Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Year 2014-2015

  Well, as I said last week, summer is quickly fading.  This is the first year we have taken a real "summer break".  We normally school year round.  However, this year with all 3 partcipating in 4-H, 2 in the Bible Bee, and the garden, we decided to take a few months off.  It was a very good decision too, it may be a new trend in our household ;) 
  Derek has actually been asking for 2 weeks now when we are going to start back up again.  Which, by the way, is incredible!!!  He's my child, who could normally careless about school!  He loves Geography and well.....that's about it.  He did come to me and ask if we could do a different math.  I have loved and praised Teaching Textbooks for the last 2 years, but I'm very much into child-led learning, so I've been looking at different math curriculums for the last couple of weeks and we are going to start with Singapore Math, which is what Heart of Dakota suggests using anyway.  He wanted a "math workbook".  He loves Rod & Staff (we use it for 1st grade) and they have a "worksheet book" for 3rd grade, but not for 4th.  We looked at a few other curriculums, but for now, we've settled on Singapore.  He has done Singapore before during summers as review, so it's not all completely new to him.  So here's the run-down for this year's curriculum lists.

Derek - 4th Grade
Heart of Dakota - Bigger Hearts for His Glory ~
We use this for Bible, History, Science, Dictation, Poetry, Handwriting, and Reading
(We are finishing up this guide.  He will start "Preparing" sometime around Thanksgiving)
Singapore Math 3B & 4A
(This is just a google picture of the ALL the workbooks.
He doesn't have to do all of these this year;)
BJU English 4
(He will be finishing this up and starting 5 around Thanksgiving also)
Galloping the Globe & Rand McNally Intermediate Geography & Maps
Bible-Based/Self-Paced Computer Typing Curriculum
Lindsay - 2nd Grade
Heart of Dakota - Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory ~
We use this for Bible, History, Science, Spelling, Poetry, Handwriting, & Reading
(She will be finishing up this guide and starting "Bigger" around Thanksgiving also.)
Teaching Textbooks 3
(She wants to stick with it for now :)
BJU English 3
(She will also be starting 4 sometime around Thanksgiving)
Galloping the Globe & Rand McNally Beginner Geography & Maps
Bible-Based/Self-Paced Computer Typing Curriculum
Leah - Preschool
Rod & Staff Preschool Workbooks
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Rod & Staff Math 1
Confessions of a Homeschoolers K-4 Curriculum

  Also, this year, we are going to start something new!  We sat down and talked about somethings the kids really want to work on or learn but just don't have time to work at them every day.  So, I'm so excited this is what we came up with!!  Every morning we will start out with a chapter from "The Miller Books".  We will be starting the school year with "Missonary Stories with the Millers". 

  After we have read our chapter, we are going to review and complete a day in our Calendar Book from Christian Light Education. 

  This is mainly for Leah, since the older 2 know their months and days, however, they wanted their own Calendar Books also.  :)  This books also reviews daily weather and seasons. 
  And then each day we will move onto learning that day's subject. 
Monday - Geography (Galloping the Globe)
Tuesday - Spanish
Wednesday - Sign Language
Thursday - Music Theory
  On Fridays, we have Music School in the morning and Co-op in the afternoon.  This first semester at Co-op Derek is taking Pencil Drawing and PE and Lindsay is taking Art (Acrylic Painting) and PE.  Leah will be in the preschool class.  They do all kinds of fun crafts, songs, centers, and work on their letters, sounds, and numbers.  I will be teaching Home Economics to the older girls and Ronnie will be teaching a mechanics class the first semester.  We are looking forward to a new school year!! 
  Also, my goal for this year for the blog is to do a review each week of our Heart of Dakota units and also one of our other curriculums each month!  I've had a lot of parents say to me, they would love to homeschool, but just don't think they could.  So my hope would be that I can share how rewarding and easy(most days;) homeschooling actually is!!
Proverbs 1:7 ~
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Life is NOT what it seems.....

  As I sit here this morning, looking out my window trying to see past all the thick fog, I realize how quickly the summer is coming to an end.  Ever since Hannah passed, I feel like our summers just fly by!  Her entire life took place in one tiny little summer, the summer of 2008.  It will be burned into my memory, of course, forever.  Trying to fit everything a mama, of 3, needs to do into one summer is exhausting, actually it feels next to impossible!  Especially when you are trying to be a mama to 3 children, all under 3, that are separated over 100 miles away.  I always look back and try to think of how I should have done things differently.  I definitely didn't have the mind-set that I do now and thought that it was so important for my older 2 to carry on normal lives.  When in reality, I realize now the best thing for them was to have been with their mama as much as possible.  However, I felt like, then, that wasn't possible because they were not allowed in the NICU or in Hannah's room.  I kept telling myself that Hannah would get better soon and we'd all be home as a family.  I tried to stay so busy with activities at church when I was home to keep my mind off of things with Hannah that I missed a lot of opportunities to just sit and hold her and and spent so much time traveling back and forth, I missed alot of firsts with Lindsay. (Lindsay and Hannah were 11 months apart).  She learned to crawl and walk with out me and learned to say some very cute words without me.  My heart constantly breaks at the idea of not remembering much about Lindsay's 1st year at all, by being so consumed with my prenatal appointments and worrying so much about what was to come and then the 3 1/2 months she was in the hospital.

  I fast forward 6 years and continute to realize how short our summers are and in reality how short all of our lives are, they really are but just a vapor.  I have watched my children grow and mature more this year than I ever have before.  We have worked so hard and participated in so much this year, I am just amazed at the young people my children are becoming. 
  We did let the garden fail a little this year due to being so busy (however after hearing so many other people say that their tomatoes didn't make either, I don't feel so bad), however, we did manage to put up over 30 quarts of corn and 6 quarts of tomato juice so far (more is yet to come). 

  We've participated in the Bible Bee, the Farmer's Market, 4-H, attended the State Fair, and did respit for 3 foster babies, all under 14 months, at the same time.   


  I have watched the children learn and grow in The Word. They have worked hard on creating their own projects and baking to sell their goods and have become quite the little entrepreneurs.  I have watched them transform through the horseback riding lessons and show their animals in the ring and their confidence just rise in themselves.  I've watched them mature so much while working hard in the garden, picking, shucking, cooking, squeezing, canning, and freezing our produce to get through the winter.  And understanding the importance of helping to provide for the family.  And last but not least, dying to themselves to help care for, and eventually loving, 3 babies that are not our own.  They helped bathe, feed, hold, and love on these 3 as if I had given birth to them, just as I had their own selves.  It truly was amazing. 

  I continually pray that we can raise our "babies" to work as unto the Lord, not toward men!  I pray for their salvation daily.  Because at the end of the day, nothing else matters if they don't live as Christ, everything else will not get them anywhere! 

James 4:14  (NKJV)
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.