Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HOMESCHOOL UPDATE

All the grandparents have been asking for some homeschool pictures, so I thought I would give them an update, and show you a little bit of how our day runs. We start our day bright and early at 7 am with prayer and bible time with dad before he leaves for work, which I absolutely love! Then we start our school morning with what we call "Jump Start" - a time for us to gather after the typical morning routine of dressing, eating and chores, and start our school day off together. I think this is our favorite part of our day. We always do something fun here to "jump start" our brains into gear... sometimes a mental math game, or a game of Boggle, or a two-minute mystery, rhyming, or something fun like that!! I can't believe how easy it is to incorporate things that a 3 year old and a 14 year old can both enjoy together! I didn't think that was even possible.
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Jump Start always happens around the table - the boys get very excited when they see us sit down - they know that they will have a welcome lap to snooze on for hours ahead. Sometimes they even have their own chair for school time!
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"Ready to learn mom!!"
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Punkin and Banana are both studying American History this year - here is what Banana made - can you tell what it is? Thats right - an exact replica of the Santa Maria - the ship Christopher Columbus was on when they discovered America - but of course we have all learned (or re-learned), that he actually discovered Cuba, but thought he had found India because they didn't even know the continent of North America existed!! Because he thought he was in India, this is where the term "Indians" came from when they discovered the local natives. How did this turn into a history lesson? I find myself doing this all the time. I love how homeschool has turned into a "way of learning" instead of just school at home. I am learning (or remembering) so much too!
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And this is Miss Boo's ship - made out of Wikki-Stix - very cool stuff. She even added some fish under the water!
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Punkin enjoys marking on the map all of the places and journeys and routes that were taken that she studies about as they relate to history.
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Here is a glimpse of Banana's (and Boo's) spelling program. We have fallen in love with Sequential Spelling. It is perfect for Hannah to reinforce her spelling skills by correcting mistakes as they happen, not days later. She is feeling very confident with her spelling skills now. This is another favorite time of day for the two youngest - they always ask "Is it time for spelling yet?"
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Here is our jar of what we call "warm fuzzies". Anytime the girls are honoring in their words or actions to each other, and give their mommy that 'warm fuzzy' feeling, they earn themselves a warm fuzzy. This has been a great addition to reminding all of us how we should be treating each other. After collecting 10 warm fuzzies - a special treat will follow! Who knew how effective this little idea could be!!???
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Last Friday we had a very, very rainy day. I think we had about 4-5 inches. We enjoyed so much the fact that we never had to leave the house! We did some rainy day crafts....
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and this verse came to mind - because of the crazy wind and rain, we thought our house just might blow over! I explained to Miss Boo what this verse really meant, and then we had fun decorating it together. It's hard to tell but she made raindrops out of glue and glitter (I think we will permanently have glitter all over our house now). Just as soon we finished this and hung it up. ....
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we starting hearing that dripping sound..... ugh - leaking roof. Miss Boo said "Oh no Mommy!! Our house ISN'T built on the rock - it's built on the sand - it's going to fall down!!". Let's hope she is way wrong about that....
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Banana has had fun building an Indian home of her choice - she chose the tee-pee and Punkin is building a mud house - which is the kind of house the Seminole Indians lived in while in FL, which is part of our family's heritage.
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Boo enjoys sorting colorful pom-poms with tweezers (working on those fine motor skills).. an idea I got from this incredible homeschool mom http://www.wildflowersandmarbles.blogspot.com/
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One of Boo's creations. I have to admit, that I was slightly terrified to begin homeschooling, but it has proven to be the most incredible blessing ever! I think we have settled into the routine of our days now, and there is nothing at all I would change about it. We are all getting to know each other on a deeper level, and overcoming some of the things that we knew needed work. God is revealing more things in our lives that need adressing, and it's nice to be able to have the time and freedom for each of us to work on our hearts and relationships. I once kind of dreaded days filled with little girls, and me trying to occupy their time, but now..... I wonder why I waited so long to be so intentional about my time with them. I know a lot of people have told me they are thinking about homeschooling, and I have to tell you that if God has placed it on your heart, then listen to Him. It is a blessing beyond measure. I now dread the day when He tells me that homeschooling is not in our plans. I hope that day never comes.

7 comments:

Alice said...

i love your post, heather. i can tell that God is truly the heart of your homeschool and that is really the only way it can be successful! now i just wish you lived closer!

Stephanie said...

I knew you would do great with homeschooling because you're always so creative. I don't know that I'll be able to do it past preschool! I would always be comparing myself to you (and would fail)! I'm glad all of you are enjoying it so much, though.

Nana said...

Wow, you guys are doing great. I love your ideas. The girls will really do well. I love the pictures of Baily & Brody sitting in the chair at school. Who knew you would be teaching them too? I love the ideas for Boo. I am always looking for new ideas for Tanek. Don't want him to get bored. He learns quickly and is ready to move on to newer things. Reading to him has become one of our favorite pasttimes. Thanks for posting the pictures. They are great. Has Boo started pre=school at school yet?

Timeless and Treasured, Photography by Heather said...

Oh STEPHANIE!!! Of course you can homeschool!! Please don't ever compare yourself to me. I am nothing but a cracked vessel, just willing to be molded into whatever He wants for me. If homeschooling is in your heart, then give it to God. I never, ever, thought Richard would allow us to do this. I prayed about this for so many years, I wanted to do this so bad, but Richard's heart had to change first. Never underestimate the power of prayer - "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart". You can do it girlfriend! Plus - how can you go wrong with a Mommy AND a Nana to teach that sweet little guy!!!???

Thanks Nana - I will be sure to send you some ideas to do with Tanek as I come across them. Emily's first day of preschool is Thursday - I will be with her during her transition day, and then next week starts her schedule of Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She is VERY excited about it!

Alice - Thanks so much! I need your opinion on a good basic book as a foundation for debate/rhetoric. We have several, but was wondering what you thought...I'll e-mail you.

Deb said...

Oh, Heather! This is exactly what I hoped and prayed for you and your family. Welcome to the immeasurable, eternal joys of home schooling.

Nana said...

I am very excited to be able to home pre-school Tanek. It is an amazing opportunity and one I am enjoying. I can't believe that I am learning all the Capitols again or maybe for the first time. I can't even remember if I ever new them all. I think I have forgot everything I may have ever learned and can't remember if I ever did know it. Pretty scary huh?

Jennie said...

I LOVE the one of the dogs in the chair - that is hilarious. I'm glad ya'll are having so much fun. I remember all the fun we had and miss those days when my babies were little. Enjoy!