Week 2: Allowing for Life to Happen

It was an interesting one anyway. Ha!  you know the old saying “when it rains, it pours?” THAT sums up our week.  Almost made that the title of this blog post but I’m looking for the silver lining in this week instead….or trying to anyway.

Between the baby with an ear infection and pneumonia, another child with fever and a cough, another child with a cough, Mom with a fever and cold, and other unexpectedness….we didn’t accomplish much school-wise.

We did what we could and spent a lot of time resting. The three middles had plenty of outside time and Wii playing time.  The baby and I stayed in bed…a LOT. He wanted to be held and I was more than happy to oblige.

This is probably one of the best perks of homeschooling…allowing for life to happen.  We didn’t have to be anywhere. We didn’t have to get dressed.  We didn’t have to do anything but take the time we needed to recooperate.

We could stay in bed and in our pjs all day if we wanted…and we did at least one day and a good part of two others.  We could order pizza one night for dinner, and then have leftovers for the next day’s breakfast and lunch….just because the boys thought it was fun and I didn’t feel well enough to actually fix anything.  We could make a Sonic run just to perk us up a little. We could stay up late and watch movies in bed.

And I’m SO thankful, especially this week, for that and more.

We did manage some math. On Monday we put our first entry into our math journals…Odd and even numbers. It was a fun refresher for Kaleb, and an easy lesson for Gabriel. We played some games on the whiteboard and then they made their journal entries.

Kaleb’s entry.
Gabriel didn’t quite finish his.

Kaleb is working hard on borrowing from hundreds this week. He isn’t a fan of math right now! However next week will bring back some joy with measurements and all of the fun activities we have planned to go with it. Then the following week brings back something that is quickly becoming a favorite of his—multiplication! He did well this week, hanging in there through some rough spots.

Other than shouting out math facts, Gabriel has NO interest in math. Ha! I think he likes to challenge me to find ways of making math more enjoyable for him. We’re deep into fact families this week and next.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found a couple fact family crafts that I had planned on doing this week.  We’ll start off next week with those and see if I can interest him into getting through this chapter with a little fun.

Scripture Adventures and Apologia Who is God? continue to be HUGE hits!  I’ve had the boys either color from the Who is God? coloring book or draw a picture to go along with our SA lesson, and I am amazed at their retainage. Even Drake memorized Isaiah 45:19 with us!

In SA, the objective was to draw a picture that shows God’s power in His creation.

Kaleb’s Garden of Eden. He mentioned the consequences of listening to the serpent.  He would also like to point out the blue duck on his sign. 🙂

Gabriel chose showing God’s power in creating light. He said the brown is a mess up so please excuse, and that is God next to the words.

We managed to read a chapter in history, complete several Explode the Code pages (Gabriel and Drake) and a lesson in Wordly Wise (Kaleb), and practice little handwriting. 

And that concludes the WHOLE week of education. Trying not to be frustrated since we had SO much unexpected happen this week. 

We have some out of state family in for the weekend. We plan on spending time with them and getting plenty of rest so we can start fresh on Tuesday.  We are also looking forward to having Daddy home for the three day weekend.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!!

Run for God

Have you heard of a training guide called Run for God?  I’m in love.  It’s similar to Couch to 5K but with a devotional.  A friend found it and asked if anyone in our homeschool group would be interested. I was the only to reply so it never came about.  However I emailed it to our Believe pastor at church. She’s over Life Groups and I was hoping this might make a good one. Sure enough, she agreed so we have a Run for God life group starting in a couple of weeks. I am super excited!

I’ve been struggling with my runs since having Joshua.  It seems my body is totally different than pre-pregnancy. I just couldn’t get anything going. So frustrated and down on myself about my FAILURE as a runner that only echoes after my failures as a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, sinner….I really just wanted to give up. Give up, go home, and eat as much chocolate as I could stand…every day for the rest of my life. Sound like a plan?

I didn’t think so.  So one morning as I’m preparing to run (*with* my husband, which means we started out together, he quickly ran ahead, and outran me by miles…literally. He rocks and I totally don’t hold that against him.:), I decided this run would be different.  I wouldn’t run for my own needs or desires. I would run for God. Sound familiar? Hey, I’m not above stealing a catchy phrase. Ha! 

Yes, I was thinking of that running program and the significance of the title. Run for God. Why not? Run for His glory (not my own selfish desires), and praise His name every painful step of the way. Give it to him. Let him make or break me.

I still tear up just thinking about that run. I only wanted to run one continuous mile. That’s all. One lousy mile and I wasn’t going to do it for me anymore.  I said “here we go, God” and took off. Oh man, how I wanted to stop and walk a little. Just a couple of steps and then I’d run again, but every time I tried to stop, I would hear “no, not yet.” He was leading me and I determined not to stop until He said to. 

As I rounded the corner and could see the turn that would take me to the one mile marker, I knew it would take everything in me to make it. And it did. BUT I did it. We did it. In the middle of the road, with my fists in the air, that’s exactly what I yelled, “we did it!!! Thank you God.” He knew what I needed and He totally delivered…His way which happened to be the exact way I needed.

Obviously it wasn’t just about a run. It was more than that.  Obedience. Submission. Trust. Faith. Turning it over to the One who makes things happen. Giving up on what I want and only desiring what He wants for me.

It was a miracle mile for me, a turning point, and a wake up to what can happen when I let go and let God.  Every run since has been a Run for God. And every single time He has shown up. Every single run has gotten easier, farther, faster. And every single time I have the most amazing conversations with my God.

Tonight was no different.  It’s been a difficult week. Sickness, heartbreak, exhaustion, and confusion. I’ve wallowed in self-pity. Thought only of how this week affects me. Wondered “why me?”  He spoke to me so plain this afternoon and I knew that we needed a running date.  I needed to give this junk in my head and heart to Him so He can do what He does best….Forgive me and love me past my own selfishness. And tonight….we hit another goal. It was just as amazing as the first. I am just as thankful and humbled.

I love our running dates. My God and me. Hitting the pavement. One step at a time. And just when I think I can’t go one step further, He pushes me. Encourages me. Showers me with grace that I certainly don’t deserve. Clears my head and heart, and sets me on the right path.

I pray that, as we begin this Run for God program, other people will really, truly Run for God and experience the Amazing Grace that I have.  That every time their feet hit the pavement, they will give it all to Him so He can bless them as He has blessed me.  That they will open their hearts to the One who LOVES us so much. That at the end of their run, they feel that rush and, with their fists in the air, say “we did it!!! Thank you God.”

Week 1: New School Year BEGINS!!

Our fifth year of homeschooling. Wow.  In so many ways, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  And in other ways, it feels like we’ve been doing this forever. Drake was just a baby when we started and now he wants to do his “own school stuff.”

Week one was a rough success.  Rough because the baby was sick. Success because we mananged to make it through AND have fun somehow. Rough because my oldest spent his days in public school, away from us.

Success because he had a great week and loves it. Rough because we didn’t get to everything on the to-do list. Success because we covered more than I thought we would.

First week observations:

  • LOVE Scripture Adventures. The layout is perfect for us. I wasn’t sure how much to do in a day since there isn’t a schedule so we just played it by ear.  We read and talked until we were ready to move on to something else.  We’re in Genesis, stories that we’ve covered a couple of times already so the boys took turns telling me the stories from memory.  That was fun.  LOVE the activities.  So far….it’s a hit!
  • Gabriel isn’t ready for all of the writing I had planned for him to do. HA! Scaling WAAAAY back. 
  • Kaleb, however, is learning that he likes to record his thoughts and observations himself in his own little notebooks.
  • Drake needs MORE. Always. 🙂  He wishes he could be doing the SAME work as his older brothers.  I’m not sure if the things I have planned for him will tide him over until next year.
  • We all love fun lunches much better than plain lunches….or eating out.
  • Crafts are fun. We MISSED our craft time last year. Looking forward to many many crafts this year.
  • We spent more time around the table than I thought we would. I have a feeling it’s going to take a few weeks to get back into our groove but we’ll get there.
  • I love my whiteboard.
  • If I look at the baby while I read to the boys, he will sit quiet for longer periods of time….already has a LOVE of reading.
  • Not having Nathan home is weird.
  • Feels GREAT to be *back in school*.

Our days:

  • Monday:
    • Not-Back-to-School breakfast with the little boys at IHOP.
    • Not-Back-to-School pool party with our homeschool group. A sweet friend whose children are older held my baby boy for me so I could swim with my little boys. 🙂 This was the highlight of my day since I really had no idea how I was going to juggle a baby who does NOT like water and two boys who wanted me to *catch* them as they came down the slides into the water.
    • Nathan started first day of public school…declared it awesome.

  • Tuesday:
    • Woke up to a baby with a cold.
    • Jumped into our first day of schoolwork anyway.
    • Took MANY unplanned breaks.
    • Did a very cool geography craft that I had been waiting to do for months.

  • Wednesday:
    • Baby felt a little better so we accomplished more.
    • Actually accomplished everything on our list except one craft.
    • Surprised the boys with a fun lunch. Told them not to expect it everyday. Ha!

    • Nathan came home with Algebra homework. Discovered that I like helping with Algebra more than I like teaching Algebra…..one point in favor of the teen being in public school (there are already several points against public school in my head though).

  • Thursday:
    • An even better day. It feels SO good get back into a routine after our crazy summer.
    • Had a fun little experiment with Apologia’s Who is God?  Is the pencil bent???

    • The boys and I made “personal pan” pizzas for lunch.  I really like having them cook with me for lunch.  Even if it’s something simple like sandwiches, they really enjoy it!

    • Co-op signups! Some pretty cool classes coming up in September. Kaleb will have PE (kickball), Magic Treehouse Animal Adventures, and Exciting Bible Adventures. Gabriel is looking forward to Ancient Egypt, Magic Treehouse with Kaleb, and Seuss-erific Fun. Drake will be taking Veggie Tales, Bible Story & Activity, and an arts and crafts class. I am NOT teaching this fall so I will be FREE to cruise the rooms and take pictures of my boys learning and having fun with friends. YES!

  • Friday:
    • Oh dear Friday. The baby started feeling worse Thursday night. So much so that I decided at 2:30am that he needed to go to the ER. Loaded the kiddos up and took them to my mom’s house and then J and I went to the ER. Left 3.5 hours later with a diagnosis of an ear infection and a couple spots of pneumonia, a shot of meds, and a script for more. Friday was spent resting, sleeping, and holding a sick baby. He seemed to be feeling a little better by Saturday night. Sleeping better and smiling again. Hopefully he’s on the mend.

Looking forward to this next week.  Figuring out our *new* routine a little more and adjusting the the schedule. Routine and schedule…..two of my FAVORITE words!!!

2012-2013 school year starts NEXT WEEK!

We’re all excited about the start of school next week.  We will have two HUGE changes from last year. 

First the most obvious….our newest little schooler. Luckly, he is a very happy, content baby and his brothers are pretty patient with him.  We’ll get the hang of it!!

The other huge change is with my teen….he will be starting public school this Monday.  Not having him around every day is going to be SUPER weird but it’s something he really wanted to try.  We went to his open house last Thursday to meet his teachers and get his schedule.  He is SO excited!  We only got to meet his English teacher, the new principal, and a few support people.  I love his English teacher but boy is he in for a tough year!  Ha!  She’ll be good for him though.  I love the principal and the other people we met as well.  It’s a small school and they seem to really care about their students.  They are excited to have such a TALL teenage boy on their basketball team.  I’m excited for Nathan even though I’m a little sad that he’s going to miss out on so much with us.

Earlier this year, I planned out the new school year before we agreed to allow Nathan to try public school so of course we won’t be using any of his materials. I’m still happy with all of our choices and I’ve added a few things that we had yet to decide. We will be using almost all WTM recs which was one of my goals for this year!!

First, we’ll be trying Elemental Science for the first time.  I’m SUPER excited about it! We’re starting with Earth Science. We won’t do the Astronomy portion since we covered it in detail a couple of years ago.  Once we complete Earth Science (and if we really like Elemental Science), we’ll move on to Chemistry. 

We’re also adding Writing with Ease and Winning with Writing.  Well we will probably wait on adding WWW until we get used to WWE.  I want the boys to learn how to write well.  I love writing but I’ve struggled over the years with teaching Nathan.  This is just one area that I can’t teach!  After reading some posts on the WTM boards, I think these two will work well together. 

Another addition that I can’t wait to start is Scripture Adventures.  I’ve looked at it for a couple of years now.  Couldn’t decide where we would start.  Didn’t know if we would stick with it. Well Currclick has an AMAZING sale going on right now so I snagged the WHOLE kit and kaboodle for less than $25!!!! After printing out the first half of the Old Testament, I’m IN LOVE. I think the boys will love it too and learn SO much!!

I didn’t get around to finding something for logic so we’ll just add something to the mix later in the year. We have plenty to keep us busy right now anyway.

We will start fall co-op in September.  The boys will be in some super FUN classes.  More on those later.

Super excited to get started!!!  Nathan’s first day of school is Monday.  The littles and I will have a Not-Back-to-School breakfast and then go to a Not-Back-to-School swim party.  Then we will jump right into it on Tuesday!!  Looking forward to some structure, schedule, and a solid plan. Ha!

So this is what the year looks like right now:

Kaleb 3rd grade
  • Spelling Workuot
  • Continuing cursive with A Reason for Handwriting
  • R&S English
  • WWE & WWW
  • Math Mammoth with CSPM supplements
  • Story of the World & WTM reading list
  • Elemental Science Earth Science
  • Spanish (pretty light…mostly using Usborne materials)
Gabriel 1st grade
  • WWE 
  • Spelling Workout A
  • First Language Lessons
  • A Reason for Handwriting
  • Math Mammoth with CSPM supplements
  • Elemental Science (with Kaleb)
  • Story of the World & WTM reading list (with Kaleb)
  • Spanish (with Kaleb)
Drake preschool
  • Letter of the Week
  • WTM Reading, Writing, & Math suggestions
  • history, Spanish, & science with K and G as interested
  • LeapFrog videos
  • Apologia What We Believe series as well as individual bible time.
  • Art Appreciation (probably also from Confessions of a Homeschooler)
  • Music Appreciation (from Confessions of a Homeschooler)
  • Galloping the Globe (we’ve pretty much abandoned this but Kaleb REALLY wants to do it so I just need to make it happen. Ha!)
  • State Study (again from Confessions of a Homeschooler)
  • Morning calendar time
  • Seasonal/holiday/history/literature/science arts and crafts
  • Many, many hours per week spent with our noses in BOOKS! Kaleb will have plenty of history and lit books to keep him occupied (mostly I’ll read the lit books to Kaleb and Gabriel). Everyone will have plenty of *fun* books to read every week, and I will be reading many history, science etc books to whomever will listen, mostly the three littles (well I guess by then it will be the FOUR littles!!!), throughout the day.