Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home Journal - Healed

I have been a little remiss about posting the last episode in the arm saga, but better late than never. On the 15th, L got his short cast off. PTL!!! We were definitely pumped and he picked Taco Bueno for his celebration dinner. HIs arm looked really hairy and scaly, but after a bath and a shave, he was good as new. Yes, we shaved his arm because the hair on that arm was so long and black that he was embarrassed  by it. And we didn't want him to be embarrassed about a healed arm! He had his first of three physical therapy sessions and is doing strengthening exercises at home to get that arm back in shape. He was in a cast for 12 weeks. But now the burdened has been removed. :0) Yay!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

School Journal - Semester Wrap Up

I was really hoping to post more on my blog about homeschool happenings, but for some reason or another, it just hasn't happened - I didn't have pictures, I didn't have time, I don't know how to do those fun links like I see on other blogs and on and on. So, now that the semester is over (actually I'm just throwing up the surrender flag), I figure I'd at least document what we did accomplish the past 18 weeks or so and then I'd have some record that we actually did something.

Accomplished in Geography:
  • World Continents - 2 weeks
  • North America - U.S., Canada, Mexico
  • Antarctica - 2 weeks
  • Arctic - 2 weeks
  • Africa (still working on this one) - South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, have Morocco, Egypt and Mozambique to do
  • Learned about 13 explorers
  • Read many books about individual countries, literature from each country, and people including: The Paint Brush Kid, Sea of Ice: Wreck of the Endurance, Tikta'liktak, The Year of Miss Agnes, The Rat Catcher's Son, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain 
First Day of School

Mexican Fiesta Night

Puppet Show about Mexico

Antarctica Cookie Map

Accomplished in Chemistry:
  • First 8 labs - we didn't start this one until later, so we're definitely behind on it

Marshmallow Atoms

E's Accomplished:
  • All the names of the countries of North America
  • Working on memorizing all the countries of Africa
  • Learning how to use an atlas to find the information she's seeking
  • Completed 50 lessons in Teaching Textbooks Grade 6
  • Completed 80 lessons in Sequential Spelling
  • Written 14 outlines, rough drafts and final copies for her IEW writing class using the Theme Book Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales
  • Read lots of books including: My Side of the Mountain, Water Sky, The Broken Blade, Journey to Jo'burg, Once on this Island, Mysterious Benedict Society and others 
  •  Art projects and drawings from various countries
  • Had her first paid babysitting job - for me, babysitting the other 4
  • Went to 9 art classes learning watercolor and other forms of art
  • Participated in Girls' Choir at church and even went up on stage and sang with the choir!
  • Completed various crochet projects for gifts and for missions
Showing Daddy Her Accomplishments

L's Accomplished:
  • Learning to use the atlas to find answers to questions about countries
  • Completed Primary Mathmatics book 1B
  • Completed 15 out of 24 steps in All About Spelling Level 1
  • Read aloud to mom 15 books
  • Learned about countless different animals from mom reading aloud to him
  • Completed a lapbook about meerkats and the book Meerkat Mail
  • Handwriting is slowly getting better, but with his cast off it should be easier to work on
Showing Daddy His Work

Z's Accomplished:
  • Learning to use the atlas to look up information
  • Completed 43 exercises in Primary Math 1A
  • Completed 65 lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
  • Working consistently on handwriting using scripture verses or animal sentences. He's doing great especially for a lefty.

Showing Daddy His Work

Betty's Accomplished:
  • Recognized letters A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, M, P, and Z
  • Count objects up to 10
  • Knows some countries names that she picks up from our geography studies
  • Putting on and taking off her dresses by herself
  • Putting on and taking off her velcro shoes by herself. She still asks which way the shoes go.
  • Coloring inside the lines
  • Cutting (mostly) along a given line
  • Follows the prewriting tracing lines 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeper Journal #7

Well, I didn't get last week's keeper journal posted and this week was our last week of study, so I'll just combine. Last week we discussed service outside the home. I have to admit that this is an area I struggle with. Not because I don't want to or feel I don't have time or anything like that, but I do struggle with thoughts of being good enough or qualified to do whatever it may be. I have to fight (and lose a lot of times) feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, it seems like constantly. Right now, I'm going through a period of feeling pretty good about who I am and what I'm doing, but I know that one little comment from someone could bring back all the self-doubt feelings. That mainly happens when serving in church ministries, but there are other kinds of ministry opportunities that I feel are hardly service at all, but the Lord sees it, like inviting people over for a meal or taking a meal to someone or just calling someone who has been on my mind. Those don't seem to bring about the yucky thoughts. So, Lord, take my thoughts captive and let me just enjoy You as I serve and leave the analyzing in the ditch on the side of the road.

This week was a nice wrap-up session and some great encouragement from the author Lori Merrill. Being a Keeper of the Home is such a high calling - a calling to be like God Himself - certainly not that we could do that, but to be an example of Him like in Psalm 121 where the word "keep" is used so many times. Let's fight the good fight and not give up fighting for our families and our homes. Let's be the watchmen and the protector of all things good and innocent as a keeper. And let's be good stewards who, when the Lord comes again, will be doing the things that we were supposed to be doing just as if He were here all along. I want to be faithful in the little and the much.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Journal

After a little bit of a rough day...
11. remorseful tears
12. phone calls
13. silly boys
14. kisses on the "wips"
15. lion growls from a one-year-old
16. sharing
17. "after bath" smell
18. a retreat at the end of the day
19. obedient hearts
20. thankful hearts

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home Journal - Short Cast

Can I get a FINALLY??? L went to the doc today and got that mean old full cast removed! Yay!!! He was so nervous when they cut the cast off and when they went to wash his arm, he just started crying tears of nervousness and relief all at the same time. After x-rays it took the doc a while to get in, so I tried to do some lame jokes to take his mind off of his arm. The doctor came in a proclaimed perfection and L beamed. He got a new cast put on and we were on our way. Praise the Lord for another answered prayer!

  Much Better!

I asked him if he wanted to keep the cast as a souveneir and he said yes, so I picked it up for him to take with us. He said, "But Mom, I want you to keep half of it because you were here with me the whole time." I started to tear up and told him the doctor didn't need both of us to cry. But I thanked him and hugged him and like Mary "treasured these things in my heart". So many times you want to take the hurt away, but it's the hurt that binds you together.

We'll keep that cast as a rememberance of a faithful God and a faith-filled boy.  

Thankful Journal

I guess it would be appropriate to start this particular journal today of all days. And hopefully continue throughout the rest of the year.

I had the kids write what they were thankful for: E wrote the top one about free country, Betty drew the thing that is supposed to be a cat and a dog, Z drew a fire station and truck and L wrote family.

I am thankful for all those things and these too (in no particular order):

1. hubby getting up in the middle of the night
2. God not leaving me where I am
3. kids who seek to please
4. Chai tea
5. a boy who cries out of relief because he got his cast off
6. good news
7. laughing with my 11yo daughter
8. reading a good book
9. "Hank the Cowdog" jokes
10. a long hug from my not-so-huggy 6yo

but that's not all...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Home Journal - Christmas Pic Preview

This year for Christmas I decided to do something a little different and actually include our faces in our pictures. :o) We had won a photo shoot with Brandi Simons when we participated in the Silent Auction at Kwero back in April and finally got around to taking our pics last week. Brandi did a fabulous job especially considering her client. Ready for a Christmas card sneak peek?

Well, are they adorable or what? I guess I might be a little partial, but that's the way it's supposed to be!
As soon as we got back in the car after the pictures, Betty asked, "Did I do a good picture, Mom?" "Yes, a very good picture." "Do I get my candy now?" "Of course!!" And that's what it's all about, you know.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

School Journal - Our Curriculum

I probably should have done this one quite a bit sooner than I am, but that's the way it is. I still want to record what we're doing and share some ideas just in case anyone else can benefit from them and so I will have a record of our homeschool journey (because it seems like the scrapbooking isn't happening as fast as life).

We're going through a study called Character Building for Families Vol. I. It takes an indepth look at various character qualities, looks into different Scripture passages and applies them to the character quality, has you memorize Scripture together and provides discussion questions. We're enjoying it and I've seen a big improvement in the kids' character since the beginning of the school year.

We're also doing Window on the World and praying through the relevant people groups as we study a particular country.

World Geography
This year and part of next we're going to be Galloping the Globe and using Trail Guide to World Geography by Geo Matters. We are learning about several countries around the world continent by continent. So far we've studied North America (Mexico, Canada and U.S.A.), Antarctica and the Arctic. Right now we're in Africa because my animal-loving 8-year-old is infatuated with Cheetahs and Meerkats. So we're traveling there while the flame is hot. We read a lot of informational books and literature that hopefully I'll get around to posting about. My oldest - 6th grader - reads a grade appropriate book set in that country and also has more indepth map and atlas work. She also gets to do the fun stuff though too. :) We also use this as a springboard for learning about some famous explorers significant to the continent studied. The kids have really enjoyed that so far.

E is in an IEW class for 4th - 6th grades that I am teaching. We're going through their Fables, Myths and Fairytales Theme Writing Book. I enjoy teaching the class and I think E is having a good time in there too. She never misses a day of doing writing and does not complain about it, which is always a good sign.

The boys aren't doing a lot of creative writing. They will dictate stories to me sometimes which they like, but especially for the 3rd grader, I'm just trying to concentrate on his reading and comprehension. The writing will come later. He also has trouble forming his letters and with a broken arm, those things are just on the back burner for now. My 1st grader is doing copywork - mostly just Bible verses that I write for him, but his letter formation is pretty good especially for a lefty.

I have both the boys read to me every school day. L reads a book usually of his choosing that is somewhat challenging for him, but that won't be discouraging. And it's usually about an animal! Zach is going through Teach Your Child to REad in 100 Easy Lessons . So far, he's on Lesson 56. He's quite motivated to get through though because there's a toy involved when you reach 100. A little incentive never hurt anyone. :)

For E, this has been an area where she struggles. I always thought that if you were a good reader, you'd be a good speller and you wouldn't have to work on spelling. I was wrong! She can read just about any word placed in front of her, but it's hard for her to spell some simple words. I don't know all the whys about it, but I do know that Sequential Spelling is definitely helping her. The spelling patterns over and over again are drilling spelling into her brain with very little effort and I'm liking it. I've tried several other programs and for her SS is working. And it's cheap!!

L is using All About Spelling and not exactly thrilled about it, but I think that the harder the spelling words are, the more he'll need the structure and guidance of the AAS program. We're basically going over stuff that he already knows, but I want to make sure he's got it before we move on since he's had so much trouble with reading and remembering letter sounds and letter combination sounds.

E has started using Teaching Textbooks 6 this year and is enjoying it much more than Math-U-See. I like it because it is one less thing I have to teach and she doesn't argue with me about it. :) There is enough repetition and she actually likes seeing an actual grade which we've never done before.

The boys are using Singapore Math. L tolerates it and Z likes it. L would like math if all you ever did was play games, but I am just not that much into the games. He doesn't like the memorization that math involves, but he definitely is learning the concepts and can follow the patterns pointed out in Singapore. Z just likes math even though last year I was worried that he wouldn't know his numbers. He just figured out how to count to 20 correctly!! Ah well. But he's also my computer lover, so he asks to do math on the computer like Big Sis.

This year we started out doing Apologia Zoology 3. I was so excited to have an animal study that correlated to our World Geography and being able to put the little pictures of animals up on our world map that I cut and colored and worked so hard on. But, alas, as with many things, the kids started complaining about it and I gave in, but we had to do science right? So I looked around and saw Chemistry R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey from Pandia Press. The kids are really enjoying it. It's not a Christian curriculum but it does use a lot of hands-on labs to get the information across.

I'm not a big school-type preschool fan, but Betty loves letters and doing school while the kids are doing their workboxes, so she has her own workboxes with school-type activities and crafts and games and books and anything I think might be fun for her (and to keep her busy while I concentrate on the olders). She could hold her pencil correctly when she had just turned two and been coloring and writing ever since. She has her own notebook and is actually writing real letters in it now. It's so sweet seeing her trying to be like her Sissy. I use resources from Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter of the Week Curriculum and various ideas from around the internet.

E also does some dictation work to help her with grammar as well as G.U.M. Drops. She loves to write in her journal (which I don't correct) and she always like to read. She crochets and has several pets that keep her busy too. She sings in a girls choir at church and is involved in our homeschool co-op.

L enjoys learning about all kinds of animals, so I try to find a special book to read and maybe a lapbook to satisfy his craving for animal facts.

Z is more into Legos than schoolwork, but he's finding more things that he enjoys during school hours. ;) He and L are in a Lego Club through co-op and involved on Fridays with the co-op too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Keeper Journal #6

This week we are striving to have an atmosphere in our house that is peaceful, God-centered and a refuge for our family and friends and all who enter. I know that the mom is the one who really sets the tone for the rest of the family. I've experienced it first hand. Sometimes if Ter comes home and I'm in a bad mood toward the kids, then he quickly takes my cue and starts barking too. Sometimes chaos just can't be avoided - not with seven people under one roof, but I do want home to be a place of refuge and a place where my family can go and know that they will be understood and loved. A place where they can unwind and catch their breath from the demands of the world. What's the atmosphere of your home? Ask your family what they think about home. You just might be surprised!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keeper Journal #5

This week we concentrated on loving our children, setting an example for them as a follower of Christ, and passing faith to the next generation. I would love to hear from others your thought or what has worked in your house. The author gave us the examples of Hannah and Eli of parenting - such rich text to glean from. Hannah, a woman who was one of her husband's wives, not significant as the world would view significance, but a significant hero to God. She poured out her heart to God and He heard. The Lord gave her the son she prayed for and she gave him back to the Lord at 3 years old to live with Eli the Priest. What faith must she have passed on to her son in so little time! Three years! I wish she had written a parenting book. Then Eli, a priest, working every day in the tabernacle, had sons who were "worthless" is God's eyes. Harsh words! They despised the Lord's commands and treated the tabernacle and the people and the offerings with contempt. They were around the Lord's Word all their lives and yet didn't care. What's the difference? Is just exposure to the Bible enough to produce worthy children? Do we neglect teaching our kids the Word because we're worried they will become Pharisees? Do we only hand our kids Bible knowledge and let them figure out Bible know-how? Where's the balance between Pharisee and Follower? Hannah, how did you do it? Maybe the same way it all started: prayer, but maybe this time she had a future prophet with her.     

Saturday, November 13, 2010

School Journal - Kid's World International Festival

The kids really enjoyed all the cool stuff to do at the Kid's Fest. Even Betty had a great time getting her passport stamped. Bo sat like a good little boy in his stroller the whole time. Three cheers for a toddler who will stay in a stroller!!!! It was the perfect field trip for this year since we are studying world geography in school.





Puppet Show

Native American


All that traveling wears you out!!! ;-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Home Journal - Highlights from Fall

Pumpkin carving. Halloween. Hayrides.




R-football player, E-OSU fan, L-Bird watcher, Z-knight, B-Ballerina Princess