Friday, February 27, 2009

Spontaneous Field Trip

Yesterday, the children and I were out at our local park for some outdoor time.
Well, we were attacked by knats.

As I was driving back home, I thought....
Field Trip!

Thirty minutes later, we were having fun in the sand at the beach.

Watching big brother closely.

Big brother was the teacher today.

Spending time with each.

As my oldest says, "homeschooling rocks!"
Many blessings.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Training Wheels No More

We have had the training wheels off my oldest bike for a long time in the hopes that our son would finally get the courage to give it a go. The bike set in the garage close to six months. Finally one afternoon, soon after his younger girl friend showed how she could do it, my son tried. He tried and tried. He is great once he gets going. But that is it, he needs help starting and stopping. Well, over the weekend, his confidence got stronger and stronger.
He did it with no help.
His confidence soars now.
Find a good flat surface.

One foot up and one foot down.
Then push off.

See my dust flying?
Many blessings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside Time

The weather was crisp and beautiful this past weekend. We as a family spent most of the weekend in the back yard. My husband working on the outdoor fort for the children. Might I add watching him pour all his love into this project makes me fall even more deeply on love with him, if that is possible. The children played in the dirt. The oldest with his two friends, the three musketeers, the twins with everybody. I was able to sit on the steps and dive deeply in a book with a diet coke at hand. What fun. Times like this are my favorite.
My oldest finally got the confidence to ride his bike without training wheels. I think his smile could not be any bigger or brighter. The neighborhood boys cheered and encouraged, joining in on his ride. My husband and I just looked at each other, no words exchanged, we both thought the same, we are blessed.
Other fun happenings. One of my girlfriends and I ran a 10K on Saturday. Starting temperature was 36 degrees. Dressing for a run that cold is hard for us who live in the South. We just don't experience it that often. Layers are the key. As you run, you strip, laying items on the side and hoping they are there when you come back. I placed mine by pirates who where stationed on the route, it was a Pirates Run. They looked after them for me. This race consisted of 4 miles of trail running, a first for me and my girlfriend. The trail was beautiful. It was through marsh areas with big signs warning of wild alligators. I think if we saw one, we would have blown by even the fastest of runners. We really could not take in the beauty because we had to be sure of our footing.
All in all, we can say we did a trail run, check it off the list. Many blessings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Planning for Our Year One- Math

This post is about our selections for math for year one. I have to start by saying I thought this was going to be one of the easiest subjects to plan, wrong! I have read what Charlotte Mason has written about math and I am still unclear of exactly what she is saying. So, til I become more clear, I have been researching and browsing here and there around the web. I found one math program that sparked my interest- MEP- Mathematics Enhancement Programme. I could even download the lessons and practice books for free. The practice books looked interesting and I thought I could incorporate them into our math goals. Well, I started reading more about MEP. I found out that it is based on a Hungarian Series that are based on a continental model. What is that do you ask? From My understanding, it is a model where whole class interactive teaching is prevalent. Here are some quotes from the MEP site- "puts the teacher as the focus of the learning, places greater emphasis on whole class, interactive teaching with less differentiation and less individual works." Red flags everywhere for me. Whole class? I am all about individual learning, focusing on the child not the teacher. This might be a highly successful with high scoring students, but at what cost? How do you know in a "whole class" environment if everyone understood? I home school so I can foster to my children's individual needs and style of learning. So, needless to say MEP is out.
I did come across Ray's New Primary Arithmetic for Young Learners by Joseph Ray written in 1877. So far what I have read, I am pleased. Also was able to download this book for free too. It is more word problem based. I do like this and will find a way to incorporate this into our math. We purchased Shiller Math last year and are currently using this and have enjoyed it. It is a hands-on, using math manipulative type of math. We are also reading several Living math books. Living math is our favorite.
So, what to do for year one.....For now I think I will use Shiller Math two days a week and use Ray's Math two days a week. One day will be for our math journal and living math books. Each lesson only lasting 20 minutes or less.
I don't know why this was sooo difficult. I am glad I have finally come to what I think is a good conclusion, but it sure did take a lot out of me. I going to take two more Motrin and call it a day.
Many blessings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Random Thoughts

As I am researching and planning my oldest child's year one curriculum, I am finding a few things that I am gravitating towards. I have a definite love of anything old, classic, vintage. Everyday I am locating books written in the 1800's used for teaching children. I am hooked so to speak. I am working on incorporating some of these finds into our year one. Some will be part of our math, some our science, but most will be part of our free readings. I am having so much fun. I will post more on my hooks as I try to figure out how to schedule them.

The weather has been beautiful here lately, shorts have been in order on most days. Our outdoor time is increasing. I can definitely tell a difference in not only the children but myself. Fresh air, sunshine, and cool breezes does a lot to uplift spirits. We are just loving it. Hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Cave in a Home

Do your children have a special spot in your home?

One they go to to be alone.

My children have this special spot that they love.
I can always find at least one of them there.

They act surprised and giggle when found.

What special place is this?
Under the desk in the kitchen, of course.
Many blessings.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Boy and His Beloved Snakes

On of the twins loves snakes.
How could this be?
I had a stuffed snake from a puppet skit at our church.
You know, Adam, Eve, and the snake.
Had this stuffed snake for years.
The oldest never cared for it that much.
But twin one fell in love.

We now have a collection.
Four in all.
He loves them, each and every one.

The snakes have a calming effect.

He walks around wanting to give you a kiss from his snakes.

Who can resist?
Not I.
Many blessings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Under Construction

Construction is under way for the
Barefoot Cowboys Fort.
The land has been cleared and properly prepped.

The first addition has begun.
This has a sand box under foot.
There will be an additional tower, swings, rock wall, and slides.

Hubby with the help of the oldest are hard at work.

Completion date.....
Well, according to the oldest,
the project is way behind schedule.

Patience son.
Rome was not built in a day.
Many blessings.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Planning for Our Year One- Geography

Geography. We are going to use The Ambleside Series Geography Books by Charlotte M. Mason. This was an easy choice. Could not ask for something more in lines with what Charlotte Mason recommends than her own works. So happy about this. We are also going to continue to read from the book titled Window on the World by Daphne Spraggett with Jill Johnstone. We found this book on The Voice of the Martyrs web site and we love it. It has helped my son learn about children in other parts of the world and how to pray for them. As for AO, they have Paddle to the Sea as their geography reading for year one. We have already begun reading this book and my son loves it. We look at the map in the back of the book as a reference. We will place this book on our free reading list. By June we will be pretty close to finishing this book. I think we will do geography once or twice a week. I am not sure on this yet. Anyway, this is our geography plans. So far so good. Next is... I am not sure what I will work on next. Will it be copywork, art study, math, who knows. At least I know I have til June. Many Blessings.