This week, I am sharing a post over on the Apologia Educational Ministries page. As you may know, I am a marine biologist by trade, but I am first and foremost a mom and homeschooler. Yes, I love science. So, of course, I try to encourage others in the importance of teaching it. Now, don’t say to me, “But, Sherri, you just don’t understand. I have never liked science and I don’t think I am good at it.” Believe me. I get it. I have never loved literature and poetry, and I certainly do not think I am good at it. After all, how do we know what that author was thinking when he wrote that important treatise? He is dead, and he left no annotations to explain it. So what I think he meant could be just as right as what someone else thinks he meant. Is he really comparing that tree to society’s monolithic structure? I don’t know. I digress. As a homeschooler, I had to learn to teach this material to my children. And I had to at least try to make it sound interesting. Well, after so many years of doing my best, I actually began to appreciate
In my last post HERE, I introduced some general ideas to begin thinking about what we moms will do once we have completed our homeschool journey. I remember for me, the realization that I had less than five years left was a huge wake-up call. I could count my remaining number of homeschooling years ON ONE HAND! And I knew that meant things would go quickly. What was I going to do with all that extra time? Before we get into that, I want to encourage you to not wish away those last few years. Remember we want to finish well! We need to stay engaged with our students, helping them to navigate their way through the high school years and plan THEIR future as well. That should be a given. I’m writing this series because I think we, as moms, tend to do that at the expense of forgetting what we will be doing when that last child closes the last book on the last day of class. Now what? Well, if you have been keeping a list of activities you would like to do, it is time to revisit it. Many moms share with me that they are
I know many of you taking a peek at this post are doing it with a bit of trepidation and guilt. After all, is it really OK to take some of our precious time away from our children and household and think of what we’re going to do with ourselves when this homeschooling journey is over? And, let’s face it, most days feel like it will NEVER be over. Believe me, I have been right where you are. I have homeschooled our four children for 21 years. There were days when I wanted to just give up. There were times when I felt like I couldn’t go on. So why should I spend any energy on what I am going to do when the homeschooling years are done while I have so many more ahead of me? Because you need an exit plan. And it is wise to think about it before you get to the END and don’t know what to do with yourself. That’s right. You see, homeschooling is so intertwined in our home life that it is difficult to separate from everything else we do. We plan our house-keeping/laundry/grocery shopping around homeschooling. If you are like me,
For me, it doesn’t really feel like full-on summer until we have passed the July 4th Independence Day celebrations. That holiday brings with it barbecues, picnics, outside family games, and slower days. But with several weeks of summer behind us, things can get a bit challenging when it comes to activities to keep the kids busy. School has been out for some time now, and the slower days can turn into boring ones for them. Heaven forbid they become…that dreadful word…BORED! So, summer camps, vacation Bible school, craft camps, movie days, and planned play dates fill their calendars. I have talked with many parents who spend their spring stressing over how to keep their kids’ summer calendar full. But, believe it or not, kids need something more than that…actually, they need something LESS than that. Why are we so afraid our children will become bored? Why do we go to such lengths to avoid that? “Bored” is actually a good thing for them. It makes them take control of their day and try to fill it up with their own ideas. Now, I am not referring to allowing them to spend entire weeks binge-watching television shows and playing unending video games.
I was watching a NOVA television show on a plane ride home the other day, and a scientist was asked if there was life on other planets. His answer began with, “I believe…,” and he continued to say that because we have evidence of billions and billions of planets in our universe, then the possibility is very likely that there is life on some of them. Now, he certainly has a right to his opinion. We all do. But he stated his answer so matter-of-factly. He has absolutely no evidence of life as we know it to exist, but he definitely assumes it is there. That is not science. We can take the observable facts we have and lay them all out, but what we do with them becomes at best hypothesis, or more often conjecture or belief. That is how science works, but too many times scientists err by stating their beliefs as fact. What do we know about other planets? Well, not too many details, but we DO know a lot about what it takes to sustain life as we know it on a planet. You see, the Earth is in a perfect position in the solar system
One of the challenges of having many children close together in age is that they all hit the teenage years at the same time. Now, three of our four children are boys and if you have any boy teens, you know that they are going through massive growth spurts and physical changes. That means that most of their day is filled with eating: breakfast, after breakfast snack, mid-morning snack, pre-lunch, lunch, after-lunch dessert, mid-afternoon snack, mini-meal, late-afternoon snack…and I could go on and on. Needless to say, I had to find clever ways to extend our meal budget to feed them while still trying to provide a semblance of healthful foods. One of the ways I did this was to have a “leftover” pizza night almost each week. Whenever we had any leftover meat, whether it was roast beef, chicken or even lunchmeat, I would quickly hover over it, claiming it as my own for tomorrow night’s dinner. In the same way that Gollum would huddle over “my precious,” when there was a lull in the dinner feasting, I would quickly swoop in with my arms, cradling the main course and say, “Dinner is over and I am saving
This week I am sharing a post over at the Finish Well conference site. This is a group of amazing folks who focus on encouraging families during their students’ high school years. I have really enjoyed getting to know the precious hearts of the Finish Well group and hope you will be encouraged by their posts, too. Check out the article HERE.
We all have cried at least a few times in our lives. Personally, I cry often. Sometimes it is when I read a touching letter or during an emotional part of a movie. I have even been known to cry at well-marketed commercials, too. But why do we cry? Why do our bodies make tears? And how can we see God’s creative hand in it? Well, first we need to talk about tears themselves. You see, our eyes produce three known types of tears. The first type is basal tears which our eyes constantly produce. They actually are released over our eyes in three layers. The first is a mucus layer to keep moisture on the eye. The second layer is an aqueous (or watery) layer that is for hydration and protection from damage to the eye. It actually has chemicals in it that are antibacterial. The third layer is an oily lipid layer to keep the surface smooth and to prevent other layers from evaporating. We produce basal tears constantly. In fact, your eyes will produce about 30 gallons of tears during your lifetime! The second type of tears is called reflex tears. These are made when our eyes
Last weekend, I spoke at the Florida Parent Educator’s Association homeschool convention in Orlando, Florida. The previous year, I was a featured speaker there, but THIS year I had the opportunity to speak in the Teen Program. This was part of Apologia Science’s two-day Boldly Explore Creation program where several scientists spoke on fascinating topics, and we did lots of fun hands-on activities. My two talks were titled, The Alien World of the Ocean, and The Science Behind Science Fiction. I had lots of fun sharing how we can see God’s amazing fingerprints as we study his creation as well as how science can help us to dream and create. But perhaps the most enjoyable experience I had was being with almost two hundred students between the ages of 13 and 19 for those two 8-hour days. Can you believe I just said that? Most people would consider that experience something more like a punishment. Yet these students were delightful! They were attentive, asked excellent questions, and even though some of them wouldn’t consider science their favorite subject, they respectfully participated in the experiments and activities, and I would say that they actually enjoyed themselves! I want to attribute this
I mentioned something in one of my last posts about how our perception of something affects how our children view it. And yesterday, I was spending time with a dear friend, catching up on her family. Her daughter recently had a baby, and we were discussing how relaxed this little one was. He was a sweet little boy, very happy and easy-going. Now, this got me thinking… We all like the idea of a child who is easy to care for, always happy and very relaxed. But, of course, our little ones arrive with a fully functioning personality that doesn’t take much time to show itself. Believe me, I know. Some of my children came into the world in a cloud of peacefulness and joy, while one of them came into it, though very happy, quite intense, challenging everything that came his way. Now I’m not going to focus on children’s personalities. Much of that is an inherent part of them. But as moms, we do have an opportunity to create an environment where they are able to learn to handle things around them in a much easier way. For example, imagine when a toddler is trying to take his