Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 10 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Sometimes our homeschool days can be frustrating.  Yesterday it seemed like everyone except Quinn got up on the wrong side of the bed.  There was constant bickering between themselves, arguing with me, grumbling, and it seemed like everyone had gone deaf.  I would give an instruction and it wouldn't get followed.  We were volunteering in the church classrooms and no one seemed to want to help.  If I told them what I expected they either flat out didn't do it, seemed to pretend not to hear me, or turned right around and asked me what they were supposed to do.  It is frustrating to repeat yourself multiple times.  Especially when you see their eyes start to glaze over and you know they aren't paying attention to you, again.  Clark and Lissie were in defiance/disobedience mode all day, too.  I felt like I was in constant correction mode and it didn't even seem that they would get the fact that they weren't obeying.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 9 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

For teaching Reading I'm using The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading.  Kaomi progress slowly through the first part of this book last year and now she is going at a much quicker pace, often completing two lessons without any struggles.  She enjoys reading and will often be found practicing her reading skills on all kinds of books, even chapter books.  I'm not sure if she has ever finished a longer chapter book, but I know she has read several sections from many.  Kent and Katy have a pretty good grasp on reading and for their school reading lessons we use the Drawn into the Heart of Reading program.  Even though they read different books and are in different levels I can use the same teachers' guide.  As we study through a genre there are several lessons that we do together.  I enjoy the aspect of learning together, but still having days where I get to work one on one listening to them read.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 8 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I really like that our curriculum is laid out with easy to follow plans for each day.  I have found that when I write out our plans for the week we can flow through our days more efficiently.  I have a laminated page with our together classes as well as one for each child which has space for me to write for each individual assignment.  I use a dry erase marker, but a wet erase marker would work just as well.  When I've taken the time to write our plan out the children can check their own sheet easily to see what they can work on or what they may need to do with me.  I check off what has been completed and at the end of the day if there is something that still needs to be finished I circle it so we know to work on that  before continuing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Pictures from Katy's Birthday

 Happy Birthday, Katy!  I guess I didn't take any pictures of just the cake this time.  She had a strawberry layer cake with strawberry cream cheese icing and pink sprinkles.

Finding out that her present from Daddy and Mommy was a trip to the American Girl Store and she could pick out a doll.  We went to the American Girl Store the day after her birthday and invited Aunt Cathy, Johannah, and Samarah to go with us.  Kent and Clark got to stay home with Uncle Ben and play with Zach.
 At the American Girl Store Katy choose the Marie-Grace Doll and accessories.  Each of the other girls got to choose a mini-doll to take home, too.  Johannah choose Felicity and Samarah chose Elizabeth(?).  Felicity chose Nellie and Kaomi chose Marie-Grace.  Each of the mini dolls comes with a tiny book that tells a little of the story of the doll.

Here's the pictures of the boys.  This one of Kent and Quinn was from Katy's birthday when she was opening her presents.  Kent hadn't wanted his picture taken all day, but waiting for this was worth it.

Kent and Quinn

 When I was taking pictures of the girls with their dolls, Clark wanted in on the action.  Here he tried to photo bomb Kaomi's take, but was happy with the results and ran back up the yard, making sure to stay in most of Kaomi's pictures with his back towards the camera.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 7 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

When we have beautiful weather and the kids head outside of their own initiative I don't stop them.  We don't usually take our books outside, but I enjoy hearing them play and knowing that the fresh air and exercise will help them concentrate better on their lessons when they come back inside.  The constant opening and closing of the door, doesn't bother me on a nice day.  The traipsing back and forth through the house to the garage or upstairs to get something to help them in their imaginary play is fun to watch and see what happens.  There are certain things that don't go outside and may get stopped at the door, but when bicycles and balls start being pushed through the house I gently help them get to the destination without harming the furniture or walls.  The chalk dust brushes off easily, so even though it may look messy it cleans up easily.  The back step gets covered with dirt cakes and pies, but easily sweeps away or can be hosed off if needed.  Shoes are on feet and then shed either in the house or out and Clark has yet to figure out that he should take his socks off, too.  I don't allow this type of traipsing back and forth when it is muddy in the yard or when the air is too hot or cool.  Autumn is a great time to play outside all day long for many days here in our home.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 6 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Felicity and Clark have been learning about "The Christmas Story" for school this week, so they have been retelling the story using our Little People Nativity Set. 

Find some kitchen chairs in the living room and put them back at the table in the kitchen.

Katy's been having attitude about math this week.  She's not struggling with it, she just doesn't want to do it.  I gave her an ultimatum that she needs to shape up her math and do it right with a good attitude and get caught up to where I think she is supposed to be this week or she will not go to an event this weekend that she has been looking forward to attending.  I'm not sure how I will make that happen, but I will find a way (hopefully I won't have to).

After I gave Katy her ultimatum, I spent 4 minutes rolling up 1/2 roll of trash bags that Clark was dragging around the house.  I found myself laughing a his silliness, even though this isn't the first time.

Kaomi wasn't happy that she got a 62% on her fifth math review this week.  I think that she didn't completely understand the directions for a couple of the problems.  Sometimes she writes her numbers backwards and that factors into her answers as well.  She got an 81% on her fourth review this week, too.  Overall she is doing well, but she hates having to make math corrections.

Kent wants to know if he can take a break "now".  I told him to play with Clark.

We loaded into the van without mishap and went to a doctor appointment.  While there the Dr. wanted to know what it is like to shop with all the kids.  I let him know that I seldom grocery shop with all the kids, because I can't concentrate on finding what I need to get.  Leave and go to Walmart, because if I don't get something for supper we will have to do something else or eat cereal.  Spend a lot of time telling the kids to stay with me and keep their hands off and...checkout and tell the cashier I'm tired when she asks how I'm doing.  On the way home I realize I was in Walmart for at least an hour and a half.

Get the van unloaded, send kids to finish schoolwork or go outside and throw something together for my lunch, because I didn't have time to eat before we had to leave.  Feed Quinn.  Wish for a nap and try to focus on the pile of schoolwork that has been on the table all week.

Put on signing time for Clark, but he decides he's not interested and repeatedly gets in trouble.

I notice that there is a kitchen chair in the living room again.

Kaomi is playing with Lissie and Clark, so I try to finish the schoolwork pile, but my mind isn't thinking very clearly and now I have to figure out what to make for supper too.  I'm overwhelmed with all the noise of kids, the TV, and my mind trying to figure out what I need to do next.  So I work on my blog.  Then tackle the school work pile.  Oh wait, that didn't happen I heard odd sounds coming from my bedroom and Clark was in there playing with pliers.  I don't even know where he found the pliers, since they belong in the garage.  Then I tackled the school work pile...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 5 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

This year I've had to start assigning homework.  Most of the time we are able to complete everything that I need to teach for the day before 3:00 pm.  I have one child in particular who likes to be distracted which has caused me to institute a new rule that any assignments not completed by 3:00 are homework and still need to be completed that day, even if they have to stay up past bedtime.  That means if you have homework you get no play time until it is done.  Sometimes I feel mean instituting this, but I think that a certain child would skip school, by not doing the assignments if allowed.  I do occasionally grant lenience if I think there are other circumstances in our life that may have prevented them from completing everything on time.  I don't feel that the assignments are too hard to complete in the time allowed for them during school either or I would be seeking to make changes in what I assign.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 4 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I've been impressed by how much we have been memorizing this year.  We have Memorized Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 127:3-5, Psalm 9:9-10, and Psalm 34-1-9.  Even Felicity who is three can say most of these verses with little to no prompting when she wants to.  Today we began learning Psalm 98:1.  We will be learning the whole Psalm over the next several weeks.  Once a week we try to review all the verses we have already learned.  This morning Kent, Katy and Kaomi showed me their memorization skills on a poem that they chose to learn by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Kaomi and Katy each chose to learn The Swing and Kent chose to learn Autumn Fires.  They each quoted their poem to our whole school.  They worked on memorizing the poems over the last two school weeks on their own.  This was an assignment I chose to critique and grade.  They all did well receiving 99%, 97%, and 95%.  The critique included addressing issues like speaking too quickly or too softly and playing with hair or touching their faces rather than keeping their hands by their sides.  Only one person needed to be prompted, twice.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 3 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Yesterday we had a holiday from school.  We take a holiday for most birthdays.  Since yesterday was Katy's birthday we had a special day to do things that she likes to do and school didn't make the list.  It's nice to have an occasional day to have fun with the kids and not have to worry about a schedule or make sure that everyone did what they were supposed to do before the weekend begins.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Katy's Birthday - 2013

Katy is celebrating her 8th birthday today.  Here's a few pictures from this morning.

Happy 8th Birthday!

Special Place Setting
 She had a special breakfast of Amish Baked Oatmeal, strawberry milk, and a pink donut.  Then we worked on a hat craft to make bonnets like Marie-Grace the American Girl wore.

Fun Hats!




For lunch Katy wanted a picnic in the living room while she watched the American Girl movie Kit.

Day 2 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

With having so many young children in the house it is almost never quiet.  There is a cacophony of sounds that surrounds our homeschool day.  Children are asking for help in the lessons, reviewing memory work, doing their math or other questions out loud, playing  and making all kinds of sounds.  Sometimes there is crying and grumpiness and more often there is laughter and fun.  Kent has some kind of need to almost always be talking or making some kind of noise.  If there is a moment of silence it is rare.  The sounds in our home are often loud, but I enjoy knowing that they are because we choose to school at home and I get to stay home with my children to hear them growing up.   Sometimes I wonder how any learning can take place with all the noise, but it does and the children do learn.  If a child needs to concentrate they may try to find a quieter room or corner to sit in while they work.  Whispering is occasional when we remember to use a quiet voice.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 1 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Monday this week I wasn't prepared to start school with the kids.  I knew that we needed to get back to work so we started with Bible and then we moved on to English.  For English we wrote notes to some people we know who were in the hospital.  We talked about how we could try to cheer up someone who might not be having a fun day.  We used cards, stickers, paper, stencils and coloring utensils.  Then we went to the library for story and craft time.  When we came home we had some fall decorations to hang in our entry way from the storytime craft.  After lunch, we took the cards that we made and went to visit one of the people we knew who was in the hospital and we gave the other packet of cards to a nurse to deliver to the other person we knew who wasn't allowed to have visitors.  In the evening on Mondays while Jeff and Kent are at CSB we are working on a Girl's Bible Study with my girls, my sister-in-law, and my nieces.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Beginning 30 Days in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I've been missing sharing about my family here, so I'm trying to come back, beginning with a series of 30 Days in Our Homeschool.  I plan to highlight some of the activities that we do and some of the extra school activities we get for the fall season.  I won't promise 30 days in a row, but I hope to get close to sharing each day.  I'm planning to start tomorrow.  See you later.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quote about Patience

I was reading over at The Legacy of Home and this quote caught my attention and I wanted to share it with you.
"One of the greatest things I have learned as a homemaker and mother, is to have incredible patience with life.  One must never act on emotion - never in the moment.  Time is needed to pray, or to consider.  Having simple, quiet days at home, has made this all very clear to me.  Through a trusting patience in the Lord, we have a great contentment. Worries tend not to linger. They fade away as quickly as they came. "
                                                                                           -Mrs. White on Simple Days at Home