Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday

- the faithfulness of my God
- the mercy of my God
- the soveriegnty of my God
- the health of my family
- faith and hope in my children's eyes
- strengthened and tightened muscles
- a home school going well
- scrapbook layouts, well done
- an abundant supply of good books
- the gift of today, right now
- peace and stillness
- the opportunity to help others
- friends

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update on Home School

We have completed our second day of Home School. I have to report, that I am so very pleased with how it is going! The kids are enjoying it, for the most part, AND the preparation I've done, has been blessed by God to cause the plans I made to work out well. I have had to make some changes - the Apologia readings ARE too complex for the younger three. It WILL challenge Tiger Lily, but be good for her. My goal, in science for the little ones, will be to pull 2-3 facts from each week's lesson to go over with them. This will be coupled with relevant pictures and inclusion in the more fun activities.

As far as history goes, I am going to limit my readings, this year, to the information on each week's card. We ARE learning the song that coordinates with the events and ALL the kids will participate in the fun activities that go along with each lesson.

Little mister Biscuit WILL be reading well before Christmas - he is just ready. I am SO proud of him and also GRATEFUL to God for his natural interest in learning. Papaya and Ladybug, formerly Butterbean, are also enjoying the lessons in phonics, math, science and history.

Now that we have started our Home School, I am able to begin to turn some of my attention to two of my other projects. In a couple of weeks, I am going on a short in-state mission trip and will be working with 1st-3rd graders, utilizing VBS curriculum. Then,in September, I will assume the role of 4th-6th grade church choir leader. This age range will be a new experience for me, but I truly feel it is where God is leading me. I recently attended a music leadership conference that taught us how to use our particular music curriculum. I am excited, inspired and in preparation. Please pray for me that I will let God use me to minister to these kids.

I hope all is well with you and your sweet families.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On Home Schooling

Swimming fun!

I love how, in this picture, you can see their different eye colors :o)

We are a home schooling family. There is something so very satisfying about leading and guiding my children's minds in good wholesome learning experiences. Up until this year, we have used the Abeka curriculum almost solely. But, part of me has longed to embrace more of the beauty of home schooling through utilizing a variety of curriculums. I have been aided and encouraged in this endeavor through reading the book, The Well-Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. Good, good reading.

This year I will be formally teaching the three older ones. I will be incorporating Miss Butterbean informally.

Among the third-grade-specific curriculums we will be using - Rod & Staff (Grammar) and Abeka & Calculadder (Math). Also, Tiger Lilly will read through many, many books, chosen from a classical learning site that gives direction concerning grade level book choices. Once, during each nine weeks, she will do a book report on a specified book. She will also be memorizing one poem per each nine weeks. During the last nine weeks, she will be exposed to a brief history of the famous Greek philosophers and poets, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, Homer, and Virgil. She will also read through children's versions of The Illiad and the Odyessy and the Aenied. The motivation for the exposure to the aforesaid readings cooresponds and reinforces what we will be studying in history this year.

Kindergarten-specific curriculums that we are using - Phonics Pathways, Abeka & Explode the Code (Phonics), Abeka (Math) and Abeka (Handwriting). The curriculums I am using for history and science are both classically and creation based. They are also taught in cycles, five years and four years respectively. The company that produces the history program is Veritas Press. We are beginning at the beginning of the cycles, studying The Ancients (Old Testament, Greece and Rome). We will study 32 events from this period. The kids will learn a song that will help cement the events in their minds. We will have readings for each event, along with crafts, mapping activities and a timeline. For science, the program we are using is Apologia Astronomy. Throughout the year we will read about all aspects of astronomy and do a science experiment each week. Wow. I hope I haven't given you a headache reading this, but I am so excited. I have been delving into familiarizing myself with new curriculums and lesson planning.

I hope you and your dear families are doing well. Take care!