9.16.2015

A Letter To My "Beginning Homeschool" Self...

We started homeschooling in 2011. That isn't long ago... but for us it seems like a century. Not in a dreadful way.... in a growing way! Life has changed greatly since we first began our homeschool journey. I've had people ask me what I would do differently if I could "begin again". Honestly, I wouldn't change the way we first began. I just wish I had more knowledge then to help us on our way.........    

A Letter To My "Beginning Homeschool" Self...... 




Dear Me, 

So you have decided to homeschool? I know it's scary and you are worried about a multitude of things going wrong. Your wondering if you are capable of giving your children the type of education they deserve. You are hoping you won't ruin your kids. Your worried about that big "s" word everyone talks about... socialization. I'm here to tell you it's ok. Those fears are common. However, there are some things you need to know. 

First, don't worry about what other people have to say. That day WILL come where you will find yourself crying in your car after a trip to the grocery store. The day trip.. with your kids.. during school hours.. the snoopy lady who is ill because your kids are not in school... Yes, you will meet her. And she will make you cry. But it' ok.. because you are strong. God has called you and your husband to educate His way.. not the snoopy ladies way.. and soon you will see how strong you truly are! How strong your children are! With your faith.. and with time.. God helps those harsh comments to bounce off and not matter anymore. 

Don't forget to pray! Pray over EVERYTHING! Pray over your school days, your children's education, curriculum choices, extra-curricular activities. Let your children hear you pray! Pray with your children! Prayer.. God's love.. Faith... is what helps you become who you are today. 

Homeschooling is not what you imagined! You are dreaming of those two sweet little boys hugging you gently and saying "Thank you Mommy for teaching me all I need to know." Then they exit quietly and you sit down with a cup of coffee reflecting on what a perfect homeschool day you just had. I'm sorry to burst your bubble dear but homeschooling will not be like that. There will be tears (and your children will cry at times themselves), there will be struggles (you will see a pencil thrown across the room), you will make ridiculous choices (such as thinking your boys need to sit in a desk, or at the kitchen table, all day), did I mention there will be tears? Nevertheless, there will also be joy... love... laughter... moments you could never replace! You will hear your youngest son read for the first time. See the joy in his face when he finishes his first chapter book. You will read the cutest stories written by two silly boys. See the pride in your oldest son when he finally understands division. You will run and jump and shake like crazy.. trying to experience gym class with your children. They will laugh with you. Hug you. Kiss you. Say things like, "Mommy.. you are the greatest teacher ever". And you know what... for these two boys.. you ARE the greatest teacher ever!

Your going to be happy. Your children are going to be happy. Your family will also make some wonderful homeschooling friends. Have fun, Me! Relax! Don't stress over the day to day. Just enjoy your children. Enjoy learning together. Enjoy making a mess. On pretty days don't stay in the house... go outside with your children. Those days of playtime are few and far between. Go on more playdates. More field trips. Remember why you began homeschooling. And the most important thing I can tell me..... is..... please use a pencil when writing in your homeschool planner. It will truly save a lot of headaches!  

Your going to do great. Have fun! Keep Praying!  

Love, 

Me 


Beginning

Now



Deuteronomy 11:19-20 ( KJV)

 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

The Big Pig Stampede - Book Review


I was given the opportunity to review, The Big Pig Stampede (and a bunch more amazing miracles), written by: Bob Hartman. 



Book Description::

Goat Boy, a.k.a. Gideon, is the kid everyone loves to pick on. He’s like any typical Bible-time boy who spends his life traveling around Palestine milking goats, giving Roman soldiers a hard time, and getting into trouble on more than one occasion. Goat Boy is curious, enjoys a good adventure, and has a couple of mildly irritating friends. What’s not so typical is how he and his friends are in the right place at the right time to witness the amazing miracles and teachings of Jesus.

Witty, insightful, wacky. These are just a few words to describe Bob Hartman’s latest chapter-book series, Goat Boy Chronicles. In this unique collection of stories, Goat Boy and his friends experience the miracles of Jesus through their awkward adolescent eyes. The boys laugh, they make jokes, they observe, they puzzle over everything that Jesus does, and in their own quirky ways they become the eyes and ears of the reader as they witness the unfolding of the gospel story.

Bob Hartman’s passion is to retell Bible stories accurately and in a way that will help kids want to read them time and time again. Not just because the stories are “good for them” but because they are so creative, so clever, and so enthralling that they just can’t help themselves!


My Review::

I am very pleased that I was able to read this book aloud to my two sons (ages 8 and 9). This was a great way to get my boys even more excited about Biblical events. With the book written from a young boy's perspective it drew my kids into the book. While we read there was laughter and discussion... two wonderful things about reading a good book. My oldest son would like to read more about "Goat Boy" in the future!   

My only peeve about this book is some of the slang. It's not really a big deal but we teach our children not to use words like jerk and it happens in this book. However, it did get a good laugh from my boys.  I know it was written that way to relate to children, I just wish that some slag words could be re-framed from. 

This is a good read and I would recommend it to children in upper elementary through middle school. 




Submarines, Secrets & A Daring Rescue - Book Review


I was given the opportunity to review the next book in the American Revolutionary War Adventure Series; Submarines, Secrets & A Daring Rescue. This book was written by: Robert J. Skead with Robert A. Skead. 


Book Description::

A Revolutionary War action-thriller filled with spies and heroes, targeted to boys and girls 8-12. In this second book in the American Revolutionary War Adventure series, twins Ambrose and John Clark find themselves volunteering for another mission to help the newly forming United States of America. Inspired by their success in delivering a secret message to General George Washington himself, the boys step up to help transport much-needed gunpowder to the patriots and end up in an even more dangerous situation, manning one of the first submarines and then, later, attempting a prison break to rescue their older brother, Berty
Written by Robert Skead with the help of his father, the main character is based on their ancestor who fought in the American Revolution as part of the Connecticut militia. Though historical fiction, the events that occurred with George Washington in New Jersey regarding the war effort are true.

My Review::

Robert Skead is the author of many popular children's book. However, for the writing of the American Revolutionary War Adventure Series he partnered with his father to write these stories. 

I read this book myself, my children have not read it yet. The book was very exciting from the beginning and truly pulled me into the life of each character. I cannot wait for my 9 year old to dive in and enjoy this book! 

As a mother my favorite part of the book was the accurate historical lessons, Christian theme and good moral lessons that were taught (such as: loyalty, courage and more). 

If you are looking for an enjoyable read for your children (ages 8-13), this is the book for them! 

There is also a prequel to this book: Patriots, Redcoats and Spies



9.05.2015

Fort Chiswell Animal Park





This week we went on a field trip to Fort Chiswell Animal Park. We have been learning about different animals in Science.. so this worked out great! We were fortunate to have many wonderful homeschool friends to go along with us! If you haven't visited there before.. it's a must see in Virginia. The staff is very nice and helpful and you get a true "up-close" experience with the animals. 

When you enter the Animal Park there is a petting zoo that the children loved! This is a place you can just let your children run and see all of the animals around them. But watch out for animal droppings, lol!  











Next up was Aidan, Noah and my niece Alaina's favorite park of the trip... the bus! They loved riding the bus, seeing all the animals, feeding and petting them. Also, our tour guide was friendly and helped to educate the children about the animals.  




















This was a wonderful homeschool field trip and we cannot wait for more to come! 


Goodies from the animal park!



 What Aidan learned on our field trip::

  • Giraffes will not run down hill. 
  • Toucans can peck you.  
  • Monkeys have tails and Apes don't.
  • Monkeys love to copy what you are doing.  

What Noah learned on our field trip::
  • Turtles like watermelon
  • I have a lot of friends!
  • Camels have two toes on each foot. 
  • Camels have one or two humps. 
  • Camels are gross! 

9.03.2015

A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooler..



I'm Noah. I am 8 years old and in 3rd Grade. I am homeschooled and this is all about my day! 


It was Wednesday. I woke up and me, my brother Aidan and our dog Maddie all climbed in bed with Mommy. She was sleeping late. It was 7:32am. We played and told stories to Mommy. Then I got dressed, brushed my teeth, made up my bed and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks while Mommy cooked breakfast. We had pancakes. I also took a nap. I was still sleepy. 







After we ate breakfast we started school. We did Bible together first. Mommy read from Proverbs and from our two Bible books. We learned that we need to talk to our friends about God and let our light shine! 





Aidan went to do his school work and I worked with Mommy. We did Spelling first and I spelled all of my words right. We also added new words to my Silent E Book. It has all the rules for Silent E inside of it. Then we did writing and I learned new vocabulary words and new adjectives. Mommy wrote words on the whiteboard and I wrote adjectives to describe the words. I like the word: fierce... "There once was a fierce lion!"   





This is my binder that I keep all my work in. 




Next, I read my reading book. It was a story about a baby wombat. After reading the story I learned about similes and I found Australia on the map. That's where the story took place. 







Now for a break. Mommy needed to work with Aidan, so I went and played in my room and took Maddie for a walk. 





Break time was over... It was time for me to do Math. I learned about fractions and I practiced adding again. I like to add. 





Then it was my favorite part of the day... lunch time! After lunch I played with Aidan.






History was next. We learned about Pilgrims, Mayflower and William Bradford. Me and Aidan sit on a little blanket to do our work. It was fun! On the Mayflower there wasn't a lot of room for people. We sit on the blanket to see what it would be like if we were on the Mayflower and didn't have a lot of room to move. Also, while we did our History paper we listened to Schubert. We have been learning about him in Music. I was being silly and acting out the loud music when it came on. Oh... and we drew a picture of the Mayflower!  






In Science we leaned about aquatic mammals. I colored a picture and did a word search about mammals while Mommy read and asked questions. 





When we finished Science we watched a movie about William Bradford. He is known as the Father of Thanksgiving. I also did some math for fun while I watched the movie. 





School is over! We went outside to play! 








Daddy came home from work and we took a bath and ate supper. Then I played Disney Infinity with Aidan for a while. Later Aidan drew a ghost ship and I drew a story and told it to everyone. And I played with Mommy and Daddy. 






I helped Mommy make dessert! 





Before we went to bed I got a gift from Momaw and Popaw! They love me! It was a stuffed pig from the book, If you give a pig a pancake. I love him and named him "piggie". Daddy read us our read aloud and then we prayed together and I went to sleep. It was a great day! 





What I like about Homeschool:
  • I love Science, History and Math!
  • Being with my family.
  • Not having school all day long! 
  • Going on field trips!


What I don't like about Homeschool:
  • I don't like reading, writing and spelling. I'm good at them but I don't like doing them all the time. 
  • That's all!!!  


Bye! ~Noah