The Caskey Family

Easy Library Reading Log
May 27, 2011, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Info/Resources | Tags: ,

I just found the most amazing feature at our library, and enabled it online. It is called a “reading history” and tracks all the books you check out of the library. This is a homeschool diamond mine!

If you are anything like me, you check out and have every intention of keeping a reading log of all the good books you’ve read, but in my rush to get out the door to the library to return them before they are due, I always seem to miss this step. So it’s the end of the school year and I don’t have a log. . .or do I?

I checked, and I DO!! God is good, and this is a little proof of that for me this week. I’m printing off the list of all the books we’ve checked out and highlighting them different colors based on subjects, so if I want to go back to find a book, at least I can sort between history, science, art, toddler, etc. The list is going into a page protector at the back of this year’s portfolio for future reference (the portfolio is nothing fancy, just a cheap three-ring-binder full of page protectors where I stash tests, random samples of work and other proof of our progress throughout the year.)

Now I have a complete list of the books we’ve read that we don’t own – the ones we own usually get marked in the lesson plans, it’s the endless library pile that never makes it into the plans!

Library reading history: just a little bit of new technology I HAD to share with the world today!

Some of our Favorite (Children’s) Movie Music

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Awesome Books are Easy to Find!

We have noticed that the quality of a book DOES determine how long ours enjoy listening. My children tend to prefer “living books” with good illustrations. I could make our favorite books list now, but it would take me days. And every family and child is different, so I thought I would post some links to some book lists that hold some of our most treasured book finds so you could peruse for yourself. I will update from time to time. We’ve not read everything on these lists, but have enjoyed many on each list. . .so we recommend them with the idea that perhaps you will find more good books here than you might find at your average grab and borrow trip to your local library.

To save money, we search online at our library, (have them delivered to the front desk so I can pop in and just pick up if we don’t have time to browse) check as many out as we can, and only buy if it is a true favorite. One would think that would keep our personal library to a minimum. No such thing in the Caskey house!

1. Five in a Row
2. Ambleside Online – for all ages, click on whichever age you are searching for
3. Sonlight’s Read-Aloud List
4. Charlotte Mason Read Around the Year List
5. Tapestry of Grace Book List generator (search by grades and time span you are studying)

Any comments or suggestions for other book lists??

One of the Best Books on Parenting (and it’s not a how-to manual!)

Jeremy and I have been reading Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas together over the last few weeks for a class we are taking together. We will finish the last few pages today and I just can’t say how encouraging it has been to us! It was a breath of fresh air that our family needed!

The book centers around the idea that parenting is a wonderful avenue God uses to sanctify us. There are no formulas, because every family and every child is different. But it does offer some solid advice from a biblical perspective and from a dad who has grown children and sweet godly relationships with his children. He has challenged us to accept the journey of parenting and embrace the often-difficult process with joy and faith in the God who ordains every aspect of it.

Unlike other parenting books where I finish with a list of things I feel I now should be doing with my children, we finish with a greater desire to know our God better and display HIM to our children in our actions as parents.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend to a parent, planning to be a parent, pregnant, a parent of grown children, READ THIS!!!

Chapter titles include:
1. Papa God
2. The Hardest Hurt of All
3. The Gold behind the Guilt
4. Seizing Heaven
5. Joy!
6. Vicious Vulnerability
7. Burning Love
8. The Glory behind the Grime
9. Walking on the Wild Side of Parenting: the Gift of Extremely Demanding Children
10. A Very Boring Chapter in the Bible (That Can Change Your Life Forever) And it did for us!
11. Xerox R Us
12. Sacrifice
13. Leaving
Epilogue: Receive Your Reward

This one makes it into our top five marriage and family books to include:
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tripp and
Everyday Talk by Younts
Instructing a Child’s Heart (sequel to Shepherding) by Tripp and
Sacred Marriage also by Gary Thomas

*If you only ever read one chapter of a parenting book, I would suggest the chapter titled “Giving Your Children a Vision for the Glory of God” from Instructing a Child’s Heart

And Walk in Love
May 1, 2011, 3:44 pm
Filed under: children, Discipleship

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:1-2, 15-16

As a mommy I’m struggling with “making the best use of the time.” No matter where I turn, there’s always an idea, manner or skill I should have already trained into our children. We should have pleases and thank-yous down, one needs to be potty-trained, one “needs” to be showering themselves at this age. Oh, and I just read that they should be cleaning their room independently by now. And don’t get me going on interpersonal and communication skills!

We’ve come so far, yet my list is endless. I have seen God work in my children. I see growth. They aren’t struggling with most of the same issues they were struggling with six months ago. Is this the way mommyhood will always be? Will there always something else to do? More to pray about? Something to improve?

Every older mother I’ve talked to says that the answer to all the questions above is “YES!” So what do I do, or not do? I could go crazy and run about, as my mother used to say, “like a chicken with it’s head cut off.”

However, Ephesians 5 puts it so simply:

1. Walk in love This will likely mean taking the time to plan/schedule specific events/time to show love to my children and husband in ways that speak to them and their personality. If I wait for things to just happen, everyday events will likely crowd out potential meaningful interactions.

2. Imitate Christ Christ’s love for us was sacrificial, it didn’t think about what HE wanted, it walked in obedience to the Father and out of love for a rebellious, sinful people who hated Him. This means that I will not chose to set up rules in my house for my personal comfort or desires. I’ve heard it said, “parents are the original family unit, and children shouldn’t change that. They are a welcome addition, but the family should not revolve around the children.” That is true. But it shouldn’t revolve around the parents either. (Phil 2:3-4) The family should revolve around Christ. And ourlove should be sacrificial toward everyone. We should model for our children what it means to give up our needs or preferences for the desires of another. This doesn’t mean we don’t lead and exercise authority. It does mean that our authority and leadership will happen in humility and love, not seeking our own interests or comfort.

3. Spend time carefully on the things that really matter Last night this meant that when one of mine woke up in the middle of the night, I tucked them back into bed and crawled in with them to whisper and talk with them for a while. It was peaceful, and in the dark with some intermittent light from the lightning, we got to have a sweet conversation that likely has eternal ramifications. It was much more valuable than sleep. I will have to evaluate even “good” things that I think I should be doing to see if they are what our family really needs at the time.

4. Know God Better I will need to know the God I desire to imitate. This means time. Time with God in prayer, in study, in meditation. And time with believers who challenge and encourage me.

How do you prioritize as a mommy, mother, wife, employee? Any thoughts? Comment and share!!