Monday, September 3, 2012

First Day of School, 2012

I'm having a sneezing fit from all the dust I just blew off of this blog. Look at that cute little baby Andrew on the post below! But I miss having a record of the ways in which my children are learning and growing, so back I come to attempt to keep up with a blog while simultaneously trying to keep up with life.

Today was our first day of school. It was my first day of using multiple Cores from Sonlight. Last year I had my OLDER girls (I guess I need to stop referring to the twins as "my girls" since I have another girl now!) doing light Kindergarten work, but this year we are doing a full Core and adding in the 1st grade readers. They did relatively well today. It was a lot of sitting and listening (Sonlight is very literature-intensive), but I only had to refocus them a couple of times. They were able to answer comprehension questions and Jessica was actually disappointed when we were done for the day and stuck around to listen in on Matthew's books. I think my favorite part of the day was at the dinner table talking about some of the things they learned. Both girls seemed astonished that in Martin Luther's day, people had to buy indulgences as a sort of pardon for their sins. It was so reassuring to hear them all talk about the fact that forgiveness is free because Jesus paid the price. My 7-year-old threw in that Jesus WAS the price. Praise God that they're at least learning the important stuff!

Matthew's work spans from 2nd grade to 4th grade, depending on the subject. During science we were reading about the "story of the earth" which inevitably includes certain things with which we disagree. We choose to study other scientific theories, other religions, etc. with our children so that they are familiar with the thought processes of those around them and can ask any questions of us in what we would consider to be a safe environment. Each part of the book that I read today my son would say, "True." "False." "Um, is that true?" and things of that nature. We had talked about the big bang theory last year when we studied space and he brought it up again. He said, "So, scientists believe that there was nothing, and then there was just this big explosion and everything came into being?" I said that was basically what they believed. He said, "Well... what exploded? I mean, if there was nothing, where did the big bang come from? And if there was something to explode, where did THAT come from?" The depth of the thought processes of this child amaze me. He concluded that we should pray for the writers of the text book to learn the truth and some day maybe write a text book that included Creation so other people could read about it. He thought it was much easier to believe that a Creator was involved after studying things like the water cycle and the human brain, watching Mom experience a pregnancy, etc. It is so rewarding to watch them learn and begin to think for themselves.

Andrew didn't have any academic instruction today because he had the opportunity to be Daddy's helper instead. We had been installing a counter top/bar-type table to our kitchen and Andrew helped with some of the final steps. He got to go to Lowes and help Daddy find things, he got to paint the wall a little, and he enjoyed some rare one-on-one time before Daddy goes back to his overtime schedule.

All in all, it was a great first day. We are looking forward to this year and hoping we can continue to do well when Kaitlyn starts crawling, walking and just being more demanding of our attention :-)

Just 5 more minutes, Mom!

Matthew - 2nd grade, age 7

Ashlyn, Kindergarten, age 5

Jessica, Kindergarten, age 5

Andrew, preschool, age 3

4 of my 5 cuties

They wanted to show off their backpacks

We get a little wild during Seeds Family Worship time

Who knew Scripture memory could be so much fun?

Here's to a terrific year of learning and growing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010


So, other than a block of advent posts from 2008 which I will eventually get to, I am finally done switching over my homeschool blog to this address. I look forward to blogging our homeschool adventure much more regularly and hope to be able to link up with other blogs and share ideas. This journey is certainly rewarding, but it is also incredibly exhausting. What a great "age" to live in where we can all be so connected and ideas so readily available!

Gallon Guy

I'm usually really bad about doing crafts. I try to have one slated per week, but so many times they end up being ones we're doing "just to do them," and with 4 kids 5 and under, I'd rather not deal with the mess, time and hassle of that. However, this one made sense to me. I could see the benefit to doing it. So we made Gallon Guy: You need one large piece of paper, 4 smaller rectangles, 8 smaller squares and 16 even smaller squares (hint: start with the smallest squares and work your way up!) We used different colors for each so they would stand out.

There he is! I maybe should have labeled the pieces AFTER Matthew glued them all together - some of them you can't see the words anymore, but it adds character. And he's serving his purpose! Daddy asked this morning, "Matthew, how many quarts in a gallon?" Without hesitation (and with Gallon Guy nowhere in sight), Matthew answered, "FOUR!"

(Matthew loved Gallon Guy so much, he made a Gallon Guy mii on the wii.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Month Down...

So one month into the school year and we've only had one really awful day. I think I'll take that! We're really enjoying this Core from Sonlight and have finished our first chapter book! The kids really loved The Boxcar Children and thoroughly enjoyed transforming our little "set" that we built as the story went on. I'll have to take some updated pictures, but we added pine straw beds and some more grass and shrubs over the tracks, etc. I'm guessing we'll be reading more of those books as the months go on. They're not completely enjoying the book we're reading now for our "rug time" - it's got a TON of Old English-type vocabulary, etc. and that's just something they've not been exposed to in their young lives. But they still come running (most of the time) when I say it's rug time. I've found that it works especially well if I let them have a cracker or something while they listen. Then they leave each other alone and I can read :-) Andrew is now 6 months old and can make the school day quite challenging. But since they're young, we can get most of what we need to get done during his nap time, provided they're all ready to sit and listen during that time. I often use lunch time as a time to read anything that I still need to read - history especially. Again, they're eating so their mouths are occupied! Of course, this often means I go without lunch until much later in the day, but it helps ease some of the stress surrounding school. We've recently started attending a new church and are excited for the enrichment opportunities it offers. It's neat, too, that Sonlight is a pretty missionary-focused curriculum and Matthew's class at church is studying missionaries right now. That about sums up our life right now. Overall, it's been a good first month of school!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edible Science

Today for science we were studying the various layers of the earth. I was supposed to hardboil an egg to show the various levels (shell = crust, white = mantle, yolk = core), but last night was a rough night with the baby and I didn't want to heat up my house today boiling the water! Luckily, we had apples in the house, so I cut one down the middle and improvised (skin = crust, pulp = mantle, core/seeds = core). When we were done with the lesson, we of course had to eat the apple so that it wouldn't go bad

Matthew took a big bite and said, "Mmmmm! This mantle sure is yummy! And some magma just squirted into my mouth!"

Kids are fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day of School

So it's upon us! The start of another school year. Matthew and I went out by ourselves yesterday for a special shopping trip for some last-minute school supplies. It's rare to get out with any of them, let alone one-on-one time with them since Daddy's working 6 and 7 days a week now. So we enjoyed it and tried to make the most out of it. Got some good deals, too!

The kids were very eager to get started this morning.

We read the creation story this morning and made a melted-crayon earth to mark the beginning of our timeline.

They enjoyed their rug time reading with the Boxcar children and acting out the chapter with the little "dolls" they had made last week. The girls need lots of work on listening and not interrupting, so we're trying to focus on that during rug time.

Our science reading was about where rain comes from. After each part, Matthew would color the corresponding part on his water wheel.

When he was finished he put his two pieces together and could spin the back one to see the water cycle in action!

The girls did some freestyle coloring during all of this.

Then we took an impromptu trip outside to check out where the rain water on our street goes.

We also made a rainbow on the driveway with a glass of water. After this picture we got a really good one with bright colors. Ashlyn was the most fascinated with this experiment, while the others were more excited to run around the yard

They were excited about their new (cheap Target find!) lunch items.

Thankfully Andrew took a good morning nap today! Once the girls went down for their rest time, Matthew did his spelling work. It's supposed to take him a week to learn the words, but he spelled every one of them 100% correctly the very first time I said them. I'm really trying to find a good Language Arts fit for him but it's not working too well! With Sonlight, the grammar is way above his head while the spelling and reading are beneath him. We'll keep trying to find a good fit.