Friday, September 27, 2013

Homeschool and Mother's Journal: Sept. 27

Don't I wish I played the piano and had a luxurious mane I could fasten into lovely braids.

In my life this week:

We're in our second week of school and the days are long. But, oh boy, are we learning! I love this lifestyle and wouldn't have it any other way. Seeing children learn and get excited about new information gives me a deeply satisfied feeling, as though I'm half-way through a slice of chocolate satin pie.

That said, I'm 47 and a half years old, and in my second year of perimenopause (yes, I had my kids late in life). I just researched articles, again, to check on a certain symptom to see if it might be due to perimenopause. And yes, it turns out everything is because of perimenopause and the average experience is four years. Some days I feel like I'm losing my mind and only by God's grace can I stand this for another three years (not to mention my family).

The good news is that I still feel great about 13 days a month.

In our homeschool this week:

Six-year-old Mary can read on her own now. No, not chapter books, just easy readers, but it still seems like a miracle. She said this week, finally, "I think I really like reading, Mommy."

I hugged her and breathed a contented sigh, thanking the Lord for his intervention.

She goes into her bedroom and tries all the words on her own, and then comes out and reads them to me, asking if she got it right. For several months, even after she could sound out well, she tried to read the pictures as a shortcut. This was a frustrating time for both of us. I knew she could read the words fine, she just didn't want to put the effort in if she didn't have to. Now, in contrast, she looks at the pictures to enjoy them, not to get clues from them, and she attends to each word on the page readily.

I'm never one to cover up pictures though--early readers need them for confidence, if nothing else. Bullying kids into reading never works. You have to keep up the prayers and the patience, remembering that each child is different.

Three readers down, one to go. Miss Beth is doing pretty well herself, but is not quite blending yet.

I'm also working hard on teaching the girls to recognize all the numbers to 100, out of order.

In Sonlight Science A the girls are learning about the earth and about weather, and a little about frogs and toads.

The boys, ages 9 and 11, are doing Sonlight's Eastern Hemisphere Core F, and Sonlight's Core F science. Here's what they're learning from in the last ten days:

Sonlight really knows how to mix it up and we love that, though I know it drives some people crazy. It's not unusual to be reading from 10 books at the same time, sometimes just a few pages a day. The novels are usually a chapter a day, depending on the length of chapters. Peter usually reads more in the novels than the schedule specifies and messes up my Sonlight schedule, but that's okay.

Food and Nutrition for Every Kid

Food and Nutrition for Every Kid   -     
        By: Janice VanCleave

The Usborne Complete Book of the Human Body

Complete book of the human body

The Human Body

Human Body

Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides

Blood and Guts : A Working Guide to Your Own Insides

Exploring Planet Earth

Exploring Planet Earth: The Journey of Discovery from Early Civilization to Future Exploration

Ships, Sailors and the Sea


Praying Through the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window

Praying through the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window (2nd edition)  -     
        Edited By: C. Peter Wagner, Stephen Peters, Mark Wilson
        By: C. Peter Wagner(Eds.), Stephen Peters(Eds.) & Mark Wilson(Eds.)

Call It Courage

Call It Courage/Newbery Summer

The Master Puppeteer (a read-aloud)

The Master Puppeteer

Henry Reed, Inc.

Born in the Year of Courage


Henry Reed, Inc. was a big hit (my Peter stayed up until 10:30 one night reading it). "This is an incredibly good book, Mommy."

I'm trying to locate the others in the series, but they're hard to find at a good price because they're so well loved. And our library doesn't have them. Used copies are all in acceptable condition, and I only buy very good- or good-condition used books.

The first in the Henry Reed series was written in 1958. Here are the others, in case you need wholesome reading material for your boy (or girl). Henry Reed is a clever and funny boy inventor-- read about the books here on goodreads.





Helpful Homeschooling Advice to Share:

Start the day with Bible and prayer and make time for scripture memorization. If you've done these, the rest of your day will go as well as possible. Between morning devotions and helping four children with separate, age-appropriate scripture memorization, I spend over an hour each morning. I know it's never wasted time and if we can do nothing else, we must do this.

Put God first to bring peace and salvation to your children and your home.

I recommend AWANA as an excellent 9-year scripture memorization program that looks wonderful on college entrance paperwork (as good as Eagle Scouts). Although it's nine years, you can jump in at any time. Click on the AWANA locator to find the nearest churches that offer it in your area. Earning certain AWANA awards will also land your child partial college scholarships. I saw as much as $6000 offered for the highest awards.

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing

We go to AWANA on Sunday, and to our favorite Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday. Yippee! My favorite outing of the picking, raspberry picking, hayride, choosing pumpkins, and various displays and vendors.

We went to speech, and physical therapy (for Juvenile Arthritis), on Wednesday. Mary graduated from the w and y sounds (she used to substitute an l for both of them), and will now be paired with Paul for instruction on the r sound. For her first r homework assignment, she has to growl like a bear.

Beth still needs work on her y and w sounds (she also substitutes an l). She's also working on s blends (like skate and snack and smell) and the oy dipthong sound like you hear in boy and toy, and on the cry, my, fry, by family. She says them with a southern drawl and doesn't get the e sound at the end, if that makes any sense.

We also saw our pediatrician to get a referral to a pediatric allergist for my Paul, who has a yellow-jacket bee-venom allergy. They can desensitize kids to this over time by exposing them to increasing amounts of the venom in a doctor's office. Doesn't sound pleasant, but it's far better than a lifetime sentence of carrying an EPI PEN and worrying about dying from a sting.

I have to take all four children to all our doctor's appointments. Usually it's fine but it's not my favorite thing. Today Beth interrupted the pediatrician's allergist push to ask him: "How do mermaids breathe under water?"

Somewhat embarrassed, he said, "I don't know."

I guess they don't cover that in medical school?

I'm also teaching the preschool class at church about Noah this Sunday AM. It turns out, if you sign up to be a Birth - Kinder Children's Ministry Coordinator, you can never go to service again. Someone is always absent or you're perpetually short on help. My poor husband!

It's a good thing I like to read the Bible online and click on Matthew Henry's commentary. That brilliant and faithful man wrote some great sermons, and I need only click on the resources for a verse to get a Matthew Henry mini-sermon anytime.

My Favorite Thing This Week:

When Mary said, "I think I really like reading, Mommy."  (We use Sing, Spell, Read and Write K-1 Combo Kit).

Things I'm Working On:

See above note about perimenopause. I'm working on maintaining my sanity.

I'm Cooking

I did find new crockpot recipes to work on next week, but this week it was much of the same:

chili and cornbread
baked ziti
shepherd's pie
turkey joes
turkey hamburgers
baked chicken
crockpot navy bean soup

I'm Grateful For:

~ homeschooling

~ my boys' growing faith

~ the AWANA program

~ morning devotions, and evening ones with Daddy

~ cuddly girls and boys

~ grace

~ love

~ faith

~ perseverance (through the Holy Spirit's power)

~ my husband's faith, wisdom, and gentleness

~ knowing that we have everything in Christ

~ the library

~ feelings of peace after writing to our Compassion kids

Photo, Video, Link or Quote to share:

I love that as a homeschooling mother, I can bring this Scripture to life about training my children in the ways of the Lord:

Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

 Bible context:
18 "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 19"You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,…

Thank you for reading and how was your week?

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Terri H said...

Praise God for a new and confident reader! What fun in your house. :)

I love my piles of Sonlight books. I can't believe what we are learning together from these little snippets every day. I am especially enjoying the history and Bible of Core B. We did not do a core last year and I regret that now!

Home Is Where They Send Us said...

Oh my goodness. I laughed out loud. I love kids. Seriously that sounds like my life!!! And, the allergist must have gotten the biggest kick out of that question because I'm guessing she said it with all seriousness thinking the doctor would know just how mermaids breathe under water! Have a blessed week!

Christine said...

Thank you Terri and Home for stopping by. So glad someone can relate and get a giggle over my mothering experiences.

Terri, I am so glad you are enjoying Core B. Let me know your favorite titles, please? How is your littlest one doing as you read to your older one? He is a little over 3 now?

Terri H said...

I am loving the discussions with have after reading Missionary Stories with the Millers. We are learning a ton from our Usborne books (Peoples of the World, Book of World History), and I am looking forward to starting the Child's History of the World. I have been substituting my own read-alouds since we had already read Charlotte's Web, but we start Homer Price tomorrow and I am excited. :)

My littlest just turned three this week. I have broken up our school schedule this year to alternate times that I can interact with him and times that he needs to play independently. That seems to be working well for us. I also allow him one Leapfrog movie during our most challenging learning block, and that saves all our sanity. ;)

Christine said...

Terri, we use the Leapfrog DVD's for Beth, too, during times I need to teach Mary or the boys alone, but thankfully she plays with dolls a long time too. Our library keeps its Leapfrog library up to date so we get all the news ones too. I only have 4 here at home.

The Usborne books are so wonderful and I'm glad Sonlight uses so many of them. The children never have any complaints about them--only praise!

Peter went through the Sonlight novels fast so I'm having him read Homer Price while Paul catches up on the novels. He loves it so far.

I'll check our library for the two Usbornes you mentioned for my Mary.

Have a wonderful day!

Adena (aka cre82learn) said...

How exciting to have a new reader! My son is six also and just this past week he came running from the room exclaiming, "I can read, mommy, I can read!" He's actually been reading a few sentences already this year but now he realized he can read something outside of his schoolwork. We also just got our packet from Pizza Hut Read It program so he is very excited that he can earn free pizza just by reading.

Terri H said...

I forgot that we are also loving Science B this year. Usborne World of Animals has been our major text thus far. The activities right now have us reading about animals in different parts of South America and marking mountain ranges, rivers, and rain forests on a map. I love that we are learning so much at one time!

Beth said...

It was fun to catch up on what is happening in your family. It sounds like we are very close in age -- I turn 48 next month. I laughed at the mermaid question. We did the human body 2 years ago in CC and the kids enjoyed coloring the body parts. J read Henry Reed. I will be on the lookout at the thrift stores for more books.