Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eli!

We had a fun celebration of Eli's first birthday.  We kept it simple doing a dinner with sweet friends and the summer crew from the BCM.  Eli was a little fussy, but you know what they about it being "my party" and all.
  The boys made a sign and paper chain to decorate the room.

 My helpers making banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing (yum!).

Birthday boy ready for his party.

We had veggie lasagna for dinner.

This little cutie stole the show with her hilarious faces.

The Brothers Pate.

Cupcake time!

We asked some of the grandparents to go in with us in a push toy.  Sean and Luke picked one of their toys and wrapped them up. Sean picked a maraca and Luke, a stuffed panda.  He got a fun piggy bank counting toy, too.

My little miracle and treasure of my heart,
You are taking several steps across the room now.  It won't be long before you are chasing after your brothers.  You eat just about anything, although you still have a sensitive tummy with milk.  You are drinking from a sippy cup and only have one bottle a day.  Finally, you are sleeping (mostly) through the night!  You put anything up to your ear and say "eoooo?" which I am pretty sure is "hello."  You like to hit your daddy in the head with blocks, push things across the floor, squeal rather loudly and put everything in your mouth.  People always ask who you a more like, Sean or Luke.  I say you are such a mix between the two.  How did I ever get so blessed?  I thank God for his grace in allowing me to be a mommy to you and your brothers.   
Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

This week...

I was able to capture just a few things the boys were up to this week.  Lots of pictures coming up.

Doing some book work at their table in the kitchen.

Sean's first note written all by himself. 

Writing more secret messages.

Luke always wants to do some work, too. 

Another day, more work.

Blurry snuggle-boy.  I have stopped deleting blurry pictures because that's pretty much the best I can do with this wiggly thing.

Such a this boy.

Making apple juice.

Sean using play dough to make a snake and then dissecting it.  Not sure what this organ is he's holding.

Fort time!

Back from the library we have a book picnic and read.

Random, but still beautiful.  Just take a moment with me....

He loves taking toys out of the basket.

Another day of snake play.  We looked up a diagram on the IPad and he tried to make the organs more accurately. 

Tub of water to test out a Lego boat.

They made monster crocs from their Zoobs.  

This is what happens when I try to keep them in the kitchen with me while I cook.  They were "making" smoothies and cupcakes.  

Saturday morning trains.  Then I kicked them both outside because it is a beautiful day!

We have been doing pretty well keeping up with math and Explode the Code, but other planned things get pushed to the side when he wants to explore snakes, crocodiles and pirate ships.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Learning Spaces

We do the whole learn-all-around-the-house schooling.  This set up is fairly new since we moved rooms around this summer.  I like it, but I'm sure it will get tweaked as we go.  

Since the boys share a room and Eli is with us, we have an extra room for the office/ guest bed.  This is where I store most of our stuff.  I will be adding some more storage soon to the hall outside so some of the things here will be relocated.
My desk
Reference books, current curriculum and misc supplies.
These 2 shelves hold the books I am using now, plus any others I think will go along with upcoming studies.
This is how it looked getting ready for the week!
 We just acquired this table for free (yay!).  The sweet grandparents are getting us 2 more chairs so all the boys will have a spot.  I like this being in the kitchen so I can have the boys working or playing while I cook.  Plus, it keeps the dining room table cleared off. 
The shoes are put away here, but they drive me a special kind of crazy because they are usually in a big pile!
Nature table and scripture memory basket.
I'm sure we'll still end up spreading out here to do some stuff.
 I keep read-alouds on this shelf.  Eli's toys are on the bottom.  This is also the t.v. cabinet.  We don't have cable, but we do have Netflix.  Sean loves documentaries and they watch other shows, too.
Yes, that is a bench turned up, blocking the doorway.  Gotta corral that baby!
 Here is where we read some and the floor is usually covered in toys.  

This is in the boys' room. Sean doesn't use the desk much for writing, but I have a feeling Luke might later on.  I love it, though, because it's from when Jeff and his brother were little.  Most of Sean's chapter books are here.  I collect them from yard sales as I find them.

And I can't forget the back porch!  This is not cleaned up at all.  When Eli is walking we will have to barricade some more.

I am certain things will change up, especially when I reorganize a bit.  I will have to do another post with organization (because I am a total nerd like that and looooove seeing others' organizing ideas!).


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Monday, August 6, 2012

2012-13 Curriculum

I guess this is our first "official" year of schooling.  I have mixed and matched different things to make our curriculum.  At first, I was just going to go with Sonlight.  And while I love them, we got hit pretty hard financially right about ordering time so I had to rethink.  Back at the drawing board, I did a lot of searching through the lens of Charlotte Mason.  I am very happy with what we pieced together.

Sean- 7 year old, 2nd grade
  • Egermeier Bible- continue reading through
  • Leading Little Ones to God- read at breakfast or lunch 
  • Jesus Storybook Bible- can't get enough of this one!
  • Scripture Memory- based on Charlotte Mason memory system
Recipe card holder from Wal-Mart holds verse cards and dividers.
  • Miquon Orange- continue working through
  • Miquon Red
  • Unschooling math ideas- cooking, allowance, teachable moments, etc.
  • Outdoor Secrets and Companion (Charlotte Mason-inspired)
  • The Burgess Bird Book for Children
  • Sean loves science, so we will add whatever he fancies (currently crocodiles).
Language Arts:
  • I stacked the books we didn't get to last year to make them first priority.
  • I also printed book lists from Sonlight, My Father's World, Charlotte Mason and FIAR to check out from the library.
  • Story of the World and Activity Guide
    • I also got a couple new children's encyclopedias and can make use of several reference books we already have.
  • I got handwriting Without Tears last year and planned to use it now, but I think Sean's writing is getting so much better, I may not.  The L.A. work and other activities like letter and list writing may be practice enough.
I store books we are currently using in these bins and adjust them weekly.
I also plan to work on habits and handiwork skills.  He will go to a homeschool PE class once a week.  Our homeschool group does not have the co-op list up yet but he will likely do several things there (International Night, Science Fair, Art Fair) and maybe a weekly class.  And piano lessons are in the works.
My planning pages.
After this humongous list, dare I say I consider us relaxed homeschoolers??  Well, I do, because even though the list is long, some of the subjects will only be done once a week and/or chapters will be drawn out even longer.  I plan to basically spend mornings (Monday-Thursday) on book work and projects.  The rest of the day will be playing, extra reading and whatever else comes up.  Fridays will be open for play dates, field trips, outing and whatever else does (or doesn't) come up.

Super cool Desk Apprentice holds so much!
Luke- 3 (almost 4) year old
  • I have Before Five in a Row so I will use it, plus the concept of it, with books we have and from the library.
  • He will mostly tag along with Sean and I will adapt whatever lesson for him.
Eli- 1 year old
  • Eating of board books
  • Dumping of toy baskets
  • General toddler mayhem
  • But seriously, I guess I am going to set aside special toys for "sit down" learning time and make best use of nap time.
Here's an idea of how the week will (maybe, possibly...) look:
Daily:                            M,W:                      T,R:                      F:
Bible                              History                    Science              Co-op 
Math                              Piano                      P.E.                     Field trip 
L.A.                                                                                           Play date
Spanish                                                                                    Whatever
Nature Walk

Handicrafts and habits I will just add into the days where they best fit.
More than just intellectual pursuits, I desire for my kids to grow in the knowledge of God and that a heart for his people and the gospel would spring up.  It's all vanity if my boys get a lot of "smarts," but do not see and learn of Christ through me and Jeff.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

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