"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Find our Yahoo group here. Find us on Facebook here. For information on registering with the state of Louisiana as a Home Study Program click here or as a Private School click here. If you are pulling your child out of public school mid-year, click here and scroll down. If you are looking for information on the "common-core" click here and scroll down. For contact information to get homeschool legal advice click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Homeschooling With Peace and Quiet? Is That Even Possible?

I pray everyone had a blessed Holiday season. We had a wonderful time while on our short break and are now back into the school schedule. As usual, the school year is zipping right along and I always feel one step behind. I would imagine most homeschooling moms feel the same way!

Sometimes I meet moms who respond to the idea of homeschooling by saying, "I could never do that! My kids would drive me crazy and I would never get any peace and quiet!". Well, the days here do get a bit crazy at times but it's not because of my kids. Honestly, it is because of me. My schedule stays pretty full because of trying to fit in things that I know my kids enjoy. Let me explain.

Life has a way of filling up with things that are really hard & difficult; like doctor visits, funerals, bills, or repairs to all the things that break around your house (major appliances always "go out" at the same time!). Many things happen from day-to-day that we just have to "tend to" while in the midst of  "schooling". But, to me, these things are actually an important part of educating my children. I pray they see me handling the daily challenges with love, patience, and gratitude.

Even though our schedule is full of places to go and things that have to be done, I still try to add in things that are just pure fun for my kids. I want to be sure they have time to just be kids. For example, just yesterday, my oldest daughter had the best time at McDonald's. Now this may not strike you as odd, but she is 14 and most teens don't enjoy a trip to the McDonald's play land. But she did and it was good for her to just be a kid and play with her younger friends who were on the field trip with us. Did I have plenty to do without adding this field trip to our day? Of course! Did my kids need a break from all the drama of our daily life? Of course! And they got it. Was I tired and worn out? Of course! Was it worth it? Of course! Did I get peace and quiet during my day? Only in my soul; and it was a wonderful day!

Sometimes the adult events that happen around homeschooling kids are unavoidable. Sometimes as a homeschooling mom it is hard to get literal peace and quiet. But always our kids are watching us to see how we handle unexpected or difficult circumstances. And always we need to step back and make sure we are taking the time to just enjoy the days with our children. Not matter how or where we may be spending them.

I know many moms who are so extremely busy and worn out. I pray that the Lord would give them time during their day to really see their children. If only for a small moment, to really see them. Not as a hindrance to their peace and quiet, but as the reason to seek true peace and quiet. God can bring such an awesome peace and quiet into our souls even in the midst of a busy schedule. We must have this; for ourselves and our children. Having personal time with the Lord not only benefits us but also our children. As we seek the Lord, He will give us everything we need to stay on this narrow, and sometimes lonely, rocky, and very busy road which He has called us to walk with Him. It is His peace and quiet that makes all the difference. Seek Him today and be encouraged!

Thanks for reading all the ramblings from my heart. Blessings to you and your sweet families,
:) Vicki

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Much to My Amazement....

...this year is almost half over! To say that life has been busy is an understatement. I'm sure you could echo the same sentiment. We are busy and everyone I know is busy. Here is a recap of what we've been busy doing here at C.H.I.L.D. :
     - February skate was great fun! The kids did an awesome job on their Valentine boxes. As promised, here are pictures of just a few of the boxes.

-In March we took the kiddos to a museum for some hands-on fun, toured a newspaper to see how it all works and then had a picnic at the park.
-Our first ever Spelling Bee was held in April and I really hope we will have one every year. The kids did a super job! Also during the month of April, we did our standardized testing. This was the largest group we've ever had testing and things went really well. We had a great group of moms who did an outstanding job of keeping things running smoothly. Our group is so blessed to have such exceptional moms!
-May brought yearbook pictures, a bike-a-thon fund raiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and our "End-of-the-School-Year Celebration" at the skating rink. The skate party was great fun to wrap up a great school year. We had some families who are new to homeschooling join us and I loved getting to share in their excitement as they begin their new adventure.

The only activity left for the group is graduation. Graduations are always bitter-sweet to me. It is wonderful to see the accomplishments of our children and yet at the same time, it is a reminder of just how fast time goes. Time is such a precious commodity. It reminds me of this quote - Time I have only just a minute. Only sixty seconds in it. Forced upon me, can't refuse it. Didn't seek it, didn't choose it. But it's up to me to use it. I must suffer if I lose it. Give account if I abuse it, Just a tiny little minute but eternity is in it.   

How many times a day do I tell my kids 'ok, just a minute'? All those little minutes add up to be a lifetime. Heading into the summer months, when things are supposed to move at a slower pace yet rarely do, I pray the Lord will remind me to consider carefully how I spend my minutes. It is never "just" a minute; it is a fleeting moment that I will never get again. I pray that as moms who daily care for the souls of our children, we see the importance of treasuring each minute and spend our time on things that will matter 100 years from now. May the Lord ever remind me my #1 job is to prepare my children for Heaven, not Harvard.

Blessings to you,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mid-year Withdrawl From Public School

After receiving a phone call about helping a mother to begin homeschooling mid-year, I realized I did not know much about the subject. I asked HSLDA for an article with details on how to begin homeschooling mid-year in compliance with Louisiana law. They have never written an article with the details outlined step-by-step but assured me that is was completely legal. They advised that if anyone was interested in beginning mid-year, HSLDA would be more than willing to walk them through the process.

In my discussion with HSLDA about the whole process, I have developed a "frame work" of the steps to take. The first place to begin is with an HSLDA membership. The online enrollment form can be found here. I pray you never find yourself in a situation where you need legal representation but it is nice to know you always have the option of saying "call my lawyer". You can call HSLDA at 540-338-5600 and ask to speak to the membership department. They will be able to not only process your membership application but also answer questions about what you should do next.

From what I understand, after you remove your child from the public school system, the main point to cover is the truancy officer. A letter needs to be sent within ten days to the school your child attended telling them your child has been enrolled in another school. It is not necessary to to tell them it is your own private homeschool. The only information needed in this notification letter is the child's legal name, date of birth, gender and race. There is a great article here that covers this topic and others that are important for homeschoolers to know about. Once the local school has been notified you need to register with the state as a private school. You can find more information on doing that here.

After you've done these three things you are all set. Just as a side-note, it is probably a good idea to keep a copy of your state registration letter with your HSLDA membership card and have them both with you anytime you go out with your children during public school hours. Also, make a copy of you membership card and put it by your telephone so if you ever need their phone number and your membership number in a hurry.

Even though what I've written up is not a legal document, I hope it will be helpful to someone. If you have any questions or need any help, please just ask.

:) Vicki

Common Core Discussion

Many educators have been discussing the Common Core issue lately. I must admit I had never followed the details of it closely and considered it a public school issue. Then providers of homeschool curricula began to "align". This got my attention and I thought I would post links to articles giving details on how homeschoolers are or may be affected. I hope you find it helpful.
:) Vicki

HSLDA article on Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Popular Homeschool Curricula and the Common Core

Here is a link for The Educational Freedom Coalition (TEFC). This group exists for homeschool parents who seek to maintain educational freedom from CCSS.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Great Article I Found

If you need encouragement in your homeschooling journey you may want to take a look at this article from Forbes magazine. I don't particularly like the title but I love the message. I will be saving this article on my computer and reading it again on the hard days! Hope it helps you, too.
:) Vicki


Still Plugging Away

WOW! Is it just me or did the holidays fly by!? They seem like such a long time ago! I guess that is what happens when schedules are just so full. I couldn't believe I had not updated you on the happenings of our wonderful group since November! I'm really sorry! Here's a quick recap. December was our "regular" events with a skate party and a Christmas movie the week before Christmas. (We always love the skate parties!) January was also the "regular" routine with the added bonus of a trip to the Children's Museum. We weren't able to be at the museum trip so I am excited to see the pictures and hear about all the fun the kids had.

I am looking forward to getting caught up on my visiting next week at our Valentine skate party. (Did I mention we LOVE skate parties!? :) As a bonus this year we've added in a contest for the kids. There will be prizes for the best decorated Valentine boxes. I hope to post pictures of the winning boxes next week so everyone can see what talented kids the Lord has blessed us with!

Speaking of talent, not only are the kids creative they are also very smart. How smart? So smart they've requested a spelling bee! How fun is that!? Even better is the fact that we've had a mom to volunteer to put one together! So, this April we will have our 1st annual Spelling Bee! I can't wait to see how great the kids do! Also in April we will have our standardized testing. Even though it's a lot of work getting it together, I look forward to testing simply because it is an end-of-the-year event. It's a motivator for me to know that SUMMER IS COMING!! It helps me to just keep plugging away with the end in sight.

As I plug away and try to stay motivated during these winter months, I have to keep reminding myself that even when I can't see the sun it is still there. The days may always seem to be gray and overcast with low hanging clouds but I can't focus on just what I see with my natural eye. The same is true spiritually. Even when everything seems cold and dark in the world the Son is still there. Jesus is constant. He is the light. He shines through all the darkness to be a lamp for our feet so we can clearly see the way to go. I hope that as you find yourself indoors with your children more than usual you will take the opportunity to just enjoy them. Hold them close as you teach them diligently. Show them how to walk in the "Son-light" of Jesus, no matter what the weather is like.

Love and blessings to you and your sweet babies!
:) Vicki

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fun Times For All !!

Whew! This little homeschool group has been BUSY!!! Activities that packed October were the "School House Rock" musical performance, a fiddlin' good-time at the Hadley Castille Show, lots of 4-H activities like the photography club and playing bingo with our friends at the nursing home. We also had a great time at the zoo. What a perfect place for our kids to act like monkeys! The kids loved it and I hope the parents did, too. We used our box-top money to pay for the trip and I really appreciate all those who help collect all through out the year. Everyone doing a little adds up to a lot!

Coming up in November, we have just a few events. We have scheduled a performance of "Pride and Prejudice" and a wild trip to the safari park. Those events, along with all the regular 4-H meetings and the holiday, should keep us plenty busy.

But, if you need more activities, there are also some events in surrounding areas that you may want to include in celebration of Veterans Day. Chennault Aviation & Military Museum will be displaying the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. Information on dates and times can be found here. Historic Jefferson College will be hosting a free Civil War reenactment and the details can be found here. If you happen to be heading to the Civil War reenactment you may also want to catch the Cotton Pickin' & Ginnin'. Look for details here.

No matter how busy you may find yourself this month, I pray you will not be too busy to take the time to truly celebrate this Thanksgiving season. We have so much to be thankful for and I encourage you to take the time to count your blessings. As the words of one of my favorite songs says - "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done."

Have a wonderful Holiday,
:) Vicki