Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

It's no secret that I really, really, really dislike dentists.  A great majority of them are just downright con-artists.  Granted not ALL of them are con-artists, but I would be willing to wager a bet that the majority are, or at least half of them are.  Did I mention that I dislike them????

In my childhood I had a dreadful dentist.  When he would fill cavities it would hurt.  My mother insisted that it wasn't supposed to hurt & she told the dentist to make sure he was numbing properly before drilling.  So this sadistic pig injected the needle into my gum & wiggled it all around, then removed & repeated several times, causing even more pain than ever before, insisting that my mother insisted that he do so.  I can still remember how much he enjoyed that moment.  And I can still feel my blood pressure rise when I recall that moment. 

I think it was after that incident that we were officially done with said dentist.  He was a children's dentist & I am the youngest in my family.  I'm sure my sister & brother were old enough to go to a regular dentist at that point & possibly already had, I'm not sure.  But I do recall my mother asking her dentist if he would be willing to make an exception & take me as a patient.  And he agreed.  Now I never had any issues with that dentist.  He even repaired a filling that the evil dentist had done & had been hurting me for years.  But one time when I was an adult I went to the other dentist in his office & was told I had 2 cavities.  And he insisted I needed white fillings.  Looking back I'm not sure I'm convinced I had cavities, knowing what I know now (but didn't know back then).  More on that later.........

At some point my mother switched to another dentist.  I think it was regarding her dentist not wanting to wear gloves, or not changing into new gloves when he entered the room or something like that.  And so I went to her new dentist.  I didn't have dental insurance back then, so I had to pay cash so I didn't go very often, averaged about every 5 years or so.  I was never told that I had any cavities while going to that dentist, so I do think he's an honest dentist.  But after those last 2 cavities I went on a mission to REALLY brush my teeth well & I guess I was damaging my gums.  And this dentist could've told me that early on but instead waited many years to tell me for some reason.  That had upset me, but at least he was honest. 
It was during this time that I learned something horrible about dentists.  I had a co-worker that I was friends with.  And he had this horrendous toothache.  He knew it was a cavity.  He called his dentist only to find that his dentist was on vacation.  Since it was an emergency they referred him to another dentist.  So my friend goes to this other dentist & the dentist tells him he has TWELVE cavities.  So my friend leaves & waits, suffering all the while, for his own dentist to return from vacation.  And of course his dentist confirms that he only has ONE cavity.  Prior to this I never realized that dentists can simply lie & say you have a cavity when you actually don't.  And I came to realize it wasn't an isolated event as I listened to other people talking about their visits to dentists over the years.

When I met my husband he said he had a really great dentist & so I started going to that dentist.  And at this point in my life I finally had dental insurance.  I did have a couple of cavities while seeing this dentist, & I did have a tissue graft done for gum damage, but overall he was a very honest dentist.  None of us ever had reason to suspect him of being dishonest.  My husband knew him so well that he actually came to our wedding!!  And then at some point, after we married, we ended up with an insurance that he didn't accept & so we started venturing out into other dentists.  When we finally did get an insurance that we were sure he would accept we called, only to find that he had moved out of state! 

We've been to several dentists in these past few years & most of them have been absolutely dreadful.  One place I went to charged for a deep cleaning, but once I learned what a deep cleaning is I realized that's not at all what they did.  They also insisted that I urgently needed THREE crowns (I never returned to have crowns or anything else done)--this was at least 6 or 7 years ago & no dentists since have ever mentioned the need for ANY crowns.  They also tried to bill the insurance repeatedly, trying to receive multiple payments.  They also tried to bill us for what the insurance had already paid them for.  I'm pretty sure there was more they did wrong, but I can't remember fully.  They were by far the worst I've dealt with in my adult life.  And the guy that owns it & has his name listed on it owns a ton of offices in tons of cities around here.  I wish I knew how to report the fraud they are committing & shut him down for good.

A couple of years ago we switched once again.  This time to an office owned by a Christian dentist.  A friend of mine knows him personally.  I was skeptical but ended up being VERY pleased with this dentist office BUT then our insurance changed & they didn't accept our new insurance. 

We actually had a really hard time finding a dentist that would accept the current insurance.  But then we found one, people at hubby's work go there & are pleased.  I can't remember the details of hubby's visit but he never finished going back, he seemed skeptical that they were being honest.  I was aware that I had 2 cavities & they said I had 4.  I cannot find the other 2 that they say I have.  They also insisted on a deep cleaning & that they needed to put an antibiotic gel in my gums & that the antibiotic gel stays in your blood stream for 3 weeks.  (I have a very long history of antibiotic-overuse in my lifetime, starting in infancy & I do believe antibiotics are killing me slowly, every time I take them I end up with some horrible problem that I then have to resolve, so I was adamant about not having this done for this reason)  They did insist that my 4 cavities were very, very tiny & that I had nothing to worry about.  Of course they make the same amount of money per cavity no matter the size. I never went back to have any work done there. 

I came home irritated & disgusted & ordered this book.  I had looked at it in the past & considered buying it, but now I was really ready.  The title is slightly misleading I must admit.  It's written by a dentist & she believes that modern dentistry is taking the wrong approach at just sitting back & fixing damaged teeth but yet doing nothing to prevent the damaged teeth.  She believes that dentists should be educators.  She admits that most dentists feel that they wouldn't make as much money, but she doesn't agree & gives her reasoning for that extensively in the book.

She also mentions that in the past, in the 60s & 70s I believe she said, that dentists made more when cavities were larger.  Reflecting back on the dentist of my childhood, I had A LOT of [supposed] cavities while going to him & the fillings are HUGE.  I never once had a toothache.  There is just no way that I could've had cavities that large, if I had a cavity at all.  I do believe that at least some, possibly all, of those cavities were bogus.  But of course none of them were as large as the fillings indicate.  I now believe he made such big fillings just to get even more money.  What a total scum bag.

Anyways, back to the book.  The book goes into a lot of discussion on the whys behind her recommended protocol, & I'm not going to get into all of that here in my blog.  And she does advocate using some fluoride, sodium fluoride.  She says there are some newer forms of fluoride being used now that she does not advocate at all, she believes they are harmful health-wise.  But she does also acknowledge  that some people refuse to use fluoride & she does provide options for that.

Here is her protocol:
1) rinse with Closys--this neutralizes an acidic mouth which will harden the teeth (teeth in an acidic environment are softer) so that when you brush you don't damage them or the enamel.
2) brush--she recommends the plain old crest toothpaste, which does contain fluoride (I personally don't use fluoride--I use a toothpaste by Desert Essence with neem oil & tea tree oil)
3) rinse with Listerine--the plain old fashioned one, no fancy flavors--this kills off bad bacteria in the mouth (also rinse your tooth brush with the Listerine to kill germs)
4) rinse with a low dose sodium fluoride rinse, she recommends ACT, the plain old fashioned one, no fancy newer ones (again, I don't use fluoride & she does recommend using a xylitol rinse if you don't want to use fluoride)  I use the Spry xylitol rinse
5) consume xylitol candies & gum throughout the day (I have to admit I rarely follow this step)
* She says she doesn't feel flossing is as important as these other steps.  I've personally always been really big on flossing, but I did switch over to the water pik a couple of years ago or so & I use it almost every night (I do occasionally forget).  I LOVE my water pik & do recommend it highly.  I use it after brushing but before rinsing with Listerine & Spry because I don't want to wash out the rinses.

Ok, so it was back in March that I went to see the dentist.  I came home & ordered this book either that day or the next day.  When the book arrived I quickly bought the rinses I needed ("swishes" according to my 4 year old) & began this twice a day everyday like she recommends.  The result?  As of last week I have reversed one of my cavities.  The other cavity is still visible, but it was larger than the one I already reversed, so I'm hopeful that if I give it more time it will eventually reverse also.  The book claims that it can be done & also that it will be done faster if you choose to use fluoride, which I am not using. 

Overall I am very satisfied & recommend the book highly.  The book does give a lot more information regarding how & why the protocol works.  So if you are interested in that please do read the book.

EDITED TO ADD: we have now also reversed a cavity in our son. He had a cavity in one of his molars. My son denied any pain & since its a baby tooth I was willing to wait & see what we could do on our own. It clearly says on the listerine bottle that its for ages 12 & up so my son doesn't use listerine, but he uses the closys & then brushes (a non-fluoride gluten free kids toothpaste), & then he rinses & then uses the xylitol rinse. I am so very happy that we were able to reverse his cavity!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review on Little Pim

I recently purchased Little Pim Spanish.  As I explained in previous blogs it's important to me that my son grows up knowing Spanish.  I had been using a 2 DVD & 1 CD set from the Your Baby Can Read company up until now.  It's not a bad set, but the same stuff over & over for the past four years gets boring. 

Someone recommended Little Pim very highly to me.  I looked into it & liked what I saw & ordered the full set.  It comes with a backpack & plush Little Pim panda bear.  These really weren't necessary, at least for my kid, but I guess some kids might get more excited when they have stuff like that. 

It comes with 6 DVDs.  My biggest concern was the length of the DVDs.  I was worried they might be really short.  I am very pleased & impressed with the DVDs.  I don't know the exact length of them, but they are plenty long, over half an hour anyways.  They are also split up into short segments.  So for younger children (it's recommended for ages 0-6 on DVDs 1-3 & ages 0-5 on DVDs 4-6) with a much shorter attention span you don't have to run the entire DVD in one sitting.  The only complaint I can see with the DVD is that it doesn't appear to be chaptered by the short segments, which would be very helpful for someone wanting to stick to the short segments rather than the DVD in it's entirety.  Edited to add: For some reason, DVDs 1-3 are not chaptered, but DVDs 4-6 ARE chaptered.  The content on the DVDs is good in my opinion.  There is the animated Panda, Little Pim, which definitely is entertaining to little kids.  And then there is video footage of mostly little kids, which is very entertaining to my kid.  It's definitely done in a way that will hold the young viewer's attention, which makes the whole kit worthwhile to me.

It also comes with 2 books.  I'm honestly not too impressed with the books.  They aren't made sturdy enough for my kid to use without tearing it up (it has lots of flaps & pull outs that will easily rip & break).  This was the same issue I had with the Your Baby Can Read books & flash cards.  I also dislike the fact that these books are trilingual.  They have everything in English, Spanish, & French.  Personally I think having French in there is confusing when you are only trying to learn Spanish. 

It also comes with a CD, which has 15 songs on it.  I absolutely adore this CD & I recommend it just as highly as the DVDs.  It has 12 songs in Spanish.  It's a wide variety of Latin music & all really well done.  Some are well known kids' songs in Spanish, but I'm not sure about all of them.  The last 3 songs are in English, the English version of 3 of the Spanish songs on the CD.  But in the case they have printed lyrics for all the songs in both English & Spanish.  And they highlight the words that are taught in the Little Pim DVDs.  I currently have this CD in my car & we listen to it when we're on the go.  My son LOVES this CD & will even ask me to turn it on.  He can easily pick out words he knows in Spanish, he will try to sing along & hum along.  There's one number song in Spanish & he always giggles & says "nuuuuummmmberrrrsss" so he clearly knows what's going on. 

And it also comes with flashcards, but those were backordered & are supposed to be shipped when available.  I'm not expecting to be thrilled with them, quality wise, since I'm not impressed with the quality of the books.  I understand that not all kids are rough & destructive with delicate items, but they really should make things sturdy for the kids that are.  Especially when it's geared for such young ages.  My kid has never been too thrilled with flashcards in general, so I'm not expecting these to be a huge hit. 

I ordered the whole big package, wanting to make sure my son had enough material to learn the content well.  It was also cheaper to order it all together like that.  But in a pinch I think you could do very well to just order the 6 DVDs, although I don't know how that compares price-wise off the top of my head. 

One last tip on Little Pim: when I visited the website it said if I signed up to receive emails I would receive a 10% coupon code.  So I did that & was prepared to receive 10% off.  Then when I was comparing Little Pim to Flip Flop Spanish (which I mention next) I visited the Little Pim website & right after that I received an email with a 20% off coupon code.  It was then that I placed my order, excited to be able to get 20% off (there was a time limit so I had to order it soon after receiving that email).  But then after I placed my order I was browsing on Facebook (& I had "liked" Little Pim on fb) & saw a coupon code for 30% off!!  So if you are planning to order it just sit back & wait until you get at least a 30% off coupon code.  I could've saved some more money had I been more patient, but I didn't want the 20% deal to expire on me! 

I did run across another company with a Spanish curriculum, called Flip Flop Spanish.  (Well I looked at quite a few, but most are outrageously priced & I didn't even seriously consider them for that reason)  I did compare Flip Flop Spanish to Little Pim prior to purchasing Little Pim.  But for a younger child I still think Little Pim is the better choice.  Flip Flop didn't have DVDs from what I could see, just CDs & workbooks mostly (I think flashcards too, which my kid isn't really into, at least not yet).  Perhaps as my son gets a little older we can do Flip Flop Spanish at that time, when he's able to do workbooks, either prior to the Alpha Omega Spanish I'm planning on purchasing, or even along with it.  Since the first CD rom from Alpha Omega spans for grades 3-6 I am worried he will finish it prior to 6th grade & get bored with it, so I think it will be good to fill in with other stuff as well during that time.

I definitely don't want to slack off & let my son get bored or give up on learning Spanish.  A lot of kids let it go as they start to get older, but I think it's mostly because there isn't a strong effort in teaching it/learning it taking place.  So I'm hoping/planning to try to keep it fun & exciting so he will want to continue to learn it.  And hopefully my own Spanish will improve as I follow along with it with him.  Then we can all talk in Spanish together & improve as we use it more. 

So once again I highly recommend the DVDs & the CD.  I don't think you will regret ordering this.  Adios! Hasta Pronto!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reading Plans, continued

So in my last blog post I was debating on how to plan for reading.  I do like the plan I explained there BUT I have to admit that Lil J is now moving very rapidly through his reading lessons.  I do think he might very well finish the book earlier than I am anticipating. 

I started the reading lessons when he turned 3 & he was half way through the book at his 4th birthday.  So I've been anticipating that he would finish it up around his 5th birthday.

But even if this does pan out I don't want to just finish the book in April & then do no reading at all until August when school starts up again.  And if he finishes the book prior to April it would be an even longer gap of no reading.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping, one of my stops was Costco.  Lil J always enjoys going to Costco because they have books there.  He always asks me if he can look at books.  And I always tell him when we're done buying food we can go look at books.  Sometimes they have a book he wants & sometimes they don't.  But he always enjoys looking & I love that he enjoys books so much.

Anyways, this time of year at Costco they have a lot of educational books.  I have seen the reading lesson book sets before, but had never looked at them.  I decided that these were very affordable & could easily fill the gap between him finishing the lesson book & the school year starting up.  I ended up getting all 3 sets of Bob books reading lesson books.  Each set has 16 books in it.  They did have some sets that were to be used prior to the #1 set, with flashcards, etc. but I feel that his current reading lessons more than cover the material contained in those.  (in looking online to provide a link as an example I am glad to see that I paid considerably less at Costco)

So whenever he finishes off the reading lesson book I will pull out the first set of these reading lesson books & get started.  And then I'll see how he does & how quickly he goes through them (the early ones are probably too easy for him & I expect that he should fly right through them).  And from there on I hope to continue with the plan I already laid out in the last blog, but I suppose it's possible that he could use these Bob Books through K & maybe also 1st grade also if he goes through them more slowly.  The books are short enough that they can easily be read in one sitting.  And if he's really excited to be reading actual books he may want to read more than 1 in a sitting. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homeschooling Planning

Like I said in my last blog post......I am a planner by nature.  It's impossible for me to stop planning.

So of course even though I have my son's preschool curriculum ready to go I still am planning.

Very soon I plan to order Little Pim.  My son is half Mexican & where we live there are a lot of Spanish speakers.  I know a little Spanish myself (wish I knew more) & my husband is pretty much fluent.  If nothing else, it will be extremely beneficial in the job setting for him once he's an adult.  It certainly is helpful for both myself & my hubby. 

It is very important to me that he grows up knowing Spanish.  Right now we have 2 DVDs from the Your Baby Can Read company.  So he's been watching those & I have started reading to him in Spanish lately.  My Spanish is not good enough for me to really talk to him or have a conversation in Spanish, it's broken & fragmented, survival Spanish I call it, but I can certainly read in Spanish.  My pronunciation is very good & even when I don't know WHAT I'm reading I can still read it very well.  When he was a baby I got several Bible story books in Spanish & those are what I read to him from right now.

As for the future of his learning Spanish beyond the current DVDs & reading & the Little Pim, I have my eye on a CD-rom set from Alpha Omega.  There is one for grades 3-6 & one for grades 7-12 & two for grades 9-12.  I have heard first-hand from people who have used it that it is good so I hope that works out well.  I just didn't want to wait until he reached 3rd grade to begin the Spanish lessons, so I asked around & Little Pim was highly recommended.  I personally am wanting to avoid him using the computer, but at some point he has to learn & I suppose 3rd grade might be a good age, we shall see.  At the very least it could be the only thing he does on the computer.  I can see the advantage of it though, being able to hear proper pronunciation, better than my own I'm sure.  I just personally have issues with the younger generation being so dependent upon & addicted to technology such as the computer, TV, video games, etc.

When he was a baby I played the Spanish DVDs I already have & read to him in Spanish often, but as time passed I sort of stopped doing it.  But now that we are gearing up for preschool I have a renewed focus on Spanish it seems.  In addition to our daily Bible study & reading lesson I am reading him a Spanish Bible story also each day.  And like I said previously, he's been watching those DVDs that we already have.  Of the 2 DVDs there was one that he never liked when he was younger & right now he is loving it & begging to see it.  I love to hear him trying to pronounce the words, it's so cute!

My other plan is for this study on teaching character through literature.  I've heard really good things about it from people who have used it.  And I think Godly character is something that is soooo lacking in the young people of today.  Well, just one of the things that are seriously lacking, there are many, but it's a very important one in my humble opinion.  You can also purchase the reading packs to go with the lesson plan from the same company, Beautiful Feet.  There is a K-3 reading pack & a 4-6 reading pack.  I like that this study can be done at your own pace.  You can do it as fast or slow as you like.  It's just an extra thing that I want to add on. 

And for now that is all the planning I have done in regards to preschool.  Outside of schooling I am planning to keep him in swimming lessons.  He's been doing swimming lessons once each week since last August.  When he turns 5 I am planning to take him to buy a guitar & enroll him in guitar lessons (unless he changes his mind & wants to do a different instrument, but so far he is sold on the guitar).  Also at age 5 I plan to begin giving him an allowance & teaching him to tithe & to save & money management, etc.  And at some point we really want to enroll him in martial arts of some sort.  There are studios that we can take him to now, but once he's 8 we can take him to a local church for classes.  We really like the idea of doing it at a church, just wish they would take younger ages, but we know of a couple of studios that have Christian instructors.  So we are still debating on that. 

A friend of mine who homeschools her children has her kids enrolled in a physical education program.  I believe it's only $20 per month & you meet in a designated park once each week (they have many locations & times) & each month they rotate to a new sport.  That is something I'm considering....but between swimming & the possibility of martial arts (& our park visits, etc) I do feel physical education will be well covered. 

The only other planning I have done is for Kindergarten.  Now that the preschool stuff is squared away I must find more stuff to plan it seems.......  Anyways, the homeschool curriculum I am using is sold in age range brackets rather than for actual grade levels.  For example, the preschool curriculum is for ages 2-5 (he will enter it at 4 & finish at 5) & the next level, which I would be using for K, is for ages 5-7.  This puts him at the younger end of the bracket.  And that does concern me.  I was always the youngest in my class when I was a kid & I do feel it put me at a disadvantage & they say boys don't mature as quickly as girls which puts them at a disadvantage as well.  So I have decided, for now, that I am going to split the next curriculum bundle between K & 1st grade & then when he moves to the next level (2nd grade), for ages 6-8, he will be starting it at age 7 & finishing it at age 8.  I feel much more comfortable with that. 

Also, in the next level it is written to be used with a phonics program.  They give you an option of two that they recommend & the planner is written with or you can choose your own.  Since he's already doing phonics, starting at age 3 (& finishing up around age 5 I'm estimating) & he's doing really well with it, I don't want to bore him & do the process all over again.  So I'm going to order the pack of "emerging reader books" they offer with the following level of curriculum & use that instead.  That next level that I'm borrowing the emerging reader books from gives an option of a phonics program, the emerging readers, or the more advanced reading program they offer from there on out.  So at that point I can hopefully start him on their reading program.  Splitting the next level over 2 grades seems like a very good plan for several reasons, he'll be at the older age range of the curriculums beginning in 1st grade, it'll even out the reading lesson options, since he started phonics so much earlier, & it'll make the K level easier for him, because it looks like a big jump up from preschool to me & I am a little concerned he may not be ready for all of that.  So to split it in half & spread it over 2 years seems brilliant to me.  And for 1st grade I may need to beef it up a bit, but that shouldn't be a problem at all.  There's plenty of interesting stuff I can add on, like reading or even science stuff like caterpillars becoming butterflies, ant farms, etc.

One thing I've been really happy about at church is that he is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) kids in his class.  They have the 3 year olds (being promoted up to 4 year olds class this coming Sunday) split into 4 groups, there's just too many of them I guess.  His group is for kids born April 2009-July 2009, which makes him one of the older ones in the class.  Being that boys mature more slowly than girls, I prefer for him to be one of the older ones in his class & also with his curriculum I prefer for him to be at the older end of the age range.

That is all for now............

Friday, June 7, 2013

Preschool-Heart of Dakota-Little Hands To Heaven


(We've been using "Leading Little Ones to God" since he was a baby & "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons" since he turned 3, but the rest is all new & from Heart of Dakota)
My son is now 4 years old.  I've known I wanted to homeschool him since he was a baby.  Actually even before I was pregnant I knew that if I was ever to have a child that I would want to homeschool my child.  I wasn't sure it would be a reality until after he was born though. 
I am a planner by nature. I am always planning things out.  So even while I was pregnant I was trying to look around at homeschool curriculums & see what I would want to use. I have to admit I knew absolutely NOTHING about homeschooling, but I do know that I LOVE to teach & the ultimate would be to teach my own child. 
One of my biggest pet peeves has been that since I first started on this journey of trying to decide on a curriculum there have been a lot (but certainly not ALL & I am so incredibly grateful to those who DON'T fall into this category) of people who wouldn't even answer my questions.  They would insist that I needed to not think about curriculum yet.  And there are even some who feel a curriculum shouldn't be used for many years (even once the child is school aged).  Now that's fine if that's what works for some people, but that just doesn't work for me & I know I am not alone in that.  People want to tell me to take him to a park & have fun, to not be teaching him anything until he's closer to age 10.  Now I am totally aware that you can teach your child a lot without having an actual curriculum, BUT again, I personally want a curriculum to follow.  Like I said, I am a planner & that means that I want to have a curriculum to follow & plan around.  Additionally, my biggest struggle, all across the board in life, is creativity.  And coming up with lesson plans without a curriculum requires a great deal of creativity.  And obviously there are so many curriculums available that they are wanted & needed by a good deal of people, so I really shouldn't have to defend my wanting a curriculum.  And the fact that he's only 4 & too young also bothers me.  That is a decision that needs to be made for each child individually.  Lots of kids begin preschool at age 3.  I did consider this when he turned 3 & he wanted to learn to read at that time, but he wasn't interested in doing any more than that at that time.  And just because I got a preschool curriculum at this time doesn't mean I'm going to tie him down to a desk for hours & hours each day, which is what people are implying.  I know the time required will vary from curriculum to curriculum, but they obviously start out short & increase in length gradually as the child grows older. 
The curriculum I chose states that it takes half an hour 5 days a week to complete & that it can be split up in multiple shorter time frames if needed.  In addition to this curriculum he is doing reading lessons, which he started when he turned 3.  But the reading lesson only takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.  Additionally, I have never made him sit down or sit still for learning time.  At his age I just don't feel it's appropriate. 
It took me a long time of looking at curriculums to come to a decision on which one I wanted to use.  I originally liked The Weaver by Alpha Omega.  There are aspects of it that I still like a great deal.  But I started following discussion boards of people using this curriculum & I could see common issues among people using it, issues that I know I wouldn't want to deal with.  So I finally admitted to myself that I needed to find something else.  As I looked around I found Sonlight & really liked it.  BUT it just wasn't Biblically centered enough for me.  As I explored more I found several more that were similar, but more Biblically based.  And as I looked those over I came to settle on Heart Of Dakota.  Of course once we get started we may find that it doesn't work for us, but one thing is for sure, I do know myself VERY well.  So I am quite certain it will be a good fit for me.  The thing I am not so sure of is my son.  And the curriculum fitting my son's needs is far more important than it fitting my needs.
When he turned 2 he learned the whole alphabet very quickly, both upper & lower case.  After that I started on numbers & colors & shapes.  And when he turned 3 I started reading lessons.  When we first started the reading lessons I didn't like the book at all.  It teaches reading by way of phonics which is not how I myself learned to read & it's just not something I'm familiar with or comfortable with.  After a couple of lessons I decided against it, BUT my son was adamant that he loved the book & wanted to continue with it so I persisted & I've gotten used to it & comfortable with it by now (we are now more than half way through the book) but most importantly he is enjoying it & he is doing very well learning from it.
I will do my best to post blogs about our homeschooling adventures as time permits once we get started.  I am planning to begin in August, maybe in July.  I would prefer to start in September, BUT it's 33 weeks long & I am worried about things coming up & possibly falling behind.  Being my first time doing this I'd prefer to start a little early just in case.  And I would really like to stop for holidays & focus on learning about the holiday itself instead at that time.  We'll see how it's still sort of up in the air at this time.

The Word of God

Before I gave my life to the Lord I had started reading the Bible.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which translation of the Bible to get.  I had an old Living Bible from my young childhood (which I still have) & I had a KJV Bible, which was hard for me to understand.  I finally ended up getting a NRSV Bible & that's what I was reading. 

As time passed & I gave my life to the Lord I ended up hearing about the Amplified Bible & I really liked it a lot & used it for many years.  I will never forget how the father of the guy I was dating long ago as a new Christian always insisted that it was a "chick's Bible" because it was so wordy.  His own wife loved it just as much as I did.

While I was dating my husband we were doing a Bible study together & I remember I was having a hard time answering questions in the study.  I did not know what my Bible was saying in the verses the questions were referring to.  I went to him & asked him how he had answered those questions & he showed me the same verses in his Bible & it was clear & simple.  I soon went & bought a Bible like his--the New Living Translation. 

A couple of years after we married we decided to get "study Bibles".  I ended up with Life Application NLT study Bible & my husband chose a NLT study Bible, but I can't remember which one it was.  Later on my hubby wanted a large print Bible & I got him the Life Application NLT in large print.

Since way back in my early days as a Christian up until now I have heard many, many comments on the NIV not being a good translation.  Yet somehow it remains the most popular translation out there.  I have never owned an NIV because so many highly respected people say it's not to be trusted.  The thing that bothers me is that no one ever explains WHY it's not to be trusted. 

Our pastor at our church preaches out of the NKJV translation.  I have often wished I owned a NKJV so I can follow along more easily in church.  And recently our pastor keeps reminding us that while the NLT is a nice version for READING, it should NOT be used for STUDYING the Word of God.  I was planning to get my hubby a NKJV study Bible for Father's Day (or possibly our anniversary) & then I was gonna hope for one for myself for my birthday or Christmas. 

A friend of mine recently shared on her blog that she had gotten the NKJV MacArthur study Bible & how much she loved it.  I was thinking about getting that one for my hubby & when I googled it to see if it was available in large print I found some distressing links popping up about false doctrine in this Bible.

Some time ago I saw something that mentioned that modern Bible translations are not to be trusted, but I sort of brushed it off.  And of course I've always known there's a possibility of the NIV not being trustworthy.  So now that I've seen this info more than once I decided to dig deeper & make sure I'm not overlooking something important. 

I did a little more searching & stuck with 3 websites to really look into. 

1) As we looked at this website  we pulled out our YouVersion app on our iPhones & found that what they are saying is true of the NIV but not of the NKJV.  We did not take the time to look at more translations than that. 

2) As we looked at this website we were shocked to see that (according to this website) the NIV was translated by homosexuals & they removed the word "sodomite" from the NIV.  We checked & yes indeed the word sodomite is not in the NIV, but it does still say "men having sex with men" I'm not too sure about this website.

3) This website is a little more disturbing to me because it clearly says sooo many translations are suspect.  I still need to take a closer look here & at the verses & translations they are referring to.  We haven't yet dug into these on this website.

When I asked my friend (who had bought the MacArthur study Bible) about this she took some time to look into it, & then she shared with me that she also contacted her church & they told her to read this book.  But personally I have issues with this.  For one I can already tell what the book is going to say based on the title.  And also I have an issue with the fact that it's referring to people claiming the KJV is the only version to be trusted.  I didn't see that being said anywhere.  Even though they are listing many modern translations as being untrustworthy, I did not see the amplified Bible listed anywhere as being suspect & I'm sure there are other translations that are not listed as being suspect & nowhere did I see it saying that the KJV is the ONLY one to be trusted.  So I am not going to bother with this book.

I did, however, email my own church & ask about this.  The high school pastor responded, asking me for sources that I got the information from, so that he could look into it more.  I sent him the 3 links I listed above & he answered back saying he had never heard of this before so he really wanted to take some time & delve into it thoroughly.  He mostly pointed out that they aren't citing any sources of their information they are proclaiming.  He also pointed out that they aren't considering what Greek text the Bible was translated from.  He stated that the NIV should be regarded on the same level as the NLT.  His bottom line was the NKJV can be safely used & trusted for studying God's Word.

He did suggest this book & also this pamphlet for further understanding HOW Bibles are translated.  I might look into these at some point I think.  But right now I have too much on my plate to read these.

And we did already pick out new Bibles!  I chose this one & the hubs chose this one.  We are very happy with our choices & love being able to follow along word for word in church!!