2014 word

A few years back I started coming up with a word to encapsulate the coming year. It is usually something I want to develop or a character trait I desire. See the past years here here and here.

This year was especially challenging. It wasn’t easy but the more I considered it one word came into focus. Then I received a book that sealed the deal for me. The word is

 image courtesy crdotx

Concise and to the point. It invokes a couple of different images for me. One is that of, well, growing. Duh I know. I picture my little self maturing and bearing fruit. The other is that of a seed. It must die and be planted if it is to grow. I must die to myself a lot this coming year. I will be stretched and challenged beyond anything I have experienced to this point. And that takes some dying. Dying to grow.

I will be sharing more on this in upcoming posts. Please leave a comment on your word for the year if you have one, or on your thoughts regarding mine. I look forward to chatting!

It’s summertime and the planning’s good

Okay am I the only one who is geeked about planning for next year? Oh my but I love everything about it! Every year is a fresh start, full of possibility. New school supplies and clothes (we get these things), fresh teacher planners and juicy new dry wipe markers are all signaling school’s about to start!

I know you may wonder why I am chatting about this now. It’s early July, you think. I have plenty of time, you think. I’ll do that later, you think. I wouldn’t if I were you…

Planning for the year is important. You know the saying, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” It happens every time I think I can “wing it.” I like to think I’m a free spirit but I really need more structure than I want to admit sometimes. For me, writing it all down helps keep me on track and [mostly] productive.

Here is my planner for this school year. I have linked below to all the wonderful blogs whose free printables I used in this planner. Isn’t the cover beautiful? I cobbled the contents together from several sites to fit my needs. I laminated the covers and comb bound it (I happen to have tools to do both). Super cheap and just what I needed!

Here is a tour of my planner on YouTube. To me its easier than a bunch of pictures.


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Here are the links to the printables I used.

 

 

 

10 things you may not know about me

I’m getting back to the BPA alphabet I promise. But here are a few random things you might not know about me. Share any of these?

  1. In another life I would be an archaeologist. Digging up the past is simply fascinating.
  2. I adore tiny homes. Oh my goodness they are so compact and efficient and cozy.
  3. I can play the drums. I taught myself when I was in nursing school. I never play anymore though.
  4. Light blue is my favorite color. it has been for years. I can’t get enough of it!
  5. I hate being cold. I never complain about summer heat because I despise winter’s cold so much.
  6. Cleaning out the fridge is my least favorite chore. Ugh. Enough said.
  7. I am left-handed. Most things I do as a leftie, especially things the are precise like writing, shooting and using a knife. I bowl right-handed though.
  8. When I was growing up I wanted 7 children. I’m not sure why but it sounded like the perfect number. I have four children and I’m perfectly okay with that even number.
  9. I am an introvert. Being alone re-energizes me. I enjoy people but crowds really sap my energy.
  10. I enjoy singing. Especially in choirs and ensembles. Harmonizing is really fun and I have an ear for it.

Do you have a similar list? leave a link in the comments!

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I is for…Individuality

The next letter in our alphabet is fundamental, not just to biblical principles or to home education, but to all of life.

Individuality is where it’s at. It’s our relationship with God. It’s the biblical principle from which at the others spring. It is what gives us liberty in home education and in life. Independently dependent upon God. As we understand individuality as God intends it our relationships flourish, our liberty grows and our faith deepens.

Once we are able to truly be what God designed all the masks come off. Once we shake off conformity to the world and embrace independence in Christ we can enjoy life as God intended. It is not easy but it is immensely rewarding.

This doesn’t mean we don’t lean on others or seek relationships or guidance. Far from it! God’s Principle of Individuality helps us form tight bonds. Embracing others in their uniqueness and pulling on their strengths only serves to benefit a relationship. We add to one another and we celebrate the differences.

H is for…Homeschool companion

FACE offers a helpful resource for those new to BPA. It’s short and sweet and chock full of helpful info. It helps you take a deep breath and say, “I can do this!” It is written by a home educating moms who have been there and done that and lived to tell about it.

The Noah Plan Homeschool Companion is free with purchase at the FACE bookstore or it’s only $6 if you want it alone.

F is for…FACE

The Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) is the largest organization in BPA. Originally in California, they moved to the east coast. Visit their About Us page here. They are the publisher of the Red Books, the Noah Plan and hundreds of other materials. (They have trademarked the phrase Principle Approach.) They are an invaluable resource for Christian history and home education the BPA way.

The Commonwealth is an online community that members can use to connect with other members, to access material from FACE and  to interact with FACE staff.

Please visit their site for info on everything BPA. They offer many articles and materials that will help you on your way.

E is for…excellence

I have covered this topic in the past but it is so good we can bring it up again. BPA brings out the excellence in your children, yourself and your family. The notebook and map standards, research projects and 4Ring are but some of the tools to promote excellence in your home education (and your every day life).

The Bible emphasizes the importance of excellence and when you base your subjects on God’s word you will discover many scriptures, stories and individuals that bring this into focus.

How do you think excellence has become a part of your home education and your life with the use of BPA?

D is for…Dang

Katherine Dang is one of my favorite BPA teachers. She is so knowledgeable and gentle and kind and, well, wonderful. Her organization is Philomath Foundation and she is available for consultations, conferences and the like. Ms. Dang has been in BPA education for over 30 years. Her wisdom is inspiring and her materials are top-notch. I hope you’ll take time to listen some of her conference audio (her Series on the Introduction to American Christian Education is wonderful. I’ve probably listened to each session a dozen times!) Material from the Wednesday Night Salons she holds in California is also great for sparking discussions in your own small group setting.

Her materials are available here. Dang’s Universal History volumes are excellent texts for high school and beyond. She also offers others materials such as a science project guide and several literature guides on this page.

 

C is for…curriculum guides

The Noah Plan Curriculum Guides (CG) from FACE are wonderful tools for almost every subject. They are chock full of info on lesson planning, teacher notebooks, foundations of the subject, timelines and more. There are projects and checklists and sample student work. They are a terrific resource for newbies and experienced BPA’ers alike. I talked more about them in this post.

There are CG’s for history/geography, literature, mathematics, art, English, and reading. They are useful for K-12 and are useful for planning lessons because they have quarterly lesson outlines for K-12 in the front of each guide (except art). Science is not available but I hope it they write one. For some BPA help with planning science lessons and laying a science foundation from PMom click here.

They are also excellent resources if you don’t use the Noah Plan and even if you don’t homeschool. They offer each subject’s Christian history, resource lists and more.

 

 

B is for…Bible

In our trip through the BPA alphabet we can’t pass up the chance to highlight the Bible. It’s our most valued tool and our educational guidebook. All subjects have their foundations in the Bible and therefore this book must be honored here.

The Bible is also irreplaceable in core subjects like literature and HisStory. It is full of material to help your family master the subjects and see how they fit into Providential history.

As Christians we should look to God’s Word for help in every area of life. There is wisdom for how to gain wisdom, what true wisdom is and more. We learn how to interact with one another, what God feels is most important and how to relate to Him.

The Bible is the foundation for all subjects and as we turn to His word we are changed into His image more and more.