Monday, April 27, 2009

Bible memory

Abigail and Robert have memorized Psalm 150!! We went last week to Dairy Queen to buy ice cream and to celebrate. They can now quote Psalms 1, 100, and 150.

I am so proud of them for memorizing scripture. It is wonderful to hear them quoting their verses as they play or ride in the car. Whenever they see DQ they start quoting one of the chapters that they know, hoping that we will stop to buy more ice cream.

We are now working on Psalm 8.

Since cleaning out my computer, I am now able to upload videos. I could not get this to work before. Here is Abby saying Psalm 150.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Computer problems solved

For the past few months I have been battling computer problems. It was slow, but I thought that was because it was old. It started shutting down in the middle of the games the kids were playing. I was ready to replace the thing. It is about five years old, which is really old in computer years. While trying to solve the mysterious shutting down problem, I came across a possible solution that I thought was crazy = clean out the computer. Well, after trying and trying all kinds of other ideas I finally unplugged every wire in the back of the tower and took it to the kitchen table. I didn’t really want to do this, but what could I loose? While the kids were napping (I didn’t need little fingers touching it) I opened it up and was surprised at how much dust was inside my computer. After picking out handfuls of dust, I used up a can of compressed air to blow out the rest of the dust. When my mom reads this all she will think of is her allergies to dust. She would have died from all the dust, but thankfully I am not allergic to dust and I had no reaction to the mess. Wonder of wonders, after putting everything together, it runs great! No more shutting down, no more being kicked off the internet, it downloads sermons faster, and programs in general run smoother and faster. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I will now add cleaning the computer to my occasional things to do list. If you are experiencing computer problems, you too may want to try blowing out the dust (don’t vacuum – it might suck up more than the dust).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The TV is going....going....almost gone :)

I am very happy about this. My husband thinks I have been praying about this, but really I haven’t. I grew up without TV. I do not miss it, but my husband enjoys watching sports and the news. Recently he has talked about getting rid of it. I did get rid of all the movies except a few Baby Einstein DVDs and “Baby Loves Trains”. These I use when a child is sick. It helps to calm them and keep them resting on the sofa. My husband canceled the Direct TV a month ago, so now we are down to four or five channels. He still can watch his news in the evening.

Some things we have done since reducing the TV time:
- plant the garden
- play a board game
- read to the kids
- go to bed early and get extra rest
- wrestle with dad on the floor
- laugh at the kids as they run around the sofa to the music from the keyboard (Jingle Bells is their favorite song to run to)
- organize closets
- read a book
- read and answer email
- study Spanish at this site
- listen to sermons
- read/study the Bible more
- bake something with the kids
- shoot basketball with Rueben and dad
- and the list goes on

There is so much that you can get done when you do not let the TV distract you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Home Schooling Update

I love to teach. It is in my blood. My dad was a teacher and that is what I always wanted to be, too. I taught school several years before I got married and had twins. I think God gave me twins so I wouldn't go back to teaching. Other teachers at our church's school would teach with their young ones in class with them, but that did not seem possible with twins.
Naturally I am continuing to have school with the twins. We do about three days a week for about one and a half hours. They enjoy it and I love it. Josiah loves to join in with them. He even seems upset when I do not have a paper for him to do like the twins. Abby is really doing well with her reading and Robert is right behind her. We are starting to talk about sounds that two letters together make such as “sh” and “ch”. We talked about how “bossy” R is and they loved all the sound effects I used. I have also introduced the magic “e” that makes the vowel say its name. Abby is getting it, but it will take Robert a little longer. That is fine and I try not to push him.
Last month when my aunt was here Abby read several little books to her that my aunt had just given them. Robert even read a book for her. He is not as willing to show off as Abby is. I love getting new books and learning things from my aunt. She enjoys spoiling the kids, too! On our recent trip to Phoenix Abby read an entire Dr Seuss book several times and has increased her reading vocabulary. I was surprised she read the book. I had planned on reading it to her. When she got stuck on a work she would ask me for help. It is defiantly time to go further with the phonics rules. Robert read part of the book, but gave up after a few pages. Now when I give her a book to look at she asks, “How do you read it?” We are daily amazed at what she can read to us without any help.
In math we are still going over the calendar daily. We use a pattern to mark off the days. This month our pattern is balloon, kite, cake, balloon, kite, cake… We then count the days until the next special event such as birthdays or upcoming trips. We review the months of the year and the days of the week. Then we count on our counting chart. One day we count by ones to 100. The next day we count by 10’s to 100, and then the next day we count by 5’s. We just started counting by fives. Some days we do a paper for writing their numbers, other days we practice adding one to a number, and some days we go over the clock and telling time. We have also started talking about money.
Josiah is learning the names of his shapes. We do this two ways. First he points to a shape on the chart on the wall and then I say the name of that shape. The other thing we do is name a shape and he points to the shape we called out. Abby and Robert join in with this game and clap for him when he gets it right (which is most of the time).Their handwriting is improving. Abby loves to sit and write everyone’s name in the family and some names of her friends at church. She is a people person!! Last week I started getting them to spell words on their paper. We were using blocks with letters on to “build” words. The only problem was that Josiah wanted to run off with the blocks to build his own tower. :)
This is just the learning we are doing during our "school time". Tons of learning happens throughout the day. We read signs, count items, and play learning games. I have the Phonics Game that I got for $20 at a yard sale. I love this game. It teaches the phonics rules in a fun, easy to understand way. I have used it for many years with students that needed help in reading. Rueben was one of the first students that I helped using the phonics game.
Rueben is continuing his home schooling. He is close to half way through his 11 grade work. It is going better this year since we are not struggling with algebra.=) He is determined to finish school for which I am glad. He is doing business math this year and he says it is easy. English is the subject he doesn’t like - too much thinking to write sentences and reports. :(