Thursday, December 30, 2010

School & Routines...Returning Monday

I must say I'm a bit excited to get back into full time homeschooling & schedules. We've enjoyed our time off, but it will be nice to get back to "normal," whatever that is. We'll be traveling 45 minutes one way each Wednesday for dd2's therapy, so I'm going to have to tweak our old school schedule a little. In math, we'll review some old concepts & then learn some new ones. Dd10 will step it up a notch with her Latin and will soon move from Primary Language Lessons to Intermediate Language Lessons and also read more challenging material, such as Shakespeare, King Arthur, & Stories from the History of Rome--all for children. Ds7 will move on to more challenging reading and begin Primary Language Lessons, as well as do more narrating & journaling. Dd2 will continue listening to & looking at books I read aloud to her & will learning with the cool developmental toys she got for Christmas. We'll continue with nature study, and hopefully get some more "real" winter weather so we can have "hands on" fun! The next country we'll study in our world culture & geography unit is Russia, so I'm looking forward to that. There is so much to learn about that fascinating country! One fun aspect for us girls will be studying ballet. I'm thinking that's a great PE plan. Can't wait! Here's to hoping you all move into the new year with ease & enthusiasm!

Friday, December 24, 2010

International Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas from all around the World!!!

"Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
' Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”' Luke 2:10-14

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas in Asia & Europe

Inside of our Nutcracker lapbook (Russia)
Back of Nutcracker lapbook
Cover of Nutcracker lapbook
Advent calendar (Sweden)
Fish ornaments (Thailand)
Japanese fans (Japan)
Scene from A Christmas Carol (United Kingdom)
Christmas crackers (United Kingdom)
St. Lucia (Sweden)

Gingerbread (Germany)
Pagoda manger scenes (China)
La Befana (Italy)

Christmas Around the World Resources

          We are having a blast studying different countries and cultures and how they celebrate Christmas. I'll be posting pictures of our crafts and activities--including our international Christmas tree--soon. Meanwhile, have some fun checking into the fabulous books we're reading and using for ideas!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Forever Family Day Anniversary

One year ago our beautiful baby girl was placed in our arms for the first time. What an incredible year it has been, how awesome God is, and what a blessing our little one is! Happy Forever Family Day Anniversary!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Reading

This is a wonderful book. I started reading it today, and I've already read through the first 98 pages. It's a delightful book with several Christmas stories & excerpts from Christmas stories, some of which I was familiar with and some of which were new to me. Two of the stories--both of which I'd never read before--that I truly loved are "Old Pierre's Christmas Visitors" and "Aunt Cyrilla's Christmas Basket." We'll be using this book in our Children Around the World/Christmas Around the World studies. I'm really looking forward to sharing all of these stories with my children!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keeping our focus on Christ this Christmas

With so much to do in December: Christmas parties, Doodle's birthday, Baby Girl's Forever Family Day anniversary, hubby's & my wedding anniversary, could all pass by in a whirlwind with no time to reflect on the miracle of the Savior's birth. This year, I'm determined to keep my focus on Christ. We are doing some advent activities as a family, plus I'm reading a wonderful book/Bible study/devotional all-in-one. I'm LOVING it so far. I highly recommend it. It's called Preparing My Heart for Advent. I'd love for you to join me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Adoption Awareness Month

November is officially Adoption Awareness Month, but each month holds that awareness for me, as it should for all Christians. We are commanded in Scripture to care for the orphans. For some, that means adopting a child; for others, it means donating to an adoption agency; for others it may mean sponsoring a child; it may even be visiting an orphanage to spend time with the children there; it could mean speaking in various churches or other organizations about adoption; it might mean being led to speak out about ethical adoption practices.....the list could go on. For me, it means a combination of those things. What does it mean for you? What is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart? As we enter this season of celebration, take some time to reflect on how God would have you meet the needs of orphans. You are all called to do something.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homeschooling Year 2010-2011: Weeks 9 & 10

Investigating anthills

Holes made by woodpeckers

Simply enjoying nature

Closeup look at a butterfly

Germany worksheets

A couple of books about Germany, plus Baby Girl's book for the week

Collections from our nature walk & journal pages

Poland worksheets

Geography review

Octoberfest in Germany

Germany pages
We visited Germany & Poland in our studies & of course continued with our nature study. We had a great week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"You Have Your Hands Full"

Hmmm.....I don't always know how to take this comment. I get it a lot now that I have four (GASP!) children. Sometimes it's said with a smile, other times it's said with a condemning tone. Last week it was even followed up with, "You look like old mother Hubbard." Which, by the way, was the wrong reference....Old Mother Hubbard had an empty cupboard, while it was The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe who had so many children she didn't know what to do. But, back to my original point............what is a person's intent when they say this kind of thing? Is it critical, or is it admiring? Either way, I don't care for it. I am blessed, abundantly & overwhelmingly, by each of my children. I don't feel harried or stressed because I have four; I feel grateful that God has seen fit to share them with me. Also, I'm no supermom or someone to be put on a pedestal & admired. I'm uncomfortable with that status, too. I'm simply living my life, loving & nurturing & raising the children I've been given. And as far as how to respond to the comment in the title, I was given some great advice by two dear sisters in Christ, who each have a quiver full of their own....respond to those comments in a way that blesses the person who spoke them, whether they had good intentions or not. Great advice. Now I'm looking forward to putting that into practice.

"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127: 4-5

Friday, October 22, 2010

Take Along Guides

There are several in this series of books. We own the two featured in this post, but I plan to purchase the rest in the near future. We used Tracks, Scats and Signs to learn more about deer and racoons this week. In the weeks to come, we'll be using Birds, Nests, and Eggs as we move into an autumn bird study. These books are very handy to use as guides during nature study, and my kiddos love them. I'm looking forward to owning the entire set!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homeschooling: Week 8--France...Ooh La La, Plus Fabulous Nature Walks

We had a blast "traveling" to France this week. We read several great books, baked a delicious French apple tart, learned some French words, and topped it all off with a Parisian Fashion Show. Then, during our nature walks, we saw so many interesting things: spider webs, spiders, butterflies, birds, squirrels, "pretty" weeds, lots of trees, acorns, pecans, a Christmas tree farm (yes, I had to stop & take a whiff of a tree), an abandoned bird nest--which we brought inside to study, cows, and even six deer. We also read about trees & discussed how water travels from their roots to their leaves. We learned more about this process with an experiment involving celery and colored water. Baby Girl practiced "playing" her piano and listened to her Wee Sing CD. I also read a few books to her.  She really enjoyed her time outdoors, too...even though she was bitten by a mosquito and lost her glasses during one of our nature walks. All in all, it was a great week! 

Garden of Beauty

"Garden of Beauty" Dancing to my own rhythm, I'm happy in my own skin I have fought a battle and I have won, I love w...