Sunday, March 01, 2009

I'm Either Called or Insane...

That is a joke, of course!! :) LOL I feel confident (at this moment in time) about the decisions I've made for our future...Starting this fall...

First of all, I have decided to homeschool Abbey. I think in my heart I knew all along I would do it. I think that I wasn't totally honest with myself because of fear...lots of fear. I have a friend, though, who told me that I would not be a failure if it didn't work out, and that I won't scar her for life!! LOL So, we're "officially" taking the plunge.

That is a huge undertaking, especially since we want to do it mostly for free...that means lots of research & study time for Mommy, as well as Abbey...and it will only become more so the older she gets...

ANYWAYS...

Second is this...I plan on heading up our Awana program for the next school year. I have a bigger vision than just the Awana program itself. I would LOVE to expand into Family Ministry. Maybe this all sounds wierd to you all who are in a church that has these things in place, but I go to a church that does not. SO, here goes!! LOL

We had a huge problem with Awana in the past at our church. Poor leadership, and that leadership tended to focus on the incentives (the kids earn Awana Bucks and that equals prizes), and I guess they became so outlandishly ginormous, and the kids needed so many Awana bucks to buy these prizes, that turned into crazy memorization time, with little emphasis on LEARNING the verse, not just memorizing them. There are more issues, but they largely point back to leadership...The leader wanted to have a "bells & whistles" start, instead of starting small & growing from there.

Well, this cheapskate is all for Oriental Trading-type prizes, with maybe a few "big ticket" items being a lunch box or something like that...Maybe an Awana T-shirt, stuff like that that's not way over the top...

I will have a busy summer...

PRAYERS ARE NEEDED!! Not just for me, although, I will need plenty of them!! I would like to start recruiting teachers this summer (like July & August) so that we can start training & stuff in August. I'd also like to get the congregation to praying & understanding that it's not going to be as dramatic as it was...Learning scriptures are the key principle here, and that should stay the main principle (remind me of that when I'm worrying over which pencils to choose for the Awana store!! LOL).

The second phase to the vision (I sound like a villain giving away his "evil" plot!! LOL), is to get parents involved. A LOOOONG time ago I found these "family day" activities on children'sministry.com & filed them away for future reference...And have recently been thinking that now is the time...to get started...

So, quarterly, we're going to have a Family Day at church, with there being a main focus for parents to be encouraged & equipped to be examples & influence their children by their lives with Christ. That sounds all deep & heavy, but I can assure you that these principles are laced with LOTS of fun!! :) First would be a day about prayer!! There would be a workshop for parents, a seperate workshop for the kiddos, and then they would have free rein to explore different developmental stages & ideas of incorporating prayer into their familial lives (ie. what to pray about, from toddlers praying for their families while holding & looking at pictures of them, to a station set up with a TV newsreel loop & newspapers to open up dialoge with their teen children on praying for current events.) Families would have time to explore these different centers & then there would be lunch (of course, we're Baptists!! LOL) .

Again, PRAYERS, please? These are some big ideas, and I obviously won't be able to do everything by myself, so it will take a team of volunteers (can I just hope for positive-attituded ones?LOL) to carry everything through.

OK, love you all, and if you made it this far without skimming, thank you!! LOL :) I appreciate you wading through my craziness!! I needed to blog about it...

6 comments:

Kelley said...

What a huge undertaking, but I'm so proud of you! You will do great with taking over the Awana program. Is this something that is already in the church? Is it the children's ministry? I've never heard of it so if this is a stupid question, please forgive me.

Good for you for homeschooling. I homeschooled Pita Pocket for preschool. I actually just went to Sam's Club and bought the big preschool book. It was like $8 and we did a few pages every day. I then went to the parent/teacher store and got a few things. Sign language is something I wanted to focus on and I wanted to make sure that he already had been introduced to coins since that is a huge thing in kindergarten. You will love homeschooling. I wish I could go back to it, but Pita Pocket loves school!

Lots of Love!

Mandalynn said...

Awana.org It's a program that focuses on scripture memorization & is AWESOME!! It's kinda like Scouts...the kids earn badges & Awana bucks for memorizing scripture & they play games, it's just a lot of fun! Abbey did SO WELL with it!! And, she started even before she was supposed to...

Anyways, yes, it's a kids program...

Jodi said...

praying for you... sounds to me like you are called and I'm proud of you for stepping up!

As far as the homeschooling goes... I think that is a very honorable undertaking as well... you may want to check with some of your local Christian schools too to see if they have programs that work with you. I know when we were in Christian school, for extracurricular activities there were always several homeschool kids that joined us for those... that was great for their socialization... lol.. the homeschoolers were always way way ahead of us in our school work though... I think most of them graduated at like 16ish...

at any rate... I'll be praying for you!

Mandalynn said...

There are so many homeschooling groups around here, now, that get together for certain activities (like field trips, gym, etc...) and with all the other kinds of other extracurricular activities (such as Abbey's dance class, upcoming Awana, and we're looking into swimming classes), most homeschool parents nowadays say that OVERsocialization is their problem!! LOL There are a lot of new resources for "socialization" that there weren't when we were kiddos...

Anyways, in all the materials I've read, parents say to be prepared for the "socialization" question & "disapproval" from skeptics. They argue that church, trips to the store, etc... all count as socialization, and that because of the current school system, we think of "socialization" in terms of being around other kids their own age. When, in fact, "in the real world" we need to be prepared to interact with people of all ages, not just our own aged peers...Some insightful reading I've come across, and I'm nerdy enough to gobble it up!! LOL :)

But, yes, if it's cheap, I will definitely check into some local Christian schools for exra stuff...I believe that homeschool groups are free, or pretty cheap, anyways, to be a part of...

OK, enough of that, I've just found it interesting, the stuff I've come across with this, and you opened the door to discussion!! :) Thanks!! :)

D said...

Hey Mandy, you can easily homeschool for very cheap, especially in the younger grades. One word: LIBRARY! Lots of free info & she'll learn away! I look back very, very fondly to our hsing days, esp. when the kiddos were younger. This is our 15th year of hsing! We started "for one year only"!!! LOL The whole socialization issue is moot -- find yourself a hsing group which often have elective coops and TONS of stuff to be involved in. You'll have to say "no" to a lot of it b/c you won't get the book work done otherwise!!
Enjoy! D

D said...

PS We started w/ "Learning at Home" by Ann Ward. Check it out. It makes sure that you cover the basics and uses library resources (w/ dewey numbers listed).
D