Creation Museum Tips

This past September we ventured to the great unknown of Kentucky. There aren’t a lot of reasons for us to visit this beautiful state; however it is home to what is becoming the most popular attraction for Christians: The Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. This is a brief synopsis of our time just at the Creation Museum.  Although they are owned by the same company, Answers in Genesis, and have the same mission to share the gospel message through Creation and the Fall, I wanted to make sure that you know they are very much two different places separated by 43 miles of highway.

We went Wednesday, September 16- what seems to be the most ideal day to go. There were zero lines, it was pleasantly hot, and all of the attractions within the museum were still running (nothing was down for off season maintenance- this did happen to us at other places along our road trip.)

The most impressive part of this museum is the palpable desire for the world to understand how deeply sin has affected humanity and how much they want people to know the love of Jesus.

Be prepared: there’s A LOT to do. Bookstore, zip line, feeding animals, and other little places to buy things. The location is somewhat remote, so if you plan to eat, bring your own food or be prepared to eat at the café. It has decent prices, but not as cheap as McDonalds.  You can spend some serious cash here!  Homeschool moms- the curriculum is not cheaper in the bookstore than it is online, so no need to save luggage space for next year’s science curriculum.

There are exhibits of all kinds: butterflies, dinosaurs of course, and other animals, and artifacts. I wasn’t prepared for some of what, I would consider, mature content. When we first walked into the exhibit, there were large posters of the Holocaust and 9/11. These are great representations of sin, but for a 6-year-old, they might be alarming- and right at their eye level. Also, Adam and Eve could have been covered a little more.

The outdoor gardens are beautiful. You could spend a full afternoon here if you choose. If you want to enjoy your time at the Creation Museum and all of it has to offer, you need to plan to be there from open until closing. We didn’t have time to spend two full days in Kentucky, so we chose to make our visit a quick 2 hours.  To see a 4 minute highlight video visiting the Creation Museum, check out our YouTube Channel here.

We will have a review of the Ark Encounter up next!

Also, there is a fun little zoo not too far from here if you want to dig deeper into the animal kingdom! It’s called the Down Under Zoo. You can pet kangaroos and all sorts of animals from Australia. They also have a mini-cave on the groups. If you want get a feel for the caves in Kentucky, you can get it here without dealing with the crowds and costs at the more well known cave places nearby.

 

 

My Top 6 Homeschooling Books of 2019

If there is one homeschool mom stereotype that I have no quarrel with owning, it is that I am a book lover! My goal was to read 40 books this year. So far, I have read 32. I have 5 weeks to read 8 books. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN! Ha! I can not complete my goal. I am half way though about 20 books, so if I just focus for a hot second, I can do this!
In the meantime, I am here to share with you my favorite books that I read this year. These books are for you, not your kiddos. Your kids could read these, but I have this list in mind to you encourage your reading!

1. Defying Jihad. Step inside the Muslim world of Pakistan and read about one woman’s conversion to Christianity. This book is so interesting that I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I was convicted in my 1st-world-probelms bad attitude and inspired to seek out those in need.  You will not regret reading this book. Read this book with your kids and have them appreciate their cushy life they lead and how blessed they are to have you as their parent.

2.  Mama Bear Apologetics. If you aren’t a theologian, don’t be overwhelmed by the term “apologetics”. This book takes moms through the modern core world views of today and how to combat them with the Gospel. It also have activities and discussion questions to do with your kids. This is good for all ages of kids. I will keep this book on my shelf and come back to it frequently. When my kids are slightly older, I plan to have them read it with me and to do more of the exercises. The conversation that will happen because of this book will be the best modern world information, prepping them for the real world.

3.Dryer’s English In all honesty, I haven’t finished this book, but I think most moms can attest to being fearful of nurtring more than just competent writing in their kids. This book is written by Benjamin Dreyer, who is vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief, of Random House. He knows his stuff! I know it’s going to be an encouragement and helpful guide. I consider it a living book, written by someone who is passionate about great writing; without having to be constrained to making it a curriculum.

4. Homeschooling for College Credit. If you have a child that is in 6th grade or older, read this book! This will demystify the high school years for you! You may have a dual enrollment program in your state, but read this book anyway. It will give you practical help and open your options to more than just the one everyone talks about!  I am so thankful I stumbled upon the author’s Facebook group and that book!!

5.Personality Brokers  People seem to be obsessed with personality tests. If you are someone who is all about them, I highly recommend you study the history of the tests. Did you know that Myer’s Briggs is based off of Carl Young’s teachings? Kinda crazy! This book gets a little wordy in the middle, but it’s worth it to finish it to the end.

6. Homeschool Bravely This is a practical book that will encourage you to press on in your homeschooling day. There are helpful tools and spiritual advice. It’s a quick read too!

 

Book Review: The Grumble Free Year

I was happy to read this advance copy of The Grumble Free Year by @triciagoyer . The Goyer Family spent a year focusing on not grumbling! Talk about a challenge! This book is super easy to read with practical questions and application and the end of each chapter. Either read the book all the way through in a week or take your time slowly working through the chapters, implementing change as you feel lead. I enjoyed reading what they learned through the year-long process. I have been looking at life differently this past week after reading this book and a few of the most random things popped into my head demanding change. Isn’t weird how God works sometimes?
This book comes at the perfect time as we head into Christmas season. I tend to buy a lot of make-up around Black Friday. I have never made it all the way to the end of a single lipstick or eye shadow. Usually I get bored of something and hand it off to Adelaide to play make-up. At it’s core, I grumble because I am discontent. I’ve decided I will not buy any make-up at until I actually run out of it. This may take 17 years. We shall see. 😂There’s no reason wasting money on something that is usually expensive when I have so much already!
I started reading this book to see how I could make my kids not be whiners. But somehow I am out new make up this season. Ha! I am making some other changes too and I hope my example will aid in my kid’s behavior.
I totally recommend this book for anyone wanting a little nudge in the contentment department! It’s available for pre-order on Amazon!

Educational Philosophy Book Reviews

I was asked to give a list of books that might help a parent understand that different philosophies. HOW COULD I POSSIBLY CHOOSE WHICH ONES?! Every. single.book. that I have read has helped to shape my homeschooling views. There are hundreds of books on the methodologies. I decided to pull books that I thought the most informative.

1. Homeschool Bravely. This book is new. It will ground you and help you to think about your WHY before digging into your HOW. I gleaned a lot from this little book, even 8 years into homeschooling.

2. Amusing Ourselves to Death. This was written in the 1970s and is a must read for a Mom like me who loves tech. I think it’s a great grounding to see our current culture in a new light.

3. The Call of the Wild. This movement is huge right now. I don’t particularity agree with her premise (I am currently researching what “childhood” actually means from centuries prior vs. the unfounded assumptions in the book). This is great to hear directly from the founder of this movement that you probably have heard your friends participating in. As a side: note: this method is not “Christian” at its core, although many who do W+F are. Be prepared to not get encouragement from Bible passages and the majority of the quotes come from non-Biblical people (including an Islamic scholar).
The author does a wonderful job giving 2-3 page summaries of the main philosophies out there.

4. Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. This is a Classical Method approach, but could be mixed with Charlotte Mason, the way it’s written.

5. Classical Me, Classical Thee. Written by the daughter of the Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning book, she goes into more detail. Also, this is more about the method in general, not just homeschooling.

6.Consider This. Charlotte Mason. Although there are probably better, more interesting reads, this one is short and gets straight to the how and why of the CM method. It was daunting to me to know Charlotte wrote volumes of books on her method. This book isn’t an end all. If you read it and it resonates with you, then it would be best to read from CM herself (early 19th century language can be too floral for me sometimes).

Wild and Free Book Review

I post a picture like this with my kiddos playing on the river and I’m so #wildandfree right? #charlottemason? #adventurelearning ? or whatever else. I don’t know about all that.
Sometimes we go to the river when we feel like it.

Whatever.

Can I just leave it at that? 😂

Sometimes this homeschool mom gets caught up in all the educational philosophy jargon. Today I heard a mom describe herself as wild and free but does Classical Conversations. The term “wild and free” doesn’t seem to go with “rigorous education”. for my literal-thinking brain. I’ve read the latest book on the Wild and Free movement to understand what is really meant by that phrase, because it has been a bit of an enigma to me since I first heard it years ago.

You will usually find the buzz phrase Wild+Free hashtagged under an Insta pic of kids in the woods. It’s been a bit of an enigma to me as I know many friends who lay claim to this style of hs while also implementing other philosophies. I’ve noticed there are very few purists in any philosophical educational camp and blending methods is the M.O. these days. But for an absolute person like me, I find it hard to hear relative terms being thrown around.

I was excited to see the woman who coined the term Wild+Free write a book to explain her theory. After reading it, I understand why I have always been confused by the term. The term is a misnomer. Her method isn’t wild and it isn’t free in the sense a person assumes when hearing the phrase without any explanation. Many descriptive words were used repeatedly in the book. I wish she would have called her lifestyle Intentionally Passionate. That doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, though.

Wild+Free is this: her kids go outside a lot, then she has them do typical school, then gives the kids lots of time in the afternoons to pursue their interests. It is clear her kids aren’t running amok like the “Wild+Free” label lends itself too. She is intentional with her kids and listens to their desires to cultivate an education that will prove useful to their unique skill sets and interests. Which we can all agree to that! A huge part of her lifestyle is nature. She “found myself in nature”. This is where I would argue that I find myself in Christ. I do not need to walk in the woods to find myself. However, I want us to love nature in light of God creating it and using it to His glory. If you aren’t fully discerning, her book can lean towards nature as an idol; she prefers to quote Confucius and not the Bible.

2 of her kids are tech heavy
The W+F idea is not new, but she’s packaged it in a way that is relevant and easy to follow in today’s world, which is awesome. By her definition, Ben was raised #wildandfreechildren while doing Abeka.

Now knowing her definition, I don’t know a single homeschooling family who isn’t wild and free. A huge part of homeschooling is to allow time for interest lead learning.
Also, there’s nothing in the Bible that describes what a proper childhood is. And if you are someone who doesn’t like nature, you are not wrong for not being in nature. Don’t let others lead you to believe that childhood=nature adventures. The only example of Jesus as a child is him studying.

There’s a lot of useful things in the book, but read it with a lot of caution.