Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

I'm a little late hopping in on the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop BUT, here we are. It's been a busy house the last few weeks. School is well under way, and we are moving right along in our studies. This is our 4th year homeschooling. I've finally learned what MATH we like, and I'm beginning to think that last years choices for English/ Reading were better option - but for now, the kids are loving what they are doing. So, as long as they are learning, and having fun, we'll keep on with what we are using. Here's our list!

Aaron - Age 9 - 4th grade
Rod & Staff Reading 4
Christian Light Reading (CLE) 4
Math U See - Delta
R&S English 3/4
All About Spelling Level 3
Handwriting Without Tears Cursive

Rebekah - Age 7 - 2nd Grade
(has some learning disabilities)
Rod & Staff Reading/ Phonics 1 and CLE Reading 2
Math U See - Beta
BJU English 2
All About Spelling Level 2
Handwriting Without Tears

Hannah - Age 5 - 1st Grade
RCLE Learning To Read
All About Reading Level 1
Math U See - Alpha
All About Spelling Level 1

Matthew and Benjamin - Age 3 - PreK
Rod & Staff Workbooks for 3&4 yr olds
All About Reading Pre-Level
Explode the Code Primary
Learning videos. =)

For History/ Geogrpahy we are using Road Trip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler
Science - Apologia - Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Bible - Christian Liberty Press Studying God's Word B - and will start Apologia's "Who is God?" as soon as it arrives in the mail.

There is is - our current school list! We have double reading programs for the older 3 because we already owned our CLE, and we really like both of the programs we are using. Because of that, we chose to switch back and forth with the readings we are using from day to day so that we can enjoy both!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sensory Bags

It's been a few days since I posted. Our youngest daughter decided to do ballet on top of a glass coffee table on Saturday. Doesn't sound like a smart idea does it? Well, it wasn't. 6 stitches, and a few days later she is feeling much better. I went to bed that night thanking God over and over again for His love and grace by protecting her during the accident. The table didn't shatter, but instead broke into huge shards, and the way that she fell, a large piece just barely missed going through her abdomen. He is soo good isn't He? While it wasn't the way I had planned on spending our Saturday, He was faithful and watching over us through it all.

I wanted to share with you all some of our latest sensory creations. Our kiddos are currently in love with sensory bags.

Just simply fill them with something "squishy" - I used hair gel, lotion, shampoo, and paint. You can use whatever you have around the house. Put it in a ziploc bag - fold over the top part and tape it. Then put that ziploc bag inside another ziplog bag, fold over again, tape shut. Then as a last precaution against any disasters - tape all the way around the seems of the bag.

You can also add marbles, or foam animals and letters to the bags. One of ours has glow in the dark stars.

They also work great on the light table.

This is a perfect rainy day, hot day, or any day activity to do with children of all ages!

The paint bags are great for writing practice as well. We use these almost daily with the twins to practice writing letters that are in their name. Our 1st grader likes to use them to write her spelling words too.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Teaching the Heart, Not the Math

I love being home with my children! I love being able to have the opportunity to teach them at home and to raise them up in the ways of the Lord. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I am very passionate about homeschooling. But what about those days when homeschooling isn’t for me? We typically have at least one day a week, when the school work, the lesson plans, and the projects get tossed aside. We have to toss the Goodyear Homeschool so that we can work on a little Goodyear heart.

Wednesday was a typical day for us. We got started on our math around 9AM. Normally it takes me one hour to get math done with all the kids. The twins don’t really have a “math curriculum”, but they sort colors, count, and make patterns with our Math U See blocks. It took 1 hour and 34 minutes just to get math done with one of my older kids. This would not have been a huge problem if this child didn’t KNOW how to do the math that we were working on. His heart was in the wrong place. He wasn’t teachable Wednesday. For whatever reason his heart was up and ready for a fight, and he wanted to argue with everything that I was trying to teach him. I became quickly frustrated, and this back and forth resulted in a very long, and drug out math session.

That evening I was reflecting back on our morning math disaster when it suddenly hit me that not only was he unwilling to be taught, I wasn’t willing to teach. I had other things that needed to be done. Four other children needed to do math, PLUS the reading, English, and spelling. My heart was not in the right place. I was ready for a fight and I was going to argue back with everything that he had to say. I chose to ignore the clear heart issues we were having. My goal at that moment during that lesson veered off course. I was focused on the Math, not my child.

It’s NOT the math that matters – it’s the heart. It’s their character. I can’t teach their heart when I’m not focused on their heart. If I’m not focused on winning their heart – then there is an issue with MY heart.

Too often I forget that I am surrounded by little hearts that don’t know Christ yet. That’s my job, to show them Christ. I need to be teaching their hearts, and bringing them to scripture. We don’t do everything without arguing and complaining because mom says so – we do it because God says so.

It is easy as a homeschooler to get caught up with the academics in our home. I’m here to let you know that I fail often. I’m sure that you fail often. God gives grace! Please be encouraged as I was encouraged as you remember the patience that our Heavenly Father has with us. He is teaching us, and leading us, so that we might better serve Him. He was trying to teach me during our math lesson the other day, yet I was being unreachable. Remember their hearts when dealing with a battle of the wills. Remember their hearts when that preschooler needs a spanking – again. Remember their hearts when their toys aren’t picked up, even though you’ve told them countless times already today. Remember their hearts when the math doesn’t click. Remember their hearts when the reading doesn’t come easy. Remember their hearts when you don’t want to be respectful to your husband. Remember their hearts when you’re tired. Remember their hearts when you have dishes to do. Remember their hearts when your schedule isn’t going as planned. Remember their hearts, remember scripture, remember grace, and just simply lead them to the cross in all that you do. Nothing else matters. It’s the heart issues that count not the math. It begins with OUR hearts. Turn your heart to scripture and prayer, and He will equip you to lead theirs.