I like to try to connect Lisa-Jo's prompt word to our theme for the week.
This week we've been looking at Special Needs, and the prompt word today is LIGHT.
There's a light that seems to radiate from people with special needs when they are in the presence of someone who loves them.
One of the loveliest stories in the news in our Delaware area this spring was about Elena Delle Donne, an extraordinarily gifted University of Delaware basketball player. While my husband is the sports-nut and I am the sports-dummy in our house, I found myself riveted every time Elena was on tv this spring, whether she was on the court or off.
Here's a clip from ESPN about her unique story, and her unique sister. If you are pressed for time, just watch from the 5:00 - 8:00 minute marks.
Lord, give me eyes to see the light coming out of the lives of each of your children. Help me see their giftedness, whether the gifts are obvious like Elena's skill and coordination on the basketball court, or harder to see like Lizzie's strength and determination and loving heart.
Give me eyes that see that light of YOU in others, no matter what special needs they may have, and teach me to love them so that my our love may help others to see that light of YOU in us.
If you have never read the autobiography of Joni Eareckson Tada, you need to! Click here to view excerpts from our new study guide to accompany this extraordinary story of God's power in the life of a young woman paralyzed by a diving accident. Joni's story will change your life!
Heisman Trophy Winner/NFL QB Tim Tebow, Nobel Prize Winning Mother Teresa and My Homeschool Athletes
OK, I'm quite sure I have your attention with a title including Tim Tebow, Mother Teresa and my own kids! What could they possibly have in common and am I crazy to draw a comparison? Yep, I am a little crazy, but that has nothing to do with this post.
Tim Tebow's resume includes:
- born in the Phillipines where his parents were serving as missionaries
- homeschooled through freshman year of high school
- led high school team to the State Championship and college team to the National Championship
- received dozens of academic and football awards and honors
- served on several missions trips
- won win the Heisman Trophy - first player ever to do so as a sophomore
- starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos leading them to a 4 - 1 record in last 5 starts
Pretty impressive, eh? I think so, but I'm pretty sure Tim took all that in stride. When he was informed that he was the first homeschooler to win the Heisman Trophy, he is quoted as saying, "That's really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic – it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that – it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."
According to a University of Florida article, during his school years Tim Tebow's goals & priorities, in this order, were:
With the exception of substituting ice hockey, music or whatever your child's passion happens to be, isn't that what most of us would hope our children would list too and in that order?!
So what about the Mother Teresa Connection? My kids and I are reading Malcolm Muggeridge's Something Beautiful for God, so we're learning about her and I have Mother Teresa on the brain and on my heart. Some of the connections I see with Tebow and Mother Teresa are...
- humility even in great public arenas where the focus is on them
- following God-given passions to love on others in the name of Christ
- leading by example and encouraging others to both lead and follow
- overcoming incredible odds and dismissing the voices of countless naysayers to reach successive achievements
Please understand that I am not equating Tim Tebow with Mother Teresa. They are both inspiring role models for me and my children.
Mother Teresa built her platform one step at a time following God's lead and serving the poorest of the poor. When she found herself the center of attention, she learned to use that attention to further her ministry.
Football has been Tim Tebow's passion for years and he continues to use it and the attention it brings to build a platform for his ministry.
Who knows whether our homeschool P.E. volleyball and ice hockey classes will lead to scholarships, Olympic teams, professional careers, world-wide platforms to share the Love of Christ or "just" a means to care for our "temples of the Holy Spirit" and the beginning of life-long wellness habits?
Have you downloaded your FREE study guide for Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol? It's our gift to you...Merry Christmas!
Honorable Mention - Our dog, Stewie is a "purebread" Bassett/Shepherd that looks like he was assembled by Dr. Frankenstein.
10 - My hubby eats NO veggies. Really! And his cholesterol levels are better than mine! He almost vomited all over our friend's kitchen floor when she challenged him to try broccoli last Christmas.
9 - We were the only homeschoolers in our entire church. Now we go to 3 or 4 churches - and some of our friends there actually homeschool too!
8 - Our 14 year old twin daughters play ice hockey and were invited to play on a college team. This is one of the reasons we do so much car schooling.
7 - I am relaxed, flexible & often waaaay too unstructured. My two oldest children crave structure. They have clearly suffered from the dissonance there. At least 3 of US have some sort of learning differences. I must confess I have ADD and sometimes even wish for a small side of the "H" to go with it. I'd love a little more energy.
6 -Hubby Doug, as opposed to the other hubby (just kidding), works for the school district in which we live. Each year his former boss said if we brought the kids to school for 3 days, he would buy each of them the lunch box of their choice.
5 -We constantly struggle with our messy, even dirty, house and the maintenance thereof. I struggle with organization in general too. How is it that I can be incredibly organized when I'm helping Sabrina with Drama Camp?! Go figure!
4 - My kids have had 2 pet snakes and I LOVE THEM! I've even been known to wear them around my neck while I'm cooking dinner. Maybe that's why my family doesn't like my cooking?! Maybe it's just that there are only 6 foods that all 6 of us like?
3 -We've done KONOS, 3 other Co-ops, our umbrella school dayschool and even started out as unschoolers and I'm still an unschooler at heart!
2 - Doug and I voluntarily became the "parents" of 235 college students 5 weeks after we got married!
1 - My dear, sweet, amazingly wonderful mother-in-law sometimes thinks Doug, (hubby #1 - and only), is her boyfriend. She has been battling Alzheimer's Disease for several years now. We are so very blessed that she is happy and otherwise healthy. The Lord continues to give us so much grace and humor as we walk the road of chronic illness with our loved ones. Thank you Lord!
What makes you unique (or even a "homeschool freak") in your corner of the world?
Here's a classic post on some books that Kym's twins love:
Ever found a book/series that absolutely grabs your reluctant readers and won’t let them go? Even found that very same series to be just as compelling to you?
Sigmund Brouwer’s Lightning on Ice, does just that for my two youngest and me. It has even helped my youngest grow to be an eager reader! PTL!
So far we have read:
All Star Pride
Winter Hawk Star
We eagerly await reading:
Oil King Courage
and many more of his sports-related mysteries
The Lightning on Ice Series is written to appeal to students ages 9 – 15 and with an upper elementary reading level, it is an ideal blend of accessibility and high interest for tweens and teens. While the books work well together, they are independent of one another and can be read in any order. Both Carlie and I say they are truly “page turners” that are hard to put down, yet the short chapters make them easy to read in small doses if you prefer.
Each book is set on a real team in the WHL (Western Hockey League, which endorses the books as well). The stories and characters are fictitious, but the hockey backdrop is the real deal. If you’re a hockey fan, you’ll love the way the game is woven into the background of each story. If you’re new to the game, there’s a handy hockey glossary in each volume. If you don’t know a puck from a penalty box, the stories stand alone and have high interest long after the ice has melted.
These books are full of mystery, relationships, real-life problems, adventure and humor. The choices the characters make, the struggles they endure and they way they follow their spiritual and moral compasses make them good role models for our family - plus I laugh out loud when I read them. And yes, I read them for my own enjoyment – and I have always been an avid reader! I kid you not, when I say I almost missed one of my girls’ hockey games, because I got so engrossed in reading Blazer Drive!
We have found several of the titles in our local library. The best online resource I have found for the Lightning on Ice and other similar books is the publisher, Orca Sports (some volumes formerly published under Word! Kids). The Orca Sports Books website,even offers free downloadable Teachers Guides as well as a Resource Guide available for purchase.
Here are the top 10 cool things we learned about Sigmund Brouwer while researching this blog:
- He is a former college and semi-pro ice hockey player
- He struggled with English, including writing, in college
- His website (www.coolreading.com) has writing tips for young writers
- He is committed to writing one book for reluctant readers each year
- He loves to encourage young readers and writers through visits to school/homeschool groups
- He has posted the first chapter to most of the series on his site
- His “hope is that the characters in my novels will live real lives beyond the walls of traditional church and allow my fiction to give voice to truth"
- He has close to 3,000,000 books in print
- He writes all sorts of books including other sports, mysteries
- He wrote over 2,000 pages and received 7 years worth of rejection letters before his first story was published!
As you can tell, we are huge Sigmund Brouwer and Lightning on Ice fans! What book(s) have totally turned your family on to reading?