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Monday, September 13, 2010

Great home education information can be found at this Calgary blog

A new beginning...

Today was day one of the new learning season.  It was a really great day.  We had a very relaxed start, we all slept in.  We read, and chatted and planned.  It was very good.

I started out by sharing a a verse from the bible that I want to be our "mission statement" for our home education.  I caught on to it at a home school meeting I attended last week.  The verse is Luke 2:52 and it says "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."  Isn't that a great verse?

Next I shared that I want us to dig into God's word each day together.  We will be reading a chapter out of the Book of Proverbs, the books of Psalms and the book of Luke.  The great thing was that Proverbs chapter one was teaching us about wisdom which totally matched our new motto.  :o)  We read in my study bible that the purpose of the Proverbs is to "teach people how to attain wisdom and discipline and a prudent life, and how to do what is right and just and fair - in short, to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction."  And the it says the key verse is "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7"  We don't want to be fools, so I guess we will seek God's wisdom.  :o)

I encouraged the kids to be willing to stop and ask questions or make comments on what we are reading.  We had my laptop set up in front of us so we could quickly look up things if we wanted and we did.   While we were reading Luke, Jordan asked about Theophilus.  So we Googled it and found out that the title Theophilus can mean "friend of God".  I just thought it was someone's name.  So that was a fun rabbit trail today.

We read some quotes about education and autodidacticism.  I told the kids that was my goal for them to be autodidactic.  Jordan asked if there was an easier way to say that, so now instead of using that "big word" we are using self-educated.   A second mission statement for us comes from a quote by Napolean Hill that says "... any person is educated who knows where to get knowledge when it is needed and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action."

What else did we cover today?
-  We looked up the Sons of Korah (the are mentioned in the Psalms and I know of a band by the same name so we looked up their website and watched a video of the song Psalm 117).

-  I told the kids I want them to write up their own education plans to hand into our school board facilitator.  So that is a major project for this week.  We read the Learning Outcomes for Students Receiving Home Education Programs that Do Not Follow the Alberta Program of Study  given to us by Alberta Education.
Schedule of Learning Outcomes for Students Receiving Home Education Programs That Do Not Follow the Alberta Programs of Study

1 A basic education must provide students with a solid core program including language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

2 Students are expected to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for life after high school. A basic education will allow students to

(a) read for information, understanding and enjoyment,
(b) write and speak clearly, accurately and appropriately for the context,
(c) use mathematics to solve problems in business, science and daily life situations,
(d) understand the physical world, ecology and the diversity of life,
(e) understand the scientific method, the nature of science and technology and their application to daily life,
(f) know the history and geography of Canada and have a general understanding of world history and geography,
(g) understand Canada’s political, social and economic systems within a global context,
(h) respect the cultural diversity, the religious diversity and the common values of Canada,
(i) demonstrate desirable personal characteristics such as respect, responsibility, fairness, honesty, caring, loyalty and commitment to democratic ideals,
(j) recognize the importance of personal well-being and appreciate how family and others contribute to that well-being,
(k) know the basic requirements of an active, healthful lifestyle,
(l) understand and appreciate literature, the arts and the creative process,
(m) research an issue thoroughly and evaluate the credibility and reliability of information sources,
(n) demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills in problem solving and decision making,
(o) demonstrate competence in using information technologies,
(p) know how to work independently and as part of a team,
(q) manage time and other resources needed to complete a task,
(r) demonstrate initiative, leadership, flexibility and persistence,
(s) evaluate their own endeavours and continually strive to improve, and
(t) have the desire and realize the need for life-long learning.

-  Jordan wants to download e-sword to his computer so he can have access to different bibles for study.

-  Deanna would like a copy of The Message.

-  Wes would like the kids to read "From Eternity to Here" by Frank Viola.

-  We all love music, so I proposed the idea to have a tea time and share a favorite song with the lyrics.  This gives us the chance to share music that speaks to us or moves us (has a great beat) but also I chance to learn how music can affect us, good songs vs bad songs and more.

-  Deanna, Wes and I watched the documentary "Babies" tonight.

-  Jordan and Deanna played crib together (a new favorite game).

-  Jordan would like to get an e-reader.

-  We read over the first email sent today about the "Arts Extravaganza" the kids are participating in this year.  Deanna worked on her project for an hour or so today.

-  Jordan worked on some horse research.  Specifically he is learning about poisonous plants for horses.

-  We discussed learning to cook this year.  Each night I cook they will be my assistant chefs and once a week they will be in charge of a meal by themselves.

-  We planned a rough schedule for home management.

-  We looked over some course catalogs and book catalogs to see if anything peaked their interests.  (dog grooming for Deanna, Car maintenance for Jordan).  I shared about a class that NSA is sponsoring next week that they will be going to (neither one of them seemed happy with this idea.)

-  Jordan would like to get into acrobatics.

-  We worked out a rough routine to our days for this learning season.  Plus we looked at what weekly commitments we need to keep in mind.

-  I showed them some of the books we will be reading or referencing for various topics/subjects.

-  Deanna posted on her blog a poem and riddle she wrote yesterday.  Then we worked on editing it together for capitalization, spelling and form.

-  We ended the day by watching the movie "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" , and we all were thankful they did not have to attend a junior high school.  Yikes!  :o)

It was a very full and productive and informative day.  I love having the kids involved in the planning and having them understand the vision that I want for them (self-education, learning skills, etc).

Tomorrow is going to be another great day.  :o)