Remember the Alamo!

Remember the Alamo!

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We will. We absolutely will. It was a solemn, almost sacred experience, made more so by our study that helped us feel personally connected to real characters who fought and died… and to a mother and baby who lived.

“I can’t believe we’re on an airplane!”

We will also always remember this first airplane ride for Ryan & Rebecca (at least the first one they remember). She earned beaming smiles from all the passengers with a delighted squeal as the plane took off: “We’re flying!!!”

There were also the very cool geology and history lessons at Longhorn Cavern. And fun memIMG_20160108_094948671ories with our Camelbak water bottle and a new dog friend at Barton Creek. Then we were awed by the magnificence and history of the Texas Capitol Building. Plus delectable dining and our first food truck experience in Austin. We are really missing Torchy’s Tacos. (I’m drooling thinking about it… seriously.)

 

NASA was the place to be to aid Rebecca in her longtime quest to go to the moon. (She considered being the first person on Mars, but decided that six months of travel just to get there, and a total mission time of three years, was too long to be away from family. Good call, my dear.) Wow, there is so much to learn there. Talk about STEM education! The only problem is that I may need to adjust my planned curriculum for the next several weeks to incorporate more time for the study of space!

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We stayed busy with more fun and outdoor education in The Woodlands and George Mitchell Nature Preserve outside of Houston. Did you know a bayou is a creek?!? Unfortunately, the alligators didn’t want to show themselves in this weather, so we’ll have to go back for another visit. Darn. 😉

Then of course, time with two of our siblings and their families was so delightful. When they come to visit out west, all of the family is together and we don’t really connect directly. So this was absolutely wonderful to spend one-on-one time with them.

This trip was chock-full of good things. I posted many of them on Instagram, so follow along for lots of pictures.

What an amazing time we had in Texas, with hands-on, personalized learning experiences we could never get in a classroom or at home. We made wonderful memories, learned a ton, and had priceless time with far-away family. This trip absolutely reinforced my love of this entrepreneurial family lifestyle. Work anywhere. School everywhere. Play and learn and live life together! Hooray for Texas!

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I think traveling suits me. I feel energized and refreshed and ready to plan the next trip. Here’s to entrepreneurial family life!

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock.

2016- and Texas- here we come!

I just finished the syllabus for January 2016- whew!! It’s always such a relief to get that ready for our next session of school. I plan one month at a time, doing a separate syllabus for my 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. When I first started almost a year ago, the hours it took me were counted in the dozens.

I take this teaching job very seriously, by the way… 🙂

This time, I spent less than 10 hours- woohoo!! I am getting faster! And I’m building systems and processes that work, thank goodness.

It might have helped, too, that this coming month includes a week of hands-on-learning in… Texas! Yep, we get to learn about U.S. and Texas history, Davy Crockett, and visit the Alamo in person. And we get one step closer to Rebecca’s longtime dream of going to the moon with lots of amazing education experiences at NASA’s Houston Space Center. Plus we’re having lunch and doing science with the alligators. Not to mention that we will be with family in Houston and Austin. History, culture, science, technology, engineering, and quality family time all wrapped together… sounds good to me.

One of the things we’re doing to prepare is reading this awesome book. I love reading aloud to my children! And thankfully, even though they are both fantastic readers who devour books on their own, they still love cuddling up with me and a good book. Historical fiction may just be my favorite. Life is good.

We are – and try to be- House Upon a Rock!

Hero Night at House Upon a Rock 2015

We held our first Hero Night at House Upon a Rock in February 2015. As we learn about great men and women, I ask my children to choose noble examples as their heroes, and determine how the lessons of their lives can be applied to our own. They research, write a paper, prepare illustrations, and develop a presentation in a format of their choice. My children amaze me with their insight and wisdom. They recognize eternal principles and work to live them. I love that they teach me.

We invite family and friends to participate in Hero Night, where the students give a presentation about their Hero and lead a discussion. We visit, teach, learn and are edified together. Of course, we also have treats. 🙂 I always feel uplifted, and call this an “Evening of Inspiration.”

Ryan’s Heroes of 2015:Ryan's hero: Captain Moroni

Captain Moroni

-Paul Revere

-the ancient prophet Elijah

Horatius at the Bridge

 

Rebecca’s Heroes of 2015:IMG_20150226_192231527

-the ancient prophet Nephi, son of Lehi

-George Washington

-Queen Esther

-Socrates

 

Later in the year, we started alternating Hero Night with Great Books Gathering, and will continue that going forward. It’s the same format as Hero Night, just choosing a book they consider great instead of a person from which to learn and apply eternal truths. We love the lively presentations and discussions!

So far:

Ryan: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rebecca: Biography of Helen Keller

 

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock!

School at Sunnybrook Farm (February 2015)

Rebecca and Gunner at Sunnybrook Farm

House Upon a Rock is built on… well… rocks. Quite literally. So while we have 4+acres, it’s not worth much for growing things. However, our dear neighbors just down the road were smart enough to choose farmland instead of a rock quarry. And they are so good to us that they invited us this year to garden with them at what we fondly call Sunnybrook Farm (in honor of Rebecca, if you’re not familiar). These friends have irrigation water, tractor, green thumbs… everything we don’t. And they have Gunner, a sweet old dog that reminds us of our beloved, departed labs. He and my Rebecca are buddies. Ryan is, too, but I think he was busy chasing cows instead of cuddling at the time of this picture.

The good thing about Logandale (well, one of the good things) is February. Beautiful, sunny days perfect for planting a garden while everyone else is still under snow. So that’s what we did for hands-on science during those early, first days of home school. We tilled and planted and tended and weeded. And learned about the life cycle of plants. And enjoyed being outside in the winter sunshine.

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock!

(though we’re glad we have friends with better soil 🙂 )

Why we teach our children at home

meme-perry-parenting-1549664-gallerySome parents do
an amazing job of finding (i.e. making) time amid all the crazy busy-ness of life to intentionally teach their children. I’m not one of them.

Last year, I felt frustrated that I wasn’t spending enough high-quality time with my children, intentionally teaching them. It seemed that there was too little time and energy left- for them and for me- after school, homework, and other activities every day. We had daily prayer and scripture study and weekly family home evening, but I’m not sure I was engaged in persistent, daily intentional parenting.

I absolutely have a testimony that the most important work I will ever do is with and for my family. So… we brought our children home and now my full-time, around-the-clock job is teaching them. It’s hard, really hard. But it’s amazingly rewarding.

Here’s why we at House Upon a Rock educate our children at home:righteous intentional parenting

  1. We are following the Lord’s direction for our family at this time.
  2. We believe our children have important work to do, that the Lord has sent them here “for such a time as this.” (That’s true for all of us, really.) So we have a responsibility to prepare them for that work, and we are entitled to the Lord’s help in teaching our children.
  3. In our home, we unite spiritual and temporal learning; we learn and teach by the spirit.
  4. Our family gets to be together- not just at the end of the day when everyone is tired, but in our high-energy hours as well. We are closer, more unified, and have flexibility in how and when and where to teach.
  5. We teach and learn what is needful and best, leaving out the rest.
  6. Personalized instruction (and spirit-led instruction!) allows our children to learn and progress at an accelerated pace. We also have the freedom and time for them to pursue individual interests and talents.

When in April 2015, then-Elder Nelson testified that, “No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting,” I felt confirmation from the Spirit that we are doing what’s right for our family at this time. What a privilege…

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock!