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General’s Month

Posted by Annie on Jan 6, 2010 in Seasonal

It’s often difficult to get the kids on board with the history program.

At some point kids often ask, “Why should I care about about a bunch of old dead people?” “How can history be relevant in my life?” I can recall asking those same questions myself as a school girl. Fortunately, I had some very good teachers who did their best to make it almost painless to study history.

General's Month - Civil War Games

So, how can we impress upon our kids the importance of history in their own lives? It’s an age old problem, with no single answer. Each child is different and just like historians, they will see history from their own eyes and their own viewpoint.

I explained it this way to my own son: What did you do yesterday? What did you eat? Did you do anything of significance? This is history. Granted it’s a very recent history but it is history all the same. Many family traditions are created from our own meaningful experiences.

The things we did yesterday can have a profound impact on us today and even tomorrow and for many days to come. The decisions we made yesterday can influence us in a big way in the future and the things we do can produce wonderful memories that stay with us for many years to come. Use examples from your own family history to explain what history is and why it is important to you on a personal level.

February has long been known as “Presidents Month.” We remember our Presidents in ceremonies, celebrations, book reports and by putting on plays and productions in their honor.

Did you know that January is often referred to as “Generals Month” and for good reason? Four famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth month:

If you are homeschooling a boy or two, you know how difficult it can be to get them interested in history. Here are a few ideas to help you jump start their curiosity:

Play some games…

  • Play a game of with your son, talk about each piece as you play and what their duties might be in the military, paying special attention to the generals.
  • Play , discuss each piece and the role they can play in military operations.
  • Pick up some era toys, re-inact some of the battles.

Watch some DVD’s…

Read a Good Book…

All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity. When near the enemy, make it seem that you are far away; when far away, make it seem that you are near. – Sun Tzu

Read Sun Tzu, “The Art of War,” an historic and timeless guide to military strategies and tactics. The guidance it offers is still useful today, especially off the battlefield. Today it is primarily used as a guide to understanding competitors and clients in business, so that you may better succeed when facing difficult challenges, though it will also help you to understand the concepts of strategy and tactics in practice.

  • (ages 9-12)
  • (ages 9-12)
  • (ages 4-8)

Don’t be afraid to get down on the floor and play with your son. Discuss strategy and the outcome of the Civil War. You may be surprised to find your discussions taking you in many new directions. The most important thing is to have fun and be open to new ideas.

For more fun ideas and resources visit Homefires’ Learning Calendar with DVD Resources.

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Homeschooling – The Vision

Posted by Annie on Jan 3, 2010 in Parenting

I am pleased to announce that the worst is behind us; my son is on the mend. I am most grateful for all of your prayers and notes.

Homeschooling - The Vision

Now that our entire life has been interrupted by his illness, I have the job of trying to get him back on task. Not an easy job. He’s grown so used to laying around and sitting around that it’s hard to get him moving on even the smallest of household chores. I’m sure as his health improves, so will his willingness to help out — or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

On a brighter note, I want to “share an article with you today, written by Diane Flynn Keith, a long-time homeschool advocate, coach and mentor. She is one of the most upbeat women I know and has made an huge impact in my own life as well as our homeschooling and family life.

Her words today really encouraged me to plot my course carefully. We have worked hard to live the life we want but I believe there is always room for improvement. I’m not pleased that my son hates math and fights me tooth and nail on it, if I push. So, I try to find sneaky ways of exposing him to math.

I can’t get him to write a composition but he’ll write scripts for imaginary characters all day long, if I’d let him. As long as he’s writing something, I feel I’m winning the battle.

Knowing this about my son, we’ve implemented a word a day program. Using the , he selects a new word each day which he must spell, define and use during the day to communicate. It’s been a lot of fun and my son seems to enjoy the activity.

As parents we must pick our battles. I know that so long as he reads well and can communicate effectively he will be okay. The rest will come.

I’d have to say that one of my goals for the year is to promote a peaceful household, free from conflict and strife. I firmly believe that we can homeschool and get things accomplished without fighting and conflict. After all it’s not my goal to drive my son crazy over math. I’m sure there are times, he just feels like I’m trying to torture him. So, I’ve decided to let him sort of guide the way and see where he takes us. I’ll continue to use so-called “teaching moments” to encourage him to step outside of his comfort zone. Wish me luck.

Please take a moment and read, “Planning Your Vision for Homeschooling (and The Life You Really Want)” and think about the direction your own family is headed. I’d love to read your comments about your family goals.

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Prayer Request

Posted by Annie on Dec 30, 2009 in Parenting

Dear Readers,

My son has been sick with tonsilitis for the past two weeks. Please remember him in your prayers. He’s having a real tough time of it.

Our son is finally starting to feel better but he’s lost 21 pounds so far and that’s a lot of weight to lose to quickly. He still isn’t able to eat. I’ve tried fruit cups, applesauce, popsicles, jello, soup, broth… Does anyone have any ideas? I am soooooo open for suggestions.

Gena of TOS recommended Elderberry syrup, I went to the store as soon as they opened and bought a bottle. He seemed to perk up immediately, then went right to sleep. Sleep is good.

On the brightside, We’ve added Mario and Tiffany to our team. I look forward to working with them both. The couple has recently settled back in the Sonora area.

More as soon as I can.

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