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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Need Some Advice

Over the past few months, I have alluded to where I think God is calling me. After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to take the next step. My problem is I don't know what that step should be. I don't want to rush ahead of God, but I also know that I have to take that first step in faith.

So, here is where I think God is leading me and my dilemma. I feel called to minister with the musical ability I have been given. My heart is to bless the church through song and testimony, and I feel God is giving me the OK to move ahead to the next step. That brings me to my dilemma.

I have no idea what to do next. When I lived in New Jersey I knew many Pastors and could have probably sang in their churches to get my feet wet, or at the very least solicited advice or references. Living in Rhode Island, I really don't have the contacts I had before.

So I have two questions for everyone.

1. Do you know where I should start?

2. More importantly, do you feel this is where God is leading me? ( I have a peace about it, just looking for some confirmation and encouragement here.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Planning Ahead

So when I started this blog I said it would be about my life as a homeschooling Dad, and it has been very focused on me lately. So, I thought I would do an entry regarding the most dreaded question in homeschooling. No, not the socialization one, though that one ranks up there in annoyance right next to nails on a chalk board. No, I'm talking about, "What curriculum do you use?"

I guess I find it annoying because I don't use one set curriculum. I use what works, usually through trial and error. So without further ado, I present my current choices for next years curriculum arranged by subject, along with the reasons I chose them.

Let's start with the core subjects

Bible

Discover 4 Yourself Bible Studies by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt
I chose this series (actually my wife spied it at a home school conference) because first of all I trust Kay Arthur, and second the approach does more than teach what the Bible says but also how to study what it says. Each study is from 4 to 7 weeks in length and ranges in price from $5 to $9. There are enough titles in the series right now (more are on the way) to cover three or more years of Bible. (We have one more years worth of studies left in our library plus a few we will do over the summer).

Civics (This encompasses Social Studies, History, Geography, and Government)

Medieval History Study Guide by Rea C. Berg
This study guide put out by Beautiful Feet Books uses literature to teach history. I love the idea of living books, as it allows history to come alive. The study guides we have used so far have been great and informative. They are relatively inexpensive ($12.95 - $17.95) and some will cover both middle school and high school level work. The literature used can be purchased but many titles are available through your local library keeping costs down, though we have purchased many of the titles for our own library.

Foreign Language

First Start French by Danielle Schultz
This will be our first year of French and I'm excited about using this series by Memoria Press. We have been using their Latin Curriculum for the last 4 years and have found it very well designed. I'm hoping that this series will not disappoint. Why French and not Spanish? Simple we are continuing our studies of the root languages of English. I'm hoping to find a user friendly Greek Curriculum for our high school studies. Again this curriculum is pretty inexpensive with the full kit (Teacher Guide, Student Book, and Pronunciation CD) under $40. (Are we sensing a theme here???)

Second Form Latin by Cheryl Lowe
I'm still up in the air on this one, but I'm including it in the list. We are wrapping up Latina Christiana II this year and I'm still trying to decide whether or not to continue with our Latin studies. If we do this would be the curriculum of choice. Also by Memoria Press, this curriculum is a continuation of the Latina Christiana Series, Also I can get it at a discount now because it is still being Beta Tested.

Language Arts

Learning Language Arts Through Literature by Susan S. Simpson
I love this series as it uses real literature to teach language arts, I only wish I had found it sooner. For less than $50.00 ($25.00 if you want to fore go the optional workbook) you get a well design curriculum based on classic literature and the Bible.

Jump In by Sharon Watson
We actually started using this book this year and will continue to use it in the next few years. It is a writing curriculum for reluctant writers, that uses a step by step approach to teaching writing. I like this one because it doesn't make the assumption that my daughter knows how to write. It is also less than $30, and put out by the folks at Apologia Educational Ministries.

Mathematics

Math 7: A Teaching Textbooks by Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri
This is my first choice for a math curriculum. We have used Teaching Textbooks for the last two years and my daughter loves it. It is a computer based curriculum that has detailed explanations and solutions for every problem. My only regret with this one is the price at $150 it is a tough pill to swallow. I have managed the last few years to get discounted copies at the CBD Warehouse Sale.

Science

Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay L. Wile
I love Apologia Ministries. This curriculum is creation based and scientifically sound. We have enjoyed their Elementary level text thus far and are looking forward to this one.

Electives

Art

Lambs book of Art 2 by Barry Stebbing
We have been using this book this past year and are about 1/2 way through. I like the way this is laid out and will use this again because I already own it. Of course I also teach Art at our home school co-op so this one is easy on the wallet.

Music

God Made Music 7 by Joe Swaim
I've always been intrigued by this series, and the samples I've seen show great promise. Of course, my daughter also gets to participate in a Music class at our co-op and of course is in the children's choir at church.

That pretty much covers everything except for Health and Physical Education. I'm still looking for a decent Health curriculum but that is what Mass HOPE is for. My daughter is involved in Gymnastics and enjoys Ice Skating for most of the school year. Also my wife is using this for some of the trickier areas of Health Education that I'm not really comfortable with.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Taking Care of Business

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49


I love that verse of Scripture. In some translations it is rendered as in my Father's house, which is probably more accurate, but in either case I like the idea that being in God's house, and consequently about His business, is so much more important than anything else we may intend or want to do. I want to be about God's business. So I've taken the first steps toward that goal this week.

The week started off with my first session with my new voice coach. (Thank You for doing this Ashley!) When I was recording the Cd for my mom, I was told if I was serious about singing I should get a voice coach. (Thank You George for this advice.) And if I'm going to use my voice to minister to others, I want to do it with excellence. It's not just about getting the best sound either, its about knowing how this "instrument" works and how to take care of it. If I can learn the mechanics then I can make them automatic and have more confidence in my ability.

I've also started taking a course through Berean School of the Bible, a part of global university. If God is calling me to ministry then I want to make sure I am fully equipped for the task. I want to be about my Father's business.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Superbowl Sunday

Wow, where does the time go. I can't believe its been an entire month since I've made a post. So anyway, watched the Superbowl, (great game, go Saints!) and one of the Superbowl commercials really stuck out to me. It was the one from the NFL thanking their fans. I sat there thinking to myself as the commercial showed all the various fans and than ended with the following words "To the best fans on the planet. Thank You." So simple yet it touched me, but not because I took it to heart that the NFL were thanking me, but because I was reminded of a similar sentiment expressed in Matthew chapter 25:21 "His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Someday I will attend the greatest party in the universe, a grand wedding feast that for all intents and purposes will never end and God will turn to us and just as a proud father would, He will beam with pride over all we have done and welcome us into our true home.

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed He'll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus, We'll sing and shout the victory.

- Eliza E. Hewitt