners or speech.  The king placed her in the custody of a counselor who’s job was to train the young woman in how to live like the royalty she truly was.  She basically needed a complete education plus learning how to walk, talk, eat, and think like royalty so that she could live and work with the King.   When the training was complete she and the king would be married.  It wasn’t a sham and she had everything to gain.  The training would not be difficult if she believed herself to be in the position of royalty even though she couldn’t perform as such for a long time and even occasionally ran back to her old life when things got difficult.  Apparently this was a VERY understanding king. 

It’s not a perfect analogy by any means, I know, but it made sense to me that we are in something like royalty training.  We have the position but we have to learn how it works.  We are getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit is our counselor who teaches us the word of God which is the very thinking of Jesus Christ. 

I’m enjoying learning about the connection between position and experience and how very rich I am right now.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Not A Formula For Perfection

I recently purchased a writing course for my son.  The course comes from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  It’s been a really great curriculum so far and I’ve observed at least a 90% improvement in my son’s writing!  That being said, the writing situation was pretty bad to begin with.  I could barely get him to write more than one sentence and they were awful.  I couldn’t seem to find the words to help him.  Now he is writing whole paragraphs about really interesting subjects or any subject that we might be working on.  I can’t say that he loves it or even likes it but I can see how it is helping him and building confidence.

There is a teacher course that I’m watching alongside the student lessons and while I was listening the teacher, Mr. Pudewa, he made a point that resonated so much with learning doctrine, I had to write it down.   Making sure that we understood that this was a very important point, he said, (I’m going to paraphrase) ” This is not a formula for perfection but instead practice of skills which will make complicated scenarios easier to navigate in the future”.  He was referring to the idea that each skill taught will be required in each piece of writing from lesson one till the student either leaves home or gets a new teacher.  So eventually there may be quite a check-list of skills to apply at writing time.  He was also trying to express that this may not churn out the most beautiful papers you have ever seen but it will create a storehouse of skills to call upon when a difficult piece of writing is required in the future.  I thought of how much like learning doctrine this was.  We learn day by day one skill at a time and from that time on, skill one is required just as much as skill 200.   In just the same way it’s not a formula for human perfection and I often think it is, I get hung up on thinking that the skills I’m using like rebound and the faith-rest drill are leading up to experiential perfection, like shooting a perfect basket in basketball.   The practice of skills is training for our benefit because when we face a complicated scenario, we can look at it and see something in it we have practiced many many times and it becomes less complicated.  The fruit of God the Holy Spirit will be a result of daily training not a result of some system that promises to lead to perfection.  I love the daily aspect because the application of skills learned one by one gets awkward at times and messy but God has a plan that is perfect and I only have to take it day by day. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Busy Time

I’ve been asking myself lately why I can’t seem to come up with anything to write about on my blog.  I’ve done a pretty good job of thrashing myself over not writing posts but since that didn’t really inspire me to want to write anything, I have come to the conclusion that this is just my busy time of year.  From January through Spring we do a pretty large chunk of school work and with packing up the house.  I am swamped.  At the end of the day I don’t have a lot of energy for writing. 

So, no more thrashing myself for not having any “deep” thoughts, I’m not supposed to right at the moment.  On the other hand, school with the kids is going really well, we are having fun and also moving forward.  I’m not stressing but I do feel motivated and I think that is from the Lord.  The packing is also going at a steady pace and that feels good too.  We have a leave date of April 12, which is coming up pretty fast.  I’m looking forward to getting settled in Texas. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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