Monday, January 25, 2010

Rainy Days

It's been raining really hard since yesterday. I couldn't sleep last night so I didn't get up as early as I had planned and that set our day back a little. I worked right through, we've had to school this evening but that is okay. School is getting done.

So is house cleaning. We've gone through and dusted, swept, mopped, vacuumed and put everything in its place. I love how the house feels when that is done. I still have a little work left in the kitchen where we still need to paint. Hopefully we can finish that soon. I've been procrastinating. :)

I'm working on getting us through the general basic subjects and trying to get back into our history studies with MFW. We still have state and president sheets to finish along with our study of the state birds. No hurries. We have plenty of time but I'm ready to get started. I loved the history reading that I blogged about in my last post. I don't think the girls were as keen on it as I am but I suppose if you don't have history lovers that is to be expected.

I have found someone that is selling both years of My Father's World that I need for next year at 1/2 price. She also has some English, Science and odds and ends that I was looking for also. I'm quite thankful. The Lord continues to bless us in small but yet great ways.

We give love offerings to God's Word for the Nations and I order any extras that are missing from My Father's World to make sure we are still financially supporting them even though I am purchasing used curriculum.

Taxes are filed and I can't wait to place my orders for new school! It's an exciting time in my home.

Sky and I are getting ready to read The Hobbit and I'm going to order the audio cds to this. I can't wait! She could. Sigh... but thats okay.

Tonight I was sitting here on the couch calling out spelling words from Spelling Power to Meadow while our lovebird Mary sat on my hand. Tony was on the loveseat with his hat pulled over his eyes and Meadow's friend Brittany-who is here for a sleepover- was sitting beside me. I had such a sweet feeling. I am so thankful that the Lord has called me to homeschool. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to really be with my children. I love the closeness, the talks, the time. Priceless.

All the money in the world couldn't bring a better life.

Highly blessed and favored!

I'm looking at a neat virtual homeschool group online that has live classes for two of Sky's subjects next year. They don't have schedules up yet but if they offer Apologia Physical Science and Saxon 8/7 or Algebre 1/2 (pre algebra) then I'm going to let her take those classes through them. They have real teachers and those teachers will grade her work. I'm praying this works out. It will help me out so much and I feel it will help Sky as much me. I'd feel really good having someone else look at her work too. Many pluses here so be praying that this works out for us!

I'll be sharing all my new buys soon. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Discussing History

I came across this speech while searching online for information on Martin Luther King, Jr. I watch Meadow's eyes, as I read, even though she doesn't quite understand the language. She picks up on analogies and her heart breaks as she wonders why, because of the color of skin, some were allowed to learn and some were not. As the realization hits Sky that there were 72 laws in our state of VA in the year 1852 that if broken a black man would die, but only two of which held the same consequence for a white man. How do you explain that life isn't fair or just and yet we serve a fair and just God?

I wanted to share this below in case there is any reader out there, like me, who had never read this speech before. Looking at history from the other side of the glass isn't nearly as pretty.

I can see why satan thwarts our attempts at homeschooling on days like today.

Days of break through.

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
Frederick Douglass July 5, 1852.

The following is an excerpt from an oration delivered at the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. Douglass delivered a speech that took aim at the pieties of the nation — the cherished memories of its revolution, its principles of liberty, and its moral and religious foundation. The Fourth of July, a day celebrating freedom, was used by Douglass to remind his audience of liberty’s unfinished business.

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But, such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, lowering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

”By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see, this day, and its popular characteristics, from the slave’s point of view. Standing, there, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;” I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgement is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less, would you persuade more, and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgement that the slave is a moral, intellectual and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws, in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, their will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively, and positively, negatively, and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employments for my time and strength, than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is past.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Stumbling Along

We are trying to school but its been a rough start this year. After the other fiasco, a terrible virus entered our life. One of Meadow's little friends spent the night and cheerfully announced that she had had the vomits.


4 days later Meadow had the vomits.

3 days later I had the vomits.

3 days later Sky had the vomits.

4 days after that, yep, you guessed it, Tony had the vomits.

Then another virus doubled back. It was terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea and it lasted several days. A very rough two weeks.

So right now we are working on the basics. We haven't been able to move onto my hopes of finishing the next year of My Father's World-1850's to Modern. I'm taking it one step at a time.

The college thing didn't pan out. I tried everything I could. I went to take the Compass Test and the class filled up. I was so upset, I got up early and went over there only to find out that it was a first come, first serve test and it was FULL. They turned away several before me, and several after me. I persisted only to discover that my financial aid was messed up, which broke my heart. They were going to make an exception and allow me to test had my financial aid been worked out, but by the time they figured out the problem and I had tested I would have been at least a week behind. All of that, on top of all that we've already been through this January would have probably been more than I could handle.

I do want to go back to college though. I'm truly praying that I can in the fall.

So, I'll update more when we are more on track!

Right now, we are just hanging on....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Better Days

There are always better days coming aren't there?

Today was one of those days.

Somehow after the exhausting night, Meadow finally quit throwing up and Sky is talking to me. The devastation isn't as strong and things look smaller, like I can handle them and NOT so huge that the weight of the world is on my shoulders. God is good like that. He always steps in and picks you up and carries you when He knows you have all you can take.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do about college. I'll see how I feel tomorrow when I'm suppose to go and test. One day at a time. One thing I do know for sure though is that IF I don't get in this semester I'm definitely going the next one.

Today we took the day off from school and Sky cleaned out the basement. She relished the physical labor and took pride in what she accomplished. I know she was grateful to not have to do school. We will pick back up and try again later in the week. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday. I'm so tired right now it's hard to say what we will do but one thing I know is that its going to work itself out.

Good night all.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Bad and The Ugly

I post our progress and our success and sometimes I post our rough days but I don't know that I've ever had a day quite as ugly as today. I've second guessed posting this more than once but feel as though I have to keep it real. I'm so open, sometimes I fear I show too much of myself and my family.

Here it goes:

Our first day back and we nearly froze to death.

I waited until this morning to make our schedules. Sky is my middle daughter and she is in the 8th grade. I make each child a schedule for the week with subject, page numbers and what to do in each subject each day that week. When Sky brought me her last schedule for me to see where we left off, after a long 6 week break, she confessed that for those last few weeks of school before the holidays she crossed off that she did her school but didn't actually do it.

I was busy before the holidays and focusing on our MFW history, bible and reading ect... alot. Then I have to teach my 3rd grader Meadow. I expect my 8th grader to be able to follow the schedule and work on her own. She is fully capable and doesn't struggle in any area.

I had been slack in checking behind her and grading her papers.

As I took her subjects today I realized other things too. Like in her Jump In writing, instead of actually doing the lessons she had copied the examples given in the book into the areas that she was suppose to be doing the lessons.

She had written me two tiny reports on Abortion. A rough draft and then a corrected version. I was pretty impressed with her wording and felt as though she had a passion for abortion. She did a lot of research ect...

So, in trying to find her a writing teacher, someone to help me out, grading her ect... because writing is tough for me to grade and being her mom I'm often too lenient- I had found someone that I felt I would use. They needed an example of Sky's writing but Sky was gone for the weekend so I forwarded her abortion reports.

Today I get an e-mail from the someone gently explaining to me that Sky had plagiarized both reports. She easily found them word for word on the internet.

NOW- I DID discuss what this was (plagiarism) in detail with Sky and went over how to reword things or give credit if quoting BEFORE she wrote this paper. We did IEW last year and that did a great job in teaching how to take a few words from a sentence and make it your own.

She also understood it was stealing, lying and deceitful. I hate to even admit all of this here on the blog.

This is my middle dd and I've always felt like dh treated her differently than my older dd. He always seemed to be harder on Heaven than on Sky. To me it looks like Sky gets away with murder. Sky is different. BUT I'm at a loss in how to deal with this behavior.

She has always lied and been dishonest. She will look me dead in my eyes and lie and when she is caught she blows it off.

Dh and I had a heated argument. I was so angry. He of course said what I know is true-but still it hurt-that I AM her teacher and IF I had been doing my job I would have KNOWN that she wasn't DOING her work.

I feel like I have so much to do all the time already. I can't hold Sky's hand, I can't TEACH her every single subject. It's time she began DOING what she is suppose to do without me having to FORCE her or stand over top of her.

I feel like a failure as a mother and a teacher.

I don't even know how to discipline her in this and neither does dh. She is grounded from everything, ipod, radio, computer, friends, phone, cell, even classes at church, drama, everything. She did get a spanking- yes at 14. She is going to do school every day until she is caught up, even weekends. And for the finale-she is failing 8th grade. That one really got her. BUT had she been in college and did this they would have failed her in every subject and kicked her out of school.

You want to know what she is most upset over though? The fact that she is going to HAVE to take this writing class. She is furious.

Sky is not all bad. She is so smart, she is kind and very helpful. I've seen her changing the way she treats Meadow over the past month off of school. I've noticed lots of things about her. She is funny, has a great personality-often times the life of the party. I just don't understand why she insists on going out of her way to be lazy. To me, it took more time and effort to copy and pretend to do work than it would have to have just done it right the first time.

The thing that scares most me is wondering if she has a conscience. I homeschool because I know its what God called me to do and its SO hard on me to NOT see the fruits of my labor. It makes me doubt everything. Doubt myself, homeschooling, everything. I don't know WHAT to do differently. I've taught Sky about the Lord and lived the closest and best I could. I feel like when it comes to her that NOTHING I do or say will change her or matter at all.

God I pray this child matures some in the next four years because I don't know what I'll do if she doesn't.

THEN on top of all of this Meadow got a horrible virus and started puking about an hour ago. She is so sick. It doesn't look like we'll be doing school tomorrow and I PRAY this virus doesn't go through the house. I don't know how much more stress I can handle.

So there you have it, a really bad day in the life of Kingdom Academy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Oh my! I can't believe its 2010! We've had a nice long break over the holidays and I think it's ruined me! I have to laugh out loud at that. We will be getting back on schedule next week and I can't wait to get into the swing of things. I think the first week will be the toughest. Getting back on schedule. Um, that is going to be a toughie. I think even Tony has grown accustomed to staying up all hours of the night playing the new Wii and then sleeping in the next day.

Monday will be no fun for any of us but I can't wait just the same. I'll finish us up early and let Sky finish her *on her own* work in the evening as Heaven has a doctor's appointment. She is 14 weeks and we will get to hear the baby's heartbeat again.

Then on Wednesday my plans are to finish up school before noon and then go over to the college and take the Compass test. This is huge for me. I've been planning and talking about going back to school for like-well-absolutely forever. I'm hoping to be able to take all my first semester online. If things go as I've planned in my head, I'll only have to take one class in the summer but I'm trying not to think that far ahead. Often times things never go as planned and of course no plan can be made without seeing the results of my test. So, I'll talk more about that later.

I still have some cleaning and organizing to do before Monday, so I'll be busy busy.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and that you do have a wonderful Happy New Year!