Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our Joshua, 4th in Australia for Maths:

At the beginning of the year Joshua competed in World Math's Day. He was 14 in the 14 - 18 age group and came 38th in the world and 4th in Australia. A big public congratulations, we are proud of you son!

Homeschooling: My Favourite Curriculum Stores , Things I Use, and Ozzie Distance Schools:

Favourite Curriculum Stores
Very cheap and postage good....they are limited, but I have never bought something from them I don't love and use - i.e. they are very trustworthy and I have used them for many, many years! It is very easy to buy things that promise the world and give you nothing..... the most expensive part of home schooling is catalogue buying like this.
 Often the cheapest, if you can buy enough to get free postage ( over a certain amount)  - I have bought with other home schoolers to get that perk, but it takes a lot of organising! By far my very best buys have been from here...Student Excellence in writing A, B, C and more advanced courses too like SAT exam prep. Expensive... yes, but most worth while, they need to be writing well before you start. I would say grade 3 or 4 level. I have a lots of the writing DVD's and run work shops off and on, so you can check with me before you buy and I may be able to reduce cost by having you watch my DVD's in my home. Saying that many people who have done this have bought their won DVD's in the end as they are so good. Talk to me before you buy as I have a good contact in NZ who is worthwhile chatting to about advise as to what to buy!
Also reasonably priced has very good reformed books, check them out and see if you can get it cheaper at Koorong, although usually you can't.

Things I use

Science: Grade KG-3 ABEKA see , Elementary Science Apologia , High school Science Apologia see
can only get ABEKA from ABEKA, but Apologia is at rainbow and timberdoodle, christain books etc.
Literature and English: Sonlight has a complete program which is literature based. I have tried Learning Literature Through Language Art (LLATL) which is popular, but  I really don't  like it for the upper grades, so have gone back to ABEKA which I love! We read whole books too, I like the look of language Lessons which is a complete English program, see and I am buying all grades so you can have a look.
Maths: We use Teaching Textbooks which has interactive lessons on the computer for you. Starts at Grade 3. Our very academic kids use Saxon Math, which now has both Saxon Teacher and Dive as a DVD teacher - USQ accept it as easily equal to Maths B and C.
History: Mystery of History is my favourite, it is on CD and my kids listen to it for is very Christian and integrates Bible history with secular history which is very interesting. My kids also love listening to Story of the World CD's , and although a Christian , Susan Wise-Bauser does not come from an especially Christian point of view in Story of the World.  For high school we also use SOSE Alive by Jacaranda Press, which gives a good Australian element, it is secular! We also do ABEKA history too, their last World History, I think Grade 10 is accepted for Grade 11 and 12 for most distance schools here. Love it! Streams of Civilization is an alternative for a good Christian History text book and is two volumes which would probably do you for 3 years, with Ozzzie stuff added in, depending on your school.
Art I have heaps of resources, come and look, there is a lot out there.. we are about to try The Gordon School of Art has a DVD program for our older children, Gluck is okay, Draw Today is our most successful program! and is great fun to do as a group, although very messy as uses charcoal, have buckets of water handy to wash hands and do it outside! Remember every DVD you buy is a teacher in your home for forever, much cheaper than ongoing lessons for a number of children!
Music again a lot out there, but Music Ace Deluxe @ Timberdoodle is our best buy.
Handwriting: We use Getty Dubay, as the style fits in well with school writing for Oz and NZ and love the results with bigger kids handwriting. Tim and Emma have started by using "Draw Write Now"  due to her learning difficulties and artistic inclination, I don't really like the ball and stick method though, far prefer Italic which lends itself to cursive adn fast - great for exams when in Y11 and 12 AND BEYOND! I cannot encourage colouring in enough, those who write well in our family have always coloured well and often, look at Dover for Hisotircal, good animal etc colouring books - really great.
Bible: Dare I  write a separate blog for this one...I may never get around to it???? There is so much really good stuff out there.....where do I begin??? Just come for a visit if you want to find out sooner rather than later!

Of course Switched on School House from Alpha and Omega is a computer based textbook workbook style, all done for you program. I have used it for two kids for a year as a stop gap, when veyr busy....see Timberdoodle's description of it by clicking on a year . Timberdoodle are usually cheaper than Switched on School House themselves!
Workbooks Style; I not used a lot of these, but I like their creative writing/paragraph writing books, and geography too. If you want to go work book style they are very nice.

Ozzie Distance Schools

I am with ACA, but do not do any of their paces as I am with their Learning Support Unit under Rhonda Davis who runs a totally seprate program. If one child qualifies for this program the whole fmaily can do it.

Other than that I can recommend some who runs their own schools under Jubilee, a very old QLD distance school.
In particualr I would recomend Jason Kauffman
He is a Mennonite Missionary, and we have met him and he is reputable...a big thing in home schooling circles as it tends to attract some' not so reputable' people, sorry to say.

  Jason Kauffman sells Mennonite Curriculum called light education I think, but and as far as I understand is flexible if you have your own curriculum prepared!

Jason Kauffman
Australian Christian Brotherhood
4 Tin Can Bay Rd.
Gympie QLD 4570
Phone (07) 5483 7741

Jubilee also has Paul  Johnson, who is mostly ACE paces, but I have heard of him being flexible for some???? There is also Michelle Hornery, who is at Jubilee, but she requires heaps of paper work which makes my head spin but if you are okay with all the 'edu talk', you may find it easy....Michelle runs workshops once every two weeks and organises lots of fun field trips and gives good support.  She is flexible but requires a good Ozzie component which means she is not so partial to the American programs sometimes . Personally if I had to  make a choice outside of my present ACC choice I would chose Jason Kauffman.

Hope that is of help!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Praying for our children

The other day a child did not want to do devotions with me for school and moaned about singing the same silly old hymns all the time. "Why don't you sing 890", he said, randomly pulling a number out of his head- here is the hymn 'he' had chosen... we sing it everyday now, it reflects my earnest daily prayers for my children!

Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer,
We now present to thee;
Let them Thy covenant mercies share,
And thy salvation see.

Such helpless babes thou didst embrace,
While dwelling here below;
To us and ours, O God of grace,
The same compassion show.

In early days their hearts secure
From worldly snares, we pray;
O let them to the end endure
In every righteous way.

Before them let their parents live
in godly faith and fear,
then Lord, to heaven their souls receive,
and bring their children there.

By Thoma Haweis 1733-1820

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Birthday Boy: Jono

A belated Happy Birthday to our 17 year old son. After Jessica (19) was born we had a miscarriage and thought that we would never have another baby - we prayed earnestly for this boy! His pregnancy had complications and I remember thinking he would not survive - but here he is 17 years later with a mission in life! We had another miscarriage after Jonathan. Truly Jonathan is an answer to prayer and a blessed gift from God.

Jonathan I think must be, by far, our most determined child - if he decides he is going to do something good or if he decides something is right, nothing will stop him! I admire the courage he has to follow though with action that will sometimes take him against the tide of society. About a year ago he went to a shop and requested a magazine be removed from the till area so that children would not see it as they left the shop. They argued  that it was sealed in a plastic bag, and that head office decides where things are placed. He called for the manager. I don't think they changed it - but he proved he would stand up for wrong and on his own. He had asked me to wait for him at a certain point as he did not want me worried about the issue. In the last year he has listened to 100's of sermons and has grown into a giant of a man....discussing sermons, apologetics etc  with adults and seeking to apply theology to his life practically.

I call him my "Noadie", as not only does he look like the Noad side of my family but he is stubborn as can be when it comes to standing up for others rights or for what is right... a very Noadie trait. Something that can get us into trouble at times which leaves us all the more determined!

The most wonderful thing about Jonathan's life is that he seeks to serve God and when he fails he is humble enough to come and say sorry, even when he finds this particularly hard- I call that real guts/courage! I like that he can put his reformed theology into practice on a daily basis - this last year has been a tough one for us all, and he has come through it with his faith stronger, thanks be to God.

This semester Jonathan is trying a university subject while he finishes off school, and seems to be managing well so far.

We are so proud of you my son, we love you dearly!And pray God would lead you and guide you in the days ahead and bless and keep you both now and forever.

See Jonathan's blog @