Friday, August 27, 2010


I am rereading "Crazy Love." As part of the discipleship program that my husband and I are doing with the youth we are having them read this sound book by Francis Chan. I am a huge Chan Fan (Yep, let's start a rhyme jam!). As I was looking over the two chapters for the week again I decided to reread the Biblical references that he makes in the chapters. Revelation 4, a profound revelation of the Throne in Heaven is what I was reading as Luk was eating breakfast. Logan was still asleep, which was great if I may add!
I figured I would read the passage aloud. I introduced the passage to Luk. John was exiled because the King couldn't kill John, and so he stays on Patmos to have this vision that God planned for His story. The role of John in this grand scheme of life is (in my eyes) enviable. Looking at it in this view as a mom, would I want to have to be "killed" no, however the fact that God gave him such a gift in seeing this is remarkable.
Anyways, setting made, Luk knows who is writing and where he is.
I begin reading (and in red I will put my explanations to Luk):

Revelation 4

The Throne in Heaven
 1After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said,  "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." You see, it is very hard for John to describe what God is like. He has no idea how to talk about Him. So, John says that God's voice sounds like trumpet.
2At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. God is beautiful, but John still has no idea how to describe, but he does so with the gems. Here is Jasper: 
Here is Carnelian:

Here is Emerald:

God is so awesome that he lets out these colors of red and green that John can't even describe him any other way.

4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. Here is a piece of crystal.

   And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. Luk in your imagination picture these creatures with eyes all over them. They can see just how awesome God is. (Even though in Isaiah, we learn that with two sets of wings they cover their eyes. However since covered all over with eyes John makes it evident that they STILL see God's magnificence - this was a mom side note.) 8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

   "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!"
I started singing the "Revelation Song"rendition of this, over and over again. I was telling Luk how they never stopped that they just kept doing this non-stop, and that as they sang the "old" people (referring to elders) would bow down and put their crowns at the seat of God's throne.
 9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
 11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
   and by your will they existed and were created."
Luk do you see why the worshiped God? Luk responded, "Because He is God." He was right, but as I told him. God is so much more than that isn't He. He is the Creator; he has always been here. He is the one that made us and everything! (For our human minds, we have to see that God is the creator, and that he was here before anyone else. He has always existed! I think we limit God. Well, I know we limit God when we worry. another mommy side note).

I thought that our conversation would keep going about God's glory and how we are to worship Him, but it didn't. Luk moved on with the conversation. He asked me about Jesus dying on the cross. I was telling him how God and Jesus are the same. That God is Jesus on earth. He did ask why God didn't just come down himself. I reminded him that God did with Moses and when he wanted. However, Jesus came as a baby being born. Jesus was that part of God needed so that we could and would be forgiven when we accepted what He did for us and ask that God forgive our sins. Then it came... WHAT IS SIN???

I referred to the Ten Commandments, that he knows really well. I talked about how if we lie, covet, kill, or disobey mommy and daddy those are all sins. He pipes up, "So, when I put treasures before God, that is a sin?" Yes. "If I think about my cereal and banana before thinking about God,  I am sinning?" Yes. Amazing. We are to honor and have God first in our minds while we eat, play, and rest.
The next questions was a bit of a surprise as he asked why Satan is bad? I explained to him how he was good and that he was an angel of the Lord. He was shocked to find this out. I told him how God had made Lucifer to be a high angel, but that he wanted more, (Luk chimes, "He was greedy!") and God kicked him out of Heaven and onto earth.

Needless to say, this conversation was just a small growth in what God has planned for Luk's life. As his mother, I pray I answered everything right, that Luk will know that God is eternal and greater/stronger/higher than any other/healer/awesome in power! Man, isn't that just too much to handle! It really is! No one is like Him!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eye don't see that! The Importance in Eye Exams!

Well, our small community likes to put together Friday Night events as a way to draw everyone together with music, raffles, food, and fellowship. It is great way to have something going on in an area where nothing is usually going on. Last night was one of those nights as we are ringing in the new school year. I was there to promote a concert our Church Youth Group will be hosting.

Our pastor's wife, Jennifer was telling me that they were doing free eye screening in a near-by shop. I had noticed that Luk would squint when watching TV so I decided it was a good time as ever to take. They provided all the basic test that you take when you go for an eye exam. They were unable to determine the air pressure levels because he moved too much. When detailing the letters he had 20/40 for his left eye and 20/30 for his right. The last thing was that they actually were taking photos of the eye, the veins, and optic nerve.

They did his right eye (picture pops up), and it looked good. I say this because I have been in the nursing field. This does not include THAT much knowledge on eyes, but enough to know nothing TOO serious was going on. They take a picture of his left eye (photo pops up), and as any good mom would say, I announced, "That looks weird!" Yea, that is where my tactfulness needs to kick in. Luk looked at me saying, "I'm not weird!" LOL

The Dr. and  the nurse asst. looked at me like I was crazy for saying that out loud. I'm not sure my mother-in-law knew if I was right or wrong with it looking different. I didn't ask her. Again, must practice on being tactful, however I believe in honesty and it DID look weird. I also think the Dr. was surprised I picked it out so quickly. When you compare the two photos that popped up to someone with no real "eye" education, but knows normal medical scans when she sees them... it was weird.

He asked me if there was a history of "lazy" eye in our family. I said, "no." However, my mother-in-law informed me that my father-in-law in fact has one. We don't usually hang out together or go to Dr appointments together, but I was very fortunate to have her there because I didn't know this. Even my husband said if he had been asked that he would have completely forgotten to say it because it was never a big deal for his dad.

I figured a lazy eye would be noticeable, but in Luk's case you don't see it. He said that Luk's eye is lazy/astigmatism. He said that Luk being young should be fine just correcting it with eyeglasses, but if that is not the case then an eye patch will be used on the right eye. He depends solely on his right eye for vision, and since we caught it early in his life the glasses should be enough. He did say that it would take him longer to get used to the glasses because he will have to learn to "see" with his left eye.

Thoughts about this:
1) Grateful that Jennifer told me about the free eye screening.
2) Grateful I had my mother-in-law with me to tell me some family history.
3) Grateful that it was caught early so that we can try to correct the problem.
4) Not so happy that the one thing that Luk has of me is bad eyes. Pretty much like his dad in all things. Maybe that means since Logan has so much of me, he will have good eyes, LOL.
5) Mommy needs tact lessons. Though I must say Luk was not really phased by my comment. It was not said in scary tone just in an inquisitive way.
6) Though I can practice being tactful, I don't believe in hiding anything from Luk. I think in the end it was handled fine. I do think that if I had said it and looked scared or nervous Luk would had reacted the same. So...

Glasses, it is for my little guy! I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't catch on sooner. When we were in the car I was telling Luk about what will happen with his glasses. He seems okay with it. His cousin has worn glasses since he was 1-2 years old. I think he is comfortable with the idea. I, then, asked "Luk, when we do school is it hard for you to read the words that mommy tries to have you read?" He said, "Yes." It broke my heart because I was getting a bit frustrated that he wasn't trying hard enough. I would say, "Luk, you know this. Come on, Buddy." When in fact, he probably was having issues seeing the small letter. SIGH! Kick me in the butt!
Bad mom moment in my book, but my husband tries to reaffirm me that I am being too hard on myself.

Get those eyes checked. If you avoid the dentist (like me), I get it. However, don't avoid the eye doctor, it can really take a toll on your child's education, extra curricular activities, and confidence. There were many children in that room doing exams, and there was one boy in particular that broke my heart. He failed miserable; he was roughly nine years old, and had gone with a friend (and his mom). The nurse told the mom that his mother needed to get his eyes checked because they were 20/80, 20/100. How has that boy been doing in school? Really?

Here in Florida, we do the ridiculous testing with the FCAT. Our teachers and schools are graded on this test. How many of the students in our schools can't see?! It's sad really. This is something that teachers need to think about. Is the child simply not trying or not as smart, or is this child having an issue because he can't see what you are teaching him!

Okay, I'm done.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reviewing ETC Online

I bought the Explode the Code books, however when I saw that the online ETC classes was 60% off at Homeschool Co-op Buyers, I decided to give it a try. I figured there is no reason in not trying it. I have to say that there are it's pros and cons. Luk seems to enjoy it, however as a mom that is watching him complete online courses there are a few things I wish that would be taken into consideration.

First the Cons:
- You can't tell the online course your child's age. I say this because Luk is four. The grade level for
   ETC Book 1 is for grades 1-3.
- With the first being the primary problem, he is graded based on the average of that lesson with that
  age group. He is doing great; he is proficient, however because it takes him a bit longer he is not
  graded "excellent." Logan was pulling on the laptop and being a distraction, and I think that assuming
  the time taken is just because the student didn't know how to do it fast is discouraging. Time doesn't
  equal knowledge and understanding.
- He accidentally hit the mouse on my laptop with his belly hitting the wrong sentence. It does not give
  me the option to correct that on his grade range in the system.
- Really. The major con in this program is not being able to customize the student's age, and that if you
  know something was grade incorrectly, you can't change it. If you can, I didn't see where.

- It gives Luk the extra practice I want him to have.
- It grades for you so that you know that you are right in thinking your child understands it.
- It takes away from always being behind books.

All-in-All I think I will ask the hubby to let me purchase it again for Luk next year. I will make sure to look for the same discount I got this year. There's my thoughts. I still enjoy the books because I can do the one-on-one teaching, but the online class is a way for learning to work with the knowledge. It would not be my primary choice, but a supplement.

Boy, oh Boy!

Cute right! You see the little one, the one with the pacifier, the one that looks like he has an innocent smile... that's Logan. Unlike his older brother, Logan is Mr. Clingy. The boy has to have me or dad holding him at all times. He has a sensitive heart. He doesn't seem to do things in a mischievous way like Luk. He is truly a kindred spirit. Precious, really! However, it is making the days go by very slow, and it is pretty exhausting on me mentally and physically. This week has been particularly hard as he has been extra clingy. I'm not sure how that was possible, but trust me it is. We are officially a week behind in the school scheduling, and I don't think it will be only time I say this.

Luk is a smart kid and wants to learn, however he is still only four. What does this mean exactly? Because I think with Luk's intellect and drive to learn he is not too young, but what it means is that when baby brother cries or starts to laugh; Luk wants to laugh or hug or kiss or whatever to his little brother. Since Logan is pulling up and walking while holding on to things Luk is very intrigued by what Logan is learning to do. Oh well. It is really the beauty of brotherhood, brotherly love, and pure sweetness. So, with that we are a week behind, but I'm okay with that. Luk loves his brother. Logan is a healthy explorer that wants Mama (all the time). Mom is realizing that it was good to start now because Kindergarten may not officially end until age 6. =D

I love seeing the difference in these two boys. I really couldn't have asked God for a better big brother. Luk is pretty perfect. Logan is 10 months old, and we learn something more about his little heart. It is really exciting. Going with the flow these days, I have to, or I would go crazy. ;)

SO... starting to homeschool... how do you juggle the clingy boy and the older brother that just wants to be involved with baby brother? I don't know 100%, but for now. We go with the flow, and we do one thing at a time. Phonics and Math are usually the must do for me. Logan is content for 10 minutes run into the classroom and do whatcha can like a spontaneous spelling test, LOL. Also, we do computer school with ETC and other software when it just gets too much with little Logan.

Those that do things during nap time, that's cool. However, Luk still naps, and they nap at the same time. Mommy needs that time. I'm not giving that up... EVER!!! =)
As I have finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's book "Choosing to SEE," there is one thing I have to remember. We are not home yet. So, if school doesn't get done like I planned, that's okay. I will be content knowing that I hugged longer. I will post more on this book later.  Until then...

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Spelling "Test"

Logan was being excessively clingy today. So, teaching Luk  was a bit of a challenge with Logan trying to suck up all the attention. I knew that the next part of the ETC lesson was to spell the words after looking at the pictures. I decided that since Logan was being overboard on his personality to have Luk get a piece of paper that. After I said each word once, he wrote them down. Thus begun Luk's first spelling test. Here it is:

I have to say that I'm proud of him. He worked very hard. We were learning in his Bible lesson that we must "Work Hard then Play, and then we must Rest." I have to say that he is doing just this. It is something that I have to remind him of, but as a whole he works hard and then plays with great imagination.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Switch-a-roo? Mommy Thoughts

I'm thinking we need to switch up the daily schedule for Luk. There is the subjects that he has a natural understanding of, which happens to be Math, Science, and Critical thinking. The daily schedule is usually Bible, Spanish, Phonics, Math, and Critical Thinking. The off days are Bible, Science, Geography, and Handwriting.
Phonics... Luk knows it and does it, but he hesitates. I'm trying to build-up his confidence. I want to keep Bible first thing, but I may move Phonics up and send the rest down on the list. On the off days, I'm having him do phonics games to see if it builds his confidence (Today, we are watching "Talking Words Factory"). The other switch is on the off days with handwriting. It seems that putting it at the end of the school time is not working out for him. He gets sloppy with his writing. So, I am moving Handwriting after Bible time.

Luk loves reading. I'm hoping that doing this small switch will get his attention better. He read the BOB Book 1 "Mat," yet when he read it for Daddy he just didn't do it with the same confidence. Time and practice will hopefully bring out the same confidence he has for Math, Science, and Critical Thinking.

Just to let it be known. I'm not overly concerned. I know he is four years old. Just some thoughts going through my mind as a beginning homeschooling momma.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week One

This week went by pretty good. Luk did a great job with his boxes. He really enjoyed seeing his progressed, and on two of the days decided to finish his work before his lunch. It was nice to see him work hard at what he needed to get done. As for week one, Luk is beginning to read the BOB books. He is working through the "Mat" book. He read it once to me, however when reading it to others he puts on a small show that he "can't" do it.
As for what comes naturally to Luk, I would say Math and Critical Thinking. He is a natural. He breezes through both these subjects quickly. So, I may step up the amount of math lessons. I was doing one a week, but it seems that Luk may need more of a challenge.
I do not think he is a fan of handwriting. He wants to write things the way he wants to write them. I may have to have a different approach on this...

I wanted to post a few pictures of the boys. They are growing up so fast. In no time Logan will be reading.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's in the Box?

We are using Sue Patrick's Workbox System, loosely, but here is "What's in the Box?" today.

Box 1: Bible- Positive Action
Characteristic Trait- Creativity- coloring a butterfly page and stamp fingerprints

Box 2: Spanish- HOP
Numbers 1-3 page
Hola/Adios page

Box 3: Game
Beginning Sounds Dominoes Game

Box 4: Phonics- ETC

Box 5: Math- Right Start
Quantities of 1-3 (1-4) blocks and tally sticks, play doh

Box 6: Critical Thinking
Different Shapes page

We started school at 10am, and he finished his work by 11:30. I asked him if he wanted a break for lunch after box 5, but when he realized he only had one left he quickly pressed on to finish. He has a hard working spirit. It was a fun day. Tomorrow brings Science, Handwriting, and Geography!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It is a new year for many of us homeschooling families. Over at Heart of the Matter, they are having this year's "Not Back-to-School Blog Hop." I figured I would participate as I want this blog to be as informational to newbies as possible. If you want to know why we chose the items we did, here is my original post.

Here is our Curriculum for the year (and if it works will be used throughout all Elementary):

Math: Right Start Level A

Phonics: Explode the Code Book 1

Bible: Positive Action K

Science: Real Science-4-Kids Pre-level K-3 (Biology)

Geography:  Maps Charts Graphs (Levels A & B)

 Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears K 

Critical Thinking: The Critical Thinking Company Pre-K/K K-2 (Mind Benders)

Spanish: Hooked On Phonics (we will be using another curriculum in the middle of the year)

This is our first year homeschooling, and Luk is four. He has an inquisitive spirit, and I feel it is my responsibility to nourish it. Will Logan start at four, I'm not too convinced, however Luk is ready and we are pressing forward. I will be posting my further thoughts on this curriculum as the year progresses.