Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zoo Trip

We are frequent Zoo visitors.
We have learned not to try to see the whole
Zoo in one visit.
We break it up into parts.
Yesterday, we concentrated on
Florida natives, African monkeys, and the giraffe.

This handsome boy or beautiful girl was our first stop
at Florida natives.
We have never seen them this close up before at the Zoo.
The children watched in amazement.
We observed how big their paws are and how
loud the sounds were when they scratched an itch.
We will look the black bear up at home
and learn more about them.
Our next stop was the alligators
and boy were they active. There was
one "bully" who was looking for a fight.
He was splashing around and swimming
and running after the others.
No pictures could do them justice.
Besides, I took this moment to remind
my oldest why we do not allow
him to play in the marsh across the street.
I had my son to look carefully
at their teeth and how fast they swim
and run.
This could be another post in itself.
This is why I do not run in our neighborhood
til there is clear light out.
Next, was the African monkeys.
This big beauty wanted to have an up close
look at the boys.
He would come up to the window, look
and then sit back and relax.
This repeated several times.

The Zoo workers says he likes to play
with the kids that way.

It is sad they are in a Zoo.
But, maybe this way all can learn
about the glories of this world.
And we will work hard not to lose them.
Many blessings.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

1.5K = 2.5 Miles, Huh?

1.5K is actually is about .93 miles.
Someone needed to tell the race officials
because they got it all wrong.

My 7 yr old son and I enter a
1.5K fun run for kids today.
Everything started out great,
my son was running steady.
I kept looking for the 1.5K markings
for I knew the children needed
to turn back soon.
I ask the gentleman running in front of
us who I knew his wife was
in charge and he kept telling me
we are not there yet.
At this point I knew we had ran over .8 miles
because the street we were running on is
part of my long runs.
Anyway, we kept running along.
My son was getting hot.
I kept pouring water on his head.
I kept saying this is not right, this is too long.
My son ran his last 1.5K in 9 minutes and 24 seconds,
we at this point have been running
over 20 minutes!
When we finally got to the end,
the gentleman apologized.
Instead of .93 miles,
we ran 2.5 miles!
I hugged my son and told him how proud
I was of him.

We have another fun run in a 2 weeks.
I hope they know what a 1 mile run is.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our World History

Our History Scope and Sequence

year 1 and 7- Creation/Ancient Egypt/Ancient Israel
year 2 and 8- Ancient Greece/Ancient Rome/ Messiah
year 3 and 9 - Early Church/Vikings/Middle and Dark Ages
year 4 and 10- Renaissance and Reformation/British History
year 5 and 11- Industrial Era/ WWI/Depression/WWII/Holocaust
year 6 and 12- 1950- Modern times

We included Biblical readings with our world history
because we believe the the Bible is a valid
historical record of the Jews and
other ancient civilizations.
This is why we are starting
our world history with Genesis.
This is where we differ a bit from Charlotte Mason
who separated Biblical readings from the study
of the history.
Our spine books for year one are
the Bible, The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt,
and Usborne Ancient History.

Much relief. We are looking forward
to starting. We are going to do a simple
timeline as we read,
3x5 cards and drawings by my
son paper clipped to a string on a wall.
No dates just drawings.
Many blessings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Twins

Loving my brother.

Sharing toys and giggles.

Two peas in a pod.

Freeze frame.

Things People Say

Why all the changes?
Why not just stick with what you first decided on?
Seems like a lot of work.
I could not do it.
These questions and statements were said to me recently.
Of course, from non-homeschooling persons.

Why the changes?
Why not stick with what you first decided on?
Well, this is the beauty of home schooling.
If something is not working, change it.
If your child gets frustrated with one teaching method,
there are others to choose from.
Find one that fits.

Seems like it is a lot of work.
Yes, it is.
But, my children are worth it.
I love when I get to actually see the light bulb go off
in my children's head when they get it.
I love being an active part of their education
and not a bystander.
Yes, it is a lot of work.
I love my work.

I could not do it.
Yes, you can.
Any parent can do it.

Don't worry.
I won't ask why you don't.
I respect your decisions
and your rights as a parent.
You know what is best for your family.
Many blessings.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This is our new choice for year one science.
Apologia, Exploring Creation with Astronomy
We had started our year one with
The Sciences by Edward Holden.
This is really scheduled for year 6.
Besides that it was just "okay" with us.
We have researched and this won us over.
If you look here,
it will give you an description of the book.
We are looking forward to starting this
in term 2.

Now, if only our scope and sequence for history
could be decided this easily.
We are unsure of whether we are
happy with our world history choices.
We are in discussions,
huddling and trying to form a game plan.
How do we really want our children's history to go?
Follow Ambleside online or go chronologically?
We are leaning chronologically.
This would mean big changes in our
history curriculum.
Oh my.
Many blessings.

My Little Rock Wall Climber

This twin has managed to climb everything
in the house.
What is next?

Well, I had to ask.
Oh course, big brother's rock wall
is no match for this 2 1/2 yr old.

After 3 attempts and a little
coaching from big brother,
he conquers and conquers and conquers.

Yes, Mommy's throat is in her stomach.
But, I did manage a picture or two.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Continue Talk of Our Year One

Now that I have learned the lesson of less is more
for our Summer months, it now time to talk about
how I think each subject matter is going.
Should we stay with our current choices
or should we tweak?

First, let me talk of our Bible Study.
We are currently using
Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Bible History.
So, far we are pleased with this study.
Each chapter has 3 lessons
with questions at the end of each lesson.
My son narrates these very poorly,
but can answer each question easily.
I think the style of writing throws my son off.
But, I feel with time this will improve.
Also, I received some wonderful advice
about narration I will share soon.
With our Bible studies,
I am hoping to start our notebook entries soon.
Of course, this will happen after PS starts back.
Our notebook will have a drawing
of the Bible story of the week
and a one short sentence of copy work.
The drawing will be how my son sees the reading,
his expression.
No help from Mommy.
My son will have all week to draw his picture
on card stock.
We will then cut and paste it into his notebook.
My son loves to draw and paint.
This I think will be a highlight for my son.

Sunday Readings
We do a rotation of
Parables of Nature, James Herriott's Treasury for Children, and Trial and Triumph.
This I love.
I love the thought of doing Sunday readings.
Now honest time.
I think only once in the last 7 weeks have we
actually read these readings on Sunday.
But, we are not behind on these readings.
My son enjoys these stories.
The meaning behind the stories in
Parables in Nature seem to go a little
over my son's head, but overall he enjoys them.
The only thing I will change is
I will try to actually make these
Sunday readings.

Literature and Tales
We do rotation of stories from
The Aesop for Children and The Blue Fairy Book.
We are not behind in these readings.
No changes here.

World History
The books we are reading from are:
Old Stories from English History,
Heroes and Heroic Deeds of the Great War,
and Ecclesticial History of England.
Here there will be major tweaking.
I am dropping the Heroes book altogether,
way to complex for my son.
Maybe in a later year, way later year.
This is what you get when you do not glance over
the readings, lesson learned.
Will keep the other two books.
My son seems to be enjoying them.
We are behind though.
We will restart these readings after PS starts back.
I have not worked out our new schedule yet.
I have 2 1/2 weeks to do this.
Hopefully that will be done.
If not, will keep the same schedule
minus the Heroes book.

Here we are using The Ambleside Series Geography Books and Window on the World.
No changes.
We are behind a little. But I feel with
cutting back with other subjects,
we will easily catch up.
My son loves using the globe.
We highly recommend Window on the World by
Daphne Spraggett with Jill Johnstone.
My child is learning about other cultures
and how different they are from ours.

Natural History
Burgess Birdbook, we are behind by one chapter.
We can overcome this.
No changes.

American History
First Book in American History
My son really enjoys stories told from this book.
He actually narrates these well.
No changes.

We are using a rotation of Ray's and Shiller maths.
We plan on adding MEP next month.
Enjoy doing this rotation, changes things up.
Looking forward to using MEP.
I had in the past been uncomfortable with MEP
and its teaching style and philosophy.
But, after much more research, I am looking forward
to giving it a whirl.
Ray's, Shiller, and MEP are different from one another,
but also the same.
My son has had no trouble.
Our Living Math and math journals
have suffered over the first 7 weeks.
We are behind a few lessons each.
My son likes these, so I am hesitate to drop them
til PS starts back.
But, I think I will.
They will definitely be back in 3 weeks.

The Sciences
This we are changing.
This is for year 6, I think.
Though my son is doing okay, it is just okay.
Lots of research to do for this yet.

Free Readings
What can I say.
We are behind, behind, behind.
There is no hope to catch up,
nor do I want to try.
We will regroup in less than 3 weeks
and enjoy.
No changes, just reschedule.

Nature Study
The Handbook of Nature Study
We have not opened this book this term.
Never fear, we have had lots of nature study.
Everyday we have spent time outdoors,
at the beach, in the mud, hiking at Ranger camp,
dissecting owl pellets.
This subject has been in overdrive.
Hoping to have some focused study soon.

None done.
None Scheduled.
Will add these when
I am comfortable with everything else.
Though Vivaldi is being played throughout
the house during the day.

Copy work
Focusing on one perfect letter formation at a time.
Going well.
My son's handwriting is improving.
Almost done with the alphabet.
Will start with short simple sentences from
Bible readings soon.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Bob Books
Dr Cupp Readers
This we need much more work.
My son is slowly getting this,
but the key word is slowly.
If we miss a few days of reading,
it is like starting back at the starting gate.
This I feel needs to be my top priority.
No excuses, just daily short lessons.
I like what we are using, no changes there.
Just need to work on me being more consistent.

Narration. This has been tough for my son.
I have read a lot on what
others are doing to help with
their child and narration.
The one advice I have read that
I think we will try is narrating from free readings
and easy readings first.
Then after mastering those, slowly adding other readings.
We are going to start with American History and Bible.
Also, I am going to allow my son some options.
I will put the narration options in a jar on sheets of paper
and let my son grab from the jar.
Whatever he draws, he does for that narration.
What are the options?
Verbal narration, drawing a narration,
or acting out the narration.
I will let you know how it goes.
We will not start this til after PS starts back.
For now, I am not going to worry with narrations.
Giving my son a little break.

Well, there you have it.
My review of how our year one is going so far.
Not bad I think.
Lessons learned.
I am sure there will be plenty more
lessons that need to be learned in this
journey called home schooling.
Many blessings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Update on How Our Year One is Going

We are in week 7 of year one.
How is it going?
Well, we are running behind in everything.
No worries though.

We started slowly and anticipated this.
With public school out for Summer break,
we knew it would be hard to keep up.

We still have not added artist or composer studies.
And our nature study has pretty much been
about being outdoors and observing and playing in nature.
This counts right?

How do we catch up?
Do we try or keep driving on?
Well, here are my thoughts.
Nothing in stone and I might change my mind.

But, for now we might drop
World History, Science,
not try to add artist or composer study,
and cut back on our free readings.
These are the main areas we are behind in anyway.
We are hoping that by dropping these
til at least when public school starts back
might allow us to catch up.
Public school here starts back in less than three weeks.

Why has the PS being on Summer break
influenced our home school schedule?

This Summer my good friend
and I have been doing lots
of wonderful outdoor activities with our children.
Many of the outdoor activities really require two adults,
especially with the twins.
We have had great experiences
and would not change a thing.

Next Summer, we will take all this
into account when we plan our year two.
We school year round so this should not be a problem.

More on our year one soon.
Much to say about narration, phonics,

We have been enjoying our year one so far.
Many blessings.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Son Rock Kids Camp

Vacation Bible School
Accepted by Jesus, Forgiven by Jesus,
and Living for Jesus.

This was my 5th year as Director.
This year my good friend and I were
co-directors. I can not tell you how nice
it was to have a c0-director.
A shoulder to lean on is priceless.

We had 51 children attend.

Here is my oldest.

At the Wilderness Trail, the children dissected
owl pellets.
My son loved this. He told of rat skulls and bird bones.
He was careful not to miss anything his owl pellet
had to offer.
(the above picture is of the instructor)

The children sang songs, listened to Bible stories around
a camp fire, made crafts, and brought in food
for the local food pantry.
657 pounds of food.
A lady from the local food pantry came the last day
to accept the food and told the children thank you.
All and all, it was a great VBS.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heaven Bound

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Another name is Lou Gehrig's.
It is a disease of the central nervous system
that affects a person's ability to move certain muscles.

My Aunt went to heaven this morning.
I am saddened,
but I know she is rejoicing with our Lord.
I was blessed to have her as an Aunt.
Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 4th

Our July 4th started early.
our oldest ran his first 1.5K race.
He did wonderfully despite the heat and humidity.

Next was the parade.
My son was in the parade again this year.
He rode his bike all decorated.

This year in the bike decorating contest,
my son's bike won the Mayor's trophy.

He drew pictures of tanks, army trucks, and
an army soldier for his bike.

His eyes were wide and his smile reached his ears.
His bike is stilled decorated and sitting in the garage.
Maybe by Halloween we will be able to remove the decorations.

A wedding reception and then fireworks
completed our day.

Happy Birthday America.