Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homeschooling: Week of April 23, 2012

We had another fun-filled week of learning. Here are some highlights:

Here you can see "Bug" doing a science experiment with air. And, no, that's not Baby Girl watching, it's the little girl I babysit. Baby Girl was too busy doing her own thing!

Bug enjoys reading his Sonlight reader on top of the swingset.

Bug found this outside, which he thought was really cool since we'd studied about the different ways seeds are spread. Here is one that is spread by blowing in the wind.

Doodles is still learning survival skills as part of her science, and she is also working on her first research paper, which is about the state of Alabama. Here are the books she is using (in addition to the internet):

And, finally, here is what Baby Girl and Little Bit did this week for the number 6:

Six butterflies

Friday, April 20, 2012

Next School Year's Lineup: Post 1

Yippee!!! It's that time of year again, yep, time to buy curriculum for the upcoming school year! Fortunately, I had several of these books already, so I didn't have to buy it all. That being said, however, I still had to buy lots....which is so exciting! I LOVE box days! Now the hard part is keeping the enthusiasm to finish strong this year instead of being completely distracted by looking forward to next year! Here are some of the items we'll be using for the upcoming school term:
Bug's science books
Some (yes, just some) of our books for history, geography, cooking, arts/crafts...Eastern Hemisphere, here we come!

Baby Girl's school goodies

Just a very small sample of some of Doodle's school books

Friday, April 13, 2012

Homeschooling: Week of April 9, 2012

We had a great week. We are continuing to roll right along with our American history study. Not only are we enjoying great books, but we're also watching the related videos from The History Channel's America: The Story of Us DVD set. We are all learning so much! In science this week, Doodles is learning survival skills-which she is finding to be "so cool." Bug is learning about moths & butterflies in his science study this week and also did some experiments with water, acids, and bases. The "little ones" are learning about numbers. The past few weeks they have been working on the numbers four and five. Here are some of our photos from the week:

Bug mixes vinegar & baking soda...fizzy, fizzy, fizzy!

Numbers 1-4 & four little fingerprints (stamping activity)

Fingerpainting the number five

Stamping activity: five petals on a flower

Another stamping activity: five fish

Fingerpainting: five bees

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Encouragement for Special Needs Moms

First, let me be honest and say that we've had some very hard months around here lately. Sweet little Baby Girl is having some major issues, and it's taking its toll on all of us. We've also had a couple of official diagnoses for her, which confirmed some things we've suspected for a while. Even though we knew these things in our hearts, it is still a different matter when it's written out in black & white by a doctor. We are going through a process of accepting things, but I'll be honest and say that I waiver between acceptance & trusting God and grief & feeling anger toward God. I am sure that this is common for those of us who have special needs children. I am sharing my heart with you all because I know that I am not alone. I hope to offer encouragement to all of us walking through these kinds of circumstances.

As I stated in my previous blog post, I will not disclose any specifics of a diagnosis on a public website, but I will say that it is developmentally-related. Some days I feel like I can't go on, but then I am reminded that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) I know that God has a purpose and a plan for Baby Girl, for me, for each individual member of my family, and for all of us collectively as a family. I know that God knew Baby Girl before he formed her in the womb and that all the days of her life were ordained before one of them came to be (Psalm 139). He is at work in ways greater than we can imagine and He is blessing our family with an opportunity to do things that have eternal value, even though it brings suffering in this life. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 states "17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." I will hold to these truths, even when I'm angry, even when I'm feeling despair, no matter what...I will hold to these truths.

Moms, try to look at what your child CAN do, instead of focusing on what he/she CAN'T do. I know it is easier said than done, but I have found something that helps. I have started an encouragement journal. In it I write all the things that Baby Girl does....big, small, whatever...that amaze me. For example, last week I wrote about how Baby Girl counted to eleven, even though I've only officially taught her to count to ten. Somehow she learned that just by listening to people around her! Another entry I wrote is that she let the water out of the bathtub all by herself and said, "Water out." Moms, when these moments happen, take time & write it down! On our hardest days, when all we can see is the difficulty and all we can feel is the pain, it's hard to think about the good things, but if it's written down, then we can read it & be encouraged. So, moms, stand strong and look for the blessings and the opportunities we've been given. God chose you to be your child's mom for a reason. Embrace it!

Self-Care That's Not So Fun

As promised in my previous post, I am now going to talk about self-care that's not so much fun. This kind of self-care involves thin...