Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm Back!

It was without notice that right before Christmas my computer of 5+ years crashed. It had been good to me and used every day. Mac definitely puts out a good product. So, after a few months of patiently (at time impatiently) waiting I am back up and running. We will see how I can catch up for the past three months!

Friday, September 14, 2012

We started homeschooling... in GEORGIA!!!

Well, it was goodbye Florida and hello Georgia. My husband is no longer working as a full time store manager and "part time" minister (no such thing as part time ministry), and he is now a student pastor at a church in Georgia. Our boys have been true champs through the "good-byes" and new house, new friends, and new church. The truth is that God has been so faithful to our family; it is all been very overwhelming.

Now, our GA homeschool journey includes tracking our days and hours and making sure to touch on all the "required" subjects along with my usual daily planner. The adjustment hasn't been difficult as we have been doing everything needed except a writing curriculum, which I quickly corrected when I saw what was required for a first grader.

The first week of school gone well. Luk did well on day one and then like usual asks for a break on day two and three.

Here is a glimpse of our week and our new school "room" aka dining room:

Before we left we visited some Mummies
It concluded our study on Egypt over the summer.

 Around the World

PreK School

Paper Mache Globe

A little taste of our home.

Fun shots with dad

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FPEA 2012 Lessons Learned

Here is a lengthy post, but worth it!

This is my fourth year attending the FPEA Convention, first year as an ambassador and first year attending workshops. It was always encouraging every other year, however this year was plagued with many doubts about myself in many areas of my life.

1) Am I doing anything right?
2) Will I be able to do this with my super disobedient child (Logan)?

God continues to affirm many aspects in our decision to homeschool our boys even when I allow my sinful nature attack me. So, I have to give a shout out to Christopher Hopper from Spearhead Books.

You know those moments when you say something to someone and it was exactly what they needed to hear. Well, that was Chris for me on Friday. God showed me grace in that moment through our meeting. It was clarity. Clarity in more than one area of things I was accomplishing, but I was not giving myself any slack.

Clarity given by complete strangers.

Clarity from brothers and sisters in Christ.

Things I Absorbed:

Workshop: Raise Them Up, Don't Crush Them Down" The Strong-Willed Parent with Mark Hamby
Lamplighter Publishing
*Stop trying to finish the curriculum but to teach Biblical Character. (read about my biggest challenge here)
*It's not about what you keep away from your child, but what you pour into them.
*You cannot lead your family from the rear. You must lead by example.
*"You cannot control anything when you have outstretched arms."  -the cross- with grace, you will get nailed. Grace given freely will cost you to give.

Books I purchased after this workshop:
- "Teddy's Button" (book only) - a character builder in self-control... what six year old doesn't have this problem.

- "Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince" - this builds on combatting selfishness... what PERSON doesn't struggle with this?

-"Little Threads" - a lesson on disobedience and unwillingness... I'm not sure how this book was written in 1863. I am almost certain that this author is living in my home! I already started reading it because a helpful man by the name of Roger told me how encouraging it would be for me and my fight with my unruly two year old. NO JOKE! EXCELLENCE!

If you LOVE Classical Literature like this English major, you will eat these books up. It's beautiful! The icing on the cake? They are written by Christian authors always turning back to the Creator of all things.

Workshop: "Proverbs: God's Character Curriculum" with Rick Boyer
The Learning Parent
*Through King Solomon we learn that the wisest man knows things from Botany to Music to Government, yet his first words in his book of wisdom... "To know wisdom and instruction... righteous, justice, knowledge..."
*We learn to be more profitable servants when we put Christ as our front in character.
*An educated fool is more dangerous than an uneducated fool.
*Knowledge separated from wisdom is apart from God's will.
*If your child wants to learn something, you must learn it, too.

Keep reading for what I got from here.

Workshop: "Gotta Love Those Preschoolers" with Marilyn Boyer (wife of Rick)
The Learning Parent
*Savor the Season
-the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
-look for the preciousness of the season
-a preschooler is a bundle of potential
-You are raising a child (generation) to follow Christ.
*Nurturing a heart for the Lord
-Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
-"thou seest me..." Psalm 115:13
*Build a sense of destiny in your child
-"God made _____ in a special way, for a special purpose."
-instill a sense of vision in prayer
*Build a Foundation of Character
-Maximize your time... it could be short...
-systematic teaching of character qualities- character does matter- It's foundational to living a God-honoring life.
-teach the meaning of character qualities in simple language
-Character is the most important subject.
-Teach scripture where the negative character can be positive
*Teach Responsibility at an early age (chores, etc)
*Include your preschooler in teaching time
*What do I do with them while teaching?
-lace and trace
-more on this with the next workshop
*Remember to have fun (give 15m sections of time to have mommy time of learning)
*Growing a Servant's Heart
-Those who learn to be servants will become leaders.
*Foster Patriotism
*How you manage them brings success to school

Logan is my disobedient child. He is the boy that laughs in your face when you do correction. Marilyn really put things into perspective for me in this session. As a result I bought two books. They are Character Builder books. You learn the character, it's definition, and the scripture of support. This is our CORE curriculum for my unwilling two (soon-to-be three) year old.

Books I purchased after this workshop:
"Character Trails" and "Crossroads of Character"

Workshop: "Occupying Pre-Schoolers While Teaching Older Children" aka "Educating, Involving,  Occupying ONLY WHEN NECESSARY While Teaching Older Children" with Jami Phillips
My Father's World
*Is. 40:11 Anything worth doing is hard!
*Reading Levels: Pre-Reading ---> Learning to Read ---> Learning to "Love" to Read ---> Learn by Reading
*Learning to read is the most important phase that needs the most instruction.
*What every toddler and preschooler needs:
-meet emotional and social needs
-devote your first 10-15m of the day to schooling them
-have a flexible routine, prepare snacks and drinks before the start
-expect them to want to prepare for school like the others
*Involving little ones as much as possible, some ways this can done:
-unit studies
-Bible activities
-Arts and Crafts
*Creative Scheduling
-schoolbox for school time (let them decorate)
-strategic naptime
-learning centers
-read aloud
-toy rotation
*Educating Little Ones
-shapes & color starter
-peg stacker
-lace & link letters/shapers
-kids puzzles
-pattern blocks
-pipe cleaners
-play doh
*Pre-Reading: Stages of Learning to Build-On
-Ages 2-6
-Structure and security
-Educate and Involve
-15-30 minutes daily
-very concrete learners
-like repetition
-mimic oriented
-foundation oriented instruction (4-5 subjects)
-focus on obedience
*Set-Up a School Box
-Target Areas: pre-reading, pre-math, language development, large motor skills, fine motor skills
-new items
-used, but looking new items
-created, but simple (junk mail to open, photo book with magazine cut outs of a topic [animals, etc], pipe cleaners, magna-doodle, nuts & bolts, mat (toys must stay on there to play with)
*School Time
-worksheets that siblings have (maps, etc)
*Training Mentors for the Younger Ones- allows the older child to teach and learn about their sibling

I bought a foam ABC board lower and upper case, a lace board, and color & shape sorter.

Knowledge from the workshops. More to come in another post about what will come into play for our school year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

FPEA Ambassador & Why we love FPEA

This Thursday starts Florida's largest Homeschool Convention done by the FPEA. At the beginning of this year I became their ambassador for Twitter. If you live in Florida, you should consider joining us as we celebrate 25 years! If you can't...

There are a couple of things to check out. It is really what makes them an amazing part of our homeschooling journey.

FPEA Convention Mobile App

Getting Started Guide with 6 easy steps

Myth Busters in Homeschooling

Guide to Homeschooling (one of my personal favorites & free to download)
This is really just a small portion of what they offer homeschool families in Florida. Their website is full of knowledge to get you through your homeschool journey. Browse around even if you don't live in Florida you may find many of their things valuable to your schooling. You can learn more about our homeschool ride here

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homeschool Photo Portfolio 2011-2012

Homeschool Photo Portfolio 2011-2012
I am thinking that this coming year I want to get more photos into this. We did much on geography, but it was mainly in writing. Hopefully, this year I can get a better grasp on everything we did through a photo portfolio.