Saturday, November 28, 2009

End of the First Quarter

It's been a fun first quarter of school. I haven't been able to keep up the blog as I had hoped, but I still have faith that this will change. We've made some changes which have been so gentle and purposed. I started out very structured which I needed to do in order to develop a routine, and as we went along, we dove into the kids' individual needs and wants. This was purposed by Yahweh, and I am grateful I obeyed because we are really seeing the fruit of this. We are making much better strides this year than we ever have.

We have completely dropped Heart of Dakota. It was too, too structured for me. Although I appreciate the curriculum a lot and enjoyed what we did in it, it wasn't fulfilling our needs for right now. Caleb was ready for a lot more than what it offered, and Millie was beyond the material in hers as well.

I am doing unit studies with both kids now and using Five in a Row for Millie and Beyond Five in a Row for Caleb. We are doing a lot of reading and field trips. I am still using Astronomy for Caleb, and it was very cool to be able to go see a shuttle launch while we were studying space.

Shuttle Atlantis 2009-11-16

We also had a great field trip to The Reptile Discovery Center in Deland, Florida where we got to watch actual venom extraction from several snakes. It was unbelievably cool. Both of my kids have wanted a snake for awhile, and now Millie REALLY wants one. I was stretching myself by letting them get a bearded dragon. A snake might be a bit more than I can handle. ;) I highly recommend this place as a homeschool field trip if you are in the Central Florida area. They are extremely accommodating and want you to have a successful and educational time.

Weight loss is slow but still coming along. I don't know how much I've lost because I had to quit WW for financial reasons. But it's all good. I've taken up walking with plans to eventually run. Right now I am doing two miles. The activity is good for me and the kids, and the fresh air does us good.

Everyone is asking for dinner, so it's time to cut this entry off. I will do my best to continue to update and add some pictures without taking months to do it. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day!

What a smashing first day of homeschool! This was, by far, the most successful first homeschool day we've ever had. Thank you, Yahweh, for ordering my steps! I was gathering our things to start, and over the last couple of days, I starting thinking about adding some Five in a Row into the mix for fun. So, today I said to Yahweh - The first book FIAR book I come to on our shelf is the one we're going to start with. I could not have chosen a better book had I researched and pondered on my own!!!

Today we started rowing Make Room for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, a lovely book about the Mallard Family (of ducks) in Boston, Massachusetts. Well, guess what the state dog for MA is? The Boston Terrier!


And the state insect of Massachusetts? The ladybug! Just the day before, we were at a friends house, and look at Miss Millie:


She was so excited when we talked about the Boston Terrier and ladybug! Caleb enjoyed it as well, even though I didn't require him to sit in on FIAR. He was so excited about learning about Massachusetts the he has decided to do his own study...but on the Cook Family! We are choosing and voting on similar items that we learned about Massachusetts - family animal, bird, dance, dinosaur ;), cookie, etc.

Day one and we've already taken a tangent. Not bad. :)

On the weight loss front, my weigh in last week was outstanding! I lost 4.6 for a total of 24.2! I'm not really seeing a difference yet, but my clothes are starting to show a big difference. I have such an amazing support group with my family and friends.

Another wonderful thing that has happened: Dave got a job! He is in training this week and will start the actual job next week. He is working in sales which he said he would NEVER do, but we all know to never say never when you are a Kingdom person. ;) Had he not gone through the week long interview process with Schwans, he never would have applied for this one, so we are grateful for that experience, even though he wasn't hired. I know he can do this. He will succeed!

That's it for now. More to come.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Exciting Year!

2009-2010 is going to be an exciting year - personally, professionally, academically, spiritually.

I've joined Weight Watchers and have lost 19.4 pounds so far! Though I have a journey ahead of me, I look forward to each step I take, knowing that I am striving for a goal. My weigh in is on Wednesday mornings, and that time is set aside for ME. I have an amazing leader, Halyna, and an amazing support group. I want to run a good race.

Dave is unemployed but still looking. He will find a job, a good job, a job Yahweh has created for him, one that will allow him to support his family and use his talents.

Our billing company is also going through the fire right now, but we, too, will prevail. We are praying for new accounts so that we can let one of our bigger, more stressful accounts go.

Decisions have finally been made. It should be a fun year. Aside from what I am sharing here, I plan to take time out to do a Thanksgiving study and a Christmas study as well as various child-led units. We always like to do something with the Iditarod, so I imagine this year will be no exception. Here is the plan:

Bigger Hearts for His Glory
Bigger Extension Pack
Apologia Astronomy
Drawn into the Heart of Reading
Horizons 4
CLE Language Arts 4

Animals and Their Worlds
Reading Made Easy
Horizons 1
Lots of drawing/painting/crafty stuff

Since Dave does not currently have a job, the kids won't be able to take dance this year. :( (I haven't broken that news to them yet, and I don't think it will go over well.) We are eligible for a Y discount (already filled out the paperwork), so if we can somehow swing that, the kids will be able to be involved with their (free) homeschool PE class on Wednesday and Friday. Also, we can receive discounted sports classes, and I was thinking of signing them up for Tae Kwon Do. Again, this is if we can swing it financially. Right now we can't do anything, but we WILL. SOON.

In addition to all of this, we have proudly enrolled the kids at The Rock Academy. There will be lots and lots of field trips this year to attend. I can hardly wait!!!! :)

Not sure how to elaborate on this one other than we are listening and obeying and anticipating in all areas, yielding our hearts to His. I expect great change this year.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A New Plan

I can't believe another year is over. We don't stop our schooling. Instead, we choose to school year-round. Many in our circle of friends ask why we do this, and it's simple, really: It works for our lifestyle. We are very relaxed in our approach to life, and that flows over into our schooling. We take a week off in September to go to the beach with my family, and we take a lot of time off in the winter when the weather is quite glorious. Because Florida summers are so miserably hot, we choose to stay in and school through the summer. The inside air is much nicer than the outside heat and humidity in the summer months. So, that's what we do. We school year-round and take time off during unconventional times. We take advantage of low-travel periods to fly. When others are traveling (spring break, fall break, etc.), we stay home. We're homeschoolers. We can do that.

I've been working toward putting together a new curriculum plan. Caleb will be in "4th" and Millie in "1st". At this time, I'm leaning toward going back to WinterPromise and using the workbox system to accomplish more. We'll be doing American History no matter what we use. I haven't decided whether to use American Story I or All-American or something else entirely, but there is time to work that out. Here is what else we'll be doing (so far that I've decided) --

Both kids:
WinterPromise Animal Worlds (science)
WinterPromise American History

Horizons 4 math
WP Language Arts 4
WP Rock Around the Earth (Geology, per C's request)
Dance: 2-3 classes at Dance Depot
Guitar lessons resumed?

WP Phonics
WP L/A Readers
Dance: 1-2 classes at Dance Depot

There are some other things I want to blog about, but that's probably enough for now. I hope I can keep this blog up. My track record isn't the best with blogging, but I'm really going to try. :-)