|Posted by Eileen Miller on June 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
We have been so blessed to be able to make the important decisions in all five of our childrens' educational needs here in America. As I sit here, I think of the German family trying to homeschool their children in their home country and have had to escape due to their country's hostility toward homeschooling. The American government is not granting this family asylum to live and teach their children here.
Wait...our governement will let millions of illegal immigrants in to receive hand outs and vote but keep a family devoted to virtue and hard work out? What is this world coming to? All I know is our children have greatly benefitted from their homeschool years and to deny them this is to deny them happiness and opportunity in the midst of a free society.
My oldest son graduated salutatorian from his Catholic high school and my oldest daughter is on the honor role at her Catholic high school. My children were homeschooled up until ninth grade and their transition into official private school life was a breeze!! While they were young being homeschooled, I had every opportunity to sit a talk with them teaching them virtuous concepts in everything they encountered in life. God's Word and prayer were central to every day's activities.
I distinctly rememeber sitting at the kitchen table teaching science to my sons and we laughed for hours on end. We would talk about philosophy...always pointing to God's Creation as the source of our scientific pursuits. I developed a questioning technique in science just like my journal writing technique. The boys would have to come up to the easle to write out their answers.
I recall the years with my daughters who helped me teach toddlers a dance and movement class at our local dance studio. They were so cute when we arrived at the studio because they would sit and play at the front desk before class started in the dance room. They were pretending to manage the studio. I thing they were in kindergarten and third grades at the time. I would teach them all about customer service and meeting the needs of the children. They were so good at helping me. When I became too pregnant, I would call out the steps and they would perform the movements for the children. There are tons of opportunities to be involved with in homeschooling.
I remember teaching my journal writing class at our homeschool co-op. It was a group of well behaved young people. I remember being blessed to coordinate the children's petitions for the Mass and coordinate their participation at the Mass at this co-op. It really was a joy to help out. I was even able to teach my dance and movement class to my son's homeschool co-op class. I have fond memories of playing a game I invented with groups of homeschooled boys. It was wonderful to see some of them advance from being poor sports to having good sportsmanship when it comes to winners and losers. I loved teaching American history to a group of middle schoolers because I went on a quest for the truth. Wherever the truth reigns, learning is fun. I remember having wonderful fellowhip with other homeschool moms. So you see...it goes on and on.
Our governement is denying so much to this family by not granting them asylum. Homeschooling is a beautiful way of life. There is no one who is more qualified to teach their children than their own parents.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on January 18, 2013 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
My son is continuing to write up to five to ten sentences in his summaries of stories now. Even though some of these keywords do not take on the same meaning as they do in my son's paragraphs, it is a fun way to learn bible verses. We enjoyed all of these stories, writing paragraphs, and researching bible verses. When a child learns to choose a keyword(s), it also helps them learn that the meaning of various words is important within the context of their sentences. It is also greatly beneficial and enjoyable to learn research skills for a variety of biblical passages. This is especially true when one chooses from ideas that they've created themselves within their own writings...the child's paragraph. The approach fosters a sense of confidence in the writing process.
1) Zack's Alligator by Shirley Mozelle....(Zack's uncle sends a surprise pet in the mail.)
2) The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole....(Ms. Frizzle teaches her class about the five senses.)
Psalm 34: 8-9
3) Poppleton in the Fall by Cynthia Rylant....(Two neighbors help each other.)
4) The Best Gift of All by Jonathan Emmett....(Animal friends learn what is important.)
Acts 20: 35
5) Ellen's Apple Tree by Catarina Kruusval....(A favorite place to play as a tree changes with the seasons.)
Mark 4: 24
|Posted by Eileen Miller on November 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM||comments (0)|
Please visit my blog post at http://ordainedpraise-homeschoolmom.blogspot.com/2012/11/going-to-mass-more-important-than-your.html to learn about helping your children appreciate the Mass. We know all kids love birthday parties. Well honoring our Creator should be loved even more than a birthday party. Just a way to help young ones understand how important it is to keep the third commandment.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on October 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
I just read How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz and Bless This House by Leslie Staub and when they are read back to back shows a sharp contrast in the lives of the characters. Both characters are young boys, one escaping the ravages of war torn Poland and the other in a comfortable suburb who does not lack food, books, and necessities.
One little boy suffers tremendously because his family lacks many comforts while the other boy is grateful for his family, house, and God's Creation through a charming prayer he recites before bedtime. It was an awesome opportunity to introduce to my son how blessed we are here in America and that we should pray for those who suffer from the effects of war. I would highly suggest reading these stories back to back. They are not too long and are very interesting. One can see the sharp contrasts in their lives by comparing the illustrations in the books.
Patrick verbalized his paragraphs for these two books and I chose bible verses from some of the keywords in his paragraphs. Later, he will write his paragraphs and we will look up the verses in the bible together. Below are the keywords:
Bless This House....(A boy is thankful through prayer.)
How I Learned Geography....(A family had to flee the effects of war.)
|Posted by Eileen Miller on October 14, 2012 at 10:35 PM||comments (0)|
"Neither Constitutional history nor legal precedent prior to Everson support the following words frequently quoted from the majority opinion in that decision: 'The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this:...No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion...In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and state' Reynolds v. United States, supra at 164.
Following Everson, the Court repeatedly leaned on the "wall" to impose its will, and prohibited public financial assistance to children attending schools teaching traditional religious values" (Behind the Lodge Door by Paul A. Fisher). Why has it taken so long for parents to see the devastating effect this has had on their children? Look how many people in our country do not care about traditional marriage, abortion, and religious freedom. No doubt they went to public schools or weak schools. Just look at the massive amounts of people who will vote for a president who has no qualms about violating our cherished first amendment rights! It is sad that many are so called "Christians." Well, Christianity and discipleship are two different things. One can say they practice Christianity but may not be a true disciple. We need to pray for these confused individuals.
So be it...the governments efforts did not impose or collect support from Christians, and maybe that's why they got away with it. Nevertheless, they've quarantined religion in public classrooms and forced a heavy burden on Christian children. Too many of the flock have lost their way. We've suffered tremendously for this and they still attack the most defenseless - our children. Wait though - they have hit a road block because pro-life values are getting stronger and religion is still prospering. They have decided to levy the HHS mandate on our beautiful Catholic Church to stop the growing trend of pro-life values and Christian discipleship from spreading and prospering.
I'm sorry but they can not have it both ways. The government has been unable to levy (impose or collect) support to religious institutions or activities using this "wall" as an excuse to rob American children of the most important aspect to their education. Today, they are attempting to tear down the "wall" and intrude on private religious institutions by forcing them to abide by HHS mandates or fines. They are attempting to go back on their philosophy of leaning on the "wall" and now want to tear down this "wall" to stop Christian discipleship. The government is now trying to impose its will on the Catholic Church and collect support from Christians or heavily fine them through the HHS mandate. This mandate supports morally reprehensible values and violates the conscience of many Americans.
The government is underqualified and has no authority in dictating which religious institutions are 'religious enough' to meet the qualification for an exemption. They should stay out of the affairs of religion as, it is clear, that this administration discriminates against Christians and favors other religions. Our cultures heritage is supposed to reflect prevention of discrimination and/or favoritism. Doesn't this administration realize that they are not the only ones with a brain. The American people have great ideas that should be fostered to create businesses and promote virtue in our society.
It is obvious that this administrations goals are to eventually keep Christians out of the public square. This is one of the worst forms of discrimination...a slow and steady suppression on religious freedom which has fostered unity and success in our country. Why hasn't anyone called the HHS mandate discrimination yet? Obama would quake in his boots to be associated with this word because this is one of his lame excuses he uses to push his agenda on us.
Are we going to let our children be taught the values of past strange failed philosophies? We can not let this happen anymore. We've suffered and put up with enough. This administrations methods of communicating with us are to shut down, ignore, and silence us. Do we have to start treating them the same way? This is unethical to the Christian who loves his neighbor. We can't compromise non-negotiables anymore. We need to vote for virtuous conservative political leaders that won't compromise on the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights! Too many weak politicians have compromised valuable resources with ill thought out efforts of negligent leaders. Now they are trying to force us to compromise our most cherished right to freedom of religion. The bishops even acknowledged that vice president Joe Biden misled the American people by lying about the HHS mandate in the vice presidential debate. We can no longer believe their claims and their record is proof of this.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on September 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
My son is six years old and is writing paragraphs containing three sentences: the topic sentence, one middle sentence, and a conclusion. Here is a list of some of the most recent stories he's completed in his journal. Remember to have your child write their paragraph first and afterwards, choose key words. They may even come up with different keywords and bible verses than I have listed here. You can use this as a guide if you wish.
1) Bumpety Bump by Pat Hutchins....(Grandpa and his grandson do some gardening.)
Matthew 4: 19-20
2) Henry Builds a Cabin by D.B. Johnson....(Henry builds a house too small.)
Matthew 16: 18
John 2: 16-17
3) Too Many Toys by David Shannon....(Spencer learns that too many toys are not good.)
Matthew 6: 19-21
Mark 1: 32-34, Mark 13: 5-6, and Mark 15: 4-5
Proverbs 22: 24-25
4) Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier....(Millie learns to be nice to the mailman.)
Isaiah 30: 18
Wisdom 17: 9
Jeremiah 10: 2
Sirach 2: 6
Matthew 6: 13
5) Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig....(Sylvester is happy after a tragic wish.)
Mark 10: 35-45
Keyword: Held (preserved)
Isaiah 38: 16-17
Proverbs 4: 1-6
Sirach 7: 27-28
Luke 7: 47-49
|Posted by Eileen Miller on August 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
Story telling with NOL techniques can return us to one of the greatest elements to moral education. The stories read to our children contain extrinsic value in that we learn from other characters what they value... outside of ourselves...whether virtue or vice. When our children begin to form their own descriptions and opinions into sentences and paragraphs for their journals, they begin to apply their own learned and nurtured values to the story. Afterwards, keywords are chosen and utilized to search for bible verses which help the story and/or process take on a positive intrinsic value of strengthening faith, loving others, staying safe, and infusing creativity into their thinking skills. God's ways open up the door to freedom and limit the need to feel bogged down in details.
Let's face that our children will one day encounter characters in stories that "make no attempt to delineate character in a moral dilemma, have any ties to any social particularities (traditions, loyalties, locations, or histories), or leave to judgement the character's life not fully lived or mission incomplete." (How to Teach Virtue: Why Telling Stories to our Children is the Best Kind of Character Education, William Kirk Kilpatrick) It is a strange new way of teaching. Parents have the ability in the moral treasure of Christian principles to put limits on flaws in stories presented today and into the future by infusing biblical realities and encounters in nurturing into story telling. NOL techniques give parents an effective and enjoyable approach to present this moral treasure to their children while building up other beneficial skills of writing, communicating, and drawing at the same time. Time can be valuable and this simple NOL process can ensure a fruitful outcome for children in a manageable block of time.
Positive intrinsic values through bible reading learn to be sought after and experienced in the child's thinking about the stories and in our every day life. The bible becomes the authority or final word in any dilemma a story presents. External values are still observed through good and/or bad behaviors from characters without your child feeling as though he has been given the authority to determine what is good and bad before he has learned it. God has already told us what is good and our children need to apply this goodness to life events. One of the closest paths to mirror life events for the very young is through story telling. The NOL process trains our children to navigate toward the proper leaders and friends to emulate in life and navigate away from danger.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on August 14, 2012 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogain is a great story about a fox that works to get his tail back. Now my six year old knows what Red Tape is: unnecessary work (among other things). You have to read the story to find out. Red Tape is a label. When you label something, it adheres to the memory. Liberals do this all the time and it works - but their labels do not make sense to intelligent people.
My six year old is writing three sentences now. Our keywords from his sentences were DRINK and LOVE. Here are the bible passages we utilized:
DRINK: Matt. 25:35
LOVE: 1 Cor. 13
I can tell this NOL technique is bringing the light of truth to my child when he makes his first sentence about the character that was giving. He could have chosen many other characters in the story, but he focused on the one with virtuous qualities.
It was funny when daddy came home and he asked him, "Is there alot of RED TAPE at your work?"
I've also began a process of reviewing some basic parts of speech and marking them in his paragraph when his journal entry is complete.
Try to read this story and write about with your child on your own. If you need further assistance in applying NOL techniques to your child's writing, please read the rest of this post which carries you through the process I completed with my first grader step-by-step. It will help you to use this approach for the writing process.
Being in first grade now and writing three sentences for each journal entry, is a big accomplishment. For Mom to introduce the concept of the paragraph, it is an effective approach to have a topic sentence, middle sentence, and conclusion to keep things straight forward and simple for her child.
In order to trigger a verbal response from Patrick to create his sentences, I ask him questions. My questions are usually similar to those that follow for this particular book:
1) Topic Sentence: "If a friend were to ask you what this story was about, what would you tell him or her?"
In this example, Patrick gave me a stellar topic sentence verbally because he chose to focus on the character the 'showed love.' The fact that he chose this character is the result of the constant referencing to biblical discipline we've focused on through the years, ever since he was four years old. Patrick told me, "The miller showed love to the fox..."
After he said this, Mom says: "BECAUSE..."
Patrick immedicately expanded his thought by answering this question correctly and then applying it to the end of his topic sentence with Mom's help. Patrick said, "...he wanted to get his tail back."
Therefore, you can see that my son can develop a good sentence on his own and, with assistance, can expand on his thought process. The constant dialogue between you and your child becomes part of your child's rhetorical and reasoning skills. This NOL technique to learning how to write improves how your child communicates and views life around him or her with the advantage of the natural nurturing process between parent and child.
2) Conclusion: How do you feel about this story?
This question triggers an opinion about the story. Listening skills are also greatly improved through this questioning process. Patrick developed his conclusion from NOT just the story, but also his dialogue with Mom regarding the story.
Please note that for this story, I purposely advanced from topic sentence to conclusion skipping over the middle sentence. This was done in order to make a good transitioning middle sentence easier later on. Patrick's conclusion was, "The fox got very tired working hard to get his tail."
After each good complete verbal thought, Mom praises her child's efforts and writes the sentence down on an index card herself to refer to later. The index cards will be eliminated before long. In the beginning of introducing paragraphs, they are very helpful as you will now see.
Mom says: "So we know that the fox lost his tail and worked hard to get it back." (Place the two sentences (topic and conclusion) on index cards next to each other for your child to see...pointing to a appropriate card while saying this.) Point out that the sentences have to transition smoothly so the reader understands what happened. Your child will see something is missing after you ask the following question.
3) Middle Sentence: How did he lose his tail? Who took it?
Patrick said, "The woman cut it off..." Mom says, "WHEN..." Patrick said, "...the fox drank her milk."
Now we had the third good sentence to write down on the index card which transitions nicely from the topic sentence, through this middle sentence, to the conslusion. After it is written, Mom places the index card in between the topic sentence and conclusion for the child to read out loud in order.
This is the time I pointed out minor edits for a couple of pronouns to change and explained why. We changed 'IT' to 'HIS TAIL' and 'THE FOX' to 'HE.' This is the completed paragraph Patrick wrote in his journal:
The miller showed love to the fox because he wanted him to get his tail back. The woman cut his tail off when the fox drank her milk. He got very tired working hard to get his tail.
Before actually writing his paragraph in his journal, I ask my son to pick a picture to draw and color for his journal page. I thought it quite interesting that Patrick chose the picture with the very source of the milk...the cow was in it. I also do not believe in copy work that much. My son has to recall his sentences without seeing them. Of course, Mom is there to help.
Depending on my child's mood and the story read, Mom may sometimes ask her child to choose a picture to draw first. It acts like some what of an ice breaker that stimulates creativity when your child is staring at a blank page to think of something to write down. Afterwards, Mom can ask, "What is this picture about?" This is when you determine with your child, whether their verbal answer should be applied as their topic sentence, middle sentence, or conclusion.
Have your child read their completed journal entry out loud and then choose 'KEYWORDS' to look up in the bible. We chose 'LOVE' and 'DRANK' as I mentioned earlier. Read these bible verses together and have a dialogue regarding them.
Look now your child's completed paragraph and mark important parts of speech or words. We use a different color pen or pencil and put:
1) Squares around the keywords
2) Double underline under each Subject Noun with an 'S' above the word
3) A single underline under the Verb with a 'V' above the word
4) And a triple underline under enhancers (what I call them currently) under words like 'BECAUSE' and 'WHEN' that were used in this paragraph with an arrow above the word.
If your child is older and expected to write more, his paragraph can look like this (weaving the bible verses into his/her writing):
There was once a thirsty fox who drank a woman's unattended jug of milk. The woman was so irate that she chopped the tail of the fox right off. Being totally heart broken and embarrassed at the loss of his tail, he had to find a way to return her milk in order to receive his tail back.
Being punished for stealing is one thing, but losing an important limb for it and trying to receive help to get it back from stingy people while in pain from an injury is another. In the bible, offering someone a drink when they are thirsty is a virtue. Matthew 25:35 says, "...I was thirsty and you gave me drink." A true Christian will offer, free of charge, a thristy travelor a drink. There is no shortage of milk that we can't retrieve it ourselves.
The fox was soon going to find out the hard way that most individuals on earth want something in return for things they are asked for or services that are requested of them. It wasn't until the fox was terribly exhausted, not to mention injured too, that he met someone who really cared about his dilemma.
This loving character who gave to the fox out of the goodness of his heart defies the onslaught of selfishness so pervasive in our world today. With loving compassion, he gave freely to the fox without expecting anything in return. In 1 Corinthians 13 it explains how devoid of compassion one is without real love for God and their fellow man. The other characters in this story should learn from the miller who was compassionate.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on June 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
Here is a list of more sample stories and bible verses you can enjoy with your child. My son and I will be revisiting and rereading these bible verses later by going through his journal together.
1) The Land of Hungry Armadillos by Lawrence David (Gus should have served God and shared his crayons with Wendy.)
Bible Verses re: Sharing and Love of Neighbor:
Acts 20:35....."I have always pointed out to you that it is by such hard work that you must help the weak. You need to recall the words of the Lord Jesus himself, who said, 'There is more happiness in giving than receiving."
Matt. 19:19b....."Honor your father and your mother; and 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
Gal. 5:14....."The whole law has found its fulfillment in this one saying: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Gal. 6:10....."While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all men - but especially those of the household of the faith."
Rom. 12: 10b....."Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect."
2) Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candice Fleming (A rich king invites a poor boy to a party.)
Bible Verse re: Inviting the Poor to the Banquet:
Luke 14:12-14....."He said to the one who had invited him: 'Whenever you give a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or wealthy neighbors. They might invite you in return and thus repay you. No, when you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind. You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.' "
3) Thunder Boomer by Shutta Crum (Tom saw dad's underwear flying in the storm.)
Bible Verses re: Laughter:
Gen. 21:6....."Sarah then said, 'God has given me cause to laugh, and all who hear of it will laugh with me.' "
Job 8:21....."Once more will he fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with refoicing."
4) Dimity Dumpty, The Story of Humpty's Little Sister by Bob Graham (Dimity saved her brother Humpty.)
Bible Verses re: To Save (many more too)
Luke 10: 29-37.....Parable of the Good Samaritan
5) The Pigrates Clean Up by Steven Kroll (Pigrates clean the ship.)
Bible Verse re: Keeping Clean while Fasting
Matt. 6:16....."When you fast, you are not to look glum as the hypocrites do. They change the appearance of their faces so that others may see they are fasting. I assure you, they are already repaid"
6) R. Robot Saves Lunch by R. Nicholas Kuszyk (R. Robot found the missing robot.)
Bible Verses re: Lost / Found
Luke 15:1.....Lost Sheep
Luke 15:8.....Lost Coin
Matt. 13:45.....Found Pearl
Matt. 13:44.....Found Treasure
7) Jacobs Tree by Holly Keller (Jacob couldn't wait to grow.)
Bible Verse re: Growth
Matt. 13: 31-35.....Mustard Seed
8. James and the Rain by Karla Kuskin (James walked in the rain with the animals.)
Bible Verse re: Rain
Genisis 7:12....."For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth."
9) Grandfather's Dream by Holly Keller (The crains came back to Vietnam.)
Bible Verse re: Coming Back
Luke 15: 11-32.....Prodigal Son
10) Nugget and Darling by Barbara M. Joosse (Nugget learned not to be jealous.)
Bible Verse re: Learning
Matt. 11: 28-30....."Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light."
Feel free to share your experience with your child here. When Patrick and I revisit the stories later, we will not have the story book (They were all library materials and have to be returned). We will just have the bible and the journal created by my son whose sentences and pictures will bring up the main point of the story. The journal is a great keepsake too. Patrick will be learning to search the bible to find and read the appropriate passages to me. Also, feel free to share any new stories you do on your own.
|Posted by Eileen Miller on June 22, 2012 at 4:20 AM||comments (0)|
Ten Days and Nine Nights by Yumi Heo is a wonderful adoption story told from the perspective of the future big sister of the new baby as she counts up the days to the joyful arrival her mother soon brings home. We also had to discuss our verses with small breaks in between them because I do not want to overwhelm my son. When he actually read the verses out loud from the bible, it was music to my ears! While he just turned six and we completed one sentence, we incorporated three separate bible verses that were applied to our discussion. They are (remember to look up or explain underlined words):
1) Galatians 4: 4-5 "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that we might receive adoption."
**** My son wrote his sentence with the word 'adopted' in it. We also spoke of Mary as 'the woman.' The 'fullness of time' was when God saw that it was right to send Jesus.
(I have to tell you...I have three sons. At the beach, two of my sons were talking about the birthmarks on their side and back. My third son said, "I don't have one." My six year old said, "maybe that means your adopted." We laughed. He knew it was a joke too.)
2) John 14: 1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be."
**** From the pictures in this story, the big sister and her father prepare the baby's room. One can see how this verse can tie in nicely. The pictures almost act like a parable does.
3) Mark 1:8 "I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy spirit."
**** The picture my son drew was when the mother presented paperwork to the adoption agency. I told him, "we don't need paperwork to be part of God's family. This is why we are baptized."
Have fun with your child and enjoy the story and the Word of God! Remember too that your child must know that the story does not replace the Word of God. It just helps to conceptualize its meaning.