Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We are marching into Russia!

After a week off of school we are back to the grindstone. Hannah's birthday was a few weekends ago and to help her celebrate it, her cousin came down for a week. The girls played so much together. It was good for them. I think they were exhausted after the week was over after so much together time and no sleep.

Hannah was baptized last Sunday in an amazing children's baptism service. I love our church and the way they really make things happen the right way. After a 5 week class where Hannah learned about what salvation was about...she knows the decision she has made is real. It was really awesome!
After the service was over they had a nice ceremony with cake and punch. Then they gave them each a NIV Adventure Bible with their name engraved on it. How cool! What a way to start them off on their journey with Jesus.

We started back to school this week, but lightly. Monday, I got up and the girls and I helped my best friend celebrate her birthday at Cracker Barrell. Then, Tuesday they had a field trip to the bakery where they learned about the King Cake. They were able to have a sample and I have to say...yum! We forgot we were going to be there on Fat Tuesday. We just don't keep up with all that fun stuff...smile!

We've been studying Russia in Galloping the Globe. Learning about Moscow and St. Petersburg, their flag, important people and places there. We've learned that Russia is in both Asia and Europe and the Ural Mountains are the seperating line between the two. We've been reading literature from Russian authors or about Russia. The girls drew some narration pictures from a story I read them today. They are doing quite well! We plan to make homemade pretzels next week with our Russia study!

We've gone back lite this week, as I am waiting for some new curriculumn to come in. I am very excited about us using it even though it means us back tracking a bit. It won't be that big of a deal since we hope to school through the summer...even if its lightly.

Softball is about to start and we had our first meeting with the parents last night. I thought it went well. I think we are going to have a great group of girls and parents. I am excited to see what they are capable of this year.

That's all for today...I am so ready for Spring!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Bible Time...

One thing I have changed this year is beginning our day with The Wonder Bible. It has been awesome. I wanted to be here for my kids, be their spiritual leader, allow them to have spiritual conversations with me. But I neglected the ONE thing...His Word. I can not begin to tell you the change it has had in our homeschooling...even if it is just within me. To begin the day covered in Him makes our day go by so much better.

In the back of my mind, when I first began taking the time to read His word first together with our children, I was thinking....we are so jam packed in the day...how will I fit it in...even though I know He is the most important thing...I wasn't making Him that in our school.

He revolutionized our school. The stress is almost nonexistent and it seems like we get more done faster than we did before. I am so blessed...God is so good...

Curriculum....so many choices so little time!

So...I am a curriculum junkie. I've been warned that this could happen...and yet...I still have fallen prey to the vast array of curriculum available to teach my little ones. I am always thinking I am missing something...

I chose Galloping the Globe for our geography/history curriculum for this year and next. For the most part I am happy with it. We have been visiting the different countries in Asia so far and I have finally gotten a knack for what is really interesting to them and what is not.

I have also discovered that as much as I want to be a hands on teacher for them...it really is impossible with Autumn. I need things that I can teach and then they can do themselves. That is one reason I changed our math. I really liked the idea behind Making Math Meaningful, I just didn't have the time I needed to devote to sitting down with them 30 min at a time and I didn't feel they were getting everything they needed to drill their facts.

Right now, I am searching for what to do with their Lang. Arts for next year. I like FLL but again it moves sooooo slow and I think they are ready for more. I don't like the fact that Hannah isn't writing more than she is right now. She is very capable, though sometimes lazy if I don't make her write.

I also go back and forth as to whether I should have gone the total classical route taking them through history chronologically. I plan to do that 5-12th grade but I wonder if I shouldn't at least be introducing them to some of the history this way so they will be aware of it by the time we get to it again. I went through the Well-Trained Mind and figured out how many figures and historical events they should be introduced to in the grammar stage and am thinking maybe I can at least do some read alouds to them in this area to give them awareness even if we aren't making timelines and narrating formally.

I like that Galloping gives them a world sense...I just teeter totter all the time. I think if I do what I am planning I will read them at least 12 books a month over the next 15 months that are chronological from ancients to the modern times that will give them something to chew on when we do start.

I found this great site...and I hope to use it to do our history. Reading our way through History-Click Here.


So...my plans for next year:

Bible reading-we are starting at the beginning now, and working our way through. We are using the Wonder Bible. (It is closer than The Beginners Bible but not exact word for word...its reads more like a story.)

Rod & Staff English 2
Building Spelling Skills (if I do R&S)
Sonlight Reading or CLE Reading
A Reason for Writing Cursive C
Writing Strands (with Hannah-the 2nd part of the year)
Writing With Ease (Mikayla, some Hannah)
Math Mammoth 2 & 3
Apologia Astronomy
Artistic Pursuits
Type to Learn (Hannah)
Stories of Great Composers
Two plus Two is not Five Supplement
Grocery Store Math
ASL

OR

Christian Light Language Arts (CLE)- includes grammar, spelling, writing, handwriting
CLE Reading
Writing Strands
CLE Math
Two plus Two is not Five Supplement
Grocery Store Math
Apologia Astronomy
Artistic Pursuits
Type to Learn (Hannah)
Stories of Great Composers
ASL

Then do the read alouds with Galloping the Globe and the History I wanted to do with them.

They will also be playing softball, possibly soccer, basketball, (Mikayla-possibly gymnastics)

They will be participating in Bible Bee this Fall-this includes a lot of memorization of scripture. This will be a challenge for us all...but a great way to learn scripture for a lifetime!

I think we will continue our 3 week on, 1 week off schedule. This works well for us. There are some times we do more weeks of school so we can take off for special occasions or take more than one week off.

In the next few years I am hoping to add Latin for both of the girls. I am thinking when Hannah starts 5th grade we will begin Tapestry of Grace but I want to research this more first.

Ahhh....the insanity of it all.

I have it laid out...now I will allow Jesus to speak through me as to what He wants me to do for the girls.

I do know one thing...He has shown me as I stated before that it is okay not to be as hands on as I think I need to be. I am available, I teach, but I let them learn, I am here for them in the things that they can not teach themselves, but I want them to learn to to learn on their own without me holding their hand the whole way. I know they are young, and I will do this as much as they are capable, but what a gift to learn how to learn....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Busy girls we have been...

We finished up our study on Israel. It was very interesting. We learned the capital of Israel, their language, population and what kind of language they speak. Mikayla was very intrigued to learn that in their language the read from right to left. She has tried it with several of their books. We talked about Abraham, Jacob, Joesph and Jesus...as important figures from Israel. We colored the Israeli flag. This finished our study of Asia. We study some of the main countries of China, Japan, S. Korea, India, and Israel. Our next continent is Europe. We will begin that in about two weeks. We took off of Galloping this week to do focus on more of our science.

In science, we have been studying the second day of creation-God created the air. We have been talking about air, air pressure and will be talking more about the wind, the clouds and the weather.
video
The girls have been doing a good job focusing on their studies. I have started including Hannah in our phonics study so that we will make sure nothing gets left out of that area.

The girls just finished up their season of Upwards Cheerleading and Basketball. They had so much fun! Mikayla finally made her first goal in the last two minutes of the game last Saturday. It was the perfect ending to a great season! Hannah has been talking about playing basketball next year.

We will be beginning softball in a few weeks. Chad and I will be coaching the girls team this year.

I am including some pictures of the girls.

We made an abacus out of popcicle sticks, pony beads, and skewers.









It is beautiful right now outside. It has hard to believe its February already.

I am already in pursuit of planning next years curriculum. It makes me crazy to think about planning this all again...just because I am such a researcher about it all...smile!





The girls have been practicing their piano everyday...and I guess Autumn thinks she needs to practice as well.

She is our little cutie pie and makes everyday...an adventure!