Monday 31 March 2008

Home Education Week - Day 2

Today it is suggested we describe ourselves and what's it like being an educator. Also, what's "normal" for us!

Well, I am 42 and my husband is 49. Sean is our only son and he is 9. I suppose at out age we could have grandchildren the same age as Sean and this shows, not in our ability to have Sean and teach him, but in the ages of his friend's mums! Sean's best friends, Rhys and Sean's mums are a lot younger than us, but I almost never think about it, until I meet up with their parents and find that they are just a little older than me! Mostly Sean makes me feel years younger!

I am not a teacher and am not the most intelligent person you will ever meet but what can I say... just how hard is it to teach a child? I found out myself that it is not that hard.

Sean is out-going, smart enough, has plenty of friends, can hold a conversation with anybody, from our pastor to a two year old and is very well rounded.

Niall works for himself so their are times that he is around the house and available to take us off in the car at a moments notice to go places... The park for play, the forest for archery or to Dublin City for a day in the museums.

I like being Sean's educator and would love to continue to be until he is well into his teens but I don't think I will be able to past the age of about 13. However, we will see!

What's "normal" for us? I do have a class room for Sean to do his work in but we think nothing of taking his books outside to our garden, to the park or to the beach and let him work there. It's pretty normal for us to take advantage of a sunny day and just take off to the city or to the country and have an "off" day or go visit a factory, museum, or business of some sort, and mark that down as a school outing.

Home Education Week

Somewhere in America this week is Home Education Week. If you pop over to Principled Discovery you will find out all about it. We are encouraged to write every day about home schooling and so, for the fun, I am joining in and sharing my tuppence worth!

Yesterday, being Sunday and the first day of the week Dana encourages us to give a little of our personal history so here goes...

I would never, never, never have even thought of, let alone wanted to home school Sean if I weren't saved 6 years ago. My plan was to send Sean to school when he was 4 and then get some sort of a job. I was a single parent at the time and needed the money and space. When Sean was 3 God revealed Himself to me and saved me and turned everything upside down on me! Soon after my conversion I went to visit a Christian family in Mississippi who home schooled their children and I thought this was great, but I knew I would need to have a partner to do such a thing with Sean so I put it out of my mind. Well, God provided the partner (!)so I went ahead and started schooling Sean myself when he was 4.

When he was 6 I sent him to school. I didn't pray about it, but just assumed that he had to go because I couldn't teach him the Irish language. There isn't a Christian school in our town so he went to a nice little Church of Ireland school that had just a few kids in it. He liked it very much but couldn't cope with the idea of homework!! A year and a half later I became convicted by God to take him out. Both my husband and I wanted to, but before we did anything we prayed about it a lot and asked others to pray and we believe that God answered our prayers and showed us that He wanted us to home school, and turned out that I don't have to teach him Irish after all!

So, all in all, I am in my fifth year of teaching Sean and we both really like it. I have also been teaching another boy called Dylan since the end of January until May. He is the same age as Sean and they get along well......

This is Sean and Dylan interviewing a manager of the Marshes shopping centre here in Dundalk.
This is me and Sean doing a bit of learning in the park last April!

Friday 28 March 2008

I used to think...

Over in Amy's Humble Musings Amy has made out a list of things she used to think but has since changed her mind about. Ruth has also written about some things she used to think, and so I thought I would put down some of my own thoughts below and have also written a different type of list on my other Blog so you can check them out here if you like.

I used to think that all kids went to school and that there was no alternative. Well, not all kids go to school and I home school my son and he (and I) enjoy it. I will not put down other people who send their children to school, but I am not ashamed to say that for our family, it's one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I only regret that I probably won't be able to teach him on into his secondary school years.

I used to think that children were what you put into them... Until I had a boy who never met his father but regularly does things things his father did... I used to think that boys and girls were really the same and that there was very little differences between them and that it was mostly just the way we bring them up that made them different...My son is a BOY and plays like a boy and behaves like a boy and it has nothing at all to do with the way I raise him!

I used to think that as Sean grew up, things would get harder. This is not true in our family. I can only put it down to trying to live our lives, and trying to raise Sean up, by the standards in the Bible and with the help of the Holy Spirit...

I used to think that I would never use my e mail...!

That gardening was boring...

That I wouldn't enjoy watching movies with 12 rating... Seems to be what I am watching most of the time these days!

That religion was a dead thing.

That I wouldn't find the love of my life... I found 2 (God and my husband!...thank you Lord)

I used to think Sean would never feed himself, wash himself,teach himself, play by himself......

When Sean was a toddler I used to think that I would never get to go to the bathroom on my own again.

And I used to think that I would always be able to clean the house in a couple of hours and have plenty of energy left over!!!

Wednesday 26 March 2008


I have noticed a couple of things about Seán these past days, things that I like. Our family were watching a movie (Miracle) the other evening and there was a man playing the role of a coach. He was working too hard at his job. Before it was obvious what was happening Seán told us that this man was neglecting his family by spending too much time with his job. Moments later, in the movie, the husband and wife had a bit of a tiff about it and so the husband decided to try to do better.

I was glad. Just glad. It's so good to see some fruit for the labour that goes into children. There are times that I wonder is any of what we teach Seán (again and again!) sinks in and so I was very encouraged to see him make this observation.

In the society I live in, the tradition at Easter is to give Easter eggs to your relatives and your children's friends. Over the years I have tried my best to hold back with the giving of eggs. Not because I am mean, but because most children I know end up getting about ten eggs each and Seán is no exception. I have spoken with Seán's best friend's mums and they agree that it is too much, but somehow, they still roll in...! Whenever I can, I give little gifts instead of chocolate eggs to children. Last January (07) I bought sets of hats and gloves in the sales and other bits and bobs and put them away in the wooden chess especially for Easter. Still, this year he got seven eggs and £25 Sterling, (that's over €30 and nearly $50!)
Yesterday evening he took me and Niall, and his friends, Sean and Eugene, to the Cinema and paid for us all...
Now that's the kind of fruit I like to see, God bless his wee soul.

The Eurovision Song Contest

Here is a link from "Adventures in Dundalk, Ireland". They touch on "The Eurovision Song Contest. This is a song contest that is held every year with entries from all over Europe. Lots and LOTS of the entries are pretty bad and so this year Ireland (who is the only country that won it 3 times in a row) has chosen, voting by phone, our own "special" entry! Check out the link...

Monday 24 March 2008

St Patrick's Day

I know it's past, but I wasn't able to post any photos that we took on the day here in Dundalk until just now so I hope you enjoy them. The weather was really good as was the parade. We ended the day by going to visit some Christian friends in Monasterboice.

Our pastor added a piece to his blog, here, about the factual history of Patrick, how he came to Ireland and why he came back to stay! It's taken from a piece written by an Irishman, Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic priest who was converted to christianity and is now a missionary in the US. The full version is here.

Sunday 23 March 2008


Last night we had a choir from Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, PA, come to our church building and sing to us. They were beautiful singers and their testimonies were good. We invited Sean's grandmother along and I am glad to say she came.

This morning I didn't go along with the planned Sunday School but ended up talking to the children about the death of Christ instead... It was a good talk and helped me to see more clearly just where some of the kids are in relation to their understanding of God.

We had lunch with Mick out in Annagassan which is always nice seeing that it is beside the ocean and great weather in the Summer or Winter; sat in front of a roaring fire and watched a movie on the laptop. Very relaxing day.

Hope you had a peaceful day and remembered Jesus and what He did for the Father, and us... God bless.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Last year when we were in the States Niall and I got some books and cd's to take home with us. One set of cd's that I listened to last year is called 'Equipping Men' by Norm Wakefield of Elijah Ministries. As you can tell by its name, it is geared towards men, but I will listen and read almost anything, and gave the 12 discs another go recently.
I suppose it is like most things in so far as you can glean some helpful information from them. I like listning to cd's and it helps me to understand what is expected from Niall, being head of the family etc. Not an easy responsibility. Anyway, I think they are fairly good and will hopefully go back to them again next year!

Monday 10 March 2008


There is Baptist College in Moira, N. Ireland. I was talking to a friend and brother yesterday about this college yesterday, about the thoughts of going back to college and, lo and behold, when I got to the evening service in the Church building last night there was a man giving a talk who had been a lecturer in this particular college 17 years and had only just retired last year to move on to other things!

We met up for a chat during the tea afterwards and I told him about my desire to study Church history. He was very encouraging and gave me lots of advice and contacts to follow up on. There is a women's study on for ten weeks between September and December and that continues from January to April. It is on one day a week for about three hours a day with three lectures. Niall said he would take me there and back (it would be an hour's drive but in the countryside with no public transport available) and take Seán with him. He could then go off to different places with Seán and work with him or just go to places of interest etc.

How do I feel? I would just love it. Would love the fellowship, would love to learn more about this amazing family I am joined to, and would love the growth that would accompany this study... It would take 3 years to complete it and by then Seán , please God, will be at school and if I want (and I think I might) I can go on to study the Church in more depth....

Saturday 8 March 2008

Fun science day!

Yesterday we had our fun science day. I have had a few of these these past two years and they seem to go well. I get a group of boys together and we meet up in the hall two doors down. They are usually about the same age as Seán. Some come from the Church and others from the estate where we live. The idea is to get boys together for supervised play. This is good for Seán seeing as he dosn't go to regular school and hasn't the same oppertunities as other kids to meet up with his peers. It means that he can experience the challenges of regular contact with his friends and mates while in a save environment.
It's good for his other friends too and different, as they usually meet up in two's and threes and this gives them a chance to meet Seán's other friends that they don't usually meet. We normally play some kind of active sport to start with, to get rid of some of that boy energy! After this we make jigsaws, and then explore some science experiments.

Yesterday we started with the usual indoor hockey and then went on to the jigsaws... We had two transformer jigsaws. How I ended up with making the 200 piece one and the boys the 100 piece one I will never know but I give them a run for their money! We moved on to the science experiments. I thought this would go smoothly as they have done in the past but it was a disaster! Most of them didn't work out and the one I had hoped to impress them with the most, the piece de resistance producing lightning with a baking tray, plastic bag, fork and modelling clay was the biggest! Actually, it worked but the boys wern't there to see it!!! The one with the two eggs, one hard boiled and the other raw seemed to impress them though!

Anyway, we ended the session with pizza, chips (Fries) and drinks. Next time I will try out the experiments before hand!

Thursday 6 March 2008


Seán took his reading test yesterday. It should have taken 65 mins but with 20 mins to spare he got up, declared he was finished and took off...
I wasn't impressed.
Kate, a christian teacer who comes up from Dublin every now and again to keep an eye on me and Seán and gives us advice when it is needed, came and sat with Seán during the test. She asked him several times if he wanted to go over the work and he said no so she let him go. The results were average... we had a good talk about it afterwards....

Tuesday 4 March 2008

My step mum

I was thinking about my step mum yesterday. My dad died in December and she is alone. I know the feeling. When Sean's father died ten years ago on 14th of this month I was left alone. Three months later I gave birth to my one and only child, Sean. I mised the physical contact I had with his dad and was very grateful when the baby came along and I was able to hug and touch and kiss him.

My step mum has almost nobody. She and dad stuck with themselves for the most part and now she has my sister Caroline and a couple of members of her own family left. One of her brothers whom they would have kept in contact with is dying of cancer himself in the local hospital. He dosn't know.

I think how it says in the Bible that we should comfort people with the same comfort God has comforted us with. My step mum isn't a christian and I am not in the position to talk to her about my Saviour but I can pray, I can kphone and I can visit... I havn't been doing well with either of these three things recently but I am going to make more of an effort from now on.

I remember what it was like, the lonliness, the regrets, the blaming, the anger and the hoplessness of it all... I have a hope in me though that God may hear my prayers and comfort her with the great Comforter that Jesus Himself sent down to me, praise the Lord!