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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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A New Way

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”
Walter Bagehot (1826-77) English economist, political journalist, and critic. Physics and Politics, 1879.

Another small milestone has been reached for the Frania family. We’re doing something different in our schooling, something I’ve wanted to do but never had the chance. We decided to try just two subjects, full time. We started in September to see how fast we could finish them. We did this for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s easier for students to stay focused if they’re not constantly interrupted with breaks,  lunch, change of classes/subjects, etc. 2. It’s easier for the teacher to have to check and grade two subjects rather than 6 or 8. Oh, I’d got so behind some days!

With that in mind, we chose two classes: Math and Science, the hardest and most tedious. Levi finished his entire year’s worth of Consumers Math yesterday, and Jacob finished today. I took the 300 pages of math and split it up to fit 2 months of school days. What I didn’t realize is that there were divider pages and teacher’s notes that the boys just jumped over when they did their 8 required math pages a day. This was a blessing, for they finished much earlier than we had anticipated. We made the rule they couldn’t eat lunch until all their math was done and checked, including corrections. Some days lunch time was very late, but they met their goal each day. It cut down on the stress for both student and teacher because it left no room for putting it off, which was a typical scenario of prior years.  After lunch they would do their science and then an hour of reading from some historical novel. Those of you who know me, know that I cannot forgo reading regardless of our schooling strategy. Reading is just a given in this house, and if it’s on a subject that will gain them high school credit, the more the better. I also threw in a little bit of Computer Science to give the boys something to look forward to at the end of their “regular” school day. All three boys are working on a blog and Levi is learning the Adobe products (InDesign & Photoshop) on his own. Levi is putting together his own comic book using his drawings and the Adobe products to format it.

Jonathan has Saxon Algebra 1 this year, which is a bit more challenging than Consumers math. But so far, our strategy is working well for him as well. He does 2 1/2 lessons a day unless there’s a test, which we count as one lesson. In just two weeks he’s finished 27 lessons along with 4 tests. (He got a late start on his math because he had other school work to finish up) At this rate, he’ll finish in three months.

The jury is still out, since we have never done this before, but so far it looks like our plan is working. Jacob has been taking some time out to apprentice a friend who’s an electrician, but it hasn’t hurt his output in any way. If anything, it’s helped him to manage his time. All in all, I really like this type of schooling and hope we’ll be able to finish early this year. At this rate, if all goes well, we should finish school at least a month early, or maybe even choose to take off more time than usual during the holidays. I’ve seen a desire forming in their minds to excel. There have been times I’ve let them off school to help others, fully intending to not require any schoolwork that day, yet they decided on their own to make up the time they missed. I especially like the fact we aren’t held back from important family events because of our school schedule – like moving day for the Jones family. All of us were there to help because we could. Many times they have expressed to me that they like this new way of schooling. I certainly know I do!

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