About Mary Hess

Mary is a creative spirit, gifted speaker, loyal wife and loving mother dedicated to furthering the message and mission of Jesus. A Kentucky native living in Summerville, South Carolina, Mary is an active member of New Day Community Church – where she serves on staff as a Pastoral Assistant and Director of Event & Communication. When she’s not working, Mary enjoys reading, blogging and spending time with her husband and two children. And coffee. She really loves coffee.

The Homeschool Journey :: Grade 3, Part 1

the homeschool journey logo It’s that time of year again.  Am I prepared?  Somewhat.  I have decided that we are going to take a more laid back approach to school this year.  Zoe seems to learn best when it doesn’t feel like school.  So, I’m hoping to figure out what that looks like.  We are in the process of moving Zoe’s grandma out of our home into her own home, so school will be starting later than I planned.  However, I think we are going to move to a  year-round school framework, so that’s okay.  She’s been “off” since the first of May this year.  Too long.  :/  Here’s what we are shooting for this school year:

Math

  • Recall of facts
  • Count to 1000 by 100s
  • Telling Time to the minute
  • Multiplication tables

Science

  • Human body
  • Light and Vision
  • Forces and Motion
  • Classification of Animals

Writing

  • Informative writing
  • Narrative writing
  • Editing writing
  • Learn cursive
  • Learn keyboarding skills

Social Studies

  • Identify places on a map, including the equator and poles
  • Know physical components of the earth
  • Eco Systems
  • Rules/Laws of daily life

Reading

  • Chapter Books (such as Junie B Jones, Diary of  Wimpy Kid, etc)
  • Classics (Charlotte’s Web and other books that I’ll read with her)
  • Reading every day – at least 20 minutes

I plan on using the following curriculums/sites this year:

  • Easy Peasy All In One School (Grade 3)
  • Education.Com for worksheets and workbooks
  • Currclick (I got a ton of stuff here this summer when they had an “everything is 10 cents sale”)
  • I also received a ton of books and worksheets and room decorations from a couple of friends at church who taught 2nd and 3rd grade.

We won’t have set hours for school this year, but I want to incorporate learning in all of our daily activities as well as any bits of structured time we have.  So I’m not sure how that will look.  But Zoe will have chores, she will help me cook (to help with math skills), we will have walks and visits to fun places that give her visual reference for things we are learning.  So that means less structure and more play time, all while learning.

I’m really excited about this year even though I feel less prepared than last year.  But that’s okay.  We’ll make it.  She’ll be fine.  I’ll be fine.  Right?  ;)

Where There Is Faith

Mist-Bridge-on-the-River Dee1Our pastors have been doing a series on faith.  Faith for God to do miraculous things.  Faith for God to provide for whatever you need.  Faith to move forward even when you can’t see the next step.

Faith.

I must say, hearing testimonies of how God has shown up for not only them, but others in our community, stirs up my faith. And right now?  I need my faith stirred up.  A lot.

When God starts stretching your tent pegs, well, let me tell you, it’s not comfortable.  When He starts asking you to believe for things that you know you can’t do on your own, you know you can’t manufacture with your own abilities and gifts, it’s not comfortable.  It’s frightening and exciting and scary and amazing all at the same time.

You know, God really likes to show off.  I mean that in the most reverential, respectful way.  But  He really does. He wants to show up in our most dire circumstances, in our most complicated trials, in our most frustrating situations and show off.  He wants us to know that He is taking care of every little detail of our lives.  He wants us to believe that He is our Daddy and Daddys love to take care of their kids.

Sometimes I think He wants to see if we will just simply trust Him.

Will I trust Him and take my hands off of it?

Will I trust Him and allow Him full control of it?

Will I trust Him and believe that He will follow through?

That’s hard.  Especially if you’re used to making things happen, trying to find ways to do whatever is necessary, working until you can accomplish it.

Sometimes I think He wants us to just stop and let Him do His thing.

GULP.

Some of you are geared to do that with ease.  I envy you.  My personality isn’t set that way.  So I have to purposely tell myself to let go, to lean back into Him, to not strive, to not be afraid.

I love that we have tons of examples in Scripture and in our real lives that remind us of how often and how miraculous He really does show up for His kids.  I keep reminding myself of those times.  I keep saying, “I remember when You rescued me that time. . . . I remember when You provided a miracle for us  here. . . I love how You helped Moses and a million people get across the Red Sea.  Seriously.  That was clever.”

I keep saying those things, I keep reminding myself, because it stirs up my faith.  It causes my faith to grow by leaps and bounds.  It causes my spirit to jump up and scream,  “YES GOD! YOU CAN DO IT!  SHOW YOURSELF STRONG AND MIGHTY AND AMAZING!”  It causes my brain to retrain itself to think outside of earthly constraints and limitations.  It causes me to use the eyes of my heart and not my head when looking at impossible situations.

Maybe you are in the same place. Maybe God is asking you to believe for something or someone that seems utterly hopeless, impossible or even crazy to wish for.  Maybe He wants to you step out even though you can’t see where your foot is about to land.

You can do it.  I can do it.  We can do it.

Where there is faith. . . .

anything is possible.