Tuesday, February 27, 2007

State of Maine Lapbook

We recently participated in a Geography Swap with the ladies at www.t2chk.org/forums . It was wonderful and also timely since my son needed to fulfill a Maine Studies requirement. We decided to create a lapbook. (Though it was Tyler's credit, Christian and Rachel helped too. ) We also sent lots of postcards as well as the book "Lost on a Mountain in Maine." Here are the pictures of our lapbook:

Friday, February 23, 2007

February Break is Done, Now Let's Charge for Spring!

~Art by Peter Motz~
This week we had a break from school. To tell the truth, I am kind of glad it's over!! Now it is time to charge ahead for spring and to be determined to finish our school year strong. We have 12 weeks of school left until summer break. We will have one more school break between now and then but will hopefully be spent with Robin taking the kids on field trips!

I have to admit to not being really "ready" for this week in a sense. It just wasn't a good time for a break. But it had a purpose in that we did rest and the kids got to hang out and not do much which they enjoyed. But usually I have more planned for them. Rachel's Hip Hop Workshop really broke up the week. (But it was awesome so worth it!)

All I can say is: "C'MON SPRING!"
I think I have Christian and Rachel's school curriculum for next year planned (5th and 4th grade respectively). Here it is:
History, Literature, Reading, Bible: Tapestry of Grace Upper Grammar Year One Redesigned (Ancient History)
Science: Apologia's Elementary Science
Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Spelling: Spell Power for Rachel, Sequential Spelling for Christian
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
Grammar: Winston Grammar (We did first half of book this year, second half saving for next year)
Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears, 5th Grade
Language Arts: I also buy Alpha Omega to close in any gaps (a little paranoia there!).
Math: Mathusee, Delta for Rachel and Epsilon for Christian
Koine Greek: Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek, Level 3
Art: Various Programs and Books that we have here like "Mark Kistler's Draw Squad"
Music: Drum Lessons for Christian, Piano Lessons for Rachel
Gym: Year round soccer for Christian, Dance classes and competition teams for Rachel
Whew! Is that it? I sure hope so!!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Here is a book tag. I was tagged by Christian Homekeeper. She is at: http://www.xanga.com/christianhomekeeper . Xanga is her new blog home. If you have not been to her blog, I think you will LOVE it!

Anywho, back to the tag:

Book Tag
1. Grab the nearest book to you.
2. Turn to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and author's name.
Tag 3 people.

Well the ONLY book that is near me and not on the shelf in other rooms is Rachel's read: "Sarah Whitcher's Story" by Elizabeth Yates. It doesn't have 123 pages, LOL, so I will use the last full page:

"He smiled at her and then turned to Pa. The two men clasped hands again. Ma and Pa watched him as he went up to the ridge."

Riveting, huh?

Well if you haven't done this, then "TAG! You're it!"

Nine Year Birthday, Nine Year Anniversary, Nine Years Left!

This is a benchmark year for me! My youngest child has turned 9 and will be graduating highschool in 9 years. My time of having her home alll the time is half over! I have been homeschooling my children for 9 years and have 9 years left so homeschooling is half over!! No wonder I was teary over this particular birthday!!

Here is my birthday girl with her crazy brother, Christian, behind her! This is an outfit we bought for her especially to wear to her dance classes:

Here is Rachel at her "girlie party" blowing out her candles. I had a small cake for each girl to decorate themselves. I put a few of the extra's together for her to blow out candles with.
For a craft, they each painted these wooden dolls. They all especially loved having the *sparkly* paints.

Here is Tyler with Dash. I started Homeschooling Tyler for Kindergarten 9 years ago!!

Hug those babies while you can! The time sure flies by!

Breaking the Ice!

I can't believe how long it has been since I have "blogged." Some days I am too tired and some days too busy and some days both!

Recently Rachel had an opportunity to take a little ballet workshop from Ballet New England. It was an hour workshop and then a little performance of what they learned. After their performance she was able to sit in the front row for an abbreviated performance of "Snow White!" The rest of us looked on from good seats too, just a bit further back! ;)

After the show, she was able to meet cast members and get pictures and autographs. It was a wonderful day!

Here is Rachel with Snow White:

Here she is with Prince Charming (who is in our Homeschool Group!)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fabulous Friday!

Boy, I am glad it is Friday! Wahoo!! I have had a tough week. I am not sure why except that it is February in Maine! *wink* We have our noses tight to the grindstone, plowing ahead with homeschooling in an attempt to wrap up the year by Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday night I attended my Homeschool Group support meeting. It was on "Homeschooling High Schoolers." Boy did I need that! I feel like a brand new homeschooler instead of a 9 year veteran! The thought of High School is quite daunting to me. But I do feel better after attending this meeting.

I have been planning my curriculum for next year and making a few orders. Here is what I have planned so far for Tyler next year which will be his freshman year of High School:

Algebra I-Mathusee
History/Bible-Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Redesigned Rhetoric Level
Science-Apologia Biology
Writing-Institute for Excellence in Writing DVD followup course
Vocabulary-Classical Roots A
Spelling-Spellpower (really for fun-he just likes it!)
Grammar-Winston Grammar Advanced
Spanish I-still looking...
Intro to Greek-Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek

For Spanish, I am looking for a program that is grammar based. I really cannot stand the approach of Rosetta Stone. If you are trying to do the workbook, I think it leaves you a bit "high and dry". I know most people love it but I need a more systematic approach since I don't know Spanish either.

I am still working on what Rachel and Christian are doing. Besides, Tapestry of Grace and Mathusee and Greek, I don't have a solid plan.

This weekend will be busy. Saturday, Christian has morning indoor soccer, Rachel has dance at 12:30 p.m. I need to buy her some dance pants and also knee pads for Hip Hop. I need to deep clean my house and perhaps order school books. I might also buy paint to do Rachel's room. Oh, and see if I can find a coach needing an extra man so Tyler can play soccer when the next indoor session starts.

On Sunday Rachel has a very "out of the ordinary" opportunity. She and a friend are taking a ballet workshop from Ballet New England in York, Maine. Then we will all attend the Snow White ballet and Rachel and her friend will participate in the opening. It is good timing because we are in a Geography Swap and I can get some good pics from the coastal area. A busy weekend, but hopefully a fun one too!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

More from "The Journeyman" by E. Yates

"Jared soon made the simple pine box that was large enough for two bodies that were wasted and thin; then he turned to the stone Eben had found for him. Working carefully with a sharp-pointed tool, he inscribed the letters on the stone. When he had finished, he drew the wondering boy to him.
'Have you learned to read yet?' Jared asked.
The boy inclined his head. 'Thankful taught me last winter.'
'Then read these words.'
The boy bent forward and read slowly.
How friendly seems the vast unknown
Since they have entered there.'
Eben looked up quickly at Jared. A gleam, like the light from a small candle, was in his face, 'Is that true, Jared?'
Jared nodded. 'Even as little girls, they loved God with all their hearts-I remember it well. They've just gone ahead of us to Heaven, to be there to greet us.'"

This passage just brought me to tears and was one of those times I wished I was reading privately instead of to my children. At the same time, this is such a deep truth that I wish to pass to these same children. I agree so strongly. I have been taught my whole life that Heaven is a place beyond wonderful and I have both believed it and relied upon it. But Heaven became a friendlier place when my grammy entered and is friendlier still since my dad has gone before me. Year by year, more and more of those I know and love go before me. I look forward to that reunion! More than that of course, I want to see my Jesus. But how sweet to know how many friends and family will be gathered there as well!

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep with him." 1 Thess. 4:13-14

We're Taking the Plunge!

Well I have done it! After 8 years of using the same curriculum I purchased something new: Tapestry of Grace! It is official. I bought the Teacher's Manual yesterday online. We will do Year 1 Redesigned which is Ancient History.
I will admit to a big hesitation. I have done Ancient History with the kids at least twice. I am a little weary of Egypt. But since I wanted to start digging alot deeper with Tyler (will be a freshman in High School) I thought this would be a good place to start.
Tapestry of Grace will be used for History, Literature, Reading and most of my Bible. I will also use alot of their "Hands On" ideas as we need a little more fun in our schooling. The rest of my curriculum will stay the same. I am excited and will be closely tracking my order to find out exactly what day it will arrive!! :0) Stay tuned!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thankful Thursday!

Picture by Debbie Mumm
On Thursdays we meet with another family for a bit of school work. My children really love it! Rachel and her friend K work on a Lapbook or some other "hands on" project together. Christian and his friend C are going through a course from The Institute for Excellence in Writing. Unfortunately there is no one Tyler's age but he likes to have some time to himself and then he joins us when we all do Art together using a course by Barry Stebbing.
It has been my job to plan the lapbooks. It has been good for me. Hopefully it will give me the boost to do more lapbooks in our normal homeschool week. I took a plunge yesterday (partly from desparation) and purchased an E-Book. It was a "how to" book on making a lapbook on Ancient Rome. I didn't spend too much on it which is good. Once we finish our project, I feel like I will have a good idea what to look for in this type of "how to book." For now I will just say that you have to be really careful in assuming it is a book that has everything "all there" for you.
Anywho, you know what? I have lots to be thankful for! I praise God that:
~God has saved through faith in Jesus Christ. I am goin' to Heaven!! :)
~My husband is healthy, is a hard worker, is my best friend, a loving husband, a loving dad.
~My children are healthy and truly great kids.
~We have a sturdy home with all the provisions we need.
~There is food in the cupboards, clothes in the drawers, plenty of dishes and pans and other necessities.
~We have two working vehicles.
~Both Robin and I come from loving, Christian families
~I have wonderful friends, offline and online.
God is good! Praise the Lord!!
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." 1 Chron. 16:8