All posts by lauriann

About lauriann

I'm a Homeschooler mom, Christian, Singer, Minister of Music, Chaplain, Musician, Teacher, Freelance Translator (English/Spanish/English), Sister, Aunt, Daughter, Cousin, Friend and a Human Being who is looking for a brighter side in this complicated life. And yes, that's a Bitstrip comic of myself! ^^

Happy Hallelujah Day!

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Today in Joyful Christian Homeschool we celebrate Hallelujah Day!  It’s a day where we celebrate God and his children’s creativity.  The flowers that you see in the above picture were just a mere piece of grass that a neighbor gave to us so that Midna might enjoy it; but one morning when I went to water it, that’s what I found.  I didn’t even know those beautiful flowers would bloom; even if it was for just less than a day.  Since that day, the plant has grown and more flowers have been blooming.

Psalm 103;15-16 “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more…”

God tells us that we are like those flowers, beautiful, precious and fragrant.  Even if we don’t last too long; we should make most of the time that we are here in this world.  Let’s bloom, let’s grow and perfume everywhere we go with our love & our talents, the ones that God gave us.

Anna decided to celebrate today dressed as one of her OC’s Akuhei; Brian wanted to celebrate dressed as Curious George because there is so much that he wants to know about the world that God made, Brian also created an illustrated church with his family in it and I celebrated by making the beautiful blue & beige scarf that Anna wore for today.  Yes, each one of us has a gift for creativity and we should use it to let the world know that each one is precious in the powerful hand of God.

Coming up:  November, month of birthdays, field trip to El Yunque, Science Fair and Thanksgiving!  We can hardly wait….

God Bless You!!

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Violence

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When does violence start?  I guess most of us agree that a violent conduct starts when we are kids.  But most people don’t know how to manage that anger when kids are growing up.  I’ll just give you an example:

One day I was at a government office and while I waited, I saw a young mother with a little boy on a stroller.  The boy was screaming and kicking.  He was telling his mom that he wanted Doritos.  His mom was trying to calm him by telling him that his daddy had left to buy him the Doritos.  But the kid kept screaming and making a huge racket that was annoying the rest of the customers that were there waiting to be attended.  Like 15 minutes later, the kid’s dad appeared with the Doritos and she gave it to the kid just to shut him up and not hear him screaming anymore.  And that’s exactly what happened.  The kid was happy because after screaming, yelling and crying, he got exactly what he wanted.  And his parents didn’t notice what they had just done….they created a “monster”.

They taught their son that if he screams, yells, gets mad and gets violent…..he can get away with anything.  What a sad lesson, right?   Just think about it, he was just rewarded with what he wanted after exhibiting a violent conduct.  Do you really think he will learn to control himself when he wants something?

anger management

How can we fix this?

1)  Please, reward your kids when they do something right.

2)  If kids exhibit a violent conduct which disturbs other people; take them outside and firmly tell them that if they don’t behave, they will receive nothing.

3)  Avoid taking them to public places as much as you can.

4) If its inevitable to take them; establish the ground rules before you leave the house and during the ride.  Believe me, if you are consistent with your discipline, they will understand.  Kids want structure; they crave for their parents attention.

5)  Avoid using violence; but be firm in your discipline.  No means no; like it or not.  Kids will imitate their parents and if their parents are violent; they will follow in their steps.

6)  There are no Parents manual; but the Bible might help you there.  Teach your kids about God and loving one another.  Consistency and perseverance will have wonderful rewards.  Prayer and faith helps a lot too…

This is just a little of what I have learned as a mother and a teacher.  We can only be with our kids as much as we can.  But lets make the most of every moment that we share with them.  A life filled with love and encouragement of a kind nature can’t damage anyone.  Let’s be consistent.  God Bless!

Decisions And Changes

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These days we had to deal with the threat of the hurricane “Gonzalo” but fortunately nothing happened.  There were just a few thunderstorms but nothing serious.  God has been protecting us as always.

Our assistant teacher Melissa has found a new job that will, unfortunately, keep her away from our homeschooling experience.  So the feeling is bittersweet, we want her to have a successful experience in her new endeavors but we will sorely miss her in Joyful Christian Homeschool, specially the teacher.  She was a really huge help but like the Word of God says in Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through Him; who gives me strength.

These days I started the course to the teacher’s certification in Texas.  Yes, Anna and I are moving to Texas next year, God willing.  The decision hasn’t been easy because that means that Joyful Christian Homeschool may be in it’s last year of existence.  But nothing is certain yet.

There are still lots of possibilities and we are just living the today, like Jesus taught us.  Luke 12:29-31  “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

I love homeschooling; but as a single mother living in such a difficult place where jobs are scarce and the ones available are not stable, sometimes I have to think about moving on to greener pastures.  Sometimes we have to take careful decisions and pray that doors keep opening.  God wants us to be like Joshua 1:7-8:  “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”   

Taking these kind of decisions is never easy.  But if God is in this endeavor; we have nothing to fear.  Brian and Anna will be well taken care of wherever they take their classes next year.  They were both presented to Him and they belong to Him.

We serve a good, awesome, generous God who has everything in control; besides He has the last Word.  Amen.

October News!

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Today we want to start wishing our student visitor and Anna’s best friend Enid, a very Happy Birthday.  Hopefully we will share with her soon.  May God continue to bless and guard her.

The weather started very hot on these days.  There has been a dust cloud coming all the way from the Sahara Desert in the atmosphere that has caused our health to decline a little, with dry coughs and tiredness but our faith hasn’t failed.  We wish our teacher assistant Melissa a very soon recovery.  She couldn’t be with us today but we surely missed her. There are lots of sicknesses like Chikungunya, dengue and now rumors of ebola going around; but we believe in the healing and protective power of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  Teaching our kids about the love and care of our God is priority in our lives.

Also, during this month we started Lifepac’s #3.  Our kids are working hard to not fall behind on their work.  This is mid-term month or the middle of the semester.  We have calendered the last tests and we are still on the plans phase of celebrating our “Hallelluia Day” at the end of this month.  We don’t celebrate Halloween for obvious reasons but we celebrate a day that we can praise the wonderful makings of our Lord.

But the weather is clearing out and the mornings are getting cooler.  We can hardly wait until the Autumn breeze finally covers our island.  The heat is tiring after three months.  May God continue to work on us all!

Farewell To Our Beloved Zeus

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The Joyful Christian Homeschool family is saddened by the loss of our beloved pet “Zeus”.  He was a 10 year old golden retriever who was always taking care of our learning place.  Last night, he lost his fight against a debilitating disease.  We will miss his greetings, his appetite, his barks & his cheerfulness.  He had been sick for awhile, but he was still eating until yesterday when he suddenly lost his appetite.  We knew he was leaving soon; but still, it will be hard to not see or hear him anymore around the yard or peeking through the window of our classroom.  He joins all our other beloved pets who have left before us; but whom we will never forget.  Rest in Peace, dear Zeus!

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Fall Is Here!

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And with the arrival of Fall; we will soon be celebrating some birthdays.  Our classroom is ready with the “Happy Harvest” banner, falling leaves everywhere, but still, we don’t feel the change in the temperature of the weather.  That’s one of the disadvantages of living on a tropical island.

But we are looking forward to the month of October.  Our visitor student Enid’s birthday is on the 7th.  Hopefully we can give her a nice birthday surprise.  Then, at the end of the month, we will celebrate our “Halleluiah Day”.  Where we will praise the Lord in a very special way.

When November comes, two other birthdays will be celebrated:  Anna’s & mine.  There are many plans for this season; all of them in the hands of the Lord.  We are waiting on His will. Enjoy this week!  God Bless.

Teaching Another Language

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Teaching our homeschoolers another language could be a challenging task. In my case, I have the assignment of teaching a 6 year old Spanish speaking boy to learn conversational English.

If your interest is exclusively conversational language, say goodbye to explaining grammar or writing words in English. When it’s time to speak….all you have to do is: talk. Do not allow your homeschooler to speak his native language until class is over. If he/she wants to say something in his/her native language, help him/her translate and let him/her say it in English.

Be persistent because if you let him/her talk in Spanish; they will want to do it over and over again.

They have to lose the freight to speak so it’s very important that you listen and help them pronounce correctly.

Never make fun of anything that they say. That will further traumatize them and they will never want to speak the language again.

Give them lots of oral reports.

Use dialogues and roleplays.

Use show and tells.

Use “Follow instructions” exercises. And the best of all….

Use music. Songs and poems will help the pronunciation and the memorization. Besides, it will make their experience more fun.

Happy language learning!

Keep The Motivation

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This week at Joyful Christian Homeschool, Anna helped me decorate our little classroom. Each month we decorate it differently so that our little learning place stays special.

We put some falling leaves on the walls and hanged a banner that says: “Happy Harvest” celebrating the arrival of fall on this month. We can hardly wait for the time of eating candy corn and Thanksgiving.

Make your learning corner a special one.  Help the kids decorate it; they have lots of ideas.  You may find yourself wondering why you didn’t do this before.  They will love spending that time making their little project.  Choose a different theme each month.  It could be about a special holiday, a positive thought, a Bible verse, changing seasons, a special activity…..or anything that you want.  Or maybe anything that they want.  Remember the sky is the limit.

These days, I’ve been going to job interviews and finally found a part time that doesn’t affect homeschooling at all. God is so good with us. This year promises to be the best yet.

So, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Enjoy each day with your little ones.

Happy Labor Day!

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We are entering our second month in Joyful Christian Homeschool!  Kids are right on track, they are finishing their first Lifepacs.  So this week will be a busy one.  Lifepac tests are ready and it should be another fun week.  We are looking forward to decorate our classroom with the Autumn motives.  Falling leaves, pumpkins & harvest illustrations are all ready to be used.  We love Fall!

We can’t see the four seasons as well as other countries at the Northern or Southern Hemispheres but here the temperatures change a little bit.  It feels more cooler in the winter.  Last Fall was quite hot.  It got cooler in November, but we still love the seasons.  September is just the beginning for lots of pretty things.

Enjoy this creation that Anna did for Art class.  See if you can find “Link” from “The Legend of Zelda”! 

Enjoy your Labor Day!

Pencil Drop

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Last Saturday, an interviewer for a teaching program asked me:  “As a teacher, what do you do when students need materials?”  I immediately recalled a very common experience in my teaching years when children often made their pencils disappear.  I don’t know if it was sometimes intentional or them just being kids.  But they made a great job in disappearing pencils; I mean,  not even a magician can hold a candle to students in an elementary school when it comes to making pencils vanish into thin air.

Students were always asking for pencils.  Let me tell you that I would bet that you could ask ANY teacher of elementary school and they would tell you how annoying and distracting it is when pencils start flying across the classroom onto the floor.  Kids will constantly interrupt the class to pick up the pencils,  some like to start banging them against their desk and some will even put a ruler on the tip to start gyrating it like a fan.  The riskier ones will use the pencils as weapons of mass poking others.  But as teachers, we have to be very alert of signs that could develop into uneasy situations.

My recommendations would be, (and this is important for parent/teachers too):      

CIMG2639    Be very clear on your class rules since the first day begins.  You are not to allow your students to play with school materials, specially pencils.  Meaning: not banging them against the desk.  One of the main reasons that pencils fall constantly on the floor is because they like to play with them.                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                      CIMG2640But that may not be the only reason why the pencils  start falling.  On first graders who are learning to write and their hands are still developing their fine motor skills, pencils may constantly fall because they just don’t grasp the pencil correctly.  You have to be alert that they make a firm but not forced grip when they grab their pencil.

Keep a pencil box near at all times.  When I was a teacher at school, I was constantly picking up pencils from the floor and keeping them in a pencil box.  I kept them sharpened and ready to use, so when a student would ask for a pencil, it would be immediately accessible to them and interruptions would be kept to a minimum.

Always look out where you walk.  Accidents can happen.  I once knew about a teacher who slipped with a pencil and had to go to the hospital.  Her back was severely damaged by the fall and she eventually had to retire because of it.  Teachers have to develop a keen eye for any signs of danger for the students and for themselves.

Remember, teachers are the ones in control of the classroom.  If they lose control, students will notice.  They are watching!

Have a great homeschooling week!