Dear SCCS parents,
Welcome to my favorite month of the year! This crisp air today feels so wonderful and our family is excited to attend one of our traditional field trips to the Old Baker Farm. It's a wonderful day to be outdoors.

Field trips are educational ways to learn about events and opportunities in our area in a group setting. Also, going to the Baker Farm is interesting regardless, but it's even more special to go with families who are part of our school, so kids can connect and make new friends and adults can do the same! I encourage you to attend a few field trips or park days during the year if feasible, because it gives a connection to the school that many children need to realize that they're part of a larger group whose families have the same goals. I do not worry about socialization for my family, which is a common question by those outside of homeschooling. We have family and church activities, scouts, sports, dance, and regular school events for our children to connect with others in varying ages, but I realize everyone does not have the same opportunities. Field trips are a fantastic way for us to give a positive example of homeschoolers to the community as well. SCCS tries to offer multiple options for you, and plenty that are no or low cost, so that if that is a concern of yours, you can still join us in our scheduled events.

This month we have some fun options, and I hope you can join us if your family is one I haven't met or if you're needing to connect with friends in our group!
UPCOMING SERVICE PROJECT Notice that in November we have another service project together. Please start collecting items now to add to your shoeboxes that we will send along with our church's contribution to Operation Christmas Child. Check out the link on the listing below for more details in what to gather in your boxes.

Old Baker Farm 2016

7 Friday 3:00 Old Baker Farm in Harpersville

Alabama Symphony Orchestra: Explorer Concert - tickets purchased previously

October 14, 12:00 PARK DAY at Joe Tucker Park in Helena (behind Helena City Hall, on Hwy. 52) Meet us for fellowship for parents, and fun playtime for kids! Bring a sack lunch if you want to do so. We enjoy this as a motivation to finish the week's work!

October Support Group

18 Tuesday 7:00  SCCS Support Group and Fellowship at Zoe’s at Patton Creek. Come visit with other moms and eat or just hang out!

Dismals Canyon

21 Friday  Dismals Canyon in Franklin Co, AL : caverns tour, exploration, picnic.

27 Thursday 7:00 Code Breakers: Parent Advocates support group meeting for parents of students with special needs at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham

November Park Day and Service Project

November 4 Friday 12:00   PARK DAY and Service Project at Veterans Park on Valleydale Rd in Hoover. Gather to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and play at the park too. Read here to learn more about collecting items.

Real life at the Vines' home this week:
This week started with a bang for our family. Our oldest was injured at public school, necessitating his coming home and needing some special attention; my youngest two were struggling with discipline of actually sitting and working; and my high schooler was trying to be motivated at finishing her assignments and not succeeding. I really felt so overwhelmed and discouraged at how to meet all their needs, impress upon them the responsibility to complete their work and be respectful, while realizing at the same time what a poor example I am of that when I am a complainer and resentful of the time it takes to prepare and teach them daily.
There were tears among several of us, and a conference with Daddy to give us a pep talk and reality check. We admitted that sometimes it is just plain hard to sit inside and do schoolwork when we'd rather be swinging in a hammock on a gorgeous day. I apologized for threatening to send the 1st grader to public school because he was being so rowdy and for being impatient and a poor example. Ouch. So, we have worked through the past few days with some changes to our routine, and better attitudes, not because there was an incentive given or threat over our heads but because we really do want to be together and know we are obeying God's plan for our family right now. Just admitting the hard, and also how we still love each other, truly did make a difference. The work load didn't change. It's still hard to be disciplined, but we prayed for the ability to want to and that does make a difference. Algebra still makes my head hurt, and my first grader is still rowdy a lot of the time. But these opportunities to sit and learn with them are privileges that I am grateful for, and I am glad it's me who gets to see when something clicks, and to comfort them when they're discouraged. That's what God does for me, staying by my side even when I'm struggling, so what a great chance to show that love to these gifts He's given me.
That may be too much honesty for you, but it's reality. I need grace and also have to offer it to my family members daily. I am nothing close to a perfect parent or teacher at all. There are many days that I feel like anyone could do a better job at teaching my children than I can, but I know that is not Truth and that for now, God has absolutely given me this job. I am praying for you all today to know that He will equip you, and bring to mind Truth when you face discouragement. I love the verse I attached in the photo here. His work will be beautiful as it is completed. Don't give up, friends, and let me know how I can encourage you!