Monday, March 18, 2013


Volume lesson
Playdough letters

NOTE – While I would not chose to homeschool in an ideal world I do believe for this season in life it is the right choice and portray it to my kids that way.

Here are some of my thoughts on homeschooling so far. Please note that these are my opinions, take them as such, I’m not trying to offend anyone on either side of the fence.

I had someone ask me recently whether I had ‘falling in love’ with homeschooling yet as apparently that happens often once you start it. I had to honestly say that I have NOT! I (we) homeschool for the following reasons:
  • Expense is the main reason. To send our girls to private Christian Schooling here it is at least US$5000 per year, you might get the fourth one at a reduced cost but even so it is a HUGE expense that I (we) cannot justify when there is another alternative.
  • Flexibility. It has come in very handy to be able to ‘school’ around Albert’s schedule. His time is precious and so we can ‘drop’ what we are doing and do some family stuff instead. As we are going on a summer internship we are able to take school with us!
Here are some of the problems/reasons why I have never homeschooled before and wouldn’t do it if there was an affordable Christian School.
  • Self-discipline. Unlike Albert it is not one of my strong points and so this continues to be an area of struggle for me. This is the main reason why we chose Sonlight as most of the work is laid-out for me ie very structured.
  • Me Time – Ok before you judge. It is an issue for me to have the girls (love them dearly) around 24hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. I just need some breathing space sometimes. This is one of the main reason that I’m swimming three times a week. Something for ‘me’ and also to keep me healthy and fit. Folding washing in the basement has taken on a new meaning, not only do I catch up with my bible reading plan (on audio) but also some quiet time!
Things I miss about school:
  • Adult interaction. I am a social person and so I do miss the interaction I had on a daily basis. I have joined a homeschooling co-op (thanks Jenny W to one of her friends for suggesting that!) which all of us really enjoy. We also try and have people over to our place for meals.
  •  “Spring/Deep” Cleaning. It sounds ridiculous no doubt but I used to do these things while the kids were at school. I’m not sure how I find the time now. I only just ‘switched’ the summer clothes to winter clothes and oh winter is just about over, never mind.
  • Cleaning/Tidyness. I know, I know I’ve got girls to help me. BUT in order for them to help me, I need to teach them to do a proper job first.
  • Positive Peer Pressure/Competition. You just don’t get it while you homeschool. My girls have benefited so much over the years from this and we miss it.
  • Time to cook and bake – Again I know I’ve got kids who could help me and they do but I still have to teach them first which takes time.
Positive/Advantages of homeschooling are numerous, here are a few:
  • Bible reading – huge amounts of it. I read my own devotions, devotions at breakfast for the older girls and then separate devotions with the younger girls
  • Reading time with the girls. I have been really enjoying sitting on the couch and reading some of the excellent material of church history, ‘nonsense’ books and some poetry as well. I'm learning a LOT!
  • Flexibility – SNOW (don’t need to say more)
  • Our Co-Op – Kingdom Builders, an awesome group of talented ladies that have taken me under their wing!
Reflections on homeschooling so far. God has NOT let me down despite me not being a homeschool ‘convert’. HE has provided me with girls who are VERY eager to learn, LOVE to read and are very SMART (like their father no doubt!). The homeschooling curriculum is a perfect (or as perfect as you get get) fit for me and although it requires a lot of reading the girls are learning heaps and are really enjoying it. Initially I was quite concerned about the cost of Sonlight but since then talking to families here US$2500 is a drop in the bucket compared to private education. I will continue with Sonlight next school year and hopefully the girls will continue to thrive. It will also make a difference once Zara can read as then she can do some things on her own. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birthday Snow (Feb)

(One of the reasons I have been absent the last week is because we had lots of snow and of course I would rather be outside playing in it then writing blog posts ;) )

On Zara's Birthday we woke up to snow and we thought then lots of snow. As it turned out a HUGE dump was still to come a couple of weeks later! This snow was predicted and so the snow plows were working overtime during the night. I got up as usual on a Friday morning at 4.30am to go swimming and looked outside to find lots of snow. Albert graciously volunteered to shovel me out so that I could go swimming. The roads were pretty good and even all the carparks etc had already been ploughed, they are VERY efficient! As Albert and I keep saying to each other, life goes on regardless! It is quite amazing. 

Our house has been resembling a drying room like you have at the ski-resorts. Extra chairs have been 'dragged' up from the basement to put the snow gear on to dry. I have used the dryer as well especially for the gloves as they only have one pair each. I'm VERY grateful for all the winter gear that the girls have, it makes playing in the snow so much nicer!

Isn't he nice?

This is a snow blower, I had never seen one before but our neighbor has got one and the girls thought it was just wonderful to stand in the way of the snow being blown!

Snow Angels

Grace and Michaela
Zara and Kate
Next day

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Zara's Party

 On Sunday after her birthday we had a little party for her after church. We normally would do this with our immediate family but since they are a bit far away, we 'imported' some friends to pose as 'family'! Our lovely neighbours came, I'm never sure in these sorts of relationship who benefits the most! We also invited the lovely Flo and her son and family (the one we went to on New Year's Eve!) and also the lovely Warners and their boys as they are a bit like their cousins Michaela tells me. 

Moon Light Star Birthday Cake!

Unwrapping 'Princess' undies, VERY cool!
More presents, she is VERY spoiled!
Dreamlight Pillow Pet -
she had been asking for one for ages!
 The neighbours obliged ;).
At night it shines stars on the ceiling!

Monday, March 4, 2013


(this is not the snow that I was talking about on Zara's Birthday, that is still to come!)

On our first 'real' snow fall which covered the street, cars, house etc we got up very early and 'played' in the snow! Albert texted our upstairs neighbour that the girls were keen to 'talk' to him! He texted back that he wasn't coming, I wonder why? After playing in the snow for a wee while Albert decided it would be a good idea to 'ambush' the Warner residence (Albert carpools with Aaron and Andy!). Some great snow fights evolved! After the snow fights stopped, Aaron and Albert were already thinking of more seminary students we could 'Ambush'! Another family the Scotts don't live too far from the Warners and so it was decided to see if they were home. Off we went on foot carrying a container with 'our' snow, the seminary student (Jeff) was not home but his girls were. Providentially (for us!) another seminary student (Roberto) happened to drop off his daughter at Jeff's house, he was not prepared and so got 'ambushed' also! We had a lot of clean fun! Once we got home and warmed ourselves, who should turn up but our upstairs neighbour James! Another snow fight! James was very nice and after the snow fights were out of the way helped the girls build a fort! We love the snow!

Is is it not pretty?
On the way to Aaron!
Good shot Michaela!

On the way to Jeff's house
Snowball factory
Preparing to 'Ambush'!
Not sure that is fair, Grace?
Snow Fight!
Roberto, in the right place at the 'right' time!
Albert and James

Girls on the attack!
Snow Fort

Friday, March 1, 2013

Treasure Trove

New Suit!
 (Now he looks like a preacher!)

One of the subjects that I am taking this Semester is Biblical Hermeneutics, which is a fancy name for interpretation. For this subject we are writing two papers. One paper will be on an Old Testament passage, and the other on a New Testament passage.

The difference with these papers is that we are writing them in stages. Our Professor describes it as an apprenticeship. It's not something that the Seminary has done before, so it is experimental in some ways. The aim is to produce an in-depth 'deluxe' exegesis paper. I'm already really enjoying the process.

So far we have chosen our passages and provided justification as to why we think this pericope (segment of text) is a complete unit. This involves reading the books through, making notes, and deciding on a passage. We then look at various commentaries to get a feel for the background of the book, and look at exegetical commentaries to help us in justifying our choice.

One thing that it has immediately made me more aware of is the treasure trove that is in God's Word. There is so so much more than meets the eye when you start looking more in depth at a passage. Thankfully my language skills are coming along and so I am beginning to appreciate more and more what lies under our English translations. The word plays that occur in Hebrew are lots of fun. You also get a better appreciation when reading the NT as to how the authors use the Greek language.

I have chosen Judges 3:12-20 for my OT passage, and I am looking at Philippians 2:12-18 for my NT passage. I hope to be able to share some thoughts with you as I go along.

I am due to take my first Chapel on March 27th. Hopefully I can provide you with an audio copy. I am also due to preach my first sermon in the US for preaching class on April the 16th, although this may be earlier.

We have handed in our preferences for our Summer Internships. There are some exciting possibilities. I can't share any details at present, but will let you know once we know.

As part of the process of getting ready for being able to preach in the URC I need to take a licensure exam with the Consistory that I am under here. Below is a link to a PDF that has the URC Church Order, with a section on licensure exams, for those interested. (It's Appendix Two)