Thursday, April 29, 2010

Did you know...

...that a pencil will make marks under water on a porcelain surface? Elisabeth proved this to us just the other day.

The artist...

The artwork...

Fortunately it came off with a simply cleaning. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

School update

School is going great. One of the reasons I haven't blogged much is I have been working hard on putting together things for the kids to do. I haven't found a curriculum that I can stick to. I have been piecing different things together. When something isn't working or I find a problem with it, I look for something different.
I started something kind of like work boxes, which seems to be big among homeschoolers. I just couldn't see us having 12 boxes on a rolling shelf for each child setting around my school area. I used supplies that I already had and created a file system for each child. We do six folders for each in one box. The folders are color coded. Any work that we all do together goes at the front of my box. Josiah is all excited about doing his folders each day. I let him go first each day because he will not stop asking until we do it. He usually begs to do it on weekends, also. Each evening (usually after kids are in bed) I put the papers, books, flashcards, or projects in their folders for the next day. I find that I am getting more done with it organized this way. Before I would just write down on a paper what I wanted to do, but half the time I would loose the paper or still forget something.
We do Bible together first thing in the morning. We sing a few hymns. (It is great to hear my kids singing hymns while playing or in the restroom.) They each have a favorite hymn. We then read from the Bible. We are reading through Genesis right now. I usually do half a chapter a day since they don't sit quiet very long. Abby and Robert help do some of the reading. Then we work on our Bible memory. We are memorizing Ecclesiastes chapter one. Even Josiah is getting in on it this time. He surprises me with how much he can say.
After breakfast and chores, Josiah does his school time with mom. He is learning the sounds of the alphabet and starting to blend two letters together. I am currently using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. I found it at the library. I love the library it is my favorite place to go in town. We use blocks with abc's on the for him to "build" words. In math he is working on counting and recognizing numbers.
For our second all together time we are using Five in a Row (FIAR). FIAR takes a book such as Peter Rabbit and uses that story to teach math, language, art, science, history for the week. We do one suggested activity or lesson each day after reading the story. The library is my may source of books for this curriculum. I found the FIAR manuels there and the books. I have started buying a few books used that the library didn't have.
Late morning and after lunch I work with Abby and Robert individually. Both reading well above normal for their age, doing simple addition and subtraction, and learning to write neatly. With the warm weather they have not been doing much of their individual work, but have been enjoying playing outside and learning to ride their bikes without training wheels.
Rueben is almost halfway done with his last year of school. Not sure what his plans are after he is done, but we are encouraging him to date, and talk to girls.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Still here

In March we celebrated three birthdays. It is nice having so many close together. We had a family party one day and then the other day we went to a local ranch and the kids got to ride horses.Anyone who asks Abby what gift she wants she tells them she wants something pretty. I got her some accessories to go with her princess dress. The cheap shoes did not last a week, so I took her to the thrift store and let her chose a pair of "shoes with sticks" (high heels). They were 1/2 price that day so I got a great deal.The boys love any transportation vehicle. We got them lego trains. The horse back riding was on a windy day, but the kids didn't seem to mind. Abby was the first to ride. Then each boy took one turn. Abby went again and again and again. We finally convinced Robert to go again with Abby. He didn't want to ride alone.
The boys had fun hanging on the fence.

Here are some extra pictures of the kids. Beth has decided that anytime we use the school desks she has to sit in one too. She pushes one of the older ones out and sits in their seat. The one pushed out is usually happy to sit on another chair.
Josiah never stays in his bed all night. Here he is sleeping on the floor in front of the pellet stove.
Our weather in March was crazy. One day the kids would be outside enjoying the warm weather and then the next morning it was snowing again.
I have my garden started and I am looking forward to May when my dad is here to help get more planted.
Our church is having a camp meeting the first week of May. I am hoping there will be some good old fashioned BIBLE preaching. The kids are looking forward to having the meetings at the pastor's ranch, and the roasted marshmallow afterward.