Monday, August 24, 2009

The boys...and our first day of school...

Steve took this picture of the boys a couple days ago. They don't look like they ever fight do they? :) :) :) :) Okay---so they do... but not too bad. It usually just consists of Andrew screaming... I'm trying to teach him to "use his words". I bet it can be tough though with two big brothers!

Today was our first day back at school. Let me put it this way---we finished at 5:45 with nothing ready for dinner. We had eggs, toast and strawberries and then I ran out the door for my friendly neighborhood "bootcamp". (Yes, I said bootcamp. You heard me right. I spent all day trying to care for a new baby and 3 boys and homeschool, along with a trip to the dentist and the pharmacy for diflucan because Benjamin STILL has yeast, not to mention a trip to the local elementary school for Andrew's weekly hour of speech therapy. That bootcamp consists of 45 minutes of pure blood, sweat and tears. Okay, no blood but LOTS of sweat. I'll put it to you in two words, lunges---hills. Now you understand why my legs feel like jello? At least I have a really sweet personal trainer and about 12 other ladies from the neighborhood to commiserate with)

Okay back to the school day. I hope to get the chance to post our new school plan soon. But for now I'll try to remember :). In the morning we listen to a dramatized Bible story from Your Story Hour. We studied the Old Testament last year, now we are on to the New Testament. They listen to the story during breakfast, then draw a picture of it and then we talk about it. We really need to add prayer to this. Goal for tomorrow! We start Classical Conversations on Thursday and after that they will listen to their memory work on CD that is put to song, while they play with leggos. Once a week we will have a nutrition lesson from a nutrition curriculum I bought from It is called Nutrition 101:Choose Life! And once a week we will read a chapter from a children's book about Mozart. I will also try to play Mozart during the day on and off during the time we are reading the book. I suppose it will be 6-8 weeks of Mozart focus and then we will move on to another composer. My goal is for them to be able to identify his music amongst other musicians.

That is basically the only school that combines Micah and Isaac (and Andrew). This is so much better that I'm not pairing up Micah and Isaac. This way when I'm working with Isaac, Andrew has Micah to play with. So Andrew isn't feeling lonley and clinging while I'm trying to teach Isaac. For Micah, I'm using My Father's World kindergarten curriculum. I decided since Andrew is turning 4 in November that I will go ahead and include him. He may not get it all, but he will have fun being with us and included. So far so good. It definitely takes longer with him but I think it is the right thing to do. Today during their school time at the table, Benjamin started crying right away. So I went up to get him and then returned to the table to nurse him while I taught the boys. Half-way through I thought I was almost dripping sweat. Something about managing Andrew and scissors, helping Micah, trying to still have an arm around Benjamin while he nursed, it was just all kind of difficult. I hope to try and school them when it isn't Benjamin's feeding time because that just makes it a very trying situation.

For Isaac I am using Sonlight's Eastern hemisphere history, geography and language arts curriculum. Which basically consists of lots of great stories and missionary biographies. Today we read two chapters in Island of the Blue Dolphins, a chapter in Torches of Joy which is a missionary story about a couple that were missionaries in Indonesia, we read the introduction to a book about the 10/40 window (I can't remember the title). We learned that only 8 percent of missionaries go to this 10/40 window. It stretches from West Africa all the way through Asia and is home to over 60 countries that are the least evanglized people. These are also the poorest people of the world. And yes, only 8 percent of missionaries go to these people.

So that is the read aloud portion of our school. We are using "Sequential Spelling" for spelling and Math U See for math. We spent quite a bit of time on math today. I wasn't quite sure how to "teach" him about fractions. I knew what to do, but it was the how to explain it to him part that was difficult. It made me realize I really need to study this stuff before hand and figure out how to teach it to him before the actual lesson with him! :)

Part of his curriculum includes a "Eastern Hemispher Explorer" work book. It basically contains really fun worksheets about the different parts of the world he is studying. For now our focus is the Pacific Islands. To answer the questions he uses the online World Book Encyclopedia. This is really fun for him. He will be able to do this every day.

I think if we had nowhere to go at all, we could easily finish school by 1 or 2 oclock. It was just ALL the interruptions that kept us from finishing until 5:45. I hope that this first day isn't a precident for how the rest of our school year is going to go! I have a feeling though that realistically it is. The days where we don't have to go anywhere will probably be the wonderful rare days. Becuase I already know that two days of the week I'll definitely be out, Monday's for Andrew's speech and Thursday's for classical conversations.

The cool thing is that I'm totally learning to be flexible. I told Steve I'm prepared to have school be an all day thing. Not that my kids are going to be sitting at the table all day, but that we will be doing school on and off all day. It may be that I don't do math with Isaac until 7 pm, when Steve can have all the rest of the kids and I can devote the hour that he needs. I think if I am calm like this and I don't feel pressured to get "school" done by a certain time, we will all be a lot happier. School is going to be a part of our life and it isn't going to fit in a neat little box.

I got some of the science stuff I ordered for the year today. I got a box of 50 rock and mineral specimens. I just look at it and feel like, "wow, this is SO cool". God's creation is just so fascinating. I LOVE learning about it! Okay, to be honest, I lifted the box up in the air with a big smile on my face and sang, "La La La Laaaa"! And yes, this was right in front of Steve. But at the same time I did that, he was tapping out a tune on the glass beakers. So if you think I'm a dork, so is he! :) :) :)

Well, I assume it is getting late and I need to go feed Benjamin!

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