Thursday, January 20, 2011

Structure, but oh so Fun

I like structure more than organizing. I like the routine and schedule of things, and it shows in Luk. He really picks up on the order that things are done. In his Sunday School class a couple of Sundays ago, he had a special guest as his teacher our wonderful pastor (who happens to be the dad of Luk's best buddy, Noah). He made sure that the preacher man stayed on the routine of his regular Sunday School teacher. When my husband was off of work that following Monday, he asked if dad could be his school teacher for the morning. We were happy to oblige, however dad had to stay in the order that mommy has it.

It's a funny thing though coming from this child:

Are you seeing what happens in one day at our home? He learns the word "incognito," and soon he comes out with glasses and guns because he is hiding who he really is. Then one day we have Woody, but we can't find that hat... so we make one with a paper plate and string. How about learning about those that worshiped golden idols and not God, well that is a job for a Storm Trooper and within five minutes Iron Man. That same day, well, we're going out to eat with Astronaut Commander Luk, followed by bedtime ritual with Mario, and a quick change to fight Joker Daddy as Batman.

For a kid that loves his structure, he LOVES playing with his imagination. Don't forget to give your kids their free time to do what they want to do. For us, it's dress up and conquer the world of injustice. As Luk begins to learn how to read and becomes more confident in his writings we have began the art sentences. Another favorite for him during fun time. He informed me he wanted a journal, today. He tells us what he wants to say, and we help him spell it if it is a hard word. Here are two his most recent writings:
"Papa, your bosses are mean for making you go far away." We are assuming the four people are his bosses. He was not happy that my dad had to be home late from work to go out of town. Result- letter to the bosses.

How about this one:
"Jesus Died on the Cross for our Sins"

I am particularly proud of this one. Every night he gets a devotional with Reson and I before he heads to bed. This night my mom did the devotional because we were gone with our youth group to Winter Jam. He wanted to write this.

In the midst of all the structure that he prefers and the structured imagination time, he loves being with Logan:
Both in their little world, but staying close to each other. Precious brother love.

It's not just his brother, but his dear friends. In particular, this guy (Boah Noah, as he calls him because he hears his family call him that):

As I see him grow into the man of God we are raising him to be, I love that in one minute he is structured and serious, however he can be the most imaginative kid around. In the end of the day, he learns and knows truth. Beautiful! As he told me this evening entering my room for devotional and prayer (dressed as this):
"Hey, Woman!" followed by mounds of giggles... sigh... fun structure, that's Luk for ya!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Testing some independent learning...

Beyond doing some learning on the computer alone, Luk usually likes for me to be right beside him when he is doing his reading. However, today we had to play catch up as we had an unexpected "off" day yesterday. So, after our Bible story (which I will talk about in a moment), we began on ETC. I set him up, and I began making lunch urging him to go ahead and start his lessons. He begins his reading, and stopping at the page of sentences.

Now, this is usually the worst time of the lesson. As he puts it, "I don't like sentences."  However, today he breezed right through without me even having to push him to try it out. I was very proud, and he had such confidence. He finished the rest of the pages with no problem and by himself (with only two times that he asked for clarity). It was nice to see him us his independence to read his sentences.

Now, our Bible lesson was on the Tower of Babel. Before we really got to that, I gave Luk a better understanding of our beautiful Compassion children:
 Smith (family)

Pataso (youth group)

We talked about where they lived in comparison to us, how they dress, their language, and their homes. Luk was sad that they were what we call in this country, "poor." Luk wanted to write, "I'm sorry you are poor." I informed him that they do not write things that would be hurtful to them. That everyone around them live like them. They do not even know really how we live. It was a moment for him. He was sad for them (he cried), but I was assuring him that he shouldn't be sad because they are apart of our family and we are helping them with opportunities. I showed him pictures of homes like Smith's, whose home is dirt floor, wood walls, and unknown roof. Pataso's home is made of bamboo flooring, bamboo walls, and roof made of leaves.

He seemed to take this to heart. He was very sensitive to this. We have talked about poverty and the way "our boys" live, but I'm not sure if it's age however his reaction was different about it today. I also showed him videos of people speaking their languages, which introduced the Bible lesson. Everyday we live in a world that is desensitized to true poverty, poor living conditions, etc. As Christians, we MUST sensitize our children to this. Life is so much more than about us. We must teach this.

We are blessed beyond measure, beyond what we deserve...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Right Start Math

When I first saw Right Start, I know that it would be perfect for our family. I am happy to say that I was right. Luk loves it, and it is really enjoyable to teach. It didn't take long to convince my very math-savy husband that this was the math curriculum for us. After looking at two other math studies at the convention he gave me the look. We need not look any further. Let's go get the one we know is us. I, also, use(d) the "123's for Preschoolers" from to help Luk learn to count and number recognition.

Things I did to help with number teaching with him knowing how to verbally count:
1) Count while showing the number flash cards.
2) Showed the association between the numbers with the cards.
   eg- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Look how they repeat in the next set: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
3) Why then 20? I show him the sets of 10, and how 2 = 1+1, 1+1 = 2. Then show him the 20 = 10 + 10, 10+10 = 20.
4) Once that was learned teaching him the to count in 10's was rather simple. As he counted to 100 with the flash cards, I would group them in 10s showing 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.

Now, Luk does have problems remember fifteen because it's not "fiveteen" same for fifty, it's not "Fivety".  =D So, I have been reiterating in counting to remember just fifteen, we say "fif" for fifty. He catches on, but I think that this is an age and recognition thing, so I'm not too concerned over it. Other than that he counts to 100 and counts in 10s.

Now, with Right Start the beauty is that it teaches learning quantity. So, when Luk looks at an object you don't count how man, but look at the quantity. If we look at the abacus:

Luk learns that when all on the right it is "clear," from there he learns in "units." When I ask him to show me two, he doesn't go: one bead, one bead is two beads. No, he takes the "unit" of two beads at once. He recognizes that by picturing the "unit." That is one of the keys to why we picked this curriculum. We wanted Luk to look beyond the counting, but to focus on quantity, units, and reasoning. This kid is literally a son of reason, I mean Reson. =) Those that don't know that is my husband's name.

The other thing I enjoy about Right Start is that back when learning the quantities of 1-4 it taught about triangles and quadrilaterals. Once he knew the mathematical terms for these triangles (3 sides) quadrilaterals (4 sides); I knew he would enjoy the Geo Boards that came with our curriculum. It has a purpose to him, now. It is not just something to put whatever shapes, but the purpose to make these quantities.

We are big fans of this method to math. It's hands-on, visual, and the teacher's manual is easy for a mom that has baby like Logan. The planning for it (at the moment) is simple: direct list of manipulatives needed, pictures for help on word directions, and last the lessons are only about 5-10 minutes long, which is perfect for this soon-to-be five year old. The lesson is only 5 minutes, but the learning last longer as he manipulates the Abacus and Geo Board.

Did you notice my little guy in the background on the first photo?
 Do you see him?
He was doing his own manipulative himself while being entertained by what he calls, "Me-Mou." Thanks Mickey!

Also side note on ETC, I decided to stop using the computer. Logan kept distracting Luk. The time given to finish it, click errors were getting on my nerves. So, we will try that later as he gets older because I did like the program, however not being able to change settings like the timer and such was annoying.
We are back to do the books full time. Luk is doing well. He does have a problem with sounds "L" and "W." His pediatrician says that is something that will come as he gets older, and if not, we will work with it more then. I do mouth motions with him, now just in case it is something that will need work later. He also will say the "e" sound for the "i" and vice versa, but then says the word right. I correct him, but it seems like something that he does by mistake. Here is one of his pages.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The birds are chirping this morning... er... no, but that's okay

I'm in the kitchen awaiting for the toaster sound to be made that my bagel is done. You know that spring released sound. As I wait though for that to interrupt my thoughts I listen to Adie Camp's "Redemption Song" watching both my boys eat their cereal. Logan is in his own little world testing gravity, and Luk is writing down names of the patients he is seeing today.

I reflecting on my what I like to call "Meditation" album on my iTunes. Yea, an album that seriously chills me out and makes me reflect on God and me. Only He and I. It is an intimate album for me, and it get played ALOT. As it should because anything that makes me reflect of the one God, the one Man that loves me most I should engulf everyday in it. As a mom you gotta search for that time because if not you are going to leave Him hanging, and that... well, that's just not wise is it.

This morning I woke up saying my memorization verse for the week. That's strange for me, I usually wake up thinking, "Logan please stop screaming." However, taking the challenge to learn all of Colossians has proven to wake me up in scripture. It is only my first week (I'm beginning one week behind), and if this is what I can hope for every morning; I think I can handle that.

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. To God's holy people of Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Grace and Peace to you from God our Father." Is that right? Let me look, I still have three days to learn it before I recite it to Reson.

Hold on...

Colossians 1

 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,  2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:
   Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

Faithfulness to God MY FATHER will lead to grace and peace. That's a nice thing to wake up to. This new year has brought about new "resolutions" that I didn't really think I was going to start. However, for me they are not resolutions, they are convictions, life changes that need to happen for the beauty of sanctification. As my wonderful friend Jennifer remind me, sanctification is a beautiful thing. A transformation done by the only person that can Christ. He takes me, changes me, and I become more like His image.

Convictions for the this upcoming year:
- More budget maintenance  (sorry just got distracted by Logan spilling Gerber Stars all over the kitchen)
- Bible Memorization
- Weight Loss (getting back to pre-Logan weight)

Faithfulness in Christ. Immersing myself in His teachings, His commands, His love for me. As I write that my album has played "Redemption Song" again. Timing... God's timing, His talk to us through the things that we do.

Voice of mercy, breath of God
Life from life sustaining us
Earth below and skies above
Beautiful redemption’s song
Melodies like morning rise
Darkness leaning toward the dawn
Into our sorrow sings the light
Beautiful redemption song

Hallelujah, love is come
Hallelujah, God with us
Hope restored and death undone
Beautiful redemption song
Beautiful redemption song

Weeping will not last the night
Nor will sadness be for long
Joy was born of sacrifice
Beautiful redemption song

Let the wounded come and see
Empty grave and lifted stone
Sinners saved and captives, free
Beautiful redemption song
Beautiful redemption song

Next comes "Meteor Shower" and "In Christ Alone" by Adam Young aka Owl City. He's redeeming me, He's with me and I desperately need Him there, and He has saved me (sorry interrupted again because now Luk is school teacher and needed his sign hung up).

As I stand in the kitchen this all happens in a mornings span all before it is time for me to do school with Luk. "Here in the power of Christ I'll stand." I have to start my mornings right with Christ immersing my soul because if not... Mr. Doctor, Mr. Teacher, and Mr. Gravity Tester may get to be too much. =D

I'll stand in the power of Christ... in His shelter

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting all over...

We started from scratch with my schedule/calendar. You see, my days were running into each, Logan is my tumor growth (as my friends have stated), and Luk has been a good sport. The days consisted of ham and pb&j sandwiches, school, Logan screaming, stop school, turn on computer game, Logan screams... and screams... NAP!!!

So needless to say, when the new year came, I was determined to get on a schedule again. Logan still screams, but we are SLOWLY working on independent play time with him. I made a planner for this year with my handy dandy Binding Books Beautifully kit.

Inside I have a yearly objective for each subject, monthly objective, and a weekly objective.

Bible- OT stories, what leads us to the cross? Catechism: God, man, sin, firm foundation on on our doctrine, and large focus on right and wrong.

Reading- ETC Book 1 finishing up and begin ETC Book 2. Confidence in beginners reading and sight words, consonant blends, and spelling. Books to read: Abuela (Spanish), Doctor De Soto (Character Traits), and Moses goes to a Concert (deaf awareness/ASL).

Writing- Practicing his penmanship

Vocabulary- ETC new words to him "mutt" or using other terms to say words "pup."

Math- Right Start continuation: counting, parallel lines/planes, money, simple addition, and quantity recognition without counting.

Character Building- during Bible time and all day practice- obedience, kindness, self-control (this one is killing me with him), patience (another killer), promptness (we use a timer for clean up time, etc), and manners (table, "please", "thank you", "yes ma'am").

Science- Real Science: Lapbooking through the year the book contents. Living things, Cells, Plants, Butterflies, Frogs, Protozoa, Our Life Cycle

History- Geography: Maps, Charts, Knowing his address, phone number, map symbols, and measuring distances (math). Holidays: Learning the root of holidays and celebrations (eg. Jesse Tree Journey), currently working on an Easter Celebration tree. Our Life: Florida and Agriculture.

Foreign Language- American Sign Language (ASL): A, B, C's, Numbers, common words (food, places). There is no curriculum for ASL. I am using my 5 years of taking classes in HS and College. Spanish: Hooked on Phonics and Home Practice- common words/phrases, and numbers.

The primary focus for the year is as followed: Reading, writing, math, Bible, character building, and physical fitness.

Here is fun thing to share with you today. As we were doing the ETC the question read was
"Can a bag rip?"
 To which I asked, "Well, can a bag rip?"
Luk responded, "No."
*in my head thinking, really*
"Luk, a bag can't rip like a piece of paper or clothes?"
"No, because it has no hands!"
*laughing out loud*
*he grins*

I explained to him that the bag is not doing the ripping, but that he can rip the bag. It was cute. The beauty of homeschool, let that imagination soar!