Saturday, August 21, 2010

So We Can Stand Up For the Family.

I haven't written anything on this blog for a long time now but I felt the need to share my most recent reason to home school.

The family is beginning to be under attack. Some think it already is under attack. It is. To an extent. But I don't think we understand what's coming.

So when I think back to the first impressions we had to home school - my current reasons for doing so seems to fall right into place with what the spirit was whispering to me.

One other reason why our family home schools is to stand up for the family. To fight for family unity, family focus, family strength and family influence in today's world - a world that is filled with weakened values, unconcerned characters and people who are so easily distracted and unable to see what the real focus in life should be.

And that real focus, truth, is such a beautiful thing.

I love that the path we have chosen allows us to spend more time together as a family. Learning together, growing together, experiencing life together and becoming united with one another as we focus on finding and growing in the spirit ... of truth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So We Can Fill Our Lives With the Best!

Written by Claudia Orgill

In his book, "I Dare You!" William H. Danforth said:

"Dare to live in the presence of the best. Try for one week to live a distinguished life, surrounding yourself with the very best the world has to offer. Read an excellent poem. Begin the biography of a distinguished man. Study a painting by an Old Master. Hear the best Victrola record. Listen to a classical radio program or a symphony. See an uplifting play or movie. Hear a stirring speaker. Meet an inspiring personality. See a sunrise and a sunset.

Strive to crowd out of your life unworthy thoughts, unworthy acts, unworthy contacts. Just see what will happen if, for a solid week, you fill your life with only the best!-the very best in literature, the very best in art, the very best in nature. If only we would surround ourselves with the world's excellence, we would live like Kings!"

What an enlivening way to live! And the wonderful thing is, that there's enough beauty to be found within an unending amount of "excellence" in any subject, be it math, science, human biology, philosophy, english, music, nature, or history, to fill our lives (and beyond) with learning.

To surround ourselves with the beauteous things of this world - what a wonderful concept! To me, that truly brings unequivocal clarity, living in the world but not being of the world! And it brings me great satisfaction knowing that I am able to share and experience such joy and love of learning with my children.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So we can focus on instilling practical wisdom into our children.

Written by Claudia Orgill

Barry Schwartz explained beautifully why what we need most is practical wisdom and why the most important thing kids need to learn is character - both of which, I feel, we are able to focus much upon, to the extent which we feel is necessary in today's world, in our homeschooling life.

Barry Schwartzs' talk.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Because it allows us more time to spend together.

Written by Claudia

When I see the continually developing interests my kids genuinely have (Karate, language learning, harp, gymnastics, ASL) I realize how little time we'd have with them if they spent most of the day at school and also went to extra classes to help them learn these things. Considering that they'd want to play with friends as well - we'd have very little time to spend with them and it makes me grateful that we have been led down this uncommon path.

The longer we home school and the more comfortable I become with it the more beautiful and miraculous I seem to find it.

My new motto, once it comes to our homeschooling life, is derived from the book Laddie. Little Sister's mother is speaking as to how they (mostly her husband) educated their children. (I've changed the words in parentheses to make it apply to myself.)

She says, "(I schooled my children) by educating myself before their coming, and with them afterward. Self-control, study, work, joy of life, satisfaction with what we have had, never-ending strife to go higher, and to do better...

From the start (I) have rigorously guarded (my) speech and actions before them. From the first tiny baby (I) have taught them all to read, write and cipher some...We are always watching, observing, studying: the earth, the stars, growing things...seeing things that we have or will study out for all of us.

There never has been one day in our home on which we did not read a new interesting article from book or paper; work out a big problem, or discuss some phase of politics, religion, or war. Sometimes there has been a little of all of it in one day, always reading, spelling, and memory exercises at night.

(I) have been a schoolmaster, (my) home (my) schoolroom, (my) children, (husband) and helpers (my) pupils; the common things of life as (I) meet them every day, the books from which we learn...and for each of them we have added at least two years of college, music school, or whatever the peculiar bent of the child seemed to demand."

Such a home environment is lovely and marvelous to me - it is the kind of environment I intend to do my best to create.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Because, "They're converting our children, we're not converting them."

Written by Claudia

Repeatedly, throughout my life, I've heard people teach something similar to- "The recent generations, the ones which are coming now and will come from henceforth, are (unlike the pioneers who toiled physically and emotionally) in a spiritual war. Their temptations will mostly be those that affect their spiritual well being."

And so, as I read/listened to the quotes I have listed below, it struck me how real and true that war is (even though the messages were given from people who are of a faith other than my own) and it made me feel even more empowered in the decision we made to homeschool our children.

"They're converting our children, we're not converting them."
Obviously not all children are being converted to...let's say secularism. But as I observe the developing people coming out of the school system - I can't help but believe that more and more students are coming away being "converted" to societies lack of values and lack of dedicated faith in God.

"What can theistic sunday school, meeting for an hour once a week do to stem the tide of a five day program of humanstic teaching?" Charles Francis Potter
Because I believe the current trial(s) for most people are spiritual in feels right, to me, to give our children more spiritual (and family) time.

"We've been in a long 60/80 year cultural and spiritual war for the soul of the nation and if the christian church today will educate their children according to biblical commands we believe the Lord will have mercy on us and we can begin to reverse the spiritual immoral and cultural slide and perhaps we will see revival in our times." E. Ray Moore Th.M.
I love the scripture found in D&C 43:15 "Again I are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit." It puts into perspective how important it is to teach my growing ones. I feel, the things that I teach them which are most important (especially in these sinful times) are those things which will aid in bringing them back to Heavenly Father.

"The left knows that whoever controls the children owns the future...if you control the schools you control the future."
This quote reminds me of when Adolf Hitler said, "Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." I'll admit, although I don't think there is some crazy conspiracy going on within our school system, considering that public schools are government owned and operated "businesses", it would be so easy for such to happen... Although, to a degree, considering the amount of atheism which has been gaining the upper hand, I feel the government already has over stepped their bounds. (Expelled helps put this into perspective.)

"It's time for us to make some sacrifices ... why should we leave the public schools when our forefathers fought, marched, bled, and sometimes even died, so that we can have the right to attend those schools? My answer is quite simple. Our forefathers marched, bled and even died so that we would not have to accept the kind of inferior education that is currently inflicted on many minority students. If you ask me, we need to march some more and the first place we need to march is right out the front door of those Christ dis-honoring, academically inferior, soul killing, indoctrinating centers." Voddie Bauchman, Jr. D.Min.

I think the schools are doing a good job teaching academics to our children. The only reason, at this point, I find the education in the public school system to be inferior is that is leaves God and the Spirit out of its teachings far too much. (Read this post for more.)

Some of these quotes are a little extreme. A little cheesy. A little dramatic. Yet, they contain some, what I think to be, valid and thought provoking points.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Because I love seeing it work!

Written by Claudia Orgill

I have to admit, quite often (and I love these times) I am surprised at the fact that homeschooling works! For whatever reason I just assumed people need to be pushed and told what to learn in order to progress intellectually and educationally. But, especially lately, I step back and see where the kids are heading and am amazed.

For instance Tyra is naturally interested in: German, playing the harp, playing the piano, embroidery, art, sign language, serving others, and writing stories. Ethan is interested in: China, Chinese, karate, inventions, workbooks, science, and most recently, audio book novels. I just find it amazing! There's so much to work with and it's...exciting.

I love being able to tap into so many resources to help these natural interests blossom and I love that it gives us even more excuses to turn to the Lord and ask for his assistance in their progression.

So often I excitedly think of them having all these interests fully developed and am in awe at what kind of people they will have become and who all they can benefit with the developing qualities they naturally came down to earth with.

I love focusing on these things the most and make efforts to mentor them in learning, as I set an example of learning myself, but I also like to make myself feel like the whole picture is well rounded by including the classics, other academic subjects, and outside experiences in their life as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because we are raising a hero generation.

Written by Claudia

There is something called the Millenial Generation. This is the generation that Neil Howe and William Strauss have identified as a Hero Generation. The Millennials have a very specific mission. They come of age during a crisis. They must have the wisdom, courage, diplomacy and virtue needed to lead us through it safely.

I believe there needs to be much more time and attention given to these virtues as I raise my children and I believe that if John and I sent them to school it wouldn't allow us the time, we feel is necessary, to instill these crucial virtues in them .

Some ways we instill these virtues in our children is by reading and discussing the classics, asking questions such as, "what would you do? or what do you think he/she should do?" We also study influential people lives and experiences, people such as Einstein, Florence Nightingale, George Washington, Leonardo da Vinci, or Helen Keller.

These people led amazing lives and one reason why they are remembered even today is because, keeping the above mentioned virtues in tact, they overcame serious obstacles.

As we keep an eye on what is happening in the world around us, (especially) in America, within our own state, and within our own neighborhood, we discuss these happenings, asking our children why they think people are reacting in such a way, why our economy would be doing such a thing, etc.

When the children are young we believe they are in a stage called "core phase". This stage is where they learn best what is good and bad. Therefore we focus on good, bad. Right, wrong. True, false.

We use the extra time we have together in studying the gospel in our morning devotionals, as we recognize and study what is good and what isn't. As we study the gospel, we also focus on recognizing the cycles people go through and what it is they do/turn to/ don't do, which brings different kinds of destruction to their people.

America is heading toward an ugly point in one of the four cycles which takes place within society. (Read the Fourth Turning) Because of this (and other factors) I feel that the things, which are most important, that my children will need to learn, which will help them become the best kind of people, are best taught in the home.