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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Year 2014-2015

  Well, as I said last week, summer is quickly fading.  This is the first year we have taken a real "summer break".  We normally school year round.  However, this year with all 3 partcipating in 4-H, 2 in the Bible Bee, and the garden, we decided to take a few months off.  It was a very good decision too, it may be a new trend in our household ;) 
  Derek has actually been asking for 2 weeks now when we are going to start back up again.  Which, by the way, is incredible!!!  He's my child, who could normally careless about school!  He loves Geography and well.....that's about it.  He did come to me and ask if we could do a different math.  I have loved and praised Teaching Textbooks for the last 2 years, but I'm very much into child-led learning, so I've been looking at different math curriculums for the last couple of weeks and we are going to start with Singapore Math, which is what Heart of Dakota suggests using anyway.  He wanted a "math workbook".  He loves Rod & Staff (we use it for 1st grade) and they have a "worksheet book" for 3rd grade, but not for 4th.  We looked at a few other curriculums, but for now, we've settled on Singapore.  He has done Singapore before during summers as review, so it's not all completely new to him.  So here's the run-down for this year's curriculum lists.

 
 
 
Derek - 4th Grade
 
 
Heart of Dakota - Bigger Hearts for His Glory ~
We use this for Bible, History, Science, Dictation, Poetry, Handwriting, and Reading
(We are finishing up this guide.  He will start "Preparing" sometime around Thanksgiving)
 
 
 
 
 
Singapore Math 3B & 4A
 
 
(This is just a google picture of the ALL the workbooks.
He doesn't have to do all of these this year;)
 
 
 
 
BJU English 4
(He will be finishing this up and starting 5 around Thanksgiving also)
 
 
 
 
Galloping the Globe & Rand McNally Intermediate Geography & Maps
 
        
 
 
 
 
Bible-Based/Self-Paced Computer Typing Curriculum
 
 
 
 
 
Lindsay - 2nd Grade
 
Heart of Dakota - Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory ~
We use this for Bible, History, Science, Spelling, Poetry, Handwriting, & Reading
(She will be finishing up this guide and starting "Bigger" around Thanksgiving also.)
 
 
 
 
 
Teaching Textbooks 3
(She wants to stick with it for now :)
 
 
 
 
BJU English 3
(She will also be starting 4 sometime around Thanksgiving)
 
 
 
 
 
Galloping the Globe & Rand McNally Beginner Geography & Maps
 
      
 
 
 
Bible-Based/Self-Paced Computer Typing Curriculum
 
 
 
Leah - Preschool
 
Rod & Staff Preschool Workbooks
 
 
 
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
 
 
 
 
Rod & Staff Math 1
 
 
 
 
 
Confessions of a Homeschoolers K-4 Curriculum

 
 
 
  Also, this year, we are going to start something new!  We sat down and talked about somethings the kids really want to work on or learn but just don't have time to work at them every day.  So, I'm so excited this is what we came up with!!  Every morning we will start out with a chapter from "The Miller Books".  We will be starting the school year with "Missonary Stories with the Millers". 
 

 
  After we have read our chapter, we are going to review and complete a day in our Calendar Book from Christian Light Education. 
 

 
  This is mainly for Leah, since the older 2 know their months and days, however, they wanted their own Calendar Books also.  :)  This books also reviews daily weather and seasons. 
  And then each day we will move onto learning that day's subject. 
 
Monday - Geography (Galloping the Globe)
Tuesday - Spanish
Wednesday - Sign Language
Thursday - Music Theory
 
 
  On Fridays, we have Music School in the morning and Co-op in the afternoon.  This first semester at Co-op Derek is taking Pencil Drawing and PE and Lindsay is taking Art (Acrylic Painting) and PE.  Leah will be in the preschool class.  They do all kinds of fun crafts, songs, centers, and work on their letters, sounds, and numbers.  I will be teaching Home Economics to the older girls and Ronnie will be teaching a mechanics class the first semester.  We are looking forward to a new school year!! 
 
  Also, my goal for this year for the blog is to do a review each week of our Heart of Dakota units and also one of our other curriculums each month!  I've had a lot of parents say to me, they would love to homeschool, but just don't think they could.  So my hope would be that I can share how rewarding and easy(most days;) homeschooling actually is!!
 
 
 
Proverbs 1:7 ~
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Life is NOT what it seems.....

  As I sit here this morning, looking out my window trying to see past all the thick fog, I realize how quickly the summer is coming to an end.  Ever since Hannah passed, I feel like our summers just fly by!  Her entire life took place in one tiny little summer, the summer of 2008.  It will be burned into my memory, of course, forever.  Trying to fit everything a mama, of 3, needs to do into one summer is exhausting, actually it feels next to impossible!  Especially when you are trying to be a mama to 3 children, all under 3, that are separated over 100 miles away.  I always look back and try to think of how I should have done things differently.  I definitely didn't have the mind-set that I do now and thought that it was so important for my older 2 to carry on normal lives.  When in reality, I realize now the best thing for them was to have been with their mama as much as possible.  However, I felt like, then, that wasn't possible because they were not allowed in the NICU or in Hannah's room.  I kept telling myself that Hannah would get better soon and we'd all be home as a family.  I tried to stay so busy with activities at church when I was home to keep my mind off of things with Hannah that I missed a lot of opportunities to just sit and hold her and and spent so much time traveling back and forth, I missed alot of firsts with Lindsay. (Lindsay and Hannah were 11 months apart).  She learned to crawl and walk with out me and learned to say some very cute words without me.  My heart constantly breaks at the idea of not remembering much about Lindsay's 1st year at all, by being so consumed with my prenatal appointments and worrying so much about what was to come and then the 3 1/2 months she was in the hospital.


  I fast forward 6 years and continute to realize how short our summers are and in reality how short all of our lives are, they really are but just a vapor.  I have watched my children grow and mature more this year than I ever have before.  We have worked so hard and participated in so much this year, I am just amazed at the young people my children are becoming. 
  We did let the garden fail a little this year due to being so busy (however after hearing so many other people say that their tomatoes didn't make either, I don't feel so bad), however, we did manage to put up over 30 quarts of corn and 6 quarts of tomato juice so far (more is yet to come). 



  We've participated in the Bible Bee, the Farmer's Market, 4-H, attended the State Fair, and did respit for 3 foster babies, all under 14 months, at the same time.   
 


 


  I have watched the children learn and grow in The Word. They have worked hard on creating their own projects and baking to sell their goods and have become quite the little entrepreneurs.  I have watched them transform through the horseback riding lessons and show their animals in the ring and their confidence just rise in themselves.  I've watched them mature so much while working hard in the garden, picking, shucking, cooking, squeezing, canning, and freezing our produce to get through the winter.  And understanding the importance of helping to provide for the family.  And last but not least, dying to themselves to help care for, and eventually loving, 3 babies that are not our own.  They helped bathe, feed, hold, and love on these 3 as if I had given birth to them, just as I had their own selves.  It truly was amazing. 





  I continually pray that we can raise our "babies" to work as unto the Lord, not toward men!  I pray for their salvation daily.  Because at the end of the day, nothing else matters if they don't live as Christ, everything else will not get them anywhere! 


James 4:14  (NKJV)
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What we've been up to...

  Sorry, it's been so long since I've written.  The older the kids get, the less time it seems that I have.  This is the first year we have ever taken a summer break.  We normally school year round taking a week off here and there when we need one.  However, we had so many activities planned this summer, I wanted to concentrate on the Bible Bee Sword Studies and completing 4-H projects to the best of our abilities.   So here are some picturers to catch you up. 

We've been playing baseball with our Homeschool Group.

 
 
Started a booth at our local Farmer's Market
 
Photo: Up early at the Farmer's Market :)
 
Attended our Homeschool Group's Annual Civil War Ball
 
Photo
 
Working on our Sword Studies for the Bible Bee
 
Photo: My babies working on their sword studies for the Bible Bee!!!  Melts my heart!!
 
Playing in the great outdoors
 
 
Taking riding lessons for 4-H
 
 
 
And.....we just celebrated Hannah's 6th Birthday in Heaven :)


 
I hope to get back in the habit of writing again soon! 
 
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When you feel like a failure....

 You may have seen my post on facebook this morning...

 I try so hard to make sure all of my facebook posts are positive, uplifting, encouraging or informative.  Facebook is so full of negativity of the world, and I feel like it's one way I can shine my light.  So yes, sometimes, it may seem like our life here is just happy-go-lucky and all I do is read fantasy stories with my perfectly, well behaved, angelic, children while eating bon-bons.  (You knew I had to throw that in there, Angela ;) 

  So after this week (and yes, it's only Tuesday), I decided it might also be encouraging if I share the other side.  Just so we know we're not alone in this battle of spriritual warfare.  It's important to me, that I keep this blog and my life real.  I am a terrible, wretched sinner, who by the grace of God has been saved by my Lord Jesus.  But I still mess up, A LOT!!  And I praise the Lord, that He doesn't give up on me.  Oh my, where would we be, if He did??

  So it started yesterday.......
   We woke up to your typical Monday morning.  Everyone waking up and doing chores and preparing for the day.  Derek always wakes up before the girls and starts on his schoolwork while it's still quiet.  He has good and bad days, but most days he wakes up and does this with no problem.  Some days, he wants to play first and then gets very upset that I interrupt his play to start his schoolwork.  So, for the most part, we try to stick to the schedule of him doing schoolwork first, so we can save both of ourselves from headaches.
  Yesterday, he woke up in a great mood and was almost done with his school, when a math problem ( I mean Satan) decided to interrupt our day.  He and I both had a huge meltdown.  There was yelling and crying on both his and my ends. I felt like I was doing something wrong with him.

   I can't seem to figure out how to share my love of learning with him.  No matter what books I find, or math program I buy, he just tries to rush through as fast as he can.  I know, he's a boy and boys don't care for school, but I just keep thinking I am doing something wrong, if I can't make him enjoy his schoolwork.  Lindsay and I have such a good bonding time when it comes to her school, why can't I have that with him?  And he is so smart!!  He figures things out faster than I can explain them.  But, boy oh boy, when he gets stuck on something watch out!! 
 
  I cried alot, just wallowing in self pity.  I even locked myself in my room for awhile reading different Psalms, trying to embrace the fact, God is the Almighty, and he has a plan, and I am just this one tiny piece through 6,000 years of His puzzle so far.  I felt like one of the Israelites always complaining about everything, no matter their many blessings.  I prayed for a long time asking for God's guidance in raising this strong-willed child.  I really would not want it any other way, because I know God has amazing plans for him, however, I just am at a loss on how to direct his very strong will.  Not to mention, his father and I are both very strong willed, and we are all first borns, so it seems we are all just exactly alike and they say opposites attract, right? 

  Anyway, I ended up having a very long talk with him about having a good attitude, even when we don't like it.  That was like calling the kettle black, huh?? 
  It was a struggle the rest of the day to have good attitudes, because once I get upset, it's really hard for me to let it go.  Ronnie and Derek can just go out and get over it and then I get even more upset because I felt like they weren't that upset about the issue to begin with, totally petty, ain't it?  Talk about a sinner!!  Praise the Lord for grace!! 

  So, later in the afternoon, Ronnie got a wrecker call and I decided it would be a good opportunity to get us all out of the house and some fresh air.  We towed the vehicle, stopped at Goodwill, grabbed a bite to eat, and recieved another wrecker run.  We started out to winch the customer out of the ditch and what....of course, the clutch goes out of the wrecker!!!  We have to call the customer and help them find another wrecker.  And try to make it home without getting stranded ourselves.  Now, Ronnie's in a bad mood and stressing about how much it's going to cost and being down during the our busiest time of the year.  I'm trying to stay calm and lift him up and Satan gets ahold of the both of us and so by the time we made it to bed, we're both upset.  We're laying in bed, discussing how much it's going to cost  to fix it and how we only have 2 weeks left until Christmas to finish buying everyone's presents.  (And we keep it simple!  We just have big families.)  We're still waiting to get paid from 3 or 4 jobs, an insurance check, ect.  And that we need to be patient with them, because we have been in that boat before ourselves!  We both agree, we know that God will take care of us.  So what if everyone doesn't get something from us, it won't be the first, and it won't be the last, I'm sure.  And then I get even more upset, because that's not what it's even about!!  I lay there thinking about how worse off so many more people are than us.  And here we are having panic attacks over a stupid clutch.  Sure, it's our livlihood and yes, it's very important, but in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing! 
  Why do we do this?  Why do we make ourselves sick with worry?  God has promised again and again to take care of us.  And that may not even mean how we want him to take care of us.  We may loose our vehicles, and even our house (heaven forbid), but the one thing that is certain, is His promises to take care of us. 
  I'm so encouraged by the story of Corrie Ten Boom.  If you don't know about her, google it.  She was able to survive and hold on to God's promises even through Concentration Camps!!  Now, that is strength, and not her own, but God Almighty's!!!

  And who knows, maybe God is actually letting some of things happen, so we will cling to him even tighter during this Christmas season.  You know, since it really is about Him anyway ;) 

  From Lindsay's History lesson this morning about the Pilgrims, who were way worse off than you or I. 
From Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret B Pumphrey:  "The men gathered brushwood and, in the shelter of a great rock, built a roaring fire and camped for the night.  Before they slept the Pilgrims knelt upon the ground and gave thanks to God for guiding them through the storm and dakrness.  Then they repeated a beautiful old song from the Bible beginning; 'O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.'"

  I want to live like that!  No matter what comes my way, I want to be able to cling to my Savior like that.  I am so thankful, He is still working on me!!  I just pray that God will give me the wisdom to pass on to my children of how important His Word is for their daily lives and leaning on His everlasting arms. 

  I pray you hold on to what is really important this Chrstimas Season.  I pray you teach your children some wonderful Advent lessons.  I pray that God blesses your families.  And you can hold on tight to fact that this is not our home, we're just passing through. 

Have a Blessed Day,
Amanda

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Storm Warning!!!

    Here in Southern Indiana, we are preparing for a big winter storm.  Well, at least our family has our fingers crossed!!  :) 
    I'm sooo sorry I haven't written in forever!!  Life has completely just swept us away this year.  We have been sooo blessed to have Ronnie come home and now own our own business.  We first bought a rollback in March and then a little later in the year we traded it for a wrecker.  Ronnie quit his job and came home and opened a garage and towing service.  So as you can see, we are hoping for some snow to keep us busy ;)  So in preparation for the "big snow" we're supposed to get, Leah and I decided to make Daddy some midnight snacks!  
 
 
 
Daddy's favorite - Peanut Butter Balls!!!
 

 

 
 
Or as Leah calls them, "those turner things". 
(You know, round, circle, turn, all the same thing ;)
 
 

 

   So here's our Peanut Butter Ball recipe from Ronnie's mom, Susie.  She taught me how to make these along with lots of other recipes that are Ronnie's favorite, when we were dating, so that I would be able to take care of her baby boy ;)

Peanut Butter Balls
1/4 bar of paraffin wax (1/3 cup)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 Tbsp butter
2 cups powered sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
 
In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on medium until mixture starts to stick together.  You need to be able to roll into balls with your hands and the mixture not stick to your fingers too bad. 
Melt paraffin wax in a double broiler pot.  I use mine from Pampered Chef, but my mother-in-law uses a glass bowl over a regular saucepan.  After wax is melted add chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.  I have to keep my burner set on a 3 or lower so the chocolate doesn't burn. 
 
 
 
Roll peanut butter mixture into balls and lay on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Gently pick each ball up with a tooth pick and swirl around in the chocolate mixture.  Set back on cookie sheet to cool.  Once you have covered each ball with chocolate, I take the remaining chocolate and drizzle it over the whole cookie sheet.  When all finished, store the peanut butter balls in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate hard. 
Enjoy with a glass of milk :)
 
 
How about you?  Do winter storms give you a yearning to bake?  What are some of your favorite recipes this time of year?
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"School Room"

  School Room or Not?  In our home, it's a little bit of both.  The pictures below are of the corner of our dining room.  I keep all the school stuff on these two books shelves.  It keeps it all nice and neat and organized and very handy.  We just sit down at the dining room table to do any worksheets or group work and living room is next to the dining room for any silent reading assignments.  
 
 
 
 
We have a white board for important info for the day or week.   The small bookshelf underneath holds our laminator, memory box, markers, crayons, and colored pencils.  There are lots of kids games on the bottom shelf.

 
We keep our chore packs hanging on our white board.


 
This wonderful bookshelf, I found at our local "primitive" store, Magpie.  It's been a huge blessing to me!!!  It stores all of our extra curriculum, readers, chapter books, school supplies, craft supplies, and educational toys.  The white 3 drawer bin next to it, holds each child's school books and workbooks that they are currently using. 

 
I have each section labeled.  Preschool, Bible, Science, History, etc.

 
We keep our school supplies in this smaller 3 drawer bin.

 
This is our timeline that is on the side of the bookshelf.

 
"Some" of our many readers and chapter books!!!

 
And the easel and pencil sharpener.
 
 
 
Do you have a school room or just a part of another room?  Where do you store all your curriculum?
 
Have a Blessed Day,
Amanda
 



I'm linking up to the School Room week 2013 5th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop
nbts-blog-hop-2013