A way of living

I believe homeschooling should have as is central educational goal to enkindle in a child the love of learning. There are of course faith, spiritual, moral, and other important goals but I am speaking specifically about this part of our homeschooling plan.

For me using the Charlotte Mason philosophy is a perfect fit, and truly the best means I could imagine for living a homeschool life.

It is characterized by three words: Atmosphere, Life, Discipline. What could be better than living in a beautiful well run home, where we live life in pursuit of the real good things - faith, love, hope, friendship, peace, joy, introspection and self examination and constant interaction with nature and our community? A life filled with good books, music, art and children?

It really is a simple life that does not happen without planning, sacrifice and lots of tweaking.

I love books. I love to read and to learn. My children see more tearing through books, devouring them really every week. All the children would mark reading as a favorite pass time. As much as we love reading we love discussion equally. We love to debate and relate ideas, stories, songs, jokes, politics, faith, the world.

This is a thinking home. I do not use "texty" books, I do not believe in taking a fascinating subject and having every ounce of wonder removed, then forcing a child to chew on it like a piece of gum, until what little flavor it had is gone. Is it any wonder they want to stick it in their hair?

The textbooks we do use for Math and Science are not your momma's texts. They are narrative, living books by passionate people, in an enlightening, creative, engaging way. I do not use formal grammar until High School until then we narrate, dictate, and speak well.

Art is everyday. Nature is everyday. Responsibility, Faith and Character Formation is everyday in the course of our life. The rest of life is simply lived for the joy of living it.

It feels good in this life, in this home, and in this way of living and schooling.

Perhaps not everyone feels comfortable in this method? That's okay. If what you are doing is really working for you and for your children, press on.

But if not, I would encourage to re-examine the goals. Why are you homeschooling? What do you hope to accomplish? Are the goals purely career, academic, with a side of life or are you thinking about a good life, and how to help your child discover her passion?

How do you help them find it? If you think you find it, how do you light it?

next time...

lamination fascination

If you can print it, laminate it. I love my laminator

birds, beauty and the promise of spring

The birds began returning and now my yard is teeming with life and activity.

First the robins, then the jays, and cardinals. Yesterday we had 3 baby woodpeckers! I wish I could have snapped off some pics.

I enjoyed my coffee on the front porch this morning to the endless songs from the birdie condo (fir tree) by the corner of the house. It's time to make some changes to the feeders and get ready for spring visitors.

I know that the cold is not quite finished with us yet but the glimmer of warmth, the promise of spring is exciting. It gives me an extra pick up in my step and makes me want to wash windows - weird.

We have a busy school day today, a perfectly active, enjoyable, school day. I have shaken off the effects of my medical procedure and I am poised to be awesome today.

I began Lent with a fast (that begin on Sunday night) and though I did break the full fast it was only with a bowl of cereal. Today, I eat! I prayed and offered that up for a specific prayer request. My Lenten purpose this year is private, and very important. It will not be easy but I am committed to doing my best. I intend to use the contemplative prayer that I learned last Lent to help me make the changes necessary.

Blessings,

Robin
If you have gotten over the "why" you should homeschool, that really is more than half the battle. Particularly if part of the why includes God. Keeping Him at the center will make the entire process

My Mom is HERE!!

I was folding laundry telling my mom on the phone that my stomach is already upset and I don't feel well in preparation for my procedure tomorrow. She said, I better not cancel...I paused, said I wouldn't then I turned around and she was in my basement!

She came to be with me! Is that the sweetest thing ever? I feel so much better now about it, just having her here makes me feel cared for and loved, of course that's what moms do best.

I haven't even had a chance to share with you that she is my first Team Member in Simply Fun! The original fun, party gal has joined forces with me and together we will (loud reverberating echo) rule the galaxy! Er, uh, I mean sell games, build a business, and take cool trips together of course.

So Jen relax now, mom will make sure I go. I won't need another procedure to remove anyone's foot from my behind.

I would appreciate prayers though. This is a common procedure but between heart, blood pressure, and aneurysm issues, oh and allergies to medications -simple procedures are rarely simple for me and recovery usually takes a little extra time.

Blessings,
Robin

The Ronald McDonald House

Christina had an amazing Simply Fun party and earned a Play it Forward Package for the St. Louis Ronald McDonald House. I think this is a fabulous idea and dovetails perfectly with Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital that Jennifer selected as her charity.

Since there are a few days left for this promotion I thought I would try to see if we can earn more FREE stuff for them by holding an online party store. You can visit the link below and click on the Shop Now Tab. If you want the best info on the games or video demos etc. you will want to visit my website at:

http://www.timewithfamily.simplyfun.com/

and then go shop at the online party store at or just email me

http://simplyfun.eventuity.com/e/13340

If you are saying, huh? Play it Forward is the Simply Fun February Promotion. Simply Fun will donate over $85.00 in products to the organization of your choice when your party reaches $400. So since everyone is all over the US, I thought I'd try an online party store. I will need about 10 orders to reach the goal. I'll be making personal donations in addition the company donation. This is such great opportunity to earn free products for a good cause, will you join me?

I cannot recommend Linkity, Sneaks, Quartile, Tunebaya, and Walk the Dogs enough - we LOVE those games. Maybe you can save them for Easter baskets, or maybe you have a birthday coming up?

Remember, your purchase will help earn potentially $85 or more of FREE games for the Ronald McDonald House in addition to my personal donation.

Lastly if you would like to purchase an item to be donated and delivered in your name, along with my personal donation you can do so in the store and choose my address for shipping. The delivery will be made on or around the 11th of March.

Local folks -I will use my home address for shipping to save on the cost.

Trying to take advantage of this promotion down to the LAST day so get those orders in no later than Saturday!

Blessings,
Robin

Maggie is a star

My sweet little dog Maggie is a star at the nursing homes. She is perfect. Gentle, sweet, calm, soft, furry and utterly adorable. This is a wonderful way for us to remember our elderly and offer some service to them. It takes very little time to be honest, maybe 40 minutes to visit everyone. The kids love it. We used to do meals on wheels but gas just got too expensive. It was a great ministry for us. We loved visiting the folks.

I would love to take Missy but sadly she would be obnoxious, Jack would be petrified. Maggie, though, has found her calling.

Blessings,
Robin

A Pancake Tale

My first month in Simply Fun has been so exciting and very busy! I have to admit I let a few things slide around the house getting this business off the ground.

It is from my Simply Fun starter month that Simply Fun Coffee Cake Pancakes were born.

"Mom, what's for breakfast?"

"Cereal."

"Try again mom, no cereal, um and no milk."

"Oh, pancakes."

"No syrup."

Not to be rattled by such a minor problem of having nothing to cook with I scanned the pantry. I did not need my x-ray vision, the door was open. I opted for brown sugar and powdered sugar. Hey, it was that or liquid heat and soy sauce. I made up a batch of pancake mix, "add water" Great! I have that! I added brown sugar, moistened with a teaspoon of water and a little cinnamon. As they cooked I sprinkled a tiny bit of sugar on top. I added a little water to powdered sugar, making an icing, and topped the pancakes with it.

They were a huge hit! Of course how could I miss? Feeding kids something with three kinds of sugars isn't exactly genius. If I had found a way to add gum they would have erected a monument to me in the kitchen out of Legos or something.

Anywho, that's my SimplyFun Coffee Cake Pancakes Story. It is true and no names have been changed to protect anyone.

Rockin' Out the last week of February!
Robin

What are..."Things Robin wonders about before she goes to bed" for 500 Alex

Would people who worship games be offended if I called myself the Game Goddess? Do people worship games? Should Game Goddess be capitalized? Will people think I actually believe I am a goddess? Will merely using the word goddess in this post make all kinds of weirdo mythological worshippers find me through a Google search? Do people still worship Zeus?

I know what you are thinking...no this is a PM post.

These are just questions I am pondering. Like why can't I find an anchor that actually STAYS in the wall? Why does food that is really bad for you have to taste so good?

How long is spaghetti sauce in the fridge good? with meat sauce? Why oh why did Jennifer introduce me to Creamy Southwestern Ranch Dip from Tostitos? Why did she give me all that chocolate?

Why did Steve take all the cookies?

Why when I just bought my son 2 new pairs of shoes this weekend did he go out all day in the most raggedy, shredded, dog has chewed on them shoes he has ever owned?

Why did my dog dig up then chew up a wire from the ground in the yard? What's it go to? Is it the reason we lost power Saturday at 1 am? Am I liable? Dave? How are they gonna prove which one of the dogs did it? Will they play good cable guy-bad cable guy, try to cut the younger pup a deal? Get her to roll over on the others...get it, roll over?!

Dave is in Turkey. Stop it, I said IN Turkey not A! He still has a long time to go, Jen and Adam are doing the deployment time with him, in that they are separated by an ocean and a continent and various seas. Man this military gig is a tough one. Steve is only in Missouri and will be back Friday but I miss him. Of course when he is gone the kids eat waffles for dinner but then the dog digs up the buried wires in the yard. Not good.

Okay the kids are calling for the Game Goddess - they are actually calling me that, I love 'em! We are going to play Ooga! It has mini plungers and you have to pick up dinosaur "bones" with them really fast. At least it's a break from FrankenChess because I've been getting my buttocks handed to me in Chess.

Have to tell you about the Nursing Home today, but later. It's that time

Blessings,
Robin

Living next to the Hoosiers

Today was a very blustery day!

Whenever it is windy like this we LOVE to tie kite string to Wal-mart bags and fly them.

So there we are, Wal-mart bags flying in the air. We don't care if they get caught in the trees (even our trees ;) we have plenty.

I don't know how much my neighbors cared for them but we enjoyed them! They must love living next to the Hoosiers.

When I was a child we NEVER, ever owned snow boots. My mom would save the bread bags and put them over our shoes and legs up to our knees (or higher when we were little) and then secure them with a rubber band or two. I'm not sure how old I was before I realized that there was even such thing AS snow boots. I thought everybody just used Rainbow Bread bags. They worked, they were free.

We also found endless entertainment out of an old dryer tub, rolling one another down the hills and down the street. But that is another story from my Hoosier childhood for another day.

I am off to bed...

I hope your days are filled with special moments, laughter and lots of love!
Robin

Stranded

You know you need to go to the grocery store when you only have one roll of toilet paper for three bathrooms.

It's also not cool when you don't remember which one has the tp until it's well, too late.

It's also very, very uncool when all three of your children are cleaning their rooms with headphones on and cannot hear you banging on the walls and the floor.

Lesson learned today...stock up on tp or be stranded in the bathroom for 15 MINUTES waiting for someone to hear your pleas for toilet tissue paper between songs.

:)Robin

I fought the day but the day won

Holy cow is Thursday.

Everything went wrong today. At about 3 pm I ran up the white flag of surrender and I proclaimed to the day - YOU have beaten me, you win, aye but you were a worthy adversary!

I then retired promptly to my bed chamber where I ran meself a piping hot bath, open a fresh bag of chocolates and began to set the whole day straight.

pause: Not sure why I am writing with an Irish Brogue but, work with me.

Twas only soaking in the tub short bit when the youngest little bugger came bounding up the stairs, wailing as if he'd lost his own dear dog, But nay twasn't the dog, his knickers were in a twist because his sister had bitten him in the back. The back that is not the backside. She dawdled behind but finally arrived to explain the bite occurred during a grapple where he was laying on her face. They bantered around their versions but I paid it little mind. Reminded them there were chocolate bars in the pantry and they could have them, if they could find their clear to leave me alone in peace in bath. Off they ran, praise be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen. I finished me bath, restored, relaxed and fresh and again able to handle what else the little boogies want to throw at me.

What was weird...besides the Irish thing. I was on the phone the whole time. You can tell if you are a friend, a god friend, a best friend, or a BFF based on certain criteria like: how long will they hold? can you talk and go to the bathroom? take a bath, yell at your kids, or mute? We need a scale.

Starting to go a little sideways here...so I'm out. Top o' the mornin' to ya! I mean tomorrow, you know when it IS morning.

peas - out