“All your children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace,” (Isaiah 54:13).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Case of the Shoulda's

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We've all had breakfast, I packed my husband's lunch and now he's at work. The washing machine is running with a load of towels, and the dishwasher is full of breakfast (and some last night) dishes. The kids are upstairs getting their chores done, and I should be getting ready for the school day.

But first I want to take a moment to share something with you about that word -- should.

I've had a case of the "shoulda's" lately. You know, the voice in your head that says, "You should be doing this now," or "Your son should be reading better,"  or how about,  "You should be more organized!" (Do you hear it too?)

Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word should as -- obligation or duty; expectation.  Although it's a valid word, I don't think it's one we need to include in our vocabulary.

As moms, and especially homeschooling moms, we get down on ourselves easily. So much rides on our shoulders, and even though we have a competent God who gives us all the grace we need for each day, we still try to do it all ourselves. And then feel bad when we don't accomplish what we think we should.

The after-holidays/pre-testing time can be very stressful. Your so-called failings as a mom and teacher of your children seem to loom large and threaten to squash you. This is time to remember why we are doing what we are doing.

We are moms because God blessed us with our precious children. That is our first calling, to be rightly related to our children (as loving disciplinarians who show them the way to Christ). Our second calling is to the homeschooling lifestyle.

We have the privilege of being the ones to be there when the teachable "life" moments happen, so we can point them to Jesus and the biblical way to handle things, instead of their choices being shaped by peers in a secular, humanistic environment.

When you get down on yourself, remember this -- homeschooling is not an obligation or duty, it's a choice. And we have chosen well! God will bless our efforts, even when we fall short. (That's another opportunity to shine for Jesus, to show our kids that life is not perfect, even when you are serving Christ.)

So take some time today to hug your kids, especially if they are getting on your nerves. Get out a game and play together. Draw or color, read some books. Enjoy your life!

Before you know it, you will be looking back and wondering where the time went. Don't let grief over the shoulda's steal another minute from you!

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom," (Psalm 90:12 ESV).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Can't Get No Satisfaction?

One of the fun and amazing benefits of homeschooling is the things you learn while you study the material you are teaching your children. 

I checked out a great book from our local library (and I may purchase it for our own) called, "The Way We Work -- Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body," by David Macaulay. This is a reference book with great pictures drawn by the author, which break down very small parts -- like the atom -- into (relatively) understandable pieces.

I was struck by some of the language while reading this section about building atoms:

     "Left to their own devices, most kinds of atoms will contain the same number of electrons and protons . . .it is the attraction between positive (protons) and negative (neutrons) charges that holds an atom together.

     "Electrons travel around the nucleus in specific orbits called shells. Each shell can hold only a certain number of electrons, and as each one reaches capacity, a new one is formed . . .

     "When the outermost shell of an atom is full and there are no more electrons to place, that particular atom is said to be stable. This is not usually the case...Most atoms...spend their lives continually seeking fulfillment."  (page 19, emphasis mine)

Here is one of the most basic components of our body, too small to be seen by the naked eye, and if it had its way, it would make sure it was satisfied. Yet it is always seeking to be fulfilled.

If tiny particles in my body are not satisfied, is it any wonder that I struggle to be fulfilled with my life -- what I have, what I eat, who I am?

We will never be content without the indwelling of the Spirit of God, through the saving power of Jesus Christ in our life. As the psalmist says:

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth," (Psalm 73:25 NASB).

And speaking of science-y things, the THESIS Science Fair is this year!

I know it is early, but I'm mentioning it because Jessica Peterman, who is teaching the middle school class some fun and exciting Mythbusters-based science, has created a timeline to keep the fair from sneaking up on you!

This is for the middle school class, but it could be used by anyone. Just click here to get a copy you can download.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Testing 101

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Is this your first year to test your child? Do you have questions about the procedure? Do you feel anxious? If so, please know that you are not alone!

Here's the scoop:

  • THESIS acts as a testing center for CHEWV (Christian Home Educators West Virginia) testing, with Liz DeRoos as the TCC (Test Center Coordinator) for Marion County. 
  •  In order to have your child tested with THESIS, you must be a member of CHEWV. 
  •  If you are not currently a member, do not despair! You can join and pay your membership fee at the same time you sign up for testing.

How do I register for testing?

Click here to register for all types of testing, as well as to download the mail-in registration form.

You may REGISTER ONLINE by midnight this Friday, January 4th, for the earlybird discounted price (a couple of dollars per test) -- but you have until Monday, January 28th to finally register. It is important to get your registration in by that final date, as you may not be able to test with CHEWV if you wait.

If you prefer to mail your registration, and you are a member of CHEWV, you received a newsletter from them with the registration form and instructions for filling it out and mailing it in. If you do not have that form and you cannot get it online, please contact me and I will email you the form. Mail-in registrations receive the earlybird discount if postmarked by January 4th. Final deadline is still January 28th.

Click here for an overview of CHEWV testing and for new information about the 2012-2013 school year.

Click here for information about testing Privately.


If you still have questions about testing, we will have an informal forum at Trinity on January 18th, at 11:30 (before co-op classes that day). Bring your lunch and your questions, and we'll do our best to help answer them! (Any moms with testing experience are welcome to come and offer encouragement and support!)

Selena Campbell

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ready for Second Semester?

Hello THESIS Families--

The break was delightful but don't forget that the second semester of THESIS begins this Friday January 4th!

January 4th also marks the last day for early registration for CHEWV Group testing.  Final registration is January 28th so you still have plenty of time.

Speaking of testing, do you have question or concerns?  Come to an informal Q & A session in Trinity's cafe at 11:30 am on Friday January 18th before group classes.  You and the kids can bring your lunch to eat there.  Some of us more "tested" moms will be on hand to answer your questions, or get those answers for you!

ASSISTANT ALERT!  There are two glaring holes in the class assistant schedule!
  1. First Grade (Group B) Gym at 1:40.  If you are already an assistant here, please let me know or put your name on the schedule!
  2. First grade Art at 2:20 needs two replacement assistants for this semester starting this Friday!

Lastly, please keep in mind the Snow Day policy:  If Marion County cancels school for weather, so do we! Click here to check for school closings.

May you have a Blessed New Year!
Liz, for THESIS