children of the day

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Tucked in First Thessalonians chapter 5 is the words "You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." Children of the day are "...sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (vs. 8) Children of the day "...encourage one another and build one another up (vs. 11). Children of the day "...live in peace with one another (vs.13), ...encourage the disheartened, help the weak, patient with everyone (vs 14), and...always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else (vs 15). Children of the day rejoice always (vs 16), pray continually (vs 17), and give thanks in all circumstances (vs 18).

The boys and I are into our latest Beth Moore Bible study, Children of the Day, an in-depth study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. This is our, count 'em, 8th study by Beth Moore. I am not boasting, except boasting in the Lord. John, Jarrod, and I. My 12th grade sons and their mom, doing a Bible study together. When asked, of my sons, if, after graduation, which is just around the corner by the way (May 21), they wanted to continue doing Bible study together (because they'll be graduated and all, moving on to other things), both echoed emphatically, "Ah, NO!" Like - how could you even suggest such a thing, Mom?

I'm sooo glad. 

It's our special time together.

I'm assured of my adult sons being in the Word of God daily.

I get to hear their growth in the knowledge of the Word.

I can still disciple and mentor.

At a time when homeschooling is ending for me, for the boys, I still have that connection of schooling; Impacting their life, in a small way. I've been struggling with this impending change, moving on from homeschooling my sons. I've been doing this thing since 7th grade, and while their Senior year has been at Point University I haven't wanted to let go. It has been so good for me, for the boys.

As we delve deeper into this study I'm wondering if this study is going to be a game-changer - a life-change study. Aren't all Bible studies supposed to change our life? I think they are supposed to and I believe they do in so many ways - if we apply them to our lives. I do not believe, if we commit ourselves to the study of God's Word, we are not affected change. But. This study. Life-changing (and we are only beginning week 3)!


save the date | john and jarrod's high school graduation

Save-the-Date-Boys-Graduati

I created a quick 5 x 7 'Save the Date' card that I can email to family (or friends) with pertinent information on an upcoming graduation. With everyone's lives so busy sometimes one has to plan ahead to get an event on the calendar before it is filled with another activity. Pretty excited that the local homeschool chapter, Family Education For Christ, has a graduation ceremony for high school graduates like public and private schools - but yet, different.

Cap and Gowns ordered. Check.

Save the Date card. Check.

100-word bio for each. Done, but not submitted.

Senior pictures. Next on my list...


the state of sons of thunder academy address

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Good Morning. The Sons of Thunder Academy, the little homeschool that could, six years later is almost finished. In their last semester of high school, John and Jarrod, Sons of Thunder, are attending Point University's dual-enrollment classes where they receive high school credit for each class - and college credit. The biggest blessing. It's free. Last semester they completed three of the four classes they still needed to graduate high school using GA standards for high school graduates: College Algebra (Advanced Algebra), College Biology with a Lab (Advanced Biology), and Critical Reading and Writing I. Because they still needed an economics course they are currently enrolled in Macro-Economics, and Critical Reading and Writing II because they liked their teacher last semester, and Western Civilization. 

College-level courses have been an adjustment and at times a struggle for the Sons of Thunder. We have been in some deep waters, even more so, because the Sons of Thunder have wanted me to 'be there only if I'm needed' rather than direct and guide and oversee and schedule. While I've experienced moments of fear and struggle as a homeschool mom still responsible for my sons learning experience, I am certain this, spreading of their wings, accepting responsibility for their own work, will benefit them immensely for the future.

And, although I have had to extricate myself from their college-level classes, I do however, have total involvement in their Bible lessons. After completing Beth Moore's Jesus, the One and Only over the summer we completed Living Beyond Yourself (lessons on the Fruit of the Spirit), Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God, and currently, we are back with a Beth Moore study, The Patriarchs, and actually have this Bible study almost completed. 

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Our next study will be Beth Moore's study on the life and ministry of John, The Beloved Disciple

We've recently attended a mandatory pre-graduation meeting and I've since ordered their cap and gowns to check off an item on the pre-graduation checklist. I'm presently creating a 'save the date' invitation to send out to family, since, gauging by attendance at the pre-graduation meetings, it will be a large-for-an-homeschool graduation, around 25 graduates, therefore, space will be limited.  I will need to put a program bio together for each of Son of Thunder, their dad will record a 1-minute speech for each, and the Sons of Thunder will write a 1-minute speech for their graduation ceremony. Christian-based homeschool-driven graduation ceremonies are unique, personable, and inspiring. I'm looking forward to seeing the culmination of our years of homeschooling come to an end with the Sons of Thunder receiving their diploma.


stories 2015 | one year 4 bible studies

One-Year-4-Bible-Studies

For John and Jarrod's elective class, Bible, we completed four Beth Moore Bible Studies, Daniel, James, Esther, and David. Each one offered a unique experience and understanding. Esther was lighthearted and fun, but we saw God move so mightily throughout Esther's story and James, well, we memorized the first Chapter of James. I am still going to attempt the entire book of James, and still have time if I buckle down hard. 

David was tough. They learned so many lessons of what-not-to-do through the life of David and so many more for the very reason David is a man after God's own heart. And then there is Daniel. I think this book challenged us all but let me tell you, when John and Jarrod shared with Mom what each chapter of the book was about and the take away lesson, well, let's just say it made this momma proud.

 


sons of thunder academy | reading plans 2015-2016

Read-a-Louds

Our little Sons of Thunder Academy is about to complete their 11th grade year of high school. It has, this life of homeschool, has been a wild ride. A most enjoyable, exciting, frustrating, satisfying, enormously rewarding wild ride. As I mentioned in this post, our plans for John and Jarrod's senior year, is taking a decidedly dramatic turn as they are enrolling in Point University's Dual Enrollment program. That being said, and planned, and enrollment is complete, we are patiently awaiting the beginning of fall classes: Advanced Biology, College Algebra (Algebra IV), and Advanced English Composition, plus Bible at home: Jesus, the One and Only, Believing God, The Beloved Disciple, and Breaking Free (all Beth Moore bible studies).

I realized, and so it seems have the boys, that when we finish The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which has taken us the entire school year to complete (as we are not done yet, but should be finished early May) what would we do about read a louds. For a homeschool that has prided itself on our attention to reading, and more importantly to us, reading aloud - me reading aloud to John and Jarrod - we aren't reading to stop reading aloud.

Through our homeschool years, we have read a bunch of books aloud that have been on those 'classic' reading lists, those must-read lists compiled by libraries, and literary experts, but through my research in compiling a list of possible reading material for their 12th grade year, I have found there are still many classics that we haven't read that seem to find themselves on almost every list of must-reads in high school.

So, I too have compiled a list of 18 books for the Sons of Thunder Academy to read aloud (by me) for their 2015-2016 school year. Actually, we will begin reading when we have completed the Literary Lesson of the Lord of the Rings. The following is the tentative list I have compiled, not in any order of reading:

 The Catcher on the Rye by J.D. Salinger

 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Raven and other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe

Night by Elie Wiesel

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Catch 22 by Joseph Keller

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Book Thief by Markus Zusaf

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini

Enders Game by Orson Scott Carol

If we enjoy Night and are intrigued enough we may read the trilogy. If we have time, and all is going well, we may also read more of the Harry Potter books. We might also be able to read The Help, The Diary of Anne Frank, and possibly Maus by Art Spiegelman

Honestly, with me moving to day shift we may have to shift our reading time to dinner, or while they are doing the dishes, but I doubt no one will be complaining.

 


sons of thunder academy | 2015 - 2016 School Year

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Our little homeschool, Sons of Thunder Academy, is in our final year of high school. John and Jarrod will be Seniors in the Fall. And the Sons of Thunder are heading to Point University for their senior year in high school. Although we will miss Kingdom Builders Co-op immensely, such a bittersweet parting, our little academy of students are moving forward, onto new and exciting endeavors.

We have enrolled the boys into Point Universities' Dual-Enrollment program at the Savannah campus, which happens to be located at our own church. They will take a Math, English, and Science in the Fall.

College Algebra equates to an Algebra IV. The boys just completed Algebra III this year, thus, perfect timing!

English Composition equates to an AP, or advanced English composition and will fulfill the boys' 4th English requirement, while obtaining college credit.

College Biology I equates to an Advanced Biology and will be taken online, while the other two classes this coming Fall will be taken in the morning on campus (at SCC/Point University). They are not in need of a class with the LAB but I think they have to take the LAB with the Biology class, which will be online as well.

We will continue our Bible lessons at home through Beth Moore bible studies. This year we have taken Daniel, James, Esther, and David. Following David we will do Jesus, the One and Only which will take us into the summer. Our summer course will probably be either Believing God, The Beloved Disciple, or Breaking Free. At some point this school year, their 12th grade year we will complete all three of those studies.

Their winter classes for 2016 will, at a minimum, be an Economics class, probably Macro-Economics, whether they take it at Point University or Savannah Tech, we aren't sure. We may need to transfer dual enrollment to Savannah Tech so Jarrod will be set up for college enrollment in Criminal Justice. He wants to be a Police Officer. We aren't sure what is in store for John, yet. As long as he has a job following high school he doesn't have to go to college, so we will see where his heart lies.

And that is ok. 

All this to say, also, life is changing. Transitioning to a new season. We have been amazingly blessed through Kingdom Builders Co-op through the friendships forged, the unbelievably talented teachers the boys have had, and an opportunity to teach Meteorology - oh my - that has been the best!

So, finishing up our last couple of months April and May and onto bigger opportunities.


stories from the files | school at the library.

SCHOOL-AT-THE-LIBRARY

One of the fantastic benefits about homeschooling is the ability to take our classroom anywhere, whether it is on a lengthy trip or it is just up the street to our local library. John and Jarrod always appreciate the unique little pleasures they have been afforded because they homeschool. This is just what we did one winter day: take our school to the library and then lunch at the mall which is right next to the library.


sons of thunder academy | bible

Sons of thunder

It is no secret how we value the importance of the Word of God into the Sons of Thunder's high school curriculum. After this past years homeschool co-op Bible lessons on Paul and David and their extensive memorization of Psalm 51, Psalm 91, and the Sermon on the Mount I knew we had to continue, not just Bible reading, but Bible study. Their homeschool co-op teacher from this past year is not returning to our co-op and no other mom opted to teach a Bible class for the next school year so that meant it was going to be up to me to teach it. I've taught Bible studies for many years so I think I can handle the challenge of teaching my sons.

Having been schooled myself under the expert tutelage of Beth Moore and having completed several amazing studies that could very easily be 'boy' related I knew I wanted to use Beth's studies in our own Bible class. I've chosen Daniel and James. If we have time we'll do Jesus, the One and Only.

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Daniel

I'm positive the boys will eat up the stories within the book of Daniel, some very familiar but they will be able to see them with fresh eyes.

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James

Then there is James. I am so thrilled to have recently done this study myself - but this time I'm diving in to the memorization of the entire book of James, along with John and Jarrod. This book is filled with 'boy' applicable goodness.

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Jesus the One and Only

Basically, 1) we'll each have our own copy of the current Bible study, 2) 5 days a week we'll each complete our 'homework' individually (although John and Jarrod often 'collaborate' and bounce answers off each other), 3) we'll listen to the audio lesson at the beginning of each weeks work, and 4) once a week we'll come together and discuss the weeks lesson.

In addition, for Daniel, we will all memorize Daniel 1. And for James, we'll actually attempt memorizing the book of James (just as Beth Moore did). After seeing how the boys tackled memorization this past year I really don't have any qualms about our memorization plans for this year.

I'm really excited about our upcoming Bible study homeschool endeavors. The idea of using Beth Moore's studies for teenagers sounds like a good idea. Beth is a strong, vibrant speaker who can command an audiences attention - I have no doubt my boys will love her humor and lessons.


52 gratitudes 2014 | 19

52-Gratitudes-19

I will never forget, or take for granted the times John and Jarrod and I have had together reading through novel after novel, historical reader after historical reader, book after book. We've immersed ourselves in the stories, learned history, albeit grudgingly, tackled literary analysis, and just simply enjoyed ourselves. Few books, maybe two, we either didn't finish or didn't like.

Most, if not all, books we've read I would have never, ever selected from the library shelves, passing it over for something I enjoy reading. But, except for those one or two, we have not been disappointed in the story offered. I am thankful for books and our reading time together.


sons of thunder academy | state of our homeschool address

  Sons of thunder

The State of our Homeschool Address   |

On the backstretch:

The Sons of Thunder are on the backstretch of their 10th grade year. They have tackled American History, American Literature, Spanish III, Biology, Art 3D, Bible, and Algebra II. As we finish homeschool co-op in the beginning of May, American History, Biology, Art 3D, and Bible will be completed for the year.

They should be finishing strong in all four of those classes. Through Bible, they will have memorized multiple scriptures, to include the Sermon on the Mount. American History was tough, but a well-taught and in-depth class. I am thrilled with what they've learned. Because they both love art I was not concerned for the outcome of this class. Their teacher sings their praise for their creativeness and class efforts.

We'll still have about a month of Algebra II and we'll need to continue working through our American Literature selections with appropriate study guides. I am not sure when this class will finish. We'll proceed until we're done. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling. Spanish III is almost complete but they'll continue that into June. With no co-op classes we can concentrate on finishing the year strong.

High school credits

What is next?

Because we have already laid out their entire high school years (with only minor tweeking necessary), planning upcoming years is fairly simple. I have been pretty good about not overwhelming myself - or the Sons of Thunder - by buying too much curriculum (because curriculum is like an attraction to hoarding office supplies), but have, instead, selected a good, solid, well-reviewed curriculum and then followed through. We have been blessed that most curriculum has worked for us over these past few years and have only had to abandon a couple selections (i.e. Lifepak Science - our first year of homeschooling and a John Bunyan Pilgrim's Progress curriculum which we just never started), instead moving on with something else.

On tap for their 11th grade year:

Science: Meteorology with LAB

Math: Saxon Advanced Mathematics

Literature: British Literature (Lord of the Rings Literary Lessons)

Social Studies: US Government plus an at-home US Presidents Unit Study

Driver's Education: Georgia Online Drivers Education

Bible: Beth Moore's Daniel and James

Physical Education: PE through Homeschool Co-op

I was thrilled when a homeschool mom suggested a swap of curriculum, our Exploring American History curriculum (which her son will take next year) for her Exploring Government that her son completed this year and the Sons of Thunder will complete next year. Therefore, we are only left with purchasing Bible curriculum and Drivers Education.

I was also thrilled when I was able to sell to another homeschool mom two-years of Saxon Math curriculum, plus the Biology curriculum to another mom.  God is good!

And here stands our 'state of our homeschool'.