Friday, October 29, 2010

My Darling Little Ones

You may have noticed that a lot of the posts are focused on my oldest, school-aged child, Davin.  I started this blog with the intent to record our homeschooling year, a "scrapbook" of sorts (since real scrapbooking is way beyond my scope of talent!)  Since beginning the blog, I realized that I just can't  leave the rest of my family out of it, since our days are all intertwined together.  Therefore, this "school" blog has turned into a "family" blog.

Davin is at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a few days (another benefit of homeschooling: being able to travel and not worry about a school schedule!)  Though I miss him so, I'm taking the opportunity to soak up this time with my little ones and think of a few things I love about them.

Dorian (age 2), I love:

  • that you are the most joyful member of our family.  Even when you have tears streaming down your face after getting an owie and I ask if you're sad, you say, "No, happy."

  • how cuddly you are.  I hope you never outgrow your wonderful snuggliness!

  • your sweet voice.  The way you say "thank you, Mama", "Wuv you, mama", or "Saw-wee, Mama" (sorry).  Just hearing you talk melts my heart every time.

  • how much you love sports.  You are such a contrast from your older brother and I love that you're making my job of motherhood interesting, as it'd be boring if all my children liked exactly the same things.  I'm sure before long I'll be taking you to soccer practice, tee-ball, tae-kwan-do, etc.  What a joy that will be!  We knew from when you were quite young that you are a very coordinated little boy and have a natural gift for athletics.  We can't wait to see your gifts develop!

  • how friendly and outgoing you are.  You love being around other people and making them smile.  I remember at the 4th of July band concert this past summer during the children's marching parade, how you were giggling and beaming ear to ear as we marched through the crowd.  It was mostly elderly people, and you sure put a smile on their faces :)

  • your curiosity.  You sure kept Mama on her toes when you were younger, as you got into everything! You're still quite curious, but it doesn't make me nervous anymore :)

Quinnlyn (age 7 months), I love:

  • that you are my baby girl!  I've always wanted a little girl and hope that our relationship will be as special and close as my relationship with my mom.

  • your chubbiness, dimples, and grins.  You are such a cute baby!  I love how every time I look at you, I can't believe how precious you are.  I love how when you smile, your eyes get all squinty, your dimples on your cheeks appear, and you look just like your great-grandma, my dad's mom.

  • your laugh.  You have the sweetest laugh, and I love seeing your brothers make you laugh, especially.

  • nursing you.  Breastfeeding creates such a special bond between a mother and her baby, and I just marvel every time that I'm able to provide you the nutrients you need to grow healthy and strong every day.  Even though you get up twice a night still, I don't resent it because the time nursing you is special and will not last forever.

  • watching you dance.  Whenever you hear music, you just can't help but rock to the beat.  It is just darling! Seeing Davin play the piano and you smiling and rocking along to the music is so precious.

  • watching you grow and move.  You are growing up too fast, little girl!  You're just speeding through these milestones.  You started crawling at six months and at six months and 1 week you were speed crawling.  I love watching you crawl around and love that you can crawl right to me and into my lap for some cuddles.  I love how you say "Mamama" when I'm in a different room and crawl to come and find me.

These are just a few things I love about my darling little ones.  What I love most of all is that they gave me the most important job I can think of: motherhood!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Davin's (and my) Thoughts on Home School

He came up to me smiling and said, "Mama, I don't think homeschool's a waste of time anymore!"  "Oh, why is that?" I asked.  "Well, I actually like the books and workbooks, and even the narrations!" he said.

I wasn't aware that he thought it was a waste of time, but at least he's honest I guess!  He just likes having a lot of time for drawing, reading, Legos, pretending, playing, etc., and the interruption to do school work is not always warmly welcomed.  Today, I was very happy about his cheerful attitude when I told him we'd begin our school work.  The great thing about childhood is that kids are always learning: through play, from parents and other siblings, through reading, pretending....everything contributes to educating a child!  So, I pray that my influence as a wholehearted mother is positive and godly; that my children will grow to love the Lord.  It is a tall order and sometimes seems like an insurmountable task, but also a wonderful privilege.

Here's another story from today.

"Wanna see something?" He said as if telling me something you couldn't imagine, like (....okay, I seriously tried to think of such an instance) and he pulled out some off-brand crayons from a bag (We are usually faithful to Crayola).
"Cranberry looks like Brick Red," he says while drawing a line on a piece of paper for me to see, proving this discrepancy. "And Red looks like Cranberry!" he concluded triumphantly.

Now, this is probably only amusing to me, because ever since Davin was 2, he was adamant about me telling him the "correct" name of crayon colors. He did not believe me if I said sky blue was just "blue", for instance. We were at a little Christmas party last year and the kids were coloring a picture of the nativity scene. Davin asked the kids at the table: "Does anyone have burnt sienna that I could borrow?" The kids looked at him bewildered and the moms looked at me like, "He did *not* just say that!!"  (I agree, Davin, that you wouldn't want all the wise men to have brown beards!  A little variety really spices up the picture!)

Three Ways to Home School video from CBS News

Click on the link below:

Three Ways to Home School

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Grade: Week 10

October 18-24

MFW Days 43-47

Bible: Our Proverb for the week:
"A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke." Proverbs 13:1
  • I read about the 2nd and 3rd Days of Creation, Davin read it independently in the MFW Bible Reader, then illustrated the days in his Bible Notebook.

  • I introduced the "Books of the Bible" chart and we will learn the name and a brief description each day of a book of the Bible.
  • He continued to do some independent reading in his Bible and worked on some memory verses for Sparks.
  • Completed 5 pages in Saxon 1 
  • Seed Counting chart activity: we cut open several pieces of fruit and made a chart to compare the amount of seeds each fruit contained.
Ambleside Literature:
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea Chapter 1 Narration:
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea Chapter 2 Drawing Narration:
  • 50 Famous Stories Retold: “Damon and Pythias” Narration:
Once there was a man named Pythias who did something that the tyrant, Dionysius, did not like. He had to be put to jail and have a day set that he had to die. He missed his family, though. He said, “Oh, King, can I go back to my family? I have missed them so much!” Dionysius said, “How can I know that you will come back? You just want to save yourself.” Then, somebody named Damon said, “I will go to jail in place of Pythias. I know he's a true person and he always does what he says.” But if he does not come back on the day, I will die in his place.” “I agree,” said the tyrant. Then Pythias was set free. When the day was ready, Pythias did not come back at the right hour. The jailer was about to lead him to his death just as Pythias opened the door. He was late by a ship delay. The tyrant was not so bad and said, “I will not kill you because you have such faith in each other.”
  • 50 Famous Stories Retold: “A Laconic Answer” Narration:
There once was a land named Greece. The people in the south part of it were called Spartans. The people in the northern part of it were called Macedons. One of the strange rules about the Spartans, also known as Lacons, was that they should never say more words than they needed. The ruler of Macedon once was Philip. He wanted to ruler over all of Greece, so he battled other people.One day,he sent a letter to the spartans.''if''' was in it,so the spartans replied ''if''which means we are not afraid if the little word ''if'' stands in your way.''
  • Read Trial and Triumph Chapter 1: "Polycarp Witness in the Arena"

Geography: A Child's Geography: pages 9-13
  • Postcard Narration:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 9

October 11-17

MFW 1st Days 38-42

  • Bible:  Our Proverb to memorize was:

"The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12.22.

    • We made a timeline and I told Davin that BC stands for before Christ and AD comes from the Latin Anno Domini and means the years after Jesus was born.  Throughout the rest of the year we will put pictures on the timeline as we read different Bible stories; such as Adam and Eve, the flood, etc.

    • I also read about the first day of creation, Davin read from his Bible Reader, and Davin started the first page in his "Bible Notebook".  He drew a line down the middle of the page and colored the right half black, representing "day" and "night."

    • For AWANA, Davin worked on memorizing 2 verses: Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, With all your soul, And with all your strength.  Psalm 96:2 "Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation From day to day."

    • Each day, Davin independently reads a passage from the Old Testament and New Testament.

  • Math:  Worked on finishing up the first book of Saxon 1.  He completed 13 pages this week.

    • It's pretty adorable how he drew the socks in the picture below.  He made a design on each of them.

Here he's working on a tangram, using wooden pattern blocks.

  • History:  We read Chapters 1 and 2 in Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall.

Here are the narrations:

Chapter 1: The Stories of Albion and Brutus

"There once was a king named Neptune. He was ruler of the oceans. Neptune had many sons. The one he loved most was Albion. Each time when one of his sons grew old enough, he owned an island. When Albion was old enough to have his own island, they could not find which one to choose. A beautiful mermaid came. She had sparkling blue eyes. She had golden hair. She said, “Let Albion come to my island. It has sparkling green grass and nice yellow sand.” Albion's parents thought of this and said, “Where is this island?” “Follow me,” the mermaid said. Everybody swam all of the way to the island. Albion lived on the island for many years. He was killed in a battle with the hero Hercules. Still, the parents looked after his island, which was called after Albion. Soon, a prince named Brutus approached the island. He called the island Britain and sometimes Brittania. This is the story of Albion and Brutus."

Chapter 2: The Coming of the Romans

"Long after Albion and Brutus, there were people named the Romans. The Romans were very powerful. They were so powerful that they called themselves kings. The one thing about them was that they were also very greedy. Whenever they heard of new land, they wanted it so they could call it part of the Roman Empire. When they heard about the little island, they came to conquer it, but people called the Britains owned the island. They somehow heard that the Romans were coming and came to battle them. Now this island had cliffs and the Romans saw that it was easy for the Britains to dart them on top of the cliff; so they left. Some Romans, known as sailors, were in chains. They had to defeat the island. When they arrived, the Britains were ready to ambush them. The Britains were so trained that they knew how to train their horses to run forward and attack."

  • Literature:

    • We read "The Tortoise and the Ducks" from Aesops Fables.

      • Narration:"The Tortoise, you know, had his home on his back. He was so lazy that he did not even go to a wedding and he wished he had goed to that wedding. One day he saw some ducks. The ducks said, “Would you like us to give you a ride, Tortoise?” He said, “Oh yes, please!” “Bite this stick, but do not talk or you'll be sorry.” And he went off. As they were flying, a crow came along and said, “Why this must be the king of the tortoises!” “It is,” said the Tortoise, but as soon as he opened his mouth to say those words, he fell; crashing into pieces."

    • We also read "How the Whale Got His Throat" from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Here he is enjoying reading the story:

Here is his comic-style illustration of the story.  I was so impressed by his creativity!:

  • Poetry:

    • Robert Lous Stevenson's Garden of Verses: "A Thought", "At the Seaside", "Young Night Thought", and "Whole Duty of Children."

    • Worked on the 4th stanza of "My Shadow" (part of the level 1 poems in Linguistic Dev. Through Poetry Memorization)

  • Latin:  We started Song School Latin and I really think that we'll learn a lot from this book!  Singing songs is a great way to retain information and is fun for all of the children.  Even little Quinnlyn rocked to the music.  It was so cute!

    • Vocabulary learned:  salve=hello, vale=goodbye, magistra=teacher, discupili=student

  • Music: Davin has taken an interest in the piano and really wanted to learn how to play "Holy, Holy, Holy", the hymn we have studied.  I just love that every time he hears that on the radio he gets excited and says, "Mama, that's our hymn!"  So, I drew some sheet music for him of the songs "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Jesus Loves Me".

  • Science: The topic this week was "The Beach and Waves", so we read about it in Things Outdoors, of course.

Here is Davin working on his illustration, and Dori working diligently as well.

Here's the narration:  "If you look closely at the sand, you will see that it is made up of tiny pebbles.  Sometimes you will see things that look like sand worms.  They eat the sand and pass it out.  When the tide comes in, it leaves seaweed.  Waves are made up of wind.  Waves sometimes break through high edges and leave a tunnel.  Years later, the water breaks through the other end of the tunnel.  Soon, the middle top breaks and leaves a tunnel we call an arch."

  • Reading:  Here's a drawing he did for a Reading exercise.

And now for some cute pictures of Quinnlyn playing the piano:

Here's Dorian coloring in his Thomas coloring book:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Davin Playing the Piano

Davin just told me this:

"Mama, my favorite hobby is playing the piano."

I am one happy mama!! I started taking piano lessons when I was 6, the same age he is. We decided against taking him to someone else to give lessons this year. Our reasoning was that first of all, I could teach him myself; and secondly, I don't think he's emotionally mature enough yet for taking lessons. I just decided to gently introduce him to the piano and he's decided to teach himself! He cut up pieces of paper, numbered them, and taped them onto the keys of the keyboard to match the music in the songbook. Pretty inventive! I need to pick up some lesson books and start some real lessons with him before it's too hard to change the finger pecking on the keys!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day

We've been having the most beautiful Fall weather! The kids have enjoyed playing outside and soaking it all in.  This is the first time Quinnlyn has sat on the grass, as the other nice days we've had lately have been too buggy to be out very long.  She liked it!!  She pulled up grass and tried to eat it, picked up leaves and tried to eat them, tried to pull off flowers and eat you see a pattern here?  She is in the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage!  Quinnlyn is almost 7 months old already!!  Since we had to cancel our pictures with our friends who have a photography business, I thought I'd try and take some more "6 month" pictures of Quinnlyn....though I'm really hoping to get a nice camera soon!  All of the pictures I post on my blog are just taken with my iPhone, and while it is very convenient, it doesn't take the best pictures.  I shall not complain, though, for I'm very grateful for the pictures I have of the kids!