Do you know the way to San Jose? (oh, come on! You know you want to sing along...)
My family and I attended the CHEA homeschool conference in Santa Clara over the weekend. We headed down early to explore the missions of Santa Clara and San Jose and enjoyed a picnic and park before the conference began at 3p.m. The whole morning I was humming this classic song since we decided to toodle around San Jose before the conference started. It was a great weekend filled with LOTS of information - some we agreed with, some we didn't entirely, but that's ok. When do Christians ever agree 100% on every aspect of EVERY thing?? I went really to be able to touch, flip through and get a good feel for different curriculum but I walked away with lots of great information I hope to implement into our school days as well.
Here's what stuck with me:
* 90% of learning is attitude. If that isn't right then academics needs to stop in order to fix the heart issue creeping in. (Hannah Ploegstra - www.learnchrist.com)
* Writing isn't a subject it is something that people do. It should be woven into our daily lives in such a way that grammar/spelling, etc. is only a 10 minute lesson, not taking up a chunk of time each day.
* It is better for your kids to write every day - short snippets - than to have two or three longer assignments each month.
* Public school teachers don't do every lesson in their books nor do they finish the curriculum by the end of the year. Why should I beat myself up to accomplish these things? Lighten up!
* THERE. WILL. BE. GAPS! Accept it. Embrace it. I don't have knowledge on every subject and in every detail nor was I taught about everything. I have gaps in my education and my kids will too. We all do. It's impossible for someone to be taught every single thing - and to the point of mastery. Let it go!
* High School planning isn't nearly as confusing to me as it was before I entered the conference!
* Homeschool provides the excellent flexibility and time to make disciples - of ourselves and our children. Take advantage of this time by steeping the kids into God's word.
* Simplicity is the key to homeschool. It's so easy to get bogged down with scheduling every minute and packing in every subject but that doesn't accomplish much.
Those are some of the biggies that stuck out to me from this conference. There were many, many more thoughts but these are the reminders I needed because they stuck with me!
...Or the Tattoo Shop?
Tattoos are always a conversation starter in any crowd but having my tattoo-riddled, ear-pierced, awesome husband with me this weekend, was interesting. He received many a stare on the first afternoon especially but it doesn't bother him. He doesn't even notice most of the time. He is comfortable in his own skin - tattooed and all - and his choices and genuinely doesn't care what others feel about his physical appearance. I love that about him, actually, and after 15 years of marriage, it is beginning to rub on me - thankfully! I want to care less about what others think or feel and not live my life according to the input of others but to live my life with confident abandon, only listening to the voice of God. That is what my husband does. Well, he does listen to my and the boys' input as well but he just doesn't give others the power to affect his feelings as so many are apt to do (I'm sheepishly raising my hand over here). I believe that is how God intended all of us to live - not by the voice of the majority or the one complaining the most or loudest or even listening to the ones who spur you on and telling you all is great - but to Him alone. I think what makes me so irritated with those that gawk at Chris, particularly in a Christian setting, is that 1) I want to protect him (although he doesn't need it due to his healthy self-image) and 2) these people, Christ followers, have no idea if my husband is a believer or not. How you react to him could very well turn him off of the path to follow Christ because of the down -the-nose- judgement peering through disapproving eyes. Praise God my husband IS a believer and a faithful follower but I shudder to think that if this is how Christians treat other Christians, how would a non-believer feel?? God is right when he says "man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart". My hope is that, as believers, we, too, will look at the heart of those around us and move past the outward appearance.