sharing from my heart to yours
Life changes so fast.
We've learned this in SO many ways these past few years.
Sometimes that's exciting, and sometimes it's hard.
We have another change coming, and it's one we didn't really expect!
Not long ago, I shared how God has led us through life and brought us just what we needed, when we needed it. I also shared how we have continued to pray for God's direction because we just weren't sure where we were meant to be.
Only about a month after that post, we got a phone call that put us on a path that we never would have expected!
My dad called me and asked what we'd think of moving to SD.
A bit of back story for those of you who don't know my family...
I was born on the west coast, but moved to SD when I was 6. I lived there until we got married, when I was 20, when we moved back west. My parents also moved west about a year later. a few years after that, we made our move to MN, where my husband grew up. We started the farming business, and fully expected to be doing that for the rest of our lives, despite our wondering if this is really where we were meant to be. I guess God had other plans!
So back to the phone call.
My dad shared the idea (not for the first time), of us moving to SD and working at his business (a sales/service company mostly for commercial cleaning equipment) that he started back when we first moved there over 20 years ago. I laughed because it wasn't a place we ever imagined ourselves living, or a job I could picture my husband doing. Then I realized that after praying all this time for God to lead us, I probably shouldn't laugh at what could be His way of opening a door for us! I told my Dad that I would talk to my husband and we would pray about it and get back to him.
My husband laughed.
It was one of those things he would have said he'd "never do".
(Please note... never say never!)
I told him we should probably at least pray about it, and he agreed. He said we should pray about it individually for a few days, think about it, be in the Word, and then we'd chat about it together. If God had us on the same page, maybe we'd have a clearer idea of where to go with it. I didn't give it a whole lot of thought at first, because of course we weren't going!
Then one day I had some quiet time, and really starting thinking and praying (and of course... in my style.... writing lists!). I thought about some of our long term dreams, about the path our life has taken, and started to question my initial reaction. I read the Bible for a long time that night, seeing places about trusting God's plan.
The next day, we started discussing it a little further. Much to the amazement of both of us, we were thinking in the exact same way. We both had the same idea in mind as far as long term plans, and just felt like maybe God really was giving us a new direction! Both of us had fully expected (and maybe even hoped!) that the other wouldn't be feeling that way. We both have liked living in MN, and would have been fine with staying in this area. We have been blessed in so many ways here, through friendships, our church, and family. Why would we leave that?!
But God's ways are not our ways! We continued to talk, and I shared that I had read a few places in God's Word the night before that I wanted to share with him. I pulled open my Bible and flipped to the place and I was about to begin reading, when my husband commented that he felt like God had laid Psalm 145:19 on his heart. I looked down at the page I was just about to start reading.
I was just about to read that same passage to him!!
Specifically, Psalm 145:13-21
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
We got the chills.
We knew that this wasn't just a coincidence.
God had put us on the same page.
While the verses weren't specifically giving us instruction, we felt so much comfort knowing that God's hand was in it. He gave us the sign we needed, exactly what we had asked for.
We knew that if nothing else, we at least needed to look into this open door a little more and explore what it could mean. Thought I think that point, we both just knew.
We are moving.
We're moving to a place we never expected, doing work we never thought would fit.
We have begun the process of selling the farm that my husband had always dreamed of.
We will be signing final papers to purchase a house very soon.
The pieces continue to fall into place.
We don't expect life to be easy.
We know there will be challenges ahead in many ways.
We are so sad to leave this place that has become home, these people who have become our people, this lifestyle that we were growing to love.
But we are also excited.
We look forward to changes and a fresh start; as well new friends and different places to explore.
We are thankful that it is a place familiar to us; where we already have some friends, and a church family to re-connect with.
So we ask for your prayers, as we start on this new adventure.
Pray that we are given continued peace.
Pray that the transition goes smoothly for all of us.
Pray that we are willing to do whatever God calls us to do in this new place.
God is faithful.
He will never leave us or forsake us.
He will direct our paths.
May God be with you on whatever journey you are traveling right now.
It's getting to be that time again!
My majorly nerdy self gets to have all kinds of fun planning, printing, laminating, and organizing! :D
I know not all of your are interested in our homeschool journey, but because I love to share, and some of you like to read about it, I figured I'd do a quick (or not so quick) update on what we're planning for the '17-'18 school year.
Actually, we really don't follow the traditional school calendar, so might not be scheduled quite like that. We've been pretty relaxed so far... well we sure should be! Rystin is really just going into 1st grade and Vayah into Kindergarten! But at these younger ages, I'm not worried about getting school in every day, as long as they are doing well, enjoying it, and progressing. We take breaks here and there for things like vacations, holidays, or special events, but overall, we just keep doing school at least a little bit throughout the entire year. So far, we don't worry about trying to complete a book by a certain date, or start a new grade during a certain season. When we finish something, we move onto the next thing and keep going.
This will be our third year of homeschooling, just because Rystin loved to learn so we started early. Vayah has been doing 'school' for awhile now too, and Janae jumps in wherever and whenever she can! But technically we'll be doing 1st grade and kindergarten this year with them. I'll share with you what we're using for learning this year and I'll add links where I can so you can check it out if you're interested.
Rystin - Age 6.5
We are moving ahead with My Father's World (MFW) again this year. We have loved the 'God's Creation from A-Z' kindergarten program, as well as the 'Learning God's Story' 1st grade program. That is what we mainly used the past two years, adding our own things in, and leaving things out here and there. It's a teacher friendly program that is very well laid out and does an excellent job laying a foundation for those little years. I also highly recommend a program like that if you're just starting out, as it's much less overwhelming than trying to piece each subject together separately. That being said, I have learned more about our homeschool style and how things work for our family. I tend to add some extra things in or replace things with my own twist, so I'm not sure if using a box curriculum really is worth it in the long run. I'm slowly moving towards a more eclectic approach and discovering some other things I like outside of MFW.
Back to the the topic at hand... we plan to slowly work through MFW Adventures in U.S. History throughout the next year or two. I'd like to take it slowly since it's generally done with kids a little older, and I'd like Vayah to join in when she can as well. We'll mostly do the history, geography, Bible, and possibly some of the art and music. They'll be studying the 50 states, and Rystin is really excited about it!
I haven't been as impressed with the science portion of MFW. So far, they mostly just read 1-2 pages each week from an Usborne book and then can do an experiment listed. It just wasn't very engaging, and Rystin loves to dig in to that kind of thing. I realize science isn't anything necessary for these little ages, and I don't want to push concepts on them that are over their heads either. Rystin has been saying he really wants to learn about animals this year. I purchased a unit study on bugs from The Good & The Beautiful, but I think we will be putting that on hold for now and starting with something else. We all love to listen to the audio books by Thornton W. Burgess, and they are rich, living books about animals. They are fictional, but you learn a ton about each animal as you listen, plus they're entertaining. I decided to put together my own 'curriculum' using The Animal Book for Children. We'll be studying about each animal, and I'll be assigning a character quality to study along with each one (since the stories bring that into play as well). So for example, when we study about foxes, we'll also learn about honesty. I have several books and webites we'll be using to tie everything together, so let me know if you want more details on that. We'll be doing some outside nature studies and journaling as well, so that will cover science.
My Father's World doesn't cover Language Arts or Math after 1st grade (though we've used our own math from the beginning).
For Language Arts, we're starting a new path this year, and I'm really excited about it (as I've shared with many of you!). I ran across a curriculum called The Good & The Beautiful. They are a new company developing programs for language arts, history, science, handwriting, and more. They are very inexpensive and I love the way things are laid out. I got LA Level 1 for Rystin to start. It covers grammar, spelling, phonics, literature, art, punctuation, vocab, and writing. I'm looking forward to seeing how we like it!
For math, Rystin will continue through Singapore and work on finishing workbook 1B. After that we will either move into level two, or possibly look into starting Teaching Textbooks.
We also do a lot of different things for Bible. There are a few books we read out of, scripture memory, and a lot that ties in with both MFW and our science.
Those are the main things for Rystin. I have other fun things I'd like to add in here and there such as cooking, castles/chivalry, health, and so on.
Vayah - Age 5
We have been doing some PreK/K type of learning with Vayah for awhile now. She is in the last half of the MFW God's Creation A-Z program. I don't think she'll be ready to jump into Learning God's Story yet when she's done with that, so I plan to work with her more using The Good & The Beautiful PreK and K programs. That will cover mostly phonics, as well as beginning the other language arts topics.
For math, she recently started Math Lessons for a Living Education, and has really enjoyed it so far! I did this for Rystin too, but it wasn't his style. I pulled it back out for Vayah and she loves the story-type learning. She is much more into history and story type of learning, instead of the science type topics that Rystin loves. It's amazing the random things they've each learned on their own, and how different they are in that!
For science, she will join us in the animal and nature studies.
I like to cover most of our topics as a group so we can all learn together. Janae (3) will join in with us as well when we wants to, and I may do a little bit of PreK with her from TGTB, since she usually insists that she has to do school too! She's my artsy one, so anything with coloring, stickers, and painting gets her attention quickly.
So far, I've never regretted our decision to keep our kids at home to learn. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and am excited to start another year. Occasionally Rystin comments that he'd like to go to school, but only because he wants to go play on the playground at recess. Once I explain that he'd only get to do that for a VERY short time every day and that they 'do school' all day instead of just for an hour or two, he figures it wouldn't be so great after all ;) I have loved having our family together, learning and growing, teaching each other. I'm sure I've learned more than my kids have!
This year will be an interesting one since we are moving to a new state (YES!! Just a short time after this post, our lives took a sudden turn and we are now preparing for a move! I'll share more in another post soon.) Rystin finished up a lot of what he was working on during this past month, so we'll be taking a break while we pack, move, and settle in to our new home. I'm learning about the new state guidelines, since each state has different rules as far as homeschooling. There is a large homeschool group in the area, so I've been enjoying connecting with them a bit already! We may get involved in some outside classes through that group.
We just returned home from a vacation west to visit friends and family. We had an amazing trip, but it's always so good to be home. I'm wrapping up some of the loose ends of planning before I jump into packing, and thought I'd share some of our plans with those of you who are interested. If you homeschool, I'd love to hear what you use - I'm nerdy like that! If you're interested in more posts about our learning journey, let me know and I'd be glad to share (or more likely, overshare!).
Thanks for taking the time to peek into our day to day!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I'll be back soon to share about how God has called us on a new path.
Hello and Welcome!