Friday, May 4, 2007

2 Cents Worth

I have begun posting my bits 'n pieces for our BLOGGERS RECOMMENDATION SERIES!!
Nice ring to it, eh?!? You must, however, scroll to the bottom to access it. Happy Reading!



Kimberly N. said...

My goodness..Piper then Robbins..thought I was going to have to start praying for you then you balanced it out w/my hero Michael Card..whew!:) Don't you love variety! Totally agree w/the restaurant thing..tonight we're having local po-boys for dinner..can't beat it!
(We'll have to chat at some pt. about art therapy, but don't think you need to research it..mainly good as tool to assess/help hurting children..your interest would be more in looking at child-development "stages" in drawing. Thankfully your kiddos won't need the therapy stuff!) Love Ya'll!

Tara said...

Kimber: EXACTLY! I know you are right about the "therapy vs. stages". That is what I meant all along:)
I guess that is some serious yo-yo'ing in my list of books. Does that make me too unbalanced?!? It sure does look weird written down anyway!
Thanks for the post.

Kelly S said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I actually found a few I might try. I'm not a big reader, so we'll see. But, I do love to read to the kids. Katie is getting to the age where she's starting to get into the American Girl dolls (doesn't have one yet though). You had some really great thoughts.

You won't regret homeschooling your kids. You done good girl! Just sit in a Sunday School class and compare the reading skills of children that are homeschooled compared to those that aren't. It's pretty amazing. Of course, there are exceptions. I'm curious what curriculum you use for your kids. I'm using Abeka DVD. We love it, but by the time I have four kids in school, it's going to get expensive.

Barry Dingle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tara said...

You will have fun with your girls getting into American Girl. It brings childhood right back around to you.
As for the homeschooling, we use the K12 Curriculum, which you will find the link for on my main page. It is an EXCELLENT Program academically: very rich in classic educational style. The only downside is that....IT'S SO RICH! THis is not a sit your kids down with a notebook and let them school themselves type thing. It is HANDS-ON in EVERY way. The kids love it, but it's getting harder and harder to do with having four of them, especially with a baby in the house. And did I mention,...ouch!'s expensive. But definitely a situation of getting what you pay for. I really do consider to be the best of the very best, but next year is definitely up for grabs in the curriculum department, cause I don't know if I can keep it up.
Lauren went to Kindergarten at a local private school her first year. She learned to read there, and is an EXCELLENT reader, so I guess it really depends on the child. I have taught Cameron to read, and I think he's doing quite well, although that's the thing I was most nervous about with homeschooling him from K on. He surprises me more and more every day, though, in reading things that use 'rules' I haven't even taught him yet.
This is turning into another blog, so I'll bring it to a close! I would be more interested in hearing more about your using Abeka DVD, though. As far as time-management and cost. Post it back to me when you get a chance!

Kim M. said...

I'm loving reading your exchange with Kelly about homeschooling. I have an interest in it myself to a degree. Justin goes to Stone City Christian Academy (We go to Bro Sankey's church) and has done well there, but a dream of ours is to move out in the country one of these days. We would be willing to move a little further out to get what we want, So if we were a little bit of a drive we would have to homeschool (gas prices and time issues). The neat thing about our school is that they allow people who live a distance to "satellite". You homeschool but you can come in a day or 2 a week or for testing only or whatever you choose. I love that idea because you have the best of both worlds I think. Not that it will happen this way but I have thought a lot about it.

Tara said...

Kim M:

That DOES sound like the best of both worlds! I hope your country dreams come true! One thing I have learned about homeschooling: the stereotype has long since lost its validity. People from all walks of life,with all levels of education, and steady dose of "normalcy" (whatever that is!) are choosing to do it.
IN FACT....COME TO THINK OF IT.... I think the vast majority of those I've reconnected with here in blog-world are homeschooling parents. That's interesting, isn't it?!?
Like I mentioned before, it was something that I went into reluctantly, but I have had peace about the decision since it was made. A decision born of necessity. Anyway, keep us posted on your plans, too.....

Tara said...

One more thing: (sorry!) I did want to make one point about cost in homeschooling. Even though we use probably the most expensive homeschooling out there (i think), when you compare it to the cost of tuition at a private, Christian school, it's miniscule. So that's something I always try to keep in mind. final thought on K12, and then I'm done I promise!: it was founded by Bill Bennett, education secretary under Ronald Reagan. He put together a group of minds like you wouldn't believe to design the curriculum. I would say it's strong in every subject, but particularly in History, Language Arts, and Science. And depending on which state you live in, it may be offered to you for FREE! Computer and all, if I understand correctly. I believe Julie French indicated to me in a previous post that that is how they use it. In Ky where we are, you have to purchase and use the program independently, thus the high cost.
I am now done bloviating on this topic, unless specifically asked to do more!!

Juwah said...


Thanks for posting your recommondations, I'm anxious to "dig in". I am also anxious to try those Banana Pancakes!

Depending on what you guys do for education next year, you may want to consider a multi-level approach. We are going to start a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace next year. It covers History, Art, Churh History/Bible, and philosphy/logic for older kids. It is set up so you can multi-level teach the same topics to several children at differant stages in the educational spectrum. It is classically bases and very affordable. Give me a call and I'll tell you more about it or go to

Tara said...


That sounds WONDERFUL! I am definitely anxious to check out that website, and see what it's like. "multi-level" would be great. Thanks for the suggestion.


Kelly S said...

Hi Tara,

I'll be glad to give you any information on Abeka. I absolutely love it. Of course, I work full time and with David travelling a lot, I am very busy and the Abeka DVD is great for busy moms. There is so much interaction and bright colorful books, etc. Every subject is very very good. It doesn't require much from the mom at all, but there is plenty of opportunity and special projects if you want the interaction. I work full time doing medical transcription but I do it from home. So Joshua sits across the hall from me and does school while I work. It works out so nice for us.

I love Julia's idea of multi-level. That would be nice. The only thing is, would that stifle that older one's learning? - Keep him from learning to his fullest potential? I'd be interested in learning more about that one too.

~Heather~ said...

Just wanted to let you know that I made your YUMMY banana pancakes for breakfast this morning...and our family really enjoyed them! =) I doubled the recipe, so I could FREEZE the leftovers...and out of a double patch I got about 31 med. sized pancakes. YEA! I do have to tell you this though, here they do not have YELLOW LEMONS, they only have GREEN limes. So, when I put in the lemon Zest...there were these little GREEN CURLS in my pancakes. Our Kimberly was helping me in the kitchen and so I told her NOT to say anything, and to wait to hear Daddy gag over whatever was GREEN in the pancakes. =) was not Daddy, it was our Sarah who exclaimed, "UGH, WHAT IS THIS GREEN THING IN MY PANCAKE?" Kimberly and I had a good laugh over that! Thanks for the nice recipe!
Love, Heather

~Heather~ said...

How funny that you were making my muffins, and I was making your pancakes. I like this exchanging's so fun!

Have a good day!
Love, Heather
I'm not a huge book reader, but I do try to read some books to help me STAY IN LOVE WITH THE MAN OF MY DREAMS =) here's my books I recommend:
"Sheet Music"
"Created to be His Helpmeet" (I don't agree with everything that she says, but for the most is very challenging and helped me want to be the BEST wife I can be! =)
"Total Woman"

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, dear Tara......Happy Birthday, toooooo youuuuuuuuuuu!

And many more!
Love ya!

Kelly S said...

Is it your birthday Tara? Happy Birthday! I hope you have a very nice day. Be sure to pamper yourself!

Marty said...

I quess Happy Birthday is in order young lady! Have a great day!

Tara said...

Thanks, ladies, for your well-wishes! I appreciate it. My good buddy Sonja never forgets!

kayla said...

I'm such a bad friend. I didn't remember that today is your birthday. Hope it was wonderful. It is also Danielle's.
I'm hoping that no news is good news.

Juwah said...


Ok you're really pressing it with the number of comments on this post. I guess since yesterday was your birthday, we'll let it slide. :)

On multi-level teaching, let me first say, there are a number of programs out there, we just chose Tapestry since it is Classically based and we want to Classically Educate. As far as Kelly's concern about the older ones: All the children cover the same topic i.e. Roman Empire, however, the older ones would study it much more in depth and would read different books have more chanllenging assignments etc.. This works well with the Classical method since everything is covered at least three times in the Trivium. Obviously, Math, Phonics/English, and even Science are studied on an individual basis. Although, some include English and Science in this approach. I will say though, this approach does require quite a bit of parental involvement and library trips, esp. in the younger years. The asset is that while you are very involved, you can "teach" all the children at the same time.

Tara said...

Okay, Julia, I promise that I already planned to post a new blog today! I just haven't had much time or much to say, to tell the truth! I will bring this thread to a close so that you can maintain your record :)

I have looked into Tapestry a little over the last couple of days. Looks really good. Since Lauren has already been covering history in that same manner, she's already been through a lot of the year 1 and year 2 material. I think the program might work better if you start out using it, from what little I've seen.
I also got some info on Abeka DVD just to have in case I wanted to take that approach. I'm still really torn between wanting to intimately involved in the teaching process, and yet being honest enough with myself to admit that I just can't "cut it" a lot of days. I feel like I do a lot of my wifely-motherly duties with mediocrity, instead of being masterful atleast with a few!
I did pick up a new homeschool catalog at our Christian bookstore yesterday so that I can again look at what's out there. K12 isn't off the table, I just want to stay on top of the various options. Thanks for your input. Imagine how brilliant you're gonna be when you actually start doing this!!!

Kelly S said...

Abeka representatives travel around and hold open houses at different regional hotels. They have the DVDs running on monitors and all the books for each grade laid out on tables. You can just walk around and browse and the representative can answer any questions. They will give you a free demo CD. If you're interested, go to and you'll see the option to enter your zip code to find a hotel display near you.