Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time for evaluation

Next week is Thanksgiving week and we are having our first major break in the school year. It will be put to good use. About this time each year I start thinking about what is working in our homeschooling day, what areas need work, are we on target, is the schedule working for us or are we its slave, what do we want to continue studying, what do we want to take a break on, and the like. So I began sketching out ideas and pretend schedules on a spiral late Friday evening. I just had a burst of thought and energy (fueled by coffee). I want to maintain focus on the major things (developing character and relationships, leading lives for Christ, language arts, and a little math) and leave the other stuff for exploration (history, science, art, music, spanish). My belief is that if you train children to be godly people who are literate and have the knowledge to find information and think for themselves, they can follow great paths of their own choosing.
I think we will spend a week or so more on oceanography, rework the schedule, and get a copy of The Prairie Primer to supplement our American history study through the spring. We are also going to do a 50 States notebook. We are going to skip astronomy since we spent the last 2 years doing units on such. I want us to have more concentrated bible skills with the littler three kids, including tape time, activities and such. I did that with the older ones, but it kinda fell through the cracks on the younger ones. I also want to have more concentrated bible time for the big kids with bible reading schedules on topics, and work in the Explorer series workbooks, and some character/purity training books. I want to be sure I read aloud with all children daily, reinforce life skills and thinking through situations, have time for sibling interactions and parental discussions, and serve the Lord together more often. And I want them to have good memories of a godly home and desire to keep God's word at the center of their lives.
Homeschooling is something I am passionate about and I strive to do the best I can for my kids, so this is a necessary exercise each year. I love it, though. And I truly look forward to the future of their homeschooling journey.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bribery and such....

Wednesday was dental cleaning day for the kids. Jordan has been 3 times and has yet to allow anyone to touch his teeth, so as we lunched at Pizza Hut (reading program coupons, you know), his dad bribed him with a new toy if he would let them clean his teeth without having a fit. Apparently it worked! He was so good! and then he got the toy-a plastic AK47 gun!
But the best news of all was for me---no cavities! Hooray!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CHEFS Spelling Bee

Jacob and Emily participated in the CHEFS annual spelling bee on Thursday night. Jacob got second place. Emily didn't place, but she did very well. Elizabeth was going to compete but I discouraged her. Now before you start thinking bad of me, let me explain. I didn't realize this mistake until after the contest began, but the kids were given words from their current grade level instead of the grade level they had just completed. This made it very difficult since say, a second grader in November, has barely learned one third of the second grade words, yet those are the words they were asked to spell. I knew Elizabeth would have had trouble with the kindergarten words, let alone the first grade words and that is why I discouraged her. She was not upset in the least. It was still fun for almost everyone.

Family Fun Zone

Our neighbors opened this new place on I-30 and invited us to have a free day of play for helping them advertise. here are pictures of ABG Family Fun Zone. It is a neat place to go play and they do birthday parties as well as open jump times.

Falling for fun.....

Tis the time of year for leaves to be falling. And for kids to be piling them up and playing in them. That is exactly what we did 2 weeks ago for p.e. class. It was the day before elections and we needed something fun to occupy our day. It has taken me this long to upload so I plan to do several posts today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Budding Talent? We think so!!

I haven't posted or downloaded pictures in a while but hopefully by the coming weekend I will get to that. In the meantime I wanted to share some kid stuff.
First, Emily has been diligently practicing for a role in the CHEFS Friday school production of Annie Jr. This will be performed at the end of April/first of May. She is really excited. She also has been her usual creative self with making cards for people and such.
Jacob has also been very creative. As you may know, Clay got a 20 year service award this year and his choice was our new digital camera. We gave our old Kodak to Jacob because he loves filming. He has learned to use Windows Movie Maker to produce his own short films. He also, unknown to us, wrote a short story about the Clone Wars. It is going to be published here, today. Enjoy!~

It's dark outside, clone troopers are everywhere. Around a man, five captains sit. The man is General Obi-Wan Kenobi. "There are two battalions to the northeast," says Obi-Wan. "But we only have half a battalion!," yells one of the captains. "Don't worry. The force will be with us, " assures General Kenobi.
Just then they hear a cry from the watchtower, at first hard to make out. Then it becomes clear. "Droids!" yells the watchman. "To your battle stations!," yells one of the captains. Suddenly, Obi-Wan senses something as he hears a slight whine going through the air. His lightsaber hums to life as he turns to deflect the blaster bolt coming straight for him! As he looked on the horizon he could just make out the dark blue of the advancing super battle droids........

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, how are things at your house? Life has been full of neat things at our house. Last week the Nix family came over on Friday night to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with us. We all had so much fun! I hope Kyle gets some of the pictures to me soon. I will post them if they aren't too dark. Then on Saturday we all went to visit my parents for a while and then on to our youngest nephew's 2nd birthday party. That was all fun, and there were some out of this world oriental meat rolls there. Sadly, I ate a few too many and felt horrible all evening! Sunday was Friend Day at our congregation. We generally have about 35o on a Sunday morning but that day we had over 500. Then there was the barbecue at the Sports Park. Food was good, but I am not a fan of crowds, especially when I have my kids to keep up with, so that was not fun to me. Oh, and Friday my washing machine had broken, so on Monday I waited all day to get it fixed. The repairman, Chris, was so nice and got it running by 6:40! So being 4 days behind in laundry I just caught up at 4pm today (Tuesday), just in time for laundry tomorrow, so we will be back on schedule--ha ha! Tonight we all went to buy monthly groceries--woo hoo--and now I am sitting here wondering what in the world I am supposed to be teaching tomorrow night in bible class. Oops, I guess I forgot to look. Probably something on Joseph I am guessing. Thursday I have a haircut appointment and a guy coming sometime before 6pm (maybe) to inspect the furnace. It runs on natural gas and I never turn it on without an inspection. I hear we might need it by Thursday night. Well, that is just a short update.
Now, just an extra item-pray for our new president (who likely will be announced in the next few hours)to have wisdom and the best interest of our country at heart. In Power for Today, the reading was on being astonished at where God might lead you. We all want to know the path, but only He knows it, and we just have to go along for the ride and trust in the Lord, and pray to Him as we daily live for Him and teach our children to do the same. Besides, for Christians, this world is not our home. Our home and family are in heaven where we desire to be when our life here is ended.
Have a wonderful week!