Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Very few quiet mornings

Coffee Cup on Desk
I woke up this morning, feeling refreshed for probably only the second time in 9 weeks and excited for the day to come! I prayed this morning and just asked God for strength and patience for the day, love for my family and a focus on Him, as well as new insight and excitement for homeschooling 4 young children. I feel at peace right now, listening to the crickets outside, the darkness of the morning still engulfing. I am reminded of that verse that " even the darkness is not dark to you" . Thank you God that we cannot hide from you, nor get lost from you. That you are our ever present help and delivery, our rescuer. Sometimes raising a family and homeschooling seems a bit daunting and when all my ideas start running around in my head like mush I know that I have not given it to God. He is the only one that can help me organize my thoughts in a manner that is manageable and not overwhelming. He has given my husband and I this vision so why wouldn't he see it to fruition? Isn't it like the enemy to allow you to feel inadequate or overwhelmed to so easily deter you from what God has set before you?

We are reading Little Pilgrims Progress right now. I feel like I could get emotional at every chapter because of the path Christian has chosen and the parallelism to our own lives. I love reading it to the kids because they are beginning to understand that this is not an easy path, but it's the ONLY path. Lord help me to teach them!

I peered around the corner and saw Jayden looking at the microwave clock and going back into his bedroom to play. A few minutes later a little knock at the door . Moriah, standing there with her beautiful blonde hair going up, down, sideways, diagonal and poofy whispers, " play kietly ( quietly)" and then runs off into the boys room, shuts the door and play. God answers prayers!!!! Hannah is sleeping soundly in my bed and my heart swells for my little family. I am blessed.

Today we will begin school shortly and hopefully have most of it done before we leave for bible study, stop and I will get a "poor man's latte" ( decaf espresso over ice and add my own creamer). I've never ordered this before but read about it on the Internet and I am always on the lookout for ways to save money. I pray that God walks before and behind us today as we live it out, seeking Him and loving our cool, dark mornings filled with solace and peace before the kids see that it is now 6:01 and they can come out from "playing kietly"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What has our school looked like lately???

We have been having a lot of fun with school. To be honest, I'm still working on what mine and the kids rhythm will look like. But here is what we have so far:

Konos-this has been alot of fun as we are going through each of the body systems and doing accompanying activities with each. I would like to incorporate more lap books in it as well as having a thousand ideas of more things to add, each day we incorporate bible, reasoning, science, writing, creativity, etc.
Bible Geography- one of the best things I have ever bought packed with activities, mapping activities and digger deeper into God's word to find the answers
Saxon 2- I am so indifferent about this b/c I hate the way it presents things but we are already 75% of the way through so we are just going to finish it up and I will use a cool supplement, Math for the Gifted Student 2nd grade, that I found at Barnes and Nobles. I used the 1st grade one this past spring and I was very impressed with this little $8 find!
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Red book- this has been a great addition to our day as well as it does not take a great deal of planning, which I need b/c of the KONOS, and is very thorough and fun.

Jayden is also doing a daily devotional and we throw in math games, Mad Libs, World Geography-which I just need a planning day to expound upon this ( anyone know where I can get a cool passport from??), and anything else that strikes our interest.

For Austen, he is doing SSRW, Math games, KONOS with us and the World Geography. I am still watching him and seeing how he learns. He learns so much more different than Jayden. Jay wants me to sit and hold his hand for everything; Austen wants me to tell him and then let him be so he can figure it out!

I really enjoy homeschooling although Moriah has added a touch of crazy to our day; we love her anyways. Hannah just goes along for the ride, literally in my front pack, but we'll get through this.

I have so many ideas and keep coming across more and more and more that I'm not sure what to do with them all! I recently bought these cool doodle mats from Barnes and Noble that have your kids design different things while waiting for lunch/dinner. I love incorporating any form of art into our day as well. A few weeks ago we did "duplo and car" painting which was a lot of fun. I also, once the weather cools down, want to incorporate geocaching as the boys have enjoyed that with their grandparents. Then there is the co ops and the field trips. I love the lapbook idea not sure what would be more worth it, to go through Hands of a Child or just keep researching online and print off my own? I will post pictures soon as we have been doing a LOT!

In all of this, I am really learning to stop and pray about each decision. The passion to educate my children to the fullest is there. I definitely do not worry about not giving them the best as my heart is fully in it. However, what to take on, methods to teach, etc. is what throws me for a loop. I still remember my Spanish professor, which brings to me to how to incorporate Spanish but that's another tangent, once said, " I forget about how hard concepts can be to explain and understand because I have been understanding this for years." He said this on a particular day where I was almost in tears because I could not understand this grammatical concept. I cannot tell you how often that moment comes back to me when Jayden is sitting there almost in tears, because he cannot figure out how to add the two digit numbers while carrying over the one.

I just remember praying and asking God to help me find a way that he could understand, we tried talking, we tried visual, we tried kines tic. Any way, I think he finally understands after working the blocks and explaining it in a way that until these little colorful blocks become ten they don't want to magnetize together ( my science minded son) and so they stay separate.... he's doing so much better.

My point is, God wants to be apart of my day and guide me through it as he knows my children more intimately than I do and knows how they learn more than I do. I pray that I will always be open to the Holy Spirit as I want my children to learn without fear of failure but rather a mindset of the strength in a challenge.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Crazy Day

Yesterday started off fairly normally except for the exciting detail of visiting the lego store. Jay has been working hard each week on exhibiting different character traits throughout his daily life.... diligence, responsibility, encouragement, etc. When he does a task, ie: takes care of Hannah or sorts and puts away the laundry and displays the character trait, I note that and we is rewarded with an allowance at the end of the week. I'm not too big on allowances for just chores as you can do the chore with a horrible attitude as well. So what would be the point? Yeah, you sorted laundry you also complained the whole time??? Doesn't seem like to much of a life lesson.

Anyways, we worked diligently all more completing our school ....which is always exciting with a toddler and newborn and headed to the lego store. I have decided that letting my husband take the boys, in the future, will be a whole lot easier than me trying to manage 4 kids a stroller and a busy mall. My love for the mall is quickly fading as my family is growing larger and that cannot be :) Jay picked out the lego pirate set his worked towards and we headed home with a screaming baby, tired toddler and a 4yr old who was not impressed with a cheeseburger.... doesn't' sound like a lot , I know. but let me tell you....it was.