Saturday, January 31, 2015

32 Ways To Tell If You're Homeschooled

I just thought this would be a fun post to do because I've been thinking about it a bit lately and wanted to share. It will be much more entertaining if you read them in a very animated and sarcastic way to yourself because that's how I came up with them. :)

Disclaimer: This is not meant to offend anyone (public schoolers, private schoolers, homeschoolers or otherwise). It is just meant to be an enjoyable list to read. So...have fun with it!

  1. Most of your books for school were written at least hundreds of years ago if not thousands.
  2. Everyone you know knows just about every quote there is from the Hobbit, LOTR, or the Princess Bride.
  3. You don't care because you do too.
  4. You ask for clarification when someone asks what grade you're in.
  5. Having six siblings is not a big deal compared to some of your friends.
  6. Your project for history is to direct your siblings in a Shakespeare play.
  7. Every time you go to online class, your class starts a deep (and often theological) debate even though you're still not done with the last one.
  8. Being a mime is not weird at all.
  9. You know more about British actors than American because of Doctor Who.
  10. You feel sorry for those that can't sleep in on Wednesday.
  11. You speak a little of this language, a bit of that, and you're actually studying that one...
  12. You have a friend that you can speak those languages to (yeah, they're homeschooled too).
  13. You stall to see how much school work you can get out of when you have a soccer game in the afternoon.
  14. Someone takes you out to eat and you have to ask what restaurants exist because you honestly can not remember.
  15. All of your clothes come from Goodwill.
  16. But that's okay with you because the other option was hand-me-downs from your mom's friend's child that you may or may not have met.
  17. All of your skirts fall below your knee and all of your shorts go below your fingertips. Always.
  18. You regularly take a break from school to read a different book.
  19.  "Home Economics" is cooking dinner for your family of nine and babysitting your younger siblings while your mom goes to a co-op meeting.
  20. Youth Group is a place you go to learn about Creation, from your leader - and today's culture, from your friends that go to public school.
  21. Debating whether to go to the pool, the library, or the pond on a Friday afternoon is normal.
  22. You make sure you have your library card on you before you check for a debit card.
  23. "Phys Ed" is soccer practice.
  24. Of course you can accept that job in the middle of a Tuesday! You'll just do your school later!
  25. You don't go to the pool or theme parks on Saturdays or in the summer and feel sorry for those who do.
  26. You can work on one of the five novels you plan to publish next year in the middle of the afternoon.
  27. Your go-to explanation for what your "Omnibus curriculum" is always raises more questions.
  28. The weird looks you get climbing out of your maroon 12-passenger van no longer bother you.
  29. You look forward to your online class because you get to hear the voices of other children your age.
  30. When people ask "Doctor who?" you are shocked for a moment before going off into this lengthy and opinionated explanation about everything from which doctor is the best (David Tennant by the way ;) to which show was the creepiest (the dollhouse one).
  31. Your desk is in the same room as your two-year-old sister's desk.
  32. You laugh at yourself because you can identify with so many of these statements.
So there are the ways I can tell that I'm homeschooled. Are there any great ones that I've missed?  How do you tell that you're homeschooled (or reassure yourself that you're not :)?


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Looking Back....

...and cringing. Have you ever looked back on anything that you've done (pictures, videos, writing, etc.) and just cringed? Did you wish you could delete it from the world and the minds of everyone that saw it?

Do you feel like if only you had done something better, been smart enough to not make that mistake, thought before acting, you wouldn't be cringing at yourself? Maybe if you had thought through your decisions when you were seven, or seventeen, or twenty-seven things would be different.

But it's not only things from years ago. You could look back at a paper you wrote two days ago and want to kick yourself. You could post a picture to the internet and then race to take it down a week later. You could scour the thrift shop for that shirt you got rid of yesterday and then realized you actually wanted.

So why does this happen? Why do we second guess ourselves on things we've already done? Maybe that's not you though. Maybe you don't look back and wince at pictures of you when you were younger or hide stories you've written deep in the depths of your largest binder.

I may not be speaking for all imperfect perfectionists here, but I definitely do not like looking back at things I've done. There's just so much error and imperfection. It makes me want to crawl under the covers and not come out until no one can recognize me any more.

I was wondering why I look back and don't like what I see. Why it doesn't meet my standards now when it did at that time. And while i was talking with a friend about it, I think she gave me the answer.

It's because I've grown.

I am no longer a third grader writing a story for school. I'm an eighth grader trying to complete full manuscripts. I've learned since then. I now know more grammar, spelling, vocabulary. I can do more than I could before.

My best five years ago is nothing to cringe at. It's there to show me just how much I've matured. I would have no idea how much I've learned about writing if I hadn't written that story in the third grade. I might even assume I had not got any better at all. So maybe, the stuff we see as young and naive and embarrassing can actually be a blessing in disguise. Maybe it's God showing us just how much He has been working in us over a period of time.

There's a song by Brandon Heath called I'm Not Who I Was. At one point it says:

I found us in a photograph.
I saw me, and I had to laugh,
because I'm not who I was.

He looked back and laughed. How much better must he feel about who he is now because he can see who he used to be?

I know it's fifteen days after New Year's, but I also know that while some are making goals for 2015 and planning out how they're going to make their lives better this year (something I don't agree with, by the way. But that's a different post), maybe we should take some time to look back. Maybe we should take some time to praise God for how much He has helped us grow over the last year.

I certainly know He was working in my life in 2014. Last year, I was living in a different town. My Grandpa had just died. I was struggling to juggle school, babysitting, mime, and sports. I have definitely changed this year and I know it wasn't my doing.

Honestly though, when you think about it, where would I be if God hadn't been working? Where would any of us be if we didn't have God guiding us and working our seemingly totally messed up lives to His glory? 

It's just so good to know that God's going to keep working on me and never give up. He will always be there, even when I sure don't think I'm worth it. Even when I feel like I've messed up everything I've ever done and cringe at all my work. He'll be there. I know I can count on it.


Monday, January 12, 2015

"Break Her Trust" Part One

This is a story I wrote last year while we were in the middle of moving.

Justin laughed.The joke wasn’t that funny but if she didn’t laugh, Marty would get mad. And she didn’t want that. Marty was enormous. This was partly because he was supposed to be in the ninth grade, but was held back two years. He had messy brown hair and always wore a menacing look. Just your basic school yard bully. He could have (and would have) crushed Justin without another thought. That’s why she laughed.
Marty and his gang were the only people she could count on - her only friends. The group consisted of a short boy named Bobby, a lanky one named Chuck and an outspoken girl called Charlotte. As they walked toward class, each one in turn pushed a sixth grader out of the way.

A few moments after the tardy bell rang, Justin slid coolly into her seat in homeroom. The teacher sighed, but didn’t say anything. Justin was such a bright girl. If only she could see that, she might stop hanging out with such horrible influences and put her mind to her work. Justin was pretty, too. Her brown hair fell a bit below her shoulders and she was mid-height but thin.
As Mrs. Hampton began class, Justin sank hopelessly deeper into her chair. She would never understand all this junk. Why did she need to anyway? She glanced around the room at all the kids who did get it and wished horrible things on them. What was wrong with her? Mrs. Hampton made it all look so simple, and yet, Justin just didn’t get it. She settled in and half listened, waiting for class to be over.
When it finally was, she trudged to her locker, exchanged books and went to her next class: science with Mr. Brown. Science was just as dull and confusing as most of her classes and she again slouched and payed little attention. The rest of the morning went like this and she was grateful for the arrival of lunch. She met up with the gang outside and they did as much eating as teasing of any one they felt like teasing. Unfortunately, this part of her day lasted only an hour, then it was back to the drudgery of school.
The afternoon went much the same way as the morning until two o’clock. That was when she had art - the only subject she enjoyed. It was one thing that she knew she was good at. Today Ms. Mellony had them painting anything they wanted. It could be anything from unicorns to mountains. There were no requirements other than you must paint something and it must be an appropriate picture. Justin was painting a German shepherd. It was turning out beautifully - even Ms. Mellony thought so. The only thing wrong with art was that her friends scoffed at it. She tried to go along with them, but it was hard. If they ever found out she was good at art and liked it, they probably wouldn’t let her hang out with them any more. And she had nowhere else to go.
After school, Justin turned slowly to walk home. She hated going home to her seemingly perfect family, but since Marty was in detention for some prank or another and the rest of them were off creating another one, she had nothing else to do. So she grudgingly went home.

When she arrived home, she was greeted by her gorgeous and athletic sixteen year old sister, Megan. “Hey, how was school today Justin?” Not only did she make any sports team she wanted, she was a straight A+ student.
“Awful, same as usual,” Justin complained. Megan was the one person that Justin could talk to about almost anything. Megan was the one person that listened.
“I’m sorry. Anything go wrong in particular? Or just general stuff?”
“Just general stuff. I can not for the life of me understand anything but art.”
“Well do you want help with anything? I can help with just about everything but art. I’m a terrible artist!”

Justin laughed. “That would be great. Thanks.”
The two girls went into the kitchen to grab some milk and cookies (their favorite childhood snack) and then went to the room they shared to begin working through pre-algebra problems. The work was slow and steady, but Megan was a great tutor and they eventually got through. Her sister’s simple explanations were the only things that kept Justin’s grades from absolute disaster. That’s how pretty much everything worked. Megan kept the room clean, helped Justin remember her chores, and she helped Justin talk through any problems she had at school. The latter happened quite often. She was seldom home this early. She was usually with the gang, causing trouble or serving detention for trouble previously caused. Megan was always relieved when Justin did come home early. She knew Justin could act a lot better than this, but she didn’t know how to help her. She would just have to wait for the right time to say something.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

When I Have Time...


"When I have time, I'll read that book that needs to be read."

"When I have time, I'll write that blog post."

"When I have time, I'll clean my room."

I have personally been guilty of saying every one of these in some form or another over and over again. I never say, "I'll go do that right now." I never hop up when I'm relaxing and decide to go write a thousand words on something I'm trying to finish. It mostly gets put off until the last minute and then I freak out and the completed work is not as good as it should be.

This is most certainly not a way to glorify God with my work and actions. He expects me to give my all and do it for His glory. I mean, isn't that one of the biggest reasons we were placed on this earth? To glorify God?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I need to do whatever I do to glorify God. That doesn't mean waiting until the last second. It doesn't mean rushing through it to finish and have free time. It doesn't mean giving the bare minimum in creativity on a project, making it easy.

It means taking the time to plan, work on, and complete a project with care. I'm going to stop putting things off and hurrying through them. I am instead going to take the time that I seem to think does not exist and do things well.

What's the point of finishing the book if you didn't learn anything from it?

What's the point of writing the blog post if you didn't think about it or edit it?

What's the point of cleaning your room if you're just going to stuff things in the closet to become a mess later?

What's the point of doing anything if you are not doing it to bring God glory? 

You don't have to go to a third world country as a missionary to glorify God. You can glorify Him by having a cheerful and willing heart as you babysit younger siblings. Or make dinner. Or do the laundry. Or write a paper.

I confess this has not been my attitude lately. I have complained, been angry, become frustrated, and been impatient. I can't change that on my own. I need God to help me with it. Funny how that works. We need God to help us glorify Himself. We can't do it ourselves and that is just so humbling.

I usually end up surprising myself while I'm writing blog posts, taking a totally different direction than I had at first intended. I have definitely done that today. I expected to write about how I waste time and should stop and work harder. Instead, I ended up with a post about how I can glorify God by doing just that. It's so much fun to see what you can learn just by letting your mind wander. For example, I'm not only doing wrong by a human standard when I put off that project until the day before it's due. I'm not letting my actions show that I'm a Christian when I complain about my workload. I'm not fighting the good fight when I selfishly take free time when there is work to be done.

I pray that God will help me change so that I am glorifying Him through every word I say and deed I do. I will fall, blunder, and backslide. I am not perfect. That just goes to show that He must love us an awful lot to keep being there for us even as we make mistakes over and over again.