Monday, July 23, 2012

It's On

Hello there! We have been away from blog land for quite some time. What started as a break due to illness quickly turned into a spiral effect with a busy schedule and reflection time after we got tests results back. Without going into great detail but just enough to tell it like it is, one of our children did poorly on a mandated test. This event took me several long weeks to work through.... but more on that later.

First I would still like to state my opinion on testing before 8th grade. I H-A-T-E it!! I think it is not necessary and a big waste of time. For some children, I have one and I was one, testing is not an accurate reflection of what a child might know. I refuse to teach for a test because that does not promote learning. With that being said, I have found a resource that I will be using to help my son become more comfortable with the test taking process.

Secondly, after the urge to switch curriculum wore off, I decided to look for some supplemental material to help my son become more comfortable in recalling information. For my son, he bombed the section of the test where it gives you a sentence and four choices of possible correction with the 5th choice being none at all. (I start to sweat just thinking about it.) He second guessed himself and what he knew. I KNOW he knows the material because he passed all the assessments with flying colors but having to recall information in a timed setting is just not where he is at, at this time. So after endless hours of searching for new curriculum, I got my senses back! My child IS learning, he just needs something to help him recall the information with more confidence. Reality of the matter is, he is going to have to test; whether I like it or not. My issue was finding a way to help improve his testing skills without making it all about the test. And I think I have found my answer with Wordly Wise and Editor in Chief series. We will start working in these books as we amp up school for the summer and I'll let you know in 6 weeks how it is going.

I also have begun to invest in the series What your **** needs to know. I've found them very useful in finding a way to help review information with my children. And truthfully, had I really looked at these books when I first started homeschooling, this is the way I would have went and may switch over to them for the middle school years.

Finally, I will be putting the finishing touches on some worksheets I used when reading through the book Missionary Stories with the Millers.  I have read this book twice with my children, so far, and can't wait to read it again with the youngest when it is her turn. I don't think there were many times when my children didn't ask to hear, just one more!!!! Great book to get, even if you don't use Sonlight!!!!

I look forward to sharing how the new workbooks are going and hopefully putting something on the web that others will find useful. Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Raising Real Men Boot Camp

My husband and I are in week 2 of the Raising Real Men Boot Camp. And have found it very helpful so far!!! Here is just a highlight of what we have gotten from both sessions so far:

  • It is NORMAL for my 10 year old to be so absent minded.
My Solution: send him off with a note card with short specific tasks to do!! This will HELP him stay focused and when he DOES get sidetracked, encouragingly help refocus him!!!! 
  • It is NOT NORMAL to expect him to sit down and just do his work.
My Solution: we are packing up the workbooks for a while!!! And YES this is very hard to do for me and a complete experiment that I P-R-A-Y bears fruit!!!! 
  • I should STOP frustrating my 7 year old with penmanship and give his mind and body a chance to develop. 
My Solution: relax and do just as I did with 10yo, when he is ready for cursive then I will focus on penmanship. He is an excellent reader and can write, he just doesn't form the letters correctly. I know this will be a little frustrating when he moves into cursive, it was with 10yo, but not as frustrating as it is to get 7yo to write right now!!!! 

  • There is a reason that 4 yo daughter isn't fitting into the mold her brothers made, she's different!!! 
My Solution: Her educational needs and styles are going to be different than the boys and so I should just get that curriculum for K even though "I didn't do that with the boys!!!!"

  • Start with the end in mind!
My Solution: Even though my children are only in 5th, 2nd, and Pre-K taking a look at what they will need to complete High School has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. I can relax now cause it doesn't seem like a never ending path to no where!!!!! 

I can't wait till next week and the good news is you can still join us for the Boot Camp: Raising Real Men. It meets on Monday nights at 8pm EST. I would encourage every parent with a boy, homeschooled or not, to check out the blog Raising Real Men. It will be time well spent!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Water Paints

In preparation for starting our The World's Greatest Artists Unit Study, we made our own water colors!!! It was alot of fun making and we got our recipes from Kids' Crazy Concoctions.

We also tried our hand at finger paint but it didn't turn out so well. We haven't used the water colors yet because I am still waiting for the books I ordered to get here. Seems I sent them all the way across the Pacific Ocean to my old address. Sigh. We are using the "extra" time to get caught up on some fun projects and I look forward to sharing hem with you in the coming weeks!!!! I got side tracked with my geography pages and hope to have those completed by next week, but no promises!!!! Happy Homeschooling!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Year Like No Other

We are enjoying our last week of Christmas Break as well as breaking in a new schedule!!!!
Before 2011 ended , my husband and I sat down to reflect on what we needed to change in our family and how we could do it. Our biggest concern was that we were not reading God's Word daily. Not as individuals and not as a family!!!!!

Since we already had The One Year Bible for Children I decided to alter our schedule for one year and see if this really would be
A Year Like No Other and we could instill in our children the importance and value of God's Word.

Over the next year, our family will be rising up at 7AM Mon-Fri and 730AM Sat & Sun to gather around the kitchen table to read from the Bible. Since my husband wont be able to read with us during the week as he has to leave by 7AM, he will be wake the kids up as I prepare cups of hot cocoa for them to enjoy.

As the cocoa warms their bellies, I pray that God's Word warms their hearts!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Simple Gift

Yesterday our family handed out simple Christmas Candy Canes at church. We always do something a little special for our Sunday School teachers as well as AWANA leaders. I was going to do something totally different until I found these very cute candy canes at Sam's Club.

Then I did a search on The Legend of the Candy Cane and made up my own little gift tags for the kids to color. We glued the gift tag onto some Christmas theme cardstock and attached them to the candy canes and it turned out to be the perfect make and take. The kids really enjoyed handing them out and I was glad that I didn't spend a fortune but was still able to put smiles on so many faces!!!!

JJ and CJ coloring their candy cane gift tags.

We wish you a Christ-centered Christmas & blessed New Year!!!! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Count Down

We normally do Advent starting 4 Sundays from Christmas, but I missed the mark on that one big time this year. So instead we are going to use Luke 1-2 as our Advent countdown starting on the 1st.. I made a print off that breaks the verses into smaller sections and we will work on memorizing this from the 1st of December until the 24th of December and then recite the whole thing on Christmas morning. We did the same thing for Thanksgiving and it was really fun reciting Psalm 100 before we ate Thanksgiving Dinner.

Just a quick note about the print off. I designed it so that even and odd numbers are printed on different colored paper and then joined together in a chain.
Also, when you print off the pages you need to print 1 on the back of 2, 3 on the back of 4, 5 on the back of 6 and 7 on the back of 8. You may have to play around with your printer to get it to print right. What I do is make a tiny mark on the first sheet I am printing and then when I go to print the second page I flip over the paper but make sure the mark is on the same side of the printer tray. This way you know your page will go in the same direction and print on the opposite side.
Hope that helps and have a wonderful Advent celebration!!!!!