Posts tagged homeschool

Open Mike Night

Well, I did it! I sang in public!

The Madison Coffee House and Laundry in Madras, Oregon was having an Open Mike Night, so my daughter Michaela and I joined forces and prepared 3 songs to sing together. I on the guitar and her on the keyboard. During our preparation for the event, we discovered that we could blend our voices pretty well and make for a fuller sound. So we took our individual songs and worked them into songs from our new “band”…Broken Stream. (Can you call yourself a band when there is only two of you?)

As I prepared for the evening, I was as nervous as if I had never sang in public before. I have, but, well, it has just been a while… Here I didn’t have a worship team to hide behind. Here I didn’t have a choir to blend into. And not only that, it was with complete strangers…not a safe church setting. (Although I do sometimes find it harder to sing for those close to me.)

So my nerves were running high. I decided I wanted to feel really good about myself, so I bought a new top and put my hair in rollers to give some curls. (I think God may have goofed by not giving me curly hair…jk) I applied more make-up than I normally wear in my hectic daily life. Although still less than a lot of other women (and some men).

Michaela and I practiced and practiced some more. We prayed. We prayed for God to use us. We prayed for God to bless our abilities to more than we were capable of. We prayed that the music would encourage and inspire those listening. We gave our music up to Him.

The time finally came for us to go to the Open Mike Night.

My 12 year old, Kira, graciously offered to babysit the little kids as Papa Joe and Josiah were out of town. The kids had movies and snacks planned out for a fun evening.

The coffee shop had a guitar and keyboard for us to use, so we left ours at home. We got there just as things were starting up and were told where we would fit in the line up. We tinkered with the keyboard, which was kind of inadequate, but thankfully another musician brought in his keyboard. Then we settled in to listen to some great and some not so great music.

As we waited, some new friends and their kids joined us. They, like us, homeschool and have a large family…soon to be 7 kids! (Yeah, I know…they’re slacking.) They also like music.

It wasn’t long before we were up. After juggling mikes and guitars and such we got underway.

We started with a song by Francseca Battistelli called “I’m Letting Go.” I chose this song because 1) it challenged me vocally and 2) it fit with what I was doing…”letting go” and “taking a giant leap of faith”. I lead this song with Michaela chiming in on harmony. Next Michaela lead “If I Die Young” by the Band Perry. Then we took our seats and listened to some other groups.

After all the musicians played 2-3 songs, the round started again. We had rehearsed only 3 songs, but Michaela was feeling strongly she should do a song she wrote called, “There is Hope”.  So Michaela started our second set doing her song a capella. Then we finished with Michaela’s song, “Smiley Music”.

After we finished our last song, our friends’ kids were getting restless so they decided to head on home. Because I feel so strongly that relationships are one of the most important things in life, I invited them to come to our house for a little bit. This wasn’t an easy decision. There was a part of me that wanted to stay and get some feedback…i.e. praise. I know it was the right decision though. My kids really enjoyed getting to see their new friends, and we had a great time talking with each other.

So that concluded the debut of Broken Stream. I have no idea if there will be more performances. We are leaving it all up to God. Michaela and I did separately audition for a holiday talent show this past week. We don’t know whether we got in yet though.

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It Takes Time to Learn to Read

I recently started Petra (5 1/2) on reading lessons.  I realize that she is still very young, but she has been very, very eager to learn to read.  I should have started with her a long time ago, but I have been so busy trying to teach my two boys to read that I have been delaying. 

This last Saturday, Azariah (7) came and asked me if I could start Petra on some reading lessons. She had asked him to ask me since I had kept saying “no” to her. She thought he might have better success. Well, it did the trick. I gave her her first reading lessons, and it was a smashing success.

With my boys, it has been another story. Elijah (9) has been very reluctant to learn to read. When I first introduced a reading lesson to him, it was like pulling out dandelions roots. So we stopped and waited. We did this numerous times.

With Azariah, he was a little more responsive, but has had a hard time pronouncing his “th” so this has made things more difficult. Also, it is hard to get him to focus on it for long.

So it has been a slow, long process to teach my boys to read, but finally they are starting to get it. I have kept telling myself and them, “It takes time to learn to read.”

I have been reluctant to let the younger ones “pass” the older ones when it comes to reading. I didn’t want anyone to feel threatened. But now that Elijah is only 7 lessons away from finishing “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”, I think the littlier ones should go for it.

So Petra is now full throttle on reading. She is absorbing it like a sponge and has quite an aptitude for reading. She sails through her lessons. It is such a delight to see a child getting it. And for once all three of them seem to be getting it.

This is one of my favorite things about homeschooling…that my kids can each go at their own pace. Not everyone learns to read at 5.

The above books can be purchased through JoKars General Store.

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Madison Coffee House and Laundry

I have been fortunate enough to go and do laundry about once a week. This is a major time saver since I can do all our laundry in two hours. I had found a small laundromat that wasn’t too expensive, but it didn’t have any chairs or air conditioning. So it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I usually sat in the car and read a book or worked on my laptop.

This week, though, my neighbor told me of a laundromat just down our street. She said it was nice, and I should check it out.

So I headed to Madison Coffee House and Laundry. Once there, the laundry was on one side, and the coffee house on the other. So in I headed with Kira, Petra, Hanna, and Nehemiah to the laundry. The machines were cheaper than the other facility, so we stayed. Also, it had air conditioning, tables, and chairs. After starting our laundry we headed over to the coffee house side. We were given a free quarter for each load of laundry we were doing. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t sure I would have enough to dry the laundry.

On the coffee house side were couches, computers, and free WiFi. Oh, if only I had thought to bring my laptop. They had gourmet coffees, teas, food, and fresh produce.

Also, there was a long table that sat 8. Around that table were tons of books, games, and homeschool curriculum. We made ourselves at home and had a fun time playing games and reading books.

I was truly blown away and blessed by the hospitality of this little coffee shop. It made me think of the gift of generosity. Shouldn’t we as Christians put our best foot forward and be as generous as can? Giving all we can? This place definitely gave its first fruits to those in need. Those in need of laundry, rest, and a cup of joe.

So if you are ever in Madras, Oregon, please stop by the Madison Coffee House and Laundry.

In the end I was able to get the laundry dry with the help of those free quarters, my daughter Kira, and a couple of ones I had in my purse. I actually had 2 quarters to spare.

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A Pit Stop

I know, I know…I haven’t written a post for far too long. Honestly, I am unsure what to write about. I feel like a hypocrite in some ways. I mean, here I blogged about traveling and living in an RV full-time and then the next thing you know…BAM…we are living in a house and sending the kids to public school for the first time EVER! I am in shock too.

And instead of traveling and witnessing and getting to know people, I am home every day, all day. I’m clipping coupons, dusting furniture, and doing yard work. I mean this is nothing even to write home about let alone publish for the world to read.

I don’t mind doing these activities, but it just wasn’t what I thought we would be doing. Who knew that Michaela would take FIVE classes at the local high school? Who knew Josiah would join the football team and take some awesome outdoor science classes at the same school? Who knew there was so much work to be done for Joe’s dad? (OK, we did know that…LOL)

Now, don’t think by my cheery nature of writing that every thing is coming up roses. No, hardly. But I don’t like to write about the bad stuff. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or even to try to fix things. It is just the way things are. I am not like some Americans…looking for a hand out. No, I want to work for what I deserve. And I hope what I deserve is given to me.

It pains me greatly not to be living in our RV. I appreciate our “house”, but it isn’t “my home”. Also, we had hoped to build family ties and togetherness, but most of the time we are quite divided. Joe, Josiah and Michaela are gone while I and the other 6 kids are at home. And since I don’t have a vehicle big enough to carry 7 people, we are rather stuck at home.

I also had dreams of building relationships with other people, but I only have contact with one other person on a daily basis…my next door neighbor (who is a very nice lady by the way).

I had also hoped to be seeing and exploring places as a family. While we have gone to a couple of places, that has become very hard since we have no income. A daily use permit in Oregon costs us $10 a day. That can add up fast. We could get an annual permit but just can’t afford the extra amount. Also, out-of-state licenses for fishing are exorbitant. So we stay at our house.

But all is not lost. I have used my vast amounts of time with the little kids to focus on their schooling. Elijah and Azariah are showing great progress in their reading abilities. Also, Kira is able to advance in her math studies. This has been very beneficial to them.

I have also finally cleaned up the trailer and am able to use it on a daily basis. Some of the kids are also sleeping in there on occasion. The water line, that we discovered was broken shortly after arriving here, still has not been fixed, but I hope that it will be as soon as funds are available.

But isn’t this what this blog is about…joining JoKars Wild on our journey. Sometimes the journey takes a pit stop, but it is still a part of the journey. I’m not writing this for you to feel sorry for me, but because I have committed to having you, the reader, as a part of my life, a part of all our lives. I want to encourage you when life forces you into a pit stop. No matter what, God is still with you and God is still with me. Jesus died on the cross so that I might live and live life to the full…even  if that “full” isn’t exactly what I had imagined…;)

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Preparing for the Battle!

So many people have asked where we are going, what are we going to do. I have no answer. But it is so much more than that.

We are not looking for typical employment. We are not looking at where should we park the trailer. We are not looking for the government to take care of us. We are not looking for someone to give us a hand out. We are not looking to pastor in a church or lead worship somewhere. We are not hoping to move in with family. We are not planning our vacation. We are not planning a travel route.

So what are those crazy Beckers doing?

We are speaking out. We are living by faith. We are choosing to spend time with our kids…lots and lots of time. We are building relationships, discipling them, equipping them. We are helping others when we see a need. We are trying to be ready for whatever God calls us for. We are choosing to live how we believe God wants us to live…simply, together, boldly and with love. We are preparing for a battle. You might think we are crazy, but a war is going on. We are simply preparing ourselves and our children for the battle. We can not sit back and be silent. We can not sit back and watch as our country is destroyed and our faith is being torn apart. We can not sit back while marriages fall apart. We can not sit back and let our children be molested and murdered.

We do not know our destination. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. But God does! We are preparing for the battle.

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“Muvee” Makin’

With our homeschooling, we believe in letting the kids pursue their own interests. We try our best as parents to give them the tools they need to pursue their interests.

Yesterday, Michaela asked me how people made the music videos with personal pictures. I told her that there was software for it, and that we had it on the computer. At first I pointed her to PowerPoint, but that didn’t quite work out. Then she found a program no one had used yet that had come with the computer. It is called Muvee (I think). She quickly figured out how to make her very own music video.

Kira was Michaela’s faithful assistant during the video making. After making one video, Kira got to be the publisher using my computer. I had created a YouTube account the day before, so she posted the videos and labeled them on YouTube.

Here is one of the family…

And another on life in the trailer… 

Michaela hopes to make more…now that she has a couple under her belt. She also hopes some day soon to get a new camera that is better than our cell phone cameras. She would like to be the one responsible for photos on our blogs/website. I must say that thrills me. I am not much of a photographer. I seem to remember after the fact about taking a photo. Also, I just don’t have the heart for it. Although, I really love seeing beautiful photographs and am very thankful I have so many skilled photographer friends.

We will see where this interest takes her…

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Independence Day

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!We celebrated the Independence Day on July 3rd this year. Josiah volunteered at the Columbus Zoo, so I decided to take all the boys in and make a day of it. Since we believe in livin’ and learnin’, I had Elijah and Azariah tell me where to go. They did a great job, and we never got lost.

 We had a really great time. It was a real treat to spend some quality time with just those two boys and Nehemiah tagging along.

When we got home, everyone else was at the creek. We quickly changed and headed over. There is just nothing like swimming in a creek! We got muddy and dirty and skinned some knees, but it was great old-fashioned fun!Our neighbors every year have parties and lots of fireworks. We went over, played some games, and watched the show. This year at least 5 immediate neighbors had fireworks. They lasted for about an hour and a half. Here is the grand finale of one of the neighbor’s fireworks.

My only regret is that after all these years living here, I still don’t know our neighbors very well. The next morning we went over and helped them pick up the garbage and firework debris. Petra asked if we could do this everyday. I am so blessed to live in such a great country and great neighborhood! I pray that we will continue to live in a great country and that we will get to know all our neighbors…everywhere!

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