Friday, April 24, 2009

Why We Homeschool...

The reason that we chose to homeschool is because public school didn't work for my oldest son. It wasn't a good fit and we saw very quickly that if he continued we would have results in him personally and educationally that we didn't want for him. Don't get me wrong, there were spiritual concerns as well, but they were not our only concerns. After calling the private schools and realizing that was not financially possible... we looked at homeschooling as a last ditch option. God was faithful to bring so many homeschooling parents into our life to encourage us and help us in practical ways to get started.

Homeschooling is so different now than it was even 10 or 15 years ago. There are so many options now and even the public school systems are stepping into help. We study Math, English, Science and History at home. Two days a week the kids attend an alternative program through the public school system for enrichment classes. They choose 5 classes each semester and attend each class for 1 hour twice a week. They take things like, Pod casting, Flash Animation, Robotics, and Pioneer History. The list goes on and on. Even more amazing is that the state pays us to attend. We are re-embersed $550.00 per child for their educational needs. You can use it for so many things! We use it to pay for Piano lessons, Guitar lessons and art supplies.
The curriculum that we use at home costs us about $200.00 per year for each child. That is for the four core subjects. Some people use the re-embersment money to purchase curriculum but that is not an option for us because ours is religiously based and therefor doesn't qualify.

As time has gone on and we now have 3 school age kids we still take the time each year to re-evaluate their education. At this time they all attend the alternative program and study at home. Trinity attended kindergarten at the local public school. For her it was a good fit and we have been thrilled with that decision. As the third child she really needed at that time something that was all her own and separate from the others. My point is that there is no one way to educate and there is no way that may work for all your children all the way through graduation. It is important to look at each child, each year and make the best decision for them at that time. We have found that the freedom we have by homeschooling is such a gift to our family. We are able to vacation during the off season and midweek for less money and with less crowds. We can visit friends or spend the week with grandma whenever we want or need to. We really notice the difference when someone is sick, the weather is bad, there's a family emergency, or grandpa wants to take us sailing for a week because the weather is going to be perfect!

This is all just one humble women's opinion of course but I do feel strongly about it. Our children are our greatest treasure and I believe, our first mission field. The old adage is still very true, they are only little so long and it goes so very quickly. My children have a solid belief system and a feeling of family oneness that I truly do not think they would have had. There are days when I cannot see this clearly through my glazed over, sleep deprived eyes but it is still true none the less. My oldest is turning 13 this year and I can see now some of the results of these hard choices and I am so excited for him and relieved for me...Yeah, one less regret!


Welcome the newest member of the Kaeding family....
Beautiful Kaeding
She was born on February 19th and we adopted her April 24th.
We brought her home and as you can see the kids have been literally beaming ever since. Each of them have been taking turns petting and walking her. You should have seen how jealous they were when she fell asleep on my lap!

She is half Black Lab and Half German Shepard. She doesn't make much noise but she proved that she knows how to do the job when she barked (the first time we had heard her do so) when a car was less than half way up the driveway! Good Girl!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Great is my Joy!

Praise God! I have been delivered! After a season of darkness, loneliness and depression, my burden has been laid at the cross and my spirit restored! The pilot light of my faith has been ignited again to warm my heart and light my eyes! Thank you to all of the friends and companions who have prayed for me and struggled along with me as I have gone through this journey. Here are some of the things I have learned through my experienced these past months and even years.

1. I am loved. Deeply and truly loved by God.

2. No one and nothing can take that away from me.

3. I was created by God to be a unique creative tool for His use and purposes. I was not made to look, talk, walk or act like anyone else in this world.

4. I need to have compassion for people who have not yet realized these truths in their own lives and are still controlled by fear, anxiety and insecurity.

5. I will never have a genuine and rich relationship that didn't first require me to take a risk of being hurt. These genuine and rich relationships are worth the pain caused by the ones that aren't.

6. Those who are sold out for God and live out their love for others WILL be attacked spiritually. It is a compliment to our faith when Satan feels the need to knock us down over and over.
Certainly not last but enough for today...

7. God has been preparing me and patiently waiting for me to get back up on my feet again to take on an even bigger mountain. I have my armor on and a heart that is willing to follow... Lead on!

Uh Oh... Amy's back!!! I cannot even express to you the joy that is coursing through my veins as I type this... because it is true... all of it!!! Thank you for sticking with me on this one you guys. I wasn't sure I could get back up after that last knock out and in truth I couldn't. I needed God to pick me up and carry me for awhile before I even really wanted to. He used some of you to prop me up on and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to do so. I love you. Yes, I used the L word... now you know your in trouble! LOL