Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Academic Learning Games

Reinforcing what we are doing through games is ideal for us. The boys are relaxed, invested and engaged. Here are a few of our favorites for this year. We do different activities with the games depending on which child is playing the game. 

Math: 

Science : 

Language Arts: 


Books of the Bible

We took December off for Advent season. We got back in the swing of school this week. For munckin, I am most excited about going through the books of the bible. 

I've gathered some videos that go through the bible including Jesus Storybook Bible, What's in the Bible and we stream The Bible Project series online. I found individual flash cards and coloring pages for each of the 66 books.

This felt set by Betty Lukens is still really great! 

Some of our favorite bibles. 


Here's a closer look at a few of the books in the top collage that we have as resources to pull from while going through the bible . 

We pulled out our Books of the Bible bookcase this week. 



The boys love this, worth every penny! 

We are using flattened cereal boxes as pouches for each Brooks's activities :


I found a few other activities to do along the way: 


Inside the pouches for now, we'll add as we go along: 


Word search -

Bookcase coloring page - 

On our cork board to keep us on track: 

This was our kitchen table reviewing Exodus and introducing Leviticus Thursday morning. Love everything about this ! Daddy ran errands with our youngest then picked up our middle son from speech and behavior therapy . I got the chance to have a really great talk with our oldest son about words like atonement, sacrifice and redemption. We looked them up, looked for verses and takes about how we could apply them in his life. I wish I could have recorded today. It felt surreal and holy. Love this parenting gig.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Learning

Munchkin has started balling at some of the learning especially phonics. So glad the curriculum had alternatives suggested. Spelling out our new sounds and having him create his own words worked wonderfully! Love being able to make learning applicable, real and fun for him. 

My other favorite moment this week was coming up with our bible times costume as part of the intro to the bible that we are doing . It's still a work I progress, but it's been fun brainstorming. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A day in the life - October

We had a rough start with grandparents leaving this morning after visiting a week. I'm glad for our normal routine to get back to normal to help withdrawal :-) 

A Science talk about the seasons with Doodlebug

Lead to solar systems drawings

Then, Reading with a new long vowel sound. 

He checks off on the chart as he goes: 

Handwriting with our bible verse , we are working the scale of our letters right now 

Learning basic math problems with unifix
cubes

Bible time was our devotional and introcudicing the books of the bible : 

I'm so grateful for two open and go curriculums that have everything planned out for me and all the materials and notes to help keep us on track.




 We took off yesterday as our Explore Day instead of Friday well... because we can ❤️

Doodlebug was doing his 4 year old workbook he enjoys, I'll spend two days introducing the weekly bible story, character focus and memory verse. His therapy class covers the basic academics. 



Then he helped Lightning with crayons and drawing paper. It helps to calm littlest brother to play Praise Baby so I can focus on big brothers.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Extras

I admit it, I'm that mom who searches for matching themes , learning crafts and seasonal projects . Found this gem online this morning. Printed out one for each boy based on the first letter of their name and they had fun ! 





Thursday, September 17, 2015

Flexibility

The heart of what we do was exemplified today . Daddy worked late so we hung out, then we left to help out at our church. Came home for lunch and quiet time and then did school. Had a dance party to Everything is Awesome to celebrate . Lifs have mentioned wanting to do the library and we still have time. Love our life!! 




Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 3 for Doodlebug

We are in full swing of speech and behavior therapy. His program is half days and they reinforce the big four (letters, numbers, shapes and colors) 


 When he gets home we cover character and bible time


During carpool lane the baby screamed the entire time and big brother bargained his way to the front seat

Week 3 for Munchkin


Getting the hang of this flow for Munckin, so grateful for this life we lead ! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fresh Beginnings

Bright faces, bigger obstacles, sharpened pencils, unbroken crayons, clean backpacks, growing minds and bodies starting a new school year. I get excited about back to school :-)

We started a few fun traditions with my oldest starting his official kinder year. He's doing a 1st grade curriculum so it's a grey area on 'grade level'.

Bottom left: first day signs.
Bottom right: men's large shirt with his graduating class to take annually. I'm sure I'll cry when he can fit. 
Middle right: class board and subway art.
Top right: his favorites at 5 years old.
Top left: end of the first week video party.

This week is also a new opportunity since we did preschool at home to answer questions as to what, why and how we do education in our family . 

There isn't as much support, understanding or resources outside our own decision for what we do. I haven't found a children's book or videos around the topic of preparing specifically for homeschool ( And I do not lack book resources, maybe we will make our own ). I was raised attending public school, so this lifestyle is new to me.  We have chosen the road less traveled and I don't regret it. We have found more than one co-op and have spent the last year starting to make some beautiful friendships so our boys know they aren't alone. 

 I don't judge what others chose and I can't control others opinions, statements, thoughts and views on ours. They don't understand our journey, but it's not for them anyway .  I'm doing this for my family and that's all it's about. 

With being in the minority in our area comes misconceptions and misunderstanding mixed with downright judgment and scorn. We 'must' be type A or afraid to let our kids go or think other educational choices are evil . We 'must' not be concerned about socialization, being exposed to different view points or being a light for others . We 'must' want to control our kids and tell them everything to think ...  I'm also not a saint ( been called that), my kids do no always listen to me or want to learn. We don't have it all together, my house isn't always clean. Yes, I do raise my voice and my house is not always clean. We are often in our pajamas and yes my son asks when we can leave the house and where are his friends. So, we are not on a pedestal either. The truth is realistically in between the ideal and the worst case fear of homeschooling. We are just regular people doing the best on the path we believe is right for our family. 

I can put my myself in a public school mamas shoes and understand letting your baby go 7 hours a day with a stranger you don't know is hard. I cried hard for at least five minutes outside my 3 year olds classroom door for his first speech class in our local school district's early learning center last spring. It was hard, but I did it because I was convinced that was and is the right best thing for him at this point in his development . And I think others could understand the struggle teaching a child who isn't always willing, figuring out curriculum or being an introvert but continuing to put myself out there is attempts to sidestep the pitfall of a lack of peer group exposure (aka socialization) . Neither answer is to change our choice necessarily but to understand, support and be compassionate on this imperfect journey of educating our children. 

So much that is not up to me to convince anyone of the value it holds for our family or unravel public notions, perceptions and expectations for others . My middle sons has some delays and other special issues, should he require more assistance in his education than I can provide, I will with out pride or ego, ask for help as I am accepting help from our local school district for him. We all wants our kids to have the necessary tools to be productive members of society. It's ok if that looks different not only for each family, but also for each child. It's not a rejection of you , your choice or your children, just as your different choices aren't about me, my family or children. If you've met one homeschooler than you've just met the one homeschooler. A large reason why the people I know chose this is to make it personalized for their family whether it's special needs, family schedules, faith, community, competitive sports etc etc, so you can't stick all of us in a gate and slap a general label on intent, approach, method, curriculum etc. 

This year I find joy in looking forward to teaching my almost 6 year old more about bible, reading, history, science , math, character, social studies, writing, art and music. In the midst, we will do home ec, problem solving, critical thinking, stewardship, conflict resolution and a hundred other intangibles like forgiveness and love while making family memories . 

I look forward to contuing both in-home and group speech and behavior therapy for our 4 year old . He'll learn new stories , how to write, count, do shapes and counting, sorting , patterns, phonics and so much more at his pace. 

I look toward to seeing my precious almost 17 month olds personality continue to grow along with his fine and gross motor skills and talking. We'll guide his relationship with his brothers as they become more equal with daily and hourly opportunities to practice love and kindness with their best friends, each other. 

I look toward to having a brand new school year with enrichment classes, therapy, play groups, the library, field trips, friends and family as our learning environment. Here's to fresh beginnings ...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bring on a new year!

We received a large chunk of our MFW curriculum in today including bible, math, science , writing, history and character materials. Just waiting on phonics, art and music for Munchkin. 
Doodlebug will have therapies at least twice a week and I'll focus on character and bible from ABCJLM on the opposite days. 
Lightening will look cute and I'm working on busy bags for him.