Join me in a year long journey reading through the Bible

  • Wow, this was a lot to read today. A lot to take in. Le t me see if I can recap this correctly. He begins by telling us about Gods defense of Jerusalem and...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lesson Planning

Here is a great article on how to begin scheduling for lesson plans from Heart of the Matter. Now I had to put in a few of my own comments in there too......

I have had a few readers ask about how I approach lesson planning within our homeschool. I know that quite a few of you are just starting out with Kindergarten or 1st Grade (as are we), and wondered if it would be helpful for me to share the steps I've taken to plan our lessons the past two years.I don't create elaborate spreadsheets or highly specific weekly or daily lesson plans, but it is important for me to know where we are headed and have an idea of what it will require weekly to take us there as smoothly as possible.
Education Planning: The Heidi Approach
[Kindergarten and 1st Grade]

Define Your Big-Picture Educational Goals
For me, this was an easy one. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise connected with me so perfectly, that I have in book form a complete 12-year educational plan. You might start with a book on homeschooling methods such as Charlotte Mason, or you could sit and write out your own goals for your child.Will you be homeschooling just a year or two, taking it one year at a time, schooling through middle school, or going all the way through to graduation? What are your reasons for homeschooling? What do you want to accomplish in the lives of your children? What do you want them to learn? Will you be using a particular method or style?

Start Breaking it Down
After I had a good idea of our 12-year overview, I knew that I could start focusing on a 4-year plan. The Well-Trained Mind addresses three stages of learning, the first four years being the grammar stage. It also introduces a chronological study of history with a 4-year rotation, around which is centered literature, science, and even art and music. I knew what basic skills were a priority to our family, what history period we would be studying each year, and what science subject we would focus on.

Make Goals for the Current Year in Each Subject
When I planned our Kindergarten year I placed reading (phonics), handwriting, and math as our foundation. I chose to add in a relaxed selection of American history, knowing that it would be a few years before we got back to it. The rest was gravy.For our 1st grade year reading, handwriting, math and grammar made up our core skills. History and literature (Ancients) and science (biology) were our secondary subjects. Art, music, and geography rounded out the list. Bible and physical education are a part of our natural family life and were not specifically planned as school subjects.Time to purchase any necessary curriculum.

After you have your subject list and curriculum, it is time to figure out what you would like to accomplish within the year. What material would you like to cover? What lessons books would you like to finish?

Plan Backwards
::Figure out how many weeks you will be schooling throughout your year. Be sure to leave enough wiggle room for unexpected illnesses, activities, or vacations. The average school year is 180 days or 36 weeks. You could plan 32 weeks of lessons with 4 for review, catch up, or educational activities.
::Calculate what you need to complete on a weekly basis to accomplish your yearly goals.
::Start with your basics.

Phonics. I didn't want to have a goal of finishing a certain number of lessons in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading so that we could go at Levi's own pace. I did want to be consistent about phonics lessons, though, so I planned to do something (a lesson, review, a phonics reader, etc.) 4 times minimum each week.When we finished the phonics book, I planned to have Levi read aloud to me to replace the lessons. (I, Kristin, do have more structure in this area and do phonics, reading and spelling 5x a week. I do keep it flexible to go at my childs pace. We stop and re-do or speed up depending of how He is doing and how he feels. I have used several thing, but currently Rod and staff because of their strong bible base and strong structure)

Handwriting. Same thing. I wanted to practice handwriting 4 times minimum each week. When we finished the Handwriting Without Tears book, we replaced lessons with copy work (various selections from history, science, Bible memory work, poetry, hymns, or pen pal and thank you letters.) (I, Kristin, have used Abeka, but copy work is just as good)

Grammar. First Language Lessons has 100 lessons for first grade which means we needed to schedule 3 lessons per week to finish the book by the end of the year. (I, Kristin, do have more structure in this area and do phonics, reading and spelling 5x a week. I have used several thing, but currently Rod and staff because of their strong bible base and strong structure)

Math. RightStart Math B has 106 lessons. 3-4 lessons per week.::Add in your secondary subjects. (I, Kristin, once again use Abeka because its colorful, and repeats the ideas they have learned over the weeks. Not just a big lump and them move on)

Ancient History and Literature. The Story of the World has 42 chapters. Rather than squeezing those into a 34-week plan, I planned to cover an average of a chapter a week and study history during our breaks as well. (Lucky for us we love history and literature!) I knew that we would need to plan at least two days to cover any color pages, map work, projects, and additional reading. (I, Kristin, am using Veritas Press History and Bible lessons. they are fun and lots and lots of hands on materials and crafts. I think at this age that is extremely important for them to retain the information.)

Science. Christian Kids Explore Biology has 35 lessons. One a week plus a day for additional activities. (I, Kristin,use a mish mash of science curriculum. This year 2008-2009 we are going to be building a human body. By the end of 30 weeks we will have an almost life size human body (inside and out) made of card stock)
::Make provisions for the fun stuff.

Music. I didn't have a yearly goal, but I did want to read about an instrument, composer, or musician each week. I planned two days for music so that we could read one day and listen to a CD or find an Internet source another day. Because we don't have record of many composers during the Ancients (grin) I chose not to tie music (or art, particularly) to history this year. Levi also takes weekly piano lessons. We try to fit in 5 practice sessions each week. (I, Kristin, well, we all know I teach choir at church. Again I use a hodge podge of stuff, but mainly 2 sources Rod and Staff and Little Mozart Piano)

Art. Again, no yearly goal, but I planned to read one art book (mostly picture books about various artists) each week. Eventually I would like to add a second day for art projects.
Geography, fun Read-alouds, and Free Reading were added to the list so that I could keep track of what we did, without any specific goals at all. (I, Kristin, use 2 things. How Great Thou Art which is a more class style and in depth art program and this summer I am having fun with the Doodle Art program which is learn to draw a face today. Kinda like the classes you would take for 3 weeks at a studio. No in depth learning, but you come away with some great art )

Spanish got left by the wayside this year after completing La Clase Divertida last year. Hopefully we'll get something added back in. (I, Kristin, we did this one too. We have not finished as of yet. Great program.)

Create a Weekly Goal Sheet
Now that I had an idea of what we needed to accomplish each week, I typed up a weekly goal sheet listing each subject with goals. Something like: Math 4x, Grammar 3x, Handwriting 4x, Phonics 4x, History (and Literature) 2x, Science 2x, Music 2x, Art 1x, Geography, Reading.
This is where you can make detailed plans or leave things open-ended. I prefer open-ended. I leave a space next to each subject where I write in what we did rather than what we hope to do. At this stage of the game (and with two younger and unpredictable children) I would rather not feel constantly 'behind' or 'off kilter.' I don't want to rewrite the plans 100 times when Leif doesn't take his normal nap or Luke heads to the ER for stitches or Levi gets the stomach flu.
So, be as detailed as you want to be. If you want to make a weekly schedule that tells you when to do each subject or a plan for exactly what lessons, chapters, or projects you intend to complete, go for it!
Our plans will certainly increase in detail as Levi progresses in age and the other two boys follow him. It will take a little more scheduling to fit everything in!

Set Aside Time Each Week for Preparation
Each week I try to find time to sit down and review what we did the past week and plan the next. I make sure I have the books and project materials I need. I might glance through any lessons so that I am familiar with them. I make sure we are relatively on track with our yearly goals. I look ahead in science and history to see if I need to order any books or add project materials to my shopping list. I make a want list for our library trip.
I print off a new weekly goal sheet and add it to my 3-ring planning binder. If I need to make any notes on the goal sheet, I do so. Most of the books we'll be reading are placed on the desk behind the couch so that I can just grab them during the week as we sit on the couch. (I, Kristin, also like to pre-plan. I plan the whole year knowing that there will be lots of flexibility. I do this so it cuts down on my weekly prep time. I use an computer program for the planning, but a good old fashion calendar will do just fine. Plan out each lesson etc. Now the rest of the year all I have to do it look at my list and gather the things we need for the week.)

Allow Yourself Flexibility
Making guidelines and setting goals help keep me motivated and moving forward, but I have to be careful. If I lock myself into detailed plans, it isn't very long before I begin to feel the stress of keeping up. It is easy to get down on myself for everything I didn't do, rather than realizing how much we learn while still enjoying ourselves!There is a fine balance between aiming high (as it seems we all should when it comes to the education of our children) and finding something that works well in our very real lives. (I, Kristin, Don't forget to dot his. That is what homeschooling is all about. Don;t forget to plan out holidays and vacations, play dates, field trips etc.)

Set realistic goals. Planning is worth nothing if the doing doesn't happen.
You are the only one who knows your family, yourself, and your children. Don't expect your homeschool to look like another. If you need a curriculum that does planning for you, give that a try. If you want more freedom than my plan suggests, do what works for you!

Feel the freedom to create a successful education for your children according to your own values and goals.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Won tickets to the HOTM Convention

I have told so many of my home school friends about the Heart of the Matter Home school Convention going on at the end of this month. Well they were holding a contest last week for 5 ladies to win free tickets. Guess what???? I won. I am so excited. The line up of speakers sound incredible. the ones I am most interested in is the "Hands on History" with Amy Pak and "Teach Me Timeliness" with Amy Pak and also "Learning and Having Fun With Your Children" with Loree Pettit.

I am so thankful for winning. I am hoping that with this conference being held in my home (via Internet) maybe my husband can join me on a few of these seminars. He loves me homeschooling and would not want them to be educated any other way, but it sure would be nice to spark a fire under him to want to teach a subject or two. Or to be just a little more hands on with us. So maybe this will do it. I pray! Here is the link once more for those of you who want to join me at the conference in your PJ's.

Thanks again HOTM for making me a winner in more ways then one.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homeschoolers Threaten Our Cultural Comfort

You see them at the grocery, or in a discount store.It's a big family by today’s standards - "just like stair steps," as the old folks say. Freshly scrubbed boys with neatly trimmed hair and girls with braids, in clean but unfashionable clothes follow mom through the store as she fills her no-frills shopping list.There's no begging for gimcracks, no fretting, and no threats from mom. The older watch the younger, freeing mom to go peacefully about her task.

You are looking at some of the estimated 2 million children being home schooled in the U.S., and the number is growing. Their reputation for academic achievement has caused colleges to begin aggressively recruiting them. Savings to the taxpayers in instructional costs are conservatively estimated at $4 billion, and some place the figure as high as $9 billion. When you consider that these families pay taxes to support public schools, but demand nothing from them, it seems quite a deal for the public.

Home schooling parents are usually better educated than the norm, and are more likely to attend worship services. Their motives are many and varied. Some fear contagion from the anti-clericalism, coarse speech, suggestive behavior and hedonistic values that characterize secular schools. Others are concerned for their children’s safety. Some want their children to be challenged beyond the minimal competencies of the public schools. Concern for a theistic world view largely permeates the movement.

Indications are that home schooling is working well for the kids, and the parents are pleased with their choice, but the practice is coming under increasing suspicion, and even official attack, as in California.

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much? Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler. Their very existence represents a rejection of our values, and an indictment of our lifestyles. Those families are willing to render unto Caesar the things that Caesar’s be, but they draw the line at their children. Those of us who have put our trust in the secular state (and effectively surrendered our children to it) recognize this act of defiance as a rejection of our values, and we reject them in return. Just as the jealous Chaldeans schemed to bring the wrath of the king upon the Hebrew eunuchs, we are happy to sic the state’s bureaucrats on these “trouble makers.” Their implicit rejection of America’s most venerated idol, Materialism, (a.k.a. “Individualism”) spurs us to heat the furnace and feed the lions.

Young families must make the decision: Will junior go to day care and day school, or will mom stay home and raise him? The rationalizations begin. "A family just can't make it on one income." (Our parents did.) "It just costs so much to raise a child nowadays." (Yeah, if you buy brand-name clothing, pre-prepared food, join every club and activity, and spend half the cost of a house on the daughter’s wedding, it does.)

And so, the decision is made. We give up the bulk of our waking hours with our children, as well as the formation of their minds, philosophies, and attitudes, to strangers. We compensate by getting a boat to take them to the river, a van to carry them to Little League, a 2,800-square-foot house, an ATV, a zero-turn Cub Cadet, and a fund to finance a brand-name college education. And most significantly, we claim “our right” to pursue a career for our own "self-fulfillment.

"Deep down, however, we know that our generation has eaten its seed corn. We lack the discipline and the vision to deny ourselves in the hope of something enduring and worthy for our posterity. We are tired from working extra jobs, and the looming depression threatens our 401k’s. Credit cards are nearly maxed, and it costs a $100 to fuel the Suburban. Now the kid is raising hell again, demanding the latest Play Station as his price for doing his school work … and there goes that modest young woman in the home-made dress with her four bright-eyed, well-behaved home-schooled children in tow. Wouldn’t you just love to wipe that serene look right off her smug face?Is it any wonder we hate her so?

AM Daily Journal 6/8/08
Sonny Scott a community columnist, lives on Sparta Road in Chickasaw County and his e-mail address is
Permission to reprint from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo, MS."

What has not worked for me

You know homeschooling is a huge responsibility! I think allot of people out there think us homeschoolers are crazy for doing what we do. That we will ruin our children and make them social outcasts in our community, !!!LOL!!!. I really wish those who say these type of things would do thier research.

One of the things that does not work for me in homeschooling is worrying about what public schooled parents really think about me and my children. I know whats best, God knows whats best, my family knows whats best, so what do I really care what Jane schmoo thinks!?

The second thing that does not work for me is comparing myself and my kids to other homeschoolers. I finally gave that up around Christmas time this past year. Wow was that hard to try to keep up with everyone. TNT Christian Academy is its own separate entity then any other school. Just like public or private schools we all do things a bit different. One homeschools method is not any better then the next.

Finally I learned that one. YEA. Now if I can just completley not worry about non-homeschoolers. I am almost there, but every time I think I got it someone attacks (not polite questions but attacks) once more. I'll get it. I know I will!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swimming day

My son seems to amaze me every day. Today we went to a friends house and Vincent and Raquel went swimming. Now my son finally has gotten up the guts to swim in the deep end. YEA!!! I knew it would happen sooner or later. Today he actually dived into the deep end and I mean DIVED. The first time scared me to death cause I did not know if he dove in or fell in, but when he came up giggling, I sat back and just smiled. I was so proud of him. He is just like me. I never had real swimming lesson, but just kinda caught on as time went on. And looks like he is a quick learner too.

Now Raquel on the other hand...well lets just say she is toooo daring for her own good. If I did not sit next to her the whole time she would have been in the deep end 6 feet under the water. I know all the other moms were muttering about me not being social with them cause I was next to the pool watching her swim the whole time, but my daughters life is way too important to me then what other people think.

Once again, I was pushed into the homeschool corner today. You know I wish other parents would mind their own business. You don't see all us homeschoolers trashing public schooled parents to their face. Then why is it they feel like we homeschoolers have no feelings? That they can trash us right to our face and tell us in not so many words that we are bad parents and our kids are not "socialized"? Got to read my post entitled "MORE DEATILS ABOUT ME ". Go to the blog archive if you want to read it. This will give you a small picture of my view of public school. Oh well, I guess that's why God gave all of us homeschoolers such think skin!

Anyway, I am so glad the kids had such a great time today. Vincent and Raquel got to "Socialize" (said with sarcasm) and got to go swimming and beat the heat. Sometimes I really wish we had a pool, but who the heck can afford to put one in? Not me. I got a qoute once...$225000. Yea right!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Satan Get Out of my Heart, Head and House

I have figured out that something is very wrong with me lately. I am not exactly sure what it is, but it is getting to me. Everything is bugging me. I am moodier then usual and grumpy most of the time. Sad most of the day and just down right DOWN. ball I want to do is sleep, eat and read. Yes I said read for those of you who have known me for a very long long time. I don't want to see my friends, go out or do anything

I finally decided today that I need to pray about this attitude change I have been having. Yes I know...duh! But for those of us that are a bit slow, it was a revelation. So I am in the process of praying as well as in the process of continued prayer of Gods armor.

I have also realized lately that I have felt closer and closer to God. In the last 18 years or so that I have been a Christian there have been a few times that I have questioned myself and my faith. Mainly when I was a new Christian. But I have really noticed since I have started homeschooling that I am getting to the point that I can not go a moment in my day without talking with God. I find myself praying for guidance, wisdom, safety all day long. Short little prayers all day. And you know what....I love it. This is the best feeling to know He is listening and walking with me all day long. Even when things are just not right!

I have never felt the way I feel today about my Lord and savior. I want every thing I look at, read, watch, say and do to glorify the Lord. Including what i teach my kids. All the new curriculum is all Christin based. I have chosen to use mainly Rod and Staff this year just because of the wonderful Biblical based reading books they have.

This is why this terrible attitude I have lately is really bugging me. I feel closer then ever to God and here I am angry and down most of the day. What the heck is wrong with me? Ahhh! The Bible says that when we are in a close relationship with our Lord that Satan will try to divide it. What better way then to divide me against my family. To prove to my family that I am a hypocrite and God is not walking side by side with us! Well, Satan.....GET OUT of my HOME, HEART and HEAD!
There, now it's not only been said by my lips but in writing too. I will keep praying that the Lord will deliver me from this terrible attitude and that he will help me to find peace. But for those of you who may read this, I ask that you pray too not just for me, but for all those people out there who are troubled with Satan being in their house too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are Rising Prices Scaring You?

Are Rising Prices Scaring You?

I haven't decided if I should just laugh or start tearing my hair out. First everyone panicked over the price of gas... then it was the price of apples, then milk and now rice. What I find so amusing about the whole thing is a lot of those same people who are in a panic are still using their gas to go to the movies, to go on vacations, to travel for sports activities, to go shopping and to go most any place they want to go.

So many people complain about the price of gas when it costs $4.00 a gallon but don't bat an eye when going to Starbucks to pay $4.00 for one cup (8 oz. or 1/8 of a gallon) of coffee that they could have made at home for pennies. Despite all the fuss, most Americans have not substantially changed their lives because of gas prices.

Then there is another whole group who complain about how they "aren't like other people". They don't spend a penny on anything and they still have nothing and, because their lot in life is so miserable, they have a right to be afraid of what is happening in the world and in their lives. They have a "What about me?" attitude all of the time.

The Bible says that God does not give us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. Even if you aren't a Christian, I want you to really think about those words because they apply to human nature in general.

We are living in a world that is crazed with fear and because of that we have lost power over ourselves, our lives and our circumstances. Because of that fear we have very little love for anyone. When you love someone or something your main thoughts are focused on that person or thing that you love. What do you think about all the time? --Your spouse, your children, joyful things and happy things or do you focus on yourself and on how these terrible prices are going to affect you?

Do you know how powerless you become when you give way to fear? When you're constantly afraid, you can't function properly at work which leads to not getting a pay raise or worse yet, getting fired. You can't get your mind off of that which you fear and it filters into every area of your life.
You become short and angry with your family when they try to talk to you, ask you something or want to spend time with you because they are interrupting your focus on your fear. "How am I going to get some rice (or gas, or milk or apples)", "If there's a shortage of rice now, I'm sure that is going to lead to a shortage on ALL food", "If there is a shortage of food, that will mean I can't go on vacation this summer or buy that new car."
You say but that's silly and doesn't even make sense. No it doesn't and that is where the sound mind comes in. Where there is fear there is total loss of rational reasoning or what I call "common sense".

When someone isn't of sound mind (not using common sense), they think there is going to be a shortage on rice and they panic. They tell everyone they know. The word spreads and then everyone panics and runs out to hoard rice. All that fear has a snowball effect which then creates a shortage of rice where there wasn't one.

If people had not given over to fear and had been of sound mind (using common sense) they would have thought, "No big deal, we'll have pasta instead or just do without rice for now." They would go about their daily business without giving it another thought and focus on more important things like how to be a kinder more loving spouse or parent.
When people aren't consumed with fear they can think more rationally, which helps them make wiser and more practical decisions. When fear is gone they have peace and joy and patience and most of all they are more loving.

Think about it. How much of your life is ruled by fear? If you filter back through most negative emotions, most of them begin with fear of something. Do you buy things you can't afford because you are afraid of what people will think of you? Do you spend more on gifts for your friends and your children's friends because you fear that people won't love you?

Take a serious look at the things you obsess about. Do you obsess about them because of some kind of fear? I don't know how to tactfully and gently say this but lately I have seen quiet (and sometimes loud) fear in a new thing called "becoming green and saving the environment". This is really just another form of fear. When people become obsessed and overcome, it is usually out of fear and not out of rational thinking.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to save the environment if you think that it needs saving. I'm simply saying don't let things that stem from fear of something control your life in such a way that you lose all of your life's joy and your capacity for reasonable and rational thinking.

Excellenty written by: Tawra, Living on a Dime

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Put on Your Armor

A dear friend of mine gave me this prayer to say daily when we are hit hard by our advesaries. I wanted to share it with all of you!!!

The quickest way to lose a war is to not even realize you’re in one… PREPARING FOR WAR!

Good Morning Lord, Thank you for assuring me of victory today if I follow Your battle plan. So by faith I claim victory over _______ (I normally list something I know I will be facing that day)
To prepare for the battle ahead, by faith I put on the belt of truth. The truth about You Lord, that You are a sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths & weaknesses. Lord You know my breaking point and have promised not to allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. Te truth about me Lord is that I am a new creature in Christ & have been set free from the power of sin. I am indwelled with the Holy Spirit who will guide me and warn me when danger is near. I am Your child & nothing can separate me from Your love. The truth is You have a purpose for me this day – someone to encourage, someone to share with, someone to love.
Next Lord I want to, by faith, put on the breastplate of righteousness. Through this I guard my heart & my emotions. I will not allow my heart to attach itself to anything that is impure. I will not allow my emotions to rule my decisions. I will set them on what is right and good & just. I will live today by what is true not by what I feel.
Lord this morning I put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me to those who need encouragement or physical help of some kind. Use me to solve conflicts wherever they may arise. Make me a calming presence in every circumstance in which You place me. I will not be hurried or rushed, for my schedule is in Your hands. I will not leave a trail of tension or apprehension. I will leave tracks of peace and stability everywhere I go.
I now take up the shield of faith, Lord; my faith is in You, & You alone; apart from You I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things. No temptation that comes my way can remove Your protecting hand. I will not be afraid, for You are going with me throughout this day. When I am tempted, I will claim my victory out loud ahead of time, for You promise victory for those who walk in obedience to Your word. So by faith I claim victory even now because I know there are fiery darts heading my way even as I pray. Lord You already know what they are and have already provided the way of escape. Lord, by faith I am putting on the helmet of salvation, You know how Satan bombards my mind day & night with evil thoughts, doubt & fear. I put on this helmet to protect my mind. I may feel the impact of the attacks, but nothing can penetrate his helmet of salvation those thoughts will get no further. I elect to take every thought captive; I will dwell on nothing but what is good and right & what is leasing to You.
Last I will take up the sword of the spirit, which is Your word. It is strong & powerful and able to defeat even the strongest of Satan’s onslaughts. Your word say’s that I am not under obligation to the flesh to obey its lust. Your word say’s that I am free from the power of sin. Your word say’s that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. So by faith I take up the strong & powerful sword of the Spirit, which is able to defend me in time of attack, comfort me in time of sorrow, teach me in time of meditation, & prevail against the power of the enemy on behalf of others who need the truth to set them free.
So Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost dieing world. May others see Jesus in me, and may Satan & his hosts shudder as Your power is made manifest in me. In Jesus name I pray - Amen

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Master Plan

Ok, You have got to check this out! This is a planner you can either print out and put in a 3 ring binder or keep on your computer. It is a PDF file and it is interactive. I think this is the best thing I have seen in a while to help you get and stay organized. And yes it does have lots of homeschooling planner stuff in it, but tons and tons of other planning pages in there too to help organized you life, home and office. You have to check it out. I just got one and I LOVE IT!!! Click on the Title to go to Julie's site and look at for yourself.

Score 9 out of 10

More details about me

I finally did it. I got a blog. You see I have actually had this blog for about 6 months, but forgot about it. Can you imagine. I have been reading and posting information on other peoples blogs and completely forgot about my own. So here it is and I am going to start from the beginning I guess. Now will I post daily like some...probably not. I am not fortunate enough to have time to sit around and post on a daily basis. But I do have time to put in a note here and there or a rant and rave about a subject. So here we go!!!

Hi! My name is Kristin Nitz and I love scrapbooking, card making and my family. I have been happily married since 1986 and I have a son Vincent (2002) and a daughter Raquel (2005). I’ve been scrapbooking since 1999, but have been a preserving photographs and crafting since I was a teenager.

I started my own small card making business in 2006 called and have enjoyed making cards for different companies and individuals around the central Orange county area and through my internet presence. A few of my favorite scrapbooking embellishments are brads and eyelets, (by far my favorite) glitter, stamps, ribbon, and Buttons. My style? Well, eclectic I would have to say. I’m not fond of cluttered pages with lots and lots of stuff on them. I like them clean with more pictures then embellishments, well most of the time. I guess I’m kind of all over the place with my style. But isn’t that the beauty of scrapbooking. You can have so many styles in one book and it’s OK! I don’t journal much, because I firmly believe that the pictures and the layout should tell the story. With the exception to a caption and a date. But every so often there is so much to say about a certain picture or event I just have to put pen to paper and of course in my own handwriting. I don’t really look thru books and magazines too much. Most of my inspiration comes from the great outdoors or things I see around town.

I can’t image a week without making a card or scrapping something. It’s relaxing and most of all I am recording a legacy for my family. Something our forefathers tried to do with those old black albums, but we in the 21st century have been give the opportunity to put a historical archive and lineage in every home and preserve it correctly. We are able to tell the world about the story of our lives and that of important people around us no matter how significant. We are all beautiful in our amazing scrapbooks and ALL scrapbooks are beautiful. I tell everyone, that they can scarp no matter what. You don’t have to follow a certain pattern or rule, just your heart. With a few simple tips, tricks and techniques your vision will materialize right before your eyes and your books will turn out beautiful! You too can be a scrapbooker!

I am also a Homeschool Mom. I'm trying to bring my kids up in a Godly education learning the earth was made by "God", not chance, the earth is NOT a billion years old, we walked with dinosaurs, God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. And we will go to heaven if only we love, believe and walk with God according to His word.

Socialization? Picture This one....There are a few girls (age 12) that are gathered around a popular girls locker. A less popular girl walks by and one of them makes a snicker and says "Ooh my Gosh, look at her dress!!!! Gross!" This is a scenario played out daily in our schools. Kids feel valued by the way they dress, the conformity to media driven standards and by what the other kids say about them. Look at a typical homeschooled girl. This girl may still have that awkward feeling all us girls have at age 12, but she knows how to socialize with kids her own age as well as younger kids (example: because she is taught to help her younger brother with his school work), teenagers (because all aged kids are together at our social circles) and in conversation with adults (because they're around them all day not just at dinnertime during that awkward silence). So she now she has an ability to communicate effectively with everyone instead of age-segregated socialized communication we have in most of our schooled children.

I have to give an example of one of my long time good friends. Now First let me say she is a wonderful, awesome and beautiful woman. However, and she will admit it too, she is not a social butterfly by any means. Was she homeschooled? NO! Public schooled. She was the type to sit by herself in a corner or in the library. Never went to parties etc. She did not like to socialize with other kids except for the couple of close friends she had. So now the questions of we need to put our kids in school for socialization, well did not work for her.

I am going to use that same friend. We now have the argument of child abuse. "Well, if we have kids in school then the teachers can watch out for child abuse." Well, let me tell you about that same friend. Not one teacher knew that her father beat the crap out of her almost daily! Not one teacher cared to know why her tooth was broken etc. So, please do not give me the bull that keep them in school to keep them from child abuse. Give me a break!!! Parents who do that hide it WELL!!!! Beside, do really think that a child abuser is going to go thru all the loops we jump thru as homeschoolers just to keep their kid home so they can beat them. Yea right!

Socialization? Yea, I worry about it! I worry about the teacher who is a child molester but has not been caught as of yet. Or the principle (current news). I worry about the bully beating up on kids who look different or just for walking by them. I worry about the drugs & alcohol being pushed by peers. Yea my husband and I know about this one first hand. I worry about the sex kids are having on the back of the bus. But lets not forget that a lot of kids feel that going down on a boy is NOT sex. Thanks Mr. President! I worry about the confusion of un-teaching things our family do not agree with that are being taught as FACT in our schools. I worry about condoms given to kids at 10 yrs old and telling them to just be more careful. Socialization? Yea, I worry about it!!! As we all should!

Please do not get me wrong. I do not blame most of the teachers for this. I am friends with many teachers! Most of our teachers care and are great and awesome teachers, but they can only do what they are told to do and no more for fear of their jobs. They can only do so much and watch so much when their school rooms are filled above capacity 30+ kids per teacher. You may have a public school with all Christian teachers, but they still can not say the pledge with the word God in it if the school does not allow them too. They still have to hand out condoms if that is what they are told to do. They still have to have gay pride day if they school wants to push early sex education on kindergartners. Where as the homeschooled kids can be one on one or 4 on one if you have a big family. We can teach or not teach gay pride. We can say God and teach the Bible. And most off the kids can go to the bathroom without worry about the hall bully stopping them and stealing their lunch money!

So am I ranting? Yea maybe, but at least I can stand up for what I believe in and not feel scared of the criticism that some of you who read this may have for me. Lets re-evaluate in 15 years when all our kids are grown. Lets see where each kid goes in life and what each one believes in. Remember we are raising the future. If we want a bunch of adults who are scared to speak out for their own beliefs or who's morals are really all messed up, then that what you need to start teaching today. Cause what we teach today is what we will reap tomorrow.