Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Moment in the Life of Russia (Photolog)

Ebony looks very innocent...

and then the fun begins!!

Time for a quick exit!

But Russia can't get away that easily!!

(No animals were harmed in the photographing of this incident.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012-13 Home School Curricula

On a field trip to a coal mine a bit north of where we live.
This year I officially began homeschooling my first grade son, Benjamin.  One of my reasons for homeschooling was the flexibility if offered, and we have definitely taken advantage of that this year as we had many appointment for Sophia and other things that have cropped up.  We used Five in a Row materials for the first part of the year which uses a piece of children's literature as a springboard for all other subjects.  In addition, we used Horizon Math materials for a more systematic grade level approach to math.  Halfway through the year, Benjamin began receiving some tutoring in reading to help supplement and ease our frustration with each other over the subject (even though I am a certified reading specialist, go figure!).  He now sees himself as a reader and is doing much better, and I didn't have to fight him over it.  Works for me!

I have spent this past year investigating other curricula and thinking through what else I want to use to teach my children as we progress forward.  Next year I will have Benjamin in grade 2 and Nathaniel officially in Pre-K/K.  Today I took the plunge and made some decisions and purchases, and I am very excited to receive my new materials and get planning!  I have also decided to continue homeschooling over the summer months, just not as rigidly, so that we can take breaks here and there at other times of the year and also to keep our routine going.  So, here is what I have come up with:

Math - Horizons Math 2 (Benjamin) and Horizons Math K (Nathaniel) from Alpha and Omega Publications
Spelling - All About Spelling Level 1 from All About Learning Press (Both will be review for Benjamin, and new for Nathaniel...I will continue with Level 2 for Benjamin at some point in the year.)
Grammar - First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Levels 1 & 2 (Benjamin only)
Reading - Five in a Row (Both boys); Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K (Nathaniel); guided reading with leveled books (Benjamin and eventually Nathaniel)
Writing - Write Shop Primary (Benjamin and eventually Nathaniel); Kid Writing (Nathaniel)
Science - God's Design for Science from Answers in Genesis (Both boys)
Social Studies/History - Unit Studies based on holidays/interest; The Mystery of History, Vol. 1:  Creation to Resurrection (Both boys)
Foreign Language - Hooked on Spanish (Both boys)
Keyboarding - Typing Instructor for Kids (Benjamin first, then Nathaniel)

Additionally, we LOVE field trips, and we will participate in a home school Art class and sports locally.  Now that I type it all out, it sounds very ambitious, but I think it will be fun.  I am definitely not going to be doing every subject every day, but with a nice menu of choices, I will have plenty to work with.  Let me know what you think!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Of Death...and Dehydration

Once again I have been MIA on this blog due to family circumstances...and lack of photos due to a missing camera cord (but that's another story!)  My dear grandmother, Margaret Christian, took a fall back in January and has not recovered from it.  She contracted a bacterial infection while at rehab and is basically bedridden and dependent on 24 hour care now.  She is home and under hospice care, which includes being cared for by many family members including my mother and youngest sister.  I have had the privilege of caring for her one night/day, and I was so honored to have that opportunity.  My grandmother was my closest physical relative for many years as my parents served as missionaries in far-away Chile, South America.  She cared for me and all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in so many ways.  Caring for her now with honor and respect is the least we can do.  She is ready to go home to Heaven and see her husband and siblings and even a granddaughter who have preceded her in death.  And of course, she longs to see her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, whom she loved and served while here on Earth.  We are praying that she will enter Glory quietly and peacefully, in her sleep.  She will be missed!


Now the funny story...most children who come to their parents' bedside in the middle of the night and want a drink would say, "I'm thirsty," right?  Well not my Benjamin!!  Last night, a little before 3 a.m., I sensed a presence next to my bed (and, might I add, it is ALWAYS on my side of the bed!).  When I came to enough to figure out who it was and ask what he wanted, his response was, "I'm dehydrated."  Where does he come up with this stuff??  So I said, "So you want a drink?"  Why of course, that's what he 3 a.m...on my side of the bed.  No wonder I'm tired tonight...maybe I'm dehydrated, too?!