New Books

We received a box full of books from my aunt Karen and her granddaughter Sydney. The kids were so looking forward to the special box so when it arrived I had them all sit on the couch and wait while I brought in the books.

DSC_0021Waiting for something… Nobody looks too interested here, especially Matthew to the left.

DSC_0024Look at Matthew sauntering over to pick out a book for himself. He has a little grin.

DSC_0037Everybody is happy. Plenty to choose from. Thankfully, the littles do really good with books now. DSC_0043Hannah was drawn to the magnetic book of the zoo.  DSC_0031Leah is the color-er in the family so of course she was drawn to the coloring book. DSC_0040Thank you for the special gift. They read off and on for two straight days! Mom and dad kind of got a break as the kids were content with something new.  : )

Tabitha and Anna

I have a few pictures of the twins from last month:DSC_0108

The both decided to move the chair and the footstool over to the glass slider door. I thought they looked cute together so I had to take a couple of pictures. DSC_0104  DSC_0102

Tabitha is on the left, Anna on the right. Tabitha who was the smallest preemie is actually a tad bit taller than her sister Anna now. DSC_0063

Tabitha coloring intently….DSC_0042  DSC_0026

Tabitha and her messy head. I can’t keep their hair decent for more than 30 minutes.

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Anna and TabithaDSC_0021

Mommys’ homemade bread. I can’t remember what kind of bread it was now but it was so good… tons of eggs and butter in it. We slathered butter and honey on it. Now we’re back to eating healthy again.  : )

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Tabitha again with a different look/expression I haven’t seen. DSC_0031

Little Anna with the kitty

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Anna and Tabitha. What are you going to think when I bring home a brother to you one day soon?

 

The Beginning of Spring

Well, I’ll have to split this post. If I put up too many pictures it bombs out on me.  : (  DSC_0114   Here is a pizza that I let Elisabeth top with all of the toppings all by herself. It was the best pizza that Mathew and I had ever had. Usually I put Italian wine salami on it but I didn’t have any this time I used a sandwich type salami that was slightly smoked. It made the pizza taste so Italian! Elisabeth had fun putting the toppings on this. DSC_0074 The twins room. What they did – They pulled the carpet up (Miriam started it for them last year) and would pull pieces of padding out and strew it all over their room. When I went to get them up from their nap one day and could barely open the door due to it being pulled back, I knew it was time for daddy to fix the room. We decided to use the same paint as we used in the kitchen and since the room is downstairs, part of the basement, daddy is putting in a light colored tile. Now they won’t be able to tear it up though they are now tearing up the old carpet in the adjoining room that they are in now that we’ll be fixing as well when this one is done. I hope if I put a rug in their new room that we’ll be able to get them out! DSC_0072 Elisabeth helping daddy paint. Wearing daddy’s shirt. DSC_0057 Hannah and Elisabeth making boats for their little duckies. DSC_0053  DSC_0003 Assembling the trampoline on a nice, warm day. DSC_0019 Having fun. DSC_0002 Beautiful day. They have their own sandbox here. We’ll be fishing soon…

Homeschool and Nesting…

I think I’ve been in nesting mode for a few weeks. I want organization in all aspects of my life right now. I made a little chart on our big chalk board in the kitchen for homeschooling. I then decided to see if there was something at Walmart so I could keep our chalkboard clear for other things. I found this for only $7.00 or so. DSC_0081

I put the initial of each child’s name on the left and up above we have: R=Reading, W=Writing, D=Dictation, S=Spelling, M=Math and H=History. We start off with writing in the morning after grooming and chores. It gets them into something easy to get them going for the morning. They do either copy work or tracing letters or tracing words, depending on the age. Then when Elisabeth and Hannah start on their spelling books, I read with little Matthew and then my husband Matthew reads with Leah when I’m done. Hannah and Elisabeth finish reading after they have completed their assignments. I then take Elisabeth to our room for dictation. She writes down what I tell her to. I then show her mistakes and she corrects it by doing the whole sentence. Afterwards, she does some typing lessons. I taught my older girls to type at 8 years old, I figured she could do the same as it will help her with writing skills later. They are all doing very well and mom and dad are pleased to have some things in order.

I’ve also been printing out extra sheets of curriculum like crazy. They are thing like circling the odd numbers up to the thousands, circling verbs, mazes that count by 2’s, etc… I have been spending hours this past month researching what direction God wants us to go, what curriculum to use for History (we have a book on the way by Christian Light Publications: https://www.clp.org/store/by_subject/6. I could not decide between this one or Mystery of History: http://www.themysteryofhistory.info/ We’ll probably try both and see which way to go. We will start reading through some history books in the afternoon after it arrives. They are already familiar with many common names, presidents, states, geography, Christian history, etc… I think this is a good time to really start them in a curriculum though.

So, after writing, reading, spelling, dictation and typing we all take a break for an hour or so. We come back together and get math out of the way. We are doing the Numbers with Spunky/Schoolaid Math: https://www.milestonebooks.com/list/Rod_and_Staff_Curriculum/. The only problem I find is that I think 2nd grade is a bit early to start kids in multiplication or higher. It seems that they really should have a good grasp of addition and subtraction and being able to sort and other such things in their heads before moving on to another and then onto another. There’s plenty of time. I didn’t learn multiplication until 4th grade. I thought it to be a good pace then. I read a wonderful book by Ruth Beechick: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Rs-Ruth-Beechick/dp/0880620749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428361560&sr=8-1&keywords=ruth+beechick. The author has since passed away I found, but this little book is so rich on how a child learns math concepts, that they need to learn to write well first before teaching them much on English grammer, etc… It has changed my whole idealization on how we educate our children. Teach a child how to read and write well before breaking down the sentence into parts. Show a man a car before you show him all the components that make it run and he will understand the components then. That’s my ideal on it anyways. Though we teach them “lightly” about nouns and pronouns, etc… it is not the focus right now. I’m still trying to get my ideals away from “how” I was taught at public school. It is fun and exciting to me. We can do it our way and I love it! Psssst…. I did not like homeschooling for the first couple of years. I am just starting to really enjoy it now.  : )

So, in the evening after the babies go to bed I or dad read from the Bible… just a chapter or so. Then we read from this wonderful gem. The kids so look forward to it:  http://www.heritage-history.com/index.php?c=read&author=baldwin&book=deeds&story=_front. I love this website and book. All of their books in the library are only $1.99 to download. The library on this site is a fantastically rich resource for homeschoolers. I can’t wait to get through our reading to start another. : ) Anyways, we finish reading a short chapter here and then the kids go to bed at 8:00 and read until 8:30 until lights off.

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Here, I added another chart for chores. We don’t do enough chores around here yet. It seems it’s always easier for mom and dad to do much of it but that’s not teaching them that they have duties too. We are starting them in doing something for a week… we have enough confusion around here to change it day by day.  : ) Of course they often help with the dishwasher, some dishes, prepping food, etc… Hannah loves making sandwiches for all of the kids each day and we let her. Elisabeth, Hannah and Matthew are out with dad right now getting free wood. They will be treated to a popsicle on the way home. I’m just so grateful that the Lord is refining our place in home schooling and general organization in our lives right now. I have always wanted this. It is a hard thing to have many children and to keep running things by the seat of your pants or changing things all of the time. We are finally settling in to a place where we feel very comfortable and it works for us. Thanks for listening. Many of my posts are for our family so we can reflect on these things and see where we came from and where we’re going. It’s nice that there’s actually a few people that like to peek in on our lives.  : )

I have a multi-picture post coming up soon. Have a good week everyone.