I know it's been a while since I shared much about the ministry, so I wanted to make sure you know that we're still here singing, playing, and sharing Jesus as often as we can. This summer our schedule has been on and off as far as "busyness" goes. Some weeks we've just had a Sunday morning service, while other weeks we've had 4-5 ministry events (i.e. church service, concert, outreach event) in a week. If you're curious, you can always find our complete (unless my dear hubby forgets to add an event) schedule on our website at www.onehopeonetruth.org/live .
Every weekend we find ourselves humbled by the amazing privilege to go into churches and share our testimonies, gifts, and the Gospel. It really is such a blessing! And although we often find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted, we always walk away from each event so grateful that God allowed us the opportunity to minister to that specific group of people and be a part of what He is doing in the lives of His people!
This past weekend we had the unique opportunity to spend some time with the students at Grace Sandpoint Bible College. It was so fun to tour this beautiful campus and hear about the work that God is doing here, training up young men and women for ministry! We spent some time worshiping with the students and sharing our experiences in ministry. Then we all headed out to Grace Sandpoint for their Friday night service, where Josh and I led a time of worship and then Josh shared a message on worship!
While I always lead a few worship songs and often share my testimony, you won't often see me in any pictures. You see, I am the resident photographer for our ministry and it never really seems appropriate to take a selfie when I'm leading worship! ;)
This week we are packing up our few belongings and preparing the trailer. We'll leave for our fall Idaho/California tour next Wednesday! Our days this week and next are full of work and anticipation! We're excited for all God has to do in us and through us during the rest of this year and all of the changes it holds!
We'd appreciate a few extra prayers for our family specifically for this upcoming weekend! Sunday will be an extremely long and tiring day of ministry. We have four services on Sunday, the first has us up at 6am and we won't pull into our evening hotel until probably nearly 11pm. The day seems daunting - but for the grace of God! We're trusting His strength to be made perfect in our weaknesses!
Planning! Oh how I LOVE planning! Some consider it an unhealthy obsession or dorky quirk, but I will stand up proudly and say "I LOVE to plan!" In fact, I far prefer planning to actually "do"ing, but that's a post (errr confession) for another day! ;)
*Quick Note: If you are completely uninterested in reading about our Homeschooling Adventures, I don't fault you at all! ;) I'll be posting a ministry update later this week! :) *
Organization and planning are definite strengths in my personality. I love to make lists. I thrive on pockets and dividers! AND I am obsessed with planners (i.e. daytimers, calendars, etc...). So, for this post I thought I'd share the tools I use to keep my Homeschool (and life) mostly (just being honest) organized.
Currently, I am using Erin Condren planners. I have a LifePlanner for my overall planning and the Teacher Planner for our Homeschool lesson planning.
In my LifePlanner (above left) I track ministry and family events on the monthly pages and use the daily pages to record my "to do" lists for the day. I break my day into three blocks in my planner (which is how the Lifeplanner vertical addition is broken down already). The first "block" is where I plan for the things I need to accomplish before our Homeschool day begins at 9:00. The second "block" is for my afternoon "to do's" and the third is where I plan record any evening (post dinner) activities or chores. I also keep a yearly birthday/anniversary calendar in the back pocket of my LifePlanner so I "hopefully" don't forget anyone's important day. In the "notes" section, I have a couple pages for Blog planning, a page for websites/usernames, a page for recipes that I use regularly (i.e. homemade cleaning wipes, hand wash, lip balm, etc...) and a page for personal goals.
My Teacher Planner (above right) is where I have all of my lesson plans. This planner is not specifically a Homeschool planner so I've made some changes.
I've included pictures from some of the pages in my Teacher Planner, showing you how I use them and what changes I made.
I like to keep my eye on this page when I'm planning my week
in case there are any fun or unique holidays
I want to cover in school.
I don't remember what these pages said at the top originally, but I used some scrapbooking paper to change the labels at the top. It's not easy keeping up with Thing 1's reading (he reads so much, so fast) but I'm going to try to at least record the longer chapter books he reads.
I love all of the graph paper in this planner. I used it to make lists of things like Art Supplies, ideas for our Occupational Education lessons, and Back to School Supplies to purchase.
I'm using this Long Range Planning page to list field trip ideas and any other special dates to remember each month.
In the back of the planner there are these awesome "check box" pages. I'm using them to track attendance and grades. (I have one attendance page and one grade page for each of the boys, but I only took pictures of one of each.)
I am not required by law to track grades, but I decided this year to grade a few subjects as well as behavior. I'm hoping this will be helpful in motivation (i.e. consequences for laziness!) as well as allow the boys and I to get a picture of where we need to work harder and where they have a good understanding.
This is what the weekly planning pages look like. You can see on the left I used colored label stickers to cover up the days of the week that were pre-printed in the planner. Because our schedule is a little "unique", I didn't want to waste pages on weeks when we would only do school 2-3 days (which happens about once a month or so due to travel). This way I can just record the date that we do school.
The page above is from several weeks from now. This year, I planned almost all of our lessons for the entire year. I've never done that before but am hoping it will save me time in the long run and keep me motivated and on task. However, another advantage to not having the dates already written in, is that if we aren't able to complete an entire days worth of work, I can just pick it up the next day. (make it two half days instead of one incomplete day and one overloaded day trying to make up from the day before).
Erin Condren planners are beautiful and a bit pricey, but well worth the cost if you can manage it! (I won a couple contests on a blog that got me pretty sizeable credits so I bought them both at greatly discounted costs! Woohoo!!!) If you do decide to purchase one, I'd love it if you used my "referral" code then we both get a $10 credit. Follow THIS LINK to use my referral code.
Well, there's a peak into my Homeschool planning. Hope you weren't bored out of your mind! ;) I'll post another Homeschool blog sometime in the next couple of weeks about how I organize our stuff and our schedule. In the meantime, if your interested in other posts about our Homeschooling Adventures, you'll find them HERE!
Also, I know it's been a while since I've given a One Hope One Truth ministry update, so watch for that coming later this week! :)
As promised, I wanted to share with you my curriculum choices for this upcoming school year as well as some of our favorite school supplies, organizational tips, schedule, etc... And rather than bore you with one super long Homeschooling post, I'm going to divide this into a few different posts over the next few weeks.
If you've read my blog for long, you have heard me talk about our homeschooling a bit. (First here, then here and here and probably somewhere else too!)
While my approach, methods, and curriculum have changed many times over the 5 years that I've been homeschooling, my overall "philosophy" is the same - Every child is different, every parent is different, every year is different, every day is different! Decisions about homeschooling are unique to every family and should be made by the parents, as they seek God for His direction for their family! (It just doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! There, I said it! ;) )
I started working on lesson planning for this upcoming school year in July. By then I had our curriculum figured out and most of it ordered and on hand. Below is a list of what I'm using for each of the boys. They are each using the same curriculum for their subjects, but will be doing English, Math, and Literature/Creative Writing individually at their appropriate grade level. We'll be doing all of the remaining subjects together. My curriculum list is long, but many of these we won't be doing every day. I'll cover our schedule in another post.
A Family of Musicianaries'
2016-2017 Curriculum Picks
English - ACE (Accelerated Christian Education)
Math - ACE
Literature/Creative Writing - ACE
Social Studies (Geography, History, Social Studies) -
Bible - Confessions of a Homeschooler 's Character Studies
(this will only cover the first few weeks, then we may use Easy Peasy or I might find something else . . . )
Science - Expedition Earth's Animal Unit (included with & coinciding with the EE curriculum) & Easy Peasy's Earth Science
Music - Guitar Lessons courtesy of Josh (aka my hubby, and T1/T2's Daddy) , Beginner Music Theory taught by yours truly, and Easy Peasy's Ancient Music curriculum
Art - Artistic Pursuits Book 1
PE/Health - Easy Peasy, both even and odd years
Occ. Ed. - This will be determined throughout the year. We're going to start by learning some basic house cleaning skills (don't laugh, I am not ashamed!) using A Slob Come's Clean's Ebook - Teaching Kids How to Clean. During the year, Josh will be teaching the boys some practical tool and "handyman" skills. And we'll be making a business plan and creating a small business later in the year.
Misc. - We're using a couple workbooks I found at Target for addition and cursive practice. We'll also start our day with COAH's Cursive Daily Learning notebook.
I forgot to take a true "Before" pic, but this is soon after I started clearing out our school cabinet from last year's stuff and began sorting and organizing. You can see I had just received a lot of our curriculum (the boxes and piles to the left of the cabinet).
This is after all of my lessons were planned, binders filled and prepared, workbooks sorted and organized, and school supplies bought and stored. Despite the fact that the fruit on top looks exactly the same, these pictures are actually a couple months apart, bananas & nectarines are just a summer staple! :) In this picture, you can also see two of Thing 2's birthday presents, a Tasty Science Kit and a Grow Your Own Triops Kit ( my cute little Scientist! )
So there you have it. That is what we'll be doing in our Homeschool this year. I'll share more about our school supplies, daily schedule, my plan for making this work on the road, and some organization tips soon. Happy Homeschooling! :)
* None of the above links are affiliate links. I will not receive any products or compensation if you choose to purchase something through those links. I just wanted to share the products that I like! :)
Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin into the future . . .and I am struggling to keep up. Not just with this blog, but with life in general!
Last night, Josh and I had an epiphany ( feel free to roll your eyes )! We realized that the times in our family and marriage that have been most challenging have consistently been when we are pulled in too many different directions! We are trying to balance too many plates, wear too many hats . . . and the stress effects the whole family! (i.e. poor sleep, stomach issues, and snarky attitudes)
Praise the Lord, our God is NEVER overwhelmed! So we keep leaning on Him and He's holding us up. Although we find ourselves in a bit over our heads right now, it's okay because our Master can walk on water! :)
So, Josh and I are practicing our deep breathing exercises ( ha ha ha j/k) and working hard to use our time wisely and prioritize according to God's priorities and not just the loudest demands.
The week before last, we went to western Washington. As always, it was a gift to spend time with family and friends in the place we called home for the first 10 years of our marriage. We treasure these times and look forward to living a little bit closer so that these visits can be a little more frequent!
We are continuing to wait for our official home loan approval, although Josh has talked to our loan agent who told us that as far as he can say, we should have no problem being approved and will probably be able to begin actively "house shopping" by the end of this year or early next year. That timing is what we expected so we will move forward with our plan of renting an apartment in the Spokane area while we wait for God's perfect timing and provision of our new home.
We are beginning to pack up our few belongings here at the ranch, so that when we leave for our Fall California tour the last week of September, we'll be all ready. Then in November we'll move our belongings from Montana to our apartment in Spokane and begin settling in there for the holidays.
In the midst of packing and traveling for ministry (we are gone almost every weekend this summer) I have been working like crazy to have all of my Homeschool lesson plans ready for the new school year. We will officially start school on Monday, after our month of summer break. I know it's Labor Day, but with our super busy ministry schedule, getting ready for our fall tour, and packing to move, I've got to get school days in when I can! :) So Monday will be our first day, and I am ECSTATIC to say that after showing the boys their new school supplies and talking about our upcoming year, they are actually looking forward to starting! Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! (doing imaginary cartwheels around the room)
Our September schedule is very full of ministry events. Our summer ministry schedule has been kind of light, so it's exciting to have lots of opportunities this month to be at churches sharing Jesus' love! It does make for a very FULL month though, so we'd appreciate your prayers for balance, wisdom about how to spend our time, productive and efficient homeschooling. . . and sanity! :)
Beginning next week, I'm going to be sharing a few blog posts about our Homeschooling. (No really, I am! I already have the first post written and scheduled to post Monday morning! ) I'll share details about our curriculum choices, our schedule and more. So stay tuned! :)
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Ezekiel & 1 Peter
(the Bible in a year)
The Gospel of Luke
(Women's Bible Study at Church)
The Seventeenth Swap
by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
(family read aloud)
by Jamie C. Martin
Mother and Son:
The Respect Effect
by Emerson Eggerichs