Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I have never been very good at handling "hiccups" in the schedule. They can just throw me all out of whack! I guess God is really wanting me to get over this flaw because he is really trying me. This week is nothing like I had planned!
First off I had forgotten to schedule in our big dentist appt, which has been on the schedule for a while now (actually I am typing this at the dentist office). This pretty much cancelled out anything I had planned for this afternoon.
Plus my hubby told me yesterday of his surprise plans for hen and I this weekend! He is whisking me away to San Antonio this weekend - NO KIDS!! Not that I'm not excited about that...but that throws our original Friday and next Monday plans out of the window!
But hey I am learning quickly that the joys of homeschooling is the fact that you can be flexible! I am trying real hard to not get flustered and just go with the flow! I'm trying to focus on the fact that I get a fun weekend away and not on our school schedule and how to make up for lost time!
Oh - and this will be the first time for me to leave Alyssa...that will be a bit hard - it has been for each kid!
But anyways...I will try my hardest to have our weekly wrap up posted on Friday but I can't promise anything :-). I have managed to change our plans to condense lesson one into 5 days instead of 6 days! (see - I can do this!)
I hope everyone else is having a smooth week!!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Well this mom is excited! We signed up for our co-op classes for our homeschool organization that we joined today! I think this is going to be a fun time for the kids. Hopefully a time when they can develop friendships with other kids. It is a good way to solve the whole “socialization” issue! Ha! (Personally I don’t think there is an issue but if anyone wants to ever try that argument with me I have a good answer to give…my kids are involved in co-op classes where they get to interact with other kids, along with being very involved in church…)
Anyways…that is NOT the reason for this post. :-)
The classes are held every other Friday through November (so there will be 6 sessions for each of these classes). Here are the classes that we will be doing:
1st Period 9:30-10:15
Seth – Folk Tales and Fables - (Familiar stories come alive through fun, exciting, hands-on projects. The activities for each story will be stored in a pocket book handmade by your child. Skills such as narration, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, and fine-motor skills will be introduced and/or reinforced in this class.)
Aaron – Pre-K PE class
Alyssa – Nursery (and I will be helping with the nursery during this period)
2nd Period 10:20-11:05
Seth – Photo Phun - (Students will create a scrapbook using their own photos. They will then have a memory book as a keepsake.) *The fee for this class was only $15 and what a memory Seth will come out this class having :-) I am planning on having him use pictures that I take during school (a lot that you see here on the blog).
Aaron – General Pre-K activities (and I will be helping with this class during this period!)
Alyssa – Nursery
3rd Period 11:10-12:00
Seth – Storigami (Combines the arts of storytelling and origami. Not only is origami fun, but when you practice origami, you are activating the whole brain. It is a unique exercise in spatial-temporal reasoning beneficial in developing hand eye coordination, sequencing skills, attention skills, math skills and patience. We will use our imagination as the shapes emerge and put them into a story.) I will be in this class because they asked that mothers of 5 yr olds be present to help their child with the folding. So it will be like Seth and I are doing this class together – FUN!
Aaron – Story time and crafts
Alyssa – Nursery
PE 12:30-1:15 for Seth…general play time for Aaron and Alyssa
I really think this is going to be a lot of fun for the kids and I am really looking forward to it!!
Friday, August 27, 2010
We started doing morning devotions this morning! This was a suggestion from Daddy…he said he would like for us to do morning devotions during our breakfast time. I did some research yesterday to find the perfect book. Can you believe that I found it on Kindle??? (I have the Amazon Kindle app for my iphone).
The book is entitled Family Time Story Devotions by Eldon Weisheit.
I really like the simple lay-out of the book. For each devotion it give the scripture reference for focal scriptures (I like that it only gives the references…makes you have to look the verses up in your own bible). It then gives a short application story. After that it gives some questions that allow for some discussion time between you and your kids. And then it ends each devotion with a prayer.
I am really looking forward to breakfast time with my kids now! (not that I ever didn’t look forward to it…it just has never been a big deal around our house – and now it is!) What a perfect way to start our day!
This will probably not be the normal lay-out of our weekly wrap up post...because this first week was a bit different that what our "normal" week will look like! I am hoping to find an organized way to do this weekly wrap up post (so that maybe I can even make a template post that I just have to fill in the details :-) - anything that will make things easier will be a big help!) But hopefully I will come up with something great! (I am planning on putting these posts into a book at the end of the year for the kids to have a memory book in years to come!)
Here is what I want to highlight this week though:
This week we focused on God's creation. (note: the MFW kindergarten curriculum had you do this in 10 days but we condensed it down to 5). Along with doing the activities from the MFW curriculum (making a days of creation book and coloring and cutting the creation numbers), here are some activities we did for each day of creation:
We started our study watching just the creation section of this video I found online.
Day 1- God made light and seperated light from darkness - we made day/night pictures (using this idea from Danielle's Place (go down to the Day and Night picture idea).
Day 2 - God made the seas and the clouds - we made a clouds and sea picture. We painted with blue paint on construction paper for the water and then glued cotton balls on for our clouds.
Day 3 - God divided the seas and made dry land appear -We did this cool craft from Danielle's Place. We used blue hair gel that I found at Wal-Mart.
Day 5 - God made the creatures of the sea and the creatures of the air. We made fish bowls from this craft idea (scroll down to fish in a fish bowl craft) on Danielle's Place. I wasn't able to get fish bowl gravel so we used beads instead. We used cut up green pipe cleaners for the grass and colored and cut out fish.
Day 7 - God saw all that He had created and rested- so we rested- we watched our Veggie Tales DVD "God Made You Special". I asked Seth beforehand "Why do you think we are watching 'God Made You Special'?" He responded with "because God made us last?"...pretty deep for a 5 year old!
Reviewing our ABC
One reason why we condensed the 10 day study on creation to 5 days in the MFW curriculum is because the curriculum, alongside teaching the story of creation, had you teach the kids the letters. Seth already knows his letters (and letter sounds for that matter) so I didn't see us needing to spend 10 days on it. We did review the alphabet all week though. We watched the LeapFrog Letter Factory one day (which I give big KUDOS to...this video is what helped Seth learn his alphabet and letter sounds!). We also watched some educational videos on the alphabet that my mom gave me.
We also reviewed the alphabet using flashcards and using our alphabet puzzles.
We had fun with starfall.com this week as well playing some of their alphabet games. The boys really liked that!
Our Fun Snacks this week!
When I was preparing the lessons for this week I found online somewhere (I honestly don't remember where) cool snack ideas that go with the days of creation! We had a lot of fun with these!
On Monday we studied days 1 and 2 of creation so our snack was oreos (representing light and dark from day 1), marshmallows (representing clouds from day 2) and ice water (representing of course water from day 2).
On Tuesday we studied days 3 and 4 of creation. Our snack that day was dirt cups (chocolate pudding with crushed oreos on top). We were going to make star and moon shaped cookies and ice them...we just ran out of time that day. But the boys loved the dirt cups!
On Wednesday we studied days 5 and 6 of creation. Our snack that day was goldfish crackers and animal crackers.
On Thursday we studied day 7 of creation. We decided to have sundaes that day.
This Week's Fun Lunch
I am trying to think of some fun lunches for us to have every week...of course I can't be creative every day but I am striving to have at least one fun lunch every week.
On the first day of school I made silly face pizzas! OH BOY the giggles from the boys was worth it!! They loved them!! And they were very tasty and very easy to prepare - so they will probably make a regular appearance this year. (I just used refridgerated pizza dough, jarred pizza sauce and mozzerella and cheddar cheese. As I do them again I will be adding either green or white puree from The Sneaky Chef cookbook to add in some more nutritional value! The boys will never even know the extra veggies are there!)
It has been so incredibly hot around here lately! It was a nice change when a cool front blew in on Tuesday night! In fact we were so excited about the temporary change in weather that on Wednesday morning we had our bible time and did our crafts out on our gazeebo!
Thursday morning was even cooler than Wednesday morning so we started our day with some P.E. time. The boys enjoyed running around the yard.
This first week of school Aaron participated in everything that Seth did and did a pretty good job keeping up. As we get into the "meat" of kindergarten Aaron will have his own preschool workbooks and activities to do while Seth is doing kindergarten. Once we start that I will have a section in the weekly wrap up to highlight Aaron's preschool activities.
And I will highlight Alyssa as things happen that are highlight worthy :-) Seriously, she will just be playing along with the boys. I do have special toys for her that are in the schoolroom and I will try to highlight them every now and then. I am not going to try to "formally" have any tot activities for her...it would just be extra work for me. I have become a firm believer to just let the babies be babies. She is learning so much through just free play and watching her brothers. But I having some do plan on having some special times with her and will highlight those when I am able to do so.
We go on Monday afternoon to sign up for our co-op classes with the local homeschool organization that we are involved with. I will include in next week's wrap up what classes the boys will be doing!! :-) I am really excited about it!
I hope everyone else had a good week as well and pray you all have a good weekend!
Monday, August 23, 2010
But I did want to do a first day of school post!! I had to share how much fun we had on our first day!
We started our day with blueberry pancakes for breakfast! This is the favorite breakfast around our house so it seemed fitting to start our school year off with our special breakfast! And what a treat we had that Daddy got to share breakfast with us! He didn't have to leave the house until late morning today so he was able to enjoy our first day of school breakfast with us!
After that I had my first monkey wrench in my plans. My dear sweet Alyssa usually sleeps until about 10:00 every morning so I was planning to get through half of our morning session before she woke up...but this morning she decided to wake up at 8:30 (the time I planned on starting school). It threw me for a bit but I finally recovered! She is going to be the difficult one...trying to figure out what to do with her when I am trying to teach the boys!
I won't go into all the details of the day. I will cover some of the highlights in my weekly wrap up at the end of the week. We spent the day making our school ids, our phone number key chains, going over class rules, and then diving into our lessons for creation days 1 and 2.
Here are pictures we took for our school ids - the boys mug shots :-)
(For those who are following this blog that are doing the MFW kindergarten curriculum...we are condensing the 10 days of creation study into 5. Seth is already pretty familiar with the creation story and Seth also already knows all his letters so I didn't feel we needed to spend a full 10 days on that.)
Today we did go over the alphabet and confirmed that Seth does know all of his letter names and letter sounds! We watched a video called - Animal ABC's. It was an educational video that went through the letters of the alphabets as it explored a zoo. (A big thanks to my Mom for giving me many good educational videos to share with the kids!)
We also had fun today playing games and puzzles. And the boys were super excited when I gave them their own pair of scissors and actually let them cut paper! And they did a very good job I must say. Seth was so serious about it! Aaron was just excited when he actually got the paper to just cut! Oh the little things.
Aaron did a pretty good job keeping up. He of course doesn't know his alphabet yet but he sure listened today and he can recognize some letters already. He did really like being included though in the same things that Seth was doing and liked being a "big boy". He also did pretty good on his potty training today :-) I really think being a "big boy" in school is going to help him finally "get it"...and being on a good daily schedule should help as well.
I think the boys' highlight of the day was the silly face pizzas I made them. Their giggles when they saw the pizzas were PRICELESS!!! Seth shouted "OH BOY - IS THIS WHAT WE ARE HAVING FOR LUNCH EVERY DAY?" I told him not every day but they will probably make an appearance regularly (becuase they were quite easy to prepare...and the boys loved them! *and they have no idea that I can sneak healthy vegetable purees into the pizza sauce and they will never even know it!*
All in all it was a good day! I loved the big eyed looks they gave me when I went over how we would be handling conduct and the fact that Daddy would be given a weekly progress report and if they had bad conduct on it they would be in big trouble. I don't think we will have too many behavior issues :-)
I could go on and on about today but I don't want to bore all of you! I will mention more about today in the weekly wrap up!
Oh - and update on that meeting we had with the homeschool organization - it went really well!! We met some really nice people and I am so looking forward with getting involved with this group! It is definitely going to be a good thing for us! :-)
Ok - I have to go to bed now! I will talk with all yall later! And I welcome your comments and any questions you want to ask about our day!
Until next time,
Friday, August 20, 2010
I feel official now - I made a teacher card. (I blurred out address and phone information on the pic below to protect us). Do I look official?? LOL!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
We have been super busy getting everything ready! First off - we built a schoolhouse!! We took my husband's wood shop and converted it into a school house! I am so excited to have this set apart space! It is a space specifically for school and it is separate from the house so that when we are doing school we can concentrate on school and not get distracted by the thousand other things in the house that need to be done.
Here are some pics of our new school house!
Seth's curriculum has been chosen and prepped - we are doing My Father's World kindergarten curriculum! I am so very excited!!
I am also very excited about once again getting active in making posts for the blog. I can't tell you yet how often posts will be made because I don't know exactly how our schedule is going to go yet...we are just going to dive in and see how it goes :-) But I am planning on doing at least one post a week...a wrap up post if nothing else. If you have followed my personal blog in the past there really is no need to...at least for now...right now I am just going to concentrate on this one blog...but it makes sense since schooling is fixing to become our life :-)
Oh- we are also getting involved with a homeschool organization in our area that I am so excited about! We will be doing co-op classes, monthly park days, field trips, etc...you will be hearing more about that on here as well!
I am so excited to get started!!