Saturday, July 20, 2013

School Days

That's right! It is fast approaching. Are you ready? If you had asked me last week, I might have cried.

I am both excited and scared for the new year. I will be teaching both C and D. I have been praying really hard for guidance. C is going to be on a K-1 level, which is between Kindergarten and 1st grade. D is in an early form of preschool. There is such a learning and maturity gap between the two of them that I was concerned on how to balance teaching them.
Last week, I realized that C was missing the structure that we have during the school year. I was originally going to wait to start until the 1st of September because of birthdays. However, with the recent realizations, I decided to try and start next Monday. Enter turbo planning mode! I have spent the last week reading and searching curricula for both boys. I am all about eclectic style. I mix-and-match according to what works and what I know will fit the child. That being said, I had a lot of work ahead of me.

I started with C. He was relatively easy because I had already been teaching him for a year. We are working through the following:

  • Math: a mix of Math Mammoth, and some other free printable sights. 
  • Reading: We are focusing on sight words, blends, and sounding out longer words. We are using a combo of BOB books and printables and small readers that we can check out from the local library. Also, I will be reading him books on a 2nd grade level to help with comprehension. He will be drawing and writing in his journal about each chapter.
  • Spelling: our sight words will be our spelling words, at least for the 1st half of the year. After that, ?
  • Geography: We are going to be learning about our city, county, & state. Then, we will move on to learn the rest of the states and their capitals.
  • Science: We will start with senses. I am hoping to cover animals, our body (eating healthy, caring for), and some gardening. 
  • Bible: See Below!!!
For some of these ideas in more detail, or to find the printables that I will be using, check out my homeschool board on Pinterest!

D was more challenging! I searched several different curricula to find one that would fit him. His learning style is so different than C's. Where C likes structured, sit-down, worksheet style, D is more hands-on, fun style. He wants to be involved with learning. After 2 days of searching, I found THIS!  Motherhood on a dime offers a free (yes, free) preschool curriculum. It is amazing! I can't wait until Monday to start! It is full of fun activities to keep D interested. Many are self-led, which allows me time to help C on some of his more challenging assignments! The Bible part is so perfect that I decided to use it for both boys! This way they are synced in at least one of their subjects!

Needless to say, God has once again proven Himself faithful! Instead of being scared and nervous to start a new year with 2 kiddos at my table, I am excited and counting down the days! I am enjoying every minute of planning their lessons. My mind is spinning with all of the ideas! 
I look forward to sharing pictures and stories with you through out the year!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Learning a New Normal

It's early morning in our house. I would love to say that I am sipping a cup of coffee, reading my Bible, while my children sleep peacefully. However, that is not how things are going this morning! I spent the night awake with 1 of my 3 children interchangeably throughout the night. I am exhausted! This morning I am being woken up by a pair of eyeballs staring into my face only a mere 2 inches away. After I restart my heart I hear the phase that has become coined by D "mo milk." Now, D can talk. In fact, his speech is improving greatly. However, this is a coined term that I am sure he will use the rest of his life. He sounds like a little caveman. Truth be told all I can do is smile as I pull myself out of bed to begin the day.
I stumble into the kitchen, turn on the Keurig, and get D his 'mo milk.' Almost immediately, I hear C, as he stumbles out of his bedroom door, 'I'm hungry, what's for breakfast?' (let me interject here, my children are usually very polite. I usually insist on please, thank you, etc. However, we are not morning people. Therefore, please excuse our demanding and rudeness)
I turn to open the pantry and reach blindly in to grab either the pop tarts or honey buns for a quick and easy breakfast that requires no thought. Then, it hits me! We are eating healthy. That means none of the quick and easy stuff is even in my pantry today. I fight the urge to sweet talk Daddy T into running for donuts....(don't judge, I warned you, I am not a morning person). OK, breakfast, I finally settle on a fairly easy dish of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola with a touch of honey. The kids are thrilled. They love it! I realize that may be this is our new normal.

Now, to start working on that above mentioned goal of early morning with coffee and Bible.....

No need for plan b

I have been reading in Genesis for the last few days. I love to read these early stories. I pulled such strength from the Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachael during the years that I was crying out to God for a child. This week my focus was turned to one of the men, Jacob. There is a lot that I could learn from the life of Jacob. This morning while reading, Genesis 32:6-12 really struck me!

Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.”
Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”

 I couldn't just keep on reading. I had to put some thought into this and into my own life and the way that I handle stressful or fearful situations. I realized that this was a mirror for my own life! How many times had I been told by God to do something, and the minute that one thing looked like it might interfere with that something, I panicked and made my own plans. Then I prayed and ask God to save me or to bless my plans! I have it so backwards. I need to first go to the throne and seek His face and ask for Him to reveal His plan for me. After that, there should be no need for a plan b! Seems so simple. Yet, I find myself spinning situations over and over in my head trying to work out all of the best and worst case scenarios. When all the while my Father is saying in Ex 14:14  "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” What a promise! 
Remember, God is faithful to His word! 

I'm Back!

Oh, how I have missed the land of internet! I have so much to share. Things are crazy busy in my house and changes are coming...

First, I have been very busy planning and prepping for our structured school days to start. We break into a more lax approach of art, reading, and field trips during the summer time. This past week I have been praying and researching and praying and searching, looking for curriculum for the kiddos. More on that in a future post.
Second, we have found a house! Yeah!!! It is still a rental situation, but praise God it has a yard. Also, in His perfect timing and ways, it has 3 bedrooms, 1/2 bath, 1 car garage, a fenced back yard, and it is going to be less than we are currently paying! I am so very excited! We will be moving in a couple of months.
Third, my sister has moved closer! After living out-of-state for 3 years, it's nice to have her back. My kids have taken up with their Auntie quite nicely! (I think they know that she will be one to spoil them!)
Lastly, I have accomplished some major goals in my home. I have started purchasing the dirty dozen all organic. I have begun only buying grass-fed, free range meats (no pork)! I have started making our bread. This week we are making the switch to raw cow's milk and cheese! I love that my family is eating healthier. I am making these changes a little at a time. The kids haven't seemed to mind eating healthier. Also, Daddy T has even started to read the labels on everything!

I am so excited to be reconnected again! I have missed being able to write about life.

Have a blessed day!