Monthly Archives: September 2005

Hey, have you heard about the contest?

Jane Bullivant from Dear Lord, I Feel Like a Whale fame has teamed up with HomeSchoolBlogger for a really cool contest.  She is working on a new book called Juggling with Hamsters, Raising Amazing Kids Without Chasing Your Tail.  Don't you just love her titles? 


Annnnyway, her final chapter is going to be strictly stories from bloggers here at HSB.  Jane, Spunky and Gena will pick the winning blog posts to be included in her book.  All entries must be submitted to Spunky's email – no later than October 14.


The categories that will be included in the book are:

  • humor
  • inspirational
  • encouragement
  • best parenting moment so far
  • challenging
  • organized living

They also will be picking a winner for Kids' Wisdom , although it won't be included in the book.


The winners will have their stories included in her book and will receive a free copy of the book before it hits bookshelves.  The first 5 entries that are submitted get a book too.  So go over to the official link to get all of the details and submit your blog entry!  This is going to be gooood.

Ummm.. I think we’re getting a pig

I had a pounding headache earlier today.  I was just taking it easy, waiting for it to ease up a little bit.Then my husband come in the room all excited, “Honey I've got a great idea for our farm!”  Now he has my attention.  I love to hear him talk about “our farm”. 


“We need to get a pig!”  He had just gotten off the phone from talking to a friend that had just gotten one back from the butcher and she had given him her take on how low maintenance and affordable raising your own pig is.  She even gave him the name of the man where they get their pigs and offered her husband to help load it when it's time to take it to the meat processing plant. 


Now I'm pretty ok with having a pig or two.  I had a friend that didn't have as great of the experience, but she was pretty much trying to do-it-herself while her husband was in Iraq (via the Army).   I know, I know…. she's an over-achiever.  She did finally get rid of the dairy cow that was giving her fits though. 


Annnnyway, my husband thinks it will be great and he's up for the task.  So I think once we get a little home set up for piggies (I guess it would be a pig pen), we'll be getting one or two.  Just like most other animals, they are happier when they have a pal, but we'll see if we can find another family that wants to buy that meat.  It would probably be a little too much $$ out of pocket for us to do at once. 


So we'll see what happens.  If we get some little piggies, I'll be sure to post some pics.  Even though they'll be supper later, I still think they will be very cute starting out! And this way, we'll be able to raise them as naturally as we can.  No chemicals in our food!  Maybe we'll be getting closer to raising our own grass fed beef.  Woo Hoo!

Successful Fundraiser

I have so enjoyed being a HomeSchool Nation contributor for Kentucky.  By touching base with other support group leaders, I get to hear lots of great ideas!  I was emailing the leader of the LAMP group nearby, when she shared a wonderful fundraiser that they did this year.  They raised $700 by hosting a Readathon for their group.  I was so impressed and just thought it was a wonderful idea.  She was so kind and shared all the details with me so that I could suggest it to my support group.


So just a few short months later our group raised just over $1900 with a Readathon!  We were so surprised and God just blessed us immensely.  It was a very simple idea which didn't require too much extra work and encouraged reading (which we all LOVE).  Some local businesses donated prizes for the children so every child that participated got something.  They also really enjoyed our pizza party at the park to tally up the money. 


We have such a great group of families and children.  It is so wonderful to get together and fellowship.  I love seeing the older ones looking out for the younger ones and all of them getting along so well.  The kids always do such a great job of helping to clean up and are really a blessing to be around.  And it was all just better because one of the moms had a 2 week old baby boy there for me to hold!!  Gotta love those little newborn baby snuggles.


The Readathon was such a wonderful fundraiser for us.  I am so thankful for the other group sharing this idea with us.  It was simple, fun and effective – just what we needed.  Thank you LORD for blessing our group as we strive to minister to the homeschool families in our area.

A little of this and a little of that…

It feels like things are so busy around here that I can't get my head clear for a decent post, but sometimes writing clears my head so this one is pretty much for me. 


God is blessing us in so many ways, but I still struggle with feeling like I'm not doing enough.  I'm not fast enough, strong enough, organized enough…  When I try to make a list or schedule, it makes me want to go and swat the FlyLady!  She talks about getting a small task accomplished in 10 or 15 minutes and I can aaaalmost do that, but somehow or another during that little job, I'll find something else that needs to be done.  I've just really been struggling with not feeling like I'm always dropping one of the balls in my juggling routine.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel like I'm doing a good enough job, but as I write that, I know where those negative thoughts come from.  I'm sure that Satan would like for me to just throw in the towel and give up.   


We were given another horse this week.  His name is Cherokee and he's a great old guy.  We boarded him for a friend last year and now she's decided to let him “retire” here with us.  He's still very able bodied and can be ridden, but he just doesn't have the get up and go that they like.  Personally I love horses that don't get in too big of a rush for anything.  We can let these old guys roam around and enjoy the grass outside of the pasture without having to worry that they'll run off.  You just call them and shake a food can and they come a running!  I should be out there just grooming and enjoying these old guys, but I'm busy trying to figure out what kind of saddle to get and price comparing!


Another big ol blessing was that a friend is loaning me her Apologia General Science for this year.  I guess it has finally set in that we are getting closer to those high school years.  I typically just try to teach science as we come across it in life.  My husband LOVES science so honestly he does a pretty great job of teaching it along the way.  I knew that I was going to have to get a little more serious though since we have a Science class for the middle schoolers at our co-op.  I'd been kind of waiting to see where that would lead.  She is teaching them a lot using microscopes and it's great.  Great teacher, great students, great material, but somehow I'm just kind of stuck on what microscope to buy.  UGH!  I hate being so indecisive. 


My husband has offered to take on teaching the boys Math & Science so I'm thanking God for that.  More than anything, I just love it because the boys get to see his interest in their education.  We've both seen how the boys get more excited when Dad is teaching or involved so this is going to be great.  I just keep wondering if he knows how to pace the lessons, etc… See I shouldn't be worrying about that!  God is blessing me and I just need to fully give it to Him!


Our co-op is off to a great start and our support group is doing well.  We see new faces at every meeting and I realize that homeschooling is gaining in popularity and acceptance.  I am so thankful for that. Individually they may still have to face some questioning family members or friends, but they have so much more positive research and proof than the homeschooling pioneers did years ago. 


So all of that said, I should be a pretty doggone happy camper.  And I guess I am, but my “to do” list is just taunting me I guess. 

  • find someone to bushhog the pasture
  • find someone to fix driveway gravel
  • catch up on the laundry
  • make a decision about the microscope
  • write an article
  • get the boys to trim the shrubs
  • are we going to really get that back patio built?
  • find tack for Cherokee
  • find a farrier
  • talk to husband about some dates to ask off work for family fun
  • and the list goes on … and on…. and on…..


But then I go over to Holy Experience's blog and just realize that I don't need to let those things get me down.  Even though sometimes feels like I'm never going to get done or that I just can't get enough accomplished.  I just need to remember what God's word says.  She lead me to this verse –

“And God is able…. So that ALWAYS,having ALL sufficiency,in EVERYTHING,you may have an ABUNDANCE for EVERY GOOD DEED.” ~2 Cor. 9:8


Isn't that a great verse?  That was just the post that I needed to read today. 


Thank you LORD for giving me more than enough.  For giving in abundance.  You are in control and you have the plans.  I am not able to manage all of this, but you are able!  Help me LORD to live my life knowing that you will always supply the time, the money, the energy, the ideas … whatever I need.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Answering MamaBugs question

Yesterday, MamaBugs left a question in my comments that was a really great question.  It was such a great question in fact that I went running to our PRMama (who headed up TOS' Special Needs Resource Room) aka MelM with it to get a great answer. So here goes Q & A on the farm!


From MamaBugs:  Nancy I had a mom contact me recently about her special needs son. I don't know how to answer these questions for her. Do you have any insights to share or resources I can direct her toward? Thanks either way!

“In ref to progress reports/evaluations: can school dictate when and how? Is it more advantageous to have credited teacher (e,g, special ed) periodically review his works? Is it good/bad to get services of same special ed teacher at [name of school] (that would normally be teaching [son]). “


Mel's Response: Depending on the law of the state the home educator and student reside in, it may well be possible that the school district or State DoE can (and will) dictate what sort of reports are necessary and the frequency of them.  This is not normally in relation specifically to special education, but under the homeschooling legislation.  However, that said, some states may have special education specific rules for homeschoolers.  I would check with HSLDA first, and also read the legislation, if any, available at the state’s DoE website. 


Regarding having assessments performed by a special education teacher…I wouldn’t necessarily consider that to be advantageous.  If one is requesting an assessment, one should be able to explain to the assessor the limits, challenges or strengths of the individual student.  (We can here in WA, where annual testing or assessment is required.)  However, choosing an assessor who is familiar with special education methods, and if possible, the challenges your child has to overcome due to their different abilities, may be easier on the child being assessed as well as the person meeting with them.  A diagnostician who is used to working person-to-person with a child with Asperger’s syndrome is far more likely to see the encouraging steps a child has taken, and be better prepared to interact with that child on a level comfortable for him/her.  Even a person with general training in the Special Education field from a public school may not be aware of the infinite differences between “types” of learning differences or issues caused by multiple physical or emotional challenges that appear to spill over into intellect based on behavior and outward actions. 


One person who is intimately familiar with these issues would be Christine Field, who frequently contributes to the TOS “Resource Room” column and is our lead reviewer of products and resources for special needs homeschooling.  She also recently released another book, titled Homeschooling the Challenging Child (Broadman & Holman, 2005).  Her website is  If this isn’t addressed in her work already, I’m sure there would be a way to contact her at her site with this question for her personal experiences.  Keep in mind that Mrs. Field is also trained as an attorney and thus has the knowledge from both sides…she is a woman with a wealth of knowledge!