Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 2nd Grade :)

Giddy About Family

on April 19, 2013

So you didn’t make it to the Christian Homeschool Convention, bummer…………..but I brought you back a small piece of what the convention had to offer because its just too good to miss!!


Curriculum at the Convention

Dean and I really enjoyed ourselves at the Christian Home Educators Association of California convention last weekend. I decided to attend CHEA’s convention on a trial basis you could say–sure that I wanted to go once, but not sure that I would feel that it would be necessary to continue returning. I mean how many times do you need to attend a homeschool conference? We paid nothing to go because our oldest child is under 6 years of age–a nice perk at the CHEA convention. The convention consisted of two parts: the curriculum exhibit hall and the workshop sessions covering a wide range of homeschooling topics.

I went mainly for the workshops because I knew that the curriculum expo portion of the convention wouldn’t be highly useful to me since I already know what materials and methods I want to use with my kids, and that those specific materials wouldn’t be present at a general convention. However, it was a relief to be able to just mosey around the expo room for fun, not feeling overwhelmed by having to make any selections from the vast amount of Christian curriculum available. Following Charlotte Mason methods makes curriculum selection really easy because staying true to her philosophies really narrows down the choices. Basically, at the convention, there were no complete homeschool curriculum packages, or boxed curriculum, that 100 % follows Charlotte Mason methods. No big surprise. I am not sure such curriculum exists, and that is why those of us who teach Charlotte’s way, plan our own curriculum, and/or pull from online sources like the free curriculum guides at SimplyCharlotteMason.com and Amblesideonline.org. The only complete curriculum package at the convention expo that resonates with me at all is My Father’s World, a curriculum that attempts to use Charlotte Mason methods. I perused their kindergarten curriculum package and liked their Bible lessons, but in my opinion, the kindergarten level seems a little easy overall and perhaps not challenging enough, and therfore does not support Charlotte’s foundational belief that children have great powers of mind. If one really couldn’t spend any time before next school year putting a custom plan together using suggestions from SimplyCharlotteMason’s curriculum guide, I would recommend My Father’s World as plan B. However, once you get into My Father’s World, you will probably find that you have to tweak MFW, and any type of “one size fits all” curriculum so much, that you may find yourself wishing you had just spent the extra planning time on the front end in order to have a custom family curriculum that really works for you. That being said, we did glean some things from the CHEA bookstore booth, the creation science booth, and the highly energetic Spanish curriculum saleslady really got me thinking about starting Spanish with my children early on (probably on my own, although her curriculum did look fun).

CHEA Convention is All About Family

I found the atmosphere at the convention to be very family oriented and even rejuvenating for marriages. Dean and I held hands all weekend as we were child free– and we are hardly able to do this anymore with our little ones always in our arms or holding our hands. We were drawn together, but I think it was more than just being away from the kids. I would say that there was a special anointing, a strength, a power due to prayers prayed over the convention for oneness of family vision, which begins in healthy marriages. The information presented at the workshops was thought provoking and discussion stirring for us. We sat at lunch discussing the dearness of family and vision for our own family, since the gladness of what we had just received during the workshops was bubbling over in our hearts. I felt so much family pride, a deeper understanding of a family calling, and so much feeling for my family awakened! I even felt giddy. Giddy thinking about the children God has given us and thinking about the children He may yet give us. I finally understood why homeschool families often grow so large when the speaker (with a family of 6 boys and 2 girls!) said, “60 % of homeschool families have 3 or more children. Homeschool families are on the front lines of God’s army. Children are a reward, and the Bible says children are our arrows going into battle. You could go into battle with one or two arrows (like most of the world), but wouldn’t you want to go into battle with more arrows? ” I noticed that many many husbands accompanied their wives to the convention, and I imagine that other couples experienced the same impartation of vision as well as special opportunities for discussion. I look forward to attending the secular Homeschool Association of California’s convention someday as well, but I suspect that this special Godly family anointing I felt at CHEA is something unique to the Christian convention.

Originally I thought that a homeschool convention might be a one time event, but now I see the CHEA convention as a recharging time that would be an annual benefit to our family. So I encourage you for the same reasons to think about going next year with your husband. Not only will you receive an incredible amount of homeschool guidance all in one convenient time and place, but a rejuvenation for your vision and your family so unique that is hard to put into words. And if your oldest child will be 5 or younger next April, and its your first time attending, its free to go ($99 otherwise). Yay!

Hal and Melanie Young

After hearing Hal and Melanie Young in the Saturday morning keynote session, we followed them around all day to hear whatever workshops they were leading. Incredible speakers with an incredible heart for family! We heard Never, Never Give Up; Raising Real Men; and My Friend, My Beloved (available in the CHEA audio store soon). I LOVED listening to their homeschool success stories and imagining that our family could experience the same………If only we could sit at the feet of such wise people more often! God put that kind of heart in me and my husband!!

Hal and Melanie’s website, RaisingRealMen.com, is worth looking into if you have a son. I bought their book called Raising Real Men because I desire for my little Noah to grow up and be a MAN, not a grown up boy. Hal and Melanie have so much Godly insight into raising boys, and their 6 boys are such good role models of what God can do in a homeschooling family. After implementing just a couple things the Young’s mentioned about setting little boys sights on what it is to be a man, I have already seen Noah’s little chest puff out as mommy acknowledges how strong he is, or what a hard worker he is, “just like a man”.

I really want to share the keynote session, Never, Never Give Up by Hal and Melanie Young with you. Will you please please listen?? I know you will be blessed.


(audio may take a few minutes to load)

Called to Serve Your Family

My heart burns for you. For you best friend, dear friends, loved ones, and beloved readers to know that you are capable of homeschooling your children. Deep down you wonder how do I know if I am capable??? In the introduction session at the convention, the speaker mentioned that this is the one and only thing that stops many parents from homeschooling. He said there is one answer to that question, and it is enough. Who did God give your children to? He gave your children to you. That is how you know that you are capable. If other parents would have been more capable of raising your children, He would have given them to those parents. But He gave them to you. Its that simple.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 tells us to that every opportunity should be taken to instil the knowledge of divine things into the tender minds of our children. Homeschool affords us those opportunities for true discipleship.

“You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always on your heart. Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up. Tie them as reminders on your forearm, bind them on your forehead, and write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates.”

Giddy About My Little Man

Noah Trying to Climb Trees

IMG_9826

Letting Boys Take Risks Is Part of Raising Them to Be Men

IMG_9832

Math: Concentration

I changed this matching numbers game from 12 cups to 8, and the kids did so much better. We needed to adjust our original plans as 12 cups was too overwhelming for Tayler and Noah. See April Lesson Plans for Concentration math game instructions.

IMG_9792

Noah Using His Own Hymnal in Circle Time

Noah begged me for his own hymnal. He insists that I point to the words for him while we sing. So cute. If you look closely, you can see that this month I started writing out definitions of difficult words in the hymnal, like “conscience”, to go over with the children before singing. Now they know what they are singing about, I don’t have to come up with explanations off the top of my head, and wonderfully wordy hymns are made more accessible to our young ones.

IMG_9786

Raising a Man Who Knows How to Seek the Lord For Himself


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: