Showing posts with label Curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curriculum. Show all posts

August 24, 2012

7 Things I am Thankful For...

1. This was our first week officially back to school. It turned out to be our best first week back to school yet! I was met with lots of smiles and excitement from our boys at the beginning of the week as we looked forward to a very full 5 days ahead.

No, things are not organized to where I'd like them to be at the start of our school year, but is it ever? No. But, we really just wanted to get started. So, with MOST of our curriculum received (some is still arriving every couple days), we dove in. T, our 4 year old preschooler is officially joining us this year. And our rowdy needs-to-be-involved-with-everything-we're-doing-and-thinks-he's-just-as-big-as-the-rest-of-them 2 year old is along for the ride as well. As we began our day with a bit of bible study and prayer, I quickly realized that I had not taken into consideration that they could possibly need me all at the same time once we began our work.

Huh!? What was I thinking? Of course they would all need my help all at once. So, I took lots of notes on our first day and decided I needed to stagger Math and Language Arts lessons (so far). What that means is that while I'm helping one of the boys with math, the other can read with the younger ones. And then when it's time to help someone else with writing, the others can begin their art projects or something that can be done with a bit more independence. All of our other learning will be done mostly together as we do everything else Unit Study Style. Can you see why I love unit studies so much? Teaching (and learning) everything separately would be so difficult for us...and not nearly as fun. I was so very thankful my mom was here that first day to help out as one question after another followed by the "mom, help me" requests rolled on throughout the morning.

 Yes, we had milkshakes at the park after school one day.

2. We are loving our Artistic Pursuits curriculum. Before this year, we'd never actually used a curriculum for art. We just created! And I'm thankful we did. Allowing our boys to draw, paint, create and use their imaginations using all kinds of mediums  has really been good for them. I still love to fill the table with a plethora of art supplies and let them have at it, but we are learning SO MUCH MORE with Artistic Pursuits.

As with almost all things, I am always trying to multi-task. So when our boys are busy being creative at the table, I typically take that time to clean up the kitchen. But this week, when C (our 6 year old) met me with all kinds of "I can't do this" and "this doesn't look very good" and "I'm not very good at this kind of art"....I realized that I needed to roll up my sleeves, put my dish towel down and encourage this little one by creating art WITH him. I hardly ever take the time to do that. But as I did, his heart changed and so did mine. Instead of getting frustrated with him for his attitude, I gently encouraged him while giving him my focused attention and time. We talked about the kind of artwork I created at the age of 6 and that learning new things takes practice and patience. And as we sat there together, drawing...we talked of the kind of artwork God creates for us to enjoy. Many lessons were learned on this day.

3. God is really speaking to me through these passages of His Word as He continues to work in my heart...

"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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity." -Jeremiah 29:11-14

"A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." -Proverbs 16:9

"A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" -Proverbs 20:24

"Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6
Notice a theme here?.... (emphasis added...mine)

4. The boys were in the production of Peter Pan this week! It was their first ever real play written, produced, directed and choreographed by our friend Miss M....and she's only 10 years old. I'm so very proud of her and of everyone involved. I'll be posting more about this amazing experience and even how God met us there, very soon. 

5. Yesterday marked the release of a brand new eBook I contributed to for homeschooling families titled: You Can Do It Too!: 25 homeschool families share their stories This book holds a special place in my heart as it tells the stories of homeschooling families like us who have chosen to share their lives with others in hopes of encouraging those who are just starting out on their journeys toward home education, thinking about it or are already many miles down that road and needing to know they aren't alone. I am so blessed to be a part of this book and included with some really amazing moms who I really admire and respect.

6. Today, I am thankful for our health. This has been the first week in a while that we have seen and felt true health in our family. All of the normal colds have run through our family multiple times this Summer and with each cold. C gets croup/stridor and has to take steroids to keep his airway from completely closing off. The rest of us have all been sick as well. And then the worst of it came two weeks ago when our youngest was plagued with the worst ever rash I had ever seen accompanied by a 103.5 fever and body aches. He was miserable! As it turned out, he had Fifth Disease. It's a bit like the chicken pox in that it's a virus and just needs to run it's course. Once you've had it, you don't get it again. Oddly, none of the rest of us got it, so we must be immune because we certainly share our germs around here. Needless to say, I am so glad we are all healthy again.

This is how our little guy woke up one morning and what sent us racing to our Pediatrician's office. His arms were so red and hot to the touch. 

Within a day little E's whole body was covered with this terrible rash. It didn't itch, but the fever persisted which caused him to not eat or drink OR SLEEP much during the week. I felt so bad for him as he's never been that sick before. So thankful he's healthy again.

7. And last, but not least...I am over-the-moon excited about the new Hope For the Weary Mom expanded edition written by Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker coming out soon. Do you remember the 7 Days of Hope Weary Moms Series I hosted here this year? This was the book we used for that series, which I LOVE. But, I can't even begin to tell you how amazing the new release version is going to be. Last week Brooke and Stacey let everyone know they were putting together a New Release Launch Team together and needed willing participants. Because I believe so much in the message of this book, I prayed a quick prayer and then jumped at the chance. I feel like it's an absolute gift and privilege to get to be a part of this team of incredible women who feel the same way I do.

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Linking up with: 7 Quick Takes & Weekly Wrap Up & Big Family Friday

August 8, 2012

House of the Rising Sons Curriculum 2012-2013 {PreK - 3rd grade}

I'm really REALLY excited this year about the curriculum we'll be using for our boys! Each week a new box arrives filled with new school books and it feels like it's my birthday! A little crazy, I know. But, I love books and all things school related. And, after the difficulty we experienced with the curriculum we chose last year, we are definitely ready for something completely different. We learned that the all-in-one boxed type of curriculum just doesn't work for our family.

We are really blessed to be a part of Columbia Virtual Academy  (CVA) in WA Like most states, they offer an Alternative Learning Experience option for families who desire to homeschool. For us it's an amazing opportunity as we have guidance when needed and can take advantage of all their incredible curriculum offerings. This is our second year enrolling with CVA and we just love our Advisory Teacher. We check in with her weekly which helps me stay accountable and encouraged.

This year we are still sticking with our Unit Studies approach to homeschooling, but adding in many other different things. I suppose this makes us a bit more on the eclectic side as we pull our resources and materials from all over the place, but Unit Studies will remain the foundation for everything else we're doing. So, for instance, when we are learning about habitats in Science, we'll apply our themed approach by pulling in all kinds of resources (mostly from the library and online) to support what we're learning. And even though our boys are not doing the same grade level work (PreK, Kindergarten, First grade and Third grade), much of what they'll be learning can still be combined and adjusted for the levels they are at. (the beauty of Unit Studies...and homeschooling!)

So, after much contemplating and prayer, these are our curriculum choices for the 2012-2013 school year. There's a lot here, but some subjects won't be covered every single day.

Unit Studies
We love Homeschool Share. Most of the studies we do come from there. All of the rest are pulled together from our library and online...all free.

Plants Grown Up: Projects for Sons on the Road to Manhood
God's Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible
Seeds Family Worship: (music) Planting the Seeds of God's Word in the Hearts of Families
Grapevine Studies: Stick Figuring Through the Bible
252 Basics: CUE Boxes 
                    Connect to God's story.
                    Uncover something about life.
                    Experience something together.       
Language Arts 
Explode the Code & Handwriting Without Tears (for each grade level)

Horizons  (for each grade level)

Science Fusion (grades 1 and 3)

Social Studies 
McGraw Hill TimeLinks Social Studies Kit (grades K/1)
Supplement: Kids of Character Literature Set (grades1-2)
Cicero US History, series 1: 600 BC to 1801 (grade
Supplement: American History Readers, American Revolution, American West

Artistic Pursuits, books 1 & 2 (grades 1-3)
Supplement: Insta-Cartooner Kit 

Home Economics 
Training Your Children in Home Economics (all ages)

Foreign Languages 
American Sign Language (for all grades)
Spanish: Risa y Sonrisas

Physical Education  
Happy Feet, Healthy Food  (Healthy Exercise and Eating Journal for Kids) 
Fitness 4 Homeschool - Physical Education Curriculum  
Mt. Si Karate: classes 2x/week

Online Educational Supplements 
Time4LearningEnchanted Learning

For Mom 
Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit (workbook) & Audio CDs
Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
The Prayer of Jabez: Bible Study
Educating the Wholehearted Child
Jesus Calling
The Power of a Praying Parent
Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most
Give Them Grace

Resources for Moms here at House of the Rising Sons:

DIY Homeschooling & Blogging Planner
Hope for Weary Moms
How to Teach Your Kids American Sign Language
How we homeschool with Unit Studies
How to turn each day into a fun celebration using Mini Unit Studies
How to teach biblical truth with science experiments
How we organize our school days using workboxes
10 Tips for New Homeschoolers
10 Sick Day Tricks for Mom
Loving, Parenting and Homeschooling Out of the Overflow

**This page contains some affiliate links. I do not receive anything for you clicking on them, but I do receive a small percentage of the sale if you purchase from that link!

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