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!



  1. I love seeing all of your children and their smiling faces, Leslie! Thanks for sharing. It's fun to see what they are all working on this year, too. xo

  2. I cannot believe how grown up everyone looks! Your school room looks really nice, I so miss homeschooling and getting all your advice :)

  3. Thanks Scarlett and Jasmine!

    Jasmine - I miss having you here! Hope you are enjoying OH!

  4. Leslie, you have a lovely family. I also have a daughter with Down syndrome. We used Handwriting Without Tears also. It worked great. My daughter is older than yours. I hope you don't mind if I share with you a little of our experience with hs'ing.

    We're working at a 3rd and 4th grade level. We use Time4Learning.com, which has been an absolute God-send for us!! As you know, our kids with DS learn best with lots of repetition. We are able to repeat lessons as often as necessary with T4L. Also, we're not stuck with 1 grade level. She can work on math at 3rd grade, and Language Arts at 4th grade. She's weaker in math. There are so many benefits to using T4L with her, I wish I could tell you more. But it's from pre-k thru 8th grade. We use it all year round for her.
    As for reading, who is a reading therapist/homeschool mom introduced me to a reading program that I ended up using to teach her to read. I had always been told that she'd only be able to sight read. Well, she learned to read fluently. She loves reading. It was shortly after teaching her to read that we started with Time4Learning, which came in at a perfect time to help her with reading comprehension.
    The reading program is called Phono-Graphix. The book, which teaches the concept, is titled Reading Reflex. Amazon sells it. Here is a link of a review done by a homeschool magazine: http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com/Homeschool_Reviews/reviews.php?rid=855
    Leslie, if you want to email me, I'd love to share more with you or answer any questions you may have, since I'm a few years ahead of you with my daughter being older.

  5. Janet - Thank you so much! I'm so glad you shared. I love hearing more about what is working for others! I'd love to be able to email you but am not sure how to do that.

    Thank you for being willing to talk and share! I do really appreciate it. It is hard to know what to use at times with my youngest and I appreciate you sharing these options. Going to check them out!

    Thank you!


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