Category Archives: Homeschooling

Family Economics Conference 2014 Ontario

Thanks our Lord for the wonderful Conference!  We have about 225 people showed up and attended the 2-day conference.  Many people supported the 4 vendors on Saturday, purchasing homeschooling resources and hand-made crafts.

I believe a lot of families were encouraged to have their own family businesses in the coming months, if not days.  As you can see from the snap shot photos, Mr. Swanson is a very passionate speaker, with a heart to edify Christians to rebuild the godly home according to the Bible.  Our panel speakers provided practical and personal experience in managing and running successful family businesses.

We sincerely appreciate all the volunteers who have made this conference possible.  It is a first for our family and I am sure there are room for improvement.  Therefore, we will be sending out a survey asking for all attendees’ feedback.

We are working to have the audio and video available for purchase.  Stay tuned and God bless!

Friday Night : Quintessence, Kevin Swanson

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Saturday : Panel

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Gord

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Galen

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Ervin

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Kevin Swanson

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Homeschooling Life – Cooking

In our home everybody helps out in preparing a meal everyday.  But we also ask the older girls to prepare the whole meal from beginning to the end.  A team of 2 girls would have to discuss, plan, wash, cut and cook a meal for the whole family (usually at lunchtime).  This is the basic homemaking skills that everybody (especially a girl) should learn.  Sadly, almost no public school nor private school provides this type of training to the students.  Only under the homeschooling environment would a young child be taught these important lifelong skills.  There are the skills that our girls would learn through the simple act of cooking:

  1. Teamwork: who gets to clean and cook what
  2. Planning: what is the menu for the meal?  Is there enough food for everybody?
  3. Following instruction: how to follow the recipe and put the math skills into use when it needs to double or triple the ingredients.
  4. Creativity: when there is no recipe to follow, how to best use the food on hand?  Afterall, why not create your own recipe?
  5. Cleanup:  cooking is fun, but cleanup is also important. 

Most of the young girls these days don't even know how to cook for themselves, let alone preparing a nutritious meal for the whole family.  By teaching your children at a young age, you are essentially preparing them to be responsible and caring mothers in the future.

Sonia and Viviana's turn to cook.

A pot of vegetables, entirely prepared by Sonia and Viviana.

Salad bowl.

Cutting sweet potatoes.

Shoshana and Melody working together

We have been saying on this blog for a couple of years that children can and should be taught at an early age to help out in the home.  This is the beauty and essence of homeschooling: to train your children to be useful, joyful and hardworking human beings.  If you send your children to daycare or public school, you lose that opportunity.  When you place your children under some strangers' care, you are giving up your rights to shape the characters of your children, which is by the way, God-ordained responsibility for us parents.  When you train and teach your children to help do the chores, you will enjoy and welcome more of them.  The children, in turn, will be happier because they know they are important and needed in the family as well.

Here, Shoshana (5 years old) and cutting up some green onions while Melody (3 years old) is giving her a hand.

Christmas 2011

Greetings to all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

                 What a year full of blessings from God!  The most exciting event was the arrival of Joshua, our 7th child and first boy in the family.  He was born on June 26 and weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz.  It was a relatively smooth labour for Kay and she recovered pretty well.  Joshua has since become the focus of the children.  Everyone enjoys his generous smile.

                 We also had 2 wonderful trips.  First, we went to Fair Havens in July for 4 nights in their serviced trailer.  This was new for everybody and the children spent some time to select which bed/bunk bed/couch they would like to sleep on.  Kay brought enough food for all meals while we enjoyed the dinner buffet on the last night.  The children had a great time in riding the bike, cruising on canoe and kayak, fishing, playing soccer and basketball, and simply walking around.  We also attended wonderful sermons from Pastor John Mahaffey on Ten Commandments.  Together with some seniors, we waited until the rock-and-roll style music subsided and then entered the sanctuary.  At night time before bed, we had a small camp fire in front of our trailer to end the day.  Everyone wishes that we can come back again next year.

                The second trip we had was going to the capital of Canada – Ottawa.  It was a 4 ½ hour drive along Highway 7.  We stayed there for 3 nights at Minto Suite Hotel.  The room was very spacious for our family because it was a 2 bedroom apartment – fully equipped with laundry and kitchen appliances.  There were so many places we wanted to visit in Ottawa, but we had to limit our choices.  Finally, we decided to go to the Parliament Hill, Museum of Nature, Museum of Aviation and Space, Residence of the Governor General and the Byward Market.  The highlight was the “Festival of Light” displayed in front of the Parliament Hill.  It was a spectacular production that transformed the brief history of Canada into a 30 mins light and sound show.  On the last day, we walked along the beautiful Rideau Canal and were already planning that we visit Ottawa again and rent bikes to cruise along the canal.

                Derek had a 4 month parental leave from June to October.  During this period, God had given him a new position at the Regional Municipality of York.  It was quite a pleasant surprise to him because he had tried for 4 years to be employed by the public sector.  Although it is a temporary position for 1 year, Derek is still grateful that God has allowed him to work closer to home in a wonderful organization.

                Now, you probably have a question in your mind, as we have heard it many times, “So you finally have a son, are you going to stop?”  As we have said before, we really believe that children are blessings from the Lord.  We do not want to limit our family size for whatever reason, be it physical, financial or mental.  We believe God’s plan is the best plan for us.  We believe God is charging us with these children so that we can bring Him godly seeds for the next generation.  Therefore, the answer to this question is: “If God says it is enough, then we are done.  If God says he is going to bless us with more children, then we will accept them with joy and gladness.”

                 This year, we decided to share our joy with you electronically.  We have prepared a SHORT NATIVITY MOVIE BY OUR CHILDREN   tt that you can watch at this link : https://www.littleapplesofgold.com/christmas .  Feel  free to share this nativity movie with just anyone you wish! 

                 We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May God bless you abundantly!

 In Christ,

The Chan Family

Derek, Kay, Tiffany, Odelia, Sonia, Viviana, Shoshana, Melody, and Joshua

Singing to Joshua

One of the advantages of having lots of siblings at home is there is always someone interacting with each other.  And children pick up anything, good or bad, from others real quick.  Here Viviana is teaching Melody to sing hymns to Joshua.  Would Joshua become a great hymn singer in the future since he got training at the age of 5 months?  We will see…

What do you know about School?

A while ago we came across this book titled “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden curriculum of Public Schooling”. It was published 20 years ago by John Taylor Gatto, who himself was a public school teacher for 30 years and had won “New York City Teacher of the Year”.

In his book, he disclosed the hidden agenda of mass education – school, drawn from his 30 years of first-hand experience. There are lots of shocking information in this little book, yet the author provides profound insight into the origin and purpose of modern school. Homeschooling parents would find this book further support their decision of taking control of their precious children’s education while public school parents would be provoked to reconsider the difference between “school” and “education”.

As I am reading the book, I cannot help but echo what the author described as the consequences of my 10 years of compulsory schooling. I remember feeling lonely, indifferent to the real society, angry and empty inside. I was constantly comparing and being compared with other students. I was constantly judged by numerous teachers and my parents every day, based on my s scores on tests and exams. This was the formula of “success”, or so I was told at school: good grades -> good school -> good college -> good job -> good life. In other words, if you can’t get good grades at school, you are doomed for the rest of your life. And indeed, classmates with high grades were the teachers’ favourites while less “gifted” students were looked down upon, as if their future were already decided.

Now I have my own family and have met people from all walks of life. I have to disagree with the success formula provided by the teacher. I have seen people with minimum “education” have a much more fulfilling and happier lives than people with high marks at college. I found out that people with hardworking attitude, critical thinking, passion for life, and a loving heart are far more successful than a person who only know how to “ace” an exam.

You see, school teachers do not train us to find the purpose and meaning of our lives. It is actually forbidden to share about the personal values, world views and perspectives of lives in schools today. Facts only. But our children, as little people who are needed to be educated to grow up to be human beings with integrity, can no way be nourished in an environment of facts only. (Of course, Christians can fulfill their greatest calling of their lives by following Jesus Christ. However, if and only if they can come to meet and know Jesus Christ in such an environment that teaches evolution and man’s glory.) Schools were designed to provide mass education to the public so that the corporations and government can readily “control” the population. Think about it. All the curriculum were designed by so-called “experts”. Every student has to use the same curriculum.

However, studies have shown us that each child is different. Some children develop earlier while some are “late bloomers”. However, by imposing the age-segregation idea and standardized tests, all of a sudden each child becomes the same. If you happened to be a good reader, you are “gifted”. If you happened to be a slow reader, you might have some learning difficulty syndromes. The grading system instantly generates “class system” in school and society. Each student is labelled according to their performance, not according to his/her distinct character or a human as a whole.

I believe school damages a child much more than teaching him or her knowledge. School doesn’t teach us survival skills and characters that are crucial to a person in his life. I encourage everyone to read this book carefully.

Journals to Treasure

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For the sake of some writing exercises, Tiffany and Odelia are required to write a few pieces of journals each week. To make it fun, they create their own journals and they love making it! They can write about anything, unless we have a special trip that week and they are required to write about it.

After they finish their journal pieces, I will try my best to write a few comments on each one. You know, comments more than just “OK” or “good work”. From my childhood experience, if the teacher was willing to write sentences of comments on my journals, I would pour my heart into the journals, and shared my ideas and feelings with my teacher through them. I am really glad that I can have the privilege to share my daughters’ journals, a place to look into their hearts and communicate with them.

With my daughters’s permission, I am able to share the following two pieces with you. The first piece was by Odelia last year.

Pets

One snowy day in winter, we walked passed a pet shop when I cried ’’How cute is that kitten!”
“You want it?” asked mom.
“Yes!” I exclaimed.
So, we went inside. Mom REALLY bought me the kitten. I was VERY EXCITED. I was too excited that I jumped up and down while mom paid the shopkeeper. I was so happy! I said, ”THANKS MOM! Thank you.” Then we drove home.
This story is not true.

The funniest part to me and my husband is the very last sentence “This story is not true.” We know how she really wish to have some pets with fur, and how cute it is that she expressed it in a story format. However, we can only say sorry to her that a pet like that is just not for our family right now…

And this following poem was written by Tiffany in her journal last year.

My Mother

Mother, you are precious,
The food you cook are delicious.
Mother, oh Mother,
Thank you for all your kindness.
Mother, Oh precious Mother,
You work very hard,
To bring our lives into the world.
Mother, you are such a wonderful blessing,
Whom God our Saviour had given us.
Mother, oh Mother,
I don’t know how I could ever thank you,
For all your kindness to me.
Mother, Oh Mother,
I love you very much.
Mother, I tell you once more,
That I love you very much.

How sweet!