Wednesday, January 16, 2013


 Winter Wonders

Well the new year has come and the resolution set, blog about homeschooling. Not happening as I truly desire!

 Trust me, I think about writing all the time. I ponder the opportunities, the goals impressed on my mind and the reality of life that keep me...real! I used to be more irritated when I could not blog or journal and just simply express the whirling, mind grappling thoughts that flurry through my mind. The important, precious ones in front of me do not need to watch me furiously blog while they wait with anticipation for the next math lesson they are thrilled to finish!

I really do not blog during the day anymore. Days are full, however if I managed my days better I could set the time aside. I do and I don't. I have yet to figure out the perfectly managed day. You? Here are some ramblings of our week and what really is important...

Grade 8 - what have we been up to?

He is thirteen and funny, you may think they need the least of your time.

Not true, they need just as much if not more.

I will look back on these days of math lessons on the couch watching Mr. Demme from Math-U-See teach us the mysterious ways of numbers, word problems, graphs and fractions and be thankful I sat there, listened and attempted to navigate the deep waters of the mathematical sea.

 Honestly, one of my fears beginning this journey of homeschooling was math! Seven years later I am learning along with my children and enabling by attempting to not give up when I can't recall what y=mx+b is!!!
He calls for me to sit and watch, listen and learn and to flip through the answer key to acknowledge his hard work. He is right, I am busy with the other four. But my dear eldest son, I am here to lead you to the one who created you. That is the most important lesson I could ever teach. I am willing and potentially NOT able to make math work.

Day to day will make it work, together better than I imagined.

Along with the math (which includes an online  math course he is taking) he reads history/Geography (currently reading George Washington's World) , Story of the World text, grammar, wordly wise and writing assignments, digging into the Bible and the ever present readers/novels. Lately, in the morning we are reading stores from I Heard the Good News Today by Cornelia Lehn. People from the past teaching us about the grace of God!

We are learning, more than I ever imagined.

Days begin with the typical questions about subjects, siblings, chores and friends, comings and goings and goes from there. Am I listening? I always have room for improvement with listening, that is a fact.

But we are learning in ways I could not have imagined.

I have to go back to the book I Heard the Good News Today.

 We have been reading stories about just how the message of Jesus Christ was and has been revealed through the years from others that loved the Lord and sought to glorify him, even if it meant losing his/her life. We have 144 pages to read, discuss and marvel at daily.

We just read about Margaret Queen of Scotland around the year 1000. As we finished the story of just how she loved Jesus I began rambling on about how I can't wait to take them to Scotland one day to Edinburgh and climb the hill to the castle where King Malcolm and Queen Margaret lived. Apparently there is still a chapel that stands where she would go and pray.

I want to pray there...with my family.

This simple book is making it real, again! Making the gospel real. That Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead. We need  Jesus! He paid the penalty on the cross and is alive today. The greatest opportunity I have is to live this out for my children. Reading about others gone before us I see as such a unique gift! I read and I breathe in a thankful breath that I can actually do this daily!

So what am I teaching? More than I want sometimes. That means I unintentionally I teach it is okay to be impatient, angry, annoyed, irritated and just mad! That is not okay. Is it human? Yes, but because I am a new creation in Christ I need to let the old go and live the new. That is truly what I am learning through this January blogging journey. I really did think I would blog about details, I will, but more than that what God is doing, He deserves all the glory.

Grade four-six

We are learning through a new grammar program called Winston Grammar. Building sentences  and actually having a bit of fun? The intention is that the older will teach the younger!
Jack is using teaching text books this year. We made a change. I think it is still working well, sometimes you just have to make a decision (after much research, thought and prayer) and go for it. I did. Parts I love and parts I am working through. BUT a good choice!
Did we get to the poem? No, but Samantha did her Robert Frost!
What we  have done is this week...
Our church had a week of prayer. It is difficult to attend each nightly meeting, however we were praying with them and reading through the daily emails of verses sent to pray through. The kids have written out verses and we have prayed. That trumps a poem! So that was a unique addition to our bible time!

Sonlight has the details and ideas. I am doing my best to implement what works well. We continue to navigate through spanish and for Samantha and Sara we practice french. Samantha enjoys the spanish program so she has an account set up and can join in too! She loves typing teacher and is coming along well!

Again, I keep coming back to is not about the academics! As aside, I used the word academics and had the two younger look inquisitively as to what that was! Too funny! So, back to my musings...hmm not about academics. Well okay yes it is, you need that part for sure! But character seems to be the most important focus lately and forming great habits while they are young.

My few weeks have been full of difficulties, laughter, set-backs, victories, sadness, frustration, long talks, creative moments that save the day and oddly peace. Perhaps I should not say oddly, because our God is a God of peace. He has given that to us as a gift.

We have let things go, made decisions we are not fond of and are making attempts to redeem what the locusts have eaten. The details of my day to day seemed to have taken a back seat as we navigate parenting our children. The hearts of our children, the most important lesson thus far.

As far as my days with Sara, SK truly they have been so wonderful! I followed through with my plans!!! She made different mini books and we have continued to just have fun together. The moments go so quickly. I am absorbing these K days. I just love them.

For now I still plan to blog the journey. It may be choppy. I will do what I can!

Here are some of what we have done:

Eating lunch in different places (sound simple but we watched via computer in the school room pet videos that made us laugh out loud!)
More duct tape purses and wallets - must post the creations!
Paper boats down the stream and Sara took first prize!
Forts in the basement with every stuffed animal we have. Lights and readers included!
Take out lunch
Games, games and more games! Our favourites right now, Five Second Rule. Be prepared to fail and laugh because you do! Crazy laughter! Animal upon Animal, a building game. Sequence, and hide and seek of course!
I have some technical difficulties currently loading pictures so I have many to show but not able to load them. So I write!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homeschooling Blitz!

Okay Heather here we go! We are on it!!!

What do I mean?

Well, I am (we are) blogging our homeschooling lives for the month of January. Heather's family will have amazing and wonderfully creative ideas and we will have our own moments here too! From schoolwork to outings. We will do it!

My plan is to account for what we are doing as a way to recall later in life just what we did in a little more detail than the normal month!
So, what this means...I will blog Monday to Friday and invite you into our world here. IF I get beyond the five days and into the weekend I will be thrilled. My goal is set, five days a week.

As I sit here and plan for my first week I am thankful that I am enjoying this time organizing and creating a unique week. Planning makes for a healthy week!!!
I am listening to Steven Curtis Chapman sing out Do Everything. What a song to remind me to do everything to the glory of the one who made me! So here I go, homeschooling/teaching/parenting to His Glory!

Sara: SK

I have a challenge box for Sara that we open together in the morning. Sometimes there are new crafts, new words for the week, review words, letters, (jolly phonics based) numbers/math related material or books to read. I also have wipe-off sentence strips she practices her name, sentences, copy work and cursive.

This week I will have a different mini book to colour and put together each day. Monday she will be making a mini-book on the senses. We will play math/alphabet bingo and a winter craft- painting a winter scene on a dollar store canvas. She adores painting. I may have her dictate a story to go with her winter scene. I always love how a five year old creates stories to treasure!

I have set up a schedule (Katie took it and destroyed it, need another!) that details time with siblings. So when I am with Sara for example someone is with Katie (busy 2 yr old) doing something fun or special! That way I am able to focus on the child I am with for a good portion of time. Admittedly, I must be better at following this. Accountablity...isn't this what we are aiming for H!!??

The rest of her SK day will be from Sonlight including math from Horizons, computer programs/Ipad games. Not to mention and other crafts she will attempt and the imaginative play that occurs constantly! Really, play is her school! 

In all of this, interruptions or scheduled distractions (ha!) will occur and I am prepared to cut this in half or make do with the timing that happens!

Samantha: Grade Four

Included with her Sonlight this week, I am adding the theme of poetry. She loves creative writing/poetry and adding painting will add a sense of wonder for her morning! I may have her paint right outside!

She will be reading the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. The first thing she will do before her regular day will be simply reading the poem and starting a painting that reflects what she reads. We will do this for Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we have our homeschool group, Thursday we will begin a stanza that she creates of her own and learning more about R. Frost.


The Boys

Along with the regular Sonlight for grade 6 and 8 the boys will also be starting with poetry. I found a poem by Edward Lear called The DAddy Long-Legs and the Fly. A funny poem they can read and talk about together. I have no plan for them other than researching some cool facts on spiders on national geographic kids and maybe sketching some while I read in the morning.
More to come....this is only Sunday night!