Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Calling all young mothers...and others!

My mentor, Connie, occasionally forwards emails from Girlfriends in God. I've really enjoyed the practical wisdom shared by these ladies, regarding the woman's walk with God, relationship with others, young motherhood, and other similar topics. This week's article was linked to Sharon Jaynes' blog, and I thought that some other young mothers might find encouragement there. I've added it to the sidebar under Frequently Read Blogs as well.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homeschool Curriculum, 2010-2011--slightly tenative version.

I really love it when people publish their homeschooling curriculum, ideas, struggles and victories. So while I know that this post is not for everyone, I hope you'll indulge me as I post on what Glen and I have come up with for next year's curriculum.

Math, Phonics, Language and Readers: We're sticking with aBeka this year, though we'll probably move away from the arithmetic in the next few years. I bought the reader's new and dirt cheap on eBay last year, but that's as far as I've gone in actually purchasing for this year.

Bible, History, Geography, Science and Music: My Father's World. I'm very excited about this curriculum. We're using the "oldest child, 2nd grade" curriculum this year and will move into the 5-year cycle next year. Olivia and Madeline will be able to jump right in wherever we are as they get to 2nd grade.

To be honest, it was a big struggle to know what direction to go in for history and geography. I was online for hours researching. I've heard so many good things about Sonlight's curriculum and I especially loved how they integrated so many classics. However, MFW won me over because I like that I won't need to teach individual classes once I have two or three kids in school. MFW also includes science and Bible in the basic package. I've added the Tchaikovsky package from their deluxe package for music.

Too, Sonlight is quite a bit more costly.

Timeline: I've been very intrigued with the idea of making timelines for history so that the children will have good context as they learn. I love, Love, LOVE Sonlight's timeline, but since their history is set up differently, I would have to buy the book and all the stickers in one year. But I love that style--a little more free and unique. So I've come up with a plan that I hope we can stick to. (Don't laugh.) I'm going to buy the Sonlight book, but we're going to print our own visuals as we run across the people/places/inventions, etc in our studies. Surely with that huge information highway, we'll find what we need, right???

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting This year's curriculum transitions to cursive.

Art: Draw Write Now, book 1 by Draw Your World.

Read-Alouds: I'm not going to buy all the read-alouds now. We'll borrow or buy as we find them cheap. But this year, I'm going to definitely include read-aloud time in our school day. We do read together now, but not in a structured way, and so it's very hit and miss depending on our days and level of exhaustion! :) I'm hoping that if I have a list I want to get through, I'll do better about it. We're going to mix the Sonlight list with the My Father's World list and maybe switch out a few with our own picks. We'll see how that goes.

So I think that's everything. I'm grateful for all I've learned this year (maybe a post on that coming soon), and I have BIG plans to do even better next year. Ha. I said not to laugh.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

My three favorite little girls on Mother's Day 2010
Today, I'm thankful for my mother's unconditional love and friendship and my mother-in-law's company this Sunday. I'm grateful that God granted me the pleasure of being the mother to three beautiful little girls, and for all the family and friends that "mother" my children from time to time...Grandma, Aunties Emmie and Lorraine, Alyssa and Lisa, Diana and Kirsten, Ginny and Stephanie. God has blessed me, too, with several mentors who exemplify Christlikeness and encourage me in my young-motherhoodness (I made that word up, obviously!): Connie, Marcia, Joyce and Konny.
Love you all! Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spraker Farm

While Mommy and Daddy made phone calls last night on the behalf of Marlin Stutzman's campaign for US Senate, Scott, Stephanie & Samantha Spraker kept our girls at their farm to play with the animals. When Stephanie volunteered, the girls talked of nothing else, knowing there was a brand new little lamb that surely needed their tender loving care (or whatever you'd call it when you almost literally smother the poor little thing with love). Carli was thrilled that she was given the honor (real or imagined--I'm not sure if it was in fun or in earnest) of naming four lambs.

The black lamb is a couple weeks old,
and Carli helped feed it.
When asked, about the experience,
she kept saying, "Wow, Mom. Just wow."
She also said that when telling me about a mouse she spotted.

This adorable little lamb is only
a few days old.

I knew the girls had a ton of fun when I went to pick them up and they didn't want to leave. Besides playing with (read: torturing) the animals, they played with Barbies and Polly Pockets, made homemade playdough, ate spaghetti, and made dessert.

And there was a little left-over dessert for Mama! I'm not sure exactly what it was...some sort of sweet bread with lots of yummy cinnamon and sugar on it. Anyway, Carli told me about it on the way home. "The marshmallow was Jesus, and the the roll was the tune. And you put Jesus in the tune, and put it in the oven, and when you take it out of the oven, Jesus is gone! He's not in the tune anymore."

Ah, now I get it! "Do you mean tomb, Carli?"
Thank you so much, Scott, Stephanie, and Samantha, for entertaining our little girls. Thanks to the twins, Ashley and Abigail, for helping us with calls (actually they've helped quite a few times, making hundreds of calls--maybe thousands. Go Marlin!), and for Madeline for keeping the smiles coming from her chair, while gnawing on a pizza crust!