Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Curriculum Choices: 2011-2012

Ethan is in third grade, and Daniel is in first, technically.  I go by where they'd be if they were in public school.  Hannah tells everyone she's in kindergarten and that she does school and that she's doing "weally, weally, gweat!"  I tell her how modest and humble she is, too...  Grace does storytime and cooking and cleaning with Mommy.

So what are we doing this year?  I've had several people ask about what we do at home.  I keep portfolios with samples of their work in each subject as it progresses throughout the school year, as well as monthly attendence report copies, intent to homeschool form copies, field trip notes, pictures, certificates they've earned, lists of books they've read, etc.

We've chosen Sonlight for the most part this schoolyear.  So far, it has been a perfect fit except that the kids ask for me to continue reading the read-alouds, and so we get a little ahead of ourselves. Seriously. ;-)  I wish we'd started with Sonlight when Ethan was beginning.  I read somewhere that any homeschooling mom ought to give herself a three-year learning curve.  Three years to really see what method you enjoy as an educating mom. Three years to see what your children respond to and how they learn best. 

I wish I'd heard that advice a few years ago because maybe I would've relaxed more these past few years.  This is my fourth year homeschooling, my third official year that I've had to send in paperwork to the county.  But I feel like I've struck gold with Sonlight.  We read a lot, and the lessons are perfect and easily adaptable when we want to plug in a field trip or when we want to stop everything and do a unit study on dolphins or when we have a co-op class day.  It's been amazing!  Perfect for us.

We do all the Bible, history, and read alouds together.  All of them, for now.

With Ethan, third grade:
Sonlight, Core B Intro to World History Part 1 w/ level appropriate readers which he's going through more quickly than I expected. Yay!
Explode the Code 4,5,6
Wordly Wise B
Handwriting without Tears- Cursive
Sequential Spelling- we're going through this a little slower than suggested.
Teaching Textbooks 4 with Saxon drill sheets- Audio memory facts
Apologia- Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
His Semester 1 project subject is dinosaurs.  He has to read a book about his subjects, do a book report, speech and presentation which must include a visual aid.
Drawing with children weekly lessons
Piano lessons
Karate class- advanced brown.  He'll test for black in the spring of 2012.

With Daniel, first grade:
Sonlight Core B Intro to World History Part 1 w/ level appropriate readers
Explode the Code 1,2,3
Wordly Wise A
Handwriting without Tears- Printing Power
Teaching Textbooks 3 with Saxon drill sheets-- Audio memory facts
Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
His Semester 1 project is eagles.  He must read a book on his subject and complete a first grader's book report and do a presentation with a poster.
Drawing with children weekly lessons.
Piano lessons
Karate class- advanced red.  He'll test for his brown belt in December.

With Hannah...we'll call her K4:
Sonlight Core P3/4 (which is really just a lot of great stories, games, and recommended activities to encourage learning and better yet, a love for learning)
100 Easy Lessons for reading
Handwriting without tears- Get ready for School
Ready, Set, Go for the Code.
Singapore Earlybird kindergarten math
Drawing with children weekly lessons
She tries to do piano lessons with me.

With littlest learner:
Sonlight Core P3/4...see comments above
She sits in on Hannah's reading lesson time and imitates everything Hannah does.  I'm hoping something will stick.  She likes coloring, stickers, lots of playtime, and lots of time with me.She likes to be in on any of the science experiments or art projects the boys are doing, too.

So there you have it.  That's what we're doing at home.  I'm very pleased with what we've chosen for this school year.  So good.  We also participate in twice weekly karate class, in a weekly storytime for the girls, and in a monthly co-op class with the subject of fine arts this year.  The kids are preparing for a massive talent show in the spring.  They're doing a skit, some songs, and my boys want to put together a karate demo.  Hannah will probably want to do whatever the older girls are doing, and Grace...I don't know about her.  We shall see.  She'll probably crawl into someone's lap and hope they don't ask her to do anything!  I was very much like that...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The girl with the broken tooth

Poor Grace. 

She was not herself September 16-17.  She was in obvious pain and whinier than your average three-year-old.  I couldn't figure it out. I went through a number of scenarios in my head.  "My mouth mouth hurts..." was all she could say.  Tylenol didn't help.  Motrin didn't help.  Nothing seemed to help.  Finally, about 8:00 at night, I took her to the local pediatric urgent care.  All we could see was that one of her teeth looked funny.  It just didn't look right, so the doctor gave her a prescription for Lortab and an antibiotic for possible infection since it looked likely.  She also had a constant low grade fever despite all the Tylenol and Motrin. 

I was so thankful for the prescription, but narcotic pain medicine does funny things to a three-year-old.  She was hilarious but feeling no pain.  She started randomly talking about all the things she liked and all the people she liked and why she liked them and then proceeded to ask Deron when he got all that hair on his face.  (note that he's always had a gotee...ever since she's been on the planet, that is)  She giggled like she hadn't giggled all day. It was past midnight, but she was feeling good.

At the ER, a little girl had broken her leg and they were trying to set it or something.  The poor girl was screaming, and Grace's little lip was quivering as she listened to the girl in pain.  She kept screaming, not wanting any morphine.  And Grace didn't want to cry in front of the nurse.  She fought back silent tears and decided she didn't like that boy who poked around in her mouth...the doctor was a male.  She glared at him when we walked past and remarked how much better she like the girl with the dark hair...her nurse who didn't look in her mouth at all...  Poor doc got a bad rap with Grace...

After x-rays at the dentist Monday morning, we found out that her tooth has completely broken into two parts.  Not just cracked but broken.  Infection had set in, so we were to continue with antibiotics and schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist a.s.a.p..  She goes Wednesday the 28th.  The options are a crown depending on how far apart the pieces are or pulling them out. We'll see. 

She hasn't been on pain meds for several days.  The more the antibiotics get into her system working on the infection, the better she feels.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crazy kid...

This is class clown...all muscle...all boy...little boy.  Don't tell him I said he was little, either.  Some days, he makes me want to laugh and scream at the same time.  He's hilarious and kind hearted most of the time.  Except to Hannah.  He has no patience with her.  Sure, he loves her, but she can get on his nerves.  And he has to move...a lot...if I want him to focus during our school time.  We work in bursts.  You can sort of see him burst.  When he completes an assignment, he sort of bursts out of his chair to move a little before we move on to the next thing.  If I'm reading aloud to them, he must have copywork, coloring, blocks, something to keep his hands busy or else he gets the wiggles.  Major wiggles.  He listens better...comprehends better if his hands are busy.  He earned his advanced red belt at karate last week, and his instructor had him demonstrate a tornado kick to his classmates.  He was thrilled to be the center of attention.  What's funny is that kick is the only kick he spends time on at home because he thinks it's "awesome."  He drives me crazy and makes me happy.  He's a nut, my Daniel.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little Mommy

"Hannah, how old are you?" asks Deron.

"I'm four years old."

"Can you please stay four and not turn five years old?"

{girly giggle}  "Daddy, I have to turn five.  And one day, I'll be a mommy..."
(I'm sure that helped...)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


That's my Ethan. Love this kid.  He is such an amazing boy. 

He's got a soft spot for little kids and animals.  He takes the little ones under his wing when possible and tries to play with them.  He also attempts to rescue lost critters from our backyard.  According to Ethan, they must be lost to be in there with our dogs.  His rescue operation has been limited to frogs and turtles and toads.  He tried to rescue a baby squirrel last spring, but that didn't go very well. He loves all things science and would rather be outside than doing his schoolwork. 

Sounds like a little boy to me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grace - My Sweetheart!

Monday, as the leaves began to fall, Grace began to scold the trees for making such a big mess... 

She's my helper-girl, but her idea of cleaning up means to get everything off the floor and put it on something.  Often, I'll walk into her room to find that she's "cleaned up," a.k.a. put everything that was on the floor onto her bed.Grace likes to sing. She'll sing about anything but mainly about all the things she likes.  Apple juice, milk, cheese crackers... oh, and chocolate.  She's a girl after my own heart, that one.  She likes to race up and down the hill in our front yard but has no concept of winning or losing because she declares herself the winner every. single. time.  She also cheats by starting the race before anyone else can get started, but her itty bitty legs travel so much slower.  I think Ethan's legs are as long as she is tall.  She really doesn't stand a chance.  Poor thing.  It doesn't hurt her feelings since she thinks she's still winning.{happy sigh}

And for my husband--who asked for me to post this: