Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homeschool 2011~2012

Most of you know that my journey as a homeschooling Mama started last year, and while there were the normal newbie snags {mainly my time management & gusto!}, I'm so excited to say that we've started back up this past Monday with a fresh year! Even though I may not technically be a "brand-newbie" anymore, I sure feel like it. There's a few changes here at home that will make this year more challenging than the last to find "quiet, uninterrupted" time {or heck, just plain time!} for lessons.

Firstly ::: I'm not pointing fingers, but a certain 10-month-old, ahem, has decided to enter toddlerhood early. Full-on walking {yes, walking!}, destructing, attention-pleading...  It's for this reason that the start of our school day is on hold until 9:30ish, otherwise known as morning nap time. :) Morning lessons finish shortly before lunch, and afternoon lessons pick up around 1:30-2ish, otherwise known as afternoon nap time. :)  

Secondly ::: Again, not pointing fingers, but we do have a crazy-cute blond preschooler here still. While there is an afternoon nap break most days from the random "ahoy, mateys" and new-three-year-old meltdowns, morning lessons are a bit boisterous at times. {Also, I will proclaim this 'til my grave, but three is sooo much harder than two. Anyone concur?} But really, Brigham's great for the most part and does like to practice on the dry-erase boards. :)

Truly, I do love my little boys being around and learning from the get-go with the "big kids", and if buckets full of extra patience & prayer is what it takes to keep my kiddos at home learning with me, bring it!  

Here are my two school-aged learners and what we will be using for curriculum this year.

Bella {7 yrs} ::: 

Ultimately, I decided to go with MFW First instead of Adventures in MFW. I didn't want Adventures to get too hard too quickly, even if Bella is a great reader. I'm sure that all there is to do in First Grade will keep us busy and learning enough, as it looks pretty "beefy" so far. Also, she's a young 7-year-old {less than a month ago}, and we'd rather not push too much.  My Father's World First Grade deluxe package also includes the following that we will be incorporating daily and/or weekly with the daily lessons in math, reading/phonics, & Bible.

  • Science using Things OutdoorsScience with Water, & Science with Plants.  
  •  Art using Drawing with Children, Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children, and Come Look with Me: Exploring Landscape Art with Children
  • Music by introducing the orchestra using classical CDs that are included with MFW curricula
Lincoln {5 yrs} :::
Lincoln is very excited to be doing school work of his own this year, and I'm pretty excited that I'll be able to teach him MFW from A to Z after just finishing it up with Bella last year. In a way it will be tough to do this program all over again so soon, but I have so much new material with Bella that it will be nice to have something I'm completely comfortable with. Lincoln's pace will also be different than his sister. I am anxious to see everything *click* for him over this year.
We still have some kinks to work out, and I'm sure there will be some speed bumps {or sinkholes!} along this long road ahead this year, but we feel so blessed to be home again learning. Even with all the stop-and-go traffic of homeschooling a 1st grader and kindergartner amidst a toddler and preschooler... ;)


Thursday, August 4, 2011


After we found out that we would have a big, private backyard here in North Carolina following our tiny sub-divided yard in Texas, one of the things I looked forward to the most was putting up a line for the clothes. Yes, I knew it would take more time and effort {we hung clothes growing up}, but I wanted to give it a go in an attempt to move towards a more simple lifestyle.

I'm so glad that I made it a priority, as we have been hanging the wash for a couple of weeks now. I look forward to my twice-daily jaunts to the line, for there I can slow down and enjoy the fresh air, chirping birds, and towering pines surrounding me. {See the tall, lanky pines in the picture?} I'm always so blessed and rewarded when we take the extra time and make an effort towards a slower lifestyle.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Motherhood Parallels Crimefighting

He comes quickly, with the impending *slap, thud, slap, thud* of swirling arms and legs barreling closer. Lip bit in concentration, the mischievous glow of his eyes lock and load onto his next target.

Nothing is safe in his path. Every room has a "hot spot". Classic pots and pans and spice cabinets in the kitchen, mess of TV cords and cable box in the family room, stairs in the hallway, crinkly papers and Daddy's deer mount in the office... The list goes on and on. "Moooommmeeee! The baby's in the trash... again! Ewww, he's eating an eggshell! What's that stuff on his hands!?" {this morning's sausage gravy, FYI}

He scales along the edges of the couch and kitchen cabinets with grace and ease. New developments have him turning to run away while belly laughing and squealing, forgetting that his legs carrying his petite 18-pound frame aren't quite on the same page as his scheming head. Slower, more deliberate steps have him getting further.

The crib, stroller and I? Yeah, we're like *this*. The crib and I have forged a deal during nap times. {Though the crib is still holding out for higher pay during the night hours.} The stroller answers the call of duty as I hang laundry on the line. Sweet deliverance.

{Surveillance of The Offender: 10 months}