Friday, May 29, 2009

Week One Completed

We made it through one week of homeschooling. Whew! Only 18 or so more years to go! We'll see what God has planned in the long term, but so far, so good.

We have worked through issues like schedules, schooling with the babies, coordinating certain subjects with naptimes, and many others.

The only thing hanging over my head and clouding my brain at this time is the Core Level selection we have. I am considering backing up just a bit for Jack, and trying to mash the easier Core K with the slightly more challenging Core 1. I also have the Core P4/5 from our previous adventure with homeschooling. I think the History and Geography will be a combination of these cores, covering as closely as possibly to the Core 1 objectives. It should be interesting to see how it all pans out. I am confident we can still get all the Cores in for Laura, and the advice on the Sonlight forums seems to point us to starting with Core K for the both of them. I ordered the IG and hope to be able to acquire the books from our fabulous library.

We rounded out the week with a trip to the Columbia Zoo today. It was a lot of fun and we surprised the children with lunch at Fuddruckers . . . a favorite restaurant of ours from VA that is not in Augusta, GA. They were excited when we pulled into the parking lot and they started remembering what it was. Laura asked if we could invite "Michael, Hailey, Katie, and Katie Lynne" (her friends from VA) to "meet us halfway" at this South Carolina location for lunch someday. We told her that would be quite the drive for all of them.

We didn't bring the camera (a slight oversight while packing) so no cool pictures, maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Laura's new Do







Laura got her hair cut into a cute bob style. I think it looks nice, but it takes a bit getting used to. Laura thinks Mommy should get her hair cut this way too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Workboxes

I said I would update the blog with pictures of the workboxes when they were completed . . . and I am quite sure everyone in the world is as excited as I am about these, so here are the pictures:

This is my workbox, it is bigger than the kids' because I hold all the read alouds, extra activities, and other helpful items like the markable map.


Here you can see I have all the books we will be using this week. Other core books are stored in my bedroom closet. I put just a week's worth of stuff in so we can do a little more if we want to.


The table, Jack and Laura have their names on their spots because #1 it elliminates discussion on who sits where, and #2, Laura asked for it.


The kids' workboxes, at this point I am using them more as an organizational tool rather than a means of working individually. Once we get the hang of it all I may implement the tags that indicate what they have done and what they need to do.

In the box I have 11X13 envelopes that hold their workbooks and worksheets for their different subjects. I tear out the pages if the workbook is perforated, if not I paper clip a green circle on the first page they are supposed to do, and a red octagon on the last page for that week. I do the same things with the readers and the read alouds.
Other items in the boxes include their Bibles, a 3 ring binder for their notebooking, and a folder for them to put their finished worksheets. The folder is so that I can grade their work, but right now I follow along as they do it so I really don't have much to grade.
John snapped a picture of us just starting out, one day down, so far so good!

I guess I have adapted the workboxes to work for us, and they are a lot different than their original purpose, but I like how organized they let me be, even on the first day.
Their seat work took about 45 minutes, then we did a lot of reading which only took a bit more. Fortunately, John was home and he was primarily watching James for me, so I could do the schoolwork with them all at once. This will be different when he is not on a 4 day weekend!
I plan to keep the schoolwork light until we really get into the late summer. I am also still waiting on some Science material for Sonlight, so I can add that fun stuff in later.
John spent some time with them later on the Music Ace Deluxe, and also on their little learning video game Jump Start.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Last Week . . .At Awanas

Last week was our awards ceremony for Awanas. Laura got awarded for completing her Sparkie book, Jack for completing his Cubbie book, and Megan got to hang out in the pew with her friend. (Apparently Megan thinks Ceili Rain looks yummy)

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Singing In The Rain (On the Porch)















We added a covered porch to our existing deck this spring. It has been nice enjoying meals out there, and the kids have a blast when big Georgia thunderstorms roll through. Just enough rain comes through that they get to have fun in it. Laura and James love it the most, Jack is a close thrid. Megan pretty much stays with Mommy.

We Are So Proud of Laura




Today Mommy attended Laura's Honors Day at her kindergarten. She was honored with three awards. She was one of three children who received an award for completing their reading lists every month, she was the sole recipient of the "Good Behaviour Award" for the kindergarten class, and she was also honored by the school principal with one of two "Good Citizenship Awards"









video

Mother's Day Baby Dedication





On Mother's Day, West Acres Baptist Church had a baby dedication ceremony. Baby dedication is a time when we as parents pledge to raise our children in a manner that will win their hearts for Jesus. Megan was dedicated on this day. She doesn't look incredibly happy in this picture, but it sure beats this picture!








Here she is with her friend Ceili Rain, born four days before her and dedicated on the same day.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Week

This is the last week of school for my kids. They are excited, and I am looking forward to the summer where we have lots of stuff planned. We are looking ahead to a great VBS, a trip to Disney, followed by the older kids spending some grandparent/cousin time up in PA and NY. When they return we will do some homeschooling.

Both Laura and Jack finished up AWANAs last night, and John too since he was a leader. I am hoping my friend Abbie sends me some pictures of the night, since I forgot my camera. (I did remember all of the kids though . . .) Megan and Ceili Rain had some bonding time in the pews watching their older siblings be awarded!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Megan's 2 Month Checkup

Megan had her 2 month checkup

She weighs 11 lbs 2 oz
She is 50th percentile for height and weight, 10th percentile for head

I thought she was a bit more petite than the others . . .

They are going to keep an eye on her head measurements.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Smiles

Look at what Megan can do!

My Babies

Just reflecting on my blessings . . .




Laura




Jack

James


Megan (Wearing one of her older sister's outfits)




POPS at the Park

While this is indeed a picture of our POPS (Grandpa T) at the park with James, we are actually referring to the Symphony playing a free outdoor concert for the locals on a beautiful Saturday evening.











We met some friends there, ate some fried chicken and had a really good time, the kids played in the dirt and danced to the music with their friends.
Here is a link to my friend's blog with more pictures




The kids really enjoyed painting their boxes. Apparently they are "Let's Go! Carts" from one of their favorite PBS shows, and I really *should* know what they are talking about.
I tried really hard to have them keep the boxes outside, but they were worried about them being ruined in the rain, and they loved them so much. I let them come inside. Right now they are up in Jack's room, and they are still playing with them.
One day Mommy will announce that the time has come for the boxes to take their rightful place (the trash), or perhaps I'll use this opportunity to venture into recylcing here in GA. Then the boxes will go on to a better place!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sweetest Girl?



Megan at one month, I believe she is contemplating her mother's choice of headbands . . .

Box Day Part 2

On Saturday we organized the books, I let the kids help me organize the books, then they carted the empty boxes out front to paint them. All in all, a fun day, but I'm glad its not everyday!










Friday, May 8, 2009

BOX DAY!!

The Big Box came today . . or rather the three boxes, we kinda ordered a lot of stuff. I get carried away sometimes . . .

Unfortunately all I have been able to do so far is to check to make sure everything is there. The day was also full of:

A visit from one set of grandparents

Lunch with above mentioned grandparents

Refinancing mortgage on house

Volunteering to read a story to Jack's PreK class

A possibility of working tonight (got put on call)

And currently. . .a fussy baby girl who does not want to be put down long enough for mommy to look at the books.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delayed!!

I knew that it would be hard for Sonlight to get the big box here by today, but the Fed Ex site said it would come, until this morning when they switched the date to tomorrow. ARRRGGG.

My CBD order should come today. So after I finish my chores I am going to go to gather supplies for the workboxes. And wait for the sound of the beagle dog announcing the arrival of the UPS man and his CBD delivery.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Workboxes

On the Sonlight Forums, and on other homeschooling sites and blogs I have come across the idea of workboxes. I think this is a fantastic idea. Here is the overview of the process: Workbox

Sue Patrick organized this system to show kids what they need to accomplish, give them a sense of how much they need to do for the rest of the day, and promote independent work. It also helps to organize all the things they need for the school day in one place. I like this form of it, that bloggers have adapted for their families: The picture is posted by Angela who shared her ideas on the Sonlight forums, she seems to have a very interesting blog if you have a few hours to kill . . .
As soon as I get something like this together, I will post pictures. It may be a while yet, so don't hold your breath quite yet!

Homeschooling!

For those of my dear family and closest friends that do not know that we have decided to home school, we have! I am both very excited, and somewhat anxious about the endeavor, but in the end I believe it is the best decision for our family.



So John and I have spent the last couple of weeks researching curriculum, checking "Top Ten Lists", compiling what we think is the best for our first year. Here is what we came up with. (Looking at the list, I know it is too much stuff, but we don't have to do it all in the first year. A lot of it is assessing to see where the kids fit to start off. Material that is too challenging will be moved to next year, while material that is too easy will be saved for James and Megan.



Here is what we have come up with:



Jack: (5yo Kindergarten)



  1. Reading: Sonlight Readers K, Explode the Code, and Teach Your Child to Read 100 Easy Lessons

  2. Language Arts: Sonlight LA K

  3. Math: Singapore KA and KB

  4. Science: Sonlight Science 1

  5. History / Geography: Sonlight Core 1 Introduction to World History

  6. Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears

  7. Music: Music Ace Deluxe

  8. Bible: Sonlight Bible 1 (Leading Little Ones to God)


Laura (6yo 1st Grade)




  1. Reading: Sonlight Readers 1 or 2

  2. Language Arts: Sonlight 1 also Growing with Grammar

  3. Math: Singapore 1

  4. Science: Sonlight Science 1

  5. History / Geography: Sonlight Core 1 Introduction to World History

  6. Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting

  7. Spelling: A Reason for Spelling

  8. Music: Music Ace Deluxe

  9. Bible: Sonlight Bible 1 (Leading Little Ones to God)


We also hope to do activities at the YMCA, AWANA, Children's Choir, and piano lessons in the fall.