Monday, April 29, 2013

G is for Getting Through...

Blogging Through the Alphabet

I have to totally come clean about something, I don't normally post really personal things but I am today. Lately, well since we moved in July I have felt as if I am just barely getting through. My days, my weeks, my months just life in general. 

Moving was hard on me. I know your thinking its nearly been a year - Yes I'm totally aware but from my perspective and also an OCD sufferer its been extremely hard. Mentally and Physically.

I miss things that the kids don't even think of. I've asked them many questions but seems that I am the only one suffering. 

My husband has tried to help me relieve my feelings but its just not really helped. 

Changing homes, friends, churches and our homeschool group was huge for me, I guess not for anyone else. Don't get me wrong I know my kids miss their friends. We still write to them and have seen several of them often. We moved 2 hours away and I'm thankful that its not further.

I struggle just "getting through" some days. I've been praying about it a lot. I want God to help me through this and I know that he will ease my fears and anxiety about the situation. I have been struggling with school work and feel as if I'm just not getting enough done.

Getting through at this time is seriously something I'm working on by the minute. I finally had to speak with a family doctor over the issue and hopefully the things she has given and talked to me about will straighten out.

I'm here to tell you that sometimes just "getting though" is ok. I've never felt like this in all my life. The unknown of this feeling isn't well pleasing with me. I love to know what's going on with everything and am normally very organized and in charge of everything. This is a new season of our homeschooling and some of it is kinda nice but I really thrive on routine and schedule so do my children.

I just keep thinking this over and over... I'm not alone. I know there is a powerful God that is right with me watching over me. This is for a purpose.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

He is watching over me and has only blessings to offer.

"God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it" 1 Corinthians 10:13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

So momma's if you have ever went through something like this or if your going though it now with me, just remember these verses and pray and then pray some more because I know this will pass. I know that this is just a season in our homeschooling journey.



Friday, April 26, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 34

This week has been very busy with all my plans going out the window...

It's that awesome time of the year again to prepare for a garden. We have the greenhouse already growing things and we have planted new trees and bushes this year that will not produce anything until next year. This year is different than any other garden season for us because this is our home and we can finally do everything we have wanted. We have an orange tree, tangerine, lemon and lime tree as well pineapple and banana and the one I am mostly excited about the 3 - 1 citrus, Blueberry, Cherry, Raspberry and Blackberry bushes. Lots of strawberries! We go through them like candy! 5 - 1 Apple, Pear and Peach. Yellow Delicious, Red Delicious Apples just to name a few! We always can a lot starting around now so we are totally ready to kick this season in to gear!

Monday was of course CoOp day! Funny story that day, After CoOp we joined some friends at a local park and let the kids play and picnic. While there some of the kids found a lizard and showed him off and let him go on his way. On the ride home Zachary screams "Mom there's a lizard on my shoe!" First off understand Zachary and I do not like lizards! I about freaked out almost like he was! I screamed "GET HIM!" But when Lexi reached to get him the lizard ran. I had to whip the van off the road and wait 5 minutes for them to catch it. After we all laughed we decided to get back in and come home. Next week is our last week and while I love CoOp, I'm ready for it to be over!

Zachary had an awesome week! He finished ABeCeDarian book A-1!!! It hasn't taken him long at all! I'm so proud. He is doing so awesome with this publisher. I posted a review on this curriculum at the beginning of the month here and he is still doing awesome and loving it! He has read 2 of the readers and I couldn't be prouder of him but the best part is HE IS PROUD! He tried reading so hard with many other publishers but nothing was right for him. This is ♥. 

He always enjoys Papaw bringing the tractor!

Kyle started reading a book that finally has his interest about a missionary. He has also continued doing great with his writing. He played a lot outside in the woods this week playing survivor.

All together we are doing a quick run through on the 7 Continents. I am having the kids' notebook about them as I read facts and details about the places we are learning. So far this week we covered North and South America. This is something the kids have really enjoyed and I am again thankful for that.

Alexis is having trouble with her multiplication and we have drilled and drilled on that this week. I guess I need to find some games that help with this which is my goal for the weekend. She has requested to learn about Lions next week so I have a unit printed off for that.

Today - Friday we had a City Field Trip that lasted 5 hours. The local Christian School allowed our homeschool group to use one of the buses they have to take the tour. We toured the Fire Department, Police Department, City Hall then had a picnic and played at the park, Water Filter Plant, Public Works Facility and then to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. This was a long day but filled with lots of fun and learning and  a little laughs! The kids each had a favorite spot. We learned a lot of stuff that none of us knew so it was a great day. Zachary had never rode on a bus before and he had been worried about it being unsafe and having no seat belts and even when we got to the meeting place he was still asking if we were going to ride the bus or could I drive, I told him I would sit with him and it was alright! Homeschool kids are totally different! He done really good with the bus until the way back to the meeting spot and the bus driver took the by-pass (like a mini interstate) and started going really fast and he said "Mom are we going to be ok?" I laughed and told him "Of course."


Thursday, April 25, 2013

F is for Free

I have always compiled a list of free homeschool resources. I have spent a lot of money on our kids homeschool items but sometimes you need to follow a different path, when it's that time for me I need some freebies! I also love freebies because you can find some really wonderful items out there on a variety of topics!! Here is a personal list of my favorite sites that offer freebies!

Enchanted Learning(some of this is free and the membership is $20 - I highly recommend this, we use it daily just about!) 
Lesson Pathways(just found this one thanks to a friend)
Guest Hollow (I haven't used them yet but I have them on my list for the near future!)

Last but not least Curr Click if you will go to the home page and then click freebies, you will find all kinds and it changes by the week! 
Pinterest is also full of ideas that you could make for free!

Hope you enjoy some of my resources, I am sure I have forgotten some and so leave comments with some of your wonderful freebie sites!! Who knows what we all can come up with! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stuffed Peppers Recipe

 We love stuffed peppers in our home, Lexi actually will beg for them the same way Zachary will beg for meatloaf.

So start with cleaning your peppers! 

Kyle loves this dish and was glad to help get it going! I clean the inside and out and add the peppers to a pot with a rolling boil for 5 minutes. I then set them aside and add the veggies together to saute them (onion, garlic, butter) add my hamburger meat while boiling my rice. Let all the cook together and then add the remainder and stuff them in my peppers!

You need green bell peppers for how many people are in your house.
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper,
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup

We cook them for about an hour at 350.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

E is for Education

So many people are so narrow minded when it comes to education. They believe that you can only educate a child with other children that are the same age. I however beg to differ. 

Yes, I am a little different than most. I homeschool. That doesn't even mean that I think what I am doing is right for everyone. I understand that some people can't homeschool for a variety of different reasons or that they just don't want to. I know what sacrifices I have had to make to homeschool in my life and its a personal family decision

Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, research. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts.

Learning can happen in every day life as it can from a book.  Learning is all around our children so why fuss over what standards it needs.

I have 3 children and each one of them learn in different ways. I have 2 very visual learners and I have one that learns any way honestly.

Over the years I have tried many different publishers and teaching techniques and just want to make sure you are understanding that there is NO ONE WAY to educate!

Charlotte Mason uses living books in every area of learning.

Classical Education puts great focus on Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.

Eclectic is a combination of two or more styles.

Montessori Learning is based on the child's development by Maria Montessori.

Traditional Learning is using text books.

 Unit Study Learning is all subjects being taught by a topic based unit.

Unschooling is letting the child led the learning.

 My family is very eclectic in our learning style. Each of my children have a different way they prefer to learn so I teach many different ways through out my day.  

We let the children pick their topic for science and normally allow them to do a unit study or lapbook, so would that mean I am unschooling and unit study learning?

We use textbooks for bible, grammar and science. We do lots of science labs. 

We use lots of Montessori made items because of my boys being visual learners.

So that is just a small reason why we are Eclectic homeschoolers! No way I could fit my 3 kids into one learning style.

What about you?



Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 33


This week has been really busy with so much going on, this is the new normal which saddens me. I love baseball and CoOp but all of it at the same time is driving me nutty!

The week started out just with fun! We had a family baseball game (as if I haven't had my fill of baseball). My mom, dad, brother and his two girls came with my family to a local field and we played up a storm. We had the best time although the next day I think all of us was sore but it was worth it. My momma is so funny when she is doing stuff like this, She did get hurt but she was alright and it was a good thing because I had to lay on the ground laughing!! I know that's awful but you just had to see it, it was as if she was in slow motion and at first I thought she was playing until she hit the dirt. Love ya momma.

We have really been digging into Road Trip USA. We have covered North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee this week. We have really learned a lot by reading "If You Lived On The Underground Railroad". I love that the kids actually thought it was a railroad. Kyle knew better but the youngers didn't and to see their face and see them want to know why it was called that since it wasn't a railroad was delightful. 

While learning about Tennessee I asked the kids if they knew of anyone famous from the state and Zachary screamed " Betty Crocker " it was so funny! We all busted out laughing! He meant to say Davy Crockett!

(In the picture - Schooling on the trampoline and the cats attacked. Lexi with a volunteer at Mercy Animal Rescue Saturday while volunteering to help them. Zachary reading from ABeCeDarian, he only has one lesson left in level 1.)

The kids and I are starting to do science together now. For years I have combine the kids where I could to help with teaching topics and saving time but last year Kyle wanted to do things alone but since I am having to devote extra time to doing extra vocabulary and activities with him I figured I would try to include Zac and Lexi this week and I am relieved to say it worked great. So back to doing science together! Zac and Lexi are just joining in where Kyle and I were already. We had just started the new unit on reptiles so we will continue doing this until it doesn't work any longer. In case you don't know, Kyle has been using Christian Kids Explore - Biology.

(In picture - Kyle reading our science mystery for the day. Finally a hummingbird!! Daddy joining us for a science game about Alligators and Crocodiles.)

Monday we had tears in Math from Lexi. She struggles with math but has done really great since January using Horizons math. We had a very long day Monday because of CoOp and then coming in and doing our school work wasn't what she had in mind. Math wasn't the issue but she made it that way. I share this simply because everything isn't always peachy in our home.

We have done a lot of writing this week. I challenged Kyle to write a 2 page story and to my delight he did just that and it was a very good story with not to many errors to go over. Then the next day Lexi said "mom what's my challenge?" so I challenged her to write front and back of a paper and when she finished she had front and back and another front!! I was so happy with that. She did a really great story and again not to many errors to help fix. This is the best thing I have started doing with them. I let them write and then the next day we go over the items that need fixed with their paper covered and protected with a paper protector so I don't ruin their paper. This has worked so good!

 (In picture - Kyle made 100 on his grammar lesson! Kyle playing first base and they won! Flowers my darling daughter brought in to me. Lexi doing math.)

Lexi was also able to volunteer with Mercy Animal Rescue for a few hours on Saturday. We are fostering some kittens for them. They do not have a mother and we are bottle feeding them. Sadly we lost one this week. It was very hard to see him die but we loved him and understand life will happen.

We had a ton of nature encounters this week. While outside playing after school Thursday, Kevin and the kids ran across that little guy. He was only the size of a quarter and the funniest thing is that it isn't the same one from last week. Next up is Simon the cat, he is tightly fit into my flower pot on the porch?! Little Maggie Sue is eating up a storm. We love our foster kitties. See the hummingbird on the seat? 

How was your week? 

Happy Weekend.

Linked Up With Unsocialized Homeschoolers & Hammock Tracks


Thursday, April 18, 2013

TOS Review - Progeny Press

This Schoolhouse Review item is from Progeny Press. They are a company that has over 100 literature study guides to offer. They have all reading levels available. Progeny Press study guides help build concentration by critical thinking, builds comprehension skills and the best part personally for my family is all of it was done with a Christian perspective. Progeny Press wants to help children think clearly and be able to understand literature while applying God's word, truth and values at the same time.

I received The Hall of Doors Series - The Dragon's Hoard. This is for grades 3-5 preferably. This is also the first book in the series. I got a physical copy of the book and a downloadable study guide. The book itself is 64 pages long and the study guide is 36 pages. The print on the book pages where perfect for my readers. The text on the pages where large and clearly legible. The book is a sturdy book with a softcover. Inside you will find several pictures every few pages, this was something fun to look at because the story was very interesting to us and pictures are always helpful for visual learners.

We choose to do this book as a read aloud; all of us took turns reading at different points. My children's ages are 12, 9 and 8. My smallest doesn't read by himself yet which was one reason I choose to do this aloud for all to enjoy. My 12 year old does struggle with reading even though I have worked tirelessly to help improve the reading ability he has and I am glad to report he done very well with this book. My daughter age 9 done wonderful when it was her turn to read a little too.

My kids identified with the book instantly. Beth is 9 like my Lexi and Kennan is 12 like Kyle. The kids laughed and told Zachary he was the sick brother not able to go along on the adventure! So this helped right away draw them into the book. It always helps to find something to identify with because then you feel invested. 

The story starts as Beth and Kennan are out in the barn on a rainy day trying to occupy their time they find a little door they have never noticed before. They get enough courage to open it and find themselves in a huge hall of doors. Looking at all the doors they decide to open the gold door with a neat dragon on it. Upon coming out on the other side, they are in a different world. They went through many adventures before realizing they had read about the very place they are in now!

Of course since we read this book aloud for all to hear we also did the same with the study guide. I downloaded the activity guide and printed it out and put a staple in it to keep it with me while reading the book to the kids. I would like to point out that the downloaded activity guide is an interactive PDF that you can type in and save.

We personally haven't ever used a study guide for a story so this was our first experience. I like how the guide started with a Synopsis followed by some background information. The ideas for pre-reading activities were also helpful for me.

Each day before reading we would go over the vocabulary in the guide first then we would read a chapter and I would go over the study guide.  The study guide covered 2 chapters at a time. I'm not sure if all of their study guides do that but the reason " I " think it was done this way in this set was simply because the book chapters where not very long so combining them wasn't a problem at all. The guide also covered comprehension, analysis, and application questions; and discussion questions of related Biblical themes. Last but not least there is a complete answer key, but with reading this with the kids we didn't use this.

Reading this book didn't take our family long. Normally I have to pull the kids to the couch to read but not for this book. They enjoyed it so much they normally were waiting on me. It only took us a little over a week to read this book and do the study guide. 

My kids are requesting the next book in the set and I plan on getting it very soon

The Hall of Doors: The Dragon Hoard book is $6.99
The Hall of Doors: The Dragon Hoard Study Guide is $15.99