Saturday, January 30, 2010

The last of the questions....

This should finish out the last of the questions we were sent, unless someone sends in more.

What is your statement of faith?
What are your reasons for homeschooling?
Does your family support you?
How do you encourage your kids to study when they do not want to?
What kind of discipline do you use?

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Our statement of faith is simple. We believe that Jesus is the son of God, and he died on the cross for our sins. On the 3rd day he arose. We believe in baptism by immersion, once one is old enough to accept Christ.
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We have several reasons for homeschooling. First, prior to quitting my well paying job, marrying and moving here, my girls were enrolled in a private Christian School (Johnson County Christian Academy) in Centerview MO. They grew up with certain ideals, language and behaviors that were present in the Christian School that I just was not seeing in the public school district (I have subbed in many different school districts over the years, and there is a difference). Our first year here, they attended another Christian School, but for me to continue to be a stay at home mom, they either had to attend public school or be homeschooled, due to the tuition costs.

I wanted my children to be able to pray in school, study the Bible (eternal life is forever, this one is just for a short 75-100 years), and have a smaller classroom size. I wanted them to be able to say the pledges every morning (there are districts I have subbed in where we are NOT allowed to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag). I wanted them to learn creation from Genesis, not Darwin.

I did not want them to be exposed to the dirty language in the halls, improper dress, peers offering them cigarettes and alcohol at school. I have witnessed school fights involving knives over a difference in race and religion. I have seen a girl knocked down because she had on the wrong color shirt and tennis shoes from Walmart instead of name brand. This is not the environment I want my chidren in from 7:40 to 8:15 five days a week.
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Yes, my family supports me. My husband does work full time, but he works with the girls, teaching them mechanics, driving lessons, working with them and their horses, and some of the math, and of course, being on the fire department and being an EMT, some health and fire safety, and from his working in a chemical plant, he also works with them some on their sciences.

My parents also support us as well. As mentioned earlier, my father is a retired teacher (and preacher) and is well versed in math, electronics, electricity and the sciences, having taught them for several years in both the public school and college setting. He sometimes helps them with the science or math, and is always giving us books or items for the classroom. I also have some cousins who homeschool or have homeschooled that provide ideas and moral support.
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How do I encourage my children to study when they don't want to??....

Sometimes we just take a break and come back to it.
Sometimes we take a different angle of approach or back down to make it simpler, if they have lost interest because it is too hard.
Sometimes we just skip it, and come back to it later.
Once in awhile we have to get the principal (my husband!!) involved!!
The thing about homeschooling is that we have the freedom to work these issues out.
I have one daughter who learns best by watching the concept--she is bored if she hears it or reads it, but fascinated if she watches it on video. So, when possible I hit the library for certain subjects.
They all like to watch their grades. Homeschooling gives us the advantage that if they get a bad grade they can do extra work to make up for it. That often motivates them to be able to watch their grade creep back up to where they want it. We also sometimes "bribe" them with small treats--"if we get this done by 3 we will fix ice cream".
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As for discipline, we use grounding, taking away items such as TV or movies, doing extra school work or extra chores. We have been known to use a paddle once in awhile too....
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Tonight the girls are off for an all night non sleeping Girl Scout event, "Owl Prowl". They will be swimming, working on badges, movies, eating, doing crafts and more until morning.

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