Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Starting School

Life is moving so quickly it seems.  We've been in school now a little over a month.  I intentionally started things simply this year to try to get into a good routine.  So far, that is working pretty well for us.  I still need to get a better routine for Eliana though.  

I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my children.  I'm grateful this is an option in our country.  It has worked well and been a blessing for my family.  It has allowed us opportunities to explore so many fun things in our area and around the state.  I love going on field trips and know that it has been a great method of learning for all of us.  

I'm thankful that I can work with my children's strengths and weaknesses.  I pray that those with learning challenges will be strengthened to become all that God has designed them to be and not have a distorted sense of their worth based on their abilities or how they might measure up to someone else.   

I had intended on starting school in mid-August when Christopher went back to State.  I didn't realize that he would go quite so early - or that we would end up in the ER twice in one week.  So we started a little later.  Christopher was home just one day before moving back on campus.  
It really wasn't nearly long enough.  It was made easier by the fact that he is close and hopefully that means we will see him more often.
We helped him move into his new room.
Not a lot of pictures in the chaos of moving a lot of stuff into a small room.  This is the view from in front of his suite.

Love seeing my children hanging out and enjoying being together.  We all miss Christopher being here.    I am the oldest and I think its probably a lot easier on the first child to leave home.  Everything is different and exciting for them.  I think its harder on those at home, missing those who are gone.  I am so thankful he is in a school that he loves with amazing friends!  I'm thankful that he is learning and growing in his faith.  I'm thankful that we get to spend time together and also with some of his friends.  God is good.
My oldest, Christopher, a sophomore at NC State.

He missed going on our back to school night outing.  We had planned to do it when he was here, but then Eliana got sick.  Really, really sick.  That through us off for a week.  Then Daniel stepped on the toothpick.  We did finally make it out a full week later.  First stop ... Wal-Mart.  You are already thinking that this sounds like fun, aren't you?  LOL  It was a beautiful night!
Getting ready to pick out some new school supplies!  Worked well to have a wheelchair for Daniel to get around in.  (You can see his bandaged foot.)
After shopping, we headed over to Moonberries.  Love this place!  They have clearly labelled gluten free options!  I had purchased a "groupon" and it covered treats for all of us and our friends.
Yummy and fun.
Fun having friends join us!
Beautiful girls!
Here are my students for this year.  We do family Bible lessons together and each child does Awana/Scripture memory and their own Bible reading.  I am also doing worldview with all but Eliana.

Eliana is 5 and is doing preschool work.  We are using Handwriting Without Tears, Before Five in a Row and working on alphabet, numbers and sight reading.
Daniel is 8.  He is enjoying Five in a Row, Handwriting without Tears, and Math U See.

This is Isaiah who just turned 11.  He is doing Life of Fred, Math U See (we juggle between the two as needed/desired) and Beyond Five in a Row.
This is Joshua who just turned 13.  (I need to do some birthday posts!)  He is doing Math U See, Beyond Five in a Row, Worldview and Rainbow Science.
Rebecca is 16.  She is doing Worldview, Chemistry, Algebra 2, American History, and American Literature.

These are our main subjects and we will add in a few more things as we go.  For now, this is the basics and it is working well for us.
Love being a mom!
Love being able to homeschool!  This doesn't mean that every day and moment is easy or fun.  Its not.  Its hard work, but worth it.
We started back to school with some new supplies and goodies for everyone.  Eliana's things focusing on reading and writing.
A general stack of art supplies and some books for everyone.
One of the biggest hits that I bought - themed cups.  Yes, I know, not really a school supply, but it makes everyone happy.  They remember their cups too.
Fun notebooks.
Starting the year off with a clean desk/work area.  It doesn't look like that now.  But it can look neat, right?  Just not while we are actually working.
More soon (I hope) on what we have been up to.  For now, we are busy with schooling and other things.  We have fun field trips and co-ops to share with you.  I hope your year is going well too!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beyond FIAR Co-op: Skylark 4

Well, we have already started up our new Beyond co-op for the year and I haven't yet posted this last installment of our co-op from last year.  Here goes.  This is the final co-op for Skylark.  Can you guess what state we talked about?  Look at the map below.  

Kansas.  Prairies.
They looked at pictures of sunsets.
And had an art lesson on painting a sunset.  I'm so glad that my children are getting some lessons here that they wouldn't get at home.  :-)
They started out each drawing an outline of something which they would paint - as a shadow.
Some worked in groups.
Others alone.
Or in different locations.  I love that each child is free to be who they are and to work in a way that is best for them.
Daniel drew a buffalo.
They moved outside to start their painting.
Snack time outside.
Of course the boys were moving while they ate!

Peaceful times painting and creating.

Proud of his work
Definitely hosted by a mom with the gift of hospitality who loves the details in hosting.  Isn't this lovely?
And a yummy spread to enjoy!  Since this was our last meeting of the school year (yes, I'm that far behind in posting about schooling), we had a lunch to end the co-op.
A rare photo of the people usually behind the camera.  :-)  Love this fun time with my friends.

A lesson on ocean tides.  
A hands on look at how the moon affects the tides.
Looking at the chart of color intensities to find the colors he had used on his painting.
Aren't they beautiful?  I never cease to be amazed at the creativity displayed!
Without planning, Isaiah's picture ends up looking a lot like one in the book (which was pointed out to him by the gal teaching the class).
Once again, this group has been a blessing!  We are learning so many neat things and forging deeper friendships in the process.  I'm thankful to be a part of it and looking forward to this upcoming year too!