Monthly Archives: September 2007

What It’s All About

The thrill of learning!  The excitement of knowing that you actually understand! 

I have been blessed to be “front and center” to witness the miracle of knowledge! 

Last night, the three year old was somewhat uncontrollable in his excitement.  He has figured out that more than one object can start with the same letter.

For instance, the ABC Chart we use in school shows a wagon beside the letter “W”.  He played an ABC game last night that instead showed a watch for the letter “W”.  At first, he was saying, “Whu, Whu, …..Clock!” 

Then, after we pointed out that it was a “watch” and not a clock, his eyes lit up and he just started laughing.  It was so hilarious!  A “watch” and a “wagon” BOTH start with “W” and the “whu” sound!!  —– Wow!!

He spent the rest of the night, even into the night as he conned his way into Mom and Dad’s bed saying all the letters of the alphabet and the name of objects that start with each letter. 

Then…he proceeded to continue to fill his Daddy in on all the things he learned at “school” that day…matching capital letters to lower case letters, circle the pictures that began with the letter “L”, painting primary colors (blue, yellow, and red) and then mixing them to create secondary colors (orange, green, and purple), making hand puppets to form a butterfly and reciting the poem that goes along with it…

He went on and on and on and on and on…

Yep, this is what it’s all about! 

Hmmmm…..I wonder if God feels the same way when we “finally get it”….the lessons He’s been telling us over and over and over? 

I just imagine Him smiling, sitting back, and saying, “Yes, my child…..well done!”

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Family, Gifts, God, Homeschool, Humor, Joy, Life, Love

A Machete, A Kleenex, and Some School

We’re home from the winds of Northwest Texas!  We had a great visit with my daughter and especially enjoyed the treat of watching her college soccer game on Tuesday.

We tried to keep our schooling on schedule, but failed to get it all done due to about 900 miles on the road.  Still, it was educational…the boys got to see lots of fields, crops, and oil wells — something we don’t normally have regular exposure to, and believe it or not,…it actually fit in with Chapter Two of our Math lessons where the setting and manipulatives revolve around fields and planting, etc.   

The family cat has decided that my bedroom needs an exorcism or something!  She is fine on top of my bed, but will NOT stand on the floor without laying her ears down, and crouching low to the ground.  She sniffs and sniffs as though something were under my bed and she refuses to get anywhere near it!

She jumps at the least little noise, and is acting verrrrryyyy weird!  I’m thinking….if it were a mouse or a bug, she wouldn’t be scared.  So….the only assumption that I can make after that is that it is a snake or ?????, —thus my reason for wanting to borrow Cherie’s machete and why I have slept on the couch for the last three nights 😉

We’ve also been home bound and missed our first coop meeting due to the continual West Texas wind we inhaled during our trip.  The three year old has been coughing for two nights, but no seizures as of yet.  (Praise the Lord!) 

My head feels like it is going to split open, and there’s a porcupine in my throat.  –for real….I think.

So…we’re playing catch up this weekend on our school work, wondering if we should move out of our bedroom all together, and keeping the Kleenex company in business. 

Sounds like fun, huh?!

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Filed under Cat Behavior, Children, Family, Febrile Seizure, God, Health, Homeschool, Humor, Time

Schooling – Week #1

Ok, for those of  you who aren’t into the homeschool scene, this may be a little boring for you.  But…if you were wondering how our first week went…

Bible:

The theme this week was all about God.  We answered the questions, “Can we see God?”, “Are we like God?”, and “How are we different from God?”  I’m really liking the book we are using (“A Faith to Grow On” by John MacArthur).  Questions like these have already sparked some very fruitful conversation. 

Wednesday’s question included the subject of creation of man and other living things.  I pointed out that in scripture, it says that man was placed in dominion over the animals, and then to put it in words my five year old would understand, I said that man was made the “boss” over the animals and other living things. 

Agreeing with what he was hearing, he quickly replied, “I know!  Boys control animals.  Girls control flower beds.”

Ok, ….so…..he SORT of got it?!!

We had 2 – 3 minute “quiet” times using a kitchen timer as our clock.  I would attempt to scan through as much of the Word that I could read all the while wishing I had another hour to evelope myself in it, while the five year old circled the words he COULD read in his bible (i.e., God, the, to, etc.), and the three year old “read” the pictures in his bible.  It worked pretty well, and I hope it is setting the standard of morning worship with God.

Character:

  “We Obey God” is the first rule in the “21 Rules of This House” by Greg Harris.  I decided to use Matthew 22:37-40 as our scripture to support this rule . We paraphrased the verses and made up hand motions to it which the boys loved.  I actually caught the five year old “loving his neighbor (little brother) as himself” two times through the week.  Yeah!

Language Arts:

In the “Sing, Spell, Read, and Write” curriculum, all the phonics rules are set to music.  We use a chart which shows the capital letter, lower case letter, and a picture object for the letter sound.  The first 26 days in the curriculum focus on teaching a letter a day, recognizing its’ sound, and the capital and lower case versions of the letter, then writing it both ways.  There’s games to support the lesson as well as a structured and repetitive method of teaching the lesson plan.  It is working wonderfully!  We have made it through “Dd”.

He writes his first and last name several times each day for practice.

We’re reading aLOT, too.  Literature is a big part of the program.  We read a book each day to emphasize the sound of the letter we are studying.  Today, Craig actually read a lot of the words in “Go, Dog, Go” by Dr. Seuss.  He was so proud of himself, and actually got frustrated when I was trying to hurry through the book and not let him read it all!

Mathematics:

We’ve defined and recognized circles, rectangles, squares and triangles this week.  We’re using lots and lots of manipulatives set to a “farm” scene.  (You should meet Mr. and Mrs Farmer Brown sometime!)  Today, we went further into pattern recognition using sound patterns, action patterns, shape patterns, and color patterns.  How exciting it was to incorporate 1 Timothy into a math lesson, where we see Jesus acting as a “pattern” and example for our life!

Music:

The five year old started piano lessons.  He is a master musician in progress 😉

Science:

We read the story of creation, illustrated in a beautiful book published by Crossway Books.  The plan is to concentrate more on what was made each day of creation, and use that for the entire year.  We will begin with the planets, sun and stars next week.

Drama/Speech:

This was quite interesting!  Here is my little “Noah”!

Noah

We read the biblical account of the flood, drew chronological pictures on index cards, found items to create a costume, and then video taped him telling all about Noah.  We’ll be adding 12 more characters/stories to the tape to complete our movie to be shown at the end of year museum!

Foreign Language:

I finally decided to use a lesson out of a “High Five” magazine (preschool version of “Highlights”).  We introduced five spanish words and phrases that I’m sure I’m mispronouncing!…but…..it is FOREIGN language, right?

Social Studies:

We’re beginning with an “All About Me” book.  Once it’s completed, we’ll probably move into the study of different people groups, and then world locations/maps.

Technology:

We learned the various parts of a computer. I had to laugh when I realized that he did not know what a “floppy drive” was!!  (Oh, the age of CD’s…..)

Art:

This……ladies and gentleman, is called a shape sculpture! 

Shape Sculpture

(See the circles, rectangles, and squares?!!)  It is proudly displayed on our dining room table!

We also learned the names of the three primary colors:  blue, yellow and red

P.E./Health:

Two hours in the pool 😉  Yes……it WAS exercise! 

Other Stuff:

The daily weather predictions around here have ranged from Sunny to Partly Cloudy to Snowy.  They have actually gotten it right 3 out of 5 days!!

Each day we’ve reviewed the months of the year and days of the week, also displaying the current date.

Yes…I’m mean, I made him do homework, too! 

To manage their behavior, I decided to go with putting five stickers on their desk each day.  Each time I have to call them on their behavior, one sticker is removed.  The goal is to have at least one sticker left at the end of the day and then they can pick something out of the prize box.  I’m already noticing their motivation…big brother picks candy items, little brother wants toys! 

They kept at least one sticker each day until Friday when, after school, I caught them duking it out, fists, punches and all, on their floor in the bedroom.  I walked in to find big brother sprawled on top of little brother and both of them was grunting, and throwing left and right hooks as fast as they could!  Needless to say……they did NOT get a treat that day!

It was, however, a good week.  Thanks to you all for praying for us.  God is wonderful and blessed us with knowledge, wisdom, and patience just as we needed it!

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Filed under God