You May Have Wondered Why Aunt Mae’s Blog Silence…?

Honey From Flinty Rocks

has officially moved!

My new blog URL is:

http://auntmaes.com/HoneyFromFlintyRocks/

I still have lots of work to do at the new site, but I am up and running!

My first post at my new site is a Gluten Free Angle Food Cake recipe!

If you have subscribed, you will need to resubscribe.  I have not found any way to transfer you all over to my new site.

I’m sorry.  Truly.

I have big plans that I will be unveiling in the next weeks and months.

I have a number of posts I have been working on.  There are some terrific guest posts I have waiting to publish.  A giveaway is in the works… and much, much more!

So please Stay Tuned… but Change That Dial!!  :-)

Blessings,  ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

EASY Long-Hair Style – Elegant Cascade

It is yet another hot day here in the Pacific Northwest.

OK, hot for us.  We moss-covered folks are just NOT used to 80 plus degree weather… we… glisten (as they say in the south)!!

Another day for yet another EASY way to get my waist-length, naturally curly hair off of my back.  Can you tell I like easy styles? Using Flexi-clips has allows me MUCH more variety in hair styles all while being so easy to do!  The Flexi-clips are also much more comfortable than barrettes or the ugly plastic claw.

This one comes with a tutorial!!  It is my very first  tutorial.  I would love your feedback on this.  You can see a pictorial only tutorial on my Pinterest Hair Styles board.  You can follow me on Pinterest for more of these kinds of pictorial tutorials.  I am planning other Pinterest only surprises… :-)  You won’t want to miss them!

Elegant Cascade Hair Style

Items you will need: one barrette, one Flexi-clip (I used a medium Celtic Cross)

1. I start with my hair all down.  This is recently washed, scrunched up with some products to help keep down the frizzies, and it is mostly dry.

     2. Put your hair into a half-up, secured with a barrette.

3.  Gather your hair into a ponytail and hold in right hand.  Place your left hand against the back of your head with the pinkie just under the barrette.  Pull the ponytail up while sliding your hand along the pony until it is just above the barrette.

Fold the ponytail so there is a ‘bulb’ of hair about 2 inches in length(it can be longer or shorter) above the barrette.  You may have to adjust the size Flexi-clip you use so the folded ponytail won’t slip out.

4.  Remove your left hand from under the raised ponytail and hold onto the folded ‘bulb’ of hair just above the barrette.  While continuing to hold the folded ponytail, place the decorative part of the Flexi-clip onto the folded ponytail and slide the attached pin underneath and above the barrette.  Slide the pin into the Flexi-clip.

Have a great week and keep cool with your hair up!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

I am a Lilla Rose consultant and links go directly to my website where you can purchase this clip as well as other clips and hair jewelry.

Other posts that may be of interest to you:

So EASY to Style my Hair With Style!

This post also linked here:  The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Our Simple Country Life, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Homemaker by Choice, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty, Fashion Friday, GNOWFGLINS,

The Circle of Moms Top 100 Homeschooling Blogs

I am honored to have been a part of this illustrious group of homeschooling mom bloggers.

My blog ended up being #100 out of a total of 219 blogs that were nominated!!

I want to thank all of you.  You are the reason I was even there at all.

Thank you so much!!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Homeschool Resource Sale from Vision Forum

We have really appreciated Vision Forum products.  This is one of my main go-to places for NON-politically correct, historically accurate history materials and some GREAT stuff for “real” boys!

They have great sales too!

Save Up to 80% on More than 250 Products

In the past few months, Vision Forum has exhibited at more than 15 state homeschool conferences around the country, from Florida to Massachusetts to Colorado. We’ve enjoyed wonderful conversations with homeschool fathers and mothers passionate about their children’s education, and we’ve placed important learning tools in the hands of many discipleship-minded Christian families.

Now they’re bringing some of their best conference pricing and products to your home!

Through June 29, save up to 80% on more than three hundred products at Vision Forum, including homeschool resources, supplemental materials, and “last chance” closeouts.

This offer is valid only while supplies last, does not apply to mail orders, may not be applied to past purchases, and expires at midnight on June 29, 2012 (CDT).

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (~aka ~Mrs. R)

Links in this post are affiliate links.  I do receive compensation for any purchases you make through my affiliate links.  I only recommend materials and companies I use and believe in myself.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Affiliate links are one way I supplement our income… especially now with The Patriarch unemployed.

Thank you!!

A John Deere Birthday Party and Old Fashioned Party Games!

A number of years ago Arrow chose “John Deere” as the theme for his birthday party.  That didn’t surprise us in the least.  Arrow has been drawn to all things mechanical.  The cake was supposed to look like a farm field with all the tractors.  I placed plastic wrap on the top, where the tractors were placed to keep the wheels free of frosting.  These vehicles were part of Arrow’s gift.  He loved to play with his farm sets!

I decorate the table where we eat lunch & cake and where the gifts are placed.  The only things I purchased were the John Deere colored balloons and John Deere place mats (they had games on the back, more educational activities… shh, don’t tell!) and small items for game prizes.

John Deere fleece made a great tablecloth for the gifts.  There is also time for other games and if the weather permits, time to play outside to burn off all that extra energy!!

Standard for every birthday in the younger years (at least above the age of 3) is a number of games.   These are some of the games I used to play at all my birthday parties.  All these games and fun are some of my fondest childhood memories! We love ‘The Clothespin Game’ and ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’.  Both of these also have the additional benefit of being educational.

‘Pin the Tail’ is good for spacial and body awareness.

I used a large display board I already had as the background.  The tractor is made from John Deere green paper.  One large rectangle and on medium sized square with a John Deere yellow stripe along the top of the large rectangle.  The wheels are cut from black paper with yellow centers.  Each child had their name written in the yellow wheel center.  I used a bandana to cover their eyes and we really spin them around before setting them loose!  I’ve learned to not allow them to feel around on the paper to figure out where they are.  ;-)  Those sneaky kids!  I used a piece of tape made into a loop, sticky side out for application to the board.

holding the clothespin properly

holding clothespin too low

added difficulty holding above the chair back

‘The Clothespin Game’ is excellent for hand-eye coordination.  Generally each person gets 5 clothes pins to drop.  The person with the most clothes pins in the bottle wins!  Ties require a ‘drop off’!  I use 5-gallon water bottles, because that is what I have.  When I was a little girl we used half-gallon glass milk bottles and that was hard!

We even get the Dad’s to participate!!  At least in this game anyway…  :-)

We had a great day!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts of interest:

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Don’t Like & Why

Aunt Mae’s Wild Kingdom!

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Like & Why

This post also linked here:The Better Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Raising Arrows, Homestead Revival, Finding Heaven, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path,  Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, MOB Society, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

Gluten & Dairy Free Thoughts on Preparedness

A question was asked about preparedness  and I have wanted to address some issues from a gluten and dairy free perspective.

This is not a post discussing if you  should or shouldn’t prep.  This is not a post on whether a Christian should or shouldn’t prep.  If you want my take on these, I highly recommend you read this post by my friend Enola Gay:  Preparedness Appologetics.  She and her family are further along in their preparedness than my family, but one can only start when their eyes have been opened.  And you can only do what you can.

No one will ever be completely prepared for every and any eventuality.  I do believe that I can prepare to be ready for some of the more likely scenarios.  But I did say that this post is not really about all those issues.

All of the places you go to get recommendations on how much and of what to have on hand rarely deal with food restrictions.  Much of what is “recommended” to have on hand is not something I  can even eat!  The beginning of our preparing was before I discovered my problem with gluten.  And only recently has my ‘problem’ with dairy become even more of a problem.  I seem to be ‘troubled’ most Monday afternoons and have finally narrowed it down to… the hidden, dairy-laden food at church!  So storing a bunch of dairy would not help me survive some kind of disaster.

Trying to buy up all the packages of gluten free crackers or buying them by the case (or cases) takes up far too much valuable space.  I don’t know about you, but I have a limited amount of space for storage and need to maximize the space I do have…  getting the most bang for my buck, as the saying goes.

I’m not saying do not buy any prepackaged items.  What I am saying is don’t make them the bulk of your food storage.

My goal it to store the basic ‘from scratch’ foods we need to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.  For baking I store a variety of rices, whole buckwheat, whole sorghum, whole millet, certified GF steel cut & rolled oats, quinoa in whole and flaked versions and pearl & granular tapioca.  These I will use whole and ground up for baking.

I also store a variety of seeds and nuts.  These I repackage into small vacuum sealed bags, then in a 5-gallon bucket.  Chia seeds are my favorite preparedness food stuff.  The nutritional content is wonderful and they can be used in a variety of ways!

For cooking I have stored a variety of beans, dehydrated lots of fruits & vegetables, have purchased some canned items in cases and have powdered coconut milk in 5 pound bags, powdered stevia in 1 pound bags, bulk spices in large containers, evaporated cane juice and sucanat in 5-gallon buckets.

So where will I get my calcium?  Chia seeds!  Magnesium?  Hemp seeds (no it’s not THAT hemp).  I don’t like the taste of flax and the chia and hemp have a better nutritional profile and are better keepers.

What should you store?  What grains do you tolerate well?  What grains are you already baking with… you do bake some of your own gluten free cakes, breads, and such don’t you?  Some???  That is one reason I joined the Ratio Rally.  I made me get up off my… baking behind and start baking my own gluten free breads, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, biscuits, crepes, popovers and brownies!  I have learned so much, especially how freeing it is to bake my ratio.  I don’t need any recipes… I can make them fit the ingredients I have on hand!  Now THAT is truly being prepared.

Store what you use and use what you store.

That is one reason I am so very fond of my ‘new’ (but from a very old & favorite cookbook) Rice Flour Muffin Recipe & Rice Flour Muffin Variations!  It is very simple, uses ingredients that I always have on hand and is versatile!  Flavor variations will make ‘survival food’ so much more pleasurable!

What kinds of things do you think are important in being prepared for TEOTWAWKI or even just a current job loss?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae  (aka~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest:

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Breakfast Mix

Black Berkey Water Filter Failure

A Few Thoughts on Expiration Dates

How to Clean a Trout or other fish

Art thanks to art.com

photos thanks to shorpy.com

This post also linked here: The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Finding Heaven, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Homemaker by Choice, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

So EASY To Style My Hair and with STYLE!

This is how I wore my hair today and yesterday.

It was so easy to put up.  The Flexi clip and U-Pins did not gouge my head in the least.  My hair didn’t feel heavy at all.  The best part was this stayed in firmly all day long both days!

I am wearing a coiled bun and used the X-Large  Enchanting Copper Rose Flexi with the Copper Rose U-Pins for accents.

I gathered my hair into a ponytail and then twisted it all tight.  The twisted hair I coiled into a bun, tucking the ends underneath it all.  The flexi-pin I placed on top of the bun.  I then slid the pin underneath the bun and into the other end of the clip.  The U-pins I placed with the “u” shape in the opposite angel from my head.  I inserted the u-pin ends into the edge of the bun, then tipped up the u-pin so the bend angle was now in alignment with my head shape and slid it in and under the bun, repeating with the second u-pin.  The U-pins don’t hold the bun but are for accents.

My hair is waste length, of a medium thickness, curly and cut with layers.  You can see a photo of my hair here.

If you are interested in news of my own personal specials, and hairstyle ideas or if you are interested in receiving my Lilla Rose newsletter (that’s where I send you news on company sales and new items), it’s all on my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/LillaRoseAuntMaes

If you are interested in my newsletter, but don’t facebook, just email me and request my newsletter.  I would be happy to add you!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts of interest:

The Fireworks Have Arrived!

Faberge and New Hair Sticks

Three New Flexi Clips

A Whole New Look and I’m A Lilla Rose Consultant

This post linked here: The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Finding Heaven, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, DIY Showoff, Intentional Me, Our Simple Country Life, Jill’s Home Remedies, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

The Fireworks Have Arrived

Dazzling Sparkling Fireworks will dazzle and delight any hair style with the sparkling accents of red, white (clear), and blue. Here’s your chance to show your patriotic colors!

A second July FOTM will be released sometime in July to bring the warm weather beachy style right to our homes.

It’s Voting Time… I’ve Been Nominated!

My blog has been nominated for…

The Circle of Moms Top 25 Homeschooling Blogs!

If you have been blessed by this blog, would you consider voting for me?

You can vote EVERY DAY until June 27th, 2012!

If you are seeing this on Friday, June 15th, my blog my still be under the pending tab, but you can still vote while I am in there!!

Thank you so much!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Have Used That I Didn’t Like & Why

I debated with myself over writing this post. I don’t really like being negative.

I asked a few friends if they would benefit from a post on what I have used, didn’t like & why.  The overwhelming consensus was that it would be very helpful.  I tried to make this short and sweet.  I pray it’s sweet, but short it is not!  Grab yourself a cup of tea, sit back and relax.

Here goes…

Again I have to state right up front that anytime you ask any homeschooler what curriculum they like & use… their first response to your inquiry should be what teaching method they use.  Are they un-schoolers, of a classical bent, a scope & sequence proponent, using a school-at-home style or is there something else?

You also need to know the answers to the following questions: Are they Christians?  Do they have a view of biblical discipleship and what is it?  Are they creationists or evolutionists?  How do they view the use of computers?

Some of this I touched on in a earlier post the curriculum I liked & why and will expand that here.  You don’t know me so just why should you read what I have to say about homeschool curriculum?

First, I am a Christian. In brief we believe in:

a) scripture alone is the standard (Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; II Tim. 3:14-17);

b) all of life is to be lived for the glory of God (1CO 10:31; 1PE 4:11; REV 1:6; 2PE 3:1; EPH 3:21; REV 7:12; ROM 11:36);

c) I am saved by Jesus Christ’s work alone (1TI 2:5-6; COL 1:13-18);

d) salvation is by faith through grace alone (Ephesians 1:3-8);

e) I am justified by faith alone (Galatians 3:6-11).

We believe the bible clearly states it is the father’s role to teach and disciple his children.  We do not believe that a decision between government or private school and homeschool is a morally neutral issue.  It is through the day-to-day things that must be done in a home and the school work where we are able to train our son to be a diligent, industrious, cheerful worker ready to take his place in the world and take dominion over his part of it.  Our goal is to prepare him for his role as a Christian man/husband/father in society and  to accurately apply the bible to every situation he may encounter in his life.

All education is religious by nature as it answers the fundamental questions of who God is, how did we get here and why are we here?  We will not leave that teaching up to anyone else, much less to some “government approved” person we know nothing about!  We wouldn’t turn our car over to a complete stranger why would we do that with our child, who is far more precious than our vehicle?

In my study of un-schooling I kept coming across the term “child lead learning”.  This is in direct opposition to what the bible tells me about the nature of a child and what God requires of me as a parent.  All are filled with a sin nature from conception and ‘the way he should go’ will not be the direction he will naturally desire.  It is my God-given duty to lead him there anyway.  The only thing you don’t have to teach a child is how to sin.

Train up a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and reproof give wisdom,

but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 22:6

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Proverbs 10:1

He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.

Proverbs 17:21

A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.

Proverbs 17:25

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:34

What about the classical education stuff that is all the rage these days? I am not much for that either.  It would be more accurate to call it Classical Humanism and in the classical sense that is one who studies “humanities”, the classic Greek & Roman literature.  The focus is on the academics and what material and/or social benefit can be attained thereby.  Classical schooling recommends highly questionable materials all in the name of “good literature”.  But who deemed these “good”?  Do they conform to Philippians 4:8?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Sadly most of the “classical humanism” recommended materials do not line up with scriptural principles.  I know, I have read some of it in my ‘government school career’ and well before I was saved.  There are just some thoughts and ideas that do not belong in a young, impressionable mind.

What about scope & sequence?  Don’t some curriculum come with those?  Well, yes, some do include a scope & sequence or have it available if you want one.  It is the application of the scope and sequence, believing that all children will know certain information at certain ages that is objectionable.  The program of scope and sequence must be adapted to the individual child.  Children are not automatons or need-some-assembly units on a conveyor belt all able to digest the same information at the same speed as each other and coming out the end of a 12 year program “educationally assembled”.  This is by its nature what the government school system must be to process all those ‘units’ out the end in an ‘efficient’ manner.  This system cannot ever provide the necessary behavioral and moral training living and growing children need.  In my homeschool, the last thing I want is to recreate the ‘government school’ at home!

Brand me as a heretic, but I do not believe that all teaching methodologies are scriptural.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.   I Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.    I Corinthians 10:23

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Wow.  Is there anything left?

Yes!  The Trivium!!

Um… OK… what is that?  In a nutshell it is Christian homeschooling in a classical style

Wait!!  You just said that you didn’t like the classical education so what gives?

This is limiting the meaning of classical to include only what is of good form and lasting value (classical), and which conforms to a Biblical standard within a Biblical worldview (Christian).  The focus is taking out of all cultures and times what is redeemable for Christ.   Not trying to baptize these cultures, in whole or in part, and call that “Christian”.  You can read more on what the Trivium is, and how to implement it in “Teaching the Trivium” by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn.

All the questions mentioned above have been answered except one.  My view of computers.  Before you brand me an a neanderthal along with a heretic let me tell you I like computers for the tools they are.  But my child-raising philosophy does not see much good in computers for young, developing children.  That also includes television.  I believe a child should have lots of one-on-one time with a real live, living and breathing human being along with lots of outdoor play.  I do not believe that the one-on-one time should be child-centered and exclusively of an entertainment mindset.  There is so much that needs accomplishing in a day that there is little time to spend all day “playing” with the children!

Children need to be included in all the things you do everyday.  They can help fold the small things when you are folding laundry.  They can load the clothes into the washer (get them a stool so they can reach)!  They can switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  Give them a spray bottle of water to help ‘clean’ the counters & mirrors in the bathroom.  Have them pick up and put away their toys.  Give them a small rag to dust the lower shelves, under the coffee table, and any other lower furniture pieces.  Very young children can do SO MUCH MORE than what we think they can do!  Even a 3-year-old can vacuum, at least the center areas!  They can stir what’s in the bowl, tear the lettuce, set the table and I could go on but I think you get the picture.  Including your children in your chores gives them a sense of purpose and that they are contributing to the family.

With that, let us begin with what I have used and didn’t like and why.

1. What have you used that you didn’t like? Why?

A) The Well Trained Mind

Ms. Bauer’s focus is strictly on the academics and the academic achievement brought by homeschooling. We are first and foremost interested in the character of our child above the academics. Less you think we don’t do any academics, let me assure you we DO, and plenty of them. But our focus is on the character of the child through the academics, chores, etc.

In our previous church most of the homeschoolers were using Ms. Bauer’s materials and couldn’t sing its praises enough. So I bought a copy. After reading it completely I was less than impressed to say the least. It’s all academics, page after page of academics. The how to and where to and why to… do the academics. The book is broken down into the three learning stages a child goes through, 1) the grammar, 2) the logic and 3) the rhetoric stages. In each of these three sections the “religious instruction” comprises a measly 3 pages. In the grammar stage there are no resources listed except to say ‘see your religious community’. In the entire 810 pages (yes I kept my copy) there are 9 pages devoted to the most important area in the life of anyone – the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his need of a savior.

I was saddened to know that there are so many Christian homeschoolers using this material and taking her recommendations for what to teach and when. In the grammar stage she recommends materials to study the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, the Olympus gods & goddesses, Shakespeare, Fairy stories of India & Ireland and that’s just 1st grade!

The bible says, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7  Our greatest desire is to teach and train Arrow to know and love the Lord God Almighty with all his heart and all his mind and all his soul and all his strength. “The Well Trained Mind” just didn’t seem to be of any help in that essential area.

The other thing I highly disliked is her improper use of “her” as a non-gender specific, singular pronoun. It is perfectly acceptable, proper English usage to use “he”, “him” and “his” as non-gender specific, singular pronouns.  Not only is it acceptable, but was used for centuries! It is the communist/ feminist ideology that suddenly makes the usage of these non-gender specific, singular pronouns unacceptable! Don’t get me started on the number gender agreement problems with using “they” as a singular pronoun. It is not now, nor will “they” ever be a singular pronoun! [off soap box]

[where’s that paper bag…? breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out…]

B) Story of the World V1

by Susan Wise Bauer- very UN-biblical in worldview – I almost threw it against the wall in disgust…,

but returned it instead and got my valuable money refunded ;-)

It characterizes ‘early’ man as an evolved, not very intelligent, hominid being. The blatantly UN-biblical view and anti-Christian tone were offensive.

I know when I read my bible, Adam was created as a highly functioning, intelligent man. He was immediately able to name all the animals and take instructions from the Lord. It is in chapter 4 where there is the mention of Jubal who is the father of those who play the lyre and pipe and Tubal-Cain who is the father of those who forge instruments of bronze and iron. You have to be pretty smart in order to teach someone else to play an instrument or forge bronze or iron implements. These people were also building cities and had livestock! Cities mean large numbers of people in close proximity. City dwelling makes a hunter/gatherer type of existence impossible. Noah also planted a vineyard right after the flood, so the knowledge of planting & harvesting grapes and making wine existed before the flood as well. I may have missed some things but all this tells me that early man was smart right from the start.

C) Hooked on Phonics - too juvenile for my older (then 13yr) learner, expensive,

D) Mystery of History; Vol I - not enough there, not able to easily substitute my own materials, first volume uses slang expressions (cool, etc.) which I found very irritating, the course is not yet completed (as of this writing), we would have had to switch to something else later anyway… I was looking for… something… more/else/different than this. I wanted meat to the study without bogging down in the details yet flexible enough for us to camp on any “detail” we felt we needed/wanted to study in more depth. This is biblical in it’s treatment of history yet doesn’t go far enough on that front for my tastes.

E) Making Math Meaningful - at one point Arrow just did not get a concept. We followed the instructions for coming back to that section later, which we did. Still he did not get the concept we were returning to. There were absolutely no additional resources to enable us to ‘camp out’ in that or any other section unless I wrote more pages. I had no interest in writing my own math curriculum… that’s what I was buying one for! This taught addition and subtraction all together, which can make it confusing to a young student (which this is meant for…).  If I was starting over with Arrow I wouldn’t start with formal education as early as I did.  We started him when he was 6 and a half.  I would have spent more time on character issues, chores, reading aloud and making learning part of our daily lives.  (two eggs plus two eggs makes how many eggs? while making cookies, etc.)  I also know more about digit spans and would have spent more time on them!

OK, that is a whole different post… I’ll discuss that soon!  Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it.

F) the Phonics Game - too expensive, I used this many years ago and the videos had the ‘mom’ dressed in tight spandex as she and her ‘son’ roller bladed around discussing ‘phonics’ (I would skip that part!) otherwise the card game is an excellent way to learn reading rules while playing & having fun!

G) Worldviews of the Western World 1 - I did use this for Peter Rabbit. After we pulled out of the government indoctrination center in 7th grade (1992). It is good, but with Tapestry of Grace, we learn the same thing (also as meaty as we desire) only in its historic context, it does not have the ability to be used with younger students at the same time (as Tapestry of Grace does), you actually read pagan materials (The Iliad, the Odyssey, The Aeneid & The Republic) though you do contrast them with the bible, but…

We choose this because we were brand new Christians, had limited biblical knowledge ourselves and Peter Rabbit was raised with no church background. We were interested in trying to build a biblical foundation in his learning. The biblical materials are excellent, meaty and worth having in your library. The discussions are excellent and the required essays are thought provoking. I loved the music and art portions where you can “see” & “hear” the effects of these pagan, anti-biblical philosophies on the culture.

I would recommend this with great caution. You know the bent of your student(s) best. If you think reading pagan material might foster or encourage a love for fantasy, mysticism, paganism, etc I would steer clear of this material. There is no way to use this without the reading of the pagan materials. And for some students, even contrasting the pagan materials with the very good biblical materials might just not be… enough. Just a caution.

G) Lifepacs from Alpha & Omega -

I did use some of these our very first year homeschooling ‘Peter Rabbit’ in the early 90’s.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with the content.  I have not examined them for content issues.  My problem is with them as workbooks.  This is recreating the government school style in your home!  Workbooks are relied upon by the government school teachers because they cannot possibly give individual attention to all 30 students in their classes!  Workbooks are busy work.  Maybe if I had lots of girls I would have a different view, but with boys… oh don’t kill their love of learning by giving them tons of workbooks!

I pray this post is a blessing to you!  What things have you used in your homeschool that you didn’t like and why?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest to you:

Why We Attend the Christian Heritage Conference

IndoctriNation the Movie

Why We Homeschool

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Use and Why I Use It

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