Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homeschooling - Week in Review - Week 32

We only did school four days this week ... and three of those days were pretty light days.    The boys did their Math, Grammar, and Reading.  The girls did their Math, Phonics and Reading.

We started reading Calico Bush.   This one is a tough read, so far.   It's been slow going, and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to double up on reading as I have the last several books.

We finished reading The Lewis and Clark Expedition.  We also got caught up on our timeline figures.

We learned about herbivores/omnivores/carnivores and predator/prey in science.

We only did Spelling and Writing on Monday.

Josiah finished Om-Kas-Toe and Caleb read further in it.   Rachel read The Big Balloon Race (I Can Read Book 3)and Chang's Paper Pony (I Can Read Book 3).

That's about it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When Sarah disappears ...

I was putting the finishing touches on supper while the kids were reading.  I noticed that Sarah was missing.   Anyone who's ever had a two year knows the fear that raises in your heart!   Two year olds are notorious for trouble ... and quiet is never good.

I started the search.  I looked back the hall to her room and found this:

Uh Oh!   A closed door is never good!   I went towards the door, wondering what would await me on the other side.  

I was shocked by what I found.


She's our first kid that puts herself to bed when she's tired!  I can't complain about that!  Although I do wish she would have waited until after supper!

2011-2012 Curriculum

Sonlight Core E (History, Read-alouds, Readers)

Sonlight Core A

Geography - A Child's Geography
Science - Unit Studies
Art - Artist study, Artistic Pursuits, Discovering Great Artists
Music - Composer study, Hymns, basic piano, guitar lessons (for Josiah)
Bible - Aaron is in charge of this!!  They will each have readings to read on their own.
Memory Work - Various bible verses, poems, history and science facts, and speeches
Spanish - Madrigal's Magic key to Spanish

Caleb (Grade 6):
Math - Horizons 6
Grammar  -  Growing with Grammar 6
Vocabulary - English from the Roots Up
Spelling - AAS (start in level 2 and go through the levels at own pace)
Writing - WWE 3 & 4;
Greek - finish Hey Andrew! level 2 and move on to level 3 (possibly level 4?)
Logic - Fallacy Detective

Josiah (Grade 4):
Math - Horizons 4
Grammar - Growing with Grammar 4
Vocabulary - English from the Roots Up
Spelling - AAS
Writing - WWE 2 & 3
Greek - Hey Andrew! level 1
Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting C

Rachel (Grade 2):
Math - Horizons 2
Spelling - AAS
Writing - WWE 1 & 2
Reading - Sonlight Grade 3 and Grade 4-5 Readers
Handwriting - Italics C

Jada (Grade 1):
Math - Horizons 1
Spelling - AAS
Phonics - Phonics Pathways and ETC
Writing - WWE 1
Reading - Sonlight Grade 1 readers
Hadwriting - Italics B

Friday, April 22, 2011

Homeschooling - Week in Review - Week 31

It was difficult to get back into the swing of things after Spring Break last week ... especially for a couple of boys who pulled an all-nighter at a friends house last weekend.  But, for the most part, we worked hard this week.   

  • Math - Caleb worked with decimals and word problems this week.  Josiah had a rough week.  We spent a good portion of our week reviewing stuff he should already know.  He is my one that needs sleep, so his sleepless weekend has been hard on me this week.  Rachel reviewed her addition and subtraction, place value, and took a test (she got a 96% ... missing one problem).  Jada continued working with place value, addition and subtraction.
  • Grammar -  Caleb worked with adjectives and diagramming.   Josiah worked with past tense verbs.
  • Spelling - AAS is going really well.  Josiah actually enjoys it!   The boys both completed steps 4-11.   Rachel completed steps 4 & 5.
  • Writing - the three older each completed week 2 of their levels.   
  • Memory Work  -  We worked on John 1:1-5, The Lord's Prayer, the Preamble to the Constitution, and our 3 US History dates.    The boys both have everything learned.  Rachel and Jada are close on the Lord's Prayer and John 1, but are struggling with the preamble.  It's full of big words that they doesn't understand, which makes it difficult.

Jada and Sarah are up early and "working".

  • Reading - Caleb and Josiah are both reading Om-Kas-Toe.   Rachel read Balto and Titanic.
  • History - We learned about the Louisiana Purchase and began reading a book about Lewis and Clark.    The boys started a lapbook about Lewis and Clark, as well.

Rachel joining the girls.  They love working at the couch instead of the table.

  • Read-aloud - We read Chapters 7-16 of Justin Morgan had a Horse.  We plan on finishing this book over the weekend.
  • Science - We learned about how protists move.  Caleb read about genes and DNA and taste buds and the mouth. 

Caleb and Rachel doing school next to Alex.

  • Phonics - Rachel and Jada both are working in Explode the Code.  Jada only did Phonics Pathways one day this week.

Sarah working on one of her puzzles.

  • Easter Week -  We read The Three Trees and The Thornbush.  We colored easter eggs.  They were supposed to have glitter on them, but Caleb didn't read the instructions properly, so that didn't happen.   We had hot cross buns today for Good Friday.  We plan on making resurrection rolls and hiding our resurrection eggs tomorrow (if we can find them ... where do you think we put them last year, LOL).

Coloring Easter Eggs
What I'm Reading - I finished The Core last weekend.   I've read the Well-Trained Mind and didn't get the importance of memory work.   I didn't understand why my kids needed to memorize a bunch of facts when they could look them up, if ever they needed them.   After reading The Core, I understood that the information itself isn't necessarily important (although it does help to have 'pegs' to hang the things they are learning on) but that memory work strengthens the brain.  It's giving the brain a workout!  Since reading this, we've been working more on memory work in our school.  She also emphasizes the geography memory and timeline memory.  I can definitely see the value as you are learning history and current events.   Being able to picture the where and when helps give more understanding.   Her chapter on Geography memory work is a must read, in my opinion.   The rest of the book was just about the way she does all the different subjects.   They didn't resonate with me ... I love being able to read education books and take what I deem as important and leave the rest!

I also read Water for Elephants.  This was a very good book!  It does contain some pretty racy scenes and a good amount of language, so if that bothers you then avoid it.   An elderly gentlemen is remembering his days in the circus.   Fascinating!

Because I couldn't do it on my own ...

The Cross

Thank you, Jesus, my Lord
for providing a way.

I don't have to be perfect,
because you were.

I don't have to be sinless.
because you were.

I don't have to do numerous good works,
because you did the work on the cross.

My sins ... on your shoulders.

Your death and resurrection
giving me life everlasting.

All I need is faith.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lego Quest #39 - Occupation

I first heard about Lego Quests from my sister.   Her kids have participated for several weeks now, so I asked my kids if they wanted to do it, too.  This weeks challenge was occupation - what they want to do when they grow up.

Caleb wants to be an artist, so he made someone painting a picture.  

Rachel said she wanted to be a McDonald's manager, so this is her McDonald's.  

Jada wants to be a ballet teacher, and this is her stage.

I couldn't get Josiah to do it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3 months old

Alexander James (A.K.A. Alex or A.J.)

He smiles  ♥  He has a very loud voice ♥  He loves Mommy best  ♥  He has small periods of happiness every day  ♥ The rest of the time he's grumpy ♥  He naps on his tummy  ♥  He still doesn't sleep well at night  ♥  He still eats every 2-3 hours   ♥  He likes to lay on the floor  ♥  He likes to sit in his bouncy seat  ♥   Most of all he likes being held  ♥  He lets you know exactly what position he wants to be held in ... which is always changing  ♥  He went on his first overnight to Papa's  ♥  He took his first trip to the emergency room   ♥  He's adorable  ♥  We all love him to pieces

See how he's grown:
3 months

Enjoying a Tootsie Pop ...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week in Review - Spring Break Edition

This week we took a break from our studies and had our spring break.   Monday we traveled to visit my Father-in-law, Sister-in-law (and bil, but we didn't see much of him) and nieces and nephew.  We stayed though Wednesday and had a great time!  The kids were already planning how to get back together yesterday.  My sister-in-law was recovering from surgery (and over doing it), so we had a nice relaxing few days.  Kristen and the kids met Alex for the first time.  He was his normal, cantankerous self, so no one got to enjoy him.

7 of the 9 kids watching a movie together.

My gorgeous niece holding Alex.  He was actually in a good mood for a short time.

Going out to eat with cousins.

Alex meeting Great-Grandpa Papa Joe (93 years old).  Alex wasn't happy (but when is he???).

On our way, we noticed they were building a wind mill farm (with one completed windmill).  I was fascinated by them!  Part of me thought it was so cool and another part was a little scared.  They reminded me of a sci-fi movie and I was just waiting for them to start moving and attacking me, LOL!  On the way home I was determined to get a picture.  Getting a picture from a moving car is never easy, but this one isn't too bad.

We spent the remainder of the week cleaning out closets.  I have piles of clothes ... some go to once upon a child, some good will, some to friends, some to family, some to be put up for Sarah and Alex, and some to be made into rags.

I also started working on decorating Alex and Sarah's room.  I needed to wait until Alex was born to decide on an accent color.  It's probably going to take me awhile, especially since I'm going to have my Mom make quilts for their beds and we haven't even gone shopping for fabric yet.  A sneak peek:
We're planning a staycation in June and I also planned 16 options for daily excursions.  We will all vote next week to pare it down to five.

The kids played lots of video games, watched lots of TV (both are forbidden during the school week) and played outside.

We only have five more weeks of school left!!!!   The kids are ready for summer!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why We Homeschool

Homeschoolers are a diverse group (contrary to the media portrayal of us) and we homeschool for many different reasons.   Most people assume that people homeschool for religious reasons and many do.  Although we do incorporate our Christian beliefs into every aspect of our life (including schooling), this was not a primary reason that we chose to homeschool.  We would have shared our religious beliefs with our children no matter which schooling option we chose (as do most parents).

Schooling choice is a decision that must be made by each individual family ... and there is no wrong choice!  Whatever is best for one family will not work at all for another family.   I think we should remember to respect one another no matter which side of the choice we are on.  Some of my reasons for homeschooling may be someone else's reason for public schooling!!  These are obviously Aaron and my specific reasons.   Your experiences might be completely different than ours ... and there is nothing wrong with that!

Here are some of the main reasons we chose to homeschool:

1)  To give our kids a better education than we received.  The longer I live, the more I realize how lacking my education was.  I was a good student and took the college bound classes and yet I learned very little.  My husband has come to the same conclusion.  We both went to completely different schools (his was suburban in Ohio, mine rural in Indiana) and yet we both had similar experiences.   We both want better for our kids (of course the verdict is still out whether we will actually do better, LOL).
2)  To give our kids a lifelong love of learning.  I want our kids to love learning and not see it as something that only happens within an institutionalized setting.   A love of learning and self education throughout their life will not only open doors for their future, but also make them more interesting people.
3)  To allow my children to learn at their own pace.   Every person is different.  Some will learn things quickly and understand things intuitively.  Others will struggle to understand certain concepts.  I want my kids to be able to learn at their own pace.  If they don't understand something, then we take the time to continue going over it until they do understand.   If they do understand, they can move on and learn something new.  
4)  Introduce topics when we deem them to be age appropriate.  I know many people homeschool to shelter their kids from the evils of the world.   While we don't choose to shelter our kids, we do choose to introduce them to difficult subjects when they're ready ... which isn't necessarily when they are some arbitrary age.
5)  Flexibility of Schedule  When you homeschool you are not tied to the school schedule or hours.  We can work during the morning, play all afternoon, then finish up in the evening.   We can take days off for birthdays.  We can vacation when vacation spots are virtually empty.  When a family member is sick (like my MIL's extended sickness almost 2 years ago) we have the flexibility to take school on the road.   When Aaron is working evenings, he can spend time with the kids in the afternoon.  I also don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get them on the bus (yes ... I know that makes me lazy.  But, I definitely see this as a perk of homeschooling).
 6) I enjoy spending time with my kids.   I enjoy my kids and would miss them if they were away from me all day.  I like who they are as people and love seeing them understand new things.  I'm not saying I don't enjoy time away from them ... and for them to go visit others sometimes.  But, in general, I like hanging out with them.
7)  Economy of Time  When you homeschool you don't have to wait for a room full of papers to be passed out or a line full of kids to quiet down and move to another location.   Much of the time wasters of public school can be cut out.    This allows their school day to be shorter and play time to be longer.

How I try to achieve these goals is another topic for another time!

Why did you choose your children's schooling option??

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some More Pictures ...

of Jada, Sarah, and their Shadows:


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ten on Ten

ten on ten button

I've intended to do 'a day in the life of' posts for the last year or so, but have never gotten around to doing it.  Then, last month, I saw someone post ten on ten ... taking one picture an hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of every month.  I decided it was something I wanted to do!!  So, this is the month I decided to try it.  

9:15 am

Sarah and Alex ready for church.   The rest of the family was already at Sunday School, but the babies and I just went to church.  Sarah was watching Backyardigans while we were waiting.

10:15 am

The cross outside of church.

11:15 am

My smokin' hot Pastor giving his sermon on Daniel.

12:15 pm

Breaking out the sandals!  It's in the 80's today ... our first hot day (and our last for awhile).

1:15 pm



Playing a little Mario Galaxy 2.

Playing Candyland with Jada ... and winning!

A game of gogos being played by Josiah and Sarah.

Curtains flapping in the breeze ... one of my favorite things!

Sarah and I shared one ... yummy!!


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