Thursday, October 2, 2014

- Homeschool Beginnings -

The beginning of our homeschooling journey didn't go exactly as planned...

The Mrs. spent countless hours preparing an eclectic mix of curriculum that ended up being a tad too dry (raw-academic) and frustrating for Big Miss.  They didn't appeal to her very visual, artsy learning style.  One week into homeschooling and we decided to abandon what we had and purchase a complete curriculum that we had been researching over the summer.  We ordered My Father's World Kindergarten and LOVE it!  Skills are laid out in a nice progressive manner, prep. work is minimal, the daily time commitment is appropriate and the learning materials and activities are fun, colorful and engaging.  Most importantly, this curriculum is Bible based, so the girls are learning basic skills while also learning about God's Creation.

The first two weeks of school doing My Father's World we studied Genesis and learned about the things that God did on days 1-7.

Happy mail day...

On day one, we learned that God created light and divided it from the darkness.  We had fun reading  a Bible story with flashlights!
 We enjoyed a snack that was both light and dark...
  Naturally, Little Miss took it upon herself to sneak some extra cookies...

On day two we learned that God made the sky and divided the water above and below the sky.

Each day we colored the corresponding number we were learning about and created a story page to go along.

We enjoyed counting clouds (marshmallows and popcorn) for snack!
The girls had been requesting to be cats for a few days, so...

On day three we learned that God made seas, dry land and plants.

We enjoyed broccoli pretzel trees, skittle flowers, and cookie dry land and blueberry fruits of the plant for snack.

On day four we learned that God made the sun, moon, and stars.

The girls looked forward, each day, to seeing how snack would match what they were learning!
On day five we learned that God made living creatures in the sea and birds.

On day six we learned that God made animals and other living creatures on the land.  He made man and woman.

We thanked God for our sweet Mocha bean and for how well she tolerates Little Miss' snuggles. 

Mocha had fallen asleep next to Little Miss and Little Miss woke up one happy girl!
We enjoyed bunnies and people (well, sort of!) for snack.

On day seven we learned that God rested.

At the end of this unit we compiled all of our numbers and story pages into a book in each of the girls portfolios.  I had written the word creation story for them to look at when writing their title, but other than that everything you see below was done independently...
On this day we walked around our yard and took pictures of God's creation. 
I spy two precious people that God created...
On this day instead of partaking in usual housework tasks, The Mrs. rested in the sun and enjoyed a particularly relaxing quiet time while the girls napped.
 We identified and discussed things that God made and things that man made.
- source of printable: -

A typical day for us consists of breakfast, free play, school, snack/read aloud, outside play, lunch, nap/rest, dinner prep...daddy home! 

We participate in one to two field trips per month with other homeschooling families in our community; next week we are going to a farm!

The girls are also both Cubbies in AWANA.  AWANA is such a fun program for our children.  Each week the girls memorize one or two Bible verses to tell their teacher and as they memorize verses they earn patches to put on their vests.  They participate in small group learning activities, large group play, worship (music/dance) time, gym/cooperative learning time, and story time that teaches biblical character traits such as honesty, obeying parents, etc.  Little Miss is so glad to be able to join Big Miss as a Cubbie this year and Big Miss has less anxiety with little sis there.  The Mrs. is a Cubbie leader and the Mr. is a Cubbie substitute.  The Mr. teaches at least once a month, but neither of us are the girls' leader.  We want to model to the girls the importance of serving others, and also want the girls to experience a teacher other than mommy or daddy for AWANA.

The Mr. is going over this week's Cubbie lesson and is reviewing the memorization verse, "God loves us and sent His son." 1 John 4:10

The girls also attend Bible school at our church each Thursday morning while The Mrs. joins in fellowship with other women and talk about how to grow, mature and support each other as they walk with the Lord as mothers, wives and children of God.  In this program the girls are with about 30-40 other children playing, creating and learning from some very lovely and patient women!

This past week was International Homeschool Spirit Week; Friday was a Day of Giving.  We were blessed to be able to prepare and provide a meal to a friend's neighbor's family.  The sweet mom of 3 little boys had an accident and crushed her elbow and fractured her humerus. She is unable to lift any of her children and after just having been able to go part time at work she had to put her one year old back into full time child care because she is unable to care for him as needed.  She is six weeks in, with about 12 more weeks of recovery and if she is unable to return to work in six weeks she may lose her job.  Please pray for her!  For recovery, strength and endurance.

During outdoor play the girls have been spending time enhancing their fairy garden and preparing it for the cooler weather by creating trees for shelter from rain and wind and leaves as  ground cover blankets.  The girls know that fairies are pretend, but they like to pretend they are real!
- It's starting to rain, can we please stay out? Yes! -
As a homeschooling family our school day doesn't ever officially start or end.  We take advantage of as many teachable moments as we can and pretty much consider everything school.  Head to the grocery store: (social studies and math), library (language arts), make dinner (math, science and social studies).  Life on earth is short.  Time goes so quickly.  We've intentionally chosen to invest  majority of our time into our children during this season of our lives...teaching them, learning with them, guiding them, supporting them, encouraging them, disciplining them, loving them.  We are so grateful to be able to watch them discover new things for the first time, to be able to answer questions when they don't understand or want to know more, to be able to follow our children's interests and cater to their particular learning styles and pace.

This week, in conjunction with school, we are learning about veterinarians and caring for pets.  We are learning about services offered, facilities, finances, compassion and healing.  We are grateful for the doctors who carefully explained Mocha's surgery in a way the girls could understand.  They taught us how to care for her after surgery and what to look for should we need to bring her back in. The girls were able to ask questions and have been a doing a wonderful job in assisting with our Mocha bean!

We are trying to involve the girls in as many chores and homemaking tasks as are appropriate.  We want them to contribute to this household in which they live and play!  Sometimes; however, we don't involve the girls because, quite frankly, sometimes we are in a hurry and it is much easier and quicker for us to just do it properly ourselves.  Sometimes, we do it ourselves to allow them time to play if our day has been full.  We believe play is just as integral to the learning process as structured learning is at this age. 

Little Miss helping to scrub off the soil from our garden grown carrots to prep for dinner and for freezing...

Today Little Miss declares she wants to be a doctor.  Yesterday she wanted to be the garbage truck driver so she can see all the pretty pictures kids draw for her.  We may have led them to believe we throw some of their art in the garbage specifically for the garbage workers and landfill workers to look at!  
Little Miss catches on quickly and has a very passionate/persistent personality.  Whatever she does, we are certain she will go for it full force ;)  Our little Miss Spicy Pie!

It's still hard to believe that we are a homeschooling family.  We were admittedly equal parts excited and apprehensive to embark upon this new journey.  However, we feel incredibly at peace with our decision and have no doubt this is right where we are supposed to be right now. 

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