Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Like This...

If you're wondering if you're doing right by your kids by homeschooling them (you're not really wondering, are you?) then take a look at this website . I can't help but feel a little smug that so many incredible thinkers came from educations at home--and this is a SHORT list. Enjoy...see if your favorite homeschooled person is there. Mine is Pearl Buck.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ready for a Break, Counting Blessings

It has been a wonderful fall...but I'm ready for the holiday season to begin. I enjoyed a post at Himhimthem the title of which is particularly apropos for this time of year. She seems to have a right attitude toward the the season.

Blessing #1 - It has been the most fruitful and exhausting term of homeschooling for me, yet. Fruitful because my son has developed that "love of learning" and is passionate about things like math, history, science, language, reading--wait--that's everything! Exhausting, because he has become passionate about all of those things and wants more, more, more. Our school days used to end with lunchtime. Now sometimes I have to call it off at 3:00 p.m. because I need to pick up and think about dinner and oh yeah--breathe.

Blessing #2 - It has been my joy and privilege to host three men of God from Uganda in our home this year, not the least of which was Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, a man who is without a doubt a prophet to the nations in our day. I was forever changed by these visits, left with a sober realization that our myopic point of view is so shallow, so limited in its scope. I only wish I had more time to spend with them. They became family to us.

Blessing #3 - I am so thankful for my beautiful family. I think sometimes I may be misconstrued as boasting about them, but because my heart and my mouth are so closely connected, it should not be taken as such. Rather, I marvel at them, and in my words appreciate them for who they are and all the wonderful things that they say and do and give. They are not perfect, but they are entrusted to me for a season, and I am delighted with this arrangement!

My heart is so full of thanks, so full of praise to our Father in heaven who has lavished his grace and mercy and love on us. The words to express it don't exist.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Science Museum Trip

On November 7, we took a field trip to the Science Museum of Virgnina. The kids had a great time, as the museum was very hands-on, and they had lots of friends to run with. I wish I had taken more pictures, but the ones we have turned out quite well.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Practical Homeschooling in the Fall

Fall in Virginia is definitely worth staying for. I've come to the conclusion in the last three years that the last week in October through the first week of November is really the peak of color, at least in my neighborhood. Out a little bit west of us in the Shenandoah valley it was probably a couple of weeks ago, but in the Potomac River basin, it's been just the past week that I've really been impressed. The maple tree in our back yard is very intense. The woods behind our house are always a delight in the fall. One evening I looked out and saw six deer standing at the edge of our woods--two yearlings and four does. We also have frequent rabbit and squirrel visitors and lovely songbirds, woodpeckers, and even birds of prey in abundance. We have a good number of bluebirds throughout the year, and we've built a couple of nest boxes and posted them to the fence in the yard in hopes of attracting them next spring. In a few weeks we will begin our new Apologia Science curriculum, which starts with zoology and flying creatures.

Now that baseball is over with, life has taken on a lovely pace. We seem to have finally hit a groove with lessons that doesn't drive us crazy. Matty is coming to the understanding that he's not a first-grader anymore and is working past lunchtime with increasing success. I'm starting to find a balance between the things I want to do to make school a success. I seem to have settled on a blend between the classical / Charlotte Mason approaches, and so there is both hands-on and a good amount of memorizing. I've also been able to really start doing things with Molly--whatever Matty is doing, I simply include her. She has her own notebook, has colored a map of the Louisiana Purchase, just like "Bubba," a picture of Sacajawea, a prairie dog (for the Lewis and Clark expedition study), and all kinds of body parts, since we are discussing human anatomy this semester. She hangs right in there and when brother does phonics, she learns letters. When he reads, she colors and listens. When he does math, we count teddy bears and do flash cards. (shameless boasting) She's three and a half. Not a genius, but stinkin' smart. Loads of fun. Thank God for my blessings...

We all seem content--the transition of finding a new job is past, Matty is maturing in his attitudes toward school, I am enjoying completely my role as wife, mommy, and teacher. There is a peace in our home that we all sense--I pray it continues.