Purpose of Education

From Leigh Bortins in The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010):

My purpose in home-centered education is to raise children who exhibit self-control, compassion, and statesmanship when displaying or exercising knowledge.  I believe the ultimate goal in a classical education is to lead a child through knowledge and understanding to wisdom and virtue.  If they use their knowledge exclusively for their own purposes, I have failed.


2011-2012 Kindergarten Homeschool Goals

Here are our goals for Caleb for this year.  This is not rocket science, but I wanted to have them written out so I could keep tabs on how we are going.

Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (Reading): 
I plan on doing lessons 4-5 days per week and that will accomplish anywhere from 144-180 lessons (36 weeks of school).  This book has 227 lessons.  The first 26 lessons teach the sounds of the letters, which Caleb already knows. So, by the end of the year I hope to be, at the very least, done with lesson 170.  I will probably continue with these lessons throughout the summer, because I hope to have this book completed by the time we start 1st grade.

Horizons K (Math):
Horizons K has 160 lessons.  My goal is simply to complete all the lessons by the end of the year.  This can be accomplished in four lessons per week with 16 lessons remaining.  I may try to have Caleb complete a couple lessons per day at the beginning to make up the remaining 16 lessons.  I really want to keep math and handwriting to four days per week so we can have a field trip/library day once a week.

A Reason for Handwriting (Handwriting):
There are only 69 pages of lessons in this book.  If I have Caleb complete one page (front and back) per day, for four days per week, we will get through it in no time (less than 18 weeks to be exact).  Then we will start on book A.

Five in a Row:
We plan do to one lesson/book per week.

Bible Study for All Ages:
We are currently using the beginner student pages (ages 3 – K) and are on lesson #11.  There are 416 lessons total, so we will be doing these for awhile.  We will do one lesson per day until finished and then move on to the intermediate student pages for grades 1-3.

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ

The sun of God’s glory was made to shine at the center of the solar system of our soul.  And when it does, all the planets of our life are held in their proper orbit.  But when the sun is displaced, everything flies apart.  The healing of the soul begins by restoring the glory of God to its flaming, all-attracting place at the center.

We are all starved for the glory of God, not self.  No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem.  Why do we go?  Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.  Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image?  It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world.

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper

2011-2012 Curriculum

Here are the final choices for our 2011-2012 curriculum!

Bible:  Bible Study for all Ages
Reading:  Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (Wise & Buffington)
Writing:  A Reason for Handwriting K
Math:  Horizons Kindergarten Math
History/Science/Art:  Five in a Row
And, of course, lots of reading out loud!

For Kindergarten, I plan to keep things basic and focus on Bible, reading, writing, and math.  This is our first year homeschooling and I want to avoid burnout for both Caleb and myself!  We are incorporating Five in a Row to add some fun hands-on activities into our day.

Lillian is almost 2 1/2 and while I don’t think it’s necessary to do “preschool” with her, I have focused time with her every day.  We will play, color, draw, read, paint, and use some of the resources listed below.  At this age, I believe that learning should be fun and not forced. 

Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1
Toddler Calendar
Letter of the Week curriculum (later in the school year)
I also plan to participate in the Tot School link up every week.

Our 2011-2012 Homeschool Calendar

Our official homeschool calendar for 2011-2012 is below.  This is my first year, so I could end up completely changing this around as the year progresses.  I plan on finishing up the last two weeks of school during the summer if we need to, depending on where we are with our goals.

A normal school year is 180 days, or 36 weeks.

We will have school the following weeks:
Last week in August through November (13 weeks)
December – OFF
January – February (9 weeks)
March-May (12 weeks…we will take a one week spring break in March or April)
June, July – Finish up any remaining lessons (two weeks worth?).

TOTAL:  36 weeks

CRC Church Planter Assessment – Day 2

We are in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Christian Reformed Church’s Church Planter Assessment!

Today was just as long and intense (and fun!) as Day 1.  We were able to talk with and get to know some of the other planters.  We came as strangers, knowing only a few people within the CRC, and are leaving as friends.

There were several intense/stressful “assignments” today.  Last night the planters were given the assignment of preparing a 15-minute kick-off message.  This morning they were split into four small groups in order to present their messages.  Shawn did an excellent job and he received some great feedback!

Shawn & I also had to meet with an individual who was (supposedly) interested in our church plant.  It was role-playing at its worst.  We had a checklist of things to do like find out their attitude towards church, pray with them at the end, and a few other things.  I’m not sure what insight was supposed to be gained from this assignment.  Honestly, this was the worst thing we had to do all weekend.

We also spent more time talking with our assessor about different church planting issues and ideas.

At this point, our part is done and we will receive our formal assessments tomorrow!  We are not worried about what the outcome will be, but are trusting in the process and in God’s sovereignty.

CRC Church Planter Assessment – Day 1

We are in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Christian Reformed Church’s Church Planter Assessment!

It is almost 9:00 p.m., and we are beat!  We arrived to our hotel room and checked in around 8:00 p.m.  So far, I feel that this has been a wonderful opportunity!  It has been a very long and intense day, but also very enjoyable and inspiring.  There are about 15 potential church planters and also that many assessors.  How inspiring it is to be in a room with 15 other potential/future pastors and spouses.  Add to that, the fifteen assessors who have either been church planters, are currently church planters, or feel very passionate about church planting.

Each planter and spouse is assigned their own assessor. The assessor was given a lot of information about us beforehand including references, a several page questionnaire that Shawn was required to answer beforehand, our Grip/Brinkman results, StrengthsFinder results, employment history, church background, etc. We spent a considerable amount of time just talking with our assessor.  Shawn talked about his ministry vision, we shared our backgrounds, how God has led us to this point, how we envision working together (what our roles will be), where we want to plant, etc.

We also had a time to sit down with someone trained in the Grip/Brinkman testing who explained our results to us:  our spiritual gifts, our different ways of thinking and working, our needs, and our stress behavior.  That was extremely interesting and enlightening!

All of the planters were given a scenario of a church plant and were required to give a short vision casting speech to interested individuals.  They were only given 15 minutes to prep for this and then had to present their speech to the rest of the group and the assessors.  Everyone was nervous, but all the planters in our group did well (we didn’t get to hear the other groups).  Shawn did really well…he didn’t look one bit nervous even though I know he was. 🙂

Tomorrow is our last long day and then on Friday our assessment will be “delivered”!