Saturday, February 25, 2006

Praiseworthy Poem

A wise, mature friend sent this poem to me and I thought it was most praiseworthy.

Let Me Grow Lovely

Let me grow lovely, growing old----
So many fine things to do:
Laces, and ivory, and gold
And silks need not be new:

And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?

Karle Wilson Baker

Today we have what we call "youth culture" and there seems to be a great deal of emphasis on youth. But I think the youth have much to learn from those who have lived and experienced life. For centuries we have included our elderly in our lives and families, but it seems more and more the elderly are put aside. Fortunately, I grew up in a family that did not do this. I knew and spent time with my Great Grandmother, three great aunts and uncles, grandparents and even my Great, great Aunt. In addition I knew many older people in my church family growing up. They were wonderful people. They all had so much to share and were such a valuable part of my formation. I'm so blessed to have known them and I am forever changed by them. The Bible instructs the older generation to teach the younger. There is so much wisdom in that. Emerson said that, "every generation creates their own bible." Well, in anything great that I undertake I like to consult the experts. Who more expert in life than one who has lived it and lived it well?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Praiseworthy Review: The HomeschoolEstore

I was recently invited to review the "eCurriculum experience" at The concept of “eCurriculum” is curriculum available on downloadable eBooks. These books might be workbooks, texts, audio books, supplemental educational materials, or comprehensive curriculums in an electronic format. After downloading the eBooks can be used on the computer, the entire book can be printed or (my favorite way) pages can be printed as needed to use with your student. If your purchase is an audio book it is in Mp3 format and can be moved to a folder on your computer or placed on a cd. The beauty of this type of curriculum is the convenience. Books are ready to be downloaded immediately after payment is made online. No more running out to the mailbox to see if it’s here yet!! Another incredible convenience is printing what you need when you need it. This really helps with that storage problem in the homeschool cabinet! And worksheets are then easily placed in notebooks or portfolios when the work is completed. No more ripping off a binding to get the pages loose. My favorite part of eBooks however is the price. Because the cost of printing has been removed it is much cheaper to purchase curriculum this way.

The HomeSchoolEStore website is easy to navigate and searchable by age, subject or publisher. There are many things to choose from such as the very popular Miquon Math, Writing Strands, Visual Manna’s Art Curriculums and G.A. Henty novels on audio books. After selecting your items it’s a simple matter of entering payment information and downloading your books. I also appreciate the fact that you don’t have to download the products at the time of purchase. By just going back to the website to “my account” the books can be downloaded at a later time as well. In addition you are allowed to download your purchased material a total of five times. This took care of that nagging fear I had of “what if my computer dies and I lose this file?”

I purchased three eBooks. I was very pleased with them all. The books were in Adobe PDF format and one of them included features like clickable links from the table of contents so I could go instantly to the page I needed. Overall my experience with HomeSchoolEStore was excellent. Easy to find materials, easy to use and FAST!! I had my files in a matter of minutes and I can start using them tomorrow if I want. I strongly urge you to try them out at

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Praiseworthy Review: Teaching the Trivium

"Teaching the Trivium"
by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

Having come to Christianity late in life I have always been put off by what I like to call “Christianese” that being any number of stock phrases that Christians use to communicate complex ideas to each other. These are phrases such as “fed” or “washed in the blood.” I’m so pleased to find Christian authors who have intelligent minds and use them without relying on a lot of Christian lingo to get their point across. The Bluedorns believe that educating our children is a mandate of God. They spend an entire chapter of this expounding, arguing and providing proof for this argument. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book. I found it so thought provoking that I often read portions aloud to my husband and we had many interesting discussions based on this. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. What the Bluedorns continue with in the book is a systematic approach for teaching our children in a manner that glorifies and honors God. They show us how to teach our children to not only love God with their whole heart and soul but also with their whole MIND. This is the great strength of this book.

If you are interested in Classical Education I strongly urge you to get this book. I, and many others I know, consider this a handbook or a manual if you will for how to classically educate your child. Once it has been read and understood then you can put it on the shelf close at hand to turn to again and again for answers to questions you encounter along the way. The how and the why of their plan is clearly laid out in a format that is easy to understand.

There are also chapters devoted to helping parents to use the Trivium with other methods such as Charlotte Mason as well as a discussion of some methods that do not fit well with the Trivium such as Unschooling. These chapters contain discussions and explanations of each method. This would be very valuable for those approaching educating their child for the first time as they investigate what method they will use.

Part two of the book is titled “The Practical Trivium” and contains valuable, hands on information for how to teach your child. All areas of study and ages are covered. Finally lists of specific resources and where you can obtain them are given. This is the part that I turn to again and again. The information here is extensive and exhaustive. The explanations and reasons are clear and easy to understand.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who home educates their child. The information is intelligent and thought provoking. You will come away well educated on the subject of homeschooling in addition to having valuable tools for carrying out homeschooling.