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

Home Journal - Good Report

Just a quick update on L's arm saga. He went back to the doc 10 days after surgery for a check up. While we were in the waiting room (for an hour), he leaned over and said, "Mom, can we pray that my arm will be straight and I won't have to get a pin put in?" Yes. After the doc looked at the X-ray, he said, "It couldn't look better." L got a sheepish grin on his face (because he's kinda shy) and the doc gave him a high five. On the way out to the car in the parking lot, L said,"Boy, when we get back to the car, let's pray and thank God for my arm." I told him that he didn't have to wait until we got in the car. So, he let out a loud "Thank You, God." in the parking lot. Amen. Don't ya love it when your kid gets it? So be it, Lord. 

Home Journal - Reorganized Schoolroom

Well, after a week of reconfiguring my whole house and then a week of no internet service and then some more time to play catch-up, I'm ready to post another post. My Schoolroom Shelves!!! Yay! I got those Expedit shelves from IKEA and Ter and I put them together over a weekend and they look awesome. Well, you can see for yourself and then decide, but I'm kinda partial. :)

The first row up at the top has a microscope, books, CDs, and some display things that we don't use very much. The second row houses supply drawers, reference books, an empty shelf (because E said it was "no fair for you to have 48 cubbies all to yourself" and she still hasn't put anything in it - I guess it's just the principle of the matter :)), and E's workboxes. The third row is L's workboxes, a space for their finished work and space to display items from the country or continent we're learning about, books and art supplies. Fourth is Z's workboxes, more supplies, nature journal stuff, and books. Fifth includes Betty's workboxes, paper, puzzles and books. Bottom row holds Bo's tot trays, toys, puzzles, games and puppets. Just in case you are wondering, I don't have the workbox numbers on Z and Betty's boxes because a certain one-year-old keeps ripping them off. You know how it goes.

We are really liking the workbox system that Sue Patrick started. We have our own tweeks, but it is helping us with managing our workload and giving the kids a definite schedule each day. I also pushed the table over by the window so that it's not in the center. I think this helps everyone get a little breathing room and Bo can have a space to play too. The other walls have the dry erase boards and maps. One wall also had Betty's Alphabet Tree, but a certain one-year-old tore that down as well. Do you notice a theme here? :)

We also spread out and do school all over the downstairs - no room is sacred. We added shelves in the Living room and a desk for the kids in the office, so hopefully that will help us out as we seem to acquire more and more books.