Friday, September 24, 2010

On the 12th day of homeschool my kiddos said to me....

We officially have 12 days under our belt! There have been good days and bad days but we have survived! Today started out as one of those "bad" days! I had to tell the kids..."mommy needs a timeout. Sit here and I will be right back...don't talk. Just sit quietly". I grabbed my coffee and headed to a different room! Closed my eyes, finished my coffee in peace and quiet and then headed back to the kitchen to finish the lessons. May sound crazy, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do! lol! After my mommy-time out, the day got better! We are "walking" thru Proverbs this year. The kids are picking up the memory verses really quickly and understanding what they mean. I am seeing so much growth in them both!

Our curriculum is set up to have an exploration day (can't remember if I mentioned that already!). We have our exploration day on Wednesdays. Works out perfect because daddy's day off is that day too! The curriculum suggest you spend the majority of the day outside enjoying God's Creation. This past Wednesday was the PERFECT day to do just that! We did our math lesson and phonics, which I think is important to do every day. But the rest of the day we spent just being together as a family. The kids spent some time digging in the dirt with Ben planting some beautiful hostas. Lex also helped me make some banana bread. My friend Jamie says "Theres a learning opportunity in everything" and she is so right! While making the bread we doubled the recipe, so I got to talk to Lexie about fractions (1 1/2 + 1 1/2= 3).

Today Haylee said to me "mommy, you are the best teacher in the whole world!". Warms my heart! Makes the "bad days" worth it!

*we have had some really cool science lessons on ants and worms already. Once I find the cord for my camera I will upload those photos and blog about those!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Change and puddle Jumping

We officially have a week of homeschooling under our belt! And there have been changes already. Originally we were going to us Tapestry of Grace. But after starting it, I realized it was just too much for the kids at this age. And being new at homeschooling, too much for mom too! It was taking WAY too much time for the lesson planning! And I was starting to get very overwhelmed! Not a good way to start! In talking with my friend Bri, I made a decision to change our curriculum to My Father's World. It's set up much better (at least at this point) then TOG. Every day is set up for me. And it's a full curriculum. We are still using Horizon Math however next year I think we will switch to Math-U See. We were giving some Math-U See manipulatives and the girls have really enjoyed using them during our lessons.

It's been a little challenging to teach with Logan, but I have found that if I give him 15 minutes with JUST mom playing cars, or building blocks between lessons with the girls he does much better! He really enjoys our morning routine...praying, singing, learning about the weather and Bible time.

Today we did our exploration day. We went outside and went on a nature hike and looked for worms. It had rained this morning, so I thought for SURE there would be worms...surprisingly...not worms! The kids did find some slugs and a snail! After our hike we came inside and wrote in our nature journals about what they saw, felt and heard outside.

We are currently reading The BFG by Roald Dahl. It's about a little girl thats captured by a Giant in the middle of the night. She soon finds out that that he is a friendly giant---the only Giant in Giant country that does not eat "human beans". The little girl (Sophie) and the BFG decide to come up with a plan to rid the world of the "human bean" eating giants forever! It's a great book! And the girls are loving it!

Tomorrow my mom is coming over to teach the kids art! She was the Art Lady at Lansing Christian for awhile. She is really excited to have a part in our homeschooling journey and the kids are really looking forward to it as well!

We are all loving homeschooling! And am so thankful that God led our family in this direction!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And so we begin...

Yesterday marked the very first day of our new adventure...homeschooling! I have to tell you...last week I was getting very nervous! Wondering if I could do this! Especially with two little ones in tow. I prayed prayed prayed God would bless our first day. Our God is so faithful! He did that and more! Our first day was amazing! We started the day off at 8am. Kids had breakfast and their chores. 9 am we started school. We are using Tapestry of Grace this year. I decided not to follow their schedule but to start from Genesis. The kids loved the story of Creation. We didn't read it from the Bible, but from a worksheet I had. Then they spent some time writing in their journal about how they can help take care of what God created and drew a picture as well. Next we moved to Math for Lexie and Phonics for Haylee. We were given a free Hooked on Phonics Kit, and that is what both girls will be using this year. Haylee is starting with level one. After each reader, there are questions for them to answer about the story. Once each kid was done, the swapped. Meanwhile I did some puzzles with Logan and spent some one-on-one time with him. When both girls were done with Phonics and Math we did a craft...made a mini book on creation. After that the kids went outside and played while I made lunch. From there we did naptime for Logan and an hour of "me time" for the girls...this is when they read books quietly and I have MY time (I know all you mamas out there understand that!!). While Logan was still asleep I started our first read-aloud book with the girls. We are reading the Big Friendly Giant (The BFG). I think this is possibly one of my favorites times of the day. Snuggling up with my girls and reading to them! Now...some of you may be wondering where Alayna was this whole time... part of the morning she was strapped into my Moby wrap. The rest...she slept! I think she must be going thru a growth spurt b/c she pretty much slept all day (waking to feed of course! lol!). Once Logan was up we took a trip to the Library.

When Ben got home the kids we SOOOOOO excited to show him and tell him about the things we did and learned! After dinner we all snuggled on the couch and watched Wipeout. And then it was off to bed!

Today was pretty much the same routine. I did add computer time in however. Next week our days will be much fuller as we will be adding the Tapestry of Grace Curriculum which covers history, literature, geography, church history/Bible, writing and arts/activities. I am adding spelling words and weekly Bible Memory verse. They actually started the memory verse this week. Philipians 2:14 "Do everything with complaining or arguing". Seemed like the perfect verse to start with!! :) We will be adding Art History every other week too. My mom used to teach it when I was in elementary school and she has offered to come out here and teach my kids. How fun, right?! Lots of fun stuff ahead for the school year!

I have to tell you...I truly enjoyed and AM enjoying homeschooling! I know there will be days I want to pull my hair out and run and hide but I truly believe in this. God has called me to this and he will enable me thru...especially on the hard days! For those of you who think "I could NEVER do that" can. I said that about a year ago...and now look at me!

I originally started this blog to I am switching it up to talk about our homeschool journey. The good, the bad and the in between! I hope that I inspire you! If I can do this...YOU can do this!!