Monday, September 28, 2009

If I don't blog today I will have missed a whole month! Things have gone so quickly. The last few weeks of August were filled with preparation. Despite the great amount of work, I actually enjoyed all of the preparation. It was nice to get organized and get ready. I thought a few times, due to my procrastination problem, that I would not be ready for the first day of school but, miraculously, I was.
This is our multi purpose board with our weather chart, calendar, daily schedule, memory verse and kids that we pray for from Africa.
These are all lessons printed and ready to go from now until Christmas vacation!

This is our (sort of )organized shelf of school supplies. Each kid has a box this year with crayons, markers, scissors and glue sticks of their own. I am hoping it will teach them to take better care of their things. So far so good. It's getting harder and hard to confine our "school" to one room, it's sort of taking over the house. I guess that is the nature of a home-school. I'm more than OK with it :)

September 8th was our first day of school and it was Ian's first day of Kindergarten! He's a little young for kindergarten but he's ready "academically" so off we go. We'll take it at whatever pace works best because we have that luxury. He loves doing his phonics and math work. Since he's the only kindergartner it gives him special time with me during the our school days and he loves that. He comes and goes as he pleases for many of our other activities but he's like a little sponge so I know he absorbs a lot just by being around me teaching.

This is the picture that makes me glad he's homeschooled...I have a feeling he would be a bit of a class clown, I don't know why...

So our first week of school was just awesome! All the organization paid off and things went very smoothly and I know everyone learned a lot. As always there were many additions to my prepared lessons because God always provides plenty of lessons of His own. They found a daddy long legs and made him their class pet for the week.

They also found a birds nest outside, which is always very exciting and sparked a lot of conversation.
The younger kids had a great time playing playdough. It's always nice to start the year with some good homemade play dough.

Isaac and Nova got right down to their first grade work. I was amazed at how much they learned over the summer and how much better they both were at reading! All that summer reading paid off!

Bella, Hannah and our new student Lexie also got right down to work. Bella and Hannah are doing 3rd grade work this year and Lexie is in 4th grade. Here they are at their "desks" working on their file folder word walls to use as an "office" to help them not be distracted as easily (and boy is it easy to be distracted around here...)

Our theme for the first week was the book How to Make and Apple Pie and See the Word by Marjorie Priceman. It is the same book we started with last year. It is the perfect tool to get us thinking about the different places around the world as we continue our study of different continents. It's also a fun book and a catalyst for lots of great "apple" related activities which is perfect for this time of year.

We made a chart of all of the ingredients in the book and where they came from.

We did some apple tasting to see how different apples look and taste different. We decided we like Fuji apples best and we really don't like Red Delicious at all.

My TLC bakers were very excited to get their aprons on and bake an apple pie. It was a great science lesson. I had just taught them all that baking is a science and if you don't get it right it doesn't become what you want it to be. We totally messed up the pie crust somehow and had to make another. Rather than getting frustrated, I embraced if for the lesson it was and it turned out OK in the end.

In addition to our whole group cooking projects, Bella, Lexie and Hannah will be cooking lunch for everyone on Tuesdays. Their first cooking task was to prepare tacos for everyone. They did a great job. The ground turkey was perfectly browned and they even sliced most of the tomatos with many dramatic shrieks and trepidation over the sharp knife, of course.

They were very proud of their accomplishment! They have also cooked trail mix bars, biscuits and beef stew!

One of every one's favorite subjects is art. This year we are going to move away from just doing "crafts" that match our theme and begin learning about some of the important aspects of art such as line, shape and color. At first they were a little disappointed and thought it wasn't going to be as "fun" as it was before. So far they have been pleasantly surprised with how much fun it can be to just draw and color lines. Together we created lovely piece of artwork that is currently on display in my living room. It is Curved and Straight lines from the TLC Academy.

Outside of our regular daily activities we are also hosting a book club once a month. This month we read the book Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclaughlan. We had a great discussion, drew pictures of the sea and wrote letters to Sarah. We also had a delicious "pioneer" snack to match the time period of the book.

Also once a month, my kids and I are participating in music and art day at my friend Amy's house. Amy is a very talented pianist (we are very lucky to have her as Bella and Isaac's piano teacher in addition to our music class) and she is teaching this large group of 24 children about music and teaching them some songs. At the end of the year they will have a performance! I am going to be teaching them a little bit about American art history. This week we discussed Native American art and created clay pots using a coil method. I'm excited about this group and looking forward to learning more about American art history myself so I can teach it.

The end of this month brought our two September Birthdays! Hannah turned 8 and Mika turned 3! Mika requested an ice cream eyeball cake. It wasn't spectacular but she loved it anyway and Hannah had a Mario Bros cake. I tried to replicate a scene from the game Paper Mario.

In our spare time Isaac is playing soccer. It is a very instructional program and he is learning a lot. I'm glad he has an outlet a few days a week for all that energy!!

Ian has been doing a lot of fishing lately. He made himself a boat out of a laundry basket and a fishing pole out of the tinker toys. His boat has trolling motor too. He also puts out his lobster pots each morning and checks them each afternoon. His boat is permanently docked next to the end table in my living room when he's not using it. He recently upgraded to a bigger boat (my bigger laundry basket). I don't mind at all, I don't like using laundry baskets for their intended purpose anyway.

Isabella just became a member at the Boys and Girls club in town. She is going to be on the swim team! She is so excited. Our informational meeting is this week. She is also going to be taking a cooking class later in the fall. She is getting so grown up!

We do actually have a life outside of homeschooling too and some exciting things have been happening! Jason was recently ordained as a pastor. It was a very special evening for our whole family. Many people from our church came together to celebrate the calling that God has put on Jason's life to share His word and serve God by serving His people. It came at an interesting time. It was 10 years and a day after Jason and I accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. It was just so amazing to reflect on all that God has done in our lives in the past 10 years. I am so grateful for His love for us and so priveledged to be called to serve Him along side my husband.