Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nineteen Eighty What????

My dearest friend told me recently about trying on one of her dresses from high school and it still fits her!!! As she described the dress to me, I could clearly see it. I think we must have gone to the prom the same year. Even though I poked fun at her at a homeschool planning meeting, it was nostalgic to think of and I hope one day to get a chance to see her dress.

In the meantime, I reminisce about the 80's with all the things I experienced as a teen - growing up afraid of the Russians, seeing Mount St. Helen's explode, Ronald Reagan being shot, the space shuttle going up for the first time, big hair, MTV, etc., etc. What a plethora of history I have seen in my own lifetime that can be shared with my children and future generations. All of us have stories of where we were on important days in history. Write them down. Teaching history should come from primary sources. If you write down your personal experiences, you are creating a primary source! It's inexpensive and a wonderful way to liven up your history curriculum.

Speaking of the 80's - here is a picture of me in 1986 at the age of 17. The first thing my girls said when they saw the picture was that my hair looked the same as those ladies in the Walk Like an Egyptian video. (Yes, I pulled that video up on the internet when we studied ancient Egypt. It was fun dancing around the kitchen to that tune and walking like an Egyptian.)

My mom, me and my brother

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art appreciation and nudity

Either next week or the following week, we will start taking a close look at art masterpieces. Over a period of 2 or 3 months, we will focus on one artist and look at his or her works. As anyone who has visited an art museum knows, nudity comes along with the territory of art appreciation sometimes.
Over the years, I have not covered the nudity in order for my girls to see the whole picture. I've heard of some moms putting a post-it note over the parts they didn't want their kids to see and I feel that takes away from the art and puts too much emphasis on the nudity. I do try to find pictures that don't contain nudity, but sometimes (as in Michelangelo's "David") it's unavoidable. It's a piece of art that identifies very clearly with the artist and something would be lost if it were covered or not even looked at.
After we have studied a piece of art, my girls will often cut out a pair of shorts (or other piece of clothing) from construction paper and cover the parts they don't want to see. The following is a refrigerator magnet I purchased when we studied Michelangelo.

Forunately for us, we live in the 21st century and have the internet. Ambleside Online is a wonderful resource which provides a schedule and pictures for study. Some have a little nudity, but AO offers a detail of such pictures that doesn't have nudity and can be used as an alternate.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Playground Day

Our homeschool group has playground days every summer - one each month in June, July and August. There are no planned activities. The kids just play and the moms get a chance to sit around and talk. Some families bring bag lunches. There is a pond and stream that the older kids love to explore. Today was our last playground day of the summer. I absolutely love summer (even those hot and humid days) and it makes me a little sad that summer is coming to a close already.

While at the playground, I was taken by surprise that my 4 year old son had no qualms about chasing down a toad and catching it. I guess that's what it means to be "all boy". He desperately wanted to hang on to it - tightly! We finally talked him into giving it to his 11 year old sister. As much of a tomboy as she is, she didn't handle it with the ease that this guy did.

Ahhh childhood. Embrace it!!! It's so temporary.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chores and Money Management

Okay, spawned by a discussion I had this afternoon with some ladies, I am asking this question to a wider group to get more feedback.

Up until now, I have followed Kevin Leman's idea on giving kids an allowance. Each week they get an allowance in which the dollar amount is the same as their age. (e.g. an 8 year old gets $8). Out of that comes savings and tithing. The rest is for them to spend.

My sis in law says that giving a set allowance is "Mommy Welfare" because no matter how much they work, they still get the same amount. She has been telling me about this program by David Ramsey called Financial Peace, Jr (they have a homeschool curriculum). It is where the kids get paid by the chore. The more work they do, the more money they earn. She sent it to me last week and we are trying to implement it in our home. My problem with this method is that the kids won't do anything around the house if they aren't paid. (I can assure you that issue is addressed with the kids with this program. According to this program, the children still have to do chores that they are not paid for because they must contribute to the household. The whole point of the program is to teach children how to manage their money and not go into debt.) When I mentioned it to a group of moms this afternoon, I felt that this method is looked down upon and it's making me question what to do.

Also in the last week, I received my copy of Managers of their Homes and Managers of their Chores by Teri Maxwell. (Excellent reading!)

What I want to know is what others are doing so far as teaching their children financial responsibility in this time in our country of debtful living.

Furthermore, I would like to know what systems others are using to be sure that all the children in the house are contributing as far as keeping the house running.

Is there a way to get the kids to do their chores without the monetary gain, and yet have them earn money so they can learn to manage it?