Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All Ag Online

My youngest daughter (shown with her horse below in the video) just finished her first semester with Nelson Academy of Agricultural Sciences Online, specifically the Animal Science 1 curriculum.  She thoroughly enjoyed the class and learned so much.  She is currently taking the Equine Science 1 class this semester.  Classes range from Animal Science to Crop Science and Agribusiness. 

We have a small farm of horses, sheep, alpacas, chickens and on occasion, cows.  These classes along with our "farm" have been a great educational experience.  Highly recommended for those interested in an agricultural education for their children.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Using Community College Online Courses for Dual Credit in Home School

My oldest home schooled high school junior is finishing up her third online community college class this semester for dual credit.  Last year she took College Algebra at a local community college.  This semester is Trigonometry and Psychology.  She has done well and has enjoyed the fact that she is getting credit for high school as well as college.  We found a local community college that allows self-pay (non-scholarship) students to take up to a year to finish class coursework online.  I think that this has been a good choice for her.  I've enjoyed getting a little more free time, and letting someone else create the deadlines and course load.

A word of caution, be aware that some colleges have a limit on the number of hours that you can take and transfer before you are no longer considered a freshman but a transfer student.  Transfer students typically have less scholarships they can compete for as compared to incoming freshman.  Also make sure that the community college classes will transfer to the college the student will eventually attend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Real Learning

We are finally winding up the school year.  By the end of this month of May, we will be through with school for the year whether we have finished our text books or not.  Hopefully we will have finished the majority of the text work.  Past years I have demanded that we finish the books, every page, but I'm seeing that our real learning wasn't in the textbooks this year.

The majority of our learning came from our doing...our trip to Israel...our mission trip to inner city Dallas...a mission trip to Zimbabwe...loading a shipping container for an orphanage in Zimbabwe filled with a tractor, medical supplies, clothes, and supplemental food...taking care of our animals, including our new Alpacas...learning a little about business and raising funds for educational opportunities for the poor, and our personal research into topics that interested us from our interaction with the world.

Even though we are a little behind in our school year with our books, I feel that it has been one of the most fruitful years of our homeschooling, and it has been the most fun.  How has your year been?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Teaching Children Compassion

My oldest daughter and I just returned from our spring break week in Dallas, Texas.  We spent the week working with Global Outreach and with Cornerstone Baptist Church helping the homeless and less fortunate in the inner city of Dallas.  Our days were filled with passing out food and water to the homeless on the streets, working in the soup kitchen, passing out clothes to the elderly living in assisted living homes, remodeling apartments that will house released prisoners, and holding play times for low-income children.  We came home tired and feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems these people face daily.  The church has been able to minister with compassion to many people living in this area who were addicted to drugs or alcohol and living on the streets.  The church has given them the love and hope of Christ, and lives have been changed.

You can teach a child compassion through reading stories of those who have served those in need or view others in action as they serve in different ministries, but the best and most effective way is to actually get your children to physically go out with you and pass out sandwiches to the hungry, read to the elderly, clean the homes of single moms, or take meals to those who are sick. The best education is one of experience, and compassion is best taught and learned by doing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trip to Israel for Inspiration

Our family just got back recently from a trip to Israel. We have been studying the Old Testament in our Bible along with ancient history. The trip was a wonderful addition to our learning. Nothing beats doing some hands-on activities for learning, and nothing beats being in Israel to ignite a fire in your heart for your faith. We have experienced a new perspective as we read the Scriptures. Being able to picture the place about what you are reading, definitely brings about a new level of experiencing God's word.

Going down into a cave where shepherds would stay
at The Shepherds Fields in Bethlehem

 Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

 Being re-baptised in the Jordan River

Touching the rock at the traditional site where Jesus was believed to be crucified
at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

We especially have experienced a desire to research our Hebraic roots and the Jewish traditions that come with that.  I have found some websites and am now researching feasts that we would like to incorporate into the year.  The first feast is Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees on January 20, 2011.

The West Wall in Jerusalem

Some recipes for Tu B'Shevat:

More on the Tu B'Shevat seder meal rituals:

Let me know if you celebrate the Jewish feast of Tu B'Shevat and what you've gained from doing so.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Consolidating My Home Schooling Curriculum Favorites

Well, it's been awhile since I last posted on this blog.  My girls, both in high school, are at a stage in their schooling where they no longer need me to "teach" them.  They have become independent learners, and they are studying and researching answers to their own questions.  They rarely "need" me to help them so my focus has been on other things besides "doing school".   This was a goal of ours when we first started home schooling, to produce students who can think for themselves, who know how to find answers to their questions, and who have a love for learning.

I've put together a list of some of our favorite curriculum materials that we've used in the past.  I've just started this list and will be adding things as I have time.  If you care to take a look at what I have so far, the list is located here: Top Picks for Home Schooling Curriculum and Projects

If you have favorite home schooling curriculum that you'd like to share, please leave a comment.  Do you have questions about home schooling?  I'd be glad to try to answer them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to School

It seems that we have just finished our school year, and here we are starting again.  My oldest daughter Kayla, will be a junior in high school, and my youngest, Christine, will be a freshman. 

Kayla has decided on a college and a major.  She wants to pursue a career in medicine.  This has come about because of her experience in the medical clinic at the orphanage in Zimbabwe.  She had a chance to get some real hands-on experience with cleaning wounds and making herbal remedies. 

She will travel back to Zimbabwe the end of the month for more work at the clinic.  We are looking into the shadowing program at our local hospital where she can follow several medical personnel in their jobs to see what they do on a daily basis.  We are also looking into getting her into a Certified Nurses Assistant course so that she can start working in the medical field and getting experience.  She is already reading nursing textbooks on her own, and searching the Internet for medical information. 

When you get a child excited about learning, you've captured their minds and hearts for knowledge.  Encouraging your children pursue their passions is the first step in accomplishing this.


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